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

The Rock Father: Chicago Stories

Raising a family in the Chicago area, I take pride in calling Chicagoland my home. While "The Rock Father" is a site with a National scope, this section collects all of my writings tagged with "Chicago" into one location that's overrun with Windy City pride. From Chicago family events, to local music and adventures with my daughters, this is my hometown spot here on the site, and I hope you dig it. - James

Halloween 2014: ROB ZOMBIE Brings His GREAT AMERICAN NIGHTMARE to Chicago...

Oh yes... the Halloween Season here in Chicagoland just got a whole lot more rockin', as ROB ZOMBIE'S GREAT AMERICAN NIGHTMARE has announced the addition of a second location for 2014, taking place on select nights from September 26-November 1 at the Odeum Expo in Villa Park, IL. Better yet? ROB ZOMBIE will perform a special, one-night-only concert on opening night, September 26.

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SAVE FERRIS? Nah, just MIKE MAGEE's DAY OFF #SaveMagee

I know I've mentioned it before here on the site, but I know next to nothing about soccer - or the game most of the world calls "football" or "futbol." But, with the World Cup now wrapped, the folks at Major League Soccer sent me an email with a reminder that the 2014 MLS season is just at it's halfway mark, and with Mike Magee of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club it's reigning MVP, they put together a very Chicago-centric parody... of FERRIS BUELLER's DAY OFF. So, it's Chicago, and they asked nicely, so I'm sharing it with all of you. This is actually the second FERRIS parody I've shared this year, with the excellent BATDAD Bueller parody running back in January.

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Ella Jenkins to release MORE MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN'S SONGS this August...

I've written quite a bit about Chicago's ELLA JENKINS over these past few years, most recently giving some virtual ink to her January release, 123s & ABCs. Now, on August 5, Jenkins will bring forth MORE MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN'S SONGS, a sequel to her best-selling 1995 album, MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN'S SONGS. Smithsonian Folkways will release the album - her 40th title spanning a 57 year career, and coming to retail just a day prior to her 90th birthday.

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Watch - TRANSFORMERS: THE PREMAKE offers a look inside the crowd-sourced New Hollywood #TRANSFORMERSweek

Me Grimlock!There's something very familiar about TRANSFORMERS: THE PREMAKE, the new documentary that's making the rounds like wildfire today, fast-becoming a viral hit. Crafted by Chicago filmmaker Kevin B. Lee, TRANSFORMERS: THE PREMAKE offers a unique look at filmmaking in 2014 - a place where keeping things "under wraps" is a distant memory, and behind-the-scenes secrets are revealed almost instantly due to the smartphone generation and the immediacy of sites like YouTube, Instagram and Vine. The story started as Lee began independently documenting the Chicago-area filming of TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, which hits theatres next Friday via Paramount Pictures. During his own filming, Lee realized that everyone else was filming, too.

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Rock and Roll Lifestyle: Mode Media Happy Hour at 52Eighty #ModeMediaChi

In keeping with the illusion of the "Rock and Roll Lifestyle," I could tell you that last Thursday night, I drove into Chicago proper, where I spent the evening having drinks with a group of lovely women, admiring the city from atop its highest rooftop lounge, after which I got home late and woke up the next morning at the crack of 10 wearing the same clothes from the night before. At face value, that doesn't sound like a fitting scene for a married father of two (especially me), but it happened - all in the interest of the greater good - and that's my work. I don't usually talk about the business of digital publishing here on THE ROCK FATHER, and there's a couple of good reasons for it - most notably that my regular readers wouldn't be interested (too many bloggers blogging about blogging, and I don't really "blog" at this point), and I don't like to share my playbook with the world. But here I'm making an exception, because last Thursday was Mode Media's first-ever Chicago gathering, and Mode helps fuel THE ROCK FATHER. I'm a Mode Publisher.

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FREE DOWNLOAD: SCRIBBLEMONSTER - "Shakin' Up The Pollen"

Last month, I took the girls to see Chicago's SCRIBBLEMONSTER perform for an impressive crowd of tots and up. The kids dug the show a lot, and today I've got some music to share from the SCRIBBLEMONSTER crew. Want to teach the "plight of the bumblebee" to the little ones? Well, "Shakin' Up the Pollen" does just that - and you can grab the song as a FREE DOWNLOAD, along with an activity sheet that teaches just what bees do to help flowers and our environment. Stream the song below, then hit the SCRIBBLEMONSTER website for the download!

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Rock Father's Day 2014: Artist Spotlight - Gerald Dowd of Justin Roberts' Band #RockFathersDay

"I was taken aback, to say the least," says Drummer GERALD DOWD about the moment he realized that he'd soon become a Father for the very first time. "Panic set in first. Then panic turned into pragmatism, which finally became complete, unconditional love when my brand-spanking-newborn son, lying under the hospital baby broaster, squeezed my finger. 'Been a fatherhood junkie ever since!" Now, the Chicago-based drummer of JUSTIN ROBERTS' band (THE NOT READY FOR NAP TIME PLAYERS) is working on a solo album of his own, and talking about being a fellow "Rock Father" just ahead of Rock Father's Day 2014.

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WWE PAYBACK: An Adventure for My Girls, and a Lesson About Commitment to Family and Community... #WWEDads

#WWEDadsNovember 7, 1985. I was just two weeks past my ninth birthday when my Dad and I hopped in the car and headed north to the Rosemont Horizon for THE WRESTLING CLASSIC, a WWF pay-per-view event for the newly-launched WRESTLEVISION service. It was there that I witnessed some of the true "legends of wrestling" live and in-person... and I can still vividly recall those larger-than-life figures like The Iron Sheik (who entered with a giant Iranian flag), Randy "Macho Man" Savage and Miss Elizabeth, Hulk Hogan, Rowdy Roddy Piper, the Junkyard Dog and Nikolai Volkoff, all flying from the ropes and hitting the mat hard. This was at that time when Sports Entertainment was really becoming a huge deal, and it was something that families would enjoy together, kids would discuss at school, and "Hulkamania" would become widespread while Hogan and others began appearing in cartoons, in movies, recording albums, and selling a ton of action figures. Nearly 20 years later, history is repeating itself... but on a little different level.

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Rock Father's Day 2014: Artist Spotlight - John Joyce of POOCHAMUNGAS #RockFathersDay

"They’re part of the subject matter, have helped with songs and song titles and are my best critics," says POOCHAMUNGAS frontman JOHN JOYCE about his 9-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son. The self-proclaimed "stay-at-home Firefighter Dad" wears many hats, flipping between his duties as a "Rock Father" and those of the Chicago Fire Department, where he's worked for nearly two decades. Now, ahead of Rock Father's Day 2014, it's just been announced that John is preparing to take the stage at Lollapalooza, a newly-minted member of the "Chicago Kindie All Stars," who will perform on the growing Kidzapalooza bill.

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Get Ready for WATCH DOGS... most-anticipated game of the year? What you need to know...

On May 27th, Ubisoft will unleash WATCH DOGS, the most pre-ordered new game in their history, and the most pre-ordered new IP in the entire gaming industry this far for 2014. While I haven't played it yet, WATCH DOGS (Pre-Order: Amazon | Gamestop) is a game that holds special interest for me - it's setting being Chicago, the general home base for all Rock Father Operations. This open-world adventure looks fantastic, and offers gameplay on a level that I don't believe has been seen before - where the multiplayer world can hack into your single player game, and everyone and everything is connected. Check out a couple of looks at the game below, along with all the details on the recently-announced partnerships for exclusive, real-world WATCH DOGS goods...

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