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10 Rock Songs Don Draper Would Totally Get

Indie Don Draper
Photoshop by Kim-Thao Nguyen

AMC favorite ‘Mad Men‘ features great writing, acting and cinematography, but the soundtrack should not be overlooked. Music plays a major role in the series, ending each episode and sometimes factoring into the plot lines, and it’s safe to assume that it’s a part of the ad man Don Draper’s daily existence. Now, Don isn’t exactly a rock ‘n’ roll guy — remember the time he hit up that Stones concert? — but were he alive today, this brooding, introspective man of mystery would totally be an indie rock fan. We’d like to think so, anyway. Hence, this list: 10 Rock Songs Don Draper Would Totally Get.


Dear Catastrophe Waitress

'Step Into My Office, Baby' - Belle & Sebastian

'Dear Catastrophe Waitress' (2003)
 
 

Work and seduction go hand-in-hand in the world of Don Draper, so we think this Belle & Sebastian song might strike a chord with the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce creative director. In the early seasons of the show, Don attempted to keep his work and love lives separate, but by the time characters like Faye Miller and his now-wife Megan entered the picture, he didn’t stand a chance.

 
The Midnight Organ Fight

'Old Old Fashioned' - Frightened Rabbit

'The Midnight Organ Fight' (2008)
 
 

Don’s ambivalence toward the future and his changing surroundings is a significant theme on the show, and the 1960s marked a time of great upheaval at the will of a youth subculture. As Don famously said in the second season, “Young people don’t know anything, especially that they’re young.” We think 'Old Old Fashioned' and its call for the good old days might resonate with a present day Draper, not to mention serve as a nod to his drink of choice.

 
Franks Wild years

'Yesterday Is Here' - Tom Waits

'Franks Wild Years' (1987)
 
 

Plagued with inner demons stemming from his troubled past and former identity, Don's likely to throw this haunting Tom Waits tune on his iPod. Besides, after years of smoking and drinking the way Don does, we think the 2013 version might sound like Tom Waits, too.

 
robbers and cowards

'We Used to Vacation' - Cold War Kids

'Robbers & Cowards' (2006)
 
 

Things could be much worse for Draper. By ‘60s standards, he’s doing pretty well for himself. But this Cold War Kids story of suburban monotony and alcoholism isn’t too far off for 'Mad Men'’s antihero. The components of ‘We Used to Vacation’ all have played a role, one way or another, in Don’s troubled home and family life.

 
Black Keys Brothers

'The Go Getter' - The Black Keys

'Brothers' (2010)
 
 

The Black Keys could very well be singing about Don Draper in ‘The Go Getter.’ Given that he had almost no childhood to speak of, suffered a traumatic and literally life-changing experience during the Korean War and has since been through all kinds of misadventures, Don must feel his “life running down the drain” from time to time, and he's certainly softened the blow with a few pretty girls throughout the show’s run.

 
Layout 1

'Save Me From What I Want' - St. Vincent

'Actor' (2009)
 
 

In a moment of clarity, Don turned to one of his mistresses and said, “I need to stop doing this.” Yet, Don Draper continues to be Don Draper whether he likes it or not -- much to the chagrin and delight of 'Mad Men' fans. Viewers want to see him do the right thing, but then again, his complexity keeps things interesting. Everyone involved should probably take a cue from this St. Vincent song.

 
sound of silver

'New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down' - LCD Soundsystem

'Sound of Silver' (2007)
 
 

New York City and Madison Avenue are the back drop for the characters of 'Mad Men,' and at times, we think they, Draper included, have a love-hate relationship with the city similar to the one expressed in this LCD Soundsystem track.

 
fortress round my heart

'I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked' - Ida Maria

'Fortress Round My Heart' (2008)
 
 

We can’t help but think that the message in this Ida Maria song has gone through Don’s mind before, as he isn’t one for wasting time or mincing words. There have also certainly been more than a few times when viewers have wondered, what the hell does he do that for?

 
blue album

'No One Else' - Weezer

'Weezer' (1994)
 
 

Don wants to be the only one in his wife and mistresses’ lives, and as soon as they start looking for fulfillment beyond him — their own career or otherwise — Don consoles himself in the arms of another woman. It has become a bit of a pattern in the show, so we think he might relate to this Weezer jam.

 
the body the blood the machine

'Here's Your Future' - The Thermals

'The Body, the Blood, the Machine' (2006)
 
 

Constantly on the precipice of self-destruction, Don might understand the intensity of ‘Here’s Your Future.’ From the precarious circumstances of his birth to the troubled life he leads in the sixth season, he, too, must feel that God looked at him and said, “Here’s your future. It’s going to rain.”

 

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