March 14, 2014 |
Not long ago, Barbara and Ethan Gruska - the fresh-faced siblings at the core of L.A.'s Belle Brigade - were deep in a rehearsal with their two bandmates. The goal that afternoon was reworking the songs on the Belle Brigade's self-titled 2011 debut so that they fit alongside tunes from the group's just-finished follow-up. It took some doing. A sunny blast of retro West Coast folk-pop, "The Belle Brigade" pulled deeply (and openly) from crowd-pleasing forebears such as the Beach Boys and Fleetwood Mac. The new album, by contrast, begins with a digitally processed train whistle laid atop a booming drumbeat.
February 28, 2010 |
Some people take care of orchids. Others take care of guinea pigs. Barbara takes care of tropes. Most of the day she's a 51-year-old seamstress in Illinois and a caregiver for her husband. But in her spare time, Barbara tends to four tropes: "Cool Bike," "Badass Longcoat," "You Fail Logic Forever" and "Silly Reason for War." "They were a mess, they needed to be cleaned up, and nobody else was doing it, so I adopted them," she says. "It's equivalent of wiping down the sink every morning after I brush my teeth."
September 11, 2013 |
[Warning: This post contains plot spoilers about the upcoming movie “August: Osage County.” While we don't think they'll ruin the experience, you might be mad anyway. Please read at your own risk.] TORONTO -- If you saw Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning black comedy "August: Osage County" on the stage in any of the numerous cities it played a few years back, chances are you were struck by one scene above all else. The final one, that is, in which matriarch Violet Weston is seen sitting on the stairs of the house she once ruled, abandoned by her adult daughters, especially eldest daughter Barbara, who don't/can't/won't stay and take care of a woman who, let's face it, has made her and her sisters' lives pretty miserable.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 7, 2010 |
And the Oscar for humility goes to: Gregory Walcott. The 82-year-old retired actor will attend the Academy Awards on Sunday night, with roughly 300 film and TV credits to his name. He's one of those journeymen whose face you recognize and whose name you don't. Walcott's date will be 14-year-old Isabel, his granddaughter, who will help her grandfather complete a goal he set for himself many years ago. That goal had nothing to do with fame or fortune or an Oscar nomination.
April 30, 2011 |
In an early homemade video made by the L.A. band the Belle Brigade for its song "Losers," from the sibling duo's self-titled debut, Barbara and Ethan Gruska, ages 28 and 21, respectively, sit holding acoustic guitars in an empty bathtub. They're wearing white robes and Barbara has a towel wrapped around her head, as though she's just gotten out of the shower. Ethan strums a few foundational chords, they start singing in harmony, and echoes of genetically intertwined voices throughout the ages come pouring out: the Everly Brothers, the Davies brothers of the Kinks, the Carter Family.
June 27, 1986 |
Comedy can intoxicate you, put you in a soft, rollicking mood. But it can also draw blood. That's what the people behind "Ruthless People" (citywide) are after. It's pitched in the half-cynical vein of the comic muckraker. It tries to make sport of human vice, greed and corruption, some of the best comic subjects. The characters here aren't just bad; most of them are truly vile--human slime.