Now Playing: Dad-Certified Classics
March 8, 2023
Dad-certified classics—alas, this is an elusive, genre-bending notion, comprehensively described as the songs of our youth forced onto us by our weirdly grungy, angsty fathers. Personally, my experience began in the backseat of my dad’s 2006 Toyota Tundra. In the glovebox compartment, we had a gigantic, zip-up binder full of CDs. My parents had an extensive CD collection, full of everything from Norah Jones to Journey to Metallica, and my job as backseat passenger was to choose the tunes. By the time I was about seven or eight, I was burning my own CDs to play, and I remember it was the coolest thing: I could choose whatever songs from whatever albums I desired, and I would beg my parents to purchase the most random songs and albums from iTunes. Most notably, I remember asking my mom to buy “Fireworks” by Katy Perry and “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz. The most embarrassing one was “Jumpman” by Drake—at the ripe age of twelve, I’d set up my iPod on the school bus seat so that anyone walking by would see that I was listening to my one token “trendy rap song,” even though I definitely was not a fan of rap and would rather have been listening to something like Avril Lavigne or the Twilight soundtrack.
This week, I want to highlight the songs our fathers subjected us to, the songs we were embarrassed our dads would play when they picked us up from the carpool line, the songs we secretly sometimes liked and feel nostalgic to today. I know that my dad is smug now that I’ve finally come around to his way of thinking, and I also know that he cherishes the times we’ve spent bonding through music. In this week’s Now Playing:, I’ve worked to include songs that are both universal for many and personal to me. Feel free to follow along on the playlist equivalent on Spotify, @sabrina.capello.
POV: It’s 2008 and the Dads are Depressed. To those of us still in booster seats in the early 2000s, we didn’t exactly realize how depressed our dads were. They’re still dealing with the economic recession, working 9-5s, and in my dad’s case, working hard to put three kids through private school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Can we really blame them for listening to Creed, Daughtry, or Linkin Park? This section is different from the rest because these songs really capture that 2000s-despair energy I’m going for here. Now, they make us laugh with their absurdity, but honestly, was Beck wrong?
- “Show Me How to Live” by Audioslave
- “Drive” by Incubus
- “Loser” by Beck
- “The Diary of Jane” by Breaking Benjamin
- “Cover Me” by Candlebox
- “Send the Pain Below” by Chevelle
- “My Sacrifice” by Creed
- “Home” by Daughtry
- “One Step Closer” by Linkin Park
- “Miserable” by Lit
Classic Rock. I’m not going for your super basic classics—yeah, some of them are, but I didn’t want to turn this section into a cut-and-paste “Oldies but Goldies” by Spotify section. I know for my dad, he is a super big fan of AC/DC, and he told me about how he saw them in his teenage years for, like, 10 bucks. What a steal to see some short guy wear a tie and baseball hat shred his guitar. Kidding, but still.
- “Shoot to Thrill” by AC/DC
- “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith
- “More Than a Feeling” by Boston
- “Down On The Corner” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
- “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses
- “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin
- “Girls, Girls, Girls” by Motley Crue
- “Fallen Angel” by Poison
- “I Remember You” by Skid Row
- “Why Can’t This Be Love” by Van Halen
Weirdly Specific Acoustic. I don’t know about your dads, but my dad has a big thing for acoustic songs. He played the guitar a lot when I was growing up, and I know he liked hearing songs he could try and replicate on his own. All I know is that some of these songs bring me wayyyy back, specifically “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” and “100 Years.” Seriously, my dad has such a soft spot to this day for a good acoustic guitar song.
- “The World I Know” by Collective Soul
- “Barely Breathing” by Duncan Sheik
- “100 Years” by Five For Fighting
- “Bad Day” by Fuel
- “Slide” by The Goo Goo Dolls
- “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day
- “Let Her Cry” by Hootie & The Blowfish
- “Photograph” by Nickelback
- “Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum
- “She’s so High” by Tal Bachman
Grunge. I separated this category from the rest because my dad is SUCH a big grunge fan. My mom hates it—she says that the singers’ lack of pronunciation is infuriating, and she doesn’t get the point of listening to songs she can’t understand the words to. But my dad plays them anyways, and I have no complaints now. Thanks, Dad, for being patient while I come around to your music taste at some point or another.
- “All Apologies” by Nirvana
- “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam
- “Even Flow” by Pearl Jam
- “Blurry” by Puddle Of Mudd
- “Cumbersome” by Seven Mary Three
- “Outshined” by Soundgarden
- “Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots
- “Glycerine” by Bush
- “Violet” by Hole
- “Hunger Strike” by Temple Of The Dog
Metal/Hard Rock. This category really took me a while to appreciate. I’m still coming around to Korn, and I absolutely did not put any Slipknot on here—I’m sorry, but I can’t do it. Also, their masks are scary. I said what I said. Anyways, my dad has a thing for Megadeth and Metallica, which my mom hates even more than Pearl Jam or Stone Temple Pilots.
- “Man in the Box” by Alice in Chains
- “Heaven and Hell” by Black Sabbath
- “Bodies” by Drowning Pool
- “Just Because” by Jane’s Addiction
- “The Unforgiven” by Metallica
- “Chop Suey!” by System Of A Down
- “Vicarious” by TOOL
- “Hole in the Earth” by Deftones
- “Kill The King” by Megadeth
- “Coming Undone” by Korn
Bonus: Specific to My Dad and Honorable Mentions. I included an extra ten songs just for you, Dad. Some of my go-to CDs I’d choose to play in the car were Let Go by Avril Lavigne and Charleston, SC 1966 by Darius Rucker. Living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for fifteen years of my life made enough on an impact on my upbringing that I can appreciate (some) country, and Darius Rucker takes the gold in that category. Also, my dad has a soft spot for some other women in his life other than my mom, myself, and my sister, and that includes Avril, Norah Jones, and P!nk. Anyways, these are a tribute specifically to my dad and the memories we’ve made over the years. Love you!
- “Here Without You” by 3 Doors Down
- “Hand in My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette
- “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne
- “Run-Around” by Blues Traveler
- “This” by Darius Rucker
- “Over My Head (Cable Cars)” by The Fray
- “Over the Hills and Far Away” by Led Zeppelin
- “Cherub Rock” by The Smashing Pumpkins
- “Love Song” by Tesla
- “18 Wheeler” by P!nk
As always, be sure to follow the playlist equivalent on Spotify, also called “Now Playing:”, @sabrina.capello. Thanks for reading!