Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
RON ROBINSON THEATER OPENING EVENTS
Various times. Ron Robinson Theater.
The Central Arkansas Library System's newly opened Ron Robinson Theater caps off a streak of great and diverse opening-week programming this weekend, beginning Thursday at noon with a lecture on the Arcade Building from a "Graphic Designer's Perspective," courtesy of UALR Art Department Chair Tom Clifton, archivist Shannon Lausch and Joe Swaty. Then, at 5:30 p.m., there's a dance performance by Emily Karnes and Anthony Bryant, with choreography by aptly-named UALR Artist-in-Residence Rhythm McCarthy. Finally, at 7:30 p.m., screenwriter and former Times columnist Graham Gordy will be on hand for a screening of Ray McKinnon's Sundance Channel series "Rectify." Gordy served on the writing staff of the show and will talk about it and "Quarry," a TV series he co-created for Cinemax. Come back on Saturday for a screening of the John Travolta and Joaquin Phoenix firefighter epic "Ladder 49," presented by director Jay Russell, a Little Rock native who also helmed movies like "My Dog Skip" and the 1987 cult film "End of the Line" (featuring Kevin Bacon and Levon Helm). WS
LET IT BLEED: A BENEFIT FOR KABF 88.3 FM
9 p.m., White Water. Minimum donation $5.
"Let it Bleed" was the last Rolling Stones album of the 1960s, released the day before their infamous concert at the Altamont Speedway and featuring the final contributions of Brian Jones, who managed an autoharp part and some back-up congas before being dropped from the band for a drug problem (no small feat in this crowd) and dying a few weeks later. Bookended by perennial Baby Boomer nostalgia-anthems "Gimme Shelter" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want," it seems like the kind of inarguably "classic" rock album that couldn't possibly fail as tribute concert material. Participating artists include Amy Garland, Bonnie Montgomery, Greg Spradlin, Big Silver, and many others. All proceeds go to the local community radio station KABF 88.3 FM, the self-proclaimed but unchallenged "Voice of the People." WS
FRIDAY 1/24-SATURDAY 1/25
AMASA HINES RECORD RELEASE
10 p.m., White Water Tavern.
This is a long time coming. Velvet Kente came out of nowhere in 2009 to become Little Rock's favorite band. Then a year or so later, lead singer/guitarist Joshua — the owner of one of the most powerful and dexterous voices heard in Arkansas in years — joined with another group of veteran musicians to form Amasa Hines, and whichever of the two was playing next became Little Rock's favorite band. All along there's been talk of recording, with only one single from Amasa Hines finding its way to the public. Two years later, Amasa Hines' nine-song debut album, "All The World There Is," is here. Whatever the band's been up to in the studio all these years, it shows. The album is gorgeous, a tour de force of contemplative, Ethio-jazz-flecked, soul-shouting, space rock. Or something like that. Most songs feel like anthems, but controlled — nearly all the tracks clock in around 4 minutes. Joshua, singing earnestly of faith, love and identity, sounds as dynamic as he can live. Norman Williamson's beautiful sax work puts a dreamy haze on everything. The guitar interplay between Joshua and local ace Judson Spillyards is seductively understated. In sum, it's a damn fine record that's bound to get attention beyond Arkansas. Even if you've sworn off buying CDs like me, this is one you'll want to pick up at one of the band's two nights of celebrating its album release. Or hold out for the vinyl, coming in the near future. Either way, consider this a must-do/must-buy. Isaac Alexander and Adam Faucett open the Friday night show. LM
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