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David Olney and Sergio Webb at White Water Tavern 

WEDNESDAY 1/9

DAVID OLNEY & SERGIO WEBB

8:30 p.m. White Water Tavern. $7.

We've been digging on David Olney and Sergio Webb for a while now, and if your musical tastes run toward the dark end of the folk/country/blues genres and you haven't checked them out yet, what are you waiting for? The late, great Townes Van Zandt gets trotted out a lot when it comes to grizzled singer/songwriters, but Olney is one of the few who you could honestly say could be heir to the throne of good ol' TVZ. The latest Olney album, "Robbery & Murder," is the third in a trilogy, available individually or as a set called "Body of Evidence." The songs include new numbers and new versions of classic Olney cuts like "Jerusalem Tomorrow," which was on his 1989 album, "Deeper Well." That track was the standout on Emmylou Harris' 1993 record "Cowgirl's Prayer," which is really saying something considering the fact that the album also boasted compositions from such heavies as Leonard Cohen, Lucinda Williams and Tony Joe White. Olney and Webb have played Maxine's several times, but this will be their first visit to the White Water Tavern. Also on the bill is Mark Currey, of roots-rock faves Monkhouse. RB

THURSDAY 1/10

BLESS THE MIC: J.R. MARTINEZ

7 p.m. Philander Smith College. Free.

After his truck rolled over a landmine in Iraq in 2003, J.R. Martinez suffered severe burns over more than 30 percent of his body and over the course of his recovery he's had 33 different surgeries. So yes, I understand that we all get bummed out about stuff, like how work sucks or nobody understands us or the Internet is being slow. But the vast majority of us will never experience anything as painful as what Martinez has gone through. If you could use a bit of hopefulness and a heartwarming story of overcoming adversity to start off 2013, here you go. Because Martinez didn't let his terrifying injuries stop him from getting out there and living. He became an activist for veterans, an author and motivational speaker and an actor as well. You might be familiar with Martinez from his role as veteran Brot Monroe on "All My Children" or his victory on Season 13 of "Dancing with the Stars." The key, as he told Ellen DeGeneres: "If I have a good attitude, if I stay positive, if I continue to smile every day, something good will happen to me and all of this will make sense." Arkansas connection: Martinez lived in Hope for a while as a youngster. RB

THURSDAY 1/10

JUSTIN BIEBER

7 p.m. Verizon Arena. $52-$94.

One of my favorite tracks of 2010 was Justin Bieber's hit "Baby" slowed down 800 percent and stretched to nearly 15 minutes. I've never listened to the normal speed version, but the slow one is maybe the most gorgeous thing I've ever heard, like Brian Eno and Sigur Ros playing God's own personal synthesizers and blissing out in a floating castle made out of dreams. It was a hit as far as quasi-joke Internet thing-ies go, generating all sorts of parodies and copycats. One dude took a 10-minute Sigur Ros song and sped it up 800 percent to see if it sounded like Justin Bieber (it didn't). It's ancient history as far as memes go, but it was kind of a big thing at the time. The song still sounds great though. I guess Justin Bieber's done some other stuff since then. Put out another massive hit album; became a man; went through a voice change; went to a party where he maybe tried out one of those funny-smelling cigarettes, if photos published Monday on TMZ are to be believed. A paparazzo died last week while trying to get a picture of him. That was weird and sad. Some dudes got arrested last month in a bizarre scheme to kidnap the Biebs and harm him in a brutal fashion that I will not describe here. That was plain crazy. But, it's all just part of growing up, I suppose. He'll make it through these awkward years just fine, and I predict he will have a rewarding acting career later in life, starring in a buddy cop movie in 2022 with Marky Mark, Justin Timberlake and a 3D hologram Dennis Hopper. RB

FRIDAY 1/11

'TCHOUPITOULAS'

See movie listings for show times. Market Street Cinema.

Good news for movie buffs who missed the gorgeous "Tchoupitoulas" at the Film Festival last summer: The film is playing at Market Street. Loosely speaking, it's a documentary that follows three young brothers on a dusk-till-dawn night out in New Orleans. Very loosely: Bill and Turner Ross, the filmmakers (and brothers themselves), are more invested in dreamy impressionism than either reportage or narrative. The camera follows the boys and their adventures but also veers away from the protagonists to dabble in slices of night life. Unhurried and lovingly observant, the Ross brothers capture shot after breathtaking shot of strippers, brass bands, drunks, buskers, drag queens at work and at play. All of it is grounded in the rhythms of the city, both the music — from bounce beats to crappy street bands to traditional jazz — and the voices of the folks that taunt, tease and philosophize in the wee hours. The best voice of all is William, the youngest of the three brothers, who peppers the movie with preteen chatter, both in scene and in voice-over. The languid shots and meandering voice-overs have a Terrence Malick vibe, but the Ross brothers are more funky and playful. The result is a small and quiet movie but its exuberance and lightness are unforgettable. "Tchoupitoulas" was the most fresh and vibrant film I saw last year. Don't miss it this week. DR

FRIDAY 1/11

OPENING DAY AT OAKLAWN

1 p.m. Oaklawn Park. $2.

With the new year upon us, it's time for my favorite Arkansas tradition, opening weekend at Oaklawn in Hot Springs, which has been one of the premier sites for live horse racing for more than a century. Fancy sun hats! Corned-beef sandwiches! Racing forms! Friday is opening day and Saturday features those famous sandwiches on sale for $0.50, which means they'll go through about four tons of corned beef (they're actually kind of forgettable, but a little ambience goes a long way — that pickled/salty pile of meat has the taste of history). The mix of debutantes and debauchery leads to the best people-watching of the year as drunken gamblers curse their luck and highfalutin families show up to their box seats dressed like it's Easter in paradise. Oh yeah, and the races — horse racing is one of those athletic spectacles that you just have to see in person. Part of it is the sensory overload as you get a chance to see up close just how big and fast the animals are, plus the rapid-fire live announcing over the speakers, dirt flying from hooves, the smell of cheap beer and manure. Most of all, it's the suspense of each race, as experts and amateurs alike track their favorites around the track and murmurs from the crowd grow to a roar when the horses come down the final stretch. Then the lucky few scream in triumph. The first race I ever saw at Oaklawn, I won $300 on a $2 bet. My advice is pick a funny name with medium odds. Note for the true racing aficionados: Legendary jockey and three-time Kentucky Derby winner Calvin Borel is likely to notch his 5,000th career victory this season, just the 26th jockey ever to reach that mark; Oaklawn will give out free commemorative trading cards when he does. DR

SATURDAY 1/12

BUSHY LUV

8 p.m. Revolution. Donations of $5 and up.

Last week, the Arkansas electronic dance music scene was dealt a sad and unexpected blow with the death of Jeffry Hudnall, or Bushy as he was known to his many friends. He was a pioneer of bringing EDM to the area, booking big-name artists and throwing some of the most massive Arkansas raves of last decade. I didn't really know Bushy, having met him only briefly once, but reading through the outpouring of emotions from friends and family on his Facebook page made me well up. So many people loved the guy, and it's obvious that he brought an enormous amount of joy to people. This night will be a chance to celebrate his life through the beauty of music. There'll be local and out-of-town DJs, a massive lighting system and they'll be screening photos of Bushy all night. It's 18-and-older, and if you can't make it but want to donate to help his family with their expenses, you can go to LRCrew.com. DJ Revolvr, who plays at Discovery later Saturday night, will close out the show, which will be good news for those ages 18-20, as Discovery is 21-and-older. RB

SUNDAY 1/13

BUTCHER AND PUBLIC WHOLE HOG ROAST.

5 p.m. Dunbar Community Garden. Donations.

Travis McConnell, sous chef at the Capital Hotel Bar and Grill, plans to open Butcher and Public, his own brick and mortar space in Little Rock at some point down the road. To tide us over until then, he's hosting this event — a whole local roasted pig party — to show off his vision. McConnell plans to offer a full meal that's cooked over the fire. He'll roast a pig from Freckle Face Farms on a spit that he and his dad recently built; use produce from Little Rock Urban Farming, Armstead Farms and others, and serve beer from Diamond Bear and Vino's. He said the menu is a reflection of his cooking philosophy: whole butchered animals and fixin's, locally and regionally sourced. McConnell first worked as sous chef at the Capital Bar from 2007 until 2009, before departing for Revival Bar and Kitchen in Berkeley for three years. He returned to the Capital in September after a trip to Italy, where he got to spend a few days studying under Dario Cecchini, who Anthony Bourdain has called "the most famous and respected butcher in Italy and, maybe, the world." He's said Cecchini's butcher shop is a model he aspires to for Butcher and Public. LM

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