Autumn temps are perfect for outdoor activities
DISNEY ON ICE
7 p.m., Verizon Arena. $12.75.
Arkansas, I gotta tell you, if there's one thing about impending parenthood that scares me, it's the promise of forced attendance at this annual giant-headed costumed carnival on ice. But they say kids change you. Maybe mine will help me wrap my mind around Donald Duck jumping past pants and shoes to skates and a zoot-suited Mickey Mouse sporting a Mardi Gras mask while skate-dancing. But I'm not holding my breath. At this year's edition, “Let's Celebrate!,” Donald and Mickey are joined by a host of classic characters — Minnie, Cinderella, Alice and the Mad Hatter. Plus, more modern day ones like Ariel, Tiana, Buzz Lightyear and Lilo & Stitch. There are seven performances through Sunday: 10:30 a.m. (school show not open to the public) and 7 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets for all performances after opening night range from $15.75 to $45.75. Groups of 15 get a discount. LM.
8 p.m., Revolution. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.
If the Volcanic Ash Monster deems it worthy and lets these Scotsmen out of his snares, Little Rock will get what's expected to be one of the best shows of the season from Frightened Rabbit. The five-piece has released three unanimously acclaimed albums full of urgent and sweaty but unabashedly emotional guitar rock; theirs is a tense, melodic, masculine take on Morrissey's nervous, disillusioned and blatant sexual frustration that may just make you long for a little of the ol' gut twisting heartache yourself. Sure, the overly sincere torch song posturing might make you grimace now and then and lead singer Scott Hutchison's voice tends to stray dangerously close to Counting Crows territory, but the band's tracks are far from your concave-chested little brother's whine-alongs. These guys flex muscle with their punching, dynamic sound, readymade to render your arms full of the maximum amount of goosebumps in the least amount of time. Tender voiced Australians The Middle East and Little Rock's The See (check out their Q&A in this issue) provide opening support. JT.
ARKANSAS EARTH DAY
10 a.m., North Shore Riverwalk, North Little Rock. Free.
Time to gather together, fans of green-swathed edu-tainment. Arkansas Earth Day returns for the seventh year with the theme “Gateway to Green,” which represents, according to co-director Katherine Quinn, “an open invitation for people to come and learn about what's going on in the environmental scene in Central Arkansas and learn how each one of us can green-up our consumer choices.” To that end, there'll be around 80 booths, manned by green-geared non-profits and retailers; a spot, near the gate, for you to drop off old computers and cell phones to be recycled, and a large kids area, with arts and crafts and science areas, Heifer farm animals and the Arkansas Game and Fish tank. Then there's the ice cream to make that green pill go down: Music all day by the Sarah Hughes Band, the Amy Garland Band, Gib Ponder and the Questions, Josh Green, Shamrock Strings and The Mockingbird Hillbilly Band; a climbing wall and lots of give-aways. LM
8 p.m., The Village. $20 adv., $25 d.o.s.
That bass god Les Claypool's latest solo album, “Of Fungi and Foe,” draws largely from songs originally written for the soundtrack to a film called “Pig Hunt” (about the legend of a 3,000-pound wild boar named Hogzilla) and those from a Wii game called “Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars” (about radioactive mushroom men come to life) should surprise no one familiar with Claypool's resume. The California native jammed with Kirk Hammett in high school (they were classmates) in the '70s, formed the trio Primus in the '80s and scored an unlikely hit album on a major label in the '90s. In the aughts and naughties, Primus cut the theme song for “South Park” and Claypool found time for all sorts of side projects with stoner-y names — Sausage, Les Claypool and the Holy Mackerel, Oysterhead — as well as guest spots on albums by everyone from Buckethead to Tom Waits. Through it all, Claypool's spoken-sung lyrics always run the gamut from goofy to demented, while his bass lines split the difference between Geddy Lee's nerdy virtuosity and Larry Graham's pioneering slap attack. Kansas' Split Lip Rayfield punk-up bluegrass in the opening slot. LM.
BALLET ARKANSAS PRESENTS ‘4BYFOUR'
7 p.m., Wildwood Park for the Arts. $15-$25.
This weekend, Ballet Arkansas presents their spring concert, “4byFour.” It's four ballets, including “Pressing On,” by nationally celebrated guest choreographer Kiesha Lalama-White, which makes its world premiere. And there are three pieces by Ballet Arkansas' artistic director, Arleen Sugano: “Kisetsu (The Seasons),” which opened to the highest of praises upon its premiere in 2007; “Love Stories,” which comes with accompaniment by Clark Erickson, who composed the music; and “La Citsym," danced to Benjamin Britten's “Simple Symphony,” with accompaniment by the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra. That's a good bit of ballet. Ballet Arkansas reprises the show on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Wildwood. JT.
CRAWS FOR A CAUSE
7 p.m., Dickey-Stephens Park. $30 adv., $35 d.o.e.
The organizers call this “Arkansas' Largest Crawfish Boil.” I think they're underestimating the extent of this annual Bacchanalian. It's a celebration of excess, with unlimited crawfish and lakes of beer. (They went through 86 kegs last year.) And, as all good Southerners know, both crawfish and beer are made to be ravenously devoured, preferably on weekend summer nights. If all that excess bothers your conscience, tell yourself you're gorging for good reason: Organizers are aiming to raise $70,000 to go towards two top-of-the-line incubator beds for Baptist Health's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. If you think you have the stomach (and the thumbs) for charity, go for it. Also, take it from someone who's seen good friends succumb too early: Never, ever underestimate the volatility of keg beer and hillbilly lobster. Fayetteville's '80s-flavored Boom Kinetic and North Little Rock's melodic Brian Nahlen Band provide music. JT.
WOO AT THE ZOO
6 p.m., Little Rock Zoo. $35.
Sure, we all know about the birds and the bees, but maybe it's time to learn about the bonobo monkeys and the bandicoots. Here's a good one: banana slugs have 8-inch penises. Wait, they also have eight-inch bodies and, during copulation, may find themselves inescapably lodged in their partner. Wait, if that happens, one partner will escape by chewing the other one's penis clean off. Porcupines share a disgusting mating ritual with R. Kelly as well (rhymes with “embolden towers”). Animals are messed up and Little Rock Zoo is ready to celebrate it! For this year's “Woo at the Zoo,” they're offering an after-hours tour of the zoo with a special keeper chat about the mating behaviors of the animals they keep; appetizers from, yes, Hooters; unlimited beverages, auctions and music by cover band The Core. Go for the wings, stay for the wangs. JT.
9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.
Airy vocals with infallible harmonies, California guitar, drums that sound like a pick-up basketball game one second and a Krautrock take on New Orleans second line the next: It's Animal Collective without the pretension. Or maybe Grizzly Bear with grass stains. Or Vampire Weekend's cousins that passed up Columbia University for state school. Comparisons aside, Local Natives walk tightwires between the imposing structures of their buzz band cohorts. Preppy Afro-poppers with a penchant for CSN&Y melodies, these guys simultaneously sound like everyone out there and no one else around. While their new-Americana sound has garnered buckets of comparisons to Fleet Foxes, the attitude is completely different; Local Natives celebrate their youthfulness and vitality and sound completely content to live in the 21st century while the Foxes stab at wisdom and legitimacy and end up sounding like a lonely mob of anthropomorphic butter churns. Having released only one album — which was promptly devoured and loved by most hungry, expectant music lovers — they're undeniably new jacks, albeit hugely promising ones. Brooklyn's Suckers open. JT.