Was Little Rock at the turn of the century a stranger, headier, more ambitious place? Was it more fun? I'm perennially haunted by these questions, and if art-rock duo Chinese Girls is any indication, the answers are clearly yes. We're in luck, though: the band's recordings are set to be reissued this spring by Drawing Room Records (also the home for Girls band member Andrew Morgan's new project Country Florist). Started at a Halloween party in 1999 by Morgan and Sam Murphy, the band made delay-heavy, energetic post-punk (some of which you can find here).
BLACK PARTY, the rapper and beat-maker who fled Little Rock last November for L.A. with friend and collaborator Kari Faux, just released a new single, "Dancing," that sounds a little like Phil Collins and N.E.R.D. and, I don't know, DMX — pure robotic soul. It's a departure for the rapper-turned-singer, though he hinted at the direction on last year's mixtape, "Prototype," which seems to have disappeared from the internet.
Clark Terry, the jazz trumpeter who performed early in his career with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus, and who went on to mentor a generation of jazz musicians from Miles Davis to Dizzy Gillespie (who said that he considered Terry the greatest trumpeter in the world), died last night at his home in Pine Bluff, where he retired in 2006. He was 94.
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Relapse Records has provided the important public service of reissuing the debut album (or demo), "Xenoglossalgia (The Last Stage of Awareness),” by seminal North Little Rock doom metal band Rwake, originally released 25 years ago. A collage of demonic energy, pitch black emotional turmoil, spacey samples and genre-evading twists and turns (Popol Vuh synths, folk-rock interludes), the record is unpredictable and heavy and unforgettable.
Whatever you thought you were doing on the night on April 19, drop it: Todd Rundgren has added a Little Rock stop to his "Global Tour 2015," and is playing at the Rev Room. Didn't know Rundgren was still making music? Never liked his music in the first place? Doesn't matter — this is too important to be left up to issues of musical taste.
With a name like Duckstronaut your brain may not want to take this band seriously but when you sink your ears into their debut album, "Tabanid Camisade," you'll quickly get it over it. This Little Rock four-piece has the rhythmic attack of The Talking Heads, hooks and dynamics reminiscent of The Pixies, and the biting wit and humor of Primus or Frank Zappa. The album plays like a lingering dreamscape in a post-apocalyptic world. They have originality and honesty.
Talib Kweli appeared in Little Rock in November to give a lecture as part of Philander Smith College's Bless the Mic series. Times contributor James Murray spoke to him afterward to get his thoughts on voting, racism and current trends in hip-hop.
While serving as hosts for the inaugural American Country Countdown Awards in December, Florida Georgia Line – the twosome of Brian Kelley from the Sunshine State and Tyler Hubbard, pride of the Peach State – turned the two-hour televised show into a party.
Wakarusa, which previously announced The Roots, STS9, Young the Giant and others for their 2015 festival, set to be held from June 4-7 at Mulberry Mountain, announced more of its lineup last week and this morning. The group includes Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, Chance the Rapper, Major Lazer, Thievery Corporation, Umphrey's McGee, Slightly Stoopid, Portugal. The Man and many more. Tickets are on sale now.
After weeks of deliberation, violent debate and black magic, we’ve come up with our final and definitive list of semifinalists for the 2015 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase. If you’ll notice, there are 20 of them. Also, this is one of the strongest lineups we’ve ever had, with great artists in a variety of genres from all over the state.
With a brand new cassette-only release and a full-length LP on the way, Little Rock band Bombay Harambee is about to have a busy year. Members include Spaceman Dave on bass, Jason Griswold on drums, Alexander Jones on vocals and guitar and Trent Whitehead on guitar and vocals.
Recent L.A. transplant Kari Faux, who made our shortlist for Arkansan of the Year this week, released a new video this morning for her single, "Gahdamn," the opening track from her 2014 tape, "Laugh Now, Die Later." The clip features Childish Gambino, who gave her a huge boost with his remix of her song, "No Small Talk" (excerpted at the beginning here), and her frequent collaborator and fellow Little Rock native BLACK PARTY.
Brantley Gilbert kicks off the Walmart AMP's summer 2015 lineup, released this morning, with a performance on May 1 — tickets go on sale Friday Feb. 27. Chicago plays on May 3, the Steve Miller Band on May 16, the Dave Matthews Band on May 19 and Kenny Chesney's "Big Revival Tour" comes through town on July 30. Check their website for ticketing information and more.
Wakarusa Music Festival, scheduled to be held from June 4-7, announced the first part of of their 2015 lineup this afternoon, a group that includes The Roots, STS9, Rebelution, Young the Giant, The Devil Makes Three and more. Two more releases are on the way (more suspenseful that way).
I’ve followed the musical career of David Slade since 1994, when I saw him in a band of young upstarts called Halo 8 at a Fresh Blood Night show at Vino’s Brewpub (before they even added the Brewpub part). I think they also opened for one of my first bands. He’s been one of the forces behind American Princes, along with Matt Quin, from their beginning in 2001.
For anyone trying to catch up on new music released over the holidays, the late-December output of Little Rock rap collective Young Gods of America should be at the top of your list. First up is Goon des Garcons' new tape, "YOUNGDIRTYBASTARD," mostly produced by the crew's resident spaced-out visionary Mach Soul.
I first saw The Moving Front live over seven years ago, their album release show (also at White Water) during the first day of “Towncraft” week, a group of events commemorating the documentary’s release. I remember running into Scott Cook that night and him asking me, "Why are you not still playing music?" I took his advice, and now Scott plays guitar and sings back up as one of the newest members of The Moving Front.
I arrived at The Rev Room Friday at 7:15 p.m., as a bartender was setting up for a busy night. I saw Mark Colbert (soundman) and Mark Sadler (lighting) and we talked shop a while. I saw Samantha "Sam" Allen (venue manager) and we caught up as well. Soon I met and interviewed Richie Barnard, the website coordinator for the Little Rock Scene, whose 10 Year Anniversary we were here to celebrate.
Now that the chorus of politicians invoking religious liberty against the president and local governments includes nearly every Republican presidential candidate, it is time to ask whether those who espouse religious liberty the most loudly believe in it least.