Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived
Performances and screenings of a documentary film on the Little Rock underground music scene will be held Thursday through Saturday at various venues.
Nostalgia fiends spill out of the woodwork all week in celebration of “Towncraft,” the film that documents the late-’80s, early-’90s Little Rock punk scene. On Thursday, old punks (who’re not so punk-ish anymore) will reappropriate the Belvedere, the gazebo in Riverfront Park that used to be one of the go-to underground venues in town. Clicking Beetle Bad Omen Band, which as a depleted unit has been performing lately as Bad Omen Band, reforms to play glass-cutting post-punk with Loch Ness Monster and the Magic Cropdusters, skewed longtime local rockers who’ll be playing new songs off their album, “The Apartment.” Lately ubiquitous, Chris Denny and the Old Soles finish off the bill with folk-rock as good as you’ll find anywhere.
“Towncraft” has its world premiere Friday at Riverdale 10. You’ll have to have an all-access pass to attend (they’re available at www.towncraftmovie.com). Later, two seminal local bands reform at Vino’s: country-rockers Mulehead and Ashtray Babyhead, the late-’90s alt-pop quartet. Smoke Up Johnny, Little Rock’s (and, I’ll venture to say, the whole mid-South’s) best bar-band, rounds out the line-up.
“Towncraft” screens again on Saturday as part of the Little Rock Film Festival. Later, three of Little Rock’s most important bands headline the culmination of Towncraft Week at Revolution. Singer/songwriter Jason Morphew joins national recording artists American Princes; perhaps the most prolific local rock group, Ho-Hum; and a re-formed Trusty, which was probably the most widely beloved act of the Towncraft era.
7 p.m. Thursday, May 17,
the Belvedere, Riverfront Park. $5.
7 p.m. Friday, May 18, Riverdale 10.
All-access pass-holders only. $40.
9 p.m. Friday, May 18, Vino’s. $5. 375-8466.
6:15 p.m. Saturday, May 19,
Riverdale 10. Donations.
9 p.m. Saturday, May 19,
Revolution. $8. 823-0090.
THE SECRET GARDEN
A stage adaptation of the classic novel runs at the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre all weekend.
The adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic novel “The Secret Garden” follows Mary Lennox, a sickly, recently orphaned British girl who’s put in the care of a distant relative who lives in a sprawling, isolated country estate. When Mary finds a secret garden, everything changes. Ten-year-old Riley Knight stars.
7 p.m. Friday, May 18;
3 p.m. Saturday, May 19;
2 p.m. Sunday, May 20.
Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre. $11-$14. 372-4000.
KENNY CHESNEY/PAT GREEN/ SUGARLAND
The best in pop-country
perform at Alltel on Saturday.
No one does pop-country like Kenny Chesney. And certainly, no one sells it like Chesney. “She’s Got It All,” “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy,” “The Good Stuff” and “There Goes My Life” are just a few of his Number 1 hits off albums that went platinum two, three and four times over. While he’s been likened to Tim McGraw and Brad Paisley, both family men, the Knoxville native’s songs follow more of a single-and-free-to-mingle path. To add to that cocktail, Chesney is well on his way to becoming this generation’s Jimmy Buffett, mining the beach-bum persona for all it’s worth. In most of his music videos, you’ll find him barefooted and bare-chested, drinking and sunning on some Caribbean getaway. Seeing him live might be cause to don your Hawaiian shirt and scare up a margarita. Country crooner Pat Green and singer/songwriter duo Sugarland play in support, but might draw just as big of a share of the crowd. Green, a three-time Grammy nominee, released “Cannonball” last year and has steadily developed a strong following from ceaseless touring through the years. Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush are Sugarland, a Nashville duo who write stripped-down yet somehow still anthemic country-tinged pop hits.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 19.
Alltel Arena. $54.50-64.50. 975-7575,
JERMAIN TAYLOR VS. CORY SPINKS
The people’s champ defends his title in Memphis on Saturday.
After December’s decision against Kassim Ouma, the people’s champ journeys across the river for a “Border Battle” against former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks’ son Cory. Maybe the Ouma scare shook JT out of his knock-out obsession and he can get back to being that technically proficient fighter with a sweet jab we all know and love. It’s pretty boring, but I’d rather fall asleep to the fight than not be able to brag about Arkansas having a world champion. HBO will host the telecast (not pay-per-view). Something to look forward to: a contract dispute might make this the last fight where you have to endure Larry Merchant’s drunk, head-scratchingly bizarre commentary. If you can’t make it to Memphis and don’t have HBO, you can catch the fight at Sticky Fingerz for $20.
9:15 p.m. Saturday, May 19.
FedEx Forum, Memphis. $25-$750.
Local country-tinged rockers the Munks play the Afterthought on Saturday.
On their debut “Heartbreak Numbers,” Little Rock alt-country-rockers the Munks compiled a group of moody songs that sometimes call to mind an early evening dance hall (“Nice To Know”) and other times put you in a lonely, empty lounge late at night (“Midget Song,” “Million Miles”). Aaron Grimm’s raspy vocals, reminiscent of a “Bone Machine”-era Tom Waits, lead a band that features piano, violin and pedal and lap steel. The intimate (and smoke-free) Hillcrest venue the Afterthought might be the ideal spot to see the band.
7 p.m. Saturday, May 19.
The Afterthought, 2721 Kavanaugh. $7. 663-1196, www.afterthoughtbar.com.
GREEK FOOD FESTIVAL
Greek Orthodox Church holds its annual food festival Friday through Sunday.
The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church will serve up its annual Greek Food Festival over the weekend. The free outdoor event offers a variety of traditional Greek and Middle Eastern fare: gyros, falafel, hummus, kabobs, tabbouleh, tzaziki and baklava. This year’s festival also includes an Old World market, a large tent-covered area with rows and rows of take-home items. Staples of the Greek kitchen like olive oil, olives, filo, pastas, spices and coffee will be on sale along with unique specialty goods like tahinneh sauce, pasteli (sesame candy), halvah (honey sesame paste) and dolmas. There will also be live entertainment by the Greek American folk dance society, O’Donovan School of Irish Dancers, Dubkee Middle Eastern Dancers and others. Local pop-country singer Bailey Hefley will perform at 7 p.m. Friday. A rock wall and arts-and-craft booth will be set up for kids.
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, May 18.
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, May 19;
12-6 p.m. Sunday, May 20. Free.
BIG DOWNTOWN THURSDAYS
Mix and mingle in the River Market on Thursday nights.
May marks the return of Big Downtown Thursdays, Little Rock’s after-work get-together. The event serves as a business networking and entertainment event benefiting the Arkansas Young Professionals Network. While participants meet and greet and make business connections, they can enjoy acoustic performances by local musicians and food and drinks from local vendors. The seasonal event is held in the River Market district May 17, May 31 and June 14.
6 p.m. Thursday, May 17.
River Market. $5.
RIVERTOP PARTY/ GRANT GARLAND AND CROSSTOWN TRAFFIC
Grant Garland and Crosstown Traffic play the Peabody’s RiverTop Party.
The popular Peabody-Little Rock RiverTop Party starts up again for the summer. Every Friday night, the hotel’s rooftop terrace is open to the public for live music from local bands and cocktails from the fully-stocked cash bar. This Friday, Jonesboro’s Grant Garland and Crosstown Traffic will perform their mellow mix of country-folk songs.
8 p.m.-midnight Friday, May 18. $5.
Building a lead so rapidly and holding it in games, even professional football, is difficult…