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THE ROCK FATHER Magazine
James Zahn

James Zahn

About James: A work-from-home Dad with a pair of daughters (Released in 2009 and 2012) - James Zahn is THE ROCK FATHER™. 

Bringing over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry into the family realm, Zahn is an Illinois-based Entertainment Writer, Media Personality, Commentator, Adventurer and Raconteur. 

He writes for Fandango Family and the Netflix #StreamTeam, serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized brands, and consults 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 co-manager and video director for Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Blogcritics, Fangoria, Starlog, The River Cities' Reader. Slowfish, Oil, and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360, has been quoted in BusinessWire, CNN and Babble, in addition to making appearances on ABC News, WGN and more. In the past he served as a PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent), penned articles for Sprout, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

Learn more here

Connect with James on Facebook or Twitter.

Website URL: http://www.facebook.com/therockfather

Kindie Scene: Eric Herman and the Thunder Puppies - "Bubble Wrap"

After a two-year absence, ERIC HERMAN returns to the family music scene on June 10th with the release of BUBBLE WRAP, the first album to feature his new band, THE THUNDER PUPPIES. Today comes the release of the first video from the album, appropriately for the title track. After all, the best part of any package is of course the bubble wrap, and that's something my wife and I see regularly through the actions of our daughters - the power of the bubble wrap compels them! About the new record, Herman says that "All of the songs came together in just over a year, and the process felt exciting, vibrant, and meaningful." Get your first taste below, and if you dig it - pre-order via iTunes or Eric's official site.

Rides: Hallmark Garage Kiddie Car Classics - Diecast Vehicles & Keepsake Ornaments

Back in the 90s, the folks at Hallmark offered a series of "Kiddie Car Classics" - diecast vehicles based on classic pedal cars, each with a Keepsake Ornament counterpart. Recently, the line returned, and now there's a new assortment racing into Hallmark Gold Crown stores (and online) featuring four new Kiddie Car vehicles - 1945 Gillham Fire Engine, 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS, Tracy's Hot Rod and 1957 Ford Thunderbird - each as a detailed diecast replica (with collector card) priced at $49.95, and as a Keepsake Ornament priced at $19.95. They look pretty sweet... take a look...

Gardening: Expanding Our World of BrazelBerries...

It was nearly two years ago exactly that I first posted about Fall Creek Farm & Nursery's BrazelBerries, a fantastic collection of berry plants that are designed to be both edible and ornamental. Specifically, BrazelBerries are specially-bred Blueberry, Raspberry and Blackberry plants that can thrive in containers on a deck or patio, or be planted in-ground, depending on where you live. For our first batch. The Rock Daughters™ and I planted two Raspberry Shortcake plants along with two Blueberry plants - Jelly Bean and Blueberry Glaze. Likely due to my own error in winterizing (we live on the border of climate zones and the cold can be harsh and unpredictable), our blueberries didn't survive the first winter... but our raspberries did, and in 2015 they bore some of the most delicious berries that we've ever eaten - anywhere. Our entire family enjoyed them right from the bush, and I even spotted the dogs trying to take a nibble. So what's in-store for our BrazelBerries in 2016? Well, our raspberries are back, plus the folks at Fall Creek sent us four new plants - a Raspberry Shortcake, a Pink Icing Blueberry, and two brand-new varieties - Perpetua (a true double-cropping blueberry) and one that won't be available for purchase until the Spring of 2017... Baby Cakes, a sweet, thornless blackberry that can provide up to two crops per year. It was planting time!

First Teaser: Disney's Live-Action BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

As I type this, in-between slinging metal and working in the garden, my youngest daughter Finley is wearing a "Belle" dress from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST... one you can see in today's #SidewalkFashionShow pic on my Instagram. It's a thematically-appropriate dress for today, as Disney just issued the first teaser for next year's live-action telling of their classic, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. I showed the little one the teaser, and right away she pointed out how Cinderella's castle had been replaced by Beast's... a simple, elegant teaser for a film that won't be released until March of 2017. 

Ceremonial Placement of The Garden Jawa - 2016

There's always certain things that mark the arrival of a season... the first Pumpkin Spice of Fall... the first playing of the Holiday Music... and the arrival of The Garden Jawa. Whether his appearance denotes the coming of spring, summer or both is debatable, but without fail The Garden Jawa has been a fixture of our landscape since 2010. Originally offered as an exclusive through the Official STAR WARS Store that once existed at StarWars.com (they had some great things), The Garden Jawa is long out-of-production, so we're happy to have the little scavenger standing watch beneath our windmill every year. This week, he made his annual return... garden gloves on, hose and tools ready to rock.

Music Video: PRODUCT OF HATE - "Kill. You. Now."

Whenever I post about this band, I always have to preface things with a little note of backstory... because PRODUCT OF HATE isn't simply just another metal band: We've been friends since 2009, and I currently co-manage them. While many of you who frequent the site are familiar with my family entertainment endeavors, perhaps you didn't know that I still have my hand in the music world on a regular basis, or that I occasionally direct and edit music videos. "Kill. You. Now." is the opening track on PRODUCT OF HATE's Napalm Records debut, BURIED IN VIOLENCE (Amazon | iTunes), and the video is the second of three that we recently filmed. Officially-released this past Friday via Heavy Blog is Heavy, the clip has gained steam in recent days, appearing on sites like Blabbermouth and The PRP (among many others). As PRODUCT OF HATE closes out their month-long tour with Mushroomhead, Sumo Cyco and Madame Mayhem this week, I'm sharing the new video here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine. Nope, this video isn't for the kids...

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