Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned
7:30 p.m. The Joint, Argenta. $20.
Anthony David spent four years in the military "fixing radios and night-vision goggles," before moving to Atlanta and befriending the neo-soul singer India.Arie. He wrote songs for her and toured with her and eventually the pair was nominated for a Grammy for collaborating on a song called "Words." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution went on to call him the best thing to come out of the city "since Usher," though the comparison hasn't exactly proved prophetic — David has struggled to come out from under the India.Arie association, and his style is a little too cosmopolitan, retro and reserved for the zeitgeist. Still, he has a powerful voice ("Bill Withers meets Mos Def" is how India.Arie described him) and a well-deserved following. He performs at The Joint as part of Rodney Block's new monthly Music Innovators series. WS
FAMILY FORCE 5
8 p.m. Magic Springs, Hot Springs. $39.99.
The Russian conceptual artists Komar and Melamid created a fascinating series of artworks in the mid-1990s that they titled "People's Choice." Consisting mostly of paintings (but also two songs), the series was built around the notion of the "most wanted" and "most unwanted" works of art, polling 11 countries to determine, by popular consensus, what elements we objectively like or dislike to see or hear represented. The songs that resulted featured bagpipes, an opera singer rapping, a children's choir (hyping Walmart) and a bullhorn. I remembered the "People's Choice" series while reading the Wikipedia page for Family Force 5, who have been described as "rap metal," "Christian alternative" and "crunkcore" (with "positive, party lyrics"). A bona fide family band, the group's members perform under alter-egos like Crouton, Fatty and Chap Stique (a former member was named Soul Glow Activatur). "Crank it like a chainsaw" is the refrain to one of their most popular hits, "Chainsaw," which could be characterized as nightmare car-commercial dubstep. Its unlikeability is so thorough and overwhelming as to be fascinating — as a work of cultural anthropology and post-art, it is equal to the achievements of Komar and Melamid. WS
2ND FRIDAY ART NIGHT
5-8 p.m., downtown galleries. Free.
It's never too hot to make an art pilgrimage. Besides the frisson you'll get looking at artwork, the galleries have cold beer (at the Historic Arkansas Museum), chilled wine and air conditioning. Thanks to the Art Night trolley, you don't even have to walk between venues. For a bit of the exotic, head to Gallery 221 (221 W. Second St.), where the show "ZEITGEIST" features, among other works by top area artists, Tracy Hamlin's alligator head bustier and codpiece. "Southern Curiosities" continues at the Arkansas Capital Corp. Group (200 River Market Ave.) with work by Diane Harper, Dominique Simmons and Barbara Satterfield. The "State Youth Art Show 2015" is at the Butler Center in the Arkansas Studies Institute (401 President Clinton Ave.) along with the continuing exhibit "Human Faces & Landscapes: Paintings by Sui Hoe Khoo." Parkstone provides the live music; the retail gallery highlights bead weaver Eleanor Lux. Seph Lawless' photographs on urban display are up their final night at the Cox Creative Center (120 River Market Ave.). The beer referred to earlier is made by Core Brewing and Distilling Co. of Springdale, and along with the suds, HAM (200 E. Third St.) serves up a new show, "Heather Condren and Miranda Young," repurposed books by Condren and linocuts from Young. Bonnie Montgomery and Geoff Robinson will perform at the Old State House (300 W. Markham St.) between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. LNP
'THE ADDAMS FAMILY: A NEW MUSICAL'
7:30 p.m., The Weekend Theater. $16-$20.
They're creepy, kooky, altogether spooky, and funny, too, the family created by New Yorker cartoonist Charles Addams. Perhaps you remember the cartoon of little Wednesday Addams putting her doll's head in her toy guillotine? Or being pushed on her broomstick swing by her father, Gomez? Set to music, it ought to really be a scre-um. "Jersey Boys" authors Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice put the ook in ooky in bringing the cartoons to life for the musical, which opened on Broadway in 2010. The storyline: All hell has broken loose because Wednesday has a boyfriend from a normal family. Making the macabre musical will be Drew Ellis as Gomez, Claudia Moskova Cremeens as Morticia, Mackenzie Holtzclaw as Wednesday, Victor Basco as Pugsly, Dahren White as Grandma, Ryan Whitfield as Fester, Xavier Jones as Lurch, James West as Mal, Kristin Marts as Alice and Ethan Patterson as Lucas. In the chorus: Emma Boone, Chloe Clement, Brian Earles, Kelsey Ivory and Payton Justice. LNP
10 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. $5.
Martin Scorsese has sometimes claimed that the most important scene in "Taxi Driver," the 1976 neo-noir classic he directed from a script by Paul Schrader, is a long shot of Travis Bickle (played by Robert De Niro) on the phone with Jodie Foster's character after a disastrous date. While he talks — and we only hear his side of the conversation — the camera begins to slowly pan off to the right, abandoning De Niro entirely to frame an empty hallway instead. "As if it's about to reveal something," Scorsese says on the film's DVD commentary, "And it doesn't." For a film about "the pathology of loneliness" (as Schrader has put it), it's a remarkably stark and pitiful and enigmatic moment: De Niro is utterly alone, and if there is a moral or message to his journey in the film, it is never offered. The film emerged during the decade or so in which the release of a new Robert De Niro movie marked an important cultural event, and his intensity in "Taxi Driver" can be almost unbearable. It's a horror film in some ways, and a black comedy in others. Inspired by Dostoyevsky's "Notes from Underground" and by the diaries of Arthur Bremer (the man who shot George Wallace), the film features the final score by legendary Hollywood composer Bernard Herrmann, an often-overlooked performance by Albert Brooks, and some of De Niro's most iconic moments (from the "You talkin' to me?" speech to the chilling narration). WS
8 p.m. Juanita's. $15.
Ian Moore was a musicology major in college — he's said he wanted to be a journalist like Peter Guralnick, chronicling the twisted roots of Southern music. Instead he became a blues guitarist in Austin, with all the attendant baggage of that persona — Stevie Ray Vaughan comparisons, touring with Joe Ely, being pigeonholed by his own fans. In the early 1990s he signed to Capricorn Records, the Georgia label run by Phil Walden (former manager for Otis Redding and Sam Cooke) known mostly for its association with the Allman Brothers. It appealed to the musicologist in Moore, who dutifully released a very successful and popular blues rock album in 1993, with hits like "Satisfied" that won him spots touring with Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones. The problem was, his taste changed and Walden's didn't. "We built this really deep relationship, and he loved my first record," Moore told the Houston Press recently. "And pretty much from then on, he never liked anything that I did." They finally came to blows over Moore's power-pop-leaning third album, and that was the end of the beginning. Since then, Moore has carved out a leaner, quieter, more independent career, making his own records and playing guitar for bigger acts (Jason Mraz, etc.). WS
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