Yesterday afternoon my family got together for a bbq to celebrate Fathers day. It was filled with food, laughs, and a whole lot of music. As has become tradition at family gatherings, my cousin pulls a name from a hat to decide on the DJ for the day. Much to the disappointment of my younger brother who has been carefully crafting a playlist for a few weeks, my dad was chosen as the honorary record spinner for the meal. As my brother stomped off with Beyonce, Jay-Z and Lady Gaga by his side, my dad proudly marched up to the stereo and began his mix. Knowing full well what was coming, I sat back and prepared myself for a day filled with classic rock.
It has become somewhat of a tradition of its own that when my dad plays music he always begins with Bob Marley’s, “Redemption Song” and ends with Simon and Garfunkel’s, “The Only Living Boy in New York.” To this day he won’t give a reason for this pattern but we kids think it has something to do with the fact that in college he had a big afro and would wander around NYC from record store to record store thinking about Jewish emancipation. But who‘s really guessing.
My dad plugged in his ipad and Bob Marley blared through the speakers followed by a few Rolling Stones hits, some Grateful Dead, and of course some CSNY. By the fifth song, the playlist hit its groove as Led Zeppelin blended into The Clash which flowed into The Who and then to The Eagles. With the food now being served it seemed like it would be a regular day of “dad’s greatest hits” when all of a sudden the music took a turn.
Instead of his usual mid-meal songs like “Suite Judy Blue Eyes” and “Casey Jones”, “Lonely Boys” by The Black Keys came on and I was floored. I looked across the table expecting everyone to start questioning him about his music choice when I realized no one was going to say a word. In fact, my aunt was air guitarring the solo, my uncle was preparing for the chorus, and my dad was sitting at the head of the table humming like it was “Stairway to Heaven” or “A Hazey Shade of Winter”. It was at this moment when I realized something truly important about my family and music. No matter how often they play the same song , or how much they will complain about the “new age garbage” when good rock and roll comes out no questions are ever needed.
With that in mind, I have decided to list a few artists that I think every one should sample, no matter how much they may hate changing up their playlists.
The Black Keys: Dos Caminos. The newest album by this Brooklyn based rock group can only be described as epic. With songs like “Little Black Submarine”, “Lonely Boys” and “Gold on the Ceiling,” this album is perfect for anyone trying to expand their musical appetite. The Black Keys are a perfect blend of old school rock and roll with new age beats. Bands that can be associated with them include: The Doors, The Velvet Underground, or The White Stripes.
The Hush Sound: Like Vines. The Hush Sound can be described as a mix between Florence and the Machine and Panic at the Disco. Their songs are split between a male and female vocalist so depending on what song you listen to you may get a little bit of soulful love or you may get a bit of rock pop. My suggestions would be to start with the songs ‘We intertwined,” move to “Where We Went Wrong” and then go into ‘Sweet Tangerine.” If you make it this far, I am convinced you will be just as hooked as I am.
O.A.R. Stop what you are doing right now and download O.A.R. Live from Madison Square Garden – its incredible. The solos are insane, the choruses are catchy, and I have yet to find an album that flows better than this. Buy it right now and play it loud. An explanation for their style isn’t needed – they just rock.
So while I am off to clear the dishes and to prepare for Simon and Garfunkel, start downloading these bands and get ready for some awesome tracks.
The Black Keys