Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned
J.J. GREY & MOFRO
9 p.m. Revolution. $20.
J.J. Grey comes from the humid marshes of Florida, and if ever there was an artist whose music really sounds like the place he comes from, it's Grey, who's possessed of a voice both gritty and deeply soulful and a knack for slinging effortless-seeming blues rock. He and his band Mofro have been kicking up a swampy, funky, blues-inflected sound for more than a decade now. After releasing a couple records on the small label Fog City Records, Grey signed to the long-running Chicago blues imprint Alligator Records, a natural fit, for sure. Grey's last studio album — 2010's "Georgia Warhorse" — was a well-received slab of what his record label's motto advertises: Genuine house-rockin' music. But Grey can go in for the convincing tearjerker, too. Check out the track "King Hummingbird," a near seven-minute ballad that channels classic Allman Brothers or The Black Crowes at their most wistful.
ARGENTA FILM SERIES: 'JUST LIKE US'
6 p.m. Argenta Community Theater. $8.
This documentary follows Egyptian-born American comedian Ahmed Ahmed (who also directed the film) on a tour through Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Lebanon and Egypt to bring standup comedy to a part of the world that many folks don't associate with laughter and good humor. The film follows Ahmed and an assortment of other comedians and, as he told the Washington Post last year, is "about humor and family and culture. There's a smidgen of geopolitics and religion just to raise the question, not to preach it. I'm just hoping audiences respond." The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Arkansas native Taylor Feltner was one of the producers of "Just Like Us." He'll be on hand Wednesday to answer questions after the screening.
9 p.m. Juanita's. $13 adv., $15 d.o.s.
You will likely recall James Durbin as the studded leather-clad young man from Season 10 of American Idol. A fan favorite who made it to the top four urging viewers to "give metal a chance," Durbin brought a dose of hard rock to Idol's mostly pop-oriented proceedings, singing numbers by Guns N' Roses, Queen, Sammy Hagar and Judas Priest, who he brought on the show for a wailing medley of Priest classics "Living After Midnight" and "Breaking the Law." Durbin's on tour right now supporting his debut album, "Memories from a Beautiful Disaster." He was on Idol a couple weeks ago performing the earwormy single "Higher than Heaven," looking like Darby Crash's hunky little brother and sounding a bit like Sebastian Bach fronting a crunchy post-nu metal outfit. In a recent interview, Durbin named Ronnie James Dio as a primary influence. Dio's "music was so heavy but the vocals were so smooth," Durbin said. "To hear this operatic voice over these heavy guitars was just moving." That a guy who did really well on Idol claims Saint Dio among his influences would, on its own, be enough to make me root for him. But Durbin also overcame Tourette's and Asperger's syndromes and struggled just to be able to have normal interactions with people. Plus, he seems like a really genuine dude who just loves metal.
WINE & DESIGN
7 p.m. Clinton Presidential Center. $30-$50.
If your favorite episodes of "Project Runway" were the ones where Tim Gunn asked the designers to create a look based on some abstract concept or something seemingly unrelated to the sartorial arts — architecture, for example — then this event will be right up your catwalk. Sponsored by the American Society of Interior Designers, Wine & Design features looks not only inspired by interior design, but the pieces will actually be made from materials usually used to decorate rooms, not people. Speaking of "Project Runway," the emcee will be none other than Korto Momolu, the runner-up from Season 5. In addition to the unconventional attire, there will be unlimited wine and hors d'oeuvres, door prizes and a silent auction, all benefiting Our House, which provides housing assistance to working homeless people.