A Father's Day Mix Of Songs With Mixed Feelings About Fathers

Every May, there's no shortage of mawkishly sentimental songs to play on Mother's Day, but a month later, there are comparatively few Father's Day equivalents. Sure, there are some treacly tracks like Bob Carlisle's 1997 adult-contempo hit "Butterfly Kisses," but fatherhood is more often than not invoked in pop music as a discomfiting sexual metaphor (see "Big Poppa," "Father Figure," and the countless songs that feature the phrase "who's your daddy?").

The best and most enduring songs about fatherhood tend to explore darker and more complex themes, or depict imperfect or absent dads, rather than provide sunny theme songs: "Cat's In The Cradle," "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone," even Everclear's "Father of Mine." This Sunday will be the third Father's Day I've celebrated since becoming one myself; I have a good relationship with my father and am deeply devoted to my son. But I'd rather listen to the songs on this Spotify playlist, and others that explore the complexities and unpredictable gray areas in the bond (or lack thereof) between a man and his son or daughter, than hear goddamn "Butterfly Kisses" again.

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Q&A: Mark Ronson On Working With Rufus Wainwright, Learning From His Stepdad, And Amy Winehouse

If you find the new Rufus Wainwright disc Out Of The Game (Decca) to be particularly fetching, not to mention full of pop and funk flourishes, some credit should be given to Mark Ronson. The DJ-turned-producer helped the estimable Wainwright untangle his occasionally convoluted tunes. He then took these beautifully-wrinkled shirts and smoothed them out enough to be bought by the mainstream consumer. We caught up with Ronson (okay, he called from Paris), to talk about Rufus, Amy, his Foreigner-leading stepdad, and a few other things. At least until those pesky roaming charges kicked in.

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Rufus Wainwright on 50 Cent: "I Know He's Gay"

When not explicating the mores of the Insane Clown Posse to befuddled internet denizens, critic and SOTC pal Jonah Weiner has an entertaining sideline asking musicians ridiculous questions for Details. Like this one, posed to cabaret icon Rufus Wainwright: "You own lederhosen custom-made by a 25th-generation Austrian artisan. Is that the most indulgent thing you've splurged on?" (Surprisingly, no.) Weiner also gets Wainwright to question 50 Cent's avowedly straight sexuality: "I love, love 50 Cent. I think he's just the sexiest, and a brilliant writer. And I know he's gay." Why?

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