On a tangent, I can't wait until we can get AI music recommendations (or maybe that already exists, given the recent explosion of AI-powered services?). The closest I got was circa 2005 when I used Yahoo Music. It had a Dislike, Like, and Love buttons (if I recall correctly, and which I believe are a feature Spotify should have) and I discovered a lot of good music I still listen to through its recommendations. I think it was ahead of it's time and was discontinued at some point. As things are today, somewhere out there is life changing music that I'll never listen to.

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I've been on a huge Grateful Dead kick lately (early 70s mostly, if anyone cares), but besides that I recently rediscovered Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend. The production is rich and diverse, I'm always discovering new things to love. Also, there's surprisingly little guitar for a rock album!

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Maybe not my favorite album, but the one that gets the most playtime currently: Lost in the Dream by the War on Drugs. Listening to “Under the Pressure” really hit home when juggling my newborn daughter/puppy/new job/old house a few months ago.

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- Great to see The Avalanches cited here - their first album "Since I left you" blew me away when I first heard it - it's one of those albums that needs to be listened to from beginning to end as there's no break between tracks. The amount and variety of sampling is unbelievable.

- Pearl Jam's first two albums ("Ten" and "Vs") also right up there. Pure unbridled energy.

- And for a hit of nostalgia - I can't go past Paul Simon's "Graceland". We always threw the tape on during family road trips as a kid. It still tickles my temporal lobe and will be introduced to my daughter when the time is right.

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Probably a little late to this, but lately I've been listening to a lot of The Midnight. I love more modern feeling synth music, and there's just something about that helps me calm down and think through things. They're instrumentals are good focus music.

I don't think I could put down one individual album as my all time favorite, but lately I've been listening to a lot of Starset's DIVISIONS. It's a great album, and one I'll put on as part of a drive, or just trying to get something done. I've listened to it enough that it can become background music.

I wish there was a live show I was looking forward to, but none of the bands I really follow have anything planned near me yet for this year. I'll keep checking though. There were 4 different bands that came through last year that I really wanted to see, but with a bunch of traveling and a toddler, it just didn't work out.

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made a playlist for my kid's one-year old bday (https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6QdmqV5FN2hpR2T6iV3wBO?si=afd47fbbe0dd45db) which exclusively includes songs that reliably got her dancing

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Feb 25Liked by Kevin Maguire

Ohh all sooo good!

Favourite of all time might have to be Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Gold throughout.

Lately been listening to a lot of Astronauts etc., Lake St Dive and Your Smith. Gentle stuff for the household with the view that it might shape mood/behaviour (wishful thinking!). Been enjoying Loyle Carner too.

Have not been to a concert in years but Arctic Monkeys are coming to Thailand soon. I’m very excited about hearing them live.

Jurassic 5’s What’s Golden is a perennial hit with my 7yo. He LOVES the opening “woooooohoooo” and that line that starts with “it’s the verbal Herman Munster”. Such a great track.

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Feb 24Liked by Kevin Maguire

The National just published a “sad dad” playlist as a clap back for such an accusatory label (and to promote their new album). I found that funny.

In terms of great albums…

Wilco is always a go-to, But Jeff Buckley’s Grace and Death Cab’s Plans are in my all-time top 5.

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My favorite band of all time is Wilco. I never really considered them sad dad rock but I've seen them in multiple lists of that sort and I guess I get it. I don't think they'd appreciate that placement though.

I know it's going against the grain here but I've never really gotten Radiohead. My to say they're bad by any means but it just never clicked for me.

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My son is 11 months old. His favorite musician--possibly favorite person--is Ms. Rachel. He especially likes the "Icky Sticky Bubblegum" song.

My wife and I had kind of a difficult time adjusting to being parents for the first few months after he was born and didn't listen to much music for a minute. I was pleasantly surprised when Spotify knew better than to put "Brown Noise - 90 Minutes" on our end-of-year playlist.

One of my favorite albums of all time is The Creek Drank the Cradle by Iron and Wine. It ended up being far and away our most listened to album last year. I actually wrote about it: https://benjimahaffey.substack.com/p/the-ordering-of-things-vol-2-the

We were listening to a ton of Big Thief's "Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You" when our son arrived last March. It's cliche to describe an album as 'timeless', but it does have that feel for me. I enjoyed the new Kendrick last summer, as it looks like a few other folks in the thread did, though I haven't listened to it much since last fall. My wife isn't a big rap fan, and we have so many musical tastes in common that we usually end up listening to stuff we both like.

As far as live shows, I haven't been to one since before the pandemic, sadly. I think the last one I saw was actually Iron and Wine with Calexico or Big Thief back in 2019. We haven't really left our son with a sitter for more than a couple hours, and never yet for bedtime, but last winter I saw that Sunset Rubdown--Spencer Krug of Wolf Parade fame's side project--was getting back together for a reunion tour. So I nabbed tickets to see them this April. Hopefully we'll be at a point where we can go out for an evening by then.

Bands that I don't get: Belle and Sebastion, like, at all. And I'm one of those philistines who thinks that The Bends is the best Radiohead album.

Does anyone have music that they loved or listened to all the time before having a kid, and for whatever reason it's been hard to get back into? I ask because, I used to be--and still am--a huge Sufjan Stevens fan. Before my son was born, he was my most-listened to artist every year since Spotify started doing its "wrapped" thing. Then last year, he wasn't even on the top five I don't think. I really hope that I get back into him, but I dunno... right now it still feels too intense or like too much of a commitment to listen to most of his albums. Has something similar happened to anyone else?

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Favourite album is always going to be tough right? My gut goes towards Rubber Soul. (Though somewhat ruined by my wife listening to it for the first time a while ago, and gasping at the last track "Little Girl" and erm, that track has not aged well). So failing that I'm going to have to go with G Spot by Speedy J. Was the album that opened my ears and mind to electronic music when I somehow got the cassette off my older brother sometime in 1996. It's still amazing, and it has aged so damned well, and it's what I've been re-listening to recently.

I'm very excited for my wife and I to go to our first music festival in years with Field Day in London in August. When I learned Aphex was headlining that did it for me. Plus Desire (!) playing live is too good to miss I think. And SBTRKT. And so many others. Should be fun.

Which is the opposite of listening to my daughter play the Jungle Book soundtrack again. And again. And again. She's eased off a bit in the last few weeks, but I know every. single. second of "I Wanna Be Like You". Thank god it's a genuine classic.

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Feb 24Liked by Kevin Maguire

Not an album in particular, but a band that I will put out there since they deserve some more earballs is White Denim. I see some people listing King Gizzard amongst the comments, and I wouldn't be surprised if those same people would dig White Denim. Their older stuff is a little more garage-jam whereas the newer stuff gets more prog, but they're wicked talented and a blast to see live. Jump in with Corsicana Lemonade or Stiff.

Of course, The War on Drugs is pretty much "dad-rock" as a genre, so there's that.

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Feb 24Liked by Kevin Maguire

When I saw "sad dad music" my mind immediately went to Madlib's "Road of the Lonely Ones" and wouldn't you know it, that album is on your playlist. I produce a video every year to mark my daughter's birthday and I just finished a scene that has that song as the backdrop. It covers the somber elements of our move from Milwaukee, WI to Portland, OR - leaving behind our extended family along with the memories of my daughter's 1st five years of life. It's a beautiful song that I became obsessed with about a year ago and I was compelled to do something with it. Thanks for sharing this.

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It’s very difficult to pick a favorite album. If I had to, I would probably say Turn on the bright lights by Interpol. Lately I have been listening to King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard while working.

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Feb 24Liked by Kevin Maguire

Something I really like - I was a teenage emo and listened to a lot of Fall Out boy. I’ve stuck with them for years now, and a few months ago had a real happy surprise. The singer for fallout boy does the music for my sons favourtie new show: Spidey and his amazing friends series on disney+

So, essentially we’re listening to the same music. Really felt my age though, the angst y teenage pop-punk singer I loved is now singing for kids tv.

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Feb 24·edited Feb 24Liked by Kevin Maguire

Longtime listener, first time caller.

My favorite album of all time, and kind of in response to the "what music do you just *not get*?" prompt?

Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, by Neko Case. I was in my last year of college when this album came out, and on a first listen I didn't get it. At all. To a college kid with everything going right, living in Boulder and generally happy with my life? The sadness in her voice and the simultaneous urgency and inaccessibility of her lyrics didn't make much sense.

In 2007 I was in law school, unhappy in a failed relationship and spending twelve and thirteen hours a day in a law library that was always a few degrees too cold. I was in a city I didn't like without any close friends. Miserable and alone, this album came on my iPod and made all the sense in the world. Neko Case was singing about wanting what you don't have; feeling numb and powerless to the ways she saw people being victimized.

Even by 2010, when life had more or less improved and now, as I share the album with my daughter in the car, the sadness in that album still resonates. An album that can take me back to sit beside myself in a law school library. I think about how he was better off than he knew; and how proud he would be of me today.

Otherwise? I just discovered Blaze Foley. His life story sounds like a Turnpike Troubadours' album.

I'd also recommend "Blues Run the Game" by Jackson C. Frank, which became the unofficial soundtrack of my first time taking my daughter backpacking solo with just me, her, and the dog. It's ostensibly about getting drunk in a hotel, but it applies equally well to reading Magic Treehouse books in a tent when snow starts falling.

Last, my daughter and I have been listening to "Chicago Falcon" by The Budos Band. My daughter refers to this song as "spy music" and we imagine what our spies would be doing in the montage that this song creates in our mind.

I really enjoy the holy heck out of this newsletter and this thread.

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