This weekend, Chicago's Riot Fest & Carnival returns, this time taking place in a new location, Douglas Park (St. Anthony Hospital, be damned!). Having attended and covered the festival off-and-on over the years, it's still incredible to see what was once a week-long, multi-venue, sorta "underground" affair having expanded into a massive, three-day event that no longer simply happens in Chicago - but also Denver and Toronto. While there's certainly plenty of other festivals in Chicago (and the U.S.), this is the only one that I look forward to - the only one that truly speaks to my interests. The only issue for me with the size is, well, size - and that creates logistics issues no matter which festival you attend, particularly one with dozens of bands spread over seven stages. Conveniently, Riot Fest has an App (available for iOS & Android) to help with scheduling and music discovery, and from that App I was able to narrow my list to around 27 artists to check out, toplined by my favorite band of all-time, FAITH NO MORE. Still, there's some overlap, but I'll get it figured out. Accompanied by a highlight reel from last year, here's THE ROCK FATHER's picks for Riot Fest Chicago 2015 as exported and emailed via the Riot Fest App.
When it comes to holiday movies, its no secret that I have a real soft spot for them. One of the greatest is also very much a "Chicago" movie, and one written by a local icon - the late John Hughes. HOME ALONE turns 25 this year, and the folks at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment are releasing a collection that I'm officially adding to my 2015 Holiday Wish Guide here on THE ROCK FATHER - the HOME ALONE 25th Anniversary Ultimate Collection! This new set features all five films in the HOME ALONE franchise, along with some cool collectibles that come packed-in a paint can.
As I usually do when I post about a crowdfunding effort, I need to preface this with a warning: Just because I am posting about a Kickstarter project, that is not an invitation to open the floodgates for more crowdfunding pitches. Seriously, every single time I post about a Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, I will get a dozen+ crappy pitches in my inbox by the next morning, so please - before you submit a crowdfunding effort, read this. Again, read this.
Bruce Campbell wants your money. This time, it's to make a new season of LAST FAN STANDING, the pop culture game show that Campbell (THE EVIL DEAD, BURN NOTICE, OLD SPICE) hosts himself. Filmed on-location and "live-to-tape" at Wizard World Comic Con events around the country, LAST FAN STANDING gave con-goers "the chance to prove their status as the ultimate Fanboy or Fangirl for a global internet audience on CONtv." If you want Season Two, here's your chance to be involved - just announced at a media event at the in-progress Wizard World Comic Con Chicago.
Ready for the Wizard World Comic Con Chicago? It's getting underway, and the news keeps coming. This just into Rock Father HQ...
Wizard World, Inc. today announced that for the first time it has partnered with Bandai America Incorporated to offer an exclusive Wizard World Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Limited Edition GLOW-IN-THE-DARK Tokyo Vinyl® Green Ranger figures, Thursday through Sunday during Wizard World Comic Con Chicago at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. With 1,500 total figures produced, only 500 will be available at Comic Con Chicago, exclusively at the Wizard World Store on the show floor, while supplies last.
Wanna hang with THE ROCK FATHER? How about Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, "The Walking Dead"), Milo Ventimiglia ("Heroes," "Gotham"), Sean Patrick Flanery ( Boondock Saints), Barry Bostwick (Rocky Horror Picture Show, “Spin City”), Chris 51 ("Epic Ink") and more? Next Wednesday night you can at KICK OFF THE CON, the first official event of Wizard World Comic Con Chicago. The evening features some of the top celebrities, cosplayers, and artists in comic and sci fi entertainment on Wednesday, August 19, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Level 257 (2 Woodfield Mall, Unit A, Schaumburg, located between Sears and the entrance to Stir Crazy on the lower level, east side of Woodfield Mall).
When July/August rolls around each year, I send out dozens of reply emails that have a variation on "No, I won't be attending Lollapalooza"/"I'm not covering Lollapalooza." Despite living in Chicago's Northern Suburbs, Lollapalooza for me is not the true Lollapalooza - the traveling festival that I was lucky enough to attend in the 1990s. In fact, Lollapalooza '93 was my first paid gig as a photographer, so there's a connection there. As a permanent, Chicago-based event, Lollapalooza just has not come up with a lineup compelling enough for me to attend. Sure, they drop in a handful of bands that I dig each year, but I'd never drop the money or deal with the hassle of attending the fest as it stands right now. Eventually, they might "wow" me, but for now, I'm in the RIOT FEST camp. Want to see a lineup that I can fully get behind? Look at RIOT FEST Chicago's schedule... not THAT is a lineup! As for Lollapalooza, there's highlights online every year from bands that I would dig seeing, and METALLICA is an example. Here's their highlight reel from Lollapalooza 2015 - complete with performances of "Wherever I May Roam" and "Am I Evil?" -- Old Crankypants