"History is always happening" at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
DAVID ALLAN COE
9 p.m. Electric Cowboy.
A few years ago, The Onion published a standalone with this headline: "David Allan Coe waiting outside to kick your ass." Below was a grainy shot of Coe in his tattooed, trash-talking, long-haired redneck splendor, looking like George Clinton by way of the San Quentin beauty salon. The former inmate and Outlaw country pioneer turns 72 next week, and while it might seem logical to presume he's not cracking too many skulls these days, why take that chance? Everybody knows Coe's massive country hits — "Take This Job and Shove It," "You Never Even Called Me By My Name," "Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)?" and others. But you've got to check out his second album, "Requiem for a Harlequin." Country it ain't. It's one of the most out-there albums ever put to wax — an acid-fried, paranoia-soaked, spoken-word freak-out in two acts. Then, of course, there are the notorious "unofficial" albums — inspired by Shel Silverstein no less, and filled with ditties that could charitably be described as extremely un-PC — that were sold exclusively (where else?) in the back pages of Easyrider. All of this is to say that they just don't make 'em like Coe anymore. And he's playing at the Electric Cowboy for Christ's sake. Cody McCarver opens.
MUTANTS OF THE MONSTER MUSIC FESTIVAL
6 p.m. Downtown Music Hall. $8 Fri., $10 Sat. and Sun., $20 pass.
While this festival's name is a nod to Black Oak Arkansas, most of the bands on the bill draw more from the murkiness of the almighty Black Sabbath and the fury of Black Flag than the libidinous, three-guitar chooglin' of Jim Dandy and the boys. That said, there are sure to be some Southern-fried sounds in the mix. But the Natural State connection alone isn't what makes it an appropriate title for this three-day shindig. It's a great title because the folks who make up Arkansas's thriving, diverse underground metal scene take a major cue from Dandy's wild-eyed, not-carin'-what-the-squares-think attitude in their approach to making music. They do it for the love of music and friendship and nothing else. About half the bands playing the inaugural MotM fest are from Arkansas, including headliners Rwake and Deadbird, which will play its album "The Head and the Heart" from start to finish Friday night. This festival was organized by CT from Rwake and Samantha from Downtown Music Hall, and it will hopefully be first of many, according to CT. Friday night's lineup includes headliner Deadbird, Junior Bruce, Snakedriver, Laser Flames on the Great Big News, Placid Eclipse and Crankbait. Saturday night is headlined by Rwake, Rebreather, Sports/Pallbearer, Demonaut, Zucura, Mailbomber, The Currents, Dead I On and Holy Angell. Sunday night is Suplecs headlining, with Seahag, Rue, Hellbender, Brother Andy, Sound of the Mountain, John Calvin, Fallen Empire and Sheeple. The Saturday and Sunday shows start at 1:30 p.m.
15TH ANNUAL HOT SPRINGS BLUES FESTIVAL
5 p.m. Hill Wheatley Plaza. $5.
Blues lovers have it pretty good here in the Natural State. With the long-running King Biscuit Blues Festival, we've got one of the most high-profile blues festivals anywhere, but there is no shortage of quality smaller festivals. That's not to say that the Hot Springs Blues Festival is in any way slight. The two-day event is packed with performers both national and international, including Saturday night headliner Lee Oskar, who was a co-founder of the omnivorous, long-running funk-blues-R&B-soul-rock-reggae outfit War. In addition to being a renowned harmonica player, Oskar started Lee Oskar Harmonicas back in the early '80s. Other performers include Salt & Pepper, Schroeter and Breitfelder, Trampled Under Foot, The Lionel Young Band, E.G. Knight, Joe Pitts Band and more. The whole shebang is bookended with performances by Stella Vees at the Ohio Club — one of the best bars in Hot Springs or, really anywhere. Vees plays Thursday night at 8 p.m. and plays the after party Saturday, which runs from 9 p.m.-1 a.m.
Congratulations Tara, beautifully written!