James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance. Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.
As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.
He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and 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. Current special projects include promotional campaigns for PJ Masks (eOne/Disney Junior) and Beat Bugs (Netflix).
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 Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.
James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, 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 Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.
Learn more here.
Much to the delight of children everywhere, DISNEY/PIXAR have finally released CARS 2, the sequel to the 2006 hit that features a host of colorful anthropomorphic autos on a globetrotting adventure. As goes with the territory, there's a merchandise explosion, with nearly every store bursting at the seams with licensed CARS 2 toys, clothing, games, and more. While the film features a female 'lead' of sorts with the purple car HOLLEY SHIFTWELL (voiced by Emily Mortimer) joining the story along with SALLY CARRERA (voiced by Bonnie Hunt) and LIZZIE (voiced by Katherine Helmond) from the original CARS - good luck finding any tie-in merch aimed at little girls.
Raising the future of rock is a daily adventure, often marked by what music will be providing the soundtrack to our day. The Toddler Jukebox happened by accident - thousands of albums on CD and Vinyl filed neatly on shelves within The Rock Father's office, many within reach of curious hands. I created a new rule a few weeks back, that if my daughter (22 months young) pulled an album, that meant I had to listen to it. With a lot of music collecting dust, this would be an opportunity to revisit some titles from the past. Today's Jukebox is a curious pair - if only for the fact that their combined names could stike fear into the hearts of the TSA, CDC, and NSA combined: ANTHRAX and BIOHAZARD.
Last month we first told you about THE JUNO COMPANY's JUNO'S PIANO, a new App for the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch that helps teach children the real-life basics of playing the piano. As a parent myself, and with Kik Axe Music always on the lookout for the latest in music education, I decided to take a test-drive of my own, downloading the App for my iPhone.
When my wife and I were preparing to move into our first single-family home in the spring of 2010, there were a lot of things that needed to be considered and purchased - a big one involving the type of tools that I'd be using to maintain our lawn and planned garden.With the intent of leading by example and raising our daughter to respect and care for the environment, the idea of 'green' gardening became the foundation of everything that would follow. None of my tools would be powered by gas - they would only be powered by electricity or man.
The little one just turned two last week, and with the turn of age comes even more curiosity. As she inspects her surroundings, The Toddler Jukebox is growing - a selection of albums (literally) hand-picked by my little daughter. The way it works is simple: she pulls an album from the archives and Daddy has to listen to it. It's an interesting way to re-discover some music that I may not have spun for quite some time. Today's pick? IMPERIAL TEEN - SEASICK.
For the past two years I've been telling people that my first job is that of being a a father - The Rock Father - to my little daughter. Everything else I do is secondary, whether it be my normal gig in being a jerk on the music side of this website, directing videos, or whatever other adventures happen to come my way. During the daytime (when weather allows), the little one and I can usually be found outside, spending time in our ever-expanding garden. From vegetables to flowers, annuals to perennials, we spend time together while learning and sharing in a variety of plant-based adventures and projects. With Fall fast-approaching, we've already begun turning our spring and summer flowerbeds, planters, and hanging baskets into arrangements best-suited for what happens to me my personal favorite of all the seasons. For this particular project, there's a little family history involved for us, but it's something that any of you can do as well.