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SATURDAY 9/15

BEN NICHOLS, ADAM FAUCETT

9 p.m. Revolution. $15.

This is going to present quite the dilemma: American Aquarium and Austin Lucas or Ben Nichols and Adam Faucett. But honestly, either one will be enjoyable for the discerning fan of barroom country rock. By this point, Nichols, who has led Memphis troopers Lucero for going on 15 years, is an elder statesman of the scene. Dude's probably got more miles logged on his odometer than ol' J.B. Hunt's entire fleet. Both solo and with Lucero, he's done just about everything under the sun rock-wise, from wistful folk ballads to whiskey-soaked alt-country ragers, quietly contemplative C&W to ragged, Replacements-style rockers. Times readers and local music fans are also no doubt quite familiar with Adam Faucett. He's been touring extensively over recent months, having already earned a strong local following through his high, strong singing, evocative lyrics and distinctive songwriting. This show is a fundraiser for the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies' inaugural Arkansas Sounds Music Festival, which is coming up Sept. 28-29 and includes Lucero, Black Oak Arkansas, The Cate Brothers and many more. RB

SATURDAY 9/15

AMERICAN AQUARIUM, AUSTIN LUCAS

10 p.m. White Water Tavern. $10.

There's a strong Springsteen vibe on American Aquarium's "Burn. Flicker. Die.," released a couple weeks ago on Travis Hill's Last Chance Records outta right here in Little Rock City. That probably won't come as a surprise for fans of the Raleigh, N.C., band. Over the last six years, they've polished their rowdy barroom country rock with relentless touring. But there's a softer side, too, that comes out a bit more on this latest outing. The shuffling drunkard's lament "Harmless Sparks" might be the most subdued thing they've ever recorded. It's like they somehow managed to commit an actual, real-life hangover onto tape. Elsewhere on the album, the band continues to explore the enduring themes of drink, drugs, women and regret. Pills, powders, gas station coffee and booze by the boatload are nearly omnipresent. On "Savannah Almost Killed Me" B.J. Barham describes how "Savannah almost killed me / with cheap beer and Irish whiskey / singing songs loud and out of tune." I imagine for these seasoned, hard-partying road warriors, you could substitute Savannah for a number of other locales: Chattanooga, Oxford, Richmond, Nashville, and probably Little Rock. The band shares this album release show bill with Austin Lucas (also of the Last Chance roster), the Indiana-based singer/songwriter whose punk/folk hybrid and similarly dogged touring have earned him a steady fanbase. As Times contributor Joe Meazle recently put it, Lucas "sings with a great set of finely-tuned pipes that have that high-lonesome sound in spades, and his lyrics are full of piss, vinegar and adolescent angst." For country rock fans, it's going to be a tough choice between this show and the Ben Nichols and Adam Faucett show. RB

SATURDAY 9/15

2 CHAINZ

9 p.m. Metroplex. $20-$75

What to think of rapper-of-the-moment 2 Chainz? He idolizes 2Pac, if his frequent references to the seminal rapper are any indication, and he rhymes with similar punch, but slower and with a decidedly un-Pac-like goofiness. Consider lyrics from "Birthday Song," the latest single from 2 Chainz debut "Based on a T.R.U. Story": "All I want for my birthday is a big booty ho.../When I die bury me inside the Gucci store/...When I die, bury me inside the booty club." Either this is a satire of mainstream rap's fixation on consumption and strip clubs, or it's the stupidest song you'll hear on the radio all year. That 2 Chainz used to go by the name Titty Boi (a terrible name or a knowingly terrible name?) doesn't clear things up for me. What about his explanation for how he picked his name? "People ask me where the 2 Chainz came from. I tell them I always talk about jewelry, and I always been saying 2 Chainz in a lot of my songs. But lately like the last year or so I've been saying it in introducing my records like '2 Chainz!' and kinda making it family friendly." Call it willful suspension of disbelief, but I'm going with elaborate joke. The Andy Kaufman of rap? 2 Chainz plays in Fayetteville at the Highway 62 Event Center the night before. LM

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