Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal
8 p.m. Verizon Arena. $39-$147.
Is there another band that rose to fame during the Classic Rock Decade — let's call it 1970-1980 — for which there is broader consensus than Fleetwood Mac? (Side note: I'm referring to the Buckingham/Nicks lineup of the band; the earlier incarnations certainly had their merits, e.g. 1969's majestic "Then Play On"). Sure, you'll hear people dis the giants from that era all the time. The Eagles were and are huge, and sold a ton of records. But they also inspire passionate hatred. Ditto for your Billy Joels and your Elton Johns and your Peter Framptons. But have you ever heard any credible person (basically anybody who's not a gadfly, curmudgeon, spoilsport or stick in the mud) claim that Fleetwood Mac sucks? No, you have not. And why is that? It's because the band made music that was sophisticated and catchy, but also real and human. They were massively popular and despite the ubiquity of many of the group's hits, I never change the dial when "Rhiannon" or "Go Your Own Way" or "Dreams" comes on, even though I've heard 'em a zillion times. The band's hits are simply indelible parts of the pop landscape, one of the few groups that just about everyone can agree on.
CINCO DE MAYO FIESTA
Noon. Clinton Presidential Center. Free.
So before you head on over to the inaugural Arkansas Times' Heritage Hog Roast in Argenta, you should definitely stop by the 15th Annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, organized by the League of United Latin American Citizens. As Daniel Walker noted on Eat Arkansas (which should definitely be part of your daily blog reading), the event promises live music (from Grupo F5, Chico Style and Niris), dancing, kids' activities, games and, of course, delicious food and drinks. If you guessed that that last part meant food trucks, well DING!-DING!-DING! We have a winner! The festival boasts "the best in gourmet food trucks, as well as the best international and authentic Mexican food from around the city served right in Downtown Little Rock." There will be Mexican beers available (and some domestics too), as well as real-deal, authentic margaritas. All proceeds from the event will go toward higher education scholarships, including the Patricia Guardado Scholarship fund at UALR.
ARKANSAS TIMES HERITAGE HOG ROAST
Noon. Sixth and Main streets in Argenta. $10-$30.
So surely, by now, you've heard about the Arkansas Times' Heritage Hog Roast, right? Y'all, this is going to be an epic celebration of slow-cooked, smoky pork. Seriously, there are going to be 11 teams roasting 125-lb. heritage-breed hogs from Falling Sky Farm and Freckle Face Farm, each team competing to see who can create the most succulent, melt-in-your-mouth masterpiece of porcine perfection, along with scrumptious side dishes. That means you can sample from 11 different approaches to winning from some of the tastiest and most celebrated chefs and restaurants in the area. But do you wanna know a secret? Everyone is going to be a winner at this thing, because here's why: hundreds of pounds of delicious pork and side dishes + wine and excellent craft beers from Schlafly + a fantastic lineup of music, including The Lost Bayou Ramblers = Yes! Awesome!
KABF PLEDGE DRIVE LAUNCH PARTY
8 p.m. Revolution. $5.
Little Rock community radio station KABF-FM 88.3 recently announced some lineup and scheduling changes, part of a "reorganization to better serve its listeners and the community on the eve of its 29th year on the air," according to a press release. That means the addition of some new shows (a drive-time music show), the return of some established programs and, of course, fund-raising. The spring pledge drive starts Saturday and goes through May 18. They're kicking things off with a pledge drive concert (18-and-older) that boasts a great lineup of music, emceed by Shoog Radio host Cheyenne Matthews, Ursula and Adam Hogg, with performances from Amy Garland and Nick Devlin, Color Club, Big Piph and Ezra Lbs. If you care about KABF and want to see it continue, show your support by making a tax-deductible donation.
9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern. $5.
Little Rock's Whale Fire has its debut full-length out this week, and will be showcasing the tunes at this here album release show. It's called "Before You Run," and you might be familiar with some of the tunes, including "Dream of Me" and "The Fabric," which were released on a 7" single in September. Those tracks were solid as a single, but I think they might work even better in the opening half of the album, especially "Dream of Me," which kicks the record off with an emotional start. The fifth track, "Take Fire," kicks up the tempo a bit, giving way to "U Will Find," a jaunty, gentle folk number with the reverb-drenched atmospherics and lush singing that the band has made its calling card. The album closes with the nine-minute "All Gone, All Along," a shuffling rumination that includes an awesome head fake of feedback and warped sound effects before winding its way to a coda that lingers perhaps just a touch too long. That very minor criticism aside, it's clear the band has put a lot of work and thought into the album and you can hear that in the end result. Opening up the show will be Whale Fire's fellow travelers The See.
9 p.m. Stickyz. $10 adv., $12 day of.
Titus Andronicus, of New Jersey, is one of the latest in a long line of boozy, melodic punk rock bands that stretches from The Clash and The Pogues and The Replacements up through Dillinger Four and Against Me! and The Hold Steady (they share D4's affinity for long, absurd, often hilarious song titles, e.g., "Still Life With Hot Deuce On Silver Platter"). Titus Andronicus has a much grander and weirder scope and vision than most of those comparisons would lead you to believe. Just give a spin to the band's 2010 album "The Monitor," a loose concept album about the Civil War, interspersed with bits of speeches from Lincoln and Jefferson Davis. The band's latest, 2012's "Local Business," starts with a trifecta of punk anthems that's as exciting as anything I've heard in a good while. They crib from "Personality Crisis" on the 69-second instrumental "Food Fight!" only to move seamlessly into the personal and candid eight-minute epic, "My Eating Disorder," about frontman Patrick Stickles' battle with Selective Eating Disorder. The band is on tour with power-pop-informed punks The So So Glos out of Brooklyn.
THE DEVIL MAKES THREE
8:30 p.m. Revolution. $13 adv., $15 day of.
At this point, bands that mix it up at the intersection of country, folk, blues, hillbilly, ragtime, rock 'n' roll and punk aren't really a novelty anymore. That's just a normal thing, now that everyone figured out it was all pretty similar to begin with and stopped acting like genres are these walls that are necessary to keep things separate. What a silly way to be that was, right? The Devil Makes Three is one of the bands that figured that out about a decade ago. They're a trio out of Santa Cruz, Calif., and their drummer-less, all-string approach doesn't keep them from kicking up a ruckus. Just give a listen to any of the band's albums, but especially their live sets, "A Little Bit Faster and a Little Bit Worse" from 2006 or 2011's "Stomp and Smash." Also on this bill is Jonny Fritz, (formerly known as Jonny Corndawg), a country performer with a gentle lilt and a yen for humorous tunes. He's got a new album out: "Dad Country" on ATO Records.