Photographer Grav Weldon, who braved the mud and crazy storms of Wakarusa two weeks ago, provides the Times with shots from the very, very, very different festival that took place at that same venue the next weekend. That would be Thunder on the Mountain, of course, and from what he sent, it looks like a boot-scootin' good time was had by all.
More photos after the jump, including Arkansas native Justin Moore, Gretchen Wilson, Colt Ford and one of Toby Keith that has all of the things that make him Toby Keith: cowboy hat, red Solo cup, product endorsement, explosions.
"Nelson is quite a performer — he started the concert with a large black cowboy hat on that cast a huge shadow across his face that hid his eyes but then a few songs in, traded that in for his trademark red bandanna," Clift wrote. "A few times during the show he ripped the bandanna from his head and threw it into the crowd. Then he would put another one on."
Nelson's sister Bobbie Nelson took center stage for a while on the piano and harmonica player Mickey Raphael also had some solo time, Clift noted. "At the end of the show, Nelson stayed on stage for a bit to sign autographs — he was signing everything: cowboy boots and hats, ticket stubs, cell phones ( I guess the person didn't have anything else with them). He appeared happy on stage throughout the show — a big smile on his face."
After the jump, check out more photos.
The First Annual Scott-Tucker-Scott “Gentlemen’s Race” (though it's not exclusive to gentlemen) was Sunday. The unsupported team time trial bicycle race covered a course of 78 miles through the farmland of rural Arkansas.
Teams of five members each, made up of both ladies and gentlemen, wound their way from the Plantation Agriculture Museum (worth a visit in itself) in Scott, to Tucker and back to Scott on quiet country roads. The road surfaces were varied, and even included some gravel stretches. But the gravel parts were packed and caused no road-rash for the riders. Except for the frequent flatland headwinds, these roads are wonderful rides for the bicycle racing hammerheads and the more casual cycling enthusiasts alike.
Ten teams competed in this year’s race. In their order of finish: Frown Fighters; TWAT; Gearhead Cycle House; Tuckered Out; Short Bus; Road Ninjas; 901 Racing; Three Men, a Babe and a Baby; Leborne Ultimatum; and Pickle Posse. Congratulations to all the team members for participating in the inaugural ride, and for braving the winds and the chilly temps that day. With the growing appreciation for cycling in Central Arkansas, the Scott-Tucker-Scott “Gentlemen’s Race” promises to become a highly anticipated annual event.
To find out more about this event, or how to compete in next year’s race, check out the race's Facebook page.
Our tireless photographer Brian Chilson braved a significant risk of exposure to Bieber Fever to bring us some shots from last night's Justin Bieber performance at Verizon Arena.
Anybody else shocked to see that Hammer Pants, or something frighteningly similar, seem to have made a comeback?
From photographer Tim Vahsholtz, here are some photos from the Twins of Evil Tour, featuring Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson, which stopped off at Barton Coliseum Monday. There are no photos of Marilyn Manson available.
Be sure to read our interview with Rob Zombie.
There's a slideshow after the jump.
For this live music enthusiast, seeing Sam Bush for the first time live at the 7th annual Yonder Mountain Harvest Festival on Mulberry Mountain was worth the price of admission ($175 for three full days and nights of first-rate entertainment).
Other guests will say the same about any number of other performers at the beautiful location, which is about five miles north of Turner Bend on the Pig Trail National Scenic Byway Oct. 11-13.
Early arrivers began showing up Wednesday, and by Saturday about 5,000 campers were on the grounds, hanging out under pop-up canopies, wandering between vendors of hammocks and hippie clothes and, most of all, taking in the tunes by 75 bands from all over the country on four stages from about 11 a.m. until sometimes 3 a.m.
The namesake of the festival, Yonder Mountain String Band, based in Colorado, is always a crowd favorite. Headlining on the main stage each night, Yonder Mountain performed its 1,500th show Saturday evening. Unfortunately, the set got cut short as a violent thunderstorm sent fans scrambling for cover.
Other highlights included Dumpstaphunk, The Mickey Hart Band (Hart was in the Grateful Dead), Punch Brothers (fronted by Chris Thiele, master mandolinist of Nickel Creek fame), Leftover Salmon, Split Lip Rayfield, and The North Mississippi Allstars.
Billed as family-friendly, consider this a relative term, as in family-friendlier than Wakarusa, the sister event in the same location each summer. At Harvest, there’s less, uh, Woodstock-like behavior going on, but the guests are definitely there to let their dreadlocked hair down for a couple of days. This is not Riverfest.
If you think you might like to join the party in 2013 — and you should — here are a few tips:
* Plan on camping by your car. Nearly everyone does. There’s RV space, but it sells out in about 20 minutes. Restroom facilities are port-a-potties. There is a $5 shower station.
* Bring a tent to sleep in, but one of those pop-up canopies is a life-saver in either rain or sun.
* Most folks bring their own food, but there’s a row of vendors offering pizza, fruit smoothis, gyros, Chinese food and other goodies in the $5-8 range.
* BYO beer in cans only — no glass allowed. However, if you want to wet your whistle while in the fenced venue area, it will be with a smallish $6 cup of draft beer.
Bottom line: Festival fans from Austin to Minneapolis know about Harvest, and drive that far to be here. It seems to be something of a secret in Arkansas, but word is getting out. If Yonder Mountain Harvest Festival 2013 sounds like your cup of tea, you won’t be disappointed.
— David Lewis
More photos from David Lewis after the jump.
Actor, singer and activist Harry Belafonte wrapped up the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site's 55th anniversary of the desegregation crisis Tuesday with a showing of the documentary "Sing Your Song," based on his life.
Belafonte, 85, held a Q&A after the film for a full house at the Argenta Community Theater. Belafonte told the audience that he'd had a stroke and that he needed to use a cane. Despite the stroke, he stayed very much on point and focused during the discussion. He did, however, have to decline the request to sing for the audience because of vocal cord damage that resulted from the stroke.
Annie Abrams, who said it was her 81st birthday that day, asked Belafonte if she was right to be somewhat discouraged that the civil rights movement has been going on for so long, and how it seems as though it needs to start over. Belafonte acknowledged her concern and said “we blinked,” and that the movement does need to be reinforced in today's youth by their elders. He did say, however, that he was inspired by the feedback he'd gotten from students at Central High School earlier in the day.
“We need to make sure the young stay informed,” he said.
Skip Dahlgren (who was front and center, and, before the event said he'd been listening to Belafonte since childhood) asked about the perception of America from the perspective of other countries and how it has changed throughout the years. Dahlgren described having to explain to his friends in Ethiopia in 1968 after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy how in America, such terrible things were happening.
Belafonte described going into the “dark ages of our foreign policy” before President Barack Obama was elected and that America's image has improved because of Obama's election. He cited examples of turmoil caused by war in Iraq and the war on drugs being a few of the primary negative impacts on America's reputation.
Spirit Trickey, festival director and chief of interpretation at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, moderated the Q&A. She is the daughter of one of the Little Rock Nine, Minnijean Brown Trickey, who was also one of the evening's honorees.
A special awards ceremony honoring Belafonte and the Little Rock Nine concluded the event. Belafonte's appearance and film screening was part the Reel Civil Rights Film Festival, a special project of The Little Rock Film Festival. The film festival also brought in iconic Olympic Gold Medalist Tommie Smith and motivational speaker and author Kevin Powell.
"Winning Miss Gay Arkansas was a moment in my life that I will remember forever. To be a part of such a rich history and amazing legacy is beyond words. I am truly humbled to represent the state of Arkansas as your Miss Gay Arkansas America," Veronica Duvall of Pleasant Plains, Ark., told the packed house at Argenta Community Theater.
Duvall was crowned as the Miss Gay Arkansas America 2012 on Saturday night.
Taking First Alternate was Chloe Jacobs and Second Alternate was Jazmyn Turrelle. It was a night of pageantry, tears and jubilation. With songs ranging from "Mary Poppins" to "Grease" to "Sweet Georgia Brown," the audience was entertained from beginning to end. It was a very close contest with only a few points separating the top five contestants.
Diamond Rose won Male Interview portion of the contest, while Turelle won Solo Talent and Long Talent. Jacobs won the On-Stage Question, and Duvall won the Evening Gown competition and the overall point total, to take the crown.
Miss Gay Arkansas America 2011, Zia D'Yor, gave a stunning, tearful final performance, receiving flowers and hugs from audience members along with a standing ovation. In October, both Duvall and Jacobs will travel to Columbus, Ohio to participate in the Miss Gay America pageant.
Courtesy of photographer Grav Weldon, here are some photos from last weekend's Backwoods Arts Gathering, held at Mulberry Mountain, near Ozark. The site is also home to Wakarusa and Harvest Music Festival, which is Oct. 11-13.
More photos after the jump.
From Brian Chilson, some photos of last night's performance by Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers. We'll have a review of the show up shortly.
More after the jump.
More than 400 people, gay and straight, attended Conway’s 9th Annual Pride March last Sunday. John Schenck and Robert Loyd, two longtime Conway residents, organized the parade.
After the march, participants celebrated a message of diversity and tolerance at Simon Park with music, drag performances, vendors and a word from each charity that sponsored the march, including Center for Artistic Revolution, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, The Diamond State Rodeo Association and Renegades for a Cause, a local LGBT support group. This year, for the first time, there were no protesters.
It seems that as Conway has grown, it has become more accepting of different lifestyles.
Next year, being the 10th annual Pride March, the Conway Pride committee is planning a very large, special event. Times are changing, even in Arkansas, for the better.
More photos after the jump.
Tireless Times cameraman Brian Chilson was on hand for last weekend's Designers Choice Fashion Preview and got a ton of great shots. Check out several after the jump, including a slideshow.
She described it as "something like a motocross ballet. They seem to be suspended in slow motion when they are at the peak of their aerials which is amazing when you consider how fast they are moving. The acrobatics they are able to perform on these machines are mind blowing."
There are more of Clift's photos after the jump.
Because of overwhelming public interest, the Clinton Foundation moved Geena Davis's talk on gender stereotypes in media to a ballroom at the Statehouse Convention Center. Even so, every chair was full, with the overflow standing respectfully in the back. Davis is 56. She was most visible as an actor from the '80s to mid '90s, so the crowd was largely middle-aged and beyond. But university students and young professionals were well represented, and several folks had teenage daughters in tow.
The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media was spawned in 2004, although its roots are in the 1991 film "Thelma and Louise". Davis played Thelma. It was arguably her most popular role ever. "I didn't realize it would change my life. And really, the biggest standout about the film is that it had two good female parts," Davis said.
Afterward, women stopped her everywhere — in the grocery, rolling down windows at traffic lights — to tell her how much they enjoyed the film. Critics were polarized. Some loved the film, while others dismissed it as man-hating. It won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay. To Davis, the film's aftermath was "a lesson on the power of media images."
"Ever since, I've thought about women in the audience and what they'll think about the parts I'll play," she said. "But really great parts for women are few and far between ... that I'm able to be so picky means I haven't run out of money yet. If you ever hear that I've signed on to play the kidnapped wife of Sean O'Connery, you'll know I'm broke."
Following yesterday's showing of "Voices for Justice," a short film by Mike Poe that premiered at the West Memphis Three benefit last August, our own Lindsey Millar hosted a panel discussion on "The Media and the West Memphis Three" at the Argenta Community Theater. The discussion featured Joe Berlinger (director of the "Paradise Lost" films), Mara Leveritt (author of the book "Devil's Knot"), Capi Peck (founding member of the WM3 advocacy group Arkansas Take Action) and Lorri Davis (wife of Damien Echols). Panelists touched on a number of issues including early news coverage of the case (would you believe most media outlets were a little biased against the WM3?), the reaction to the "Paradise Lost" documentaries here in Arkansas and the movement that has built up around the case over the years.
If you've followed the case closely, then there wasn't a whole lot that you haven't heard before. However, there were a number of insightful comments and even some new information that we'd never run across. We've attempted to include most of that in the video above. For example, Berlinger said that when he and co-director Bruce Sinofsky started the project, their original intention was to make a film about disturbed teenagers who committed a terrible crime. Berlinger said until he got to know the kids involved and learned more about the evidence (or lack thereof) he, like everyone else, thought they were absolutely guilty. Finally, he called HBO and told the higher-ups, "These guys are innocent."
Berlinger also talked about the practice, decided upon during the filming of the first documentary, of paying the families they were interviewing. He says they realized they were making money off of families who didn't know where their next meal was coming from and made the decision to give the families of the victims and the defendants $7,500 each. He said he felt it was the right decision to make at the time, but he would not do it again. Also, stay tuned to the end of the video to hear how he and Sinofsky were able to get cameras into the courtroom. It's something Berlinger said he has never talked about before in public.
agree 100% with Cosmo. the movie experience was horrible there in every way imo
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