Naturally, the more popular the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase becomes, the harder it is for the judges to narrow down the contestants to 16 semifinalists. With more than 50 entries this year, some strong bands — including some acts who made the semifinals last year — were left on the sidelines.
When the Showcase opens Thursday, Jan. 27, at Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom, the four bands playing that night and the other 12 semifinalists will make up the most diverse Showcase music lineup yet, with heavy rock, modern rock, jazz rock, hip-hop, bluegrass and country music acts. There are more semifinalists from outside Central Arkansas (and a number coming from the Fayetteville area, which produced last year’s winner, Grandpa’s Goodtime Fandango) than ever before.
The semifinalists (in alphabetical order) and their hometowns are: Beau Nixon and the Big Machine (Little Rock), the Boswells (Little Rock), Charlotte Taylor and Gypsy Rain (Heber Springs), DJ Dirtbag (Little Rock), Fine Line (Hot Springs), the Frup (Arkadelphia), Further Down (Jonesboro), Highway 5 (Sherwood), the Odds (Fayetteville), Phantazmelodia (Fayetteville), PM Today (Jacksonville), Stone Mountain (Conway), Table 12 (Little Rock), Temper Effect (Little Rock), 30 Percent Grey (Little Rock) and Wildwood (Fayetteville).
Here is the performance schedule:
• Jan. 27 — PM Today, Wildwood, Charlotte Taylor and Gypsy Rain, Phantazmelodia
• Feb. 3 — The Frup, the Odds, Table 12, Fine Line
• Feb. 10 — Highway 5, Stone Mountain, DJ Dirtbag, Further Down
• Feb. 17 — 30 Percent Grey, Beau Nixon and the Big Machine, the Boswells, Temper Effect
Semifinal performances will be at 9 p.m. Admission is $5. The Jan. 27 show will be open for all ages until 10 p.m.; for the rest of the showcase, the admission age is 18 and up. The winner of each Thursday contest will advance to the final round, scheduled for Friday, March 4. The overall winner will take home music equipment, recording time from Blue Chair Studio, a guaranteed spot in Riverfest, a photo shoot, $200 in food from Trio’s and more.
Along with the Times, main sponsors for the event are Juanita’s and KMJX-FM, Magic 105. Juanita’s will offer drink specials, and door prizes from Magic, the Times and Juanita’s will be given away throughout each semifinal.
In a case that has been winding through the legal system for at least four years, the Arkansas Court of Appeals today granted a new hearing to Jane Sexton in her claim that her late husband, Springdale firefighter Harold "Bud" Planchon, was entitled to duty related disability benefits for his colon cancer.
Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill of Little Rock seems likely to cruise to re-election against largely unfunded opponents, including Libertarian Chris Hayes and Democrat Dianne Curry, but an independent group has entered the fray against Hill with ads attacking the former banker's votes helpful to big banks.
Sen. Bart Hester, a Republican from Cave Springs who's been endeavoring lately to end state support for the state-owned War Memorial Stadium among other attacks on government spending, distributed a news release today saying he was working on a proposed $105 million income tax cut.
The senior high classes of 1969, ’75 and ’86 and all in between and around were entertained with a completely satisfying four-plus hours of “San Francisco Fest 2016” featuring Bay area natives Journey and The Doobie Brothers, with special guest Dave Mason.
Little Rock police responding to a disturbance call near Eighth and Sherman Streets about 12:40 a.m. killed a man with a long gun, Police Chief Kenton Buckner said in an early morning meeting with reporters.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is installing Sol Lewitt's 70-foot eye-crosser "Wall Drawing 880: Loopy Doopy," waves of complementary orange and green, on the outside of the Twentieth Century Gallery bridge. You can glimpse painters working on it from Eleven, the museum's restaurant, museum spokeswoman Beth Bobbitt said
Eight years. I’ve really been “at the job” of newspapers for much longer, it just focused on entertainment during these past eight years. Starting next week, it will focus on sports. Again. Where I started eons ago.
Where was I, the sports lover, the guy who couldn’t wait for Dickey-Stephens to open, a few of you may ask? I was checking out one of my other loves: a local, original music show at Juanita’s that the University of Central Arkansas Honors College had pull