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.
I'm a big fan of surprise releases, and that's just what Justin Timberlake served-up this week, announcing a February 2 release for his next LP, MAN OF THE WOODS. While an unexpected album announcement was news on its own, now comes the first single and a Mark Romanek-directed video. "Filthy" features Timberlake as a tech icon - a robot inventor with a Steve Jobs vibe - at a conference in the not-so-distant future. Check it out below...
If you've played video games at any point within the last three decades or so, there's a solid chance that you've owned a Mad Catz product. The longtime maker of gaming controllers and accessories was a fixture for years, but the last few were anything but kind for them. Following an expensive gamble on Rock Band 4, for which they served as co-publisher in addition to the hardware and accessory maker, the U.S.-based company went under, filing for bankruptcy in the spring of 2017. Now, the brand is back, now known as Mad Catz Global Limited, announcing what they've called "a surprise return to the international gaming scene... under new management, with new ideas, new attitude and most importantly, an entire range of new, high-quality gaming products." Check out a teaser below...
If you're a console gamer like I am, this won't apply to you, but if PC gaming is your thing and you're currently playing EA's Star Wars: Battlefront II, this might be up your alley. Mods are a big deal to a lot of PC gamers, and Battlefront already has its share, but one in particular that came across my twitter feed this morning is pretty fantastic. I've mentioned it before, but SNL's Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base sketch still holds up as being a delightful piece of Star Wars comedy - one that has a lot of re-watch potential. Many became fans of Matt the Radar Technician (Kylo Ren in disguise), and now you can play as Matt in Battlefront II is mods are your thing. Check out the video below!
For the past few years, Spin Master has absolutely been killing it on all fronts - becoming a powerhouse not just in toys, but also as an entertainment company with some truly stellar IP. At the front of that, PAW Patrol is no doubt their flagship brand, and it's one we're very familiar with here at Rock Father™ HQ. Last year, two items from that line landed on my annual Holiday Wish Guide™, with the My Size Lookout and Sea Patroller ranking among 2017's best toys. For those interested in how a property can become a hit on all levels, there's a must-read article from Canada's The Globe and Mail that chronicles the development of PAW Patrol from 2010 to its debut in 2013 and where it's headed in 2018. Had things developed differently, instead of Ryder and the PAW Patrol, we could've wound up with "Raffi and The Rescue Dogs."
On January 18, Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein and many more of Portlandia’s most loved and eccentric characters are back for a for their eighth and final season on IFC. Today we've got a new trailer for the last run, and we get a glimpse at where those weirdos from Oregon are headed as the curtain begins to fall. See it below...
I support vigilante justice... if done properly. Of course, such behavior is technically still illegal, but I think it's a reflection of our society that makes characters like Batman and The Punisher so empowering and inspiring. Now, from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures comes director Eli Roth’s reimagining of the 1974 revenge thriller Death Wish - a film that epitomized a certain brand of vigilante action. Bruce Willis stars as Dr. Paul Kersey - "a surgeon who only sees the aftermath of his city’s violence as it’s rushed into his ER – until his wife (Elisabeth Shue) and college-age daughter (Camila Morrone) are viciously attacked in their suburban home. With the police overloaded with crimes, Paul, burning for revenge, hunts for his family’s assailants to deliver justice. As the anonymous slayings of criminals grabs the media’s attention, the city wonders if this deadly avenger is a guardian angel…or a grim reaper." Check out the latest trailer below!