I have been meaning to cover the phenomenal work coming from Ohio-based music instructor Aaron O'Keefe for quite some time. The work of his students is beyond impressive, and as a musically-inclined father, makes me hopeful of what my own daughters will be able to one day accomplish. These exceptional (and very young) musicians are pulling off covers of some very famous (and some very difficult) songs, and their latest offering just arrived: "Love Song" by THE CURE, and "Du Hast" by RAMMSTEIN. Watch that video below, along with some other favorites of mine that you need to watch if you haven't already...

Published in Family Music

I know that there's a lot of folks that visit The Rock Father that are either professional or aspiring musicians. I also know what a hard go it can be at times, and with that, the folks at creativeLIVE have teamed up with The Rock Father and a selection of other websites to give readers a chance to win a killer prize pack loaded with over $4,500 of gear and knowledge. 

Published in Contests and Giveaways

1982 was a monumental year that encompassed so many culturally-important moments, it's hard to really absorb the true weight of the year, even 31 years after the fact. It was the year that audiences would witness the debut of the greatest television show of all time when NBC first aired KNIGHT RIDER; when cinema-goers marveled at the Kenny Rogers masterpiece, SIX PACK (alongside ET: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, POLTERGEIST, and PORKYS); and music fans would experience the birth of FAITH NO MORE, and the release of PICTURE THIS by HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS. What I didn't realize until last night, was that 1982 was the year that I became a Rock and Roll Gangster.

Published in James' Journal

If you spin it back to the beginning, August 11, 1973 is viewed by many to be the true beginning of Hip-Hop as a movement. As a kid from the South Suburbs of Chicago, I felt the influence of hip-hop from a young age (starting in elementary school in Chicago Heights), eventually making Yo! MTV Raps an after-school stable. Ed Lover and Dr. Dre introduced me to a new world of music, that even in my later, metal-loving years, has a lot of respect here at Rock Father HQ. Now, my friends at PBS are celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Hip-Hop with a special section, and an Independent Lens special. Check out videos on PBS.org, or check out HIP-HOP: BEYOND BEATS AND RHYMES below...

Published in Music for Grownups
What will we say when our kids come to us
And ask, with a smile on their face,
"Hey Dad, my friend's got some new ninja swords!
Is it cool if we slash up his place?"
-Excerpt from “Everybody Get Dangerous”
as heard on WEEZER’s self-titled RED ALBUM (2008)
Published in James' Journal

As "The Rock Father," one of my greatest joys is introducing my daughters to new sonic landscapes through some "Musical History Lessons" taught here at Rock Father HQ. No history of rock would be complete without sharing with them the music of THE DOORS, and one recent tool to hit the market is THE DOORS App for iPad by Warner Music Group's Rhino Entertainment (if only we had an iPad). This extensively in-depth look at the band and their legacy is available now in the App store for just $4.99, and to celebrate it's release, Rhino and The Rock Father are getting two lucky readers hooked-up with a three-pack of CDs from THE DOORS! Live at the Matrix 1967Live in Pittsburgh 1970 & the When You’re Strange Soundtrack are all included.

Published in Contests and Giveaways
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