"History is always happening" at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
9 p.m. Stickyz Rock 'n' Roll Chicken Shack. $8-$10.
When I heard Richard Buckner's 1997 a capella tune "Fater," I thought it must be a cover of a traditional Appalachian tune — Almeda Riddle, maybe. It's his, though, solely, and was a telling harbinger of what was to come after, no matter how many organs and cowbells and Wurlitzers he may have surrounded himself with in the middle of his multidecade career. Despite never really becoming a household name and having a long catalog of stubbornly unquotable lyrics, he's built a career in that all-encompassing genre of alt-country, although he's far more Blaze Foley than Cowboy Junkies. His small but fervent following grew in 2000, when he released "The Hill," which takes the form of 18 epitaphs, inspired by the 212 postmortems in Edgar Lee Masters' 1915 "Spoon River Anthology." It was re-released last year on the collection's 100th anniversary. A collection of elegies might be a forthright expression of Buckner's style on the whole; he sings quietly and from the rearview mirror, spinning veiled references to shady dealings and nights spent driving, excuses and dissolution. I'm told he tends to play solo now, looping guitar tracks in a tapestry in live performance that, if his sessions in the Boston Museum of Fine Art are any indication, should be haunting, introspective and lovely.
2ND FRIDAY ART NIGHT
5 p.m. Historic Arkansas Museum, Old State House Museum, downtown galleries. Free.
Typically, 2nd Friday Art Night allows you to peer at the featured works along the gallery walls, to observe it at eye level. This time, at the Historic Arkansas Museum, you'll be walking upon the very art to be highlighted: the grounds themselves. HAM, nee the Arkansas Territorial Restoration, was born from preservationist Louise Loughborough's one-woman lobbying of the legislature to save the buildings on the half-block near the corner of Cumberland and Third streets as the Arkansas Territorial Restoration 75 years ago. In celebration, HAM will be serving a signature brew from Stone's Throw Brewing, the "George Brothers Historic Arkansas Ale." The brew was created with the addition of wild Arkansas yeast harvested from the plums at Dunbar Garden, and is meant to pay tribute to the type of Belgian farmhouse ale that might have been brewed by Little Rock's first brewers, Alexander and Henry George, natives of Germany who operated a biergarten on Rock Street in the mid-1800s. The Pickoids will be picking, and the museum's staff will be giving tours of the Woodruff Print Shop, Brownlee Kitchen and the oldest surviving structure in Little Rock, the Hinderliter Grog House. Explore Loughborough's impact even further by heading down to the Old State House Museum (which she helped beautify) for free pizza, popcorn, soda, adult beverages and a screening of Jeff Nichols' acclaimed film "Mud," with an introduction by movie critic Philip Martin. Other 2nd Friday participants include the Arkansas Capital Corp. (200 River Market Ave.), exhibiting "All I Can See: Alternative Photography"; the Butler Center Galleries (401 President Clinton Ave.), where the new exhibition "From the Vault" opens; the Cox Creative Center (120 River Market Ave.), exhibiting mixed media by Laura Fanning; Matt McLeod Fine Art (108 W. Sixth St.); and Matthews Fine Art (909 North St.).
PALLBEARER, GHOST BONES, HEADCOLD, BAD MATCH
9 p.m. Rev Room. $10.
Any one of the four bands on this bill would be enough to draw folks out on a night when they felt more inclined to hermitry. Lucky for us, Revolution is putting them all in the same place on the same evening. Headlining the show is Little Rock's Pallbearer, a doom metal quartet that put out some of the heaviest sludge this state has ever birthed when it released "Foundations of Burden" in 2014. "Foundations" has six tracks that clock in at just under an hour, all of them richly textured with innumerable guitar tracks that observe the "low and slow" tempos germane to the genre while reinterpreting the mood associated with those tempos. Where Pallbearer's debut album, "Sorrow and Extinction," was dredged in mud, the guitars on "Foundations" are impeccably bright and clean, peppered with the occasional Thin Lizzy-esque guitar duet. The quartet is preceded by the spooky, concise beats of Hot Springs' Ghost Bones (think "Rock Lobster," but, you know, serious). Headcold makes the head spin, in the best way: It's all Circle Jerks and screamo-style punk for eight measures, then shifting another eight bars into the kind of spacey guitar grooves The Cocteau Twins rocked in their earlier years, driven by an aggressive drummer who steers the whole manic ship. Bad Match adds its mad batch to the mix, with Sarah Stricklin's wry, deep-seated vocals and Ryan Hitt's surgically precise bass at the epicenter. The group combines five of the most undeniably versatile musicians in town, and this configuration allows them to plunge into the kind of sincere, straight-ahead rock grooves you imagine they'd enjoy playing together even if they weren't doing so for an audience.
CENTRAL ARKANSAS ROLLER DERBY: DOUBLEHEADER
2 p.m. and 4 p.m., Conway Expo Center. Free-$15.
The roller derby of yore looked more like WWE entertainment than like a legitimate sport: Beautiful women raced at breakneck speed along banked tracks in hot pants, elbowing each other in the gut, pulling hair, calling names; it was sort of a hybrid of early punk shows and pin-up art. The stylized aesthetic, derby aliases and elbow jabs are still alive and well, but modern roller derby players play primarily on flat tracks, practice rigorously (presumably, given a post on our local team's Facebook page that reads "No practice tonight, you need to do some work. ... Lift those weights!") and abide by a pretty strict set of rules governing which block maneuvers are legal and which ones will land you for a spell in the penalty box. This weekend marks the last of the home games this year, and it's a double bill: At 2 p.m., the Central Arkansas Roller Derby (CARD) Queens of the Rink face off against Oklahoma's Enid Roller Girls, followed by a 4 p.m. match between Cabot's Breakneck Brawlers and St. Louis' Fleur Delinquents, who're in the Girls Rollin' in the South (GRITS) league. The leagues profess aspirations to be role models for young women and, to that end, Girl Scouts in uniform with a paying adult get into the match free.
SUNDAY 7/10, TUESDAY 7/12
INTERNET CAT VIDEO FESTIVAL
2 p.m. Sun., 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tue. (reception at 6 p.m.) Arkansas Arts Center. $5.
In a way, we should have all seen this coming. Even in 1989, the year that heralded in the Bob Saget-era of "America's Funniest Home Videos," folks were clustered in groups around a screen watching a carefully curated collection of videos meant to elicit responses ranging from the spit take to a reticent "Well, don't that beat all." In that grand tradition, Minneapolis' Walker Art Center has put together a collage of cat videos, which they describe as "a collection of cat clips — from six-second Vine videos to short films and everything in between," and it's been taking that show on the road to sold-out crowds in St. Paul, San Francisco and abroad. The admission fee for any of the three screenings here in Little Rock will be waived for any attendees who come to the screening with any of the following items in hand for donation to the Humane Society of Pulaski County: Purina Brand Foods, Kong Toys, stuffed toys (no beads), chew toys (no rope toys), collars, zipper bags, bath towels, hand sanitizer or white copy paper. In conjunction with the festival, representatives from HSPC's HEART (Humane Education, Adoption and Rescue Transport) will be at the Lower Lobby (the entrance to the Children's Theatre) from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on July 10 with adoptable cats and dogs.