Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal
8 p.m. South on Main. $13-$22.
Lera Lynn is 31 years old, and you know her — if you know her — as the mysterious and languorous dive-bar singer in the second season of "True Detective." She's a kind of Greek chorus in the series, a recurrent fixture whose slow, baritone, apocalyptic folk sets the benumbed tone of the proceedings. She embodies what we imagine Colin Farrell must be feeling as he's slumped over in a booth, lost in thought and whiskey and regretting every moment of his life. Born in Houston, Lynn was raised in the Atlanta area and studied anthropology at the University of Georgia, where she bartended and wrote essays on mandibular evolution. Now she lives in Nashville, where she met the producer (and influential music supervisor) T Bone Burnett and got the "True Detective" gig, an experience she's said in interviews was "kind of like a dream." Her own music — she's released two albums — gestures more obviously toward her Americana influences; she's covered June Carter Cash (and collaborated with Roseanne Cash) and has opened for k.d. lang and Sheryl Crow.
LIL DURK, GUNPLAY
9 p.m. Juanita's. $20.
Rapper Lil Durk grew up in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago where, as he once told Complex magazine, "there was a lot of killing going on as a kid." He emerged as a major Chicago presence in 2012, during the great wave of teenage Chicago drill rappers led by Chief Keef. Their music was rough-edged, stuttering, homemade-feeling, viscerally angry and druggy. For a while, the drill scene became a kind of media avatar for the violence that was sweeping Chicago — a stand-in for the real threats, real guns, real deaths. As if the rappers were responsible for the brutality, rather than responding to it. Like everyone who lived in the vicinity, Durk wasn't able to avoid it all — he spent three months in prison on a weapons charge not long after signing with Def Jam — but his situation is different these days. He's only 22, but wears solid white suits and makes radio-ready songs with R&B hooks by Jeremih and Future. His current tour mate, Gunplay, a raucous, brilliant rapper in his mid-30s, hails from Miami and broke through at roughly the same time as Durk, thanks to an association with Rick Ross. He's more of a writer than Durk is and his persona is more fully developed. He hasn't entirely delivered on his promise yet, but he made an indelible, haunting impression with his 2013 single "Bible on the Dash" (one of the year's highlights — Southern rap at its most spiritually intense and coke-fueled and Larry Brown-esque) — and with his guest verse on Kendrick Lamar's "Cartoons and Cereal" (on which he upstaged Lamar on what probably remains the latter's best single).
THURSDAY 9/24-SATURDAY 9/26
7:30 p.m. The Public Theater. $10 adv., $13 day of.
Twenty-three-year-old Rokas Bernatonis is a Lithuanian TV celebrity and magician who holds the Guinness World Record for "highest throw of a playing card." Not the farthest, that is, but the highest: He throws it straight up into the air, as you can see for yourself on YouTube. It's pretty high. His show is called "Magic Is Something You Make," which seems unarguable, and it involves — according to an oddly worded email I received a few weeks ago — "the newest technologies, 3D projections, computers and phones." Also: "original tricks, comedy acts, elements of psychology as well as mind reading, all highlighted by Rokas' infectious charisma." In publicity photos, he wears a gold bow tie, a headset and the spiked-up frosted tips of a late-'90s pop star. His Instagram is pretty great: He drives Porsches and levitates a ring to the confusion of a sphynx cat. He says that "the art of Magic is the most powerful art form ever," and he'll have three chances this weekend to prove it.
'ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW'
7 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. $5.
Richard O'Brien grew up on a sheep farm in New Zealand, before moving to London in the mid-1960s and finding work as a stuntman. One winter, unemployed and cold, he wrote a musical inspired by old schlock horror and sci-fi movies. "The Rocky Horror Show" opened in a small experimental theater in Chelsea, and sold out repeatedly, ultimately moving to larger spaces, traveling to Los Angeles and finally, in 1975, Broadway. The film adaption opened that same year, a campy rock musical along the lines of Brian De Palma's "Phantom of the Paradise" (with which it initially shared double bills). But unlike De Palma's film — a better movie than "Rocky Horror" in almost every way — it hasn't really left theaters ever since. It's probably impossible to fully account for the movie's enduring cult — though many have tried — but basically: The distribution strategy and aesthetic were perfectly timed to catch the Midnight Movie phenomenon, wherein low-budget new films like "Night of the Living Dead" and re-releases of older stuff like Tod Browning's "Freaks" were screened at midnight for stoned college crowds, repeatedly. "Rocky Horror" also offered a new, weird goth-kitsch fashion sense that audiences could emulate pretty cheaply. Audience-participation rituals were built around it and sustained for decades. Roger Ebert called it more a "long-running social phenomenon" than a movie, which I don't think diminished its achievements. "It started out as an affectionate homage to late-night movies," as its director, Jim Sharman, once put it, "and ended up being an affectionately embraced late-night movie."
ARKANSAS PARANORMAL EXPO
9 a.m.-5 p.m. MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. $5.
The 5th annual Arkansas Paranormal Expo, a benefit for the MacArthur Museum of Military History, features the state's most distinguished psychics, ghost hunters, Sasquatch aficionados, tarot card readers, spiritual mediums, past-life regressionists, energy healers, astrologers, UFO investigators and haunted historians. I can only imagine how proud General MacArthur (or his ghost) must be. Participating institutions include the Spirit Seeker Paranormal Investigation Research and Intervention Team (a.k.a. SPIRIT), Arkansas Ghost Catchers, Paranormal Ozarks Investigation, River Valley Paranormal Research and Investigation, Haunted Tours of Little Rock and Crazy J's Smoke Shop. It will be especially interesting given the MacArthur Museum's own pedigree as a haunted structure: Visitors have cited cigar smells and Civil War uniforms in the basement, a woman in white on the second-floor landing, old-time music in the Aesthetic Room, a prone figure in the theater, and various other 19th century apparitions. Orbs are so common as to be virtually unavoidable. Topics of discussion will be wide-ranging, encompassing numerology, the existence of angels, the authenticity of "water video photography," and a controversial recent sighting of the prehistoric pterosaur in Boise, Idaho. The Waffle Wagon will also be on hand, for anyone interested in waffles.
7:30 p.m. Clear Channel Metroplex. $40-$75.
Take the rudimentary, scattered bleeps and robotic drum machines of cerebral '80s computer pop (Yellow Magic Orchestra, say, or Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark), filter them through a thick codeine haze and the sensibility of a poor, black Southerner raised in Atlanta — an adolescent fly-on-the-wall during his older cousin Rico Wade's recording sessions with Outkast and Goodie Mob — and add the heartbreak of a very public break-up (with R&B star Ciara), the profound confusion of celebrity and fast wealth, an admitted addiction to promethazine cough syrup ("drowning in Actavis suicide"), an obsession with outer space (titles like "Astronaut Status" and "Pluto") and a feel for starkly ironic juxtapositions ("Blood on the Money"). Now imagine the result being remixed by Lee "Scratch" Perry and left out in the sun until it begins to melt and warp slightly, and you're getting close to the music of the Atlanta rapper and singer Future, a.k.a. Future Hendrix. There is no more vital or consistently experimental artist in contemporary pop. No one more openly depressed or troubled, either. I recently played his latest album, "Dirty Sprite 2," for a friend who'd never heard it, and he said it reminded him of Bruce Springsteen's "Nebraska."