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Cosby and The Coo Coo Birads at Stickyz 

FRIDAY 3/29

COSBY, THE COO COO BIRDS

9 p.m. Stickyz. $5.

Just FYI — if one of your buddies asks you this week if you're going to the Cosby show, he or she is (probably) not having a stroke or a flashback or something. There's a new band called Cosby, formed by local vets Mitch Vanhoose and Chad Conder. They've got three tunes up on their bandcamp that sound very promising. Probably my fave so far is "I Think You're Cool," which kicks off with a vintage Kinks-kinda guitar riff followed shortly by a twisted gnarl of tortured guitar, which pops up later on in the tune. On first blush, the song comes off like a garage rock number, but other elements begin to weave in and out and that original riff gradually gets slowed down as the song falls apart. It's a fresh and creative take on an established sound, and I think it points to more good stuff to come from these dudes. They recently added some more members to the live lineup, including Ryan Hitt, Isaac Alexander and Jordan Trotter, so you know it's gonna sound good live. Headlining are The Coo Coo Birds out of San Francisco. They've got the reverb-soaked garage rock vibe down heavy and speaking of heavy, check this: Steve MacKay played sax on one of their tunes. If you're not familiar with him, you need to get your mitts on a copy of an album called "Funhouse" by a little rock 'n' roll combo called The Stooges.

FRIDAY 3/29

ROUXSTER

9 p.m. The Afterthought. $7.

Here's a heads-up for fans of earnest, honest Americana that's a bit on the darker side: Rouxster will be playing an album release show Friday at The Afterthought. The band features Wade Derden and Mark Wyers on guitar and vocals, Chris Michaels on guitar, Dane Clement on bass and Dave Hoffpauir on drums and vocals. The album is called "Hardpan" and it was produced by Jason Weinheimer. I checked out a few of the tracks and they hit all kinds of country-rock sweet spots: twangy guitars, world-weary singing, a lively mandolin, some killer guit-solos, a perfect-sounding snare drum. "Gone Away" is particularly good, with some very good harp-blowing and that mandolin rising to the surface occasionally. The album cover (by Isaac Alexander) is also excellent. They got this rooster to smoke a cigarette, which in my experience is a very tough thing to arrange.

FRIDAY 3/29

ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

7:30 p.m. Statehouse Convention Center. Free.

You've probably heard by now that Robinson Center Music Hall will be undergoing some pretty major renovations throughout next year. In addition to hosting a variety of other programming, Robinson is home to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Of course, the ASO will need to find another suitable venue for its next season, thus this free test run for the Wally Allen Ballroom at the Statehouse Convention Center. The ASO wants to find out what audiences think of the building and how the symphony sounds in there. To that end, they've put together a diverse array of music, including Rossini's "Barber of Seville Overture," Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite," and Strauss' "The Blue Danube," among several others. It's free, but you need to RSVP to kparker@arkansassymphony.org or call 501-666-1761 ext. 114.

SATURDAY 3/30

MACARTHUR UNLEASHED GRAND OPENING

12:40 p.m. MacArthur Park. Free.

Is there anything the people love more than their dogs? Maybe ... . Actually, no, there's probably nothing the people love more than their dogs. That's why pet care is like a multi-gazillion-dollar industry and there are entire parks just for dogs to run around in and frolic with other dogs and so forth. This weekend, Saturday to be specific, we'll see the opening of MacArthur Unleashed, a new dog park situated in Little Rock's MacArthur Park downtown. If you've been to the Murray Park dog park, you dog owners know what to expect, as the rules are pretty much identical (among others, no dogs without people or vice versa; clean up after the dogs; updated shots and tags; no children younger than 10; no aggressive dogs; no pit bulls or other "dangerous breeds and mixes" and so forth). Also on Saturday at MacArthur Park, there's going to be The 8th Annual Dog-Gone Easter Egg Hunt, an Easter egg hunt specifically for canines. Registration starts at noon and there will be more than 5,000 treat- or prize-filled eggs stashed in the area around MacArthur Park Pavilion. There's going to be a dog parade (so dress up your furry friend), contests, prizes, food, photos and music from — who else? — the great country band The Salty Dogs.

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