Slave to the rhythm 

Hot Springs has Captured! By Robots, plus Maxine’s reopens.

  • Captured!

Jay Vance, the only warm-blooded entity in San Francisco-based Captured! By Robots, was enslaved by the very artificially intelligent beings he created. The freaky, clamorous, highly entertaining performance band will be Hot Springs on Wednesday, April 19, at the Exchange (100 Exchange St.).

As the phildickian story goes, Vance (a.k.a. “JBOT”) created these artificial beings to deter the ego-flaring and temper tantrums that accompany a band, but his creations rebelled, disemboweled him and have forced him to perform with them all over the universe.

It’s fantastically bizarre: Captured! By Robots has been featured in Spin magazine, and has been asked to perform at various established West Coast art museums. The group sounds like electronica meets Motorhead with a jovial horn section. Vance comes out in full costume, complete with dangling intestines.

The show starts at 9 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) with opening acts Attractive and Popular and the Strangeboys, a mod, Dallas-based group with a Velvet Underground feel. Cover charge is $7. For more information, call 501-282-9057.

This weekend marks the grand opening (or reopening) of Maxine’s Puzzle Bar on Central Avenue in Hot Springs. The old building has been completely gutted and rebuilt, with new decor and the addition of a dance floor, and live music is now on the calendar.

This weekend, Sarah Hughes and Cody Russell will play Thursday, Charliehorse appears on Friday, and the Sarah Hughes Band performs Saturday. Music will start at 9 p.m. until run until closing nightly. No cover will be charged this weekend.

In downtown Little Rock: The Sports Page has been booking local kids to play on the weekend and apparently it has been catching on. Jason Endwood will open for The Bloodless Cooties — who, as you can guess by their great name, are completely nuts — on Friday, April 14.

We spotted vocalist Kristin Goodwin dressed like a pre-saved Wanda Jackson last week and found out that she is no longer with the Chicklettes; she now contributes bass and vocals to the rock band Nasty Abbott, which will be at Midtown Billiards late night Thursday, April 13 ($3 cover for members), and at the Sports Page on Saturday, April 15 ($3) with an opening act. We have yet to catch Nasty Abbott, but we did check out its myspace.com account and listened to the most-downloaded song, “No Show Friday,” a song about the empty side of being in a rock band, with jaunty keys, simple punk-tinged guitar and just enough muddiness to make it real.

Sharing the bill Saturday will be San Antokyo, another Kevin Kerby project that plays occasionally. We’ll blog the show for your local music reading pleasure at the Little Rocking blog on www.arktimes.com. Music at the Sport Page starts at 10 p.m.

We hate doing the whole “comparing a new band with an old band” routine, but we just can’t steer away from describing Mute Math as a sort of Police-Radiohead hybrid. Mute Math will appear at Sticky Fingerz on Wednesday, April 19.

The influence was apparent as we gave a listen to the New Orleans-based band’s debut CD, “Reset.” Perhaps we’re getting a little soft in our older years, but we really loved the excerpts from the album, which sounded up-tempo electric reggae in the songs “Progress” and “Peculiar People,” which were chock-full of warm, optimistic lyrics. We’re sure we’ll revert back to form soon. The Working Title will open at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $10.

The staying power of New Orleans-based improvisational funk band Galactic is evident in the packed dance floors, decades after the band started playing its evolutionary improvisational get-down music all over the world. An “Evening with Galactic” happens at 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, at Juanita’s. Admission is $25 for 18 and up.

We always have to mention him, because he’s a smokin’ hot power player who kicks blues ass: Michael Burks, who has been on a tour of the Midwest and East Coast with John Davies and the rest of his band, is back in town and will be at Sticky Fingerz on Thursday, April 13. Admission is $8. The opening act, yet to be announced, will start at 9 p.m.

Members of The Big Cats will meet in their location centrale this weekend, at Vino’s Brewpub on Friday, April 14, along with the Good Fear from Fayetteville and brand-spankin’-new band Smoke Up Johnny (with former members of Go Fast and Queen Cobra).

The Big Cats are working on a new album with producer Barry Poynter, but no name has been picked, though guitarist and singer Burt Taggart says that they’ve taken a “noisier” direction in their music. Admission is $7. Things get started at 8 p.m. for all ages.

n Meanwhile, also on Friday, Sugar and the Raw, which has developed from a party-hearty image into real, brooding musical contenders with last year’s debut album, will play at Sticky Fingerz. Sugar and the Raw is still delightfully all over the place, and yes, still has got the revelry going on when it’s on stage. Joining Sugar are the M’s and Grand Serenade, all starting at 10 p.m. Admission is $7.

Wrapping it up:

A couple of reggae parties dot the calendar this week. Fire and Brimstone is at Mediums Gallery on Kavanaugh at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 13 ($5); One Stone will have a Bob Marley spring salute on Friday, April 14, at Juanita’s ($7 for 18 and up) … the Electric Cowboy will play host to country music artist Billy Currington on Wednesday, April 20. His hits include ‘Walk a Little Straighter” and “I Got a Feelin’.” Tickets are $20. For more info or tickets, call 562-6000 … Two-man band Trainreck will return to the Press Box on Thursday, April 20. If you like the stripped-down blues of John Lee Hooker and T-Model Ford, with crazy washboard percussion, go see Trainreck. Admission is $5 for the 9:30 p.m. show … Metal guys from Grand Rapids, Mich., Still Remains will appear with Nodes of Ranvier, If Hope Dies and Demericous on Monday, April 17, at Vino’s. The all-ages show starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 … Starving Artist Cafe, at 416 W. 7th St., is scheduling occasional live music. This Thursday, April 13, will be blues guitarist Mark Simpson from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. There is no cover charge.




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