7:30 p.m. UCA College of Business, Room 107. Free.
Miranda July has published fiction in the New Yorker and The Paris Review, recorded music for the Pacific Northwest labels K Records and Kill Rock Stars, directed and acted in films like "Me and You and Everyone We Know" and "The Future," and worked in multimedia performance art — interactive online projects and video installations — since the mid-'90s. She also, according to a New York Times profile from a few years ago, was once paid $25,000 for coining the doomed brand name Coke II in the early '90s. There are things both good and evil we can learn from her, in other words, and so it's our good luck that she'll be in Central Arkansas this week. After performing at Hendrix College on Feb. 11, she'll be at UCA Thursday night for a public reading and book signing at the College of Business in Room 107. WS.
8 p.m. Verizon Arena. $44.
According to Forbes, Jeff Dunham has been one of the top five highest-paid comedians in the country for the past several years, and can claim the most-watched special in the history of "Comedy Central." Time magazine raves: "... politically incorrect, gratuitously insulting and ill tempered." Whatever your stance on mean-spirited puppetry in comedy (or in general), there is no question that Dunham is the most famous ventriloquist in the world, and for a little under $50 you can catch him onstage as part of his worldwide "Disorderly Conduct" tour, interacting with elaborately outfitted puppets including (possibly) Walter, Peanut, Jose Jalapeno on a Stick (a jalapeno pepper wearing a sombrero), Bubba J, and Achmed the Dead Terrorist. A jalapeno pepper wearing a sombrero! Doors open at 7 p.m. WS.
FRIDAY 2/14-SUNDAY 2/16
6 p.m. Wildwood Park. $5-$10.
Arkansas's annual deep-winter outdoor festival returns for its sixth year, celebrating the first full moon of the year with lights, entertainment, and themed food and beverages from Asia, Jamaica, Mexico, New Orleans, Rome, and Shakespeare's England. What kind of food did they eat in Shakespeare's England? This was my first question after reading the LANTERNS! flyer. I'm guessing a lot of cakes and stews. Regardless, there will be plenty of other options. It will be beautiful, with fire pits and floating lights and so, so many lanterns. Also, it's family-friendly. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12, and free for children ages 5 and younger. WS.
FOR THE LOVE OF THE WU
10 p.m. White Water Tavern.
There's probably no less appropriate or more fun way to spend your Valentine's Day than going to see a tribute to the Wu Tang Clan, and it just so happens that this is an option this year. The night will feature MCs 607, Osyrus Bolly, Bobby, and Bolly Black Star, with live instrumentation provided by the Funkanites and a DJ set by Joshua Asante of Velvet Kente and Amasa Hines. I imagine it will be something like the video for "I Can't Go To Sleep," where the Wu all live and party together in that huge mansion, and Isaac Hayes is there wearing a wizard's robe, and nobody can go to sleep. Also, I heard a rumor that actual third-tier member U-God might be in attendance, but then again I also started that rumor. WS.
THE CEDRIC BURNSIDE PROJECT
10 p.m. White Water Tavern. $10.
The grandson and longtime drummer of the great North Mississippi blues icon R.L. Burnside, Cedric Burnside plays jagged electric blues alongside lead guitarist and fellow Hill Country native Trenton Ayers. The two of them, who perform as The Cedric Burnside Project, play a kind of scraping, shuffling reincarnation of the reckless, up-tempo Hill Country sound R.L. brought to Fat Possum records in the 1990s, but the Project isn't about historic preservation: Burnside is an incredibly accomplished guitarist and drummer (proof: He's won Drummer of the Year at the Memphis Blues Awards three times) and Ayers' approach to slide guitar is ecstatic and sensitive and cool. They are natural collaborators and, for a guitar-and-drums duo, louder than the sum of their parts. WS.
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