I'm headed to Nashville tomorrow morning and will be out of pocket for a few days, so here's a roundup of some good Little Rock music released this week so far. It's been a productive couple of days. /more/
Lucero, the beloved Memphis alt-country band fronted by Little Rock native Ben Nichols, will release their first-ever live album, "Live from Atlanta" on August 12. The album was recorded over three nights at Atlanta's Terminal West last November, and will be 2 CDs ($15) or 4 LPs ($34.99) with 32 songs, a "massive, career-spanning ... greatest hits collection," in their words. At two hours long, the goal was to simulate the real thing. You can pre-order the record now at their site. /more/
One of the Times' most anticipated releases of the fall is "V O I D," the new tape by Malik Flint, aka BLACK PARTY, which is due out on August 14th. Here's the first official single, "Falling," which finds him getting all morose and bleakly honest over a self-produced beat that samples James Blake. /more/
Here is some more good and weird Little Rock rap from Pepperboy, who uses his new tape, "Hard 2 Cope," as an outlet to introduce S. Ray, just as he did last year with Yung Envy (what happened to Yung Envy?). /more/
Here's the first single, "The Ghost I Used To Be," from Pallbearer's forthcoming album, "Foundations Of Burden," recorded in Portland with producer Billy Anderson (Swans, Eyehategod, Sleep, Neurosis, Red House Painters) and due out August 19 via Profound Lore. /more/
The debut record from SEO-friendly Fayetteville garage pop band SW/MM/NG, "Feel Not Bad," is due out August 29 via Old Flame Records (a label they share with Little Rock's The Coasts), but you can pre-order it now or stream the first single, "Some Dreams Come True," over at Consequence of Sound. /more/
Billboard reports that as of this week, Justin Moore's "Lettin' The Night Roll" has climbed to the No. 1 spot on the Country Airplay charts, the fourth No. 1 hit for the singer born in Poyen, Ark. and now based in Benton (after a decade in the Nashville trenches). "I I love the simplistic nature of where I grew up," as Moore told Taste of Country recently. /more/
Since hitting the top of the charts with “Austin” back in 2001, Blake Shelton has worn a number of hats – even though he doesn’t wear a real hat much anymore. He’s a coach on NBC’s reality TV singing competition “The Voice,” he’s a popular co-host for the annual Academy of Country Music awards, he has deals with Pepsi and Pizza Hut and, of course, he’s the husband of country star Miranda Lambert. /more/
Big thanks to Stephen Koch for pointing me in the direction of this New Yorker blog post, in which Mavis Staples recalls The Staple Singers' performance of "The Weight" in Martin Scorsese's 1978 "The Last Waltz," a last minute addition to the film as they figured the concert had been, in Helm's words, "too lily-white and missing something crucial.” /more/
Max talks about the biggest news of the day in a video roundup: Groups trying to get proposals to raise the minimum wage and allow retail sale of alcohol in every county in the state have turned in their petitions. Asa Hutchinson tries to walk a fine line on the Hog farm in the Buffalo River watershed. A new hospital breaks ground in Conway. And more.
The tween-pop Elvis is coming to Verizon for what is guaranteed to be the most frenzied concert Little Rock sees all year. Now, the Biebs has gotten more than his fair share of criticism since his astronomical ascent from YouTube scrubbery to international megafame, but we're not interested in calling out the omnipresent young pup for his fortunes, deserved or otherwise.
Last week, Rep. Josh Miller, a Republican legislator from Heber Springs, spoke against the private option Medicaid expansion last week. He invoked FDR's New Deal — a "hand up," he said, not a "handout."
Pam Hobbs, mother of Steve Branch, one of three eight-year-olds killed in the 1993 West Memphis slayings that became the West Memphis 3 case, says new information unearthed in a new documentary, "West of Memphis," has persuaded her to call for the state of Arkansas to reopen the case.