Small but mighty

Roche Uhntraal is back and better than ever.

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Kicking off a miniature, but powerful, Maritime tour, Toronto-based The Guest Bedroom just wants you to have a good time. They play "dramatic post-punk that dabbles in good times and party favours." Sandi Falconer (guitar), Tim Smith (drums), Alan Kelley (bass) and Rob Castle (keyboard) will "continue to assault middle Canada for the rest of the summer" with a series of surprise attack shows to promote the release of its new album, Movement.

It's been charting well nationally so far—Falconer describes it as "a five-song firecracker packed into your lunch bag." Smith takes more driven approach: "I won't be happy until we're number one and I can light cigarettes with American $100 bills," he says.

See them Thursday at the One World with The Stance and Gamma Gamma Rays and Friday at Gus' Pub with The Stance and The Stolen Minks. The Gus' gig will also be the final show for punk/garage/dearest darlings The Healing Power; the entire band is relocating to Montreal. You've won this round, Montreal, but watch your back.

This and that

Bring out the fancy bows for Rebekah Higgs' birthday show, May 20 at Gus' Pub, with I See Rowboats and First Aid Kit. She promises "cake and balloons and magic tricks," and I'm 100 percent sure there will also be sweetly crafted songs. You could make her a mix CD she can listen to on the road, as she is taking off for her cross-Canadian tour on June 1. But as she says: "All I want for my birthday is for Gus' to be more packed than it has ever been."

Risky Business had just returned from its wildly successful European tour and now they're off again for three weeks across Canada with The Cancer Bats, Bleeding Through and The End.

Those who aren't touring can get a leg up on the pile by applying for this year's Halifax Pop Explosion (October 16 to 22, www.halifaxpopexplosion.com ). The applications went up this week; the deadline is July 22.

Hip-hop don't stop

Littles the General has been impressing Halifax hip-hop fans for a while and aims to keep it that way. Kicking off Victoria Day weekend with a finale concert to Halifax's annual Black Invitational Basketball Tournament, Takeover Promotions (Littles' company) and iZrEAL Media Arts bring Def Jam recording artist Joe Budden to the Marquee Saturday night. Budden is the mastermind behind such club hits as "Pump It Up" and "Fire" (feat. Busta Rhymes).

The weekend also incorporates a pre-party on Thursday at the French Quarter with Halifax's DJ Plaeboi, DJ Lynx da Navigator (Toronto) and St. Kitt's Evolution Sound. Friday night at the Marquee the show includes those artists as well as DJ John J (Shadyville G-Unit DJ), DJ IV, Mayhem Morearty, Luu Breeze and special guests.

Saturday night features Littles' "super group" The Offense, comprised of Littles, Sincere, Aristo, Calibur, C Leon, Choice and El Nino. JC (Jordan Croucher) will make an appearance with even more special guests to promote his new album on Half Life Records, Classified's label.

Littles hopes to bring more big artists to Halifax. "We're trying to build the city back up and create more avenues for artists and for the city," he says.

Budden signs autographs at Krisp May 19, from 6:30-8pm, and performs at the Marquee that night. Tickets for the show are $20, at Krisp, Mary Jane's Smoke Shop (Halifax, Sackville), Up Close Cuts, Ebony Hair Salon (Dartmouth) and www.ticketpro.ca

Send us your autograph. Email: scene@thecoast.ca

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