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THE ROCK FATHER: THE POP CULTURE MAGAZINE FOR FAMILIES THAT ROCK.

Rides: My Discount Tire Story involves Flats, Kids, Movies and Toys...

Discount Tire Brand AmbassadorHaving purchased many, many sets of tires over the years, my wife and I have had the experience of buying tires from several different shops and sellers. As drivers of traditionally high-mileage vehicles, new tires and tire repair comes with the territory, but it wasn't until 2011 that we became loyal to one particular store: Discount Tire.

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RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and RISE AGAINST Get Lullabied in New TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE ROCK STAR Collections...

The guys over at Roma Music Group have been busy again, and this past week they issued two new EPs in their long-running TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE ROCK STAR collection of lullabies. Available now, Lullaby Versions of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and Lullaby Versions of RISE AGAINST each transform a half-dozen hits from their artist of inspiration into "lush instrumental" versions perfect for your littlest rockers' nursery. Check out the tracklistings, artwork and preview streams below, and if you dig 'em - download on iTunes, Amazon and most digital retailers.

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Home Improvement: The Complete Window Replacement of Rock Father HQ - Part II: The In-Home Consultations...

As I posted earlier this month, my wife and I are finally about to start tackling some of the home improvement issues that have been lurking within the property lovingly dubbed, "Rock Father HQ." If you're just joining us, the basic gist is this: In 2010 we purchased a 1,300 sq. ft. home in Chicago's Northern Suburbs, a house that was built in 1990, and one we knew had some issues. Like most homes, it looks pretty good on the surface, but when you dig deeper, there's some things that are pretty bad - several of which stem from the previous owners, two of which fancied themselves to be "handy" - and one of whom shoddily put in windows because he "got a deal" on them. Our first project is fixing said windows, and today I'm going to walk you through my in-home consultation experiences with Pella Windows and Doors, The Home Depot, Renewal by Andersen and Feldco. The fun part? I didn't tell any of these companies that I would be writing about this experience. Out of courtesy, I did reach out to the PR team for the company that did score our business, but only after my wife and I had already done the deal and paid for the job. Bottom line: This post is not sponsored by anyone.

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Preview: FAST & FURIOUS - SUPERCHARGED to Open at Universal Studios Hollywood on June 25th!

FF LogoOne of my favorite places on the planet is Universal Studios Hollywood - despite having only spent a little under three hours there in February of 2014 on what I dubbed my "World's Fastest One-Man Tour of Universal Studios" (though I have visited Universal CityWalk a few times)The pictures were on my socials as I had just enough time to make my way down the hill to TRANSFORMERS: THE RIDE, back up to the famous park tour (thankfully, no lines!) and a walk around to soak in the vibe before hitting the gift shop and heading for LAX (I'd been in town on a project and the folks at NBC Universal were kind enough to spot me a badge for a quick visit). Now there's even more reason to head back (as if my girls' love of the MINIONS and my wife's HARRY POTTER fixation wasn't enough), as FAST & FURIOUS--SUPERCHARGED has been revealed to be opening on Thursday, June 25, 2015. Today, Universal Studios Hollywood sent over a link of some first-look footage of the new attraction, and you can see it below...

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Lucasfilm's STRANGE MAGIC comes home this May...

When Lucasfilm released STRANGE MAGIC (via Disney/Touchstone) this past January, it didn't exactly set the box office on fire, which on one hand is surprising given it's "from the mind of" STAR WARS creator George Lucas, but on the other is to be expected of a movie that seemingly came from out of nowhere. While audiences have not yet discovered the musical fairy tale, that could change on May 19th when Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment brings the film home on DVD and Digital HD. Yes, you read that correctly... as of now, no Blu-ray has been announced.

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The Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards are Coming! What's Your Choice?

THE ROCK FATHER is participating in a sponsored shop on behalf of #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. Even when it's not compensated by a sponsor, he writes about this stuff anyway. #KidsChoiceDrink.

Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards at Rock Father HQ

The 28th Annual Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards will be broadcast on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 8pm ET/PT, and this year, Capri Sun Roarin' Waters is on-board as the Official Drink Sponsor. Here at Rock Father HQ, the girls and I have already been prepping for the show, and the first thing we did was get our votes in. As you might've already gathered from reading my site (and if you're reading these words now, I assume you've read others), when it comes to Nickelodeon, there are four words that reign supreme for The Rock Daughters (Addie and Finn): TEENAGE. MUTANT. NINJA. TURTLES.

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Unboxed: Hands-On with the Lalaloopsy: Festival of Sugary Sweets Stretchy Hair Doll...

LalaloopsyEarlier this month, Lionsgate released LALALOOPSY: FESTIVAL OF SUGARY SWEETS on DVD. For those who haven't picked it up yet, it's airing on Nick Jr. Saturday, March 28th at 2pm ET/PT - so set those DVRs! Now, in addition to the newly-release Lalaloopsy Littles (I have a chance for you to win those - through 3/31 - here), MGA Entertainment released a new doll that's pretty unique: The Stretchy Hair Doll. As a Lalaloopsy SIP (Sew Important Person) Ambassador, my girls and I went hands-on with this new doll that allows kids to stretch her hair over three times it's normal length.

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Cool Kickstarter: WONDER CREW (Dolls Geared Toward Boys) Launches With a Rock Star, Superhero and Builder...

Wonder CrewEarlier today, I took my girls to McDonald's for a "sometimes treat" - a Happy Meal, but only because it's St. Patrick's Day and I promised them their once-a-year Shamrock Shakes if they'd been good. I was surprised when the guy asked me if I wanted "a boy toy or a girl toy," because I thought I'd read that McDonald's was ending that practice ages ago. With no sign on the board indicating what the choices were, I stopped him and asked what the options were. He specifically stated, "for the boys it's Hot Wheels, and the girls is Barbie." Ok, so the Mattel promotion is back, but I have two girls that love both of those things. I deferred to the back seat for an answer, and with no surprise, Adalyn said "Barbie," while her little sister Finley answered "Hot Wheels." You'd think by now all the gender discussion with toys would be a non-issue, but it's not - and while I've often spoken of letting my girls play with whatever they want regardless of what "aisle" it comes from, I've heard that for parents of boys (an experience I will never know), there's issues even more challenging. Bottom line: the b.s. double-standard that some adults still push - cool for girls to play with cars and action figures/not cool for boys to play dolls and kitchen. WRONG. Kids can, and should be able to play with whatever toy they desire, but still, one mom is making strides toward making dolls "inspired by boys but truly meant for any child" under the name WONDER CREW - and it's because she has to. While the initial hook is "dolls for boys" (a phrase that does lead the press release), these really are dolls for everyone...

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Test Drive: Rockin' the Road with the Kia Optima Hybrid, the NBA... and a Derrick Rose Action Figure from Jazwares...

KIA NBA LogoThe crew over at Kia is the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA, and it's the Kia Optima that wears the crown as "The Official Vehicle of the NBA." If you've seen the commercials with Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, then you might already know that... or perhaps you've seen the ones with Cleveland Cavaliers' superstar LeBron James rockin' his car of choice, the K900 Luxury Sedan. Either way, Kia sponsors numerous initiatives within the NBA, along with partnering with over a dozen individual teams, one of which happens to be the Chicago Bulls.

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Everyone Should Have a Life-Sized Rocket Raccoon...

You know you want it... a life-sized Rocket Raccoon figure - one perfectly-detailed and ready for adventure. You could grab your Nerf Star-Lord Quad Blaster (like the one I have in my garage), your Funko Pop! Vinyl Baby Groot (like the one the girls have here), and pop-in your own personal copy of AWESOME MIX VOL. 1 (like I have on iTunes) and prepare to fight evil wherever it might be! Right? Well, since NECA just made a slightly-larger-than-life-sized Rocket Raccoon... and since it's already pre-sold out at Entertainment Earth, I'd say it looks like more than a few people are thinking the same thing. I need one of these in my office.

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Listen: Nevāda Nevada Releases "Anger Tango," Announces Midwest Tour Dates...

Today I have an interesting one for you, the debut single from the Brooklyn-based band, Nevāda Nevada. "Anger Tango," (streaming below) is available now on iTunes and other digital retailers, a taste of what listeners can expect when their full-length WILD & GLOWING sees release somewhere down the road. The haunting track strikes with throwback familiarity - a multi-layered approach to it's instrumentation. There's a lot going on, and it sorta strikes me as the potential title theme for a non-existent indie-rock JAMES BOND film with a Shirley Bassey-vibe to the vocals. Check it out below and see what you think...

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Watch & Listen: ELSKA - "Too Much Junk" (featuring Mikael Jorgensen of WILCO)

Shelley Wollert is back as "Elska," the Icelandic Musical Pioneer who is said to have discovered a new island of volcanic rock while traveling by iceberg. For her newest electro-pop jam (available on iTunes now), Elska is teamed with WILCO's Mikael Jorgensen and long-time collaborator Allen Farmelo as they put forth a simple message: you don't need much. While I appreciate the sentiment and hope that my girls will one day identify with it (it's important to understand the difference between needs and wants), it's always weird to think of an anti-materialistic message while I'm sitting here in the confines of Rock Father HQ... where I often feel that we have "Too Much Junk." Check out the new video below!

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New Episodes of DreamWorks Animation's ALL HAIL KING JULIEN Headed to Netflix #StreamTeam

Netflix Stream TeamGet ready for more adventure with King Julien, as five new episodes of DreamWorks Animation's ALL HAIL KING JULIEN are headed to Netflix. Premiering April 3, Madagascar will welcome Timo, Madagascar's resident scientist and newest member of the tribe. "A prickly, sarcastic tenrec (similar to a hedgehog) who conducts experiments and builds things out of the various junk that washes up on shore, Timo is also Julien's go-to "tech guy" -- though as far as Julien is concerned, Timo is a wizard who uses his "science-magic" to fix anything." Timo is voiced by David Krumholtz (This is the End and TV’s “The Good Wife”). King Julien also discovers something very close to my heart, coffee. Episode descriptions below...

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