I was on assignment for The News with prog-rockers Aqueous on a late spring three-date tour, when I first came across Timbre Coup. Aqueous had befriended the Albany-based quartet through past gig-swaps, and there had been a lot of "Wait until you see these guys!" during our trip. My curiosity was certainly piqued by all of this, but nothing could have fully prepared me for the blend of technical complexity and sonic violence that erupted from the PA when Timbre Coup took the stage that night. Unquestionably, the group lives up to its name, which suggests an act of tonal hostility.

An instant fan, I got my hands on Timbre Coup's "Knuckles & Valleys" CD that night, and in the time since, have grown to consider the band one of the leading lights on the heavier edge of the current jam-prog scene. At 9 tonight, Timbre Coup will share the stage at Nietzsche's (248 Allen St.) with Heavy Pets, an Orange County, N.Y.-born reggae-prog-jam outfit. ( Admission is $12.

Seeing the light

This weekend marks the sophomore run of the Night Lights Fall Music festival, a homegrown event that takes place at the Heron (2361 Wait Corner Road, Panama), the site for the past 21 years of the annual Great Blue Heron Music Festival. That's a bit more than an hour's drive from Buffalo, but the talent filling the stages both tonight and Saturday evening is all Buffalo and all good!

The festival is being curated by our own Lazlo Hollyfeld with performances from John E. Old School, Universe Shark, the Etchings, Aqueous, Logo City, Ka Kaugh, Jony James, Aircraft, Smackdab, Schleigho and DJ Cutler. The festival takes place in the middle of "Night Lights at the Heron," which is essentially a one-mile walk "at night, through a forest transformed with creative and interactive lighting." According to event organizers, guests will "follow the trail to a stage and cafe set in the middle of the woods," where they'll then be treated to roughly six-plus hours of music each night.


Be scene

Big Leg Emma comes back to town for the first time since adding Buffalo drummer Corey Kertzie to its ranks, at 7 tonight in the Sportsmen's Tavern (326 Amherst St.). Zoe Muth & The Lost High Rollers will open the show. Admission is $15.

Seattle "stoner rock" legends Big Business - that's Jared Warren and Coady Ellis, who double as members of the iconic Melvins - will take over Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.) at 8 p.m. Sunday. Fans of the Melvins, Kyuss and early Queens of the Stone Age, you need to be at this show!

Blues-jazz-folk-jug band the Carolina Chocolate Drops - whose "banjos, fiddles and chattering percussion are," according to the Boston Phoenix, "akin to a spiritual celebration" - make its Buffalo debut at 8 p.m. Thursday in the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.). Tickets are $18 advance (box office). Visit

Lastly, a little love for "hair metal nation" - '80s icon Don Dokken brings the band that bears his name to Braun's Concert Cove (11891 Main St., Akron) at 7 tonight. Hair Nation will open the show. Tickets are $25.