You know that any live music season that starts with Diarrhea Planet and ends with Smoke Up Johnny is going to be a very special one, and so it is with the 2013 fall slate of live music in Arkansas.
And yes, that is the real, actual name of an actual, real band. On Sept. 27, Nashville punk outfit Diarrhea Planet returns to Little Rock for a show at Stickyz with openers The So So Glos. That same day sees the kickoff of the second edition of the two-day Arkansas Sounds Music Fest, presented by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and featuring Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks, Collin Raye, Tav Falco and Panther Burns, Bonnie Montgomery and more at First Security Amphitheater and the River Market pavilions. It's all free.
Also Sept. 27, John Paul Keith and The One Four Fives play White Water Tavern, country favorite Pat Green plays George's Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville and the irrepressible Tav Falco and Panther Burns head on down to Spa City for a show with The Bloodless Cooties at Maxine's.
On Sept. 28, alt-country veterans Son Volt and openers Colonel Ford will perform at Revolution. Many in that crowd will no doubt want to rest up, because the very next day, Sept. 29 that'd be, country/punk/metal hellraiser Hank III will be in town for a show, also at Revolution.
There's a great metal show on tap for Sept. 30: Windhand, Iron Tongue and Sumokem will rattle the rafters at White Water Tavern. Also that evening, synth-pop artist Nedelle Torrisi plays at The Undercroft, the new venue at Christ Episcopal Church, 8 p.m., $5. Or if you're up in Northwest Arkansas, NeedtoBreathe is at George's.
The date Oct. 1 is one to keep in mind if you're into virtuosic acoustic guitar wizardry: Australian notable and Certified Guitar Player Tommy Emmanuel returns to Conway for a show at Reynolds Performance Hall at UCA.
There's a tough choice for fans of shaggy singer/songwriter-type rock on Oct. 2, as Okkervil River plays at Revolution and Richard Buckner and Adam Faucett play White Water Tavern.
On Oct. 3, the highly acclaimed psych-pop trio Unknown Mortal Orchestra plays at Stickyz. Also that day, Memphis hip-hop stalwart Yo Gotti is at Juanita's. for something a little more Baby-Boomer-oriented, you can check out Three Dog Night at Oaklawn. Popular Christian singer/songwriter Chris Tomlin plays at Verizon Arena Oct. 4. For something a little more country flavored, The Josh Abbott Band and Tyler and the Tribe play Revolution. Or you metalheads can get a dose of psychedelic heaviness from Savannah, Ga.'s Kylesa at Downtown Music Hall. Also on Oct. 4, Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires return to White Water Tavern and up in Fayetteville, Anda Union, from Inner Mongolia, brings a group of 14 musicians performing on traditional Mongolian instruments, or for something totally different at a WAC venue, classic rock giants ZZ Top get down to some rockin' at the Arkansas Music Pavilion.
On Oct. 4-5, the annual Hot Water Hills Music and Arts Festival returns to Hill Wheatley in Plaza Hot Springs, with two stages of music, artists, kids activities, food, beer and wine and more. Performers include Luella & The Sun, Adam Faucett, The Memphis Dawls, Telegraph Canyon and many others. The DennyWest Music Festival — Oct. 5 at Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts — features Ukulele Bill, REAL Entertaining, Mister Morphis One Man Band, the Hartley Family Bluegrass Band, Posey Hill, the Mulligan Brothers, and BettySoo. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion returns to Little Rock for an Oct. 5 show at Stickyz, or over at White Water Tavern you can catch up-and-coming Portland, Ore., soul-punkers Magic Mouth with Bonnie Montgomery. On Oct. 6, marijuana enthusiast and rapper Afroman is at George's. King Biscuit alums might recognize Memphis singer/songwriter Valerie June, whose new album "Pushin' Against a Stone" is generating some significant buzz. June plays at Juanita's on Oct. 7 with Matrimony and Steve Hester & Deja Voo Doo. Next day, same venue: alt-rock guitar lovers Silversun Pickups perform with openers Electric Guest.