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THE ROCK FATHER Magazine

Disney XD to Launch LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures

The STAR WARS universe is getting bigger again, and this time it's being done brick-by-brick. For the first time LEGO is doing an ongoing series with Disney XD, and it's rooted firmly in a galaxy far, far away. LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures is a comedy adventure series with new characters and old favorites, set to debut on Disney XD this summer.

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Spotify Playlist: THE ROCK FATHER presents COVERED

It took me ages to embrace Spotify as a streaming music service, but now I've turned the corner and have begun to love it for it's potential as a source of music discovery. While I still don't know how the long term will wind-up in terms of converting listeners into buyers, the depth of the library is intriguing, and something I can have a little fun with. Today I'm presenting to you my first-ever curated Spotify Playlist. THE ROCK FATHER presents COVERED is a 3 hour+ genre-spanning collection of hand-picked cover songs. I dig a good cover tune, (hence my "covered" features here on the site), and this is just the start. There's some great ones out there, and this first playlist features 53 tracks including some from FAR, ANBERLIN, FAITH NO MORE, METALLICA, GUNS N' ROSES, JANET DEVLIN, DINOSAUR JR., A LOSS FOR WORDS, ELECTRIC SIX and more. I even snuck in my boys, PRODUCT OF HATE, throwing down their heavy version of OZZY OSBOURNE's "Perry Mason." Check it out below...

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Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell, Sia join BEAT BUGS - A Netflix Kids Original Series inspired by THE BEATLES!

Netflix #StreamTeamTwo years ago, news hit that an Australian/U.S. Production company called GRACE had made an unheard-of deal with Sony Music/ATV Publishing to use THE BEATLES' song catalog in a children's series. Now comes the news that BEAT BUGS will debut as a Netflix Original Series this August, presenting over 50 famous songs of THE BEATLES, reimagined by artists such as PEARL JAM's Eddie Vedder, SOUNDGARDEN's Chris Cornell, Sia, Pink, Regina Spektor, The Shins and more - all woven into a world set in a suburban backyard. Check out a teaser and full details below!

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A Zootopian Society: Creating the Characters of Disney's ZOOTOPIA

For Walt Disney Animation Studios' ZOOTOPIA, there was an entirely new set of challenges created by the sheer size and scope of the film. In fact, nothing about ZOOTOPIA was "business as usual," because unlike other "talking animal" movies that we've seen in the past, this film was done with great attention to both detail and scale. When I met with the filmmakers, there was a lot of talk about how the city itself had to be able to accommodate different sizes of animals (like a subway that serves mice and elephants), as well as consideration given to how different species would move, should they begin walking upright on two legs. With so many elements at play, Art Director of Characters (and fellow MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE enthusiast) Cory Loftis,  and a team of animators had to design over 1,000 unique characters, and during a visit to Disney Animation's temporary campus, he took our press group through a little bit of the process... and gave us a lesson in drawing the Ginnifer Goodwin-voiced Judy Hopps.

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STAR WARS HEADSPACE Merges Electronic Music with The Sounds of STAR WARS...

It was incredibly odd and surprising to receive two announcements today about albums that were "inspired by" some heavy-hitting pop culture franchises. While the first was Cybertronian in nature, the biggest surprise was the one from a galaxy far, far away...STAR WARS HEADSPACE. On February 19 digital/March 18 physical, Hollywood Records and American Recordings will release this new collection of electronic music inspired by, and featuring the sounds of the STAR WARS Saga. Executive Produced by Rick Rubin, the 15-track compilation throws down odes on everything from Ewoks to Bounty Hunters, Jabba's Palace to the Mos Eisley Cantina. Check out the tracklisting and a quartet of preview tracks below...

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TRANSFORMERS ROLL OUT to Bring a Collection of TRANSFORMERS-inspired Music to the Masses...

There was a time not terribly long ago when "inspired-by" compilations brought forth some interesting new takes on some pop culture classics - with albums like 1995's SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS' GREATEST HITS, or 2006's SOUND OF SUPERMAN coming to mind. Today, some unexpected news hit my inbox about not one, but two (!) albums that are inspired-by some pop culture icons. The first is a collaboration between Hasbro Studios and Sony Music Entertainment entitled TRANSFORMERS ROLL OUT. The 11-song album features BUSH, alongside up-and-coming artists like CRASH KINGS and MOUNT HOLLY, all paying tribute to all things Cybertronian. Available digitally on April 15, two singles arrived for streaming today, just as iTunes pre-orders went live. Additionally, F.Y.E. Stores will be the exclusive destination for CD and Vinyl editions. 

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Watch: The "Full" Trailer for FULLER HOUSE Has Arrived...

Netflix Stream TeamIt's true... I have seen the first season of FULLER HOUSE, the new Netflix Original Series that continues the adventures of the Tanner family (and friends) nearly three decades after FULL HOUSE first premiered on ABC, and two decades after it came to a close. The popularity of the series has only continued in what could now be considered to be a really, really long hiatus - and on February 26, the script is flipped as D.J. Tanner-Fuller (Candace Cameron Bure), Stephanie Tanner (Jodie Sweetin) and Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber) take center stage - all grown-up and raising kids of their own. Earlier today, the first official trailer arrived via ELLEN, and now it's been shared by Netflix. Check it out below, and look for more about FULLER HOUSE right here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine in the weeks ahead. I'll be bringing it to you as a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam...

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Rides Revisited: The 2016 Kia Sorento vs The 2016 Kia Sedona

#CAS16With the 2016 Chicago Auto Show rolling into McCormick Place this week, I figured it would be a good time to roll out some "Rides Revisited" features on a few vehicles that I'd driven before, but have since taken out to rock the road with my family. In this installment, it's the 2016 Kia Sorento crossover vs. the 2016 Kia Sedonamulti-purpose vehicle minivan. I had the opportunity to drive pre-release versions of both of these vehicles back in 2014, hopping behind the wheel of the Sedona out near Dana Point, California, while I had a chance to drive a pair of Sorentos through multiple climates between Lake Tahoe, California and Reno, Nevada. While I certainly had formed an opinion of both vehicles (I liked the Sedona, but loved the Sorento), sometimes having the vehicle here at Rock Father HQ for some time with the family helps re-shape things. In the case of these, that's just what we did late last year...

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Degrassi: Next Class - Graduating to Netflix on a Mission to Reach "Generation Z" (and their parents)

NetflixI recall that several decades ago - probably at some point in the late 1980s, I came across one of the Degrassi series' on PBS and found it to be an interesting look into a world that I was not yet familiar with. It was a "teen" thing, albeit with a serious tone when compared to what I was used to seeing, I being on the cusp of my own teen years at the time. Distinctly Canadian in its look, it felt like peering into an alternate world, and perhaps that's part of the appeal that's kept the franchise going since 1979. It is an alternate world - one that real kids are living in, and one that grown-ups often become detached from - a mirror reflection of society at the time, with each iteration of Degrassi tackling some tough topics that other series' and networks would be afraid to approach, doing so in a frank, and sometimes unsettling manner. For the latest evolution of the franchise, DEGRASSI: NEXT CLASS has come to Netflix, the first class to truly address what's being called "Generation Z" - the always-connected, social media-obsessed teens that are navigating life in 2016. As a parent, some of the content is terrifying - particularly because we have daughters that are less than a decade from their own teen years, and... things just seem different now, and who knows what they'll be then?

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Snow Joe: I Have Never Been More Prepared for a Snowstorm...

When it comes to power equipment, I'm always torn - I love the sheer power and performance of gas, but like the environmental benefits of going electric. My wife knows that I struggle with this battle often, and over the years I've flip-flopped how I do things on more than a few occasions. There is, however, one particular area where I've long-hoped to make a switch - and that's the snowblower. Sure, I dug the power, but I hated the post-snowblowing shower - a necessity to wash away the nastiness of the exhaust fumes that were created by a noxious gas/oil mix. Having admired the cordless options of Snow Joe for a few years, I bought the Snow Joe iON PRO Series 21-Inch Cordless Single Stage Brushless Snow Blower (iON21SB-PRO) from Amazon. Then, in some strange synergetic coincidence, the folks at Snow Joe got in touch about working together - "The Rock Father" becoming a late-season Brand Ambassador. Already a customer, I accepted - and as of today, I've never been more prepared for a snowstorm... and I'm crossing my fingers that one comes very soon.

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Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK Gets a New Trailer...

Among the many things I detest about the NFL (and football in general) is the iron-fisted approach to "Super Bowl" advertising in which so many have to resort to "Big Game" to avoid paying "big prices." Alas, the best part of this annual event is rolling out, and that's the commercials, and one of the movie spots this year is for Disney's live-action telling of THE JUNGLE book. I'm totally digging this, so check it out below...

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Turkish Airlines Now Offering Flights to both Gotham City and Metropolis...

I must say, with all the travel that I do, one airline I have not yet had a chance to fly is Turkish Airlines. That might change soon, as they've just announced that in addition to "flying to more countries than any other airline," they're also now offering flights to both Gotham City and Metropolis. As many are aware, both of those cities have endured a series of struggles in recent years, but now due to substantial contributions by Wayne Enterprises in Gotham, and LexCorp in Metropolis, both are hoping to be reinvented as destinations for travelers far and wide. Check out the new television spots starring Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor below, and let me know - would you rather #FlyToGotham or #FlyToMetropolis?

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STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS - Han and Rey Giveaway!

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS has been in theaters for just about two months now, and it's astonishing just how big a film it's become. Everyone knew it would be big, but just how big the record-shattering success has been, is something that would've been hard to predict. I was in Los Angeles for the launch - one of a group of 25 writers and bloggers chosen to attend the Global Press Event for the film as a guest of Disney and Lucasfilm. As my coverage rolled-out here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine, there was a common thread that toys were involved - as I brought some "props" to the junket, used in conversation about one of my favorite elements of STAR WARS fandom - the toys and collectibles. Daisy Ridley played with a Rey action figure - the same one my daughters play with on a daily basis - while Harrison Ford jokingly attempted to pocket my 1980 Kenner Han Solo (Bespin Outfit) figure, all while telling us how the toys are cool, "but are meant for other people." People like me. People like YOU. With new action figures hitting stores, it's no secret that certain characters have been hard to come by, and two of the hardest have by Han Solo himself, and the Rey (Resistance Outfit) figure - the one that comes with [SPOILER ALERT!] a lightsaber... specifically, the saber once owned by both Anakin Skywalker, and his son, Luke. Just as Rey happened upon that saber in the depths of Maz' castle, I happened upon a couple of these sought-after figures, and now I'm hoping to pass them on to one of you!

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Rides: Rockin' the Road with Fuel Rewards from Shell...

THE ROCK FATHER Magazine is a #ShellCrowd #FuelRewards Brand Ambassador, taking part in a special content series with SocialStars and Shell.

We drive a lot. And when I say "a lot," I mean it. Our cars log some serious miles each year, with my wife putting at least 80 miles a day on her Chevy, five days-a-week. My adventures are a lot more unexpected and open-ended, but even my daily driver (my little Scion workhorse) has nearly 200,000 miles on it, and even though much of what I do these days involves cruising around town with The Rock Daughters™, we go through a lot of fuel. That's where Shell's Fuel Rewards program comes in - it's a real rewards program that provides real savings on something you actually use... fuel! And you can earn those rewards just by living your life, and doing the things that you're already doing. It's very simple.

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PRODUCT OF HATE Streams Debut Album, Readies for Release Weekend Shows, FYE Appearance...

The eve is finally upon us. Tomorrow, after years of work, and a rollercoaster ride of ups-and-downs, PRODUCT OF HATE will release their debut album, BURIED IN VIOLENCE (iTunes | Amazon) . If you're just joining us here at THE ROCK FATHER Magazine, what you might not know is that this is not just another band I happen to be covering - they're my friends, and I've been with them for the long haul, serving as ½ of their management team, and being their music video director and editor since 2010. There's been an incredible team working with us behind-the-scenes to launch their Napalm Records debut, and this past month has been exciting. The new video for "Monster" is out - the song is in rotation on SiriusXM Liquid Metal, and it hit #10 on the iTunes Metal Hot Tracks Chart. Yesterday we got word that BURIED IN VIOLENCE was the #3 Most-Added Record for the week on the CMJ Radio Charts, and songs are starting to receieve play on a Global level. While that's all fantastic, there is much work to be done for this still-relatively unknown band, and tomorrow what really counts will take place - the album will be out, and audiences will be able to experience it and have their say. Now, if you'd like an early taste, you can stream the album in its entirety via the Napalm Records webstore! Click here to listen, and if you dig it, pick up the album on CD or Vinyl, or snag a killer bundle pack!

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