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Willie on Tap

Willie Nile's last two albums -- "Beautiful Wreck of the World" and "Streets of New York" -- have been cohesive statements of the modern singer/songwriter/troubadour ethic, records that proceed from strength to strength, ultimately testifying to the power of folk-based songs to frame and reflect upon our lives. Nile has been able to make the personal ring with the resonance of the universal, while rocking killer melodies all the while.

Those albums earned their maker universal critical acclaim, urged folks like Bruce Springsteen to haul him up on stage a handful of times, pulled plaudits from the likes of Lucinda Williams, Bono and Lou Reed. I can tell you, though, that we ain't seen nothin' yet. When Nile drops the platter he has just about finished with presently, heads will definitely turn. I was lucky enough to get a personalized tour through the new songs a few weeks back, and they are quite simply the finest the man has yet written. They rock a bit harder than past efforts, too.

Though he has become a world-class manipulator of the recording studio environment, Nile is in his natural element on the stage in front of a sweaty, well-lubricated crowd. If you've seen any of his Buffalo shows over the past, say, five years, you know this to be true. If not, come along and find out on Saturday, when Nile and band return to the Lafayette Tap Room (391 Washington St.), scene of a triumphant show a few months back. Opener the Pillagers will kick the evening off at 8 p.m.


Gig picks

Cobra Starship, Forever the Sickest Kids, Hit the Lights and Sing It Loud join together at Club Infinity (8166 Main St., Williamsville) for a show at 6 p.m. Tuesday. (See the interview with Sing it Loud's Pat Brown on Page 2.)

The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band hits Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.) at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Next Friday, Okkervil River and Crooked Fingers arrive for a much-anticipated show inside the Tralf (622 Main St.) beginning at 8 p.m.

That same evening, the truly disgusting GWAR is joined by Kingdom of Sorrow and Toxic Holocaust in Town Ballroom (681 Main St.) beginning at 7 p.m.

Tonight, A Band Named Sue plays a Nietzsche's (248 Allen St.) happy hour show, beginning at 6 p.m. Later, the club will host Alex Lynne and the Gun Show on the club's main stage.


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