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As I approached the iconic marquee in front of The Metro in Chicago last night, I realized something: I hadn't been to a show there in a very long time. During the mid-late 90s (and even into the early 00s), The Metro was a regular haunt for me - a place to check a host of metal, industrial, punk, hardcore and alternative shows. I saw bands like ACUMEN NATION and SMASHING PUMPKINS on that stage, took my wife to see MR. BUNGLE there, and saw countless, no-name local thrashers who would eventually disappear back into the shadows from which they came.

Published in Music for Grownups

When I arrived back here at Rock Father HQ late Saturday night, I was beat-tired from a day that started at 5:30am, and found my family in Chicago by 8, out in the Western 'Burbs in the afternoon, and back up North just in-time for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (which underwhelmed). After getting things started at the playCHIC Fashion Show on Thursday night, the Chicago Toy & Game Fair - the largest event of it's kind in the U.S. that's open to the public - welcomed families this weekend, and despite my fatigue, I was tempted to share some thoughts right away when we got home. The one thing that actually made me decide to do the sensible thing and go to bed before midnight (probably the first time that's happened in nearly a year) was the fact that a lot of folks who might want to read those thoughts were probably still at the ChiTagFair, and I'd already been all over the social nets with live posts. That said, it was a great event this year - my second (read about last year) - and unlike last, I actually had my little ones with me this time around.

125chevelleAs far as I can tell, the official announcement hasn't even been made yet, but information regarding a new collection of lullabies from Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star has hit the net via a product listing at Amazon (who I won't link to until they begin working with Illinois-based affiliates again). LULLABY VERSIONS OF CHEVELLE is set for a January 7, 2014 release date, bringing a dozen of the Chicago band's biggest hits and fan favorites into a new realm: nursery-friendly songs for baby. Check out the tracklisting below, right here on The Rock Father...

Published in Family Music

For Day 25 of 31 Days of Halloween here on The Rock Father, I'm taking us back into musical waters for a pair of tracks from MR. SINGER and the SHARP COOKIES. If you caught my column over at Chicago Parent this past Monday, you'll notice that I already featured one of these, but here I'm giving you two songs to check out. From their 2005 album, MUDDY WATER BEAVER DAM BAND, comes "Haunted Haus" - while "Cartoon Saloon" comes from their 2012 record, BOUNCING BALL OF ENERGY. Both are more than appropriate for your 2013 Halloween Playlist, and should you want to hear them live - you're in luck! Mr. Singer and the Sharp Cookies will be performing at the Old Town School of Folk Music THIS Sunday, and they've got shows booked for the 30 & 31 as well...

Published in Family Music

If you're reading this, it is my duty to make it known that you are reading a historic blog. Despite it being a common feature throughout the vast realm of cyberspace, I have never done a "Throwback Thursday." This is my first... and it's about that time when I went to PRISON. Actually, if we're being honest, I should admit that I've been to prison more than once.

Published in James' Journal

Having only been a parent for just over four years, it's weird to already feel nostalgic about something that happened just a few years ago - October 3, 2010. On that day, we'd taken Addie (then just over a year old) to her first "Pumpkin Patch" experience, at a small place in Lake Villa, Illinois, called Susanna Farms. For Day 13 of 31 Days of Halloween 2013, I'm featuring the family-owned farm in Chicago's Far Northern Suburbs through the eyes of a Dad who recently returned with both of his daughters... Addie (now 4), and Finn (1). While this wasn't Little Finley's first Pumpkin Patch (we did that last year), it was the first time that both girls were big enough to roam the fields together... and the first time that we went with Grandma.

Published in James' Journal
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