Here's a new one from Little Rock's Mandy McBryde and The Bridegrooms, "The Meanest Things," courtesy of Fast Weapons Records. A gorgeous, ghostly slow-burner —here's hoping there's an album's worth of songs like this on the way.
Darnelle Barnes, a Little Rock native well known as a member of the local rap group DMP, died earlier this morning in a car accident near his home, friends say. DMP's Khaliq Slater said that Barnes lived in the Emerald Mountain neighborhood with his mother, and was driving up a hill around the corner from his house when the accident occurred. He was 18 years old. /more/
The new episode of Gerard Matthews' local web series "My Favorite Guitar" features Little Rock singer-songwriter Amy Garland Angel. Previous clips have featured John Willis and American Aquarium's BJ Barham. /more/
There has been an overwhelming response to the loss of Heartbeat 106.7 FM since the station changed formats last week, renaming itself 106.7 The Ride and shifting to a New Country format. As we noted Friday, a Facebook group had been started in protest, "Bring Back Heartbeat 106.7." When I spoke to program director Mike Kennedy, he seemed unconcerned about this perspective — noting that the group had only "58 likes." /more/
Mark your calendars: THV reports that Stevie Wonder will be stopping in North Little Rock on his fall tour, on November 6. No word yet from Verizon Arena, but the date has been announced online. Until then, here's a haunting video of Wonder on the talkbox: /more/
The Arkansas State Fair, which will be held October 9-18, has announced its musical headliners for this year's event: Montgomery Gentry, Eddie Money, Silk, Styx, Toni! Tony! Tone'!, Pop Evil, Grand Funk Raildroad, Joe Diffie and Naughty By Nature. /more/
My favorite radio station died this week, and I didn't even notice. At 5 p.m. Wednesday, Heartbeat 106.7 FM, "The Beat of the City," switched over to a New Country format, and was re-branded as 106.7 The Ride. Anyone expecting The Isley Brothers or Bill Withers or Michael Jackson or The SOS Band will have to settle for Luke Bryan. And the format shift occurred so suddenly — with only the above message, perverse-seeming in its simplicity ("WE HAVE DECIDED TO SWITCH OUR FORMAT TO NEW COUNTRY. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING."), as explanation. A Facebook group has already been created so that old fans can vent their outrage. To find out what happened, I called 106.7's owners, Signal Media, and spoke to Mike Kennedy, program director for the new station (and for The Point 94.1). /more/
Ashley Music Store, a longtime institution in Harrison, announced on Facebook yesterday that they'll be closing their doors in September after 70 years in business. Founder Hugh Ashley, a former state representative and mayor of Harrison — as well as a successful songwriter who penned records for Bill Monroe, Porter Wagoner, Brenda Lee, Jim Reeves and Dinah Shore — passed away in 2008. (For more on Ashley, read our feature obit.) Ashley's daughter Robin explained the store's closing in a Facebook note passed on by a reader: /more/
L.A. (via Little Rock) rapper Kari Faux returns with a new video, "Supplier," a single from her forthcoming EP "Lost En Los Angeles." Aside from being far and away one of the best Arkansas-related songs of the summer, "Supplier" comes with a sultry, atmospheric video that evokes late '70s boogie, complex facial hair and warm VHS nostalgia. "You know I got that futuristic fire," as she puts it. /more/
In a short note posted on their website Wednesday morning, the Little Rock Film Festival announced that they would be closing down. The development took many by surprise — World Shorts curator Justin Nickels told the Times he had learned of the decision 12 hours earlier. The Times spoke to festival founders Brent and Craig Renaud today, who explained the move had been under consideration for at least a year and was the result of new projects and time commitments which would prevent both filmmakers from giving the festival the attention it deserved.
I talked to Liquid Skulls for the paper a couple of weeks ago, and he explained that the recording project "was formed out of cobwebs, boredom, sloppiness, euphoria, joblessness, fleeting moments, liquid curses and lost responsibilities." All of this comes through in his new track "Rituals," which sounds like a computer projection of a pop song wrapped in bubble-wrap and stomped on.
Nothing so became U.S. Rep. John Boehner's tenure as speaker of the House as his manner of leaving it. Subjectively speaking, he has never appeared to believe very much of the nonsense his position required him to utter. An old school politician who literally grew up working in the family bar, his conservatism is of the traditional Midwestern kind — more Bob Dole, say, than Ted Cruz.
A certain morbid curiosity about crime is one of the few silver linings of living in a place where the per capita crime rate rivals even the shystiest hellhole corners of the country. So that’s our topic for the week, crime reporting.