Calla

To people who weren't members of the New York Dolls, the new New York rock scene isn't exactly lacking in spunk or attitude: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Strokes make up for what they occasionally lack in the songwriting department with a polished streetwise sass, and even that one dude in the otherwise subdued Interpol wears that ridiculous tidal-wave haircut like a badge of honor. But sometimes even a hardened city dweller needs a break from all the manic mugging, so the relative sonic subtlety of moody Brooklynites Calla's third album Televise makes for a refreshing change of pace. The album's title is apt: Television's spindly guitar webbing winds its way through the band's songs, and the trio work a cinematic anxiety more gracious listeners might liken to Radiohead. There's also some Texas left in these former Dentonites, a baked psychedelic streak that can remind me of Bedhead or of a comatose Roky Erickson. Live, of course, the band's welcome poker face might translate into a nonrefundable one-way ticket to Snoozeville, a town other great-in-the-studio acts like Mogwai and Low have been known to visit. But show up on Saturday night with the right amount of space in your head and Calla might just fill it up.
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Mikael Wood