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Despite "Little Rock," Of Montreal returns to town 

THURSDAY 5/1-FRIDAY 6/6

ARTOSPHERE FESTIVAL

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

FRIDAY 5/2

OF MONTREAL

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

SATURDAY 5/3

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

SATURDAY 5/3

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

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