As expected Van Morrison’s August 5 performance is the talk of the town but this time it ain’t for the right reasons. The bad news? Levon Helm dropped off the bill and the show’s no longer an outdoor extravaganza at Fort Calgary. The good news? Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy has been added to bill — although don’t expect him to perform “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” — and the concert has been moved to the comfortable environs of the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. And in moving to a smaller venue the show’s now sold out.

Confused? So are we. In a press release Ticketmaster states that those with tickets will “have comparable seats assigned” although we haven’t the foggiest idea of how it’ll be pulled off. And those who pre-ordered tickets can now only pick them up at the Saddledome or Jubilee box offices. It’s a mess that only a tender rendition of “Sweet Thing” could rectify.

Brothers of metal unite and head north! Fourteen metal bands descend upon Edmonton for Metalfest 2010 happening on August 6 and 7 at the Starlite Room. Corpse-painting black metal act Weapon Edmonton metalcore crushers This is War and Prince George death-ambient outfit Gyibaaw are amongst the main attractions. Manowar declared that “The gods made heavy metal and they saw that it was good.” We’re not about to argue with a bunch of leather clad British bikers. And neither are you.

But church burning ain’t for everyone. And if you harbour folkier tendencies you’re in luck. Local multi-instrumentalist JR Shore in the midst of a Western Canadian tour performs at the Ironwood on Saturday August 7. He’s won a slew of folk fest songwriting competitions and for good reason. Alternately if you veer more towards all things weird Hamilton’s Wax Mannequin lands at the Palomino on Sunday August 8. Go for the unpredictable live show; leave with a wintermint-scented candle shaped in the singer Chris Adeney’s likeness (seriously they’ll be at the merch table).

Finally Lethbridge’s Fist City is bringing its brand of demented garage rock Broken City on Monday August 8. A little jangle a little purposefully lo-fi the bands are sure to get asses shaking whether intentional or otherwise. Scrappy in-your-face trio Topless Mongos Grown Ups and Occupied Europe open. File this one under “show most likely to feature an Angry Samoans cover.” And don’t pretend that’s a bad thing.