Coheed and Cambria frustrates music writers and fans alike. Is the New York quartet emo? Prog? Metal? All of the above?

Coheed and Cambria frustrates music writers and fans alike. Is the New York quartet emo? Prog? Metal? All of the above?

Who cares? In The Beat's estimation one of the most creative bands to come along in the past decade, C&C for sure have studied their '80s heavy rock and applied it to a 00's canvas.

The band just wants to tell, through its music, the simple tale of a future time in which a married couple holds the key to the salvation or destruction of mankind. Our mind is admittedly a bit blown by all the accompanying comics and graphic novels, but the quartet's Rush-meets-Maiden-meets-Motion City tuneage is on display anew on Year of the Black Rainbow, and on stage Friday, Aug. 27 at Lifestyle Communities Pavilion.

Tickets are $25. Call 1-800-745-3000.

What goes better with zucchini than blue oysters?

That is to say, Blue Oyster Cult will play the Obetz Zucchinifest Saturday, Aug. 28.

If the band doesn't fear playing food-related festivals, why should you fear checking them out at one?

Admission is free. Visit

What's to say about Rush?

The trio - Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart - ranks among the most respected musicians in rock history, boasts longevity about which most bands only dream and have found loads of success despite not being everyone's cup of tea and charting only a handful of tunes.

Most importantly, they're among The Beat's all-time faves.

Rush returns to Columbus for a Sunday, Aug. 29, show at Nationwide Arena. Tickets are $97/$72/$52. Call 1-800-745-3000.

The Dollyrots are prepared to unleash bubble-gum punk of the highest order on denizens of Skully's Music Diner Monday, Aug. 30.

It doesn't get much more fun, as the band tours the U.S, in support of its brand-new CD A Little Messed Up. That is, the label run by Joan Jett, a patron for and advocate of the Florida-based trio. The relationship could not be more apropos.

The Cliks and Hunter Valentine open. Tickets are $8/$10. Call (614) 291-8856.

The Beat would like to say we're just as interested in finding genius in stuff that makes most people just shake their heads as the next person.
We'd like to, but it's not really true.

Brooklyn low-fi quartet Suckers, for example - we can't shake the notion that the band's name is a private joke among the band members regarding folks who buy their records.

And/or see them live - which you can do Thursday, Sept. 2, at Circus.

Maza Blaska and Phantods share the bill. Tickets are $8/$10. Call (614) 421-2998.

Welcome to next week's Fab Five. Next week's edition will be devoted to part one of our annual Fall Arts Season Preview.

Nick Moss knows the blues.

The Chicago-based bluesman immersed himself in the music of the genre's great guitarists, from Muddy Waters to Buddy Guy, and found at the end of the assimilation process his own voice

Which he lends to good use in fronting Nick Moss & the Flip Tops, set to play Vonn Jazz Lounge Friday, Sept. 3. Tickets are $15. Call (614) 431-JAZZ.

Woodlands Tavern (formerly the Thirsty Ear) will host Brian Auger's Oblivion Express on Tuesday, Sept. 7.

Not only was Auger around at the time "jazz fusion" started being tossed around 40-some years ago, the keyboardist helped create the need for the new terminology, with his crossover forays with his original trio, Brian Auger Trinity, as well as projects with everyone from Rod Stewart and Eric Burdon to Sonny Boy Williamson.

Tickets are $20. Call (614) 299-4987.

Country stars George Strait and Reba McEntire represent a connection to the earliest days of music-making in Nashville.

A baritone warbler of the highest order, Strait is a hit-making machine who defies the passing conventions of Nashville's flavor-of-the-month mentality.

McEntire is an irrepressible bundle of energy, charisma and twang. She is a template for a generation of female country singers.

These country music royals, accompanied by Lee Ann Womack, will play nationwide Arena Thursday, Sept. 9. Tickets are $91.50/$71.50/$22. Call 10800-745-3000.

Chris Smither's shows are marked by his masterful finger-picked guitar lines, understated vocals and foot-stomping (literally) accompaniment.

We've been a fan since, in an interview several years back, Smither told The Beat: "It's difficult to describe what I do. If I was better known, I wouldn't have to."

A New Orleans native, his bayou sensibilities have placed him alongside great acoustic blues masters in the Robert Johnson lineage. A New Englander by transplant, his poetically earthy songwriting makes him beloved by folkies, as well.

Smither will play Newark's Midland Theatre Thursday and Friday, Sept. 9 & 10. Tickets are $27.50. Call (740) 345-LIVE.

Shadowbox Cabaret knows its way around comedy and rock 'n' roll.

So if you can stand the early nod to fall and all its attendant gor um, glory, dig "Nightmare at Shadowbox," opening Thursday, Sept. 2, and running Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 13.
Tickets are $30/$20. Call (614) 416-7625.