As if great beer weren't reward enough, you can earn prizes for sampling local craft beverages
THURSDAY 7/23-SATURDAY 8/1
7 p.m. Argenta Community Theater. $30-$60.
Winston Churchill said that "Mrs. Miniver," the 1942 film about an English family at the start of WWII, "did more for the war effort than a flotilla of destroyers." What the Argenta Community Theater is doing is putting it on stage for the first time ever, with the permission of Warner Brothers and author Jan Struther's estate. In the play, Mrs. Miniver (portrayed by Greer Garson in the Oscar-winning movie) must deal with an escaped German flyer who makes his way to her village after her son has joined the Royal Air Force and husband (Walter Pidgeon in the movie) has gone to Dunkirk. LNP
10 p.m. Revolution. $20 adv., $25 day of.
Mystikal always presented himself as an unhinged lunatic, appearing straight-jacketed in the "Bouncin' Back" video, which was staged in a white padded room. He was the return of James Brown — depending on his mood, he used his voice as either a percussion instrument or a baritone sax over loopy brass band funk. He wore camo and called himself a soulja not only because he was signed to No Limit Records, but because he was a soldier; he was a combat engineer in the U.S. Army during the Gulf War, stationed in Saudi Arabia ("That was some put-hair-on-your-chest, disgusting shit that you had to take like a man," he once told Vibe). Grow up poor and dancing in second lines in New Orleans and go to war in a desert across the planet, and see what your music sounds like after. For Mystikal, it sounded unpredictable and voluble and nervy, full of sudden surges of loudness and energy. On tracks produced by Beats by the Pound or The Neptunes, he sounded like Swamp Dogg in space, a hundred years in the future. The enormous success of his music — of "Y'all Ain't Ready Yet," "Shake Ya Ass," "Danger (Been So Long)" — meant that the most adventurous and unrelentingly experimental hip-hop could still ascend the pop charts, one of those great, groundbreaking instances of the cream rising to the top. How else do you explain making a celebrity out of a man who once recorded a whole song about being on fire? And then called it "I'm On Fire" Incidentally, it's one of the most desperate, vicious songs I've ever heard. Not his best, but maybe his most characteristic: "I'm steamin', sweatin', tossin' and turnin'," he raps. "The whole house on fire, and I can't stop it from burnin'. The curtains and the walls all indulged in flames. I yell, 'Somebody help me,' but ain't nobody came." WS
8 p.m. Vino's.
Pinkish Black's brand of metal is for fans of underwater caves and "Twin Peaks" and existential theater and Catholic iconography and Yes' "Close to the Edge." Their music could have soundtracked "Aguirre, the Wrath of God." Or the New Horizons flight past Pluto into the endless black space beyond. This stuff is scary — there's an edge to it. It's not for dabblers or lightweights or minors or Christians. It's like that scene in "Moby-Dick" where the cabin boy falls overboard and is driven insane by the immensity of the ocean. I think so, anyway — I've never actually read "Moby-Dick." Pinkish Black probably has, though. If there has ever been a band whose members seem like they've all read "Moby-Dick," it is Pinkish Black. That's what Pinkish Black is like. WS
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
Jamie Wyeth, son of painter Andrew Wyeth, nephew of surrealist Carolyn Wyeth and grandson of illustrator Newell Convers Wyeth, has carried on his family's artistic tradition. Like his father's work, he is a realist inspired by subjects close to home: the Brandywine Valley in Pennsylvania and the coast of Maine. This exhibit, from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, features more than 100 works Wyeth created over 60 years, including his childhood drawings. The artist once worked with Andy Warhol at the Factory; "Warhol's Nature" is also on exhibit at Crystal Bridges. Wyeth is speaking at the museum July 24, the night before the opening, with MFA Boston curator Elliott Davis; the event is sold out. The show runs through Oct. 5. LNP
8 p.m. Verizon Arena. $54.50-$176.50.
The Eagles are always associated with California, but it's a fact that Don Henley grew up in Texas. This is important because the band itself was birthed from a very specific cultural context, namely the collision between country culture and the counterculture. Or maybe it was less a collision than a cross-pollination, one that resulted in nudie suits on the West Coast and Bob Dylan's cowboy hat and "Wild Horses" and so on. Bernie Leadon resulted, too. Leadon was in Dillard & Clark and the Flying Burrito Brothers (redneck rock at its most affected), and one day in 1971 he was stoned off peyote and tequila in the Mojave Desert and lecturing Texas transplant Henley on the Hopi Indians and their reverence for the eagle — the Hopi would wash them and feed them rabbits and dance for them and sometimes ceremonially suffocate them. And Henley was high, too, so they started a band and named it The Eagles (or just "Eagles," if you care about that distinction, which I don't). What I mean is that Don Henley was basically Gram Parsons, just a little less talented and a lot less interesting. Things only got good when he dropped the pretense and started making yacht rock. How good is "One of These Nights"? Really fucking good. It's right up there with Al Stewart's "Year of the Cat" and Gerry Rafferty's "Right Down the Line" in the list of songs that validate the casual social use of cocaine. Though, I guess, don't do drugs. Or listen to The Eagles. WS
9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern.
One of the really memorable Little Rock albums of the summer — so far a relatively small stack that includes Cool Chris' "Trap Conversations 2," Headcold's "Awkward Tape" and Country Florist's "CF-2" — is the new self-titled release by Midwest Caravan, a local indie rock band fronted by Louisiana native Sammy Williams. Full disclosure: I've only heard two songs from the album, which won't be released until July 28 (look for it at midwestcaravan.bandcamp.com). But those two songs were great. One of them is named after a font and the other is named after a rollercoaster. Smart, dry, well-produced pop-punk: You'll like them if you like Weezer. They're playing a record release show at White Water on Tuesday with locals The Uh Huhs and Shreveport's Ghost Foot. WS