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Eat Arkansas

Eat My Catfish surfaces in Little Rock

Eat My Catfish, which has locations in Benton and Conway, held its grand opening Tuesday in a jazzy new spot at 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road.

Pickled! Preservation Libations fundraiser is Friday

Drinks of the roaring ’20s will be bottoms up as Preserve Arkansas hosts its second annual Preservation Libations Master Mix-Off starting at 6 p.m. Friday, July 22, in the Albert Pike Masonic Temple. Set in the auditorium of the grand 1924 structure, guests will imbibe and vote on competing bartenders’ twists on historic cocktails, all of them delightfully quirky and plenty stiff.

The British are coming to Big Orange: Midtown, and they're bringing rum

Like sailors? Like 'em liquored up? Boy, have we got a holiday for you. And Big Orange: Midtown is the place to be.

Dining Review

Packed at Pasta Grill

July 21, 2016
Packed at Pasta Grill
Conway hot spot's food is tasty, but rich to a fault. /more/

Dining Search

A&E Feature

A Q&A with Suzy Bogguss

July 21, 2016
A Q&A with Suzy Bogguss
The singer/songwriter talks her infatuation with cowboys, Merle Haggard and shape-note singing. /more/

To-Do List

Sean Fresh plays South on Main

July 21, 2016
Sean Fresh plays South on Main
Also, Finger Food comes to The Joint, the Homegrown Music Festival comes to Mulberry Mountain, Upstate Rubdown at King's in Conway, Nikki Hill at White Water and Gawddaughter, Chapter 2 at Sway. /more/


Max Brantley

1957 all over again

At historic Central High School, two former presidents and a former British prime minister /more/

Ernest Dumas

Death penalty lives

Barely clinging to its flagging life, the death penalty got a merciful reprieve last month /more/

Gene Lyons

Drinking culture

Here we go again. At the rate these campus sexual abuse sagas are making news, /more/

Movie Reviews

Lots of braying in 'Mike and Dave'

July 14, 2016
Lots of braying in 'Mike and Dave'
It's good for a snort-laugh /more/

Pearls About Swine

Bielema vs. Harbaugh

July 14, 2016
Bielema vs. Harbaugh
What makes Bielema likable while Harbaugh is seen as bristling is this distinction: While Harbaugh is rapidly tweeting jabs at foes and putting his chiseled chin and felonious stares in front of the cameras, Bielema seems content to be a bit more subtle, and maybe even reserved after the Hogs laid two memorable eggs against presumptive underdogs Toledo and Texas Tech last September. /more/

Blog Roll

Arkansas Blog

Hourly news and comment

Rock Candy

The guide to Arkansas entertainment

Eat Arkansas

For food lovers

Eye Candy

On art in Arkansas

Street Jazz

A view from Northwest Arkansas

Arkansas Blog

Saturday, July 23, 2016 - 09:37:00

Tim Kaine morning line

As expected, Hillary Clinton selected Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate last night. Kaine, previously governor, is a popular moderate from a purple state. It's the boring, safe pick, which makes some sense given the dynamics in the election (it's perhaps a signal that the Clinton campaign believes that she's the heavy favorite and that they can win in part by depicting Donald Trump as clearly unfit for office). The Veepstakes is a fun bit of drama for political junkies, but the evidence suggests that these picks make no difference in election results. 

It's also worth noting that the main point of this exercise is to pick someone who would be qualified to take over as president in the wake of unexpected tragedy. Kaine is not a popular choice on the left (he's basically a mainstream Democrat in the Clinton mold), but he's clearly qualified for the office.  

Former Gov. Mike Beebe responded to the pick in an interview with the D-G
It's a great pick. He's a solid guy, someone that's a good thinker. Since he's been in the Senate, he's added a lot of foreign policy experience. He's consistent with what most Arkansans are comfortable with. He's decisive, deliberate and he's smart.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, an advocacy group that did not endorse in the primary but describes itself as representing the "Elizabeth Warren wing of American politics, slammed the pick because of Kaine's support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal: 
As we saw in Donald Trump’s speech last night, Republicans will run hard against Democrats on trade this year. Unfortunately, since Tim Kaine voted to fast track the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Republicans now have a new opening to attack Democrats on this economic populist issue.
Since Clinton, the one at the top of the ticket, has already flip-flopped to oppose TPP, it's hard for me to see what difference the Kaine pick really makes on this front. But politics is partly about symbolism and signalling, of course, and some in the Democratic base who remain leery of Clinton were hoping for a fig leaf for the left in the Veep pick rather than an avatar of Clintonism. Again, color me skeptical that this makes much difference (my own view is that you want your lefty champions in the legislature, not as symbolic figureheads on the political ticket, but your mileage may vary). 

Also in the D-G, former Sen. Mark Pryor said of the Catholic Kaine: "His faith is something that people would relate to here. It's very deep to him and personal. He's not ashamed to to talk about it."

Some Arkansas Republicans were less enthusiastic about the pick. State Sen. Bart Hester tweeted that Kaine is "all about killing unborn babies which aligns perfectly with Hillary."


Friday, July 22, 2016 - 16:45:00

Open Line

Imagine my talking head, lovingly reading you today's headlines. 

I'm in a remote location in Tennessee waiting out the Trumpacolypse. I tried to use Facebook Live to broadcast a video roundup to HQ but my phone apparently is too sorry to have Facebook Live. 

Over to you. 


Friday, July 22, 2016 - 16:20:00

The Trump Kool-Aid Edition

The Arkansas GOP’s role in and reaction to the Republican National Convention, the trial of former health care provider Ted Suhl, the next steps for the challenge to the state’s death penalty secrecy law and more — all covered on this week's podcast.

Subscribe via iTunes.



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The Donald's big night open line

Rock Candy

Friday, July 22, 2016 - 16:02:00

Arkansas Times Recommends: The Food Edition

Arkansas Times Recommends is a series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.

click to enlarge Brandon McManus, kicker for the Denver Broncos and fan of TAG Restaurant's flash-seared hamachi. - BRONCOS WIRE
  • Broncos Wire
  • Brandon McManus, kicker for the Denver Broncos and fan of TAG Restaurant's flash-seared hamachi.

Check out this story from The Ringer on Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus, who’s taken up a side job as a food blogger. Here’s an excerpt:

“After some discussions with local outlets and magazines, which he turned down because he wanted to write about food more than once a month, he decided to publish on Denver’s team website. Like everyone else who writes for the site, his job title is listed after his byline: ‘Brandon McManus, kicker.’ He read food blogs not to study the reviews, but to search for inspiration for a good name for his own blog. He ultimately settled on McManus’ Mile High Menu, and readers ate it up: He said that his first post, about Guard and Grace (try the Bangs Island mussels, the best he’s ever had), netted 40,000 page views in short order.”

It’s the kind of oddball story that’s been typical of The Ringer since its launch in June. Here are a few personal favorites from the site: the unimpeachable perfection of Mark Wahlberg, an oral history of Tim Duncan told by his clothes, and the search for a Republican celebrity.

-Tom Coulter

click to enlarge EVAN AMOS
  • Evan Amos

Did you know that William Carlos Williams wrote more than one plum poem? These are not the plums filched from the icebox ("so sweet/ and so cold"). These are lesser known plums (unjustly, it seems to me). I am captive to this delicious moment, which Williams describes without flourish. The precision of Williams' diction and the "munching" movement of the meter make my mouth water. Can you taste the plums? Do you see the poor old woman? We are voyeurs to her joy—a joy amplified, it seems, by her distress: her poverty, her hunger for this sweet solace. 

To a Poor Old Woman

munching a plum on   
the street a paper bag
of them in her hand
They taste good to her
They taste good   
to her. They taste
good to her

You can see it by
the way she gives herself
to the one half
sucked out in her hand

a solace of ripe plums
seeming to fill the air
They taste good to her

You can hear the poet read it here, if you're into that sort of thing. 

-Ashley Gill

click to enlarge weird_al.jpg

No artist has done more than "Weird" Al Yankovic to make music delicious. And never forget, it was Al who created the Twinkie-Wiener Sandwich. 

So here is the ultimate food playlist, courtesy of the man himself:

I Love Rocky Road
Eat It
My Bologna
Addicted to Spuds
Girls Just Want to Have Lunch
Grapefruit Diet
Livin' in the Fridge
Taco Grande
Waffle King
Trapped in the Drive-Thru
The White Stuff

-Michael Roberts

click to enlarge tomatoes-1.jpg

Once, when it was so blisteringly hot that eating anything warmer than room temperature seemed risky at best, a mentor of mine served me a wide, shallow bowl of chilled cantaloupe soup with some mint on top. Having grown up on a chicken farm in the Ozarks where we take our soup hot or we take no soup at all, the coral orb of cold fruit and cucumber in front of me seemed rather exotic. In fact, it might have been the very first chilled soup I ever had. Even if it wasn't, that day marks for me the beginning of a long, slow dissolution of my mental association of soup with winter. 

So, here's to food you can sip when it's so hot that eating seems unthinkable. Here's to not turning on the oven during the month of July. Here's to having grown wiser about chilled soups, at least enough to have landed myself squarely in the "smooth and silky" camp when it comes to opinions on how gazpacho should go. (If you fall elsewhere, I wish you and your spoon salsa all the best.) And here's to.....well, here's my recipe for gazpacho. 

a cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and de-seeded (unless you're bankrollin' with those seedless mini-cukes, you Daddy Warbucks, you)
four or five of the best tomatoes you can muster, cut in half
a red or yellow pepper, also de-seeded
a palmful of almonds
a small onion, chopped (or 1/2 a bigger one) 
a mild pepper, like an Anaheim or a shishito, also de-seeded
a clove of garlic
two tablespoons of white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
two tablespoons of the nicest olive oil you have in your kitchen
cracked pepper

Put everything expect the salt and pepper into a blender and puree until smooth. Add salt and cracked pepper until it tastes right. If more than one adjective precedes the words "olive oil" on your bottle of olive oil, drizzle some on top. 

-Stephanie Smittle


Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 14:30:00

Kari Faux's stunning new video for "Fantasy"

An Ibra Ake vision, directed and edited by Carlos Lopez Estrada: backwards saxophone, dirty dishes, Cello Godzilla and ennui. 

Read our interview with Kari Faux from earlier this year here. 


Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 10:07:00

Checking in with Hard Pass

click to enlarge hardpass.jpg

Hard Pass is the brainchild of Chad Conder and Mitch Vanhoose, with Jon Dodson, Jordan Trotter, Ryan Hitt and Isaac Alexander. Vanhoose, a professional sound engineer, has done work with Funkanites, Amasa Hines, Spero and more.

Conder sings and plays guitar in Flat Top Tony and The Purple Canoes, but you may know him better as the drummer for Adam Faucett and Brother Andy and His Big Damn Mouth. I visited Vanhoose's studio at his Park Hill home in North Little Rock, where Vanhoose showed me his 1985 Trident Soundboard - shipped from London - and said he was “very proud of his AD/DA converters." I smiled, like I knew what he was talking about.

How did the two of you meet?

Andy Warr (of Iron Tongue, Sweet Eagle, Booyah! Dad, and more) introduced us when we were teens. Andy moved from Cabot to Russellville where I lived at the time. We all ended up in Little Rock playing in an outfit called the Global Test, before moving on to other projects.

When did the idea for the band Hard Pass come about?

Vanhoose: It was around 2008, when we shared a Jacksonville duplex. In our free time, we’d get together, have a few beers and write songs. It turned out to be liberating. We just hit ‘record’ with no expectations of playing live or even finishing anything. It was just for fun.

What’s your songwriting and recording style?

Vanhoose: It’s not unusual for Chad to have an acoustic version of a song and leave it with me. I’ll go into the studio and add instrumentation and backing vocals, and then we’ll meet back up.

Conder: After years of playing in trios, having a large, fully produced sound is refreshing. Mitch is a great engineer. He fills in the song and interprets it.

click to enlarge Vanhoose at the board.
  • Vanhoose at the board.

What are some of your influences?

Conder: I was influenced by the Beatles as a kid (still am). In high school I discovered locals like Ho-Hum and Isaac Alexander of Big Silver. That was big for me. Meeting Darian Stribling (owner of Blue Chair Studios) at such a young age was also big. He taught us about the past scene and how to record.

Do you have any advice for Arkansas musicians?

Conder: My advice is to do it yourself. Play house shows. Record your own records.

Can you give some details about your new Park Hill Sound?

Vanhoose: Park Hill Sound will soon launch a website that’s a collective of everything Chad and I are involved with. It’ll be sort of a storefront for all the bands: Hard Pass, Spero, Brother Andy, Adam Faucett, Booyah! Dad, Magic Jordan, The Global Test, Mexico Mexico, Chad solo, and me solo. It’ll have something from my studio, the global headquarters, with our buddy Joe Osbourne's art work. The website is

Hard Pass' debut album, "The Axe Forgets," will be released July 22 at the White Water Tavern, with opening sets from Isaac Alexander and Brother Andy and His Big Damn Mouth. 

click to enlarge img_9413.jpg


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