All posts by Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy is a journalist and photographer. She lives in Southern California.

Incredible Sights and Sounds at the Twilight Concert Series at the Santa Monica Pier

It was a hot Thursday evening, July 21 on the picturesque pier in Santa Monica, where thousands of locals and visitors took to the beach and the wooden planks of the pier to relax and enjoy the summer concert series created by RH&S Concerts Presents (Rum and Humble + Spaceland Presents).

Santa Monica Beach Twilight Concert Series photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos
Santa Monica Beach Twilight Concert Series
photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos

The stage is surrounded by colorful lights, giant glowing balloons, games, rides, food and beverages. It is a magnificent sight from just outside the stage as well as from the popular public beach. And the best part is, the concert is free!

Glowing multi-colored outdoor stage photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos
Glowing multi-colored outdoor stage
photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos

The opening musician was Jackson Phillips, also known by his moniker Day Wave, a 25-year-old buzzworthy and refreshing artist who has exploded onto the DIY scene. He began as one half of electro-pop duo Carousel, a synth-heavy style. As Day Wave, Phillips creates dreamy, lo-fi, guitar-driven indie-pop and has a modest but top-quality catalogue of a five-song EP and limited run 7”. Phillips writes, produces, and performs all of his songs, and tracks each instrument himself on an old reel-to-reel.

The Psychedelic Furs performing on state at the Twilight Concert Series photo Courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos
The Psychedelic Furs performing on state at the Twilight Concert Series
photo Courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos

The headliner was the post-punk UK band, The Psychedelic Furs, led by vocalist and songwriter Richard Butler and his bass playing brother Tim. They are considered one of the ground breaking alternative rock creators and have scored major hits such as “Love My Way”, “Pretty in Pink” and “Heaven”. In the early 80’s, with the advent of MTV, the band’s popularity caught the eyes and ears of movie mogul  John Hughes. Hugh approached the band with his film built around the Furs’ hit song, “Pretty In Pink” and the Psychedelic Furs’ legacy was cemented.

VIP lounge, backstage at the Twilight Concert Series photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos
VIP lounge, backstage at the Twilight Concert Series
photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos

The crowd was pleasantly pleased by the quirky music, the incredible weather, the spectacular visuals and the tasty food and drinks. The concert series takes place every Thursday evening of summer starting at 7:00, and is one of the best run large events in the Southern California area. Summer in Santa Monica and the Twilight Concert Series is a destination must for travelers and local music lovers alike.

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy is a journalist and photographer. She lives in Southern California.

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Don’t miss the premier of Animal Kingdom on TNT Tuesday, June 14th

Tuesday, June 14 is the premier of TNT’s Animal Kingdom, a bold new drama starring Emmy® and Tony® winner Ellen Barkin (Sea of Love, This Boy’s Life, Ocean’s Thirteen), Scott Speedman (The Strangers, The Vow), Shawn Hatosy (Southland, Reckless), Ben Robson (Vikings, Dracula: The Dark Prince), Jake Weary (Pretty Little Liars, It Follows), Finn Cole (Peaky Blinders, An Inspector Calls), Daniella Alonso (Revolution) and Molly Gordon (Love the Coopers, Ithaca).

Scott Speedman (Barry "Baz" Blackwell) and Daniella Alonzo (Catherine)
Scott Speedman (Barry “Baz” Blackwell) and Daniella Alonzo (Catherine)

The series centers on 17-year-old Joshua “J” Cody (Cole), who moves in with his freewheeling relatives in their Southern California beach town after his mother dies of a heroin overdose. Heading up the family is J’s estranged grandmother, Janine “Smurf” Cody (Barkin), whom he’s been shielded from for years. She is orbited by Baz (Speedman), her relatively level-headed right-hand man whom she adopted when he was a teenager; Smurf’s eldest son, the quietly menacing, mentally disturbed Pope (Hatosy), who has just gotten out of prison; her tough, hyperactive, recreational drug-using middle son, Craig (Robson); and the troubled and suspicious Deran (Weary), the “baby” of the family. Also prominent are Nicky Belmont (Gordon), J’s steady girlfriend, and Catherine Ortiz (Alonso), Baz’s de facto wife and the mother of their 4-year-old daughter, Lena.

Finn Cole (Joshua "J" Cody)
Finn Cole (Joshua “J” Cody)

On Wednesday, June 8th the show’s creators threw a screening bash that was equal to the party level the characters on the show are notorious for hosting.

Ben Robinson (Craig Cody)
Ben Robinson (Craig Cody)

The screening kicked off with a red carpet photo opportunity and was immediately followed up with a celebration at the The Rose Room in Venice Beach. Finger food, beer and wine were offered as Animal Kingdom played on the televisions throughout the restaurant as well as in a large screening room with plenty of seats for everyone to enjoy. The crowd was filled with actors, producers, friends and show contributors and sponsors.

Outside the screening
Outside the screening

After the screening, the party moved to a beautiful outdoor venue behind the restaurant. As you entered the party, you walked threw a room set up like a jewelry store that had been robbed. Glass cases were shattered and all but a few jewelry items were missing. Leather gloves were thrown askew throughout the room, a few biker helmets were left behind, and a true sense that a heist had just taken place was evident.

On the exterior, where the party took place, the DJ was backed up by a drummer, making for a rich musical experience. The bars packed with people who seemed more like long time friends as opposed to co-workers. Photo booths, photographers, mini movie makers and other fun and playful entertainment was sprinkled throughout the party. The center piece of the event was a life sized skate park with boarders and bikers wowing the crowd with their incredible stunts.

John Wells, Executive Producer
John Wells, Executive Producer

The production level and talent on this show is unequaled, and it is sure to be an instant hit. Cast and crew have put 110% into this one, and the comradery among the co-workers is a so apparent it makes the family aspect on the show completely believable. This is a show that will be on everyone’s watch list this summer.

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy is a journalist and photographer. She lives in Southern California.

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The 80’s are Alive and Well and Living at Ultimate Jam Night at the Whisky A Go-Go

The Ultimate Jam crew brought us back into the major era of rock and roll on Tuesday night at the Whisky. Singing songs from the 80’s and dressing in shimmering gold Lamé, each and every performer gave 110% and transported the audience back three decades, to a time that fashion forgot!

photo by Judy Hansen Pullos
Paulie Z and company leading the crowd. photo by Judy Hansen Pullos

Paulie Z did not disappoint with his ensemble of tacky 80’s garb. The only thing missing on him was a “business up front, party in the back” hair style. Even his glasses were perfectly chosen to match his technicolor wardrobe.

Singing Blondie
Singing Blondie, photo by Judy Hansen Pullos

This week the ladies came out in full force with their diva rock style and stage presence. Their energy and intensity was devoured by the crowd and the Whisky was rocking without stopping.

photo by Judy Hansen Pullos
The 80s look was alive and well at the Whisky on Tuesday night. photo by Judy Hansen Pullos

This Tuesday night at the Whisky A Go-Go in West Hollywood seemed more like a raging party of good friends and talented musicians than a spectator’s event. Everyone got involved, performers and audience alike. It was an Ultimate 80’s Jam to be remembered for another three decades!

Matt Starr
Matt Starr, photo by Judy Hansen Pullos
Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy is a journalist and photographer. She lives in Southern California.

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Epic Blues at the Maui Sugar Mill, presented by #1 Blues Promoter Cadillac Zack

It was a truly EPIC talent extravaganza at Cadillac Zack’s Monday Night Blues Party at the Maui Sugar Mill in Tarzana. There was so much talent all on stage at one time. It was a music lover’s dream come true, and the fans were pouring in the door as the night rolled on.

The Bad Jone's lead singer Jesse Ray
The Bad Jones’s  lead singer Jesse Ray.  Photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos

The opening band was The Bad Jones, formerly known as Soul Pie, from the San Francisco Bay Area. They were sporting Golden State Worriers paraphernalia as the SF basketball team clinched the playoffs on the bar’s TV’s in the background while the Bad Jones rocked their bluesy tunes.

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Monday Night Blues legends at the Maui Sugar Mill. From left to right; Jimmy Vivino guitar, Michael Leasure drums, Michael Be Holden bass and Duane Betts guitar. Photo by Judy Hansen Pullos at the Hollywood Press Corps

Shortly after the opening band concluded, the small Sugar Mill stage came alive again with so many blues legends it was hard to stay focused. On the guitars: musical director of the Conan O’Brien Show, Jimmy Vivino and blues royalty Duane Betts. On drums: Michael Leasure of the Walter Trout Band. On bass: Michael Be Holden formerly of the Buddy Miles Band. On harp: Jimmy Powers who has played with nearly everyone imaginable.

The infamous Jimmy Powers Photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos
The infamous Jimmy Powers
Photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos

Just as the party was in full swing, “The Voice” finalist Laaith Al Saadi joined in and showed us why he killed it on the popular television show. Backed up by Johnny Stachela and Duane Betts on guitars, Michael Leasure on drums and local favorite Michael Be Holden on bass.

“The Voice” finalist Laaith Al Saadi Photo Courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos
“The Voice” finalist Laaith Al Saadi
Photo Courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos

This was an unbelievable night at the Maui Sugar Mill. Cadillac Zack has once again proven why he is the best blues promoter in the Los Angeles area.

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy is a journalist and photographer. She lives in Southern California.

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Monday Night Blues Destination: Maui Sugar Mill Saloon with Cadillac Zack!

The best destination for music lovers on a Monday night is the Maui Sugar Mill in Tarzana featuring blues presented by Cadillac Zack. The intimate venue is a perfect joint to relax, have a couple of cocktails, watch sports in the background and listen to some top notch blues musicians jamming their hearts out.

Cadillac Zack and saxophone legend Terry Hanck
#1 Blues Promoter Cadillac Zack and Saxophone Legend Terry Hanck Photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos

The music generally begins around 8:00 pm and continues through the night often until after 1:00am. There is an opening band, and then the headliner comes out some time after 10:00. When they finish up, several local musicians pick up their instruments and jam together all night long.

BNO Blues Band Photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos
BNO Blues Band
Photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos

Last Monday was a great combination of amazing horn players. The opening band was the BNO Blues Band and they rocked the house with their fun, traditional bluesy style. Next the crowd was wowed by  Saxophone legend Terry Hanck.  He entertained us with his incredible horn playing, vocal talent and smooth guitar.

Terry Hanck on saxophone
Terry Hanck on saxophone

For a fabulous place to unwind after a crazy Monday at work, make sure to hit up the Maui Sugar Mill and Cadillac Zack’s best blues!

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy is a journalist and photographer. She lives in Southern California.

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Jackson Browne Rocks the House at Lucky Strike Live’s Soundcheck Live

The Lucky Strike Live, along with Soundcheck Live, have been knocking the rock-scene out of the park on Wednesday nights. This Wednesday evening was even more amazing than usual.  Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Legend, Jackson Browne, performed his top songs to a packed crowd of star-struck fans, including this writer/photographer herself!

Jackson Browne opening up with "That Girl Could Sing"
Jackson Browne opening up with “That Girl Could Sing” Photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos

The night started off with some fabulous musicians singing the classics. While the bands rocked on, Jackson Browne walked in and out of the crowd, mingled with fans, even shook hands and signed memorabilia.  At 10:30pm, the crowd went wild when Jackson Browne performed his highly-anticipated guest curated set, which included 6 of his hit songs from “These Days” to “On The Boulevard” to “That Girl Could Sing” and “Somebody’s Baby“.

Jackson Browne singing "On the Boulevard" Photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos
Jackson Browne singing “On the Boulevard”
Photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos

The set ended with a rousing encore of “Lawyers, Guns and Money” and Running on Empty”. The happy crowd praised Brownes performance and continued to sing and dance along with the resident house band as they played a live set of songs from Rufus’s “Tell Me Something Good” to perfectly ending the night with Traveling Wilbur’s “Handle With Care”.

The Soundcheck Live House Band
The Soundcheck Live House Band

Jackson Browne has always been an incredible musician and an iconic song writer and singer, but this mind blowing, free concert was beyond everyone’s hopes and expectations. This Soundcheck Live night will be a tough act to follow!

 

 

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy is a journalist and photographer. She lives in Southern California.

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Ultimate Jam Night at the Whisky A Go Go is on FIRE!

Another Tuesday night success at the Whisky A GoGo and the Ultimate Jam Night. The talent is always unbelievably awesome, but this time there were wild and crazy stunts in addition to some of the biggest names in rock and roll history – all under one incredible roof!

Ultimate Jam 62
Ultimate Jam 62 Photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos

The night opened with Se7en Reasons Why Band, 2015’s “Best Multi-Genre Bands” winner. Lead singer and award winning front man, Mick Scott blew away the crowd with his insanely electric

Mick Scott of Se7en Reasons Why
Mick Scott of Se7en Reasons Why Photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos

energy, high kicks and death defying stunts. And he never stopped belting out his music, even when the microphone would break or come unplugged! Jason Stalk was fabulous on guitar, Hiro Goto was hypnotizing with his violin solos, and female drummer Anjilla Piazza rocked the house with her bad ass drumming skills.

Don Dokken Photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos
Don Dokken
Photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos

As the crowd continued to fill up, the music really took off with Don Dokken performing his classics, Joe Retta blowing out the tunes and the incredible house band, Chuck Wright, Mitch Perry, Walter Ino and Front man Paulie Zablidowsky.

Sean McNabb tearing up the strings Photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos
Sean McNabb tearing up the strings
Photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos

Eric Dover always pleases on vocals and lead guitar, and Sean McNabb, Jim Wheeler, and Nick Rossen brought the heat with each song getting better and better.

Eric Dover
Eric Dover Photo Courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos

Of course the night is never complete without a cameo visit from Trippy the Clown, the most inappropriate puppet in the land. Trippy shared his stage with a disturbing looking, pin riddled dead buddy. The pair of them together made even the craziest fans in the crowd blush.

Trippy the Clown and his even weirder buddy
Trippy the Clown and his even weirder buddy
Chuck Wright showing us how its done Photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos
Chuck Wright showing us how its done
Photo courtesy of Judy Hansen Pullos

The work week is no longer a dreaded period of time thanks to the Ultimate Jam along with the Whisky A Go Go.  People of all ages can leave their jobs, avoid their household chores, and rock until dawn on Tuesday night.

 

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy is a journalist and photographer. She lives in Southern California.

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Cadillac Zack Presents The Best Blues

Cadillac Zack and the Maui Sugar Mill give blues lovers everywhere a place to wind down and rock out to some of the most spectacular blues musicians alive. Every Monday night starting at 8:00 pm the liquor flows as the the music begins. This Monday was no exception.

Celso Selim Blues Band
Celso Salim Blues Band. Photo by Judy Hansen Pullos

The night started with the incredible vocal talent of the Celso Salim Blues Band. They played old classics as well as some new and exciting renditions of blues favorites.

Incredible blues at the Maui Sugar Mill Saloon
Incredible blues at the Maui Sugar Mill Saloon with Michael B Holden on bass. Photo courtesy the Hollywood Press Corps 2016

As the crowd warmed up and the night began to jam, the Delta Hurricane, Larry McCray took the stage and blew us all away. His insane guitar talent and smoky vocals brought the room to its feet. Dancing and singing and swaying along to one of the countries finest Blues artists.

Larry McCray was captivating the room with his silky talent
Larry McCray was captivating the room with his silky talent. Photo by Judy Hansen Pullos

Playing along side the Michigan Master were Rena Beavers on drums, Jeff Paris on keyboard and Michael B Holden on bass. And if that wasn’t a big enough treat, we were then blown away as guitar legend Joey Delgado jumped on stage and took on McCray in an incredible dueling guitar showcase that was out of this world.

Larry McCray and Joey Delgado on dueling guitars
Larry McCray (R) and Joey Delgado (L) on dueling guitars. Photo courtesy Judy Hansen Pullos

Mondays have a bad wrap for being the most dreaded day of the week, but Cadillac Zack and the Maui Sugar Mill Saloon have changed the face of Monday.  Blues lovers from all over southern California can’t wait to get through the weekend to enjoy the best night of the week – Monday Night Blues in Tarzana.

Incredible blues talent all together at the Maui Sugar Mill Saloon
Incredible blues talent all together at the Maui Sugar Mill Saloon. From left to right; Chuck Kavooras, Kirk Fletcher, Lance Lopez and Larry McCray. Photo courtesy the Hollywood Press Corps
Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy is a journalist and photographer. She lives in Southern California.

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The Cookie Kahuna is Back and Baking Up a Storm


The Cookie Kahuna and his new bride Carol are an inspiration to romantics everywhere. The Hollywood Press Corps was invited into their home to talk about love, life, and the resurgence of the perfect cookie.

Wally Amos and His Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies
Wally Amos and His Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies

You may remember Wally Amos from the 70’s when he became the “Famous Amos” cookie mogul. He was a warm, young, caring entrepreneur who conquered the world with his amazing little chocolate chip cookies. After taking a break from the world of baking, Wally Amos has decided to jump back into the kitchen with both feet and his original crunchy cookie recipe.

Wally Amos taking pride in his famous cookies
Wally Amos taking pride in his famous cookies

Amos prides himself with his all natural ingredients, including his high quality chocolate chips from Guittard Chocolates, and his vanilla bean extract. He proudly tells us that the very first ingredient in his chocolate chip cookies is “chocolate,” a statement very few cookie companies can make.

As we sat in his kitchen and got a first-hand lesson in “how to roll the perfect cookie”, we were entertained with the story of how the two love birds met and married. Carol recounted every detail down to a loving message left on her voicemail by Wally. He jokingly denied it ever happened so she grabbed her phone and played the message on speaker for all of us to hear. Wally’s eyes lit up and a giant smile grew on his face as he admitted he did, in fact, say those wonderful things.

Wally and Carol Amos rolling cookies together
Wally and Carol Amos rolling cookies together

They met in late January and were married by the end of February. When asked why they moved so quickly, their response was, “Why wait? We’re not getting any younger!” Wally will be 80 soon and Carol turned 70 this year. But when the two look into each other’s eyes, eternal youth seems from them.

As the cookies came out of the oven, Carol enticed us to enjoy at least 18, since she had already had that many before we arrived. She continued to eat them, and continued to up our target number as the meeting continued. Batch after batch came out of the oven and we each continued to toss dozens of the Cookie Kahuna’s masterpiece into our mouths.

A special batch of cookies made with love
A special batch of cookies made with love

We learned that Amos had been invited to go on “Shark Tank” to pitch his new cookie business to the team. He was going to pass on the idea but Carol convinced him that it was part of his destiny, so he decided to move forward.

After eating at least two or three dozen cookies a piece, and enjoying numerous stories of wedding bliss from our newlywed couple, it was time to go. The warmth of the Amos house didn’t come from the cookie oven, but from the cookie Kahuna and his new wife themselves. It was a true pleasure to meet them both and we can’t wait for the new brand of cookies to make their way to our grocery store shelves soon!

Check out the Cookie Kahuna website here;

http://www.cookiekahuna.com

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy is a journalist and photographer. She lives in Southern California.

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Magical Evening at the 11th Annual East Honolulu Food Festival

The Hollywood Press Corps had the pleasure of attending the 11th annual East Honolulu Food Festival was held at the Star of the Sea Church and School on April 30th from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. They were host to nearly 2000 islanders and their guests who were invited to taste dishes from More than 20 chefs and restaurants are participating including:  A Cup of Tea, Bellini Bistro & Bar, Big City Diner, Café Julia, Da Spot Health Foods and Juices, Dave & Busters, Gourmet Goods & Sekiyas, Great Harvest Bread Company, Il Gelato, JJ’s Bistro   and French Pastry, Kahala Nui, Kahi’s Kitchen, Kakaako Kitchen, Kona Brewing Company, Maile’s Thai Bistro, NOSH Hawaii, Organic Surfer Chef, Panda Express, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, and more.  Even wine enthusiasts were taken care of by Young’s Market Company and Kona Brewing Company who provided bottomless wine and spirits.

Hollywoodpresscorps Editor Dustin Brown with the chef from Kahala Nui
Hollywoodpresscorps Editor Dustin Brown with the chef from Kahala Nui

Each Chef prepared delicious signature dishes such as Mongolian rack of lamb (Kahala Nui), Chef Russell Siu’s (Kakaako Kitchen) cowboy chili and nachos, Big City Diner’s kalua sliders with their famous BBQ sauce and pineapple cole slaw, and more.

Kai's Kitchen Kalua Pig with Lomi Salmon Kabobs
Kai’s Kitchen Kalua Pig with Lomi Salmon Kabobs

The school grounds were beautifully decorated with white tents and checkered table clothes. Each patron wore their best “cowboy” outfits and those who didn’t come prepared were offered a bandana to wrap around their neck in old western fashion. This year’s theme, “Paniolo Night,” featured fun and energetic entertainment by Dita Holifield’s Hillbilly House Band and Kona Winds. The dance floor was packed with dancers of all ages and sizes.

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People from all around the island gathered to enjoy great food and entertainment

In addition to the amazing food, drinks, live music and dancing, there were free games and rides for keikis, and a silent auction that included travel/hotel packages. Proceeds from the Food Festival will go to the Star of the Sea Youth and Homeless Ministries and provide students with classroom smart boards, playground equipment, and new computers.

Nosh Brazilian Hot Cheese Bites
Nosh Brazilian Hot Cheese Bites

It was a magical evening with fabulous food, lots of wine and spirits, and wonderful people gathering together from around the island and a great way to taste a few of the local favorites while supporting a worthy cause.

 

 

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy is a journalist and photographer. She lives in Southern California.

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