Pop’s pop: ‘Dad Jams’ DJs spin tracks only a father could love

In my day: DJs Jim Taylor, Leah Taylor Dunbar, Liz Raftery, and Russ Marshalek will kick out the jams your dad loves at Glasslands on April 26.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Someday you’ll thank them for this.

The cadre of DJs behind a cult online radio station dedicated to “dad jams” will spin tunes fit for working on cars, barbecuing, and handing down life lessons at Glasslands on April 25. The organizers say the night will pay homage to the ideal of the “dad,” more so than any of their specific fathers.

“It’s not about your dad, its about the quintessential Dad,” said DJ Liz Raftery.

The actual definition of a “dad jam” is hotly debated, but Raftery interprets it as music “Dad” enjoyed when he was your age.

“Basically any song with a saxophone solo and a male vocalist is fair game,” she said.

Bands featured on the night will include Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, and perennial pops favorites Hall & Oates. Just don’t expect to hear “Hotel California,” because Dad’s tastes are more refined than that, another DJ said.

“Of course there’s no Eagles allowed, because Dad doesn’t like the Eagles — he likes Don Henley’s solo stuff,” said Russ Marshalek.

The collective has created some special-edition posters to give away at the event, and Marshalek said he plans to hand out a crate of records that he has no room for — definitely a dad move. And both are free, which is good, because money doesn’t grow on trees.

The “Dad Jams” clan is encouraging people to dress up for the night, but one of the DJs said the Williamsburg aesthetic will really raise the bar for impressively dad-like duds.

“Sadly, hipsters have appropriated the dad look, so I think it’s going to be tough to stand out,” said Erin Litt.

It all may sound overly ironic, but organizers say they are motivated by nostalgia, and their love of the dad jams they play is sincere.

“It’s safe to say we’re all genuine fans of this music,” Raftery said.

“Dad Jams Live In New York” at Glasslands (289 Kent Ave. between S. First and S. Second streets, www.theglasslands.com). April 25 at 11:30 pm. $5. Send song requests to dadjams1965aolemail@gmail.com.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.

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