Historical entertainment planned for joint celebration of three Southwest Arkansas milestone anniversaries
THURSDAY 5/1-FRIDAY 6/6
Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville.
This week, Irish graffiti artist Maser ushers in the Walton Arts Center's annual Artosphere Festival, a celebration of art and nature featuring national and local artists. Maser's installation, which begins on the lawn of Nadine Baum studios and continues along the Frisco Trail, will also serve as a stage for the Artosphere Trail Mix Concert (June 1). The outdoors will be celebrated indoors as well, with the exhibition "Translating Earth, Transforming Sea" by three-dimensional artists Shawn Bitters, Joan Hall and Laura Moriarity opening May 1 (Fayetteville's First Thursday art walk) at the Joy Pratt Markham Gallery. There will be a curator talk at the event, 5-7 p.m. Musical performances coming up: jazz; Still on the Hill; the Artosphere Festival Orchestra's performance "Live from Crystal Bridges: Mozart in the Museum"; the Dover Quartet, and the Trail Mix Concert Tour featuring Candy Lee & the Sweets, Carter Sampson, Cry You One: A Project of ArtSpot Productions & Mondo Bizarro, ensembles from the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, Martha Redbone Trio, Smokey & the Mirror and Street Drum Corps. Full schedule at waltonartscenter.org/artosphere. LNP
9 p.m. Revolution. $15 adv., $18 day of.
Of Montreal comes from Athens, Ga., where they used to make whimsical and endearingly homemade sunshine pop with album-length concepts in the tradition of The Pretty Things' "S.F. Sorrow" or The Kinks' "Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)." That was the order of the day back then: The biggest thing in Athens was the Elephant 6 collective, which included Neutral Milk Hotel and The Olivia Tremor Control, and Of Montreal were the younger cousins on its fringes. Then front man Kevin Barnes got into Prince and reinvented himself with his laptop; now people dance at their shows. Barnes wrote a song for Little Rock a couple of years ago called "Little Rock." He swore he'd never be coming back to our "shitty little town." The other day I emailed him about it and he said he didn't really remember why his experience had been so bad. He said, "I think I just liked the idea of writing a song about Little Rock." Locals Collin Vs. Adam will open the show. WS
CARROLL CLOAR BIKE RIDE
7 a.m. Arkansas Arts Center. Free.
It's flat in East Arkansas, so a 14-mile bike ride to sites that Carroll Cloar grew up around in Crittenden County should be an easy, as well as unique, way to get a feel for the artist's birthplace and muse. Dr. Stanton Thomas, curator of the exhibition "Crossroads of Memory: Carroll Cloar and the American South" at the Arkansas Arts Center, will lead the tour, one similar to a ride he led last June for the Brooks Museum of Art, where he is on staff. Those wishing to ride should meet at the Arts Center parking lot at 7 a.m. to ensure a 10 a.m. arrival at the Crittenden County Museum at Earle (by car). Among the sights riders will see: Rev. George Washington's funeral monument ("Angel in the Field"), Gibson Bayou Church (the cemetery scene in "Gibson Bayou Anthology") and other rural landmarks portrayed by Cloar. The Arts Center says the ride will suit "the least athletic of us"; you will not be pursued by hostile butterflies. LNP
BLUES ON THE RIVER
2 p.m. First Security Amphitheater. $30 adv., $40 day of.
Founder and sometimes frontman Harold Melvin died in 1997, but his group the Blue Notes are still very much alive and will headline this year's Blues on the River, brought to us by KOKY FM 102.1. The group launched Teddy Pendergrass' career, were crucial to the development of Philly Soul and disco, sued Neil Young for stealing their name in the late '80s and reunited for last year's Soul Train cruise. They're absolutely one of the most important bands of the 1970s: "You without me is like Harold Melvin without the Blue Notes," as Snoop Dogg said on the intro to "Doggy Dogg World." Also performing will be Tawanna Campbell, Billy "Soul" Bonds, OB Buchana, Willie P. and Jaye Hammer. Tickets are available at Uncle T's Food Mart, the Record Rack (in Pine Bluff), Lindsey's Hospitality House, Butler Furniture Depot and Ugly Mike's. WS
'DEVIL'S KNOT' U.S. PREMIERE
6:30 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. Sold out.
Arkansas Times contributing editor Mara Leveritt has been covering the story of the West Memphis Three from the very beginning, interviewing Damien Echols in a maximum security prison for a cover story back in 1994, following up on the case over the next several years as the rest of the country caught on, and eventually publishing the definitive true crime account of the events in 2002, "Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three." The book has now been adapted into a film by the Academy Award-nominated Atom Egoyan, who will be in attendance at the film's U.S. premiere at the Ron Robinson Theater. Also there will be several actors from the film, including Stephen Moyer and Collette Wolfe, Jason Baldwin (one of the Three), and Echols' mother and sister. WS
ARKANSAS TIMES HERITAGE HOG ROAST
5 p.m. Argenta Farmer's Market. $10-$30.
On Saturday, 16 hogs from Scott Heritage Farms in Scott, Ark., will be roasted whole and prepared in 16 different ways by chefs from local venues like South on Main, The Root, Ristorante Capeo, Midtown Billiards and Southern Gourmasian. I'm telling you this both because the Arkansas Times is sponsoring the event, and also because it's important: 16 hogs! Also beers and delicious sides and TVs with Kentucky Derby coverage and the ever-elusive opportunity for friendly, engaged conversation and fellowship. There will be live music from Ghost Town Blues Band, Runaway Planet and The Salty Dogs as well, and the event benefits the Argenta Arts District. All-day tickets are $25 in advance and $30 day of, and music-only tickets (available after 8 p.m.) are $10. WS
SATURDAY 5/3- SUNDAY 5/4
SHOWER THE PEOPLE: THE MUSIC OF JAMES TAYLOR
8 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall. $18-$59.
"Shower the People: The Music of James Taylor," the fifth and final concert program in the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's 2013-14 Acxiom Pops Live! Series, will be held Saturday (at 8 p.m.) and Sunday (at 3 p.m.) at the Robinson Center Music Hall. Taylor rose from obscurity as a singer-songwriter from Chapel Hill, N.C., to international celebrity for his tranquil, some would even say narcotic, folk songs about weather, Mexico and, not uncommonly, himself. An occasional heroin user and noted draft dodger ("psychological reasons"), he also appeared alongside Dennis Wilson in Monte Hellman's muscle-car classic "Two-Lane Blacktop." WS
DISNEY ON ICE: ROCKIN' EVER AFTER
7 p.m. Verizon Arena. $16-$51.
Early in the official trailer for "Disney On Ice: Rockin' Ever After," we're introduced to the director of the children's ice-skating spectacular, Patty Vincent, who is wearing a plaid beret and seems to be standing, oddly, on an archery range. "Get ready to kick off the party," she tells us. Then we are shown footage of figure skaters dressed as lobsters and giant candlesticks gliding around a rink. "This show is part talent show, part fairy tale and all fun," Vincent explains. "There's four-legged fun," she says, "with a skating horse." Then we are shown the skating horse. It looks like two figure skaters sharing a single horse costume; it looks dangerous. We are promised "spunky and enchanted servants," and "a pretty awesome set." She also tells us we'll be dancing in our seats. WS