"History is always happening" at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
8 p.m. Hendrix College. $10.
Dr. Dog is a band from West Grove, Pa., who for several years has made a kind of mellow, vaguely uplifting, ramshackle indie rock, adopting the tone and atmospherics of early aughts freak-folk but without ever straying too far into uncomfortable or experimental territory. They are bright and earthy and danceable, cheery and novel enough to be conducive both to car commercials and psilocybin mushrooms. They are a quintessential college rock band, a festival group whose records instantly evoke glow-stick necklaces and face paint and the dying embers of mp3 blogs. Fans say they sound like The Beatles, when what they really mean is that they sound like Fleet Foxes. Championed early on by august institutions such as My Morning Jacket and the New York Times (headline: "Amid Harmonies and Chaos, a Young Band Starts to Find Its Way"), they've stepped up their production values and improbably sustained a huge fan base despite the gradual disappearance of most of their peers. On Thursday they'll play at Hendrix College sponsored by student-run radio station KHDX-FM, 93.1 ("A limited number of tickets will be available to the public," their website warns). WS
THURSDAY 3/12-SATURDAY 3/14
FANTASTIC CINEMA FILM FESTIVAL
Studio Theater. $7-$40.
The Fantastic Cinema Film Festival is a new event sponsored by the Film Society of Little Rock, a set of feature and short films that gravitate around, the film society says, "a select group of genres that includes fantasy, science fiction, action, horror, and crime/suspense." Out of "more than 115 entries from more than 24 countries," they've assembled a program that includes Mexican horror, martial arts epics, several blocks of shorts, Skype Q&As with filmmakers, local presentations and a retro screening of "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter" (starring Crispin Glover). "I think what's actually the best part of this festival," programmer Josh Harrison says, "is how it combines two elements we don't see much of in this region: foreign films and independent genre films. You'll get to see fresh and inventive works of art from other countries that you otherwise would not encounter." Individual screenings are $7, day passes are $15 and full festival passes are available for $40 (at fantasticcinema2015.bpt.me). Check the full schedule at their Facebook page (facebook.com/FantasticCinemaFilmFestival). WS
2ND FRIDAY ART NIGHT
5-8 p.m., participating downtown galleries.
It's the 10th anniversary of 2nd Friday Art Night on Friday, the monthly downtown gallery stroll and trolley event, and to mark the milestone, galleries are participating in a food drive for Arkansas Foodbank. The Foodbank was chosen as a way to honor Debra Wood, a founder of 2nd Friday as the owner of erstwhile gallery ArtSpace and now with the relief nonprofit. Others being honored: Louise Terzia, who is retired from the Historic Arkansas Museum and is now with Argenta Gallery, and Reita Miller, the former arts administrator at the Central Arkansas Library System. Participating venues are the Old State House (Arkansas Chamber Singers will perform at 7 p.m.); the Cox Creative Center of CALS; the Butler Center Galleries (new show by the Arkansas Society of Printmakers); the Arkansas Capital Corp. Group (showing work by Neal Harrington, Tammy Harrington and David Mudrinich); HAM in association with the Downtown Partnership ("Recent Acquisitions," beer provided by Ozark Beer Co.); Gallery 221 & Art Studios 221; and the River Market. Foodbank needs include canned goods, canned or packaged meals, soup, peanut butter, cereal, 100 percent juice, powdered milk, diapers and bath tissue (no glass jars or homemade food, all nonperishable). LNP
BOMBAY HARAMBEE, GHOST BONES, FAUX FEROCIOUS
10 p.m. White Water Tavern.
"Little Rock is a treasure, but sometimes you have to know where to look." That's what Bombay Harambee front man Alexander Jones told the Times in an interview in January, and we more or less agree. One place you might look this Friday is White Water Tavern, where Jones and his band will be celebrating the release of their new vinyl single "Check, Check, Checkmate," which we premiered on our culture blog, Rock Candy, last September. Their Little Rock show, to be followed by a Fayetteville set at the Smoke and Barrel the next night, marks the culmination of a winter tour that led them from Memphis up to Brooklyn and back down south through Lexington, Ky. Along the way they picked up Nashville garage punk band Faux Ferocious, who makes what CMJ calls "scrunchy, strutting trash-pop" (and who cites UGK and "Amish Mafia" as influences), and most recently Hot Springs post-punk band Ghost Bones, who just last week won the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase and who we are therefore contractually (and happily) bound to recommend forever. WS
FIRST EVER 12th ANNUAL WORLD'S SHORTEST ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE
6:30 p.m. Hot Springs. Free.
The First Ever 12th Annual World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade is a glorious march along all 98 feet of Hot Springs' famous Bridge Street, the world's shortest in everyday use according to very-reliable-source Ripley's Believe It or Not. This year's Celebrity Grand Marshal is NASCAR legend (and Batesville native) Mark Martin, once described by ESPN as "the best driver to never win a championship." (Former Grand Marshals include Bo Derek, Jim Belushi and Mario Lopez.) Also on hand: The World's Largest Leprechaun, Irish Elvis impersonators, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, belly dancers, floats, Irish wolfhounds and bagpipes. The parade will be followed by a free concert from Oklahoma country duo The Swon Brothers, who once won third place on "The Voice" and have been touring with Brad Paisley ever since. WS
6 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater.
Frederick Wiseman is a legend in documentary film, one of the only living directors mentioned in the same breath as Robert Flaherty and Jean Rouch — a roll call of pioneers that seems to get smaller every year (Albert Maysles died just last week). Having emerged in the 1960s, the era of "observational cinema," Wiseman specializes in subtle and powerful profiles of institutions, giving his films deliberately bland titles as if to signify their universality: "High School," "Hospital," "Racetrack," "Zoo." He calls them "voyages of discovery," an inspiring, Herzog-ian phrase that suggests something of the obsessive quality of his approach. Wiseman isn't in front of the camera like Michael Moore, interrogating subjects like Errol Morris or even holding the camera like Maysles — Wiseman handles the sound. As he put it in an interview with the online magazine Notebook: "I do the sound, and I lead the cameraman with a mic and there's a third person who carries the equipment around and what I try to do, in all the films, is just get a sense of what is going on at the place." Not that he aims for objectivity. "Documentaries, like theater pieces, novels or poems, are forms of fiction," he's said elsewhere. He makes carefully edited, personal portraits out of observed encounters with place, and his latest, "National Gallery," focuses on the art museum in London's Trafalgar Square, the fourth most visited art museum in the world. The New York Times calls it "at once specific and general, fascinating in its pinpoint detail and transporting in its cosmic reach." The Clinton School of Public Service and the Little Rock Film Festival will screen the film Wednesday night at the Ron Robinson Theater with Wiseman in attendance. WS