DADDY DJ

What’s rocking the crib

What’s Got Designer Daddy Dancing? Baby Loves Disco!

September 10, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DADDY DJ, DDQ&A

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TRUE STORY: Several months ago I was daydreaming about how awesome it would be to have a club geared towards gay parents. A place where Daddy & Papa, Mommy & Mama and their broods could meet friends, drink (responsibly, of course) and swap recipes for organic mac & cheese. There’d be a rec area for the kids to stack Legos, watch their stories or generally just tumble about. It would have a chill room to feed, change or put youngsters down for a nap. And of course there would be DANCING.

Then a couple of weeks ago, a friend texted me a link to something called Baby Loves Disco. My head just about exploded. A dance party? In a club? That we can take our kids to?!? Somebody read my mind and invented The World’s First Club for Gay Dads: Baby Loves Disco! I quickly banged around the internet, contacted BLD, and scored an interview… and a giveaway! (see below)

To clarify, Baby Loves Disco isn’t really (or at all) just for gay dads. In fact it’s been around since 2004, and for a long while was primarily populated by moms and their kids. But still, the best kid-friendly thing to come along in a long while, I’d wager.

I know Papa and I grow weary trying to think of fun, creative — and most importantly — energy-burning activities for JJ. I’ll admit a lot of weekends we’re exhausted, out of ideas and default to the same worn-out options as a lot of parents. Playground… museum… zoo… mall… SNORE. So yeah, we’ve got tickets for our first Baby Loves Disco party locked down. Did I mention a giveaway? (see below)
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BABY LOVES DISCO 101:

  • The “Original Family Dance Party” for parents and kids ages 6 months to 7 years
  • Held at top-notch nightclubs in six cities: New York, LA, San Francisco, Chicago, Philly and back in DC after a 3-year hiatus!
  • REAL DJs, REAL music* – from classic disco to modern Top 40 and dance music. No Barney, no Kidz Bop, no <shudder> Wiggles.
  • Not just dancing. There’s also dance contests, crafts, kid-friendly spa services, goody bags, healthy snacks and juice boxes for the kids, and a cash bar for the adults.
  • Chilled-out “crawl area” where the non-walkers can relax away from the all the dancing feet.
  • And of course, changing stations

Check out the NYC party in action:

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THE GIVEAWAY:

Designer Daddy is here to HOOK. YOU. UP. I’m giving away a Family Pack of 4 Baby Loves Disco tickets, valued at $55! The tickets are good for any BLD party in any of the six cities listed above, for any remaining show in 2013. Visit BLD’s web site for dates and locations.

Date and location must be specified at time of winning notification. Contest ends Saturday, September 14 at midnight. NOTE: the first shows of the season are in DC and NYC on Sunday, September 15! But don’t worry, there are multiple shows in all cities. Now enter the Rafflecopter thingamajig below and dust off those boogie shoes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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READ FULL ARTICLE >>

Want a fun new way to teach animal sounds to your baby? It’s probably not this.

September 5, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DADDY DJ, DADDY LIKE

The only thing that could make this video more stupid/awesome is if it’s NOT a joke.

 

Thriller meets Gangnam Style meets See n Say Farmer

Thriller meets Gangnam Style meets See n Say Farmer

Bård Ylvisåker and Vegard Ylvisåker, AKA “Ylvis,” hail from Norway. Land of gnomes! And trolls! And apparently foxes and horses that communicate via Morse code.

These freaky furries also have a talk show, soon to start its new season. This video is a promotion for that. I may have to talk to my local cable company about adding TVNorge to our package.

I’m not familiar with Norwegian comedy, but knowing the country to be relatively peaceful and fair-minded, I can only assume Ylvis’ “The Fox” is a joke. But let’s just assume for a moment it’s not, and these guys are really insane, and that our coworkers or children or pets won’t mind us cranking this to eleven for a dangerously dumb dance party.

Watch. Listen. Repeat. YOU’RE WELCOME.

My Two Daddies T-Shirt Photo Contest Winner

June 30, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DADDY DJ, DESIGNER DADDY, MY 2 DADS

I owe you all an apology — I plum forgot ’bout the My Two Daddies T-shirt Photo Contest I put up over on the Facebook page, what with all the Fathers’ Days, Pride parades, meeting superheroes, interviews, trips across the country and Supreme Court shenanigans going on.

But Designer Daddy keeps his promises, whether they’re on time or a couple’a weeks late…
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Here’s the winning photo!
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Ain’t this just the darned cutest kid y’ever did see?

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READ FULL ARTICLE >>

My Two Daddies (Can Beat Up Your One) – The Single!

May 22, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DADDY DJ, MY 2 DADS

This post has been a long time in the making, but I’m super stoked to finally introduce “My Two Daddies (Can Beat Up Your One)” — the single, the finished product, the labor of love. And oh yeah, the fundraiser…

Y’see, I had such a blast writing, performing and recording this — yet I know it’s not going Platinum or winning any Grammies (CMA award, maybe?). It’s pretty much a vanity project wrapped in a love letter to my son (with a smidge of me working through my insecurities as a father). But I figured while I’m sharing it with the universe, I’d try to raise some money for a good cause. And I’ve found no better cause that supports other families with Two Daddies (or Two Mommies) than Family Equality Council.

But before I prattle on too much about my own benevolence… THE SONG!

I originally wrote the lyrics as part of a copywriting workshop. I was attending a design conference in the Texas hill country, and our assignment was to write a country song using our own life as the subject. JJ was about 18 months old at the time, and already I was pondering worrying what trials he might face as the adopted son of two gay men. I pictured our little fella getting picked on by some mustachioed, homophobic toddler (I know, my imagination runneth over) and in response, JJ puffs out his chest, chubby fists on his be-daipered hips, the theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly playing in the background…

…and thus was born “My Two Daddies” — the mock battle cry of a picked-on kid who’s unequivocally proud of who he is, where he comes from, and that he’s dang lucky to have “the two best daddies that you’ve ever seen.”

mytwodaddies_largeWFW

Click to hear a snippet

NOW ABOUT THAT FUNDRAISING BIT…
All the profits from song sales will go to Family Equality Council, so please mosey over to iTunes or Amazon and pony up your 99 cents. Our family (and others like ours) sure appreciates your contribution!

And if you’re feeling a might more generous, please consider making a donation directly to my fundraising page at Family Equality Council, where I’ll be tracking donations made from song sales as well as what’s contributed on the fundraising page. Since the month of June includes both Father’s Day and LGBT Pride celebrations (for many cities/states), my goal is to raise $500 by the end of the month.  But I’d be pleased as punch to raise and/or extend that… READ FULL ARTICLE >>

DJ Cheetos in Da House

May 10, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DADDY DJ, DESIGNER DADDY, MY INNER MARTHA

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten full-on, down-and-dirty, non-work-related crafty. But when I heard about this contest being held by Life of Dad, wherein you had to create art from Cheetos, my interest was peaked. When I found out the winner received an all-expenses paid trip to Dad 2.0 Summit (the King of all Dad Blogging conferences) I got my CHEESE ON.

A dad what-now conference? You see, I had a lot of fun the first year or so of Designer Daddy. Alas, then my energy/interest/well of ideas started to dry up. Serendipitously, I got hooked up with a group of Dad Bloggers on Facebook, and energy/interest/ideas were renewed and energized. Yes, it’s sometimes a time-waster (What on the internet isn’t? Except for this site, natch.) and obviously a sounding board for blogging ideas. Yet the group has also been an online drum circle, bar crawl and bitch session rolled into one.

All that to say, it would be awesome to attend Dad 2.0 Summit next year, to meet some of these men in person and get even more psyched about writing, networking, parenting, and all-around man-bonding. Plus Cheetos!

Here’s my Cheetos Mix-Ups offering…

DesignerDaddy_CheetosMixUps_LO

Click to amplify

My creative process: I thought about “Mix-Ups” and that led to “mixing it up” which led to drinking a cocktail, which then led to an old school, party time DJ MIX TABLE! And yes, those are crushed Cheetos (the puffy variety) as the “background.”
READ FULL ARTICLE >>

Happy Earth Day: Let’s B Global!

April 22, 2013 | By Brent Almond | BABY LIKE, DADDY DJ, DADDY LIKE

I recently checked in with B, toys, my favorite toy creators on the planet, and they asked me to try out their brand new-ish Global Glowball. Being the clever person I am, I thought it would be a perfect way to celebrate Earth Day!

globe

Looking at the Global Glowball (Their toys just have the most awesome names, don’t they?) online, I was immediately intrigued. B. toys always has top-notch playthings: colorful but not garish; creative, never predictable; exciting without being over-the-top-in-your-face. And of course all their packaging is recyclable or recycled [BONUS EARTH DAY POINTS].

READ FULL ARTICLE >>

Just in time for the Grammys*… DD’s Top 10 Albums of 2012

February 7, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DADDY DJ, DADDY LIKE

Whoever decided End of Year lists had to be done by the end of the year are just poop-head literalists who clearly don’t have anything better to do than tell us how cool they are.

Now that I have that out of the way… This is my sixth year** posting a Top 10 Albums list (Top 40 Songs to follow…eventually), but the first time on Designer Daddy. In case you’re asking, “How is this dad-related?” – as far as I know, it’s not. But I’m the dad of this blog, and that’s why. I’m also the style maven (Is there a male counterpart to maven? Master? Manven?) and arbiter of all that is hip — in my house at least — so it fits quite nicely in my wheelhouse, thankyouverymuch.

Please enjoy and be sure and let me know YOUR favorites of 2012 in the comments!

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10. Hot Chip – In Our Heads

Hot Chip has a great knack for crafting songs that are both danceable and heartfelt. As with their last album (One Life Stand), In Our Heads thumps and simmers with lots of energy and emotion, both blissful and deep.
Choice tracks:
Night and Day, Motion Sickness, How Do You Do?

READ FULL ARTICLE >>

New DMK: Enjoy the Cuteness

January 20, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DADDY DJ, DDQ&A, DESIGNER DADDY

Check out the latest homemade (and I use that term loosely — this is some expert stuff) video from Depeche Mode cover band and awesome family, DMK.

Designer Daddy is a huge fan, so as long as this creative clan keeps cranking it out, I’ll keep watching Dicken Schrader, and kids Milah and Korben, grow as performers… and aspiring to be even a fraction as cool.

Keep track of DMK on Facebook and YouTube.
Read my DDQ&A with Dicken.

Win a pair of SOL REPUBLIC headphones! (Ends Jan. 21)

January 7, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DADDY DJ, DADDY LIKE

…We interrupt our regularly scheduled cute toddler pics for a Designer Daddy giveaway…
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If you’re looking for the best way to drown out the din of daddyhood (or life in general), enter to win a set of SOL REPUBLIC headphones, valued from $99.99 to $179.99! Sign up below and you could be tuning out Dora, Elmo and The Fresh Beat Band in no time.

Designer daddy that I am, I wouldn’t hook you up with some drab-looking earbuds. These are completely customizable (mix + match colors) and come with interchangeable pieces, a remote and a microphone. You can also choose from several designs featuring college sports teams.

My faves, though, are these hot-looking, exclusive deadmau5 headphones. YUM.

To enter, “log in” using the widget below with your email or Facebook. You’ll then see a list — scroll down and click “Easy entry for all DesignerDaddy fans on Facebook.” You can also Tweet or post about the giveaway here, or “Like” any/all of the dad blogs represented for even more entries!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The giveaway ends January 21 at midnight, and the winner will be contacted within 7 days. If you have any questions, email orenmil@bloggerfather.com. Oren (AKA A Blogger and a Father) headed up this contest and will be responsible for prize fulfillment.

(P.S. I partnered with a few other bloggers for this, all members of a new Facebook group of blogging dads (started by that Oren guy I just mentioned). You can read about the group here, or if you’re a fellow dad blogger, head over to Facebook and click JOIN GROUP.)

Beatles 101

September 2, 2012 | By Brent Almond | DADDY DJ, DADDY LIKE

So the big trip across the pond is upon us. I admit to having my fair share of nerves leading up to this point, but I suppose by the time you read this I’ll be cruising through the skies, my bambino wistfully slumbering against my shoulder. At least he better be.

A massive amount of preparation has been going on — which I guess is to be expected from two anal-retentive gay dads taking their toddler transatlantically. So a couple of weeks ago we were Skyping with Papa’s Zia Jo (AKA The Cool Aunt) to ask all our most pressing questions: “Do they have playgrounds in Italy?” “What about fish sticks?” “And Dora?” During the conversaton we noticed a lot of Beatles stuff in Zia’s house — she’s a huge fan from back in the day. As in the day when they were still together and taking over the world. That must have been something to behold.

Hence I decided to make JJ a mix CD, a Beatles primer of sorts. Before you read ahead to the track list and blow a gasket, yes there are a few covers by non-Beatles. Keep in mind this is for an almost 3 year old — he needs some variety. Besides, as the son-of-a-preacher man, I had to discover The Beatles on my own. This initially came in the form of The Chipmunks Sing the Beatles Hits (on vinyl, checked out from the library, no less). So I learned my first Beatles songs from some rodents, a few more from the “Stars on 45 Medley,” and then finally discovered the real deal in high school and have been a huge fan ever since.

The Beatles 101

(All songs by The Beatles unless noted otherwise)
Drive My Car
(from Rubber Soul)
She Loves You
When we were teaching JJ animal sounds, Papa taught him that beetles went “She loves you, yeah! yeah! yeah!” You should have seen his eyes the first time he heard the actual song. Now when he hears it, he yells “BEETLES!”
All My Loving – Alvin & The Chipmunks
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (from The Beatles/White Album)
Funnest Beatles song ever? Gets my vote. Although it’s probably about drugs or somesuch.
We Can Work It Out
Rocky Raccoon (from The Beatles/White Album)
I didn’t realize until I finalized the list how oddly well-represented The White Album was. Whodathunk?

You Won’t See Me – Anne Murray
Piggies (from The Beatles/White Album)
Hello, Goodbye (from Magical Mystery Tour)
Love Me Do – Alvin & The Chipmunks
Help! – Carpenters
Leave it to The Carpenters to take a sad song and make it sadder…
I’m Looking Through You – The Wallflowers
Taken from a quite good soundtrack of a semi-okay movie, I Am Sam
Here Comes The Sun (from Abbey Road)
Stars On 45 Medley - Stars On 45
I spent many a Saturday roller skating to this baby.
Silly Love Songs – Glee Cast
Take It Away – Paul McCartney
Two Of Us (from Let It Be… Naked)
I love how this version starts with the lovely guitar intro instead of John?/Ringo? yammering about pygmies.
All You Need Is Love – (from Magical Mystery Tour)
Yesterday (from Help!)
I remember learning “Yesterday” and “Help!” in 6th grade music class. Do they still do that?
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey – Paul McCartney
If I Fell (from A Hard Day’s Night)
One of my all-time favorites
Blackbird – Glee Cast
I challenge all you Glee-haters to listen to this version and not marvel at the sweetness of Chris Colfer’s voice.
Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) – John Lennon
This song is already on a JJ-inspired mix CD, but it’s too good not to include on every single CD I ever make for him. He heard it tonight and said, “It’s my song!”
Yellow Submarine (from Revolver)
We’ve been singing this one in the tub since forever ago. Also a great singalong-in-the-car song.

For more Beatles-related kids stuff, check out:

Rockabye Baby
This mix isn’t the first JJ’s hearing of The Beatles. I started him off early, buying both volumes of Rockabye Baby Beatles covers. But we’ve been way beyond lullabies for a while now.

Yellow Submarine interactive book
Trippy…

Wonder Pets episode, “Save the Beetles”
Adorable, clever, educational. The whole package!
Download from Amazon or iTunes.

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Alright music fans — what essential tune did I leave out? Keep in mind it’s for kids, so no Helter Skelter craziness or Elanor Rigby moroseness. What would you take off? I’m sure there will be a Volume 2 at some point, so all suggestions are welcome!