Twenty Top 5s with Hal McDonough

HEY! Welcome to Twenty Top 5s. I (Tyler) have been sending out questionnaires to some of my favorite musicians and asking for their top 5 in every category. I’ll be publishing them every Thursday for the foreseeable future. Hopefully this lets you get to know some of your favorite musicians a little bit better, and I hope it distracts you in these trying times.

Today's Twenty Top 5s participant is Hal McDonough. They are the lead singer, ukulelist, and songwriter for Pittsburgh's own Baseball Dad. Baseball Dad released their first full-band EP, January, in January of this year. All three songs are beautiful, country-tinged, twee-pop jams, characterized by lo-fi instrumentation that allows the lush vocal harmonies to take center stage. Hal released another EP on their own at the beginning of this month entitled Quarantine Diary, providing more intimate, somber songs for these intimate, somber times.

Hal has one of the best voices in Pittsburgh music right now. Last year, they fronted perhaps the best Halloween cover set I've seen since I started playing shows when Baseball Dad performed as the Dixie Chicks. In addition to writing phenomenal original music, Hal was a pre-quarantine karaoke regular at Sonny's, performing memorable renditions of everything from Fleetwood Mac to No Doubt. Without further ado, I give you Hal's Twenty Top 5s.

recording artists when you were in high school

One Direction (lol)

The 1975

Foster The People



Instrument influences
(I don’t rlly consider uke my instrument, I consider voice to be my main instrument)

Kate Bush

Stevie Nicks

Linda Rondstadt

Debbie Harry


Songwriting influences 

Joni Mitchell

Michelle Branch


Frankie Cosmos

Sheryl Crow

Karaoke songs

Just a Girl - No Doubt

I’m Like a Bird - Nelly Furtado

Stay - Lisa Loeb

Wide Open Spaces - Dixie Chicks

Silver Springs - Fleetwood Mac

Junk foods

Oatmeal Creme Pies

Crunchy Cheetos

Double Stuf Oreos

Mango Sorbet

Ruffled Chips + French Onion Dip

Places to eat in Pittsburgh


Thai Gourmet

China House

Spak Brothers

Onion Maiden


Girl, Interrupted

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Empire Records


Disney’s Tarzan (thanks Phil Collins)

Role models

Kathleen Hanna

Frank ‘SJP’ Proctor

Sofia Sparks

Sam Treber

Tim Glorioso

Baseball dad songs 





Just Saying

Pittsburgh bands 

Short Fictions

String Machine

Merce Lemon

Tap Shorts

Shin Guard

Scratchy Blanket



Afternoon Tea
(lol too many faves, sorry)

Productive ways to pass time during corona

writing songs

baking for my loved ones

writing letters

stitching patches


Unproductive ways to pass time during corona

online shopping

rewatching Community for the 3rd time

contemplating shaving my head

smoking copious amounts of w**d

cryin :/

Songs right now 

Colder & Closer - TOPS

Hardest to Love - The Weeknd

Out of It - Drauve

Heavy Lifting - Palm

Circle the Drain - Soccer Mommy

80s pop jams

Automatic - The Pointer Sisters

Catch Me (I’m Falling) - Pretty Poison

I Wonder if I Take You Home - Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam

Eternal Flame - The Bangles

Invisible Touch - Genesis

Dixie chicks songs

There’s Your Trouble

Wide Open Spaces

You Were Mine


Goodbye Earl

Albums that changed your life 

Blue - Joni Mitchell

The Spirit Room - Michelle Branch

Visions - Grimes

Songs About Jane - Maroon 5 (don’t make fun of me it’s actually really good)

If Blue Could Be Happiness - Florist

Pizza toppings


Green Pepper


Banana Pepper


Cities you’ve visited 

Pittsburgh, PA :) (visited in 2016 for the first time and then moved here in 2017!)

Seoul, South Korea

Chicago, IL

Savannah, GA

Charlston, SC


Cholula Hot Sauce

Hot Mustard

Honey Mustard


Dijon Mustard

Fictional characters

Steven from Steven Universe

Hal from Malcom in the Middle

Mabel from Gravity Falls

Elaine from Seinfeld

Maria from The Sound of Music

Written by Tyler Gallagher (@TylerGallagher8)