sharing the same sorrow

calla played a semi-secret free show at the knitting factory this past monday. apparently it was part of a promotional push for the movie satellite, which was playing in the tribeca film festival. a swag table gave out promo versions of the soundtrack, which has a new song of calla's on it.

i've liked calla ever since i saw them at the late, great brownies in 2001. by coincidence, they were then on young god records, which i was already familar with because of michael gira, whose show i saw recently at tonic. since their first album, they've gotten progressively more "rock". in general this disappoints me, although i always end up liking what they do anyway because they're so good. for me this reached the nadir at the last time i saw them at bowery ballroom over a year ago. gone were the subtlety and electronic touches, and the singer's voice was drowned out by the distorted guitars as the band awkwardly "rocked out".

obviously, the making of their new album got a few things worked out. they played almost entirely new songs, and though they were more rock than ever before, it all made sense. their introverted moodiness has gotten a more extroverted sound, but it's no less dark or original. they had depth and dynamics, and layered weird samples in again. more importantly, it sounded like them, every note fitting comfortably instead of sounding like trying to fit in with the "noo rawk" explosion.

the best bands are the ones that walk their own path; calla is clearly still on theirs and hopefully will be long after any number of local trends have blown over.

the title of this post comes from the lyrics to satellite by elvis costello.