WEDNESDAY 12/12-THURSDAY 12/13
'CAMERAS IN THE COURTROOM: THE WEST MEMPHIS THREE CASE'
7 p.m. Wednesday, Argenta Community Theater. Free.
6 p.m. Thursday, Clinton Presidential Library. Free.
To call "Paradise Lost" one of the most important documentary films of the last 20 years is no overstatement. Indeed, without the film, it's difficult to imagine that the case of three West Memphis teen-agers who were railroaded and wrongfully convicted for the horrific murders of three 8-year-old boys would've turned out the way it did — with their eventual release last summer after 18 years behind bars. The HBO film, by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, includes a wealth of footage from the two trials of the three — a rarity in the American judicial system — that helped to spark widespread interest about the case and foster the grassroots effort to free the young men. The same could be said of journalist and Arkansas Times contributing editor Mara Leveritt's tireless work on behalf of the West Memphis Three, including her book about the case, "Devil's Knot," which is the basis for a film to be released soon. In conjunction with Leveritt's recent cover story, "Cameras in Court," the Times is co-sponsoring two events this week with the Clinton School of Public Service and the Little Rock Film Festival: A Wednesday screening of "Paradise Lost," with Times editor Lindsey Millar leading a post-screening discussion with Leveritt and Jason Baldwin, one of the West Memphis Three wrongly imprisoned for 18 years. On Thursday, Millar will moderate a discussion on the argument for courts of law allowing video recording with Leveritt and Baldwin at the Clinton Presidential Library. Both events are free, but require RSVPs. At press time, the "Paradise Lost" screening had a wait list. Find links to RSVP at arktimes.com/cameras. LM
103.7 THE BUZZ CHRISTMAS CELEBRITY KARAOKE CONTEST
6 p.m. UALR's Jack Stephens Center. $50-$65.
A Central Arkansas holiday tradition continues with this star-studded celebration. The 103.7 The Buzz Christmas Celebrity Karaoke Contest is your chance to see local and national celebs belt out some of their favorite songs. Alongside all your Buzz personalities (including Tommy Smith, David Bazzel, Justin Acri, Pat Bradley, Joe Franklin and others), you can hear Gov. Mike Beebe stretch his vocal cords, as well. This is the seventh year that The Buzz has organized this celebration, which benefits Youth Home, a nonprofit psychiatric treatment center for troubled adolescents. After the karaoke contest, head on over to Cajun's Wharf for the official after-party. Hang on to your ticket stub and you can get into Cajun's free. RB
9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern.
For a certain type of young-ish, scruffy, artsy musician type, Isaac Alexander is one of those guys who'll make you feel not only untalented, but lazy too. He is quite the gifted hand when it comes to visual art, sure (he's one-third of the ad agency Eric, Rob & Isaac), but he's also a multi-instrumental wiz on the fret board, keys and behind a drum kit as well. He plays and has played in numerous groups (Big Silver, Greers Ferry, The Easys, The Boondogs). Alexander's new solo album, "Antivenin Suite" (on Max Recordings), is the follow-up to his 2008 long-player "See Thru Me." That album was voted No. 6 in the Times' Arkansas Music Poll of the all-time best Arkansas albums. Times music editor John Tarpley called the record "an instant classic that's a tastefully spare, devastatingly melodic trip through surviving adulthood." So how does "Antivenin Suite" stack up? Very, very well. At 10 songs and just over a half hour, the album is like that first warm breeze of spring. It's reassuring and pleasant. It's laid-back rock that's not straining at some high-flown concept or blog flavor of the month. Mark my words: Put this album on this spring when you're driving somewhere with the windows down. Highlights? The whole album is a highlight, but OK, some of my favorites are "Changing up the Skyline" and "What Love is All About," lively numbers, the latter a particularly appealing, perfectly brief number with what sounds like some EFX-ed Spanish guitar and piano swirling around and then it's over before you know it. Other faves: the "Chewing Gum Wrapper" and "Kitchen Windows," which has a stabbing Farfisa that's just right in the mix. This record gets better every time I listen to it. Mark it, dude: One of the best albums of 2012. Also on the bill at this show are Adam Faucett and Nashville's Luella & The Sun, several members of which played on "Antivenin Suite." RB