Archive for the 'Movies' Category

The Tails of Abbygail, Episode 1: Dreams Come True

amoc1hcc8o3ijyamcbf3What little kids don’t daydream their favorite toys will come to life? Movies have been built around  such youthful fantasies (“Toy Story,” anyone?). Abbygail, a spunky little Jack Russell terrier, is no exception.

In the newly released live-action DVD, “Tails of Abbygail: Dreams Come True,”  the protagonist pup Abbygail watches her ultimate dream come true as her toy dogs and horses – including a cotton candy pink poodle, two giant draft horses and a Bernese mountain dog adorably named “Girlfriend” – magically come to life and embark upon an exciting journey with her. Along they way, they meet new furry faces and learn important, relevant lessons relatable to children ages 2-10.

My four-and-a-half year old son went on this 34-minute adventure with Abbygail and her canine and equine companions, completely enchanted with the storyline. When asked who his favorite character is, he naturally said “Abbygail,” and that his favorite parts were when the gang found treasure and threw a party.

The fun continues with four more episodes from the award-winning “Tails of Abbygail” series. For more, visit and be sure to like on Facebook!


“The Other F Word”: Fatherhood is hardcore! (and a little emo)

“The Other F Word” – a new documentary from writer/director Andrea Blaugrund Nevins – offers a rare glimpse into the values, lifestyle and grit of the punk patriarchy from the tour bus to ballet practice.

Coming of age in the loud, fast, fuck-everything fringe, Nevins captures largely middle-aged punks today – graying and feeling their oats – getting real about life on the road while playing their biggest gig to date: fatherhood. “It’s tough to be a punk rock hero and still be an authority figure to my kids,” laments Pennywise frontman Jimmy Lindberg, who the film follows during an excruciatingly long world tour and sporadic, albeit moving, moments at home with his girls.

Honest, humorous and poignant, Lindberg – alongside peers Fat Mike (NOFX), Lars Frederiksen (Rancid), Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Tim McIlrath (Rise Against), Duane Peters (U.S. Bombs) and others – discusses not only the irony of being an authoritarian on the home front and punk prophet on stage, but the challenge to put food on the table as a career musician in a business that’s turning on its head. “I don’t think anyone of us, when we started punk rock, looked at [it] as a career decision with a long-term career path and pension plan,” admits Brett Gurewitz (Epitaph Records, Bad Religion).

Although the film addresses challenges any working-class parent can related to, it also reveals the painfully hilarious trappings exclusive to punk parenthood: Frederiksen questions his choice, pre-fatherhood, to get a forehead tattoo; Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus pokes fun of himself for buying clean versions of his albums for his kids; and Fat Mike, with his loud ensemble, draws attention from passersby while walking his daughter to school.

Righting their parents’ wrongs is a common thread among the dads – more than punk, even. Flea, who grew up in a violent, alcoholic home, gets choked up more than once discussing his outlook on parenthood – how it snapped him out of his party-hard lifestyle. We meet his good-natured teen daughter who clearly adores him. “My kids gave me life … they gave me a reason,” he says, verging on tears.

Everclear’s Art Alexakis croons “The Wheels on the Bus” on a car trip with his baby daughter. Also hailing from a poor, broken home, Alexakis, soft-spoken and sober, says he’s driven to embody the type of dad to his children that he longed for growing up.

Suit and tie or studded belt, you’d be challenged to find more committed parents than the dads of “The Other F Word.”

Watch the trailer:

Sound It Out: Children’s Music Reviews (in Haiku)

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Putumayo Kids Presents: Acoustic Dreamland

Close your eyes, baby
“Acoustic Dreamland” soothes you
With sweet lullabies


Ella Jenkins: A Life of Song

Meet Ella Jenkins

Black history with a beat

Dance and sing along


Groove Kid Nation: The Wheels on the Bus
Favorite kid jams

On this record for a cause

Groovy way to give


David Weinstone Presents: Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals
Superhero boy

A hoedown in the tubby

And a popcorn tree


Gustafer Yellowgold’s Infinity Socks (DVD/CD set)

Little yellow dude’s

Hip, trippy indie rock and



Jamie Broza: I Want a Dog

Bossa nova jams
For the whole familia
And their furry friends


The Mama Doni Band: Shabbat Shaboom

Bubbly “Jewperstar”
Mama D. rocks the dreidel
With a pinch of pun

Billy Kelly: The Family Garden

Playful lil’ ditties
And a “Scootdootdoodlydoo”
Plus some “rap jam thing”


Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights: What a Zoo!

Soprano with soul
Salutes the unique creatures
That roam Mother Earth


It’s 5:38 p.m., I’m exhausted from copy editing and my boys are downstairs missing me, so I’ll make this short: I cannot wait to see “Babies” and just had to share the trailer with everyone. Thanks to my feminist rock critic/musician hero and a future mama herself – Jessica Hopper – for posting it on her blog.

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