History lesson

Roche Uhntraal knows who isn’t playing the Common.

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Post-hardcore act A History Of kick off their upcoming eastern Canadian tour at Reflections Cabaret on Wednesday, July 11. They're supporting their debut EP, Victory Atlas (Noyes Records). Made up of Noel MacDonald, Jeffrey Parker, Lance Purcell and Andrew Gordon Macpherson, A History Of brings "frantic energy built on angular rhythms and fiery guitar attacks." Victory Atlas is described as a "melodic cross section of DC punk and Chicago math rock." Comprised of members from The Plan, Intercity Runner and Tomcat Combat, you know these guys are serious about their mathematics. Tickets for the show are $3 (awesome!) and available at the door. The show will start at 10pm and feature performances from Ontario's Sleep the Season, Dead Pinkertons and Skullet.

Ire alarm

Wax Mannequin's new album, Orchard and Ire (out now on Infinite Heat Records), already has my vote for the best of 2007. It focuses on many of the same themes as 2004's The Price: animals, heavy riffs, robots, doctors and, you know, the price. Wax Mannequin (AKA Chris Adeney) performances are strange and beautiful; he delivers his intense roars and meows with more conviction than most singers deliver lines about broken hearts. And then there are the roses.

"I have a condition now—a disease where there are roses from my blood. I have to get rid of them each night," he says. "I have to throw them at you and quite often they are covered in things like sweat and blood."

Between the flowers, the varied odes to animals and the rawness of Adeney's voice, there is an undeniably wild quality to the music. "I am a wild-nature man. Mostly on the inside. I do think about that stuff all the time," says Adeney. "Mostly about battles where all of the animals join together like a giant robot to destroy us or make us better."

A Wax Mannequin show usually contends with devoted fans who like to sing along at top volume. But Adeney deals. "I usually have several layers of vocals and harmonies on most of my loud songs, so the audience can help sing those parts," he says. "I'm trying to write more where I give the people specific things to do and say." Wax Mannequin performs Saturday, July 7, at Gus' Pub.

Seventh nation army

On Saturday, July 7, local Iron Maiden cover band 2 Minutes to Maiden will be performing one of Iron Maiden's great epics, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (plus other favourites). The show will also be a farewell to longtime band member and friend Lee Perrin.

Tegan & Sara & Billy

Canadian indie-darlings Tegan and Sara have decided to give you all a break. Due to popular demand, a second show has been added on Wednesday, October 17, at 8pm in addition to the already scheduled performance on Tuesday, October 16, at 8pm at St. Matthew's United Church.

Popular Canadians Billy Talent are touring the east coast to support their new album, II. Special guests are illScarlett and The Saint Alvia Cartel. It's an all-ages bonanza September 8 at Alderney Landing. Tickets are $39.50 in advance and $44.50 day of show (taxes included) and go on sale this Friday, July 6 at 10am. Tickets are available at all Ticketpro outlets, by calling 1-888-311-9090, or online at ticketpro.ca.

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