Locals the Belle Brigade among 'The Times' Faces to Watch' in 2011
In The Times' Sunday Calendar this week (Jan. 2), editors and writers have canvassed the pop-culture landscape and singled out a few artists as ones to watch in 2011. It wasn't easy, as plenty easily deserved the crown. Stay tuned to Pop & Hiss in the coming days for other acts to watch for in the months ahead. For now, here's a look at one that will be featured in Sunday's paper.
L.A. clubgoers might be used to seeing only half of Barbara Gruska, the rest of her obscured behind the drum kit she's so ably pummeled working with artists such as Jenny Lewis, the Watson Twins and Inara George. But now she’s ready to share every bit of her talent. And it's major. The Belle Brigade, her band with kid brother Ethan, shows off her big, memorable voice and considerable charisma within songs that gleam with hooks and pour over with earnest emotion. Matthew Wilder, the producer who helped No Doubt figure out how to go national, is working with the Gruskas on the band’s Warner Bros. debut, slated for an April release. A January Spaceland residency should expand the fan base captured by the band's exhilarating live sets; by summer, its misfits anthem “Losers” could be a top 10 hit.
-- Ann Powers
Photo: Warner Bros.