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>Sam sells salvation

This month's Esquire magazine offers a glowing profile piece called "The Case for Sam Roberts." Some of us (ahem) have been championing Roberts and his band all along, and fans in these parts have been incredibly loyal to the Canadian songwriter and concert-stage whirlwind. Still, it's nice to see the tastemakers catching up to what we've known all along -- that Roberts, as Esquire puts it, has proven that "[in] a sea of cookie-cutter download-today, gone-tomorrow rock stars, originality, ambition and honesty go a long way."
On Thursday, Roberts and the band kick off a two-night stand inside the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.). Earlier in the week, the brilliant new album "Love at the End of the World" hits the streets.

Writing on his Web site, Roberts describes the new album as a record that "struggles with, right from the first note . . . how we push ourselves to the edge of the precipice, hell-bent on self-destruction, only to glance to each side and see that we are not alone, that the capacity for love exists in all of us, and can save us." Lofty aim, that, but it's tough to turn down what Roberts is offering when it comes wrapped in such powerful, emotional, butt-kicking rock 'n' roll wrapping paper.

You can check out a pair of songs from the new album at, where both "Detroit '67" and "Them Kids" reside. Remaining tickets for the shows -- at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday -- can be found at the Town Ballroom or through


>Achin' for Bacon

The Bacon Brothers mark the release of "New Year's Day" with an intimate show inside the Bear's Den at the Seneca Niagara Casino at 8 tonight. In their 14 years as a successful touring and recording act, the Brothers have managed to challenge stereotypes regarding film, television and rock 'n' roll. Normally, a successful television or movie star will venture into pop music just because they can. The results are more often than not dubious. The Bacons, however, were musicians before they became famous -- Kevin as an actor, Michael as a film and television composer.

Tickets for tonight's show are available through Ticketmaster. More information on "New Year's Day" is available through


>Gig picks

Tonight inside Nietzsche's (248 Allen St.), techno-trance-rock hybrid Lazlo Hollyfeld invites you to bring your own camera to participate in the band's live DVD taping. Great tunes and no cover. Show starts at 9 p.m.

Escape the Fate, Attack Attack!, Black Tide, Burn Halo and William Control join together inside the Town Ballroom beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The Dreaming plays Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.) at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Staind vocalist Aaron Lewis hits the Bear's Den at the Seneca Niagara Casino at 7 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. next Friday.


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