11 a.m. North Little Rock RV Park. $10.
Q: How awesome is barbecue? A: Probably more awesome than most other things, but not quite as awesome as having the superpowers of flight and invisibility, which I think we'd all have to admit would be hard for anything to top. Not going to happen to anyone anytime real soon though.
But you know what is going to happen soon? The 9th Annual Buzz-B-Q Food and Music Festival, that's what. More than 100 teams will compete in professional and amateur categories to see who can create the most delicious 'cue. And hey, there's about $5,000 worth of cash and prizes for those who make the best pork, ribs and chicken.
All your favorite 103.7 The Buzz hosts will be there, including Tommy Smith, David Bazzel, Roger Scott, Justin Acri, RJ Hawk, Joe Franklin and Trey Schaap, with Matt Jones serving as emcee. The Dirty White Boys, Canvas and Jeff Coleman and The Feeders will perform. There's going to be a rib-eating contest, and if there's ever been a better-sounding way to maybe hurt yourself on purpose, I've yet to hear it.
Best of all, the event will raise money for Camp Sunshine, an annual four-day camp for pediatric burn survivors.
607 PRESENTS: BLOCK MONSTER PARTY
9 p.m. Revolution. $10.
Her new record, "The Mad Teacher," boasts ethereal synthesizers ("Dumb Girlz"), icy-sounding dubstep touches ("Stranger Danger") and a club-ready jam about having a double life ("She Wolf"), among others. The album's title is a reference to JLaur's day job as a teacher for the North Little Rock School District.
In addition to JLaur, there will be performances from ItsJusBobby, GM tha Boss, Sarah Cecil and TGE, with Shortfuze on the steel wheels and host DJ No Name. It's an 18-and-older show.
8TH ANNUAL STUEART PENNINGTON RUNNING OF THE TUBS
9 a.m. Central Avenue, Hot Springs.
Well, it's that time of year again, when teams of crazed, costumed contestants get together for the Stueart Pennington Running of the Tubs.
If you're unfamiliar with the annual event, here are the basics: Teams create bathtubs on wheels, fill them with water and a teammate, and then race them down Hot Springs' Central Avenue for the cheering throngs. The audience is encouraged to get in on the fun as well, with water guns, shower caps, robes and so forth.
Sounds like a great time.
New Orleans veterans The Dirty Dozen Brass Band bring the swinging second-line sounds to Revolution Friday, for an all-ages show, 8:30 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of.
UPDATE: I just got word that Little Rock Film Festival pass-holders can get into this show for just $5.
GOOD TIME RAMBLERS
9 p.m. Stickyz.
The Good Time Ramblers are probably a familiar name to most Times readers. The five-piece has spent the last several years honing an Americana sound with roots in the classic rock canon, playing steadily and sharing the stage with some notable country and Red Dirt acts.
This is an 18-and-older album-release show for the band's new full-length, "Bigelow Strange," the follow-up to the 2009 recording "Nashville Cowboy." The 8-song album sounds fantastic (it was produced by keyboardist/vocalist Jeff Coleman and engineered by Coleman and Jason Tedford), especially the keyboards and shimmering pedal steel.
"Illegal Things" gets the record off to an energetic start, with tales of youthful hijinks. "Six Feet Deep" finds the Ramblers considering the pursuit of material things and asking whether it was all worth it. "Last in Line" has some subtly sophisticated, Knopfler-esque guitar playing. It's an earnest, driving rocker and one of the best tunes on the album. "Nothing Left" closes out the album with hypnotic, chiming guitar/keyboard interplay, gorgeous leads and a moving chorus. It's a bit of a departure from the Ramblers' signature sound, but it's a bet that paid off and a fantastic track.
Juanita's hosts "An Open Book: An Evening with Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October," 9 p.m., $25. The evening will include a Q&A, reading from his book "Crazy Making" and an acoustic set of never-before-heard songs.
Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's Intimate Neighborhood Concert Series wraps up, with an ASO chamber performance featuring Arkansas Chamber Singers performing Mozart's Requiem, First United Methodist Church, 7 p.m., $10-$35.
7 p.m. South on Main. Free.
The Oxford American begins its programming at its new South on Main venue with a good'n: author Nathaniel Rich. His latest novel, "Odds Against Tomorrow," has been praised pretty much across the board.
It's about Mitchell Zukor, a young mathematician who takes a job that puts him at the forefront of corporate hedging, calculating the odds of various disasters that might befall society. But soon an actual catastrophe unfolds. It's sort of a comedy of manners/apocalypse thriller that Vanity Fair called "scarily prescient and wholly original."
Rich will read from the book, and if you have not yet secured a copy of it, WordsWorth Books & Co. will have some on hand, presumably so you can get him to sign his name on it. Little Rock-based writer Jay Jennings will emcee, and The John Burnette Duo will play music.
'J DILLA CHANGED MY LIFE'
9 p.m. The Joint. $10-$15.
James Yancey — or as he was more widely known, J Dilla — was one of those rare, brilliant musical minds who died too young and whose influence and unique vision wasn't properly recognized during his time on the planet. The Detroit native had been obsessed with music since he was a child. By the time he was in his teens, he'd already mastered several instruments, started a band and begun experimenting with drum machines and samplers, making forays into the production work on which he would make a career.
Dilla worked with some of the biggest names in hip-hop: A Tribe Called Quest, Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, Pharcyde, Questlove, De La Soul and others. He'd long suffered from a rare blood disorder, and he passed away in 2006 at the age of 32.
His legacy shows no signs of diminishing, though, with numerous tribute albums, posthumous releases and critical accolades continuing unabated. At this show, Rodney Block & The Real Music Lovers will perform with Damarcus "Blaze Beatz" Pettus, Osyrus Bolly, Fiyah Burnz, Sutter Kaine, Asylum and DJ Swift to pay tribute to the late, legendary musical genius.
Revolution. 8:30 p.m. $17 adv., $20 day of.
See, here's the thing about Cinderella: The band is sometimes unfairly lumped in with many of their blow-dried '80s hair-metal band peers. But "Long Cold Winter" and "Heartbreak Station" are solid, quality rock 'n' roll albums. Sure, they have their share of period production touches that maybe you'd do differently now.
But the songs are tough, coming from a Stones/Faces sorta mold, way more strutty and bluesy than anything by White Lion or Nelson or whoever. Seriously, go blast the first two tracks off "Long Cold Winter" — "Bad Seamstress Blues/Fallin' Apart at the Seams" and "Gypsy Road" — and tell me they don't rock.
Frontman and founder Tom Keifer recently released a solo album, "The Way Life Goes," that's cut from a similar cloth. It's 14 tracks of blues-informed, swaggering rock that'll make you forget everything that happened to mainstream rock radio between 1991 and, say, right now. That could be a very good thing indeed, depending on one's particular feelings about post-grunge and Nu Metal and whatever it is that followed those two low points. Expect Keifer to play some of the more rocking cuts from the new album (opener "Solid Ground" is great), along with some Cinderella hits.
John Corabi, formerly of The Scream and who sang for Motley Crue in the Vince Neil interim, opens the 18-and-older show.
Country favorite Jason Aldean comes to Verizon Arena on his "Night Train Tour," with Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., $41-$69.
In search of the right Mother's Day gift? How about taking a trip to Eureka Springs' May Festival of the Arts and the John Two-Hawks Mother's Day Concert? It's at The Auditorium, 2 p.m., $12, and hey! It's free for mothers!
The Mother's Day Strawberry Festival at Bernice Garden is also a good option for showing moms how much they're appreciated. There'll be fresh strawberries for purchase from North Pulaski Farms and Barnhill Orchard, plus Boulevard Bread Co. will be offering strawberry shortcake and other treats, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: 'CIRQUE DE LA SYMPHONIE'
8 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall. $10-$58.
What goes really well with a boisterous orchestra performing a lineup of lively classics? How about high-flying acrobatics? Sound good? Of course it does.
In this, the fifth installment of the Acxiom Pops Live Series, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will be joined by a talented array of dancers — mostly from Russia — who'll perform feats of derring-do, including acts of contortion, dance, acrobatics, juggling, balancing and that thing where they hang and twirl around in midair on really long pieces of fabric.
Musical highlights include Strauss' "Overture to Die Fledermaus," selections from Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" and "Sleeping Beauty Suite," Debussy's "Suite Bergamasque: Claire de Lune" and works by Rimsky-Korsakov, Bizet, Bartok and more. Geoffrey Robson conducts. The program also runs Sunday at 3 p.m.
It's an Osyrus Bolly Birthday Bash at Utopia Restaurant and Lounge, with Osyrus Bolly, Rhetoric Jones, SeanFresh, Big Drew of TGE, Jay Bundy, Zo Carver, Arkansas Bo, Southwest Boaz & Ill Bill, Rod-D, Konyak, Duke Stigall and more, 9 p.m., $5.
The River City Comic Expo features guest James O'Barr, Hot Dog Mike, cosplay, gaming, comics, toys and more, Sherwood Forest, $3.
The Conway Crawfish Crawl includes, naturally, hundreds of pounds of delicious crawfish. But there will also be music from Riverbilly, The Trey Hawkins Band, Jocko Deal, Luscious Spiller and more. Mudbugs are $12 for a plate with two pounds, corn and two potatoes. It starts at 4 p.m. at 1020 Front St. Call 501-932-3054 for more info.
"Wild Wines Of The World" boasts wines from around the world, paired with food from Arkansas restaurants, Little Rock Zoo, 7-10 p.m., $45 members, $50 non-members.
Attention, punkers: The STDs, Jethro Skull, The Muddlestuds and Sin City Scoundrels are playing at Downtown Music Hall, 8 p.m., $5.
Hey you Phanatics, need a Phix? Don't miss this Phish Phacsimile, billed as A Live One: Celebrating the Music of Phish, 18-and-older, Revolution, 9:30 p.m., $5.
If you think of Alvin Youngblood Hart only as a Handy and Grammy award-winning interpreter of roots and blues music of bygone eras (as many seem to continue to try to do), you would be missing the majority of what the multifaceted artist has created thus far and continues to create. It would be akin to judging a bowl of gumbo base solely on a single ingredient, a folly to be sure. That fine gumbo has a roots and blues component, sure enough, but there is also R&B, soul and good ol’ fuse-blowing Southern rock 'n' roll, just to name a few of the ingredients.
Hart hits the White Water Tavern Saturday night with his three-piece band, Muscle Theory. The smart money would seem to indicate that this show will be loud, in your face and will make you shake what you got. Nothing quaint or overly nostalgic seems very likely.
I recently got to talk to Hart about coming to Arkansas. Turns out, he's no stranger to our fair state, his history here dating back to the 1980s, cleaning navigation channels in the Ouachita River. Hart has worked with many Arkansawyers throughout his career. Arkansas-born Memphis record legend Jim Dickinson produced Hart’s album “Start with the Soul,” which contains a blistering cover of Black Oak Arkansas's “Cryin’ Shame.” Hart, along with Dickinson’s son Luther (of The North Mississippi All Stars) and the “Arkansas Son-In-Law” Jimbo Mathus make up the South Memphis String Band. Memphis bass mainstay and Pine Bluff native Mark Edgar Stuart (The Pawtuckets, One Four Fives et al) handled the bass chores for Hart’s band in the early 2000’s. He has also shared the stage with our own Greg Spradlin, the pride of Pangburn.
Though Hart has played Little Rock before, this is his first appearance at the venerable White Water Tavern. Given his history of defying musical categories while still acknowledging the past, the sometimes-cramped White Water should be a perfect fit for his huge sound. If you still need categories to enjoy music, categorize this show under “not to be missed.”
So excited about this show!!!
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