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Sitting down at Sonny Williams is a real pleasure. They're doing justice to thick, meaty steaks. Worth a visit for any in Little Rock.
The Fold, the new taqueria and cocktail bar from Bart Barlogie and Wilson Brandt, opened this weekend in Riverdale.
Coming to the Pleasant Ridge Town Center.
"Beautiful Uprising" reception tonight, talk by artist Saturday.
Reception for artist is tonight.
My overriding emotion about the fate of state Treasurer Martha Shoffner is sadness. /more/
Americans are instinctively wiser than their leaders when it comes to foreign policy, at least until their emotions are manipulated to support mindless war. /more/
"What mighty contests," wrote 18th-century satirist Alexander Pope, "rise from trivial things." The poet had sex in mind, although something similar could be said about Americans and their pets. If you think people get worked up about politics, say something "controversial" about dogs or cats. Then prepare for action. /more/
Bartlett, who's been in PR, is best known as former spokesman for President George W. Bush. His work included pushing reporters to find out who sent Joseph Wilson to Niger (the famous incident that ultimately led to the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame) and defending Bush against post-administration charges by a former aide, Scott McClellan, that the administration had been untruthful in the runup to the Iraq war and in the Plame matter.
He did speak bluntly and accurately on at least one occasion, as told in Wikipedia:
At the end of 2007 Bartlett, during an interview with Evan Smith published in the January '08 Texas Monthly, implied some conservative bloggers, such as Hugh Hewitt, were unfiltered mouthpieces for the GOP and Bush White House.I mean, talk about a direct IV into the vein of your support. It’s a very efficient way to communicate. They regurgitate exactly and put up on their blogs what you said to them. It is something that we’ve cultivated and have really tried to put quite a bit of focus on.
Rush Limbaugh, Mr. Bartlett from Walmart is on the line.
He'll be moving to Northwest Arkansas, where he should feel right at home.
Details here. It's at 7 p.m. at Statehouse Convention Center.
Steele Stephens, the securities salesman whose large share of state Treasurer Martha Shoffner's state bond investments triggered a federal investigation that led to a criminal charge against her, yesterday submitted a resignation by fax to his employer, St. Bernard Financial Services, based in Russellville.
Robert Keenan, chief executive officer of the firm, said Stephens, who worked from an office in his Little Rock home, did not state a reason for his resignation and did not talk to him. Keenan said he'd notified securities regulators of Stephens' departure from the firm. He left blank the reason for his departure on the required reporting form, except to say the departure was "voluntary," because he said he could only speculate as to motivation.
Keenan continues to believe, as he told me yesterday, that Stephens was the as-yet unnamed confidential informant who was wired with surveillance equipment in a visit to Shoffner's house last Saturday in Newport. The informant delivered a pie in which $6,000 in $100 bills was hidden, the sixth in a series of similar payments that a federal extortion charge said were made in return for significant bond business. Two well-placed sources have told me Stephens was the informant. He has not responded to requests for comment. The cooperating witness was given immunity from federal prosecution for help that began in January 2012. We first reported on the unusual concentration of Shoffner's bond business in October 2011.
Steele Stephens' resignation came about the same time as Shoffner's resignation from her $53,000 state job, a term that runs through 2014. Gov. Mike Beebe will appoint a replacement to complete the term. It's not yet clear how soon that appointment will be made.
I asked Heath Abshure, the state securities commissioner, about the resignation. He said it doesn't end his agency's review of whether a securities salesman made payments to Shoffner and whether the salesman's firm knew about it. The Securities Department has a one-period in which to act against a licensee, even when no longer working.
FLOWING ON THE RIVER
5:30 p.m. River Market Pavilions. $35.
This looks to be a fine way to get yourself in the Riverfest spirit: A wine and craft beer tasting the night before things kick off. You can mill about the River Market Pavilions and sample from an array of beverages while experts, including Bruce Cochran of Custom Beverage, fill you in on all of the interesting tidbits and tasting notes of each beverage and their respective vintners and brewers.
And what would a booze tasting be without some delectable nosh to accompany it? Providing hors d'oeuvres will be Blue Coast Burrito, Your Mama's Good Food, Bray Gourmet, Brenda J. Majors Catering, Palette Catering, Newk's Express Cafe, Boscos, Cabot Cafe and Cake Corner, Sufficient Grounds Cafe, Cheers in the Heights and J&M Foods. FreeVerse Duo provides the live musical entertainment.
Also of note, this event is a fundraiser for Argenta Community Theater's upcoming ACTing Up Summer Camp, which will provide students in grades K-8 with the opportunity to learn about stagecraft, theater, film and filmmaking. There are a small number of scholarships available.
9 p.m. White Water Tavern. $20.
I've listened to and loved plenty of sadly beautiful music in my time: Leonard Cohen, Cat Power, Nick Drake, Townes Van Zandt, Jackson C. Frank. All of those folks have made timeless records that have resonated on a deep emotional level. I have never been as emotionally wrecked as I was after listening to Mary Gauthier's 2007 album "Between Daylight and Dark."
I fired the album up on the ol' Spotify, thinking, "OK, what's up next? Acclaimed folk singer/songwriter I've never listened to before. I'll check out some of her tunes, play a few of them from throughout her catalog and write up a To-Do. No biggie." What I heard stopped me from doing anything else other than listening and trying to keep my eyes from welling up, which had become a very tall order by the time the final strains of the last song, "Thanksgiving," were ringing out. I listened to the entire album start-to-finish.
The playing is masterful, the instrumentation full and rich but never overshadowing Gauthier's extraordinary voice, which is smoky and smoldering one moment, clear and high the next. And of course, the songs are just devastating. I started to listen to Gauthier's 2010 album "The Foundling," which has to be her most personal work. But by the time I got to the second song, "Mama Here, Mama Gone," it was frankly just too much to take. It's not maudlin, it's neither self-pitying nor over-the-top nor anything else that might diminish its power and thus make it easier to withstand. It's a simple, beautiful, utterly devastating song that becomes truly wrenching if you know Gauthier's backstory, of her troubled upbringing and how she finally made contact with her birth mother later only to be denied a meeting.
But Gauthier never wallows in misery. She faces down some of the most painful feelings imaginable with honesty and grace. A lot of very good singer/songwriters have come through in the last few years. Very few have been close to the stature of Mary Gauthier. I believe she deserves to be counted among the ranks of the great. This show is not to be missed.
Winnipeg native Scott Nolan opens the all-ages show.
Who doesn't love a good cocktail, right? And who doesn't love "Jersey Boys," the Tony- and Grammy-winning jukebox musical that tells the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons?
Say, here's an idea: what if the Arkansas Times was to have a contest for the best "Jersey Boys"-inspired cocktail, and give the winner a pair of tickets to see the musical June 19 at Robinson Center Music Hall, plus entry to the official after-party at Boscos, where that person's winning cocktail would be served? Sound keen? Bet.
Here's the deal: email your cocktail recipe to email@example.com and put "JERSEY BOYS COCKTAIL" in the subject line. We'll select the most promising recipes, then your trusty and (very) seasoned Times cocktail experts will try them out and anoint a winner. The contest is open from through June 6, and the usual caveats apply (no Times employees, don't scalp the tickets, etc.).
Feel free to get all crazy and "mixologist" with this thing, but know that if your recipe is too out-there, calling for emulsified durian oil or pulverized fresh loganberries or something else that no self-respecting bartender has ever heard of, then you might not win. Cool? OK. Aaaand... go!
The Kum and Go on baseline in Little Rock is a whore house with a…
Brummett recommends Duncan Baird (R).
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