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New on Rock Candy, Dec. 9 

Little Rock director Jeff Nichols' second feature film, "Take Shelter," has been selected to compete at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. It's one 16 dramatic films — selected from more than 1,000 — that will screen Jan. 20-30. From the Sundance webpage description of the film:

"A working-class husband and father questions whether his terrifying dreams of an apocalyptic storm signal something real to come or the onset of an inherited mental illness he's feared his whole life."

Michael Shannon, who starred in Nichols' debut "Shotgun Stories" and was nominated for an Oscar last year, stars again, along with Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham and Katy Mixon.


Last week, The Underground Pub, the 12-year-old bar and venue underneath Bosco's in the River Market, celebrated a grand reopening following a makeover.

Much has changed, according to owner Scott Harris. For one, it's dropped all things British pub, including the word "pub" in its name; now it's simply, The Underground. No more British pub food either. The menu is now solely the burgers and fried food variety of bar grub and only available for dinner, daily. The new look of the bar is dive-y, Harris said. The interior is all black, 4,000 Christmas lights are hanging from the ceiling and Prohibition-themed decor lines the walls.

"If Deep and Midtown had a baby, this is what it would look like," Harris said.

On the music front, Harris said he's planning on hosting less dance-y pop and more harder rock from local bands on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and possibly Tuesday night in the near future.


Time's tickin', y'all.

We're looking for local acts to enter our annual battle of the bands, the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, to be held beginning Jan. 27 of next year at Sticky Fingerz and concluding on March 4 at Revolution. As usual, the contest is open to any act (solo or group) in Arkansas that specializes in original material. We encourage comers from all genres.

Christmas Eve is the deadline for submission. Uploading artist/band info and mp3s of your material online, via a link at arktimes.com/showcase11, is the easiest method. We've also got an entry form in the paper, so, if you're averse to the digital world, you can fill out that form and mail it and a CD in.

The way the competition works: Reps from the Times and Sticky Fingers/Rev whittle the submissions down to a group of semi-finalists, then each week, four acts square off before five judges (four regular judges and one weekly guest judge). Each week's winner moves on to the finals.

Write showcase@arktimes.com with questions.

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