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

Report: The 12th Annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair Brings Old Friends & New Favorites Out to Play! #ChiTAGFair

This weekend, the Chicago Toy & Game Group brought the 12th Annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair to Navy Pier, and for the third year in a row, THE ROCK FATHER was there to cover it. The only show of it's kind that's open to the public in addition to members of the toy and game trade, #ChiTAGFair or simply #ChiTAG serves as an unofficial kick-off to the Holiday season here in Chicago - a tradition that offers families a first-hand chance to check out a wide array of new offerings hands-on, from some of the season's hottest toys, to some of the newest and most "out there" games. While my first two experiences at ChiTAG had been good, and the show had impressed, I left last year thinking that the show was skewing too "game" for my liking, ignoring that "toy" is the first part of it's name. Knowing that many of the organizers have deep roots in the gaming community, that wasn't really a surprise, but for my own interests (big on toys, light on games) I was hoping to see a little more balance this year... and the Chicago Toy & Game Fair crew did a fantastic job in bringing together some old friends and new favorites to delight families for two days of pre-Holiday fun. Check out my picks for this year's #ChiTAGFair all-stars below!

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Win Tickets: The 2014 Chicago Toy & Game Fair Rocks Navy Pier November 22-23!

For the past 12 years, the Chicago Toy & Game Fair has been presenting families with the largest event of it's kind in the U.S. that's actually open to the public - a chance to test out and buy some of this year's hottest toys and games to kick-off the holiday season, all while meeting and mingling with the folks that actually create and make the things we play with. This will be my third year covering ChiTAG on THE ROCK FATHER (Read: 2013, 2012), and with the show taking place at the end of next week, the excitement is building. While Optimus Prime is known for telling the Autobots to "Roll Out!," Hasbro is rolling into ChiTAG with one of the stars of this summer's TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION - the bright yellow Chevrolet Camaro known to kids and grownups alike as BUMBLEBEE. But that's just one of the many cool goings-on set to take place at Navy Pier, and I've got the run-down for you below, along with discount coupons and a chance to WIN TICKETS to the show!

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32 Days of Halloween: THE MAGNIFIERS - "Zombie Raid on the USA" (Kids that Rock)

I've been meaning to post about Chicago's THE MAGNIFIERS for quite awhile. You see, these kids (ages 8-15) first hit my radar back in May after attending the same AQUABATS concert that I took Addie to for her first big rock show - the same one she ended up on stage to help close out. THE MAGNIFIERS' cover of "Fashion Zombies" was enough to hook me, but their five-song EP was even more impressive (and available on Bandcamp). While my annual 31 Days of Halloween ended at midnight last night, some zombies managed to shamble into the party a day late, and here comes THE MAGNIFIERS' first official music video, "Zombie Raid on the USA." Check it out below...

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Watch: FOO FIGHTERS' "Something From Nothing" Video is just Excellent...

FOO FIGHTERS have been all about Chicago lately, rocking The Cubby Bear this past Friday to celebrate the debut of their HBO mini-series, SONIC HIGHWAYS - a series rooted in Chicago, with Dave Grohl's first concert having taken place at The Cubby Bear (it was NAKED RAYGUN). Now, ahead of the November release of their new album (pre-order on Amazon or iTunes), the official video for "Something From Nothing" has arrived - combining traditional music video performance with the typography seen in so many lyric videos of late. See it below...

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31 Days of Halloween: Common Shiner attend Wes Craven's Slasher High School in Chicago...

  • Published in Comedy

Funny enough, I've been doing my annual 31 Days of Halloween here on THE ROCK FATHER for eighteen days now, and today of all days, I didn't have an entry scheduled. While I may have goofed, the internet Gods shined upon me this evening with an out-of-the-darkness email from a rep for Chicago band, COMMON SHINER, pointing me in the direction of their new music video, "Social Mediasochist." Imagine for a moment that the John Hughes-inspired world of NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE was placed in a blender with every slasher film from about 1980 'til now. See what the students of Wes Craven's Slasher High School are up to in the new video, directed by Zoran Gvojic of Lowcarbcomedy...

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THE GRINCH is coming to Chicago... actually, he's already been here!

grinchlogoNext month, THE GRINCH is coming to Chicago, as Madison Square Garden Entertainment presents their new production of DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! THE MUSICAL at The Chicago Theatre for just 17 performances - Thursday, November 20 through Saturday, November 29. Actually, The Grinch has already been here - stopping into town this morning to unveil The Chicago Theatre marquee, just before scurrying back up to his mountain home above Who-ville.

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3rd Annual Partnership Between WWE and SUSAN G. KOMEN Begins Tonight in Chicago... #CourageConquerCure

WWEBeginning tonight in Chicago on MONDAY NIGHT RAW (for which we will be in attendance), WWE and SUSAN G. KOMEN will expand their partnership for their third annual breast cancer awareness campaign.

WWE Superstars and Divas will be wearing co-branded Susan G. Komen and WWE apparel as all WWE platforms go pink for the "Courage Conquer Cure" campaign, which will continue through National Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October.

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Report: Rob Zombie's Great American Nightmare brings Cinematic Frights to Chicagoland...

Halloween 2014After playing host to numerous haunted attractions during every Halloween season for the past couple of decades, the Odeum Expo Center in Villa Park, Illinois has been given a cinematic overhaul for 2014 as the new location of Rob Zombie's Great American Nightmare. After making it's debut in California last year, 2014 finds the Great American Nightmare (GAN) taking on two cities, with Scottsdale, Arizona joining Chicagoland for the newly-annual celebration of macabre entertainment with a rock and roll flair. THE ROCK FATHER was invited to check out the opening night festivities - complete with a full-blown Rob Zombie concert at the Odeum, and a trip through all three haunted houses, each based on one of Zombie's feature films: HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, THE LORDS OF SALEM and THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO. Here's some thoughts...

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Rides: THE ROCK FATHER vs. The FERRARI F430 at The Xtreme Xperience

"When your friends ask you how fast you went, tell them 'I went as fast as I could.'" That was the final bit of advice given by Xtreme Xperience Chief Instructor Brad Pines at the close of an instructional session held in a classroom overlooking the pit area of the North Course of the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois on Saturday. It was there that I, along with a handful of other early morning drivers received some brief, but important lessons prior to taking to the track in some of the World's finest vehicles - Supercars. For me, it would be the Ferrari F430 - a 483 horsepower hand-crafted vehicle with a top speed of 196 mph... but it wouldn't be the first time that I'd take to the track in Joliet. For that, we have to spin things back to 1978...

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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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