A venture to this state park is on the must-do list for many, the park being the only spot in North America where you can dig for diamonds and other gemstones and keep your finds.
9:30 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $5.
Quirky Austin quintet Golden Bear might be the most unassuming, unpretentious band on the planet, or, at least, on the indie rock music scene. Lead singer Chris Gregory, a middle school science teacher, composes clever, energetic pop-rock songs in between making lesson plans and grading papers. In typical do-it-yourself fashion, Gregory, with band mates Matt Gardiner (keyboards), Andy McAllister (drums), Jamie Reaves (guitar) and Brent Pennington (bass), recorded the band’s sophomore album, “To the Farthest Star,” in a spare bedroom in his house. While it functions as a side project, the band takes itself seriously without being self-involved. Gregory sings with playful sincerity, and his vocals are often backed by sprightly handclaps and harmonious “oohs” and “aahs.” Channeling the Shins and the Polyphonic Spree, the single “Galaxy Queen” opens with a spacey synth sound and builds into a lively rocker that reflects on love lost in an honest, refreshing way — letting in light, leaving out gloom. On break from school, Gregory is taking his band on a five-stop summer tour.
50 YEARS OF STAX
7:30 p.m., Orpheum Theater, Memphis. $25-$1,000.
Jim Stewart, a white ex-fiddle player, and his sister, Estelle Axton, put the first two letters of their last names together to form Memphis’s Stax Records in 1957. Over the next nearly 20 years, the label put out enough classic music that one could easily make the case that Stax is the greatest soul record label of all time. This weekend’s solid-gold anniversary show will likely be the last opportunity to get a glimpse of any kind of wide-angle shot of what made the label unique. Of course Otis is gone, along with Arkansas’s Johnnie Taylor, Albert King, Rufus Thomas and, for all practical purposes, his daughter, Carla, who’s been willfully out of the public eye for years. Anywhere else that might signal a death knell, but Stax still has enough alums to fill out a large bill in style. He may be crazy, but he’s still got that booming baritone: Isaac Hayes headlines the night with the label’s famous house band, Booker T & the MGs; Eddie “Knock On Wood” Floyd; and Mavis Staples, who’s lately been touring behind her new album, “We’ll Never Turn Back,” a collection of Civil Rights-era songs cast anew. Plus, treats for deeper soul aficionados: Deep soul crooner William Bell and “Able” Mable John will also perform, along with the Soul Children, the Reddings (Otis’ children doing a tribute) and Angie Stone. Public Enemy’s Chuck D hosts with Randy Jackson. All proceeds benefit the Stax Museum of American Soul.
9 p.m., the Village. $12.
Local comedy troupe Red Octopus Theater has been producing dramas, musicals and sketch comedy since the waning days of the first Bush administration. After some 16 seasons, they’re one of the oldest troupes in the country. Named for a coffee table that looked like an octopus and known for their annual “Pagans” holiday revues, the troupe recently put out “Asswell?”, a collection of their material from the last 10 years. This weekend, they take over the Village on Friday and Saturday, for a sketch collection they’re calling “It Takes a Village.” Expect booty-bass, skits featuring the devil and general twisted hilarity. Students get in for $10.
9 p.m., Revolution Room. $15.
Here’s the second sentence from the new bio on Coolio’s website: “His international hit song ‘Fantastic Voyage’ was recently used in a national Pepsi ad that ran during the 2005 Super Bowl, featuring P. Diddy, Carson Daly, ‘Desperate Housewives’ star Eva Longoria and many more.” Wow. You sell 27 million records (according, again, to the bio), then take a 10-year hiatus to do “Celebrity Paranormal Project” and act in “Dracula 3000” and a Croatian drug movie, and, well, I guess, Pepsi ads start sounding pretty relevant. Snark aside, Little Rock is still a small enough market that we’re not likely to get too many club gigs with big-name rappers — even nostalgia-miners — unless they’ve fallen down a peg or three. A note of warning: Coolio’s still making music, so don’t expect just a night of extended versions of “Fantastic Voyage” and “Gangsta’s Paradise.” Local cover favorites Tragikly White open.