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.
March 8, 2014 |
Bradley Hanan Carter feared the worst about his future. The New Zealander singer-songwriter had spent much of the 2000s with his rock band, Steriogram, that was on a major label and had a track in an Apple commercial. Since landing in L.A. though, his music career had fallen off. He wondered if he'd have to pack it all in soon. FOR THE RECORD: Echo Park's NO: In the March 8 Calendar section, a profile of the Echo Park band NO said that its record label, Arts & Crafts Records, is based in Montreal.
March 7, 2014 |
These days it gets so crowded at the Low End Theory in Lincoln Heights that by 11 p.m. the door guys stop letting people in. The long-running weekly beat music club, which helped propel the careers of Flying Lotus, DJ Nobody, Nosaj Thing, Tokimonsta, Gaslamp Killer and others, draws fans from around the world who line up each Wednesday. The goal: to gain entry to the second-floor room with a capacity of a few hundred, featuring gut-vibrating bass cabinets, sweat on the walls and nonstop rhythms.
March 6, 2014 |
A long-vacant office tower in a complex on Sunset Boulevard designed decades ago by famed Los Angeles architect William Pereira is being transformed into an upscale 96-unit apartment building known as the Elysian. The sparsely occupied stretch of Sunset on the eastern edge of Echo Park was perhaps best known as the office headquarters of the Metropolitan Water District, which provides drinking water to six southern California counties, until it moved downtown in 1994. The tower has been vacant since the MWD moved, said Leonard Hill, a partner at Linear City Development.
February 25, 2014
Re "L.A. geography lesson," Mailbag, Feb. 22 After reading the letters on the Eastside-Westside debate, I had to chime in, as people seem to be missing the point. They are looking to pinpoint an exact, literal spot where East becomes West. Do these same people go to Thousand Oaks and tell the city to change its name because there are not, in fact, exactly 1,000 oak trees? The dividing line between East and West is not a street, it's a state of mind. It's how you decide to live your life in this great city.
February 24, 2014 |
“It's less attractive every year to own an automobile here,” says Echo Park resident Ryan Johnson, looking up from his bike. Johnson notes the rising cost of parking, the traffic, the hassle. “It's just easier to live without a car. And I don't miss it at all.” Johnson is still in the minority in Los Angeles, but it's a growing minority. He is one of several cyclists featured in “City Cyclists - Competing for Space,” one of two Los Angeles Times videos following the evolving relationship between cyclists and drivers on city streets.