Stop Using the Term ‘Dad Rock’

First they came for Wilco, at least that’s the first time I heard the term. Wilco was “Dad Rock” and it made me laugh, because at that point “Sky Blue Sky” had just come out and it was boring and guitar-soloy and I was okay with the term being a pejorative for anything with masturbatory guitar solos that I hated.

I googled and it seems that nobody can quite define exactly what “Dad Rock” means. It is either rock that dad’s like or it’s rock made my dads. The definition depends on what dude is writing the article. I couldn’t find any women writing about Dad Rock, OF COURSE.

So like I said, I was okay with it being used for Wilco. Dad’s could have boring “Sky Blue Sky.” I could give them that. Hell, they could have Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin too. Whatever.

But then they came for Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen and The Replacements and Fleetwood Mac and The Coug (that’s my beloved John Cougar Mellancamp) and just yesterday Sturgill Simpson.

And you know what? FUCK THAT NOISE. You will get Stevie Nicks as Dad Rock over my dead and decaying body, you got that? We don’t have too many woman icons of rock & roll, and you cannot have her as Dad Rock. Nope.

Apparently the definition of Dad Rock has come to mean “music enjoyed by men of Generation X.” And all the uncool music they don’t like is apparently for your mom.

Why do men get to gender music? Why are we still doing this? I know men have been controlling the way we talk about rock & roll since the very beginning of rock & roll music, but dudes, really you need to knock it the fuck off. Stop gendering the crap out of everything, especially when it favors your gender.

Do you have any idea how fucking infuriating and hard and wearying it is to be a woman music fan. DO YOU?

Do you know what’s like to get groped from behind while trying to enjoy your favorite band? Do you know what it’s like to read a gaggle of male rock critics bitching about clueless girlfriends dragged to concerts by boyfriends? How all teen girls who love music are a mindless screaming horde. Have you ever been asked about which band member you think is cutest because obviously that’s the only reason you care?

And now you’re gonna jizz all over every kind of music you like by dubbing it “Dad Rock?” I don’t even care if it’s supposed to be ironic or poke fun at yourself. It’s infuriating. When you do that, when you call something dad rock you alienate every woman who likes that band, you stifle their voices, and make it harder for them to talk about and enjoy the music.

So knock it off. I’m even going to say please. Just stop.

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  1. james 12.Dec.14 at 2:25 pm

    I’m a Dad and I ROCK! (please do not ask for proof)

    1. Jodi 12.Dec.14 at 3:53 pm

      Dad’s can rock all they want. You can even start a John Cougar cover band and call it Dad’s Rock. However, you cannot call it Dad Rock.

      Also, you must have a valid license to rock.

      1. NBFB 15.Dec.14 at 1:49 pm

        “Your rocking papers, please?” (in Boris & Natasha style accent)

        NOPE. No papers required to rock.

  2. Wayne 11.Feb.19 at 4:17 am

    I agree totally Jodi. I think that the term is pejorative and actually philistine. Usually it hides a hatred of Rock. I love to express my distaste for the term as I reckon it’s just plain dumb.


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