Over the weekend, Little Rock indie pop band Knox Hamilton played a show in Portland, and on their way out town, while they'd stopped to "take in the sights" at Multinomah Falls, the band's van was robbed. They lost four guitars, a bass, and various other equipment and valuables (including cash, phone chargers, passports and a guitar strap hand-made by one of the band member's mothers!) that they'll undoubtedly need to continue their tour — their next show is scheduled for April 25. The band has a GoFundMe campaign set up for fans to help out. /more/
Jason Aldean brought his brand of hard-driving, modern country music to Verizon Arena Saturday night on his aptly named Burn It Down Tour, firing up his army of fans with his sturdy rock-tinged voice, energetic stage presence and an outright blaze of pyrotechnics. /more/
Here's the great new video from Little Rock doom metal troupe Pallbearer, a 10 minute long plot-less short film backed by their epic "Watcher in the Dark" directed by Little Rock native Adam Heathcott (now based in Portland). It's a kind of solemn, desert-oracle kaleidoscope, with shades of Jodorowsky and "Zabriskie Point" that finally descend into pure foggy visual abstraction /more/
Unkempt visionary, Squirrel Nut Zippers founder, former sideman for Jim Dickinson and Buddy Guy, self-proclaimed "Arkansas Son-in-Law"— Jimbo Mathus has lived many lifetimes, more than most of us could stomach. This month, by means of a work ethic that can only be described as a punishing, Mathus is back with a new album, "Blue Healer," recorded in Water Valley, Mississippi with Fat Possum & Big Legal Mess producer Bruce Watson. /more/
Little Rock native and living legend Pepperboy is back with a new mixtape this month, "Pottersfield," which is probably the year's most existentially fraught and death-obsessed local record to date. Pepperboy has always walked a lonely road (marched to the beat of his own 808?), with conceptual LPs focusing on the horrors of war, etc., but "Pottersfield" finds him in the new and harrowing position of contemplating his own impending mortality, even somewhat enthusiastically on tracks like "Gold Casket" and "Dead Heaven." /more/
For the first time ever the Times is taking two buses to this year's Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, Miss., which calls itself "half blues festival, half small-town fair and all about the Delta." Over 100 blues musicians will perform over the weekend at classic juke joints, blues clubs and small stages — last year's event brought attendees from 46 states and 28 countries. We'll be heading down on April 11 at 9 a.m., and the trip will come complete with live music en route: Blues Boy Jag will play on one bus and Jason Hale on the other. We'll also stop for lunch at the legendary Hollywood Cafe in Tunica. /more/
Mulehead, the beloved Little Rock alt-country band who called it a day a decade ago but now very much rides again, have finished a new album, "Forever Out Of Tune," which will be out via Max Recordings on April 28. But! For those of you who can't wait that long or who feel inclined to support an important and deserving local cultural institution, you can pre-order the record today at Pledge Music and get immediate access to a free download. /more/
Let's Talk Figures, the prolific, slightly scary, wildly uneven and utterly inspired Fayetteville art-rock label we profiled in December, is back with a new compilation, "Spring Mix 2015." The mix features the best and worst of their roster, many of whom we've posted about here in the past, including Comfortable Brother, High Lonesome, Dividend, Devin Nu Phlo, Bob For Apples and many more. It sounds like an Miami-related acid flashback, or like diving headfirst into the molten core of the Internet. /more/
The Rock Candy mix of the week is a partial list of songs that mention the 1994 HBO documentary "Gang Wars: Bangin' In Little Rock." I've omitted local songs, because I'm more interested in the way the movie defined the city for outsiders in a strange, metonymic way. I'm sure I'm still leaving out plenty, feel free to suggest more in the comments. /more/
You've got to figure that a band from frozen-ass Winnipeg is just gonna be way gnarlier and tougher than a band from some sun-kissed tropical clime where people wear tank tops and flip-flops year-round.
Also, KEN Mode at Vinos', Red Octopus' 'Trysts and Turns' at the Public Theatre, Mothwind at Maxine's, Patty Griffin at George's Majestic, "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" at the Weekend Theater and Ash at Juanita's.
Matt Campbell, a Little Rock lawyer, said he filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit today against the Little Rock School District for its failure to provide personnel records of Teresa Gordon, a media specialist at Jefferson Elementary.
Ann Clemmer tells the Democrat-Gazette she's given "background information" in the federal probe into Mike Maggio and illicit campaign contributions. This naturally raises questions for others who benefitted from money raised by a state senator implicated in the scandal, including Supreme Court Associate Justice Rhonda Wood.
Blue Hog Report has mined another interesting report out of public record. He's found a copy of the doctoral dissertation of Dexter Suggs, interim superintendent of the Little Rock School District, and compared it with another writer's work and found verbatim similarities.
Whitewater alert: Larry Nichols endorses Hillary Clinton for president. Mother Jones mines some comedy gold in looking for overlooked opposition research in Arkansas on the 2016 presidential candidate.