Nightlight has emerged as the coolest club west of Durham’s Ringside and east of Winston-Salem’s PS211. With its own cheap-beer-and-wild-sounds pulsating within the used-books-and-records skeleton of the Skylight Exchange, it’s a fab spot for listening, dancing, hanging with friends, and browsing the latest titles in pulp fiction, highbrow classics, and used opera records. This weekend is a good one to check out. Thursday, Dec. 11, it’s the wacked out skronk-jazz improv of guitarist Eugene Chadbourne, who is known to perform on the electric balloon and makes his own personalized CD cases out of Chinese food take-out containers–among other paraphernalia. Joining Chadbourne are Tara Flandreau, David Fox, and Ian Davis. Also on the bill: Scotty Irving’s local noise explorers in the Clang Quartet. Admission is $5 and the show gets started at 8 p.m. Later on, starting around 10:30, there’s a duo special of industrial noise experimentation from Rhode Island’s Hya Kcha, along with Durham’s Wigg Report.

Friday, Dec. 12 and Saturday, Dec. 13 feature artsified but still pumping dance music. Friday features El Puerto Olympico’s “global dance anthems,” presented by DJ Matthijs. Saturday, the Carolina Electronic Music Symposium arrives, featuring a range of electronic sounds: Presslar’s house, DJ Tribe’s trance, Credence’s breaks, and Short Attention Span’s drums ‘n’ bass and hip hop. Twice the dancing fun, but all downhome style: no ropes, waiting lines, expensive drink covers, or exorbitant club admission–both nights are free.

For more information, call Nightlight at 933-5550 or visit their website at