Autumn temps are perfect for outdoor activities
7 p.m. Revolution. $20.50.
Back in 2004, Andrew McMahon left the Orange County heart-on-sleeve pop outfit Something Corporate and went out on his own under the moniker of Jack's Mannequin. His first album, 2005's "Everything in Transit," got a lot of early traction, but McMahon was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after it came out, and had to postpone touring. After a bone marrow transplant from his sister, McMahon recovered and began work on 2008's "The Glass Passenger," which documented the rough road of recuperation from a life-threatening illness. McMahon's tunes call to mind a sort of piano-driven take on the totally earnest confessional-pop bombast of acts like The Get Up Kids and early Ben Kweller, or perhaps a less cheeky Ben Folds. McMahon is nothing if not ambitious: In October, he collaborates with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra for a full-on symphonic production of his songs. Steel Train, Lady Danville and River James open the show.
7:30 p.m. Arkansas Music Pavilion. $22-$102.
As The B-52s enters its fifth decade, it's easy to forget how odd and out-of-step with the times the Athens, Ga., band seemed when it first broke out in the late '70s with its debut self-titled album. Featuring that timeless new wave hit and perennial '80s party mainstay "Rock Lobster," it had a really sparse sound that, coupled with good songwriting, has helped it age much better than many of its peers. In its early days, The B-52s played a sort of kitsch-saturated post-punk that was informed by beach-blanket B-movies and early rock 'n' roll as much or more than it was by the Talking Heads and Devo. With 1989's "Cosmic Thing," The B-52s morphed into a party-anthem colossus. That album spawned two enormous mainstream radio hits — "Love Shack" and "Roam" — which were damn near inescapable at the time and have now become part of the fabric of American pop music. Today, the band enjoys a sort of beloved elder statesmen status among everyone from baby boomers to finicky, graying former college radio DJs.
FAT TIRE FESTIVAL
2 p.m. Various locations in Eureka Springs. Prices vary.
Now in its 14th year, the Eureka Springs Fat Tire Festival, or "Fatty Fest," as it's affectionately known, has become an institution in Northwest Arkansas, with sponsorships from the likes of Timex, Adventure Subaru, and yes, New Belgium Brewing Co., makers of Fat Tire beer. The area's terrain and topography makes it an obvious draw for mountain bikers and the weekend-long festival attracts thousands of contestants and observers for racing, riding, and food and drink. Of course, there's no shortage of gnarly backwoods riding for the serious knobby-tire fanatics, with cross-country rides, timed and observed trials and downhill racing for those fearless souls who hopefully have excellent dental and medical coverage. This year's festival is being billed as the "Year of the Kid," which seems appropriate given the ample amount of noncompetitive kid- and family-friendly rides and events, such as the costume ride and the Kid Bike Rodeo. Entry fees for the races vary and the festivities take place at a variety of tracks, trails, parks and restaurants all over Eureka Springs and the surrounding area. Check the website for details at fattirefestival.wordpress.com.
9 p.m. Arkansas Queen. $15.
For the last few years, Velvet Kente, the Little Rock quartet that swept the 2009 Times Musicians Showcase, has played fairly regularly at several venues. But for those that haven't caught the group live, here's an excellent opportunity. Velvet Kente doesn't really fit into any musical pigeonhole. Sure, the group's influenced by a mish-mash of rock, blues, Afro-beat and soul, but it's still utterly singular. Among Little Rock acts, you won't find a more compelling singer than Joshua, the front man and guitarist who, as we've said before, has the type of commanding stage presence that halts bar chatter and forces everybody to pay attention. Lead guitarist Steve Robinson plays choice licks, while the rhythm section of Tim Anthony and Jamaal Lee is incredible, especially Lee, who's a ferocious yet hella tight drummer. Little Rock bedroom pop ensemble The Evelyns opens the show.