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 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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At last, the final trailer and poster for Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War have arrived. Tickets for the film, now being released on April 27, also went on-sale, setting a one-day record on Fandango (an affiliate) as the Marvel Cinematic Universe just continues to grow with each additional film. With Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther both having been released in the past six months, audiences are primed for what may go down as the ultimate superhero battle as the Avengers come together with the Guardians of the Galaxy to face-off against the sinister Thanos. See the trailer below!

Unlike most of what I consider to be the "B-list" holidays, St. Patrick's Day is one I don't mind, and one that doesn't get it's due. It's likely because of its unfortunate scheduling, falling between two of the bigger names on the B-list: Valentine's and Easter. It wasn't until a few years ago that I learned that St. Patrick's Day is even stripped of its name in some schools, with "Shamrock Day" of "Clover Day" taking over. All that said, for me this day means corned beef and mint, and when I'm an a hurry, that means The Fast-Food St. Patrick's Day™ is in full-effect. I get a Reuben sandwich from Arby's (they have the meats!) along with a Shamrock Shake from McDonald's. It's extra convenient locally, as the two typically-warring fast-food icons are located next to each other. The video below documents my 2018 pilgrimage, right down to the inexplicable 7-minute wait for my Shamrock Shake. Enjoy!

At the National Science Teachers Association Conference in Atlanta, GA, a surprise announcement was made about a new initiative that will bring something that truly rocks into schools. OK Go has partnered with The Playful Learning Lab to launch the OK Go Sandbox, a program that will provide classrooms around the world with an incredible assortment of content to use alongside the band's music videos for an artistic, STEAM-based experience.

Six years ago, I celebrated one-year tobacco-free with a journal entry about my personal journey. Then, in 2013, I posted again, celebrating the two-year anniversary of coming clean (indeed, cigarettes are a drug), followed by another post in 2014 documenting year three, and how I couldn't get Philip Morris/Altria to leave me alone (they since have, but only after I threatened legal action). In 2015, I posted again, noting that little bits had changed, like Cracker Barrel restaurants playing into the hands of Big Tobacco (presumably) not knowing it, and the rise of the e-cig and vape crowd. This was followed by updates in 2016 & 2017, and today I am posting once again, as it's the seven-year anniversary of kicking the habit. As I've done previously, I am re-posting much of my original entry here on THE ROCK FATHER, along with a few alterations and timely updates. Philip Morris/Altria and R.J Reynolds: As I've warned before, with each passing year, the targets on the backs of your companies and leadership continue to grow...

March 14, 2011 is the day that I officially quit smoking. At some point on the night of March 13, I quietly took the last puff of the last cigarette in the last pack that I ever owned. Upon telling my wife that I was officially ''done,'' she took it upon herself to clean-up some of the ''smoker's mess'' that I'd created. The ashtrays of both cars were scoured. The sand-filled flowerpots that I'd strategically placed on my front porch and near my gardening shed were disposed of, along with a ton of stray butts that had made their way into the surrounding landscape over the winter months. The cleansing had begun.

The Original Whiffer Sniffers have the distinction of being included in my annual Holiday Wish Guide twice - making the list in back-to-back years for 2016 & 2017. Of the countless collectible backpack clips out there, Whiffer Sniffers win across the board, with adorable characters, great design, and scents that are actually pretty good (I love last year's pumpkin spice offering). For 2018, Series 6 is here and it's rolling out with new characters in two parts. There's also some Super Sniffers along with an Easter offering as well. Curious what the kids will want next? Take a look at the latest additions to The Whiffer Sniffers' roster... personally, I think Series 2 is gonna be perfect for summer, and I've got my eye on Apollo Freeze for myself!

With Star Wars: The Last Jedi rolling out on Digital HD this week, Lucasfilm released a new episode of The Star Wars Show a day ahead of its usual Wednesday slot, reporting back from Mark Hamill's Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony that took place last week. The crew sits down for a few words with Hamill, alongside George Lucas and Harrison Ford, and delves into the world of cinematic puppeteering with Brian Herring aka "the guy in the green suit behind BB-8." There's some cool knowledge dropped regarding the process of bringing a character like Rogue One's Admiral Raddus to life, along with the caretakers from The Last Jedi and of course, the famed Astromech ball droid. Check it out below!

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ROCK FATHER™ TV: New Videos from YouTube