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James Zahn

James Zahn

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.

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Funko's Pop! Rocks line has been a favorite of mine this past year, and in 2019 we already have an idea of where things are headed. This week, Funko announced their first-ever AC/DC Pop! Vinyl Figure that presents the band's iconic guitarist, Angus Young, ready to rock in his signature schoolboy uniform. Available for pre-order via my friends at Entertainment Earth, the standard figure features a black suit, while randomly-packed Chase editions feature a blue suit with devil horns and an "A" on the hat. Get yours today!

I don't think I've ever shown my girls a trailer that elicited an "I need to see this!" within maybe three notes of a song... until now. The surprise trailer for a concert film based on Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour hit the net earlier this week, with the film set to debut as a Netflix exclusive at 12:01am Pacific time on New Year's Eve Day. It'll be a fun way to close the chapter on 2018 as we look ahead into a (hopefully better) 2019. Check this out...

Based on a Sanrio character, Aggretsuko has gained cult status after the anime series made its debut as a Netflix Original earlier this year. Now comes an all-new Christmas special that finds Retsuko (a 25-year-old red panda who copes with her thankless office job and daily frustrations by belting out death metal karaoke after work) seeking some holiday cheer after her new obsession with posting pictures on social media threatens Christmas. Featuring a new rendition of “Jingle Bells”, performed by Tim Timebomb and the Interrupters (featuring RANCID's Tim Armstrong), the special will be streaming beginning December 20, 2018. Check out a trailer for Aggretsuko: We Wish You A Metal Christmas below!

"The streaming wars" are real, and 2019 looks to be the year that they finally start becoming a real issue. While "cord-cutting" continues to rise (we're even about to drop our Xfinity TV subscription here at Rock Father HQ), consumers are quickly seeing their monthly savings shrink as they buy into new services that offer exclusive content a la carte. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon's Prime Video continue to dominate, but Apple's new streaming service is on the horizon along with Disney+ and offerings from studios such as Warner Bros. These majors ride alongside smaller standalone services like DC Universe, WWE Network and many others. Now comes news that DHX Media has inked a deal with Apple to create new series, specials and short-form content based on PEANUTS - the iconic characters created by Charles M. Schulz. If you love Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang and can't live without seeing their new adventures, get ready for another bill when Apple's as-yet-unnamed new streaming service comes online.

The power of SLIME has been compelling kids for the past few years, and what I thought might be a passing fad has shown no signs of letting up - especially here at Rock Father HQ. In our house it's 9-year-old Addie who holds the position of resident slime enthusiast and chemist, and because of that she's been asking for months if she could create her own "Slime Channel" on YouTube. Since I'm not a big fan of many elements of the YouTube culture (despite being a creator on the platform), I said she could have a "show" on my channel: Addie's Slime Videos. But I actually launched it on Facebook first (where it's actually done better), and this week the initial episode went live. For its debut, Addie cracks into a box of Super Cool Slime from the folks at Kangaroo Manufacturing - an assortment of ready-mixed slimes that I pegged as potential stocking stuffers for my 2018 Holiday Wish Guide™. Check this out!

Coming off an epic World Premiere for the film this week, WaterTower Music is making a splash with the release of the AQUAMAN - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. From director James Wan comes a new adventure based on the iconic character from the pages of DC Comics, one that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas. Aquaman features an original score by multi-award-winning composer Rupert Gregson-Williams (Wonder Woman, Hotel Rwanda, Hacksaw Ridge), includes a track by composer Joseph Bishara (The Conjuring, Annabelle) and debuts the new songs Ocean To Ocean” by Pitbull Feat. Rhea (a riff on Toto's oft-covered "Africa"), and the end title song “Everything I Need” by Skylar Grey.  

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