Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal
9 p.m., Revolution. $10.
Thanksgiving is a perfect holiday. You eat amazing once-a-year foods. You see family you haven't seen in a while. You fall asleep watching football. That's it. Once you've gone through all that,
Emily Post the To-Do List says you can leave or kick everybody out. Once freed, if you don't get sucked into “Home Alone 2” or some other commercial-laden movie you'd never watch if you weren't incapacitated by double-stacked dressing sandwiches, consider stepping out. There's that new Coen Brothers movie, with the soulless cattle-killer-wielding assassin, whom our David Koon called the best onscreen villain since Hannibal Lecter. But that doesn't exactly scream Thanksgiving. Or you could step down to Revolution, where the One Stone reggae band will be playing not just reggae, but all kinds of jams custom-fitted to put your turkey-fattened butt on the dance floor. Get a head start on that fevered Christmas-to-Thanksgiving exercise plan you're already anxiously worrying over. LM.
SMOKE UP JOHNNY/ THE REDS/SAN ANTOKYO
9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
Every year, come holiday time, local music steps up its game. Bands that have been inactive spark into action. Acts that would normally headline share the bill with other would-be headliners. Long lost scene kids come home from faraway places. Everyone is merry. And so it should be the night after Thanksgiving. Few local acts inspire as much smoking and drinking and general misbehavior as Smoke Up Johnny. The barroom rockers just put out their debut release on Thick Syrup; it's surely got to be in contention for local album of the year. Another contender: The Reds, who released “Economy of Motion” several months back. Led by local singer/songwriter Johnny Mac, the band specializes in hook-heavy pop that gets lodged in your head for weeks. Josh Kerby leads San Antokyo, a smart, raw rock outfit. Expect a CD out of them on Thick Syrup soon. LM.
LITTLE ROCK LOVE
9 p.m., Village. $7 adv./$10 d.o.s.
Local hip-hop is nothing if not a collaborative endeavor. There are cliques, sure, but for every act's CD project, you're bound to find five or six other locals helping out with guest spots. At “Little Rock Love,” local rapper Rockst*r shows love to all those who've worked with him over the years. Rockst*r's been busy: A full dozen acts perform. Co-headliners include Conduit head dude Epiphany performing with local diva Gina Gee, local stage star 607 and Rockst*r (it's his party after all). They'll all be performing for a full 20 minutes. Putting it down in support: multimedia superstar Razormack (whose song “Little Rock Love” inspired the concept), Conway collective Arkatext, rapper/DJ Dirtbag, Dat Heat's Bware, rap/dance collective the 4X4 Crew, as well as Mayhemm, Clint G, Sean West, Kwestion and the Cliquestars. The concert will be filmed, so make sure you wear your YouTube best. LM.
9 p.m., Revolution. $8 adv./$10 d.o.s.
Like the band's namesake, Machina appeared at what seemed to be the darkest hour for Phil Taylor of Future Leaders of the World. After two hit singles and a major label debut on Epic, they were unceremoniously dropped while on tour. Taylor, far from dissuaded, formed a new band with other Arkansas hard rock cast-offs from Evanescence and Morningside. With a Latin name, you might be expecting weighty stuff, and you'd be right — they play hard, driving rock not far removed from the members' past work. And if that's not enough, like Evanescence, Machina uses spirituality as a frequent lyrical theme. It's tough, electronically tinted music for tough, electronically mediated times, at Revolution. FB.
KEVIN KERBY AND BATTERY/MAGIC CROPDUSTERS
9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
This should be a regular bill: Kevin Kerby and David Jukes, two of Little Rock's finest singer/songwriters leading their revolving — but always great — backing bands. But the dudes don't get out like they used to. Veterans of several of Little Rock's finest bands — Ho-Hum (both), Gunbunnies (Jukes), Mulehead (Kerby), they've slowed their pace a bit, taking time to raise kids and run pizza joints. Kerby plays solo shows at least every month or so, but this is his first gig with Battery in a long minute. Here's the latest lineup: former Mulehead drummer/producer Geoff Curran, Pants man Pete Jones on piano, Josh Bentley of the Big Cats on bass and Old Sole Marcus Lowe on drums. Jukes, meanwhile, is a ghost outside of his managerial post at Vino's. He's probably busy writing brilliantly skewed songs about frozen boats and cats coming home. Seeing Jukes and the Cropdusters, which features longtime member Jeff Matika on bass and the American Princes' Matt Quinn on drums, is usually just a seasonal opportunity, so make sure you don't miss out. LM.
THE DEADSTRING BROTHERS
9:30 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $7.
Country music, as corporate phenomenon, is based pretty solely at the William Morris offices in Nashville, Tenn. Good thing the Deadstring Brothers aren't that corporate Nashville stuff. Instead, they're a shambling, charming ensemble of outlaw country fans out of Detroit Rock City, playing some traditional country instruments (pedal steel and dobro) and some traditional rock interests (Farfisa organ). Their music is rollicking country-rock that features great showmanship and storytelling. If you haven't heard them on NPR's “Here and Now,” you're in luck. They've been touring since their 2004 self-titled debut, and have a new album coming out on Bloodshot Records. But why not catch them in your own backyard? FB.
FAMILY MADE THANKSGIVING
9 p.m., Village. $5 and canned good, toys or clothes.
Look, if Souljah Boy can become the hottest rapper around with little more than a spare steel drum and “crank dat Superman, ooohhh!”, there's no reason Dre and Jontai can't become huge. For the last three years, the local rap duo has been working the club burner “JumpRope,” which isn't much more than spare synths and “do the jump rope, double-dutch with it.” The kids (and a fair amount of grown folks) can't get enough. Like with Souljah Boy's “Crank Dat,” fans increasingly have been making “JumpRope” YouTube videos: Mostly teens showing off their “JumpRope” steps, with bare feet, in their living rooms. Before Dre and Jontai's song becomes as Pavlovian as Souljah Boy's, you can catch the Little Rock duo at the Village, where they're hosting a special holiday concert, where they'll collect donations of canned food, toys or clothes for the less fortunate. Also on the bill: Rockst*r, local collective Grim Muzik and their younger, high-school-aged offshoot, Combination. LM.
9:30 p.m., Juanita's. $8 adv./$10 d.o.s.
So, this was once how you did it: You play in the garage, you play around town. Maybe someone hears you, maybe they don't. Maybe you make a demo tape, send it around, maybe you end up dejected on Sepulveda Boulevard with a Grammy stuffed in your pocket. Apparently not anymore. Medic Droid, from noted non-rock capital Phoenix, Ariz., has cultivated a large, vocal following, somewhat by virtue of some local shows but mostly from distributing self-made videos and home-produced music via MySpace. It's a fitting medium, as Medic Droid's electro-pop seems more at home on the Internet, or at least the year 2050, than in any rock club I know. But don't let that discourage you from seeing, and dancing along with, Medic Droid and opening act Karate High School at Juanita's. FB.
10 p.m. White Water Tavern. $5.
A delicate, mannered evening of … oh, independent rock. Well, delicate it may not be, but value-packed, interesting and varied musical story-telling it is. Listener Project, from Siloam Springs, is in the early stages of a mid-South tour, fresh off a well-reviewed show at South by Southwest wherein he displayed a rack of knives apparently made by Japanese craftsmen from scuttled Viking ships. OK! Astronautalis is rock 'n' roll influenced, according to the artist, by “my father's career in the rail industry, old country stars, Lone Star beer, people who eat worms for American citizenship” and Trick Daddy. I know the last one a bit better, but the formula may sound more like late, bleepy-era Blur as talk-rapped by Wilco. Little Rock rap star 607 practically requires no introduction, and thus should be seen at White Water, rather than read about in this box. FB.
-By Lindsey Millar and Fritz Brantley