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James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade as Publisher of The Rock Father Magazine, he joined Adventure Publishing Group as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider—a destination for all things pop culture. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 25 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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On Sept. 27, GRAMMY winner Sturgill Simpson will release Sound & Fury — a Netflix Original Anime Film — alongside a companion album. Set for release via Elektra Records, the new album features 10 new tracks, the first of which, "Sing Along," was released today. Check out the music video by Japanese anime legend Jumpei Mizusaki below...

The Sound & Fury album was primarily recorded at the McGuire Motor Inn in Waterford, Michigan. Produced by Simpson, the album was recorded with bandmates Bobby Emmett, Chuck Bartels, and Miles Miller, who all serve as co-producers along with GRAMMY nominee John Hill (Cage The Elephant, Portugal.The Man, Bleachers).  

sturgill2

Based on a story by Simpson, the film was written and directed by Jumpei Mizusaki (Batman Ninja), founder of the animation studio Kamikaze Douga. Takashi Okazaki, creator of Japanese manga series Afro Samurai served as the film’s character designer.  Additional directors include Koji Morimoto of Phy (AKIRA) / Griot Groove, Michael Arias (Tekkonkinkreet), Masaru Matsumoto of Grayscale Arts (Starship Troopers:  Traitors of Mars), Henry Thurlow and Arthell Isom of D’ART Shtajio (Indigo Ignited, XOgenaSYS). Shunsuke Ochiai is co-executive producer. Hiroaki Takeuchi (The Animatrix) served as production executive.

If you've ever dreamed of flying high in a craft made famous during the daring missions of World War II, you now have a chance to do it.

The B-17 Aluminum Overcast Tour kicks off on Aug. 16 in Waukegan, Illinois. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) will bring a fully-functional B-17G to Waukegan National Airport for ground-based walk-around tours, and hourly mission flights through Aug. 18. 

The Aluminum Overcast is a beautifully restored B-17 Flying Fortress that's been a staple of air shows for many years. Based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the plane will tour the eastern half of the U.S. through November, with ticket sales supporting the ongoing maintenance and operations cost for one of the last 10 remaining B-17's in the world that are still airworthy.

Flight tickets can be ordered online via the EAA website.

311 fans in Florida have the opportunity to sip some limited edition craft beer from Rock Brothers Brewing.

The band will offer 311 Amber Ale and 311 I'll Be Here Awhile Honey Apricot Ale at concerts in West Palm Beach on Friday, Aug. 2, and Tampa on Saturday, Aug. 3. This is the first time the two beers have been made readily available for fans. 

In 2017, in celebration of 25 years as a band, 311 partnered with Rock Brothers Brewing to create their 311 Amber Ale. Originally brainstormed in the band’s Hive Studio in Los Angeles, 311 Amber Ale "shines bright as roasted caramel malts are blended with Equinox hops, bringing subtle hints of tropical citrus and kush aromatics." This past February, the band debuted their second Ale, 311 I’ll Be Here Awhile Honey Apricot Ale. The new beers follow the release of last year's Beautiful Disaster Imperial IPA.

311's latest album, Voyager, was released on July 12.

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation kicked off Independence Day in style this year, partnering with the Coca-Cola to set a new record for the Biggest July 4th Toast in the U.S. 

A total of 22,555 guests and team members across 11 Six Flags theme parks — including Six Flags Great America here in Illinois — raised a Coca-Cola beverage to toast America and usher in the annual Coca-Cola July 4th Fest. This year's event features exclusive ride times through July 6, with new Coca-Cola Cool Zones, and a spectacular fireworks show to close each night.

The village of Rosemont is a pretty busy place of late, and during the summer months, things are heating up on the west side of I-294. Anchoring the expansion of the entertainment district to the other side of the Tri-State Tollway is Impact Field, which opened in 2018 for the inaugural season of Chicagoland's newest professional baseball team — The Chicago Dogs.

Until recently, we'd only driven by the park — happening to catch the post-game fireworks on a few occasions as we clipped by at a brisk pace. The modern ballpark benefits from its visibility, including the double-sided digital scoreboard that's absolutely unmissable for the millions of drivers who pass by annually.

During a recent media night (which also happened to be superhero night), we finally had a chance to check out everything that this new ball club — part of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball — has to offer, and for families, it's a lot. It's not only tremendous fun, but it's affordable, with single game tickets starting at just $9 for bleachers, and topping off at $25 for the Wintrust Home Plate Club.

Chicago Dogs Tickets

On a beautiful Friday night, The Chicago Dogs clobbered the Sioux City Explorers 9-2, but the game was just a piece of the overall experience. Fan engagement was high, and the laid-back vibe of the ballpark was evident from the get-go. From the moment you enter the main gates on the park's right field corner, it's apparent that this is a different type of ballpark. It's very open, with a 360-degree concourse that offers a great view that's free of obstructions.

dogs batting

For kids, there's activities in left field — inflatables that include are set up to give little ballplayers a taste of the action with pitching and batting. One of the most popular activities is one that really gets kids moving — a running contest that clocks kids' speed as they run from "third base" to home plate. 

Chicago Dogs

Throughout the park, families will find plenty of great food options — and for grownups, there's quite a few fine beverage options as well. Keep an eye out and you'll spot The Dogs' mascot, Squeeze, and his nefarious counterpart, Ketchup. A reminder, especially for those not in Chicago: #NoKetchup. Never, ever put ketchup on a hot dog — NEVER!

dogs ketchub

On Friday nights, kids run the bases post-game, and there's special events throughout the season, which runs through August. Check out the official site for schedule and tickets!

Chicago Dogs New Era cap

Bonus: The Chicago Dogs have a great merch store. Now, the merch isn't cheap, but it's completely worth it. We bought The Rock Daughters™ plush versions of Ketchup and Squeeze, while I couldn't resist the New Era fitted Chicago Dogs on-field cap. 

This Tub O' Towels special feature is presented in collaboration with Federal Process Corporation...

One of my favorite household products is expanding. Tub O' Towels — the fantastic wipes which I've been using around the house and garage to help with a wide range of messes from slime in the carpet to grime on the engine, has new specialty wipes for specific surfaces. Now available at Target stores across the U.S. — and online at Target.com — Tub O' Towels Granite & Marble Wipes and Tub O' Towels Stainless Steel Wipes are the latest must-have for families looking for a convenient way to tackle messes and keep their homes looking great!

Tub O' Towels - Now at Target

In our bathrooms, which we remodeled a few years back, we followed the stone counter trend and that can lead to occasional cleaning challenges. You can say "Granite & Marble" (as the wipes do), but modern homes have counters crafted from a variety of similar materials that serve the same function, and the latest from Tub O' Towels can tackle them all. Tub O' Towels Granite & Marble Wipes cleans, polishes, and seals natural stone surfaces — and they're safe for use on marble, granite, quartz, travertine, limestone, onyx, Corian, Formica, siltstone, laminate, porcelain, tile, ceramic, fiberglass, and non-porous hard surface counters.

Tub O' Towels Heavy Duty Granite and Marble Wipes

Around here, we see a lot of water marks (and sometimes the ever-present slime, thanks to the kids), and the large 7" x 8" wipes make it easy to clean it all up. They can also tackle surface grease, soils and stains — so they're great to have on hand in the kitchen. 

Wiping...

The new Tub O' Towels Stainless Steel wipes handle one of the most obvious elements of grime in a modern home — stainless steel appliances. Our dishwasher is the only true stainless steel surface in our kitchen, and it's at the perfect height to attract fingerprints (it's also magnetic, so our kids like to put things on it). What's unique about these wipes is that they're soaked in an oil-based formula, so unlike other Tub O' Towels products which are water-based, the Stainless Steel Wipes may feel dry when removing them from the container. While they may have a certain feel, they're not dry, and you should wash your hands after witnessing the cleaning and polishing power at hand!

Tub O' Towels Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Wipes

Before and After: Tub O' Towels Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Wipes bring out the luster so much that our wood floor reflects in the stainless steel of the dishwasher front.

These wipes will remove fingerprints, water marks, grease stains, and general grime all while leaving behind a streak-free shine. There's no silicone, acid, or abrasives, and the wipes may be used on other polished metal surfaces including aluminum, copper, chrome, and brass.

Together, these new wipes are another win for Tub O' Towels and another Rock Father-approved household must-have! Time for a Target run!

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