Young Hollywood

Young Hollywood

Check out some articles I had the fun of writing up while interning for Young Hollywood, an entertainment news website based in Los Angeles.

Artist to Watch: Wesley Fulkerson

Tired of listening to the same songs playing on the radio? Why don’t you check out the up-and-coming sounds of Wesley Fulkerson?

Wesley’s been playing gigs here in Los Angeles for the last couple of years while attending school at the University of Southern California, majoring in business with an emphasis in marketing. He’s determined to bring a positive message with his music:  “That doesn’t mean I am not going to write sad songs sometimes; I am going to write honest music. But I just want to provide something in the mainstream that’s positive, that influences people in a good way,” he says.

Fulkerson would describe his sound as alternative, listening to such groups as Mae, Switchfoot and Jars of Clay.

Among his original compositions, he’s got songs that listeners can really relate to. Take “Sunshine,” for example – It’s about a couple who never got past those perfect summer days together. While listening to this song, you can’t help but feel the heat of the sun on your back, hear the sounds of waves in the background, but also feel that sense of loss. This is the kind of effect Fulkerson has with his music.

His inspiration comes from his own life and poetry too. He enjoys reading the works of Shakespeare, John Donne, and Pablo Neruda. “Music is a form of poetry,” said Fulkerson. Writing his songs is of the utmost importance to him. “It’s difficult to explain the compulsion that goes along with music for me. I have to write, and if I were forced into a situation where I wasn’t able to be a musician, I would still have to write.”

The passionate musician comes from quite the musical family. His uncle is Bill Cantos, a jazz pianist and writer, who has toured with such famous musicians as Phil Collins. His grandmother, on his mom’s side, was an opera singer, and his grandfather was part of the Starlight Musical Theatre. His aunt was another opera singer in the family and, yes, his mom and dad have the gift of music, too. His mom sings, and his dad plays the guitar. With all of these musical influences in the family, it’s no wonder Fulkerson got the urge to pick up an instrument and start singing. Yet, even though he grew up around it, he never felt pushed toward a career in music. “It was a realization that, at some point, it was something I had to do.” And his family has supported him in following his dream. He plays guitar, keyboard, bass, and he’s learning the piano too.

Fulkerson will be graduating from USC in May, and once that happens, he’s hoping to be signed to a major label and develop his repertoire further, creating albums for release.  Given the choice of the other major music cities here in the country, Los Angeles has great indie labels, according to the musician. And as a native Southern Californian, he is quite familiar with the area already.

Wesley loves to perform, especially when the crowd participates. “It’s so much fun when they’re involved and singing and clapping along. It’s just a really fun time when everybody’s engaged in that way.”

You can be part of the crowd too, at his upcoming gig on December 9 at the Pig ‘n Whistle on Hollywood Blvd. The music starts at 8pm.

Can’t wait until then for some of Fulkerson’s tunes? Listen to “Your Name Here ____” below.  You can also check out his YouTube page and “like” him on Facebook.

– Jillian Angeline, YH Staff

Got a Need for Speed?  Then “Run” Out and Get EA’s Latest Driving Adventure

3,000 miles. $25 million. 1 race. Your life hangs in the balance, and people are trying to kill you at every turn. Sound enticing?

A cross-country trip is no easy task. From the mountains and steep elevations of the West to the flat plains of the country’s middle, from the city streets of Chicago to the bridges of New York, the ever-changing landscape keeps the best of drivers on their toes. And the elements are not forgiving either — snow, ice, dust storms, rain, thunder, lightning — you are battling the weather as you battle your foes.

From Electronic Arts and the Need for Speed franchise comes the 18th installment in the series: The Run. You are in the driver’s seat as you become Jack Rourke (played by “Vampire Diaries” star Sean Faris), a rebellious guy who owes plenty of money to people. Along comes Sam (“Mad Men”‘s Christina Hendricks), a tough, ambitious woman who is the only person left to aid the struggling Jack. She has found the solution to his problems — 200 drivers are embarking on a race from San Francisco to New York. She pays for his entrance, but there’s a catch: no speed limits, no allies, no rules. Just get there first! If Jack wins, he receives $25 million. If he loses, he’s going to be killed. High stakes, yes? Especially when the other drivers want you gone, the cops are after you, and you’ve got to decide if that short cut is worth the risk.

The game has more than 300 km of roadway, twice as much as any other game in the franchise. Additionally, The Run boasts the Frostbite 2 engine, allowing for the best of visuals during the 10 stages cross-country, making you feel as if you really are crossing our vast and beautiful, yet unforgiving, landscape.

Invite friends into playgroups. Play in multi-player modes or race on your own. You can even jump into a race already in session. You’ll start at the back, but with your determination and drive, you may just become the champion. It’s anyone’s game until the finish line.

When embarking on the trip, you want a good driver level, and the only way you can achieve that is with a high XP. How might this happen, you ask? Drive fast, make personal bests, leave opponents in the dust, and get cops off your tail when they’re in pursuit. The illicit, high-stakes game is not for the faint of heart. Your car will be your saving grace — choose from three classes: stock classes, signature edition cars, and NFS Edition cars. There is a strategy to choosing different cars for different parts of the race, and it’s your job to choose the best combination to be the winner. For instance, choose a faster car for straighter roads. You’ll be the judge of what will get you to the skyscrapers of New York fastest.

Need for Speed: The Run is available now for Xbox 360 and PS3. From the Golden Gate to the Empire State, you’ll be driven to be the victor. Check out the Need for Speed: The Run trailer below to get your adrenaline rushing and your heart pumping!

– Jillian Angeline, YH Staff

“The Headhuntress” Wendy Doulton Pulls No Punches When it Comes to Getting the Job

“Attitude is everything.”

“Control the things you can, show up on time.”

“Be consistent because life will throw you curve balls.”

These are just a few of the many wise words of Wendy Doulton, the newest personality to hit the reality show scene. Her show, “The Headhuntress”, premieres tonight (November 14) on Bravo.

At first, Doulton was not interested in having a TV show. In fact, when a producer called 2 years ago looking for the face of a show about job headhunters, she thought it was a joke, wondering why anyone would want to make a show about the profession. But after meeting with the producer and hearing what she wanted, Doulton was on board. “I am passionate about it because this is the world I live in,” Doulton told us. She has been active as a headhunter since graduation and understands that the purpose of her job is to marry people with a business; that it’s about finding the right place for the candidate to solve the problem, regardless of the position.

Doulton hopes her show will provide fun and entertainment to the audience, giving them something to laugh and empathize about. But she would also really like the audience to take away some tips and element of advice with them on the job search. Just in a short conversation, Doulton offered up some awesome practical advice that she says will appear throughout the show. Here is a sneak peek of a few of the aspects that you will see:

– Clothes are important. “Fashion doesn’t change as much as it does on the catwalk,” she says. Outfits should be unstated, timeless, and elegant — think modern-day Audrey Hepburn.

– Know your stuff. Know why someone should hire you. We all know when we are good at something, and we must embrace that knowledge.

– Watch out for typos on that resume!

– Have your version of the elevator pitch, summarizing who you are, why you should be hired, and what you want to do. Many conversations that eventually lead to jobs occur when you are waiting on line for your latte at Starbucks, according to Doulton; “75 percent of all jobs come from people you know and meet.” Finding a job is all about connecting and leveraging those connections.

If you want to find out more tips on how to work the job circuit, especially in these uncertain economic times, “The Headhuntress” may be just the show you are looking for to teach and motivate you to be on top of your game. Check out a sneak peek below:

“The Headhuntress” airs tonight at 10pm on Bravo.

Jillian Angeline, YH Staff

“Battlefield 3” Puts You On the Front Lines

You are crouched in the sand on the beaches of Normandy, clutching your weapon as gun fights erupt around you. You fire enough rounds to help keep the enemy at bay… Fast forward and you become Sergeant Black, working with other Marines to learn more about an insurgent group in Iraq when your troop gets ambushed. What will you do?

The real feel of the fights and the intensity of battle are palpable in Electronic Arts’ (EA) Battlefield 3. With over 60 Game Industry Awards, including “Best Action Game” and the “Best Online Multiplayer Game,” BF3 enlists you and brings the realities of war to your screen. With single player modes to options where you can play with tens of gamers all at once, Battlefield 3 is sure to bring many different scenarios and opportunities to strategize, fight, and defeat the enemy. And the best part is, you have a say in what you want to do. You could be the front line medic, helping wounded soldiers in the heart of the fighting. Or you could choose to work with intelligence, doing reconnaissance for the U.S. or working as a sniper. Ever wonder what your fellow fighters are up to as you take on the enemy?Use the Battlelog to see what other fighters are doing with constant updates.

Since 2002, the Battlefield series has brought players close to the action. This time, better, drivable vehicles enable you to be part of the action from the air to the front lines. Battlefield 3 boasts fast vehicles, like buggies and jeeps, armored transports, tanks with firepower and shelled protection, and amphibious assault transports even help you and your soldiers reach the shore to start taking the beach. Also, helicopters and jets will help you get aerials of the battlefields, transport your soldiers, and engage in dogfights thousands of feet in the air. And no war game is complete without a full arsenal of weapons, and Battlefield 3 is no different. Get into the action with rocket launchers, pistols, carbines, sniper rifles, and a variety of scopes for your weapons to increase firing accuracy.

Battlefield 3 is part of the series which also includes Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield: Bad Company. The series has sold 20 million copies around the world. The simulation game works on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. Pre-orders of the latest in the series hit 1.5 million. When EA released Battlefield 3 on October 25, the company sold an additional 5 million in its first week. Battlefield 3 now holds the record for the fastest selling game among EA’s programs. It seems like Battlefield 3 will be a model for future technological advancement in the gaming industry, increasing player interaction and real-world simulation from the comfort of one’s home.

– Jillian Angeline, YH Staff

Tamarind of London Coming to Orange County

Calling all foodies!

You’ve probably heard about the assortment of delicious Indian food in London. But a 10-hour plane ride to eat those delicacies may be a bit difficult with your schedule, right? What if I said some of the Indian food everyone raves about in London is coming a bit closer to our neighborhood? Interested?

Tamarind of London will be opening a branch at Crystal Cove in Newport Beach November 14, and is sure to provide a different kind of dining experience than the traditional Indian restaurant. Tamarind of London has been the winner of the acclaimed Michelin Star every year since 2001, which is an honor bestowed to restaurants with first-rate cuisine. One representative assisting with the restaurant’s opening said that Tamarind is more user-friendly, including some classic Indian cuisine, and the new one will mix in California ingredients, including fresh produce from local areas. The crossover and Western food inspiration will be a crucial part of the dining experience. Tamarind will have an upscale casual, laid back atmosphere. While most Indian restaurants do not have a large bar area, the London-cum-Newport Beach restaurant will provide that kind of lounge experience.

The aesthetics are just as much of a draw, with three red demonstration tandoor ovens in the center of the restaurant. Tandoor ovens are used to make the always popular naan bread and cook meats, seafood, and vegetables. Also, aesthetically-speaking, look no further than the fire pits, herb garden, and fountain; the entire restaurant cost $3 million to build! And there’s even more than just the culinary experience, especially in the first month, when 10 percent of the receipts will be donated to the James Beard Foundation, whose goal is “to celebrate, nurture, and preserve America’s diverse culinary heritage and future.”

But why Newport Beach, you may ask? After some research, they found a large population of Newport Beach residents were familiar with and had attended the original Tamarind of London. By opening in this Orange County community, the restaurant is hoping to gain some local support and spread the word about the newest international hotspot to hit the American scene. People of Newport Beach and the surrounding areas are comfortable with going out and expanding their culinary tastes, according to the representative and the research conducted by the group.

While there are no plans for future openings of Tamarind of London in other cities across the country just yet, the restaurant is sure to send a ripple of success to the food scene in this area. The grand opening, only accessible to the media and Crystal Cove residents, will take place this Saturday night, November 12. Tamarind is going all out, complete with a red carpet, Bollywood dancers, Dohl drummers, traditional Indian drummers, and henna tattoo artists. They are even encouraging guests to dress in traditional Indian attire.

Tamarind of London will open to the public on November 14.

– Jillian Angeline, YH Staff

Lost Beach Boys Album “Smile” Finally Released!

When you think of summer anthems, you cannot get through listing too many songs without mentioning theBeach Boys, a group who evokes the quintessential sounds of summer. From “Surfin’ Safari” to “All Summer Long,” from “Dance, Dance, Dance,” to “California Girls,” summer is not complete without some opportunities to blast this music.

And now the “lost” album of the iconic group has finally been released by Capitol Records after 44 years! Yes, I said it right — 44 years! The official version of Smile was released today (November 2). While some of the featured songs did appear on some of the group’s albums down the line and parts of recording sessions were illegally leaked out over the years, Smile has never been released in its entirety until now! The project was under a number of complications so it was put on hold in 1967 when 80-90% of the raw recordings were completed.

The original recordings of the songs are featured on the album released in CD and LP form. Capitol Records has also created a 5-CD box set where listeners can hear recording sessions that elaborate on the working process of the Beach Boys. The box set also includes a double vinyl album, a poster with the album cover, and stories from surviving Beach Boys.

“Good Vibrations” and “Heroes and Villains” were two of the songs completed and placed on later albums. These songs have been seen as some of the best pop songs ever. Music experts and musicians alike praise the songs of Smile for being ahead of their time. It is thanks to Brian Wilson’s work on the album that helped it get released today. In 2004, Wilson released Brian Wilson Presents Smile, where he re-recorded and completed his own version of Smile with his band at the time. But today’s release features the original versions of the songs. At the time (the 1960s), Wilson and his composer-lyricist, Van Dyke Parks, created something called modular recording, in which small pieces of sounds and music were recorded and then stitched and woven together. Although it was slightly different than the California sun and surf themes that characterized the group, this progressive musical format used sounds of such genres as gospel, jazz, folk, rock, and classical music and was forward-thinking for the mid-1960s.

It is so encouraging to know that Smile can satisfy generations that have loved the Beach Boys and help introduce new generations to their iconic music!

– Jillian Angeline, YH Staff


Safety Suit Not About to “Let Go” of Their Positive Attitude

“The number one thing is to have fun.”  This is the goal that vocalist and guitarist Doug Brown has with his SafetySuit pop/rock band.

SafetySuit just released their latest music video, “Let Go”, and Brown said music videos like these give the band members a chance to show off their personalities a bit. With ideas in hand, SafetySuit went to music director Zach Merck to get the music video ready. They had just one day and a camera or two to pair the positive sounds of “Let Go” with video. Through the lyrics, SafetySuit is trying to say that letting go is sometimes a good thing. It’s about liberating yourself when you realize that the whole relationship isn’t working out. When you’re not happy and people aren’t really appreciating you, and you are constantly fighting for their approval, it’s just not worth it, said Brown. And he thinks listeners can relate.  “Everyone has experienced this at some point.”

Brown said writing songs for SafetySuit is a collaborative effort with his group. It’s “totally about whoever has the inspiration for the moment,” he said. But when the creative juices stop flowing, it’s time to get away from the studio and workplace. “Music is supposed to be an outlet for everyday emotion.” Once they go out into the world by eating dinner or people-watching in the city, they begin to get inspired once again.

SafetySuit has not always been based in the South. With a choice of the three major music meccas in the country after college, the band, composed of Brown, Dave Garofalo, Jeremy Henshaw, and Tate Cunningham, decided to make the move to Nashville, which was not exactly the main hub for rock or pop music. And, at the time, Brown said there were many bands and solo artists rising in popularity, but SafetySuithelped to build up that scene quite well. “We were different from the norm,” said Brown. After coming out of college, with no money and no connections, Brown said they wanted to go to Nashville and be the best in that city and somebody would find them. “You have to be the best. There is no room for doing it halfway. You have to focus on challenging yourself.”

SafetySuit was able to make the 12th and Porter Club their music home in Nashville. “It was a good place for us,” said Brown. That was where they got their big break. Since then, they have gone back to play a couple of times. Brown and SafetySuit have had so many memories over the last 10 years, but for Brown, as a kid who grew up in northern New Jersey, playing in Central Park while his family and friends watched from the audience was a big highlight in his career. “That, for me, was one of the best memories.”

While SafetySuit loves traveling overseas to play in Europe or Asia, “for us, right now, it’s important to be in America and play for people who are helping to break the band.” They are currently on the road doing radio promos for “Let Go” to help the song climb the charts, but they are also looking forward to touring abroad with The Script sometime next year.

Brown hopes their songs, whether played on the radio or seen live, leave listeners feeling positive  Most other songs end pessimistically, according to Brown, but SafetySuit tries to leave an expectation of change at the end, with a predominant message that “life is good even when it’s bad.”

– Jillian Angeline, YH Staff

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