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Awolnation to Revolution 

WEDNESDAY 5/2

AWOLNATION

8 p.m. Revolution. $17.

Like so many other contemporary acts, Awolnation reminds me of MGMT's first album, "Oracular Spectacular." Shorthand: it's agitated white-boy robo-funk. That's not a dis on any of these bands necessarily; it's just that that I think "Oracular" had a really far-reaching influence. Awolnation is the solo project of Aaron Bruno, formerly of the post-grunge act Hometown Hero and the lite-funk pop quartet Under the Influence of Giants. Bruno put out his first EP as Awolnation in 2010 and got a big hit right out of the gate with "Sail," a pulsing, minimal synth R&B jam about having ADD and stuff. On first listen, it doesn't even seem like that much of a song. There are only like 50 different words and maybe 12 different sounds used in the whole 4 minutes and 19 seconds and the chorus is just him yelling "Saaail! Saaail!" over and over. But the more times you hear it, the better it gets and before you know it, you're listening to it on repeat and going like, "Yeah man, I get it now, 'Saaail! Saaail!' " Macy Gray covered it recently, so there's a serious endorsement. That tune was wisely included on the first Awolnation long-player, "Megalithic Symphony," which came out last year. Of the other tracks, "Soul Wars" and "Burn it Down" stand out. They sound like somebody playing that ultra-rare Little Richard/Kraftwerk jam session bootleg LP on 78 rpm, all pumping along and Bruno's wailing like "whooo!" He goes in for legit soulful sounds as well, such as on "All I Need." His career so far seems to be mirroring the "studly rock band hunk rides electro all the way to the bigtime" path blazed recently by Sonny Moore, a.k.a. Skrillex. So will Bruno be the next Skrillex? Maybe. But he's gonna have to get a way goofier haircut and put more drops in his songs.

FRIDAY 5/4

ARKANSAS FLYER

6 p.m. Wildwood Park. $20-$25.

What better way to kick off Arkansas Heritage Month than this right here, KUAR-FM's sixth annual Arkansas Flyer variety show? Little Rock singer/songwriter Amy Garland hosts the show, which boasts The Salty Dogs as its house band. Surely you know The Salty Dogs. The band is easily The Natural State's finest rockin' classic country revivalists and they've gigged on a regular basis over the last few years, including a recurring spot on Starving Artist's "Tales from the South" readings. The featured band at this year's Flyer is Velvet Kente. Surely you know Velvet Kente. The group won the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase back in aught-nine with stirring performances and intense singing from frontman Joshua. There'll also be the old-timey radio comedy of Invisible Radio Theater as well as a barbecue dinner and drinks, which are free with a ticket.

FRIDAY 5/4

NERVOUS CURTAINS, NEW FUMES

8 p.m. Maxine's. $5.

Bummed-out vibes are the dominant mode on "Fake Infinity," the latest album from Dallas post-punkers Nervous Curtains. It's a piano and drums affair, swathed in buzzing washes of synthesizer that are by turns icy, dissonant, gloomy, foreboding, ominous. Listening to the album feels just a bit like sitting on the floor of a bombed out apartment at 3 a.m., staring at a mute, flickering TV set while across the hall a party full of Xanax zombies rumbles numbly toward the oblivion of dawn. Or something like that. As described on the group's bandcamp page, "This is certainly no beach party." New Fumes, also of Dallas, is a one-man psychedelic pop outfit, most recently in town opening for The Polyphonic Spree and also featured on The Flaming Lips latest album, "Heady Fwends."

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