Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
9 p.m. Juanita's. $15 adv., $19 d.o.s.
One of the great should-have-beens of the early '80s metal scene, Toronto's Anvil never saw the level of renown enjoyed by contemporaneous acts such as Slayer, Metallica, Exodus and others. Nonetheless, the band forged ahead in the ensuing decades, releasing albums on small indie labels and playing club shows while holding down decidedly non-metal day-jobs. Anvil achieved probably its greatest level of fame via the 2009 documentary "Anvil: The Story of Anvil," which was made by a former roadie turned screenwriter. The film was a huge hit (Anvil was last in Little Rock performing after a screening at Market Street Cinema) largely due to the compelling friendship between unrelentingly positive vocalist/guitarist Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner (no, not that one, though there is an undeniable air of "Spinal Tap"-esque ridiculousness to the documentary). For being about a thrash metal band, it's an amazingly touching film. And even though there will probably be quite a few folks at the show purely for rubbernecking, Anvil's music is ragin' and stands on its own merits. Opening acts are Little Rock wildmen The Wicked Good and veteran metal acts Vore and Scorned, both of Fayetteville.
THE POLYPHONIC SPREE
8:30 p.m. Revolution. $16 adv., $20 d.o.s.
It's been a few years since we heard from Dallas symphonic-pop outfit The Polyphonic Spree. Just in case you weren't paying attention to music at all between 2003 and 2007 or so, here's the Cliff's Notes version: Tripping Daisy frontman Tim DeLaughter was profoundly bummed by the death of that band's guitarist, Wes Berggren, in 1999. Partly as a reaction to his friend's death (according to an NPR story), DeLaughter began writing joyous-sounding pop songs and assembled this gigantic band, which has as many as two dozen members at any given time, all singing and playing a variety of stringed instruments and sometimes wearing robes. If you dig lush, gorgeously arranged pop music in the vein of later Mercury Rev or "Soft Bulletin"/"Yoshimi"-era Flaming Lips (but are somehow unfamiliar with The Polyphonic Spree), well, this should be a no-brainer. Even if you're not way into that kind of stuff, this show will be entertaining and stands a very good chance of being one of those forever-talked-about concerts that you'll kick yourself for not going to, should you skip it.
CEDRIC BURNSIDE PROJECT
10 p.m. White Water Tavern. $10.
If you've ever had the privilege of seeing the Juke Joint Duo, you're probably aware that in addition to being a stone-badass drummer, Cedric Burnside is also a helluva guitar player and singer. When I saw the band a couple years back at White Water, Burnside stepped out from behind the kit and played a few songs on a resonator or dobro or something. Whatever it was, his songs were, perhaps unsurprisingly, amazing hill country blues, cut from the same entrancing, deep blue cloth as those of his grandfather, the late, great R.L. Burnside. Burnside is in town with his newest band, The Cedric Burnside Project, which last year released its first album, "The Way I Am." Expect this show to be packed; get there early.
'FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF'
7:30 p.m. The Weekend Theater. $12-$16.
In the wake of Tyler Perry's abysmal film adaptation "For Colored Girls," it might be easy for some to forget that the source material — this 1975 play by Ntozake Shange — still contains some powerful, emotionally rich stories of the challenges black women face every day. Composed of 20 "choreopoems" told by seven different women, the experimental play started out Off Broadway, but a year later was enormously successful and went on to win prestigious theatre awards, including a Best Featured Actress Tony for Trazana Beverley. The play's harrowing themes — love, heartbreak, rape, abortion — are timeless, despite Perry's critically reviled cinematic mishap. The production runs Fridays and Saturdays through Feb. 25.