Friday, August 28, 2015

Wilson’s Words of Wisdom: Follow #WilsonsGuide on BlogLovin’

I’m really not one to self-promote, save for a shameless plug every blue moon.

However, I’m making an exception this one time.

Here’s why: Recently, I discovered a really cool website called Blog Lovin, that enables you to consolidate all of the blogs you love into one portal. When you create your own free account, you can  "follow" blogs you read regularly, get their latest posts in one location, share your fave posts on various social media sites and save posts for your future reading pleasure as well.

Check out Blog Lovin here and don’t forget to follow this lovely #WilsonsGuide blog on there as well.

Also, since we’re at it, feel free to follow @WilsonsGuide on any of the following fine and dandy social media platforms:

See around the world wide web soon!

For more information: 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Where To Be Merry: Janelle Monáe and Wondaland Present The Eephus Tour, Powered by Toyota @ The Fonda Theatre

On Friday, Aug. 21, Janelle Monáe and her Wondaland label crew held a free performance at The Fonda Theatre in Hollywood as part of their seven-city EEPHUS Tour.

The event was super secret, where even an RSVP didn’t guarantee entry (I received an email that said my RSVP couldn’t be accommodated; fortunately and thankfully, I got a last-minute hook-up).

Doors were slated to open at 7 p.m., but actually opened at 7:15 p.m. Eager fans, many who had queued outside of the venue since earlier that afternoon, patiently filed inside, flocking to the front of the stage. About an hour later, a DJ started to raise the energy level, by spinning a smooth blend of the newest R&B, hip-hop and rap hits — like Fetty Wap's "Come My Way" and Drake's "Hotline Bling" — while also throwing in a few classic old school tracks for good measure.

At 9 p.m., Roman GianArthur commenced the show, playing to an ecstatically cheering crowd, as clouds of paper confetti burst into the air.

For the next two hours or so, different Wondaland artists — St. Beauty, Deep Cotton, Jidenna, Roman GianArthur and the Electric Lady herself, Janelle Monáe — graced the stage, sometimes alone, and many times together. Blackish’s adorable Miles Brown (Jack Johnson) made an appearance, wearing a dapper dark grey vest & slack combo with a black collared shirt, effortlessly showing off his impressive dance moves.

The Wondaland crew played all of the songs off their newest EP, Wondaland Presents: The Eephus, released Friday, Aug. 14. Janelle Monáe and Jidenna (pictured below) performed the EP’s most recent singles, “Yoga” and “Classic Man.” Each artist also delved into their own catalog, performing about two to three additional songs. Janelle Monáe sang the cult classic “Tightrope” and her namesake, “Electric Lady.”

Every Wondaland member brought his or her own flavor during the night. Deep Cotton delved deeply into rock'n'roll with their music and also with their stage antics, literally rolling and somersaulting across the stage. Jidenna proved he wasn’t only a classic man, but a classic man who could dance. Gian RomanArthur (pictured below) revealed his skills on the guitar, flowing from funk to blues and everything in between. At one point, he even made a wardrobe change, switching from a bright red leather jacket to a rugged American flag draped across his neck and bare chest. The St. Beauty duo revealed their melodic voices and hypnotizing songs, with a soft and feminine yet compelling stage presence.

But probably the most riveting moment was when the entire Wondaland team united onstage for the finale, to sing their latest song, “Hell You Talmabout.” It’s a gripping, sobering song that shouts out the names of African-Americans who have died in the hands of police brutality. Fists — from the artists onstage to the audience members in the balcony and floor section — were raised resiliently in the air. The Wondaland team has been singing the song during appearances throughout the U.S., including on the TODAY show and at a protest against police violence in Hollywood, earlier that Friday afternoon.

I applaud and happily and vocally support artists who don’t only make amazing art, but who are also using their positions of power as leaders to attempt to bring about positive social change. The Wondaland team has proven they are doing this, with their incredible EP filled with catchy tunes, an amazing show (for free!) and their involvement with important current issues.

Purchase The Eephus and I’ll see you at the next Wondaland concert!

For more information:
On Spotify, On iTunes

Monday, August 3, 2015

Where to be Merry: “5 Years on Melrose” @ The Parlor

The Merriment: An invite-only affair celebrating The Parlor’s 5-year anniversary, a new menu launch and a recently remodeled patio

The Location: Hollywood

The Vibes: Casual

Good for: Large groups

When-To-Go: Weekdays, starting at 4 p.m.; weekends, starting at 9 a.m.

The Names behind the scenes:
Chef Ulises Pineda-Alfaro (Plan Check, Escala, Asap Phorage) and Mixologist Oakason Hoffman (SBE, SLS Bar Centro).

The 4-1-1: While it most certainly has an upscale décor, The Parlor coins itself as a quintessential sports bar, with more than 50 TVs and projectors tuned to sporting events 

Parking Situation:
Valet and metered street parking

I’ll Be Back…: To try the wings and fries!

As the sign outside the venue proudly boasts "est. 2009," The Parlor recently celebrated it's 5th anniversary, and it did so with a full-blown soirée.

For the special occasion, more than 100 guests spilled onto the patio and cozied up in The Parlor's plentiful nooks and crannies. The semi-enclosed/semi-outdoors lounge has a lot of eye-catching features. Handsome wood paneling, glowing signs with catchy phrases like "Eat" and "Drink" throughout, fire pits, two bars, a photo booth. And for the grand celebration, they brought in some fun additions: a DJ, another photo area and a taco station.

Gin-, tequila- and whiskey-based cocktails with colorful stripes straws were on the house. Passed bite-sized portions of the newly crafted appetizers by Chef Ulises Pineda-Alfaro — including a Brussel Caesar toast, the Ceviche Fresh, the Kalefornia Love salad and the 4 Cheese Mushroom pizza (pictured below) — were plentiful.

During the night, I talked with a few people who were pleasantly surprised to see how classy of an affair it was (both gents and the ladies were donned in the finest of the latest trends you'd expect to see at any given young Hollywood event). Apparently, it's a lot more laid back on most days, staying true to its sports bar essence.

This was actually my first time in the Hollywood lounge, but I have a feeling I'll be back to check it out on a regular night. See you there sometime soon! 

For more information: