Sam Roberts Band

The top two gigs tonight both feature headliners from that land up north sometimes derisively referred to as America's Hat. Canada is repping hard in Columbus on this most chilling of Mondays.

First: Sam Roberts Band's name might inspire images of Dave Matthews Band or other polarizing "Name Name Band" bands. But fear not, Dave-haters; Juno Award-winning rocker Roberts sounds nothing like Matthews. He's more of a Britpop/garage rock-informed pop playmaker who occasionally dabbles in electro. I imagine many of you Yanks might like him quite a bit. Doors for the Montreal native's $12 show at Skully's, 1151 N. High St., open at 8 p.m. Vancouver's Mother Mother opens the evening.

Meanwhile, over at ye olde Basement, 391 Neil Ave., a trio of young rock ensembles will take the stage. The headliners, Tokyo Police Club, were one of my favorite finds of 2006. The Toronto teenagers released one of the most promising EPs of the decade, A Lesson In Crime, and impressed me with their performance at CMJ. So even though I was rather underwhelmed by last year's Elephant Shell (as explained briefly in my preview), I recommend tonight's gig on the strength of that 2006 CMJ showcase. Plus, I hear Harlem Shakes bring it pretty hard live, and the Ruby Coast album that came in the mail, while sounding surprisingly like a bit of a Tokyo Police Club ripoff (now there's instant nostalgia for ya), was at least pleasant for the listenin'. This show is sold out, but if you can somehow obtain a ticket, they're supposed to cost $14 at the door, which opens at 7 p.m.