Little Rock Picture Show returns 



Various venues. $15-$30.

The Little Rock Picture Show, the horror, fantasy and sci-fi film festival that the Arkansas Times' David Koon once described as "the horrid genetic mistake the Little Rock Film Festival keeps chained in the attic," returns this week for four days of film screenings, live music and special events. Day passes are $15, festival passes are $30 and the full schedule is available at facebook.com/LittleRockPictureShow. Highlights include a free screening of "Mad Max II: The Road Warrior" presented by the KABF 88.3-FM show "Tomorrow's Dream" at the Studio Theater (11:15 p.m. Friday); a Q&A with local musician and horror film composer Rocky Gray at the Public Theater (6 p.m. Saturday); a screening of F.W. Murnau's 1922 silent epic "Nosferatu" with a live score by Mainland Divide at the Studio Theater (9:15 p.m. Saturday); and screenings of very promising-sounding recent films "Dude Bro Party Massacre III" (7 p.m. Thursday, Ron Robinson Theater) and "Dog Soldiers" (8:15 p.m. Sunday, Studio Theater), both of which will include panel discussions with their respective filmmakers. WS



9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern.

Fans of The National and TV on the Radio and electric-era Miles Davis and "Maggot Brain" and cautious optimism and astral projection are all encouraged to see self-described "psychedelic afro-futurism" proponent Amasa Hines on Friday night, both because it is one of the state's best bands and because White Water is its natural habitat. The group makes indie rock in the cosmic mode, with saxophones and searing urgency and a sense of history. "Every time we get on stage, there's a door," as frontman Joshua Asante explained in a recent interview. "We can either stay within ourselves and not cross that threshold, or we can lose ourselves." The goal, he said, is "to try to step outside of our physical selves and feel something — and heal something." WS



7 p.m. Dunbar Community Garden Project.

Sometimes I look around at the Times office in all its decadent, free-for-all, playboy sprawl — the discarded caviar and truffles and blow, the empty champagne bottles, the stacks of neglected hundred dollar bills — and I wonder, have we sold out? Are we like Kurt Cobain, ineffectually wearing his "Corporate Magazines Still Suck" T-shirt on the cover of Rolling Stone, as if nothing had changed? For that matter, what's left out there that's actually fun and life-affirming and imaginative, now that "magazines" are mostly just millennials writing recaps of "True Detective" and aggregating Donald Trump tweets? See for yourself at the Third Annual Zine Nite, hosted by Little Rock's own Tree of Knowledge distro (founded at punk shows in the mid-'90s) and the Missouri-based Mini Comix Co-Op. There will be a huge assortment of DIY books and zines and comics, all of them handmade and idiosyncratic and inimitably personal. Box Populi, Little Rock's "first worker-owned-and-operated cafe tricycle," will provide food and the Waffle Wagon will provide waffles. There will also be dark, doom-laden folk from Arkansas songwriter William Blackart, scrappy garage punk from locals Sad Magik and angular math rock from New Orleans band Tare. In other words: Don't despair. WS



Thea Foundation. 6:30-9 p.m. $10.

Drawings by illustrator Sally Nixon will be featured in the Thea Foundation's latest "The Art Department" series, which features work by emerging artists. Nixon's pencil and pen drawings might best be described as Edward Gorey on a happiness bender. Nixon holds a B.F.A. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has published a book, "The Inevitability of Spiders and Flies." The event, the eighth in the Thea series, includes heavy hors d'oeuvres, live music by the Funk A Nites, and a drawing to win an original illustration by Nixon. The exhibition runs through August. LNP



7 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. $10.

John Bush has a history here. Aside from being the great-grandson of the John Bush who founded the Mosaic Templars of America in 1883, Bush has been playing jazz in Little Rock since he was a high school student in the late 1950s and early '60s. He comes from a family of Ninth Street regulars and musicians, including an uncle who played saxophone for Count Basie's band. He had the unique experience, too, of leaving Little Rock right before the downtown scene was desiccated by Interstate 630 and the vagaries of "urban renewal." He came back 25 years later and hardly recognized the place. A direct lifeline to a now-vanished music culture, he is also an inspired saxophonist and a great pick for this month's Arkansas Sounds concert series. What other musicians performing this weekend can tell you about the first time they met Pharoah Sanders? WS



9 p.m. Maxine's, Hot Springs. $5.

Amy LaVere plays upright bass and writes songs about murderers and "pointless drinking." She's maybe the only artist who has worked with both Jim Dickinson and Samuel L. Jackson. Growing up, she attended 13 different schools, fronted punk bands and flirted with acid and crystal meth ("Without drugs, that small town was so boring," she said in a recent interview. "There was nothing I turned down.") She eventually found her way to Memphis, where she immediately booked time at Sun Studio and fell in love with the city's mythic Americana quality. Since then, she's shared stages with Lucero, Lyle Lovett and Todd Snider; played Wanda Jackson (First Lady of rockabilly) in "Walk the Line"; had a song featured on the Oxford American's Tennessee Music issue CD, and recorded an album that Spin Magazine called "the breakup album of the year." She'll play in Hot Springs on Saturday night with her husband, the guitarist Will Sexton. WS



7 p.m. Riverdale 10 Cinema. $5.

If you ever find yourself aboard a miniaturized spaceship traveling through a human inner ear, it is important to remain quiet so as to avoid turbulence. This is one of the many crucial lessons of the 1966 medical sci-fi epic "Fantastic Voyage," directed by Richard Fleischer, who had previously introduced the world to underwater pipe organs and giant squid wrestling matches in his version of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." The films are pretty similar, except that in "Fantastic Voyage" the crew is dodging blood clots and tiny saboteurs rather than sea monsters. Isaac Asimov, who wrote the novelization of the screenplay, apparently complained that it was full of plot holes, but I've always been too distracted by the hallucinogenic color scheme to notice. "You are listening to the sound of a completely new screen experience," as the original trailer promised, "a startling new kind of excitement." Following that screening, the folks at Riverdale 10's Classic Movie Series have decided to keep things rolling by fast-forwarding to the year 2274. "Logan's Run," the first film ever to feature laser holography, also predicted Internet dating and protein shakes and a lot of other things that haven't emerged yet, like ray guns, giant mirror robots, ice tunnels and life-clocks. Roger Ebert called it "unabashed cornball utopian." I call it the future. WS




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