This small south Arkansas city was once one of the top oil producers in the nation.
9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern.
Little Rock's Snakedriver kicks up a brutal, misanthropic hybrid of hardcore and sludge metal. They've got a split album out now with Tennessee's Laser Flames on the Great Big News, who played at Mutants of the Monster II a few weeks back (pick it up at the show for $8). Over three songs, Snakedriver showcases a broader, bigger, meaner sound that's a step up from the demos the band recorded last year, which were already impressive. The band still essentially welds Southern sludge groove onto hardcore thrash violence, but these newer songs are more dynamic, with an awesome slow build on opener "Apex" that reminds me of late great Memphis legends His Hero is Gone. There's some clean singing that crops up alongside the shredded-throat screams. It's a contrast that works well, partially because it catches you off guard. I'm excited to hear where Snakedriver goes from here. Also playing are Little Rock hardcore mainstays God City Destroyers and Dakhma, a newer outfit that specializes in "cosmic sand metal."
9 p.m. Juanita's. $12 adv., $14 day of.
If an evening of effervescent, youthful pop music is your jam, then you'll not want to miss this double bill. Reptar, of Athens, Ga., is a four-piece with a heavy Animal Collective influence, which is the case with many young groups these days. AC's shadow has proved to be long, with a great many bands having absorbed their gorgeous harmonies and aura of woozy psychedelia. That relatively contemporary influence is combined with a big helping of '80s-Paul Simon-style "world music" in the mix. You'll hear horns and hand percussion and the chiming, Highlife guitars most notably lifted by Vampire Weekend. Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalists Rubblebucket's sound is described on the band's bio as "utterly post-genre — horns, synth, guitars, harmonies — a smile-inducing point on the tangent that connects Björk and Broken Social Scene," which, sure. I caught their set at Wakarusa this year and it was miles of smiles among the several hundred folks digging their set.
Noon. University of Central Arkansas. Free.
I was a little unclear about what this thing was at first, but I think I've got it now and it sounds pretty rad. It's basically a big series of interconnected inflatable structures that are lit up with all kinds of awesomely colorful psychedelic swirliness and you walk around inside of it and just bask in the vibrant, warm wonder of it all. The firm that builds these things and tours them around the world is called Architects of Air. Here's how they describe it: "Architects of Air seeks to bring a visual surprise and excitement into the environment and to create the optimum conditions where people can be moved to a sense of wonder through the particular phenomenon of luminous colour." Righteous. People love glowing things. There was a smaller version of something like this at Wakarusa and those folks could not get enough of it. It's going to be set up in front of McAlister Hall and will be open noon-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. There will also be performances inside the luminarium from CORE Performance Company, which has chapters in Atlanta and Houston.
9 p.m. Revolution. $20.
Bassists donít come much more widely respected than Victor Wooten, who has won five Grammys and has topped numerous "Greatest Bass Players in the Galaxy"-type lists since getting his start on the instrument when he was little more than a toddler. His longest-running collaboration has been as a member of the much-loved progressive bluegrass outfit Bela Fleck and The Flecktones. Wooten is also prolific as a solo artist and is a favorite on the fusion and jam-band circuits, having recorded and performed with the likes of The Dave Matthews Band, Bruce Hornsby, Stanley Clarke, Govít Mule, Jaco Pastorius, Chick Corea and a host of others. This week, Wooten just dropped two albums, "Words and Tones" and an instrumental album called "Sword and Stone."