If you spin things back twenty years, 1996 was a strange time for me. It was the year I moved back to Illinois from Iowa, a time of self-discovery and a year before I met the girl who I'm married to today. Thing is, despite being released formally in '96, NERF HERDER's self-titled debut was very much a part of the 1997 soundtrack for me, and just as it was for many, it was fueled by a little single called "Van Halen." Commentary on David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar aside, the band garnered my immediate respect for having a STAR WARS-inspired name at a time when the Original Trilogy was just coming back into theaters as the infamous "Special Editions," and the boom of the Pop Culture "Con" was still just a few years off. Over the years, I amassed a sizable collection of NERF HERDER CDs, and after becoming a parent, frontman Parry Gripp has remained part of my daily soundtrack, not always due to his work with NERF HERDER, but as the man behind a host of televised kid's music - from Disney Junior's DJ Shuffle (which I premiered here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine back in 2014) to The 7D, and even the MARVEL SUPER HERO SQUAD, for which he composed the theme. Now NERF HERDER is back with a new album, their first since 2008, and it's damn good.

Published in Music Reviews

I'm gonna hop in the DeLorean and take you back to an era well more than a decade ago at this point - an era where pop-punk reigned, with labels like Drive-Thru and Fearless cranking a steady output of Warped Tour-ready acts, and bands like NEW FOUND GLORY, BLINK-182, GOOD CHARLOTTE, SUM 41 and SIMPLE PLAN were topping the charts. Riding that wave were a ton of bands that never quite made the same impact, but on local and regional levels were carrying the torch high for melodic rock with anthemic, sing-along choruses. Here in Northern Illinois, I'd once crossed paths with a band called THE BRUCE CHI AFFAIR (I did a video for them), who later evolved into FINAL ROUND (who I also did a video for). FINAL ROUND was great at what they did, but like many bands, they hit a few snags with members both moving or even passing on (their late drummer D-Max even played with yours truly on an EP back in '04). Over the years, FINAL ROUND never really went away, but now they're officially back on the map with the release of IT ENDS WITH US BOTH RIGHT HERE, which hit iTunes, Amazon and Bandcamp this week. Stream the full album below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

Published in Music for Grownups

Here's the deal: Crowdfunding projects (Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, etc) being featured here on THE ROCK FATHER has been sort of an issue these past few years, so much so that I've had a few people try jamming them down my throat for potential coverage to the point where I decided that "crowdfunding is not news." In fact, I have said many times that "no matter what the project, at the end of the day, approaching me to post a 'news item' on a Kickstarter (or similar) effort is asking me to help someone that I don't know ask other people (my readers) for money." So I don't do it anymore... unless I get paid to do so. But tonight, I'm going to break my own rules (something I can do since I own this joint), and I'm going to post about a crowdfunding project, a "Pledgemusic" campaign, to be specific - one that I was never even pitched - just because I want to. NERF HERDER is on a mission to make a new record, and YOU should be a part of it.

Published in James' Journal

It's a known fact that there are currently 6,600,666,007 cover versions of "Let it Go" on YouTube. IDINA MENZEL may have the definitive version of the showstopping number from Disney's FROZEN (and yes, DEMI LOVATO did one, too), but I guarantee that this one is different. You have not seen or heard "Let it Go" done like this before. Orlando band, THE LAST SLEEPLESS CITY has unleashed a pop-punk version of the song (download now on Amazon or iTunes), complete with an accompanying music video. It's perfect, and even got the seal of approval from 4-year-old Addie - who first questioned "Why is a boy singing this?" Check it out...

Published in Family Music

On April 19, 2014, in conjunction with Record Store Day (the annual celebration of independent music retailers), GREEN DAY will release DEMOLICIOUS Demolicious - a collection of 18 demos recorded at Jingletown Studios in Oakland, CA, in 2012 during the sessions for the band's Green Day ¡Uno!, Green Day ¡Dos!, Green Day ¡Tré! album trilogy. The two-disc set will be released on red or clear vinyl, and will also be available on CD and cassette. Additionally, the collection will include the previously-unreleased song, "State of Shock," along with an acoustic version of "Stay the Night." Check out the cover art below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

Published in Music for Grownups

They've been called "The World's Most Dangerous Kids Band," and some hail them as "The Anti-Barney." I say that they rock, and since they're from Chicago via Berwyn, they score even more points as I pen with this virtual ink here in my hidden lair known as Rock Father HQ. I'm talking, of course, about THE BOOGERS, and today this kindie pop-punk powerhouse is bringing their new music video to the masses. I give you, "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt."

Published in Family Music
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