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Jessica Lea Mayfield, Green Jelly and Nashville Pussy 

WEDNESDAY 7/27

JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD

9 p.m. Juanita's. $10.

Jessica Lea Mayfield is one of those wise-beyond-her-years singer/songwriters who might cause nonbelievers to reconsider reincarnation. Ruling out the influence of past lives, Mayfield must have either had a string of painful breakups by the tender age of 21, or else she has a powerful imagination and the ability to synthesize real, grownup heartache to a degree so convincing that it doesn't matter whether it really happened. A native of Kent, Ohio, Mayfield kicked off her recording career with a homemade EP that fell into the lap of Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Auerbach helmed both of her full-lengths, enveloping her songs in a sparse yet rich production, particularly her most recent album, "Tell Me," a set dominated by ruminations on relationships that border on the morose. On lead single "Our Hearts Are Wrong," Mayfield feigns aloof circumspection, but reveals her underlying vulnerability over simple acoustic guitar strumming and a gently thudding Casio beat. She's got a smoky, restrained voice and an appealing Midwestern twang (yeah, Ohio folks can have an honest-to-God drawl; have you ever heard Robert Pollard talk?) Her music is a sort of gothic country-pop that, while not exactly bleak, is pretty dark. Ferraby Lionheart opens the show.

SWAY'S FIRST ANNIVERSARY

5 p.m. Sway. $5.

Across Central Arkansas there are approximately 547 million sports bars — loud, smoky places where you can watch the game, devour a giant stack of hot wings and quaff cheap domestic beer gallon by watery gallon. But there aren't nearly as many clubs that cater to the discerning urban sophisticate. Along with a handful of other newer venues, Sway has helped to fill a niche, offering a club atmosphere that's considerably more refined than most other bars in the region. Think dress codes, high-end mixed drinks and DJs playing modern R&B, electronic and dance music. To celebrate its first year, Sway hosts a party with live music from Jason Greenlaw, Buddafli and Shea Marie, specialty cocktails, floral arrangements and a dressed-up atmosphere. Business casual attire is required.

FRIDAY 7/29

'SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR'

7:30 p.m. The Lantern Theatre. $5-$12.

While the Conway Community Arts Association has been producing theatrical performances since the early '70s, the group has not had a permanent venue to call its own until now. A former storefront space at 1021 Van Ronkle is now home to The Lantern Theatre, a black box venue that seats about 75. For its debut performance in the new space, CCAA is producing "Same Time, Next Year," a romantic comedy about an adulterous couple who meet up at a cottage in northern California for an annual tryst. The play — which portrays the two over the years of their relationship — opened in 1975, starring Ellen Burstyn and Charles Grodin. A 1978 film version starred Burstyn and Alan Alda. The production runs through Aug. 7, with 7:30 shows on Friday and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

SATURDAY 7/30

ARKANSAS TRAVELERS, TYRANNOSAURUS CHICKEN

7:30 p.m. Dickey-Stephens Park. $6-$12.

Now this right here is what you call a recipe for the perfect summertime evening: baseball, beer, salty snacks, live music. Combine all four in liberal helpings and enjoy. Hell, you don't even necessarily have to love baseball to have a good time at a Travs game. At $6 to get in, and with inexpensive beer and food, it's one of the best cheap dates in town. After the Travs get done whuppin' up on the Tulsa Drillers, Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase winner Tyrannosaurus Chicken will be playing a set of shambling, psychedelic blues at the Hookslide Corner Beer Garden. Sounds like this is a surefire bet for a memorable summer night.

SUNDAY 7/31

THE BLACK AND WHITE YEARS

9 p.m. Stickyz. $5.

To be honest, this whole early '80s/post-punk revival what-have-you has persisted a hell of a lot longer than yours truly would have thought possible back in the early- to mid-aughts, when he was aggressively ignoring Radio 4, The Rapture, Franz Ferdinand and their ilk. The Black and White Years hails out of Austin, and initially the band was compared to The Talking Heads. But that seems likely a result of former Head Jerry Harrison producing the band's debut, self-titled album. That set was full of jerky guitars and even jerkier rhythms, coming off like a less whimsical XTC or a less dramatic Echo & the Bunnymen or a less funky Gang of Four. The band's new stuff is a move in a poppier direction, mining the New Romantic sounds of Ultravox and Duran Duran, with all of the icy synths, electronic beats and histrionic vocals that define the genre. Booyah! Dad opens.

GREEN JELLŸ

8 p.m. Juanita's. $5.

Back in 1987, Reagan was snoozing his way through the Iran-Contra hearings, S&Ls were failing faster than you could say "repossessed Lamborghini" and a punk band called Green Jello appeared on the Gong Show. It was clear that the band was brought on as one of the sacrificial lambs guaranteed to be ridiculed and gonged off the show in a matter of moments. But little did then-host Don Bleu realize that the band he was smugly escorting offstage would soon go on to conquer the world of pop music, to record albums of timeless beauty and sophistication and create a catalog of masterworks rivaled only by that of the Beatles. Just kidding. Green Jellÿ (as the band was renamed after a threat of copyright litigation from the fine folks at Kraft Foods) was a heavy metal novelty act along the lines of Gwar, right down to the giant foam rubber costumes, scatological humor and ridiculous characters (e.g. Satan's Ham, Cowgod and Shitman — a walking pile of corn kernel-riddled feces, naturally). The band had one of those increasingly rare fluky radio hits with 1993's "Three Little Pigs," memorable for its Claymation video and falsetto chorus "Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin." So what's the band up to in 2011? Here's one way to find out.

TUESDAY 8/2

NASHVILLE PUSSY

8 p.m. Juanita's. $12 adv., $15 door.

Nashville Pussy first started gaining notoriety back in the mid '90s via the bleary, Xeroxed pages of various seedy punk rock fanzines. At the time, the band felt like a necessary corrective to the stilted, over-the-top PC atmosphere prevalent in many quarters of underground music. I had the pleasure and privilege of playing drums in a band that opened up for Nashville Pussy back in 2000, and let me tell you, as far as onslaughts of pure, raging, hedonistic rock excess go, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more raging, hedonistic, excessive outfit. The band hasn't really changed much since its 1998 debut "Let Them Eat Pussy" and it doesn't need to. Just like Angus Young said of AC/DC: "We've been accused of making the same album over and over 12 times. But it's a dirty lie. The truth is we've made the same album over and over 14 times!" The same applies to Nashville Pussy's Motorhead-meets-Skynyrd bruisers. When you've already found the perfect recipe, why tamper with success? Joecephus opens the show.

HONKY

10 p.m. White Water Tavern. $5.

Boy howdy, all you fans of sleazy, rip-roarin', beer-soaked, potty-mouthed, big-butt-loving, cheap-hotel-stayin', delicate-sensibilities-offendin', trucker-speed-bingin', unironic-cowboy-hat-wearin', homemade-porno-watchin', trash-TV-enjoyin', pistol-packin', Waffle-House-leftovers-eatin', unfiltered-Marlboro-smokin', ditch-weed-preferrin', condom-forgoin', deodorant-mockin' rock 'n' roll sure have a tough choice to make between the Nashville Pussy show and this one. Honky's acid-fried Texas grunge boogie hits many of the same sweet spots, but with a way more blues-drenched, ZZ Top/Molly Hatchet sort of flair. The band is led by former Butthole Surfer J.D. Pinkus and includes drummer Justin Collins, formerly of Little Rock. It's unfortunate that these two shows had to happen on the same night. You could either flip a coin or simply try to defy the laws of time and space and occupy two places at once. Might be worth a shot, anyway. Midtown's favorite sons, a.k.a. Sweet Eagle, open up what's sure to be a real hangover inducer.

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