TV on the Radio: no one dislikes these dudes

Brooklyn quintet TV on the Radio is the loft party no one expected to get so poppin'. Producer Dave Sitek's re-amped analog skronks are bleary, baptism-by-firewater affairs, ensembles as fricative as close-talker conversation in an overcrowded hallway. Themes of lost control, transformation, and simultaneous authority and impotence smolder at the core of the band's overdriven affectations. TVoTR's acclaimed '06 release, Return to Cookie Mountain, unfurls deliberately, like cascading memories of a sweat-beaded fête where polemics grow gradually more roiled with each discarded cork. Yet, like Peter Gabriel and Eno-era David Bowie, the post-apocalyptic doo-wop still maintains suppleness amid any dense sibilance. TV on the Radio performs with the Noisettes on Wednesday and Thursday, March 28-29, at the Fillmore at 8 p.m. Admission is $25; call 346-6000 or visit www.thefillmore.com for more info. Tony Ware


After four long-playing records and many mind-scorching shows, Residual Echoes has left behind dozens of fried neurons and the confines of Santa Cruz, the city that birthed the now Los Angeles-based acid rock outfit. Perhaps due to its fresh distance from the university town's skeletal psych "scene," RE's upcoming EP, Firsts, shows less of its lysergic jam tendencies, instead bringing frontman Adam Payne's college rock influences to the foreground. Riffs and melodies from '80s/'90s indie lynchpins Hüsker Dü, Juliana Hatfield's Blake Babies (who are covered here), and even Nirvana inform a more jangly pop sound propelled by enough SST-records-beach-punk ferocity to clear your sinuses and keep you from your studies. Hit the field trip when Residual Echoes performs with Wooden Shjips and Nothing People on Thursday, March 29, at the Hemlock at 9p.m. Admission is $7; call 923-0923 or visit www.hemlocktavern.com for more info. —John Garmon


The Locust arose from the still-smoldering ashes of crucial San Diego hardcore bands Struggle and Swing Kids in the mid-'90s, and has subsequently spent the past decade deconstructing that genre. Punk rock ethos and riffs meld with grindcore, noise-rock, and mathematical start-stop precision, resulting in the band's stockpile of 60-second post-metal sound blasts. Hitting the road in support of New Erections, out this month on Anti, the group's bizarrely costumed aural assault, must be seen live to truly be experienced. Joined by Cattle Decapitation and Daughters, Rhode Island-based purveyors of pounding prog-metal hardcore, this ain't your typical punk show. Come on, feel the noise on Thursday, March 29, at Slim's at 8 p.m. Admission is $13-15; call 255-0333 or visit www.slims-sf.com for more info. Jonah Flicker


When I first stumbled upon Brooklyn trio Calla seven years ago, I was completely mesmerized: Brooding, stylish music hung in the air — desert-twang guitars cut with modest electronic noise and haunted vocals that came across like a staticky interplanetary transmission of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly soundtrack. The vibe of the band's earliest recordings was similar, but in recent years the group has broadened and refined its approach, beefing up the sonics in a shoegazery manner and growing damn near radio-friendly. Calla's new album, Strength in Numbers, is the best of both worlds, maintaining those riveting atmospherics inside songs you'll likely remember after the gig is over. Calla performs twice this week: first on Wednesday, March 28, at the Rickshaw Stop at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $10-12; call 861-2011 or visit www.rickshawstop.com for more info. It also hits Popscene on Thursday, March 29, at 330 Ritch St. at 10 p.m. Admission is $8-10; visit www.popscene-sf.com for more info. Michael Alan Goldberg

 
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