As if great beer weren't reward enough, you can earn prizes for sampling local craft beverages
10 p.m., White Water Tavern.
Formed in Fayetteville as an indie rock/jam fusion band and uprooted to Tennessee, Heypenny has remained a Nashville favorite since releasing the relentlessly catchy CopCar EP in 2009. But if you're out for even a shred of Nashville country twang, look elsewhere. This is pure, bright colored pop music in the vein of Of Montreal's cartoon-y rhythm or OK Go's inexplicably alluring marching band fetishism. In fact, these guys are known to crank out the jams while decked out in pastel showband suits and faux rabbit fur hats. Heypenny arrives fresh off the release of its long-delayed second album, "A Jillion Kicks," a textbook "grower" full of endearingly weird Beach Boys antics and some of the most ambitious, monstrous production to come from a Southern indie release in recent memory. Check the album out in its entirety at heypenny.com. The pop-warriors play with Bonnie Montgomery, the multi-talented songstress who offers up her melodic, Tennessee Three-style country shuffle to the night. JT
'THE HANGING OF DAVID O. DODD'
7:30 p.m., Weekend Theater. $10-$14.
On Friday, the Weekend Theater celebrates a rare world premiere. A two-act drama of historical fiction by Little Rock author Phillip McMath, "The Hanging of David O. Dodd" centers around a Confederate sympathizer determined to save her wounded son and a Union supporter who is fixed on trying to save the life of 17-year-old David O. Dodd, sentenced to hang as a spy. "I like to mingle history and fiction because fiction frequently provides intimacy without context and history the opposite," McMath said in a statement on the Weekend Theater website. "In combining the two in a historical-fictional drama, I hope to connect the two – the subjective with the objective, the existential with the collective." Libby Smith portrays Confederate sympathizer Medora Pilgrim, Deb Lewis is Union supporter Philomena Tottenburg and Aron Long plays Dodd. The play is part of the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial celebration. It continues through March 26. LM
9 p.m., Stickyz. $10.
A burned copy of "Cerulean," the debut album from electronic musician Will Wiesenfeld's glitchy alter-ego, Baths, landed in my hands last summer with a note that said something along the lines of "stop being stubborn about chillwave: this album is great." And it's true: I've managed to keep my ears out of the hyper-trendy, atmospheric pop known as "chillwave" without losing much sleep over the last couple of years. But this music is so much more expansive and, no need to split hairs, amazing than any affixed subgenre would lend you to believe. Gorgeous, laid back and full of rolling glitch beats, wobbly pitch shifts, Prince-aspiring falsetto and cut-and-paste acoustic samples, Baths at once recalls the astral soundscapes of Flying Lotus, the erudite thoroughness of The Books and the creative ferocity of the late, (beyond) great J Dilla. Live, he brings to mind a geekier, younger brother to Girl Talk. On stage, Wiesenfeld jerks and jives in time to his beats, chopped on the spot with unbelievable dexterity on a drum machine/laptop combo. In short, this guy's a box full of surprises you don't want to miss. Baths is joined by electronic, high-energy Sacramento act Gobble Gobble. JT
THE SMALL PONDS/GLOSSARY
8 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
As we've written before, Travis Hill is increasingly pushing his Little Rock label Last Chance Records into the national spotlight. His latest advance? An official SXSW showcase for The Small Ponds, a Raleigh, N.C.-based act that includes folk-rock heroine Caitlin Cary (Whiskeytown, Tres Chicas), Matt Douglas (The Proclivities) and Skillet Gilmore (Whiskeytown). On the way to SXSW, Small Ponds show off their easy-breezy, sweet vocal harmonies in an early gig that pairs them with another band en route to SXSW, Glossary, a Murfreesboro, Tenn., rock 'n' roll outfit that has a huge following in Little Rock. LM.
WILD FLAG/TIMES NEW VIKING
8:30 p.m., Stickyz. $10.
Even though they didn't release a proper recording of a song until last weekend, when NPR broke the Britt Daniel-produced "Glass Tambourine," the indie rock godmothers of Wild Flag have been the subject of much rock crit drooling for months, piquing interest by way of grainy YouTube videos, not to mention their lineup. Supergroup alert: The band is made up by Carrie Brownstein, Mary Timony, Janet Weiss and Rebecca Cole, members of The Minders, Helium, Quasi and Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. Also, do you remember how Sleater-Kinney is, like, probably one of the best American rock bands of all time? Yeah, we never forgot, either. With Brownstein and Weiss, Wild Flag is half Sleater-Kinney. You're pretty much required to go to this one. Also playing: fellow Merge Records band Times New Viking, the ever-amazing lo-fi pop trio who are currently the fourth most-listened-to artist on my last.fm charts and, on some days, my favorite active American band, period. If you haven't given "Move to California" a spin, you're missing out on one of the best songs of the century, period. Oh my God, y'all. This is a big one. JT
DAMIEN JURADO/VIVA VOCE
10 p.m., White Water Tavern. $15.
When Damien Jurado released "Arkansas," a Shirelles by-way-of "Hallelujah" requiem to a lost love in the Natural State, Black Oak Arkansas's "When Electricity Came to Arkansas" and Bruce Springsteen's "Mary, Queen of Arkansas" had to make a little room for another great, twang-y ode to the greatest state in the whole dang country. And it was about time the Seattle native had a chance to sit at a table with the greats. For the better part of two decades, Jurado has released a flood of evocative, moody Americana, spun from the sweatier, muddier corners of the rural landscape. His latest album, "Saint Bartlett," his 20-somethingth release, takes his one-man lyrical ambition and sets it in front of wintery orchestration to gorgeous results. Likewise, the signature Viva Voce combination of folk and psychedelic pop is executed skillfully, release after release, by the husband/wife duo, whose music is more expansive than Jurado's claustrophobia, but no less affecting. The out-of-towners get local support from Adam Faucett, whose latest album, "More Like a Temple," should make Jurado-sized waves any day now. All ages. JT
8 p.m., Downtown Music Hall. $7
Why do we write about this metal duo every time they come through town? Is it because of Lee Buford and Chip King's roots in North Little Rock? Is it because of their long, faithful service to Arkansas's music scene? Is it because The Body has established itself everywhere from specialty doom metal blogs to the newsstands? Is it because every time they play a show in their hometown, something insane and unexpected happens? (Their last show at Juanita's didn't even make it to the 20-minute mark before the insanity started to push smoke, not noise, out of an enormous house speaker.) Yes. And no. It's because their last album, "All of the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood," is still one of the best, most daring albums of any genre to come out in recent memory, anywhere, and their live show lives up to the expectations. Only adventurous listeners need apply. JT
7:30 p.m., Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA. $5-$10.
I'm not sure what Nicholas Sparks, one of the biggest selling fiction authors of our day, plans to talk about in his UCA lecture. He has a new book called "Safe Haven" about a woman "with [a] dark secret" who gets involved in a love triangle that he'll sign after he speaks. But I suspect he'll talk mostly about himself. A scan of his terrifically chatty 5,000-word web autobiography suggests a few possible topics: his pet turtle committed suicide when he was a kid; his third grade teacher wore Nile-green evening dresses; he got a track scholarship to Notre Dame, where he set a school record in the 4-by-800 relay (which still stands); his parents were killed in tragic accidents years apart; he's a Capricorn; the end of "Cheers" inspired him to write "The Notebook"; when Warner Books bought the rights to "The Notebook" for a million dollars, he proposed to his wife again; he has twin daughters and twin sons, including one who was incorrectly diagnosed with autism; in 2001, he started a massive landscaping project at his house — the possibilities are endless! LM
RYAN BINGHAM & THE DEAD HORSES
9 p.m., Revolution. $20.
Yes, his song "The Weary Kind" (from "Crazy Heart") won him a Golden Globe and an Oscar last year. It's a designation that will follow him around for the rest of his life. Heck, we're even going to run it as a caption to his picture on this page. But Bingham's modern take on faithful Americana leans hard toward the worn and dirt-tanned country sounds of his native Texas. If the music itself was a person, it probably wouldn't give a damn about an Oscar. Like his forebears in Steve Earle and Guy Clark, authenticity is something he's never had a problem with. And it's hard to knock a guy whose music is still as honest and roots-rooted as it was when he was sleeping in his van on tour. JT