Dad rock: what is it and is it so bad?

As Father's Day approaches this weekend, q host Tom Power talks with music critic Stuart Berman about the origin and characteristics of 'dad rock.'
Various examples of what one would consider 'dad rock': (from left) Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton and Mac DeMarco. (All Getty Images)

Father's Day is coming up this weekend and it gives us the opportunity to wonder what exactly does the rock critic term "Dad Rock" mean, and is it a bad thing?

If The Steve Miller Band, Steely Dan, and Dire Straits at at the top of the list, there's a good chance you're a dad.
And if your list is fill of names like The National, Bon Iver, and Wilco, you're a slightly younger dad.

Basically Dad Rock is the musical version of 'comfort food' for men of a certain age and the term is meant to be a bit of a dig at music nerds who have entered middle age. But Dad Rock isn't always a put-down. And you don't need to be a Dad yourself to play Dad Rock. Newer acts like Mac DeMarco and War on Drugs are intentionally embracing Dad rock aesthetics and even teen heart-throb Harry Styles' solo album has gotten the label.

Former q team member Stuart Berman is a dad, rocker and a rock critic and he discusses all things 'dad rock' with q host Tom Power.

— Produced by Chris Trowbridge



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