Friday, June 08, 2007

Dad Rock That's Still Cool

As a dad myself, I have few pretensions left to hipness in any form. While I haven't (yet) devolved into a state of Dockers and socks-with-sandals, I also no longer bother to follow bands my 13-year-old daughter listens to like cute is what we aim for, Cobra Starship or Taking Back Sunday.

There's nothing wrong with Dad Rock in and of itself. Frankly, in the Darwinian world of musical tastes, the fact that bands like the Rolling Stones and The Who stand up so well to the test of time speaks to eternal associations with youthful expression and rebellion. They endure because they are good. And no one on this earth embodies coolness like Keith Richards.

That said, only one band in my listening experience bridges the gap between dinosaurish dad rock and coolness, and that is Wilco. Small wonder that they also bridge gaps between country and rock, between folk and soul, between . Mark my words, 50 years from now, we will still be debating Jeff Tweedy's legacy. He is cool because he tries so hard not to be.

This is the man, after all, who bought up all the rights to Woody Guthrie's unpublished songs, right out from underneath Bod Dylan's nose, and came out with one of the emblematic albums of the 1990s, "Mermaid Avenue" with British belter Billy Bragg.

Here's a Pitchfork interview with Wilco's founder about their newest and sixth album, "Blue Sky Blue":

Here's Jeff Tweedy with his son, proving once and for all that being a dad doesn't exclude us from the clubhouse of cool kids:


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