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Steady as you go...

Here's one that you shouldn't let fall through the cracks. On Saturday, revered modern folk artist Jennifer O'Connor will be joined by Hold Steady keyboardist Franz Nicolay for an intimate concert inside the Ninth Ward at Babeville (341 Delaware Ave.) beginning at 8 p.m. Tracy Morrow will open the show.

Visit O'Connor's MySpace page and listen to a few songs from her recent "Here With Me" album. You'll also find material from Nicolay's solo effort, "Major General," at his MySpace page. And don't forget: The Hold Steady will be hitting the Tralf for a much-anticipated show on April 1.

Tickets for the O'Connor/Nicolay/Morrow Ninth Ward show are available through


'Motor' mouth

Fans of early Johnny Winter and Blackfoot, take note. Eric Sardinas -- known to Buffalo audiences from his 2005 appearance, opening for Steve Vai inside the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts -- will bring his band Big Motor to the Tralf (622 Main St.) at 8 tonight.

A searing blend of blues, bluegrass, and rock, Sardinas and Big Motor's just-released new effort hit the streets on Vai's Favored Nations label. If the words "Second Winter" have any particular resonance with you, get down to the Tralf. Ticketmaster is handling tickets, or visit the Tralf box office.


Post-rock alert!

Chicago weirdo collective Maps & Atlases is coming to Buffalo!

The band -- a truly alternative, indie-rock outfit, with no record label affiliation, but a significant underground reputation as one of the more interesting "post-rock" acts going -- will perform inside Broadway Joe's (3051 Main St.) at 9 tonight. So Many Dynamos will open. Get your tickets at the door.

A sampling of the joyful, frenzied Maps & Atlases sound is readily available at the band's MySpace page, where you'll also find an awesome picture of the great Motown bassist James Jamerson doing his thing. (Gratuitous, but cool, nonetheless.)


Gig picks

Despised Icon, Beneath the Massacre, Carnifex, Neuraxis and Plasma Rifle take part in a "battle of the worst band names" at Xtreme Wheels (356 Hertel Ave.) at 6 tonight. (Just kidding -- Plasma Rifle is actually a cool name.) Tickets are available through Xtreme Wheels, at 871-9361.

The Music Tapes, Brian Dewan and Nana Grizol perform inside Big Orbit's Soundlab Space (110 Pearl St.) at 8 p.m. Saturday. The same club welcomes These Arms Are Snakes, All the Saints and Darker My Love at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Enter the Haggis appears inside the Shannon Pub (2250 Niagara Falls Blvd., Tonawanda) at 8 p.m. Thursday. That same evening, the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.) is presenting Rev Theory and Burn Halo.

Nietzsche's (248 Allen St.) has Babik's only area performance this spring, at 9 p.m. Thursday. Tonight, the club welcomes the Fibs for a 6 p.m. happy-hour show. Headi Lazar and Family Funktion & the Sitar Jams play the Nietzsche's late show tonight, beginning at 10:30 p.m.


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