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, has contributed to The Toy Book and writes a regular Star Wars column - Transmissions from a Galaxy Far, Far Away for The Pop Insider. He also 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.
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.
Learn more here.
It's no secret that KNIGHT RIDER is The Greatest Television Series of All-Time™ (a title bestowed upon it by yours truly), and because of that it's been covered here in the virtual pages of The Rock Father™ Magazine at length over the years. Along with the series itself, the iconic theme song by Stu Phillips is the stuff of legend - a piece of music so powerful that it's been covered in countless styles for nearly four decades. This week, Banjo Guy Ollie turned his attention away from video game music (which he excellently brings into the world of banjo and accordion) and toward television themes, so it was only appropriate that he's getting things started with KNIGHT RIDER!
The first-ever Hot Wheels Legends Tour is currently making its way across the U.S. in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Mattel's iconic Hot Wheels brand. After kicking-off at the Hot Wheels garage in El Segundo, California back in April, this traveling car show is popping up in Walmart parking lots from coast-to-coast, and by the time it wraps back in Los Angeles on October 20th, 15 real-life cars will have been chosen to head out to the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas, where one car will be crowned champion and immortalized in diecast form as an actual mainline Hot Wheels toy car! For the Chicago date, I was invited by Mattel to serve as a guest judge, checking out the field with The Rock Daughters™ (my little Hot Wheels enthusiasts) along for the ride. It was a hot and rainy morning in Bedford Park, and while the rain may have scared away some participants, a great time was still had by kids and grownups alike, celebrating that after 50 years, Hot Wheels are no longer just a toy - but a lifestyle. At the end of the day, I had the honor of rockin' the mic to say a few words to the hometown crowd, including the introduction of the winner of the day - Brian Bergeron and what began as a 1987 Porsche 944, now completely redesigned for racing as the Widerstandsfahig #001-15. Check out the video below from Donut Media to see highlights from Chicago, the winning car and to hear more of Brian's story...
The details of the next Star Wars animated series have come into focus. Star Wars Resistance, a new animated series that takes place prior to the events of 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens will take flight with a one-hour premiere SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT/PDT), on Disney Channel, DisneyNOW and Disney Channel VOD, with subsequent airings on Disney XD. This new series is a high-flying adventure that follows Kazuda Xiono ("Kaz"), a young pilot recruited by the Resistance for a top-secret mission to spy on the growing threat of the First Order. Check out the first-look trailer and all the details below!
On October 19, Chicago's DISTURBED will release their seventh studio album, Evolution via Reprise Records. Along with the album announcement, the band has unleashed the new single and music video, "Are You Ready?" as pre-orders have already gone live. Check out the new video and a statement from the band below!
Several years in the making, the 150-acre LEGOLAND New York Resort will open to visitors in 2020, and this week the crew at Merlin Entertainment have unveiled the first look at the eight themed "lands" that will make up the family theme park. At a ceremony in Goshen, New York (60 miles outside of New York City), a 10-foot LEGO model of the entire theme park was shown for the very first time. Crafted from over 135,000 LEGO bricks, the LEGOLAND New York model took 20 Master Model Builders more than 1,300 hours to design and build. See the unveiling in the Facebook Live stream embedded below, along with all the details on the eight lands. The press conference starts at the 10:00 mark in the video...
When I first got word of The Fartist Club, my initial vision was of a swank den of flatulence presided over by Brian Posehn. After all, his 2013 comedy album, The Fartist has been in the archives here at Rock Father™ HQ since its release. But that wasn't the case, as The Fartist Club is a new line of collectible toys that's putting some gaseous wind in the sails of the the "gross" toy craze that's been been making a splash (or a plop) across the world this year. Basic Fun has Poopeez; Spin Master has Flush Force; Moose Toys is still rockin' with The Grossery Gang; and of course, the original Kings and Queens of of the genre - The Garbage Pail Kids - are always on the verge of a mainstream comeback. So where does The Fartist Club fit in?