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

New Holiday DVDs from DINOSAUR TRAIN and DANIEL TIGER's NEIGHBORHOOD on the way...

THE ROCK FATHER - HOLIDAY 2014I know it's early for some of you when it comes to discussing the 2014 Holiday Season, but the time for new seasonal DVD releases is upon us, and today comes news on a pair you're bound to want for your little ones. PBS Distribution will release DINOSAUR TRAIN: DINOSAURS IN THE SNOW on October 28, followed by DANIEL TIGER'S NEIGHBORHOOD: DANIEL'S HAPPY HOLIDAYS on November 4 (a non-limited comes out Oct. 14). Both of these PBS KIDS hits are being issued in limited-edition gift packs complete with a collectible figurine! Full details below...

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10 Years Ago Today, I Quit my Job. Here's what Happened...

September 17, 2004. That was the very last day that I worked for the late Musicland Group in their Sam Goody division. It was not a "small step," but a "giant leap" into the unknown, the second major risk I'd taken in the early 2000s - the type of dice roll you only take when you can, and for me, a chance I was only able to take thanks to the support of my wife - the same girl that encouraged me to take another drastic measure just a few years prior. The bottom of my "voluntary resignation" form read like this...

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Back-to-School: Celebrate National #PlayDohDay with Sculpts Inspired-by FERRIS BUELLER, CLUELESS and More!

Did you know that September 16 is National PLAY-DOH Day? It's true, every year there's a day-long celebration of Hasbro's iconic modeling compound, and for 2014, Hasbro has placed a Back-to-School spin on the affair, having their master sculptors lend their skill to creating some true works of art based on schools and students from classic movies and television shows. The sculpts include Cher’s plaid back-to-school suit from CLUELESS, the infamous Burn Book wielded by The Plastics in MEAN GIRLS, Rydell High’s infamous T-Birds & Pink Ladies jackets from GREASE, Mike & Sulley from Disney's MONSTERS UNIVERSITY and two classic scenes inspired by FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF and SAVED BY THE BELL. See them all, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

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Video Premiere: DANI - "Beauty Land"

It was just about a year ago when BEAUTY LAND, the fairy tale-inspired debut album from DANI first hit my radar. It’s a little Disney, a little pop-rock, and a lot of fun - a record that mixes styles and is one of a rare few releases of late that successfully pulls off any form of narration. On the title track, the storytelling begins immediately, with Dani laying the somber groundwork for her tale, just before opening into a country-tinged anthem filled with "purple waterfalls and unicorns." Now comes a music video for the track, helmed by Phil Dornfeld (producer of SCARY MOVIE 3, 4, and 5). I'm pleased to debut it this morning, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

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Rides: Xtreme Xperience Speeds Back to Chicago for more Supercar Action...

Real Supercars. Real Racetracks. Real Instruction. That's the mantra for the Xtreme Xperience, the premier touring supercar driving experience, which returns to the Chicago area this weekend for two days at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet. There, car enthusiasts or budding racers can get behind the wheel of some of the world's finest vehicles, from a fleet that includes the Lamborghini LP560-4, Ferrari F430, Ferrari 458 Italia, Audi R8, Mercedes SLS AMG, Nissan GT-R, and McLaren MP4-12C, among others. Under the instruction and guidance of seasoned professionals, amateur drivers can learn racing fundamentals and safety procedures, all while having the the experience recorded through onboard cameras. While three-lap packages is where it began, this weekend, the action gets even bigger with the introduction of the half-day Supercar Academy, which compliments extended 10, 15, and 20-lap experiences.

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90s ReSURGEnce? Coca-Cola Brings Back SURGE Soda (but I'm not trying it)

Oh, the late-1990s were such a strange place, indeed. In 1997, the same year I met the girl who would eventually become my wife and the mother of my children, the Coca-Cola Company unleashed their citrus-tinged SURGE as a competitor to reigning "extreme" beverage, PepsiCo's Mountain Dew. The commercials were the epitome of late 90s culture - embracing a mix of the "Nu-Metal" look and extreme sports lifestyle (including cross-promo with WCW Nitro) while bearing a soundtrack featuring artists like Fatboy Slim. I drank more than a few cans and bottles of SURGE in that time, but by 2003, SURGE was done. Now, thanks to a grassroots effort known as the SURGE Movement, the beverage is back - available in a first-of-its-kind deal, exclusively through Amazon.

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Fall Giveaway: Win MISS JAMIE FROM THE FARM's New Album on CD!

Miss Jamie from the FarmReady for a rootin' tootin', yet rockin' good time with your little ones? I'm teaming-up with my friend MISS JAMIE FROM THE FARM for a Fall Giveaway! We're going to get three (3) lucky readers set-up with copies of her debut album, MISS JAMIE'S FARM (available at AmazoniTunes & CD Baby) - a collection of "New Tunes and Farm Favorites" that are perfect for kids preschool to age 7.

Check out the details below, and enter to win your copy, right here on THE ROCK FATHER!

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TeeFury gets GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY... 24-Hours to Get Your Own Pocket GROOT!

TeeFury.comAre you ready to be "Hooked on a Feeling?" Do you want to have your own baby Groot to ride shotgun in your pocket? If so, my affiliates at TeeFury have something for you today as their limited-edition mashup t-shirts for the next 24 hours are inspired by GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Starting now (the clock is ticking!) you can order "Hooked on a Feeling" or "Pocket Guardian" for just $11 a piece and rock your GUARDIANS pride, inspired by James Gunn's first entry into the MARVEL Cinematic Universe.

Check 'em out below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

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Watch: A New Clip and Featurette from THE BOXTROLLS...

On September 26, Focus Features will unleash the latest film from Laika Entertainment (the folks behind CORALINE and PARANORMAN) when THE BOXTROLLS roll into theaters Nationwide. This weekend, as characters from the film made their way to live events across the country, a pair of new videos have made their way online. "Winnie Takes Charge" is a brief clip from the film, while "Trolls Right Off the Tongue" is a featurette focusing on the voice acting present in THE BOXTROLLS. Take a look, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

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Review: DISNEY ON ICE presents PRINCESSES and HEROES (United Center)

Over the past two years, my girls have been pretty lucky in that we've seen Disney On Ice four times. Each time the folks at Feld Entertainment bring the tour back through Chicago, it's a different show, and we've seen ROCKIN' EVER AFTER, 100 YEARS OF MAGIC, LET'S CELEBRATE! and now, PRINCESSES & HEROES. While LET'S CELEBRATE! is still holding it's ground as my favorite (the seasonality of it just hits my sweet spot), PRINCESSES & HEROES may well be the most traditional of the bunch in terms of Disney lore, really capturing the imaginations of the younger crowd by bringing to life some familiar scenes from the likes of ALADDIN, SNOW WHITE, BEAUTY & THE BEAST, THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE PRINCESS & THE FROG, SLEEPING BEAUTY, TANGLED and CINDERELLA in a big show. And it is a BIG show.

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Preview - DORA & FRIENDS: INTO THE CITY! gets a new iOS App for Preschoolers...

nickdoraappThe folks over at Nickelodeon have just launched a new DORA & FRIENDS Preschool App on iOS based on their new series, DORA & FRIENDS: INTO THE CITY. In this new adventure, kids can choose from ten locations from the series, including the Arco Iris Cafe, the magical cave and the beach; dozens of props like cameras, microphones and blankets; and several Latin-influenced musical tracks from the series to help bring the scene of their own creation to life. Users also can create up to four customized friends and select different hairstyles, facial features, outfits and even names, as well as record their own voices which can be incorporated into the story. Check out a trailer below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

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Toyography: Best Photobomb Ever? Harry Potter shows appreciation for STAR WARS' C-3PO & R2-D2

Strange things can happen when you're just minding your own business and trying to do a little "toyography" - hoping to create some stylish pictures of my children's toys. Last night, while the girls and I were playing downstairs, I decided to attempt a couple of cool-looking shots involving a couple of figures from Hasbro's STAR WARS collection - namely C-3PO and R2-D2. What happened next is that one of our dogs - the one named Harry Potter (my wife is a big J.K. Rowling fan) - decided it was time to drop himself right into the shot, rolling into frame (seen above) and standing to attention (seen below). He either ruined the shot, or made it better. Perhaps these really ARE the Droids he was looking for... or perhaps The Force was strong with him? Take a look, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

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Review - DOC McSTUFFINS: SCHOOL OF MEDICINE (DVD)

In searching my own website, I was a little surprised to find that I've only mentioned DOC McSTUFFINS in 28 articles. While that might seem like a lot, I thought it would've been more, and if you follow me on social media (which I sure hope you do), you'd know why: I've spoken of Doc a lot. Out of the top five shows that my girls enjoy, there is perhaps no other that's been so all-encompassing. They've seen it on television, DVD, and on-demand... they have an ever-expanding collection of Doc McStuffins toys... and each of my daughters (ages 2 and 5) have multiple pieces of Doc clothing. It's a transmedia home-run, and one I don't mind at all. To think that it took this long for a breakthrough show like this to happen - one that not only features a "Doctor" at the forefront, but a female... and one of color - it's hard to imagine, particularly given how big a phenomenon it's become. With DOC McSTUFFINS: SCHOOL OF MEDICINE out on DVD this week, it's only appropriate that I'm throwing down some more virtual ink about the show...

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