Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
10 p.m. Shooter's Bar & Grill. $10.
Waaaay back yonder, in the hazy days of 2006, a little country/bluegrass combo from Russellville called Eden's Edge won the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, edging out singer/songwriter Chris Henry for the top spot. "Lucky us that the five acts who made the Showcase finals all still make their homes in Arkansas and grace us with their music, though they should be eyeing a future in Nashville or New York or Los Angeles, if they haven't already," wrote Jim Harris, then entertainment editor at the Times. It was certainly a prescient observation in the case of Eden's Edge, as the band decamped to Nashville the next year. According to the group's online bio, they caught the ear of country songwriter and Fort Smith native Kye Fleming ("I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool," "Smoky Mountain Rain," "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed"). Fleming convinced the trio to make the move to Music City, where they signed with Big Machine Records. They've toured with the likes of Lady Antebellum and Brad Paisley (with whom they got into The Great Door Mat Spat of 2011). Their debut album was released last month and they'll soon hit the road with Rascal Flatts on the "Changed Tour," so here's your chance to see the home state kids done good in an intimate setting.
8:30 p.m. Stickyz. $8.
On "King Tuff," the latest elpee from the King himself — King Tuff, a.k.a. Kyle Thomas, of Vermont — there's a sweetly twisted pop feel that reminds this listener of the sound that the late, great Jay Reatard spent the last year or so of his life mining. The opening song, "Anthem," is no lie, friends. It lives up to the billing with a truly bitchin' loopy guitar part and some sassy handclaps, and when the second guitar track kicks in with the triumphant harmony, it's like, "Yes, this is an Anthem." The second track, "Alone & Stoned," cements the King Tuff M.O. thusly: "There's nothing better than alone and stoned / listening to music on your headphones." Judging by the Internet's reaction, that's the lyric that jumped out the most on the whole album. But who is anyone to argue with the song's core logic? "Bad Thing" is primo garage-pop — as good as any West Coast thing by your Ty Segalls or your Sonny and The Sunsets or your The Fresh and Onlys. Album closer "Hit & Run" is a bouncy rave-up that sounds like T. Rex all hopped up on goofballs and true love. Alas, these are but the album highlights as selected by me. Who knows what treats await the intrepid concertgoer inside the vault of King Tuff? The opening band at this 18-and-older show is Natural Child, a rock 'n' roll trio that hails from Nashville.
'THE FULL MONTY'
7:30 p.m. The Weekend Theater. $16-$20.
Judging from the volume and pitch of the shrieking laughter the mere mention of the film "Magic Mike" elicited from a gaggle of ladies here at the office, there is a market for watching dudes take their clothes off. Of course, actor and former male stripper Channing Tatum is a good bit more chiseled than your average Joe. But perhaps the ladies might also be inclined to watch average Joes disrobe while gyrating to dance music. That's the central premise of "The Full Monty," a musical based on the 1997 hit British film. The stage version is in Buffalo, N.Y., but the story is similar: a group of unemployed blue-collar guys get their grooves back and earn a little scratch by taking it all off. According to director Bob Bidewell, the cast of The Weekend Theater's production won't be totally in the buff. "By law we can't 'bare all' due to ABC regulations. They do remove all garments but are covered by their police hats and a blinding light cue at the very end," he wrote, "exactly as it was done at The Rep." The show's themes about unemployment, economic hardship and how these struggles affect the male psyche are certainly relevant, given the prolonged economic doldrums the country can't seem to escape. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 4.
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