The To-Do List, March 25-29 


9 p.m., Juanita's. $10.

Is bluegrass becoming the new hardcore in the South? There's certainly been a wave of young guns, eager to forgo Gibson SGs for a mandolin to shred on, adopting the genre lately. Sure, the attitude is different but it's almost commonplace to see handfuls of mohawked fiddle aficionados at bluegrass festivals nowadays. In this light, The Dixie Bee-Liners are a nice change of pace. Founded in New York City but tagged as “Bible belt noir,” they're five nice people with pleasant voices, dressed well, playing agreeable, NPR-ready music. Their newest release, “Susanville,” is an expansive, 19-track concept album about American interstates and the characters alongside them. It's a sunshine and cherry pie take on Americana that's totally, well, nice. JT.


9 p.m., Maxine's, Hot Springs.

Maybe labeling this show in an ethnocentric manner does the bands a bit of a disservice. But it's true that the first word, “China,” raises eyebrows and may send people scampering to YouTube to check out the acts, but the second word, “rocks,” doesn't lie. I've listened to AV Okubo stab through a cover of the Gang of Four classic “To Hell With Poverty,” looped Carsick Cars chanting their standout track “You Can Listen, You Can Talk,” and just discovered that P.K. 14 was featured in Time Magazine in 2008. This isn't some novelty act, folks; these are three really fantastic post-punk bands all set to stun. With Arkansas's piggyback ride on SXSW's shoulders winding down to a close, take advantage of seeing an odd, great lineup with this show. JT.

8 p.m., Arlington Hotel, Hot Springs. $30-$50.

For the third year running, Memphis singer/songwriter Keith Sykes, who co-wrote Jimmy Buffett's “Volcano” as well as songs recorded by everyone from John Prine to the Judds, gathers all his songwriter buddies in Spa City for a big sing-along. This year, the group includes Grammy winner Richard Leigh, most famous for penning Crystal Gayle's “Don't It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue”; Buzz Cason, who wrote “Everlasting Love” and who's surely the only songwriter to have his songs recorded by The Beatles, U2, Pearl Jam, Gloria Estefan and Jimmy Buffett; Susan Marshall, whose 2009 album, “In the Red,” features a guest appearance by Lucinda Williams, and a host of other regional songwriters — Larry Joe Taylor, Jimmy Davis, Jed Zimmerman, Nancy Apple, David Couser, Grace Askew and Delta Joe Sanders. All will perform at 8 p.m. on Friday. At 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, “Bloody Marys with Jed and Joe” features Zimmerman and Sanders. And the group reassembles Saturday night for another 8 p.m. performance. Tickets are $50 for both nights, or $30 for one. LM.


8 p.m., Downtown Music. $10.

If you're still living under your parents' roof, and you're looking to tweak 'em, you could do worse than a Goatwhore T-shirt. Or, you know, by simply saying “Goatwhore” over and over and over. It's like a made-up swear word, which I feel fairly confident is what the New Orleans underground metal heroes were going for. Their influences, the quartet says, include the sort of Scandinavian black metal bands you'd expect — Celtic Frost, Bathory, Darkthrone — and, lest those who don't know anything about Scandinavian black metal don't get the drift, the “sounds of utter madness that take us to a new level of understanding through disturbing tones and an overwhelming purge of depravity.” If that sounds like your ticket, you won't want to miss this gig. As underground metal shows in Little Rock go, they don't get much bigger. Black Blood Division, Izamal and A Darkened Era open the all ages show. ?LM.

7 p.m., Metroplex. $35-$50.

In the increasingly bustling — well, at least growing — local fashion scene, no event brings out more spectators or star wattage than the Designer's Choice. In its third year, the fashion show brings back Korto Momolu to host, this time with Tyson Beckford, who's famous for modeling for Ralph Lauren, making music video cameos and hosting Bravo's “Make Me a Supermodel.” Still, the focus as ever remains on local designers. There are nine locals: Brooke Benham, Krystal Cornelius, Daisy Jackson, Leah Jackson, Tashika Keown, Feleke Ross, Johnathan Nichols, Ngozika O'keke and Leslie Pennell. And three out-of-towners: Ocie Collins, Essence Flowers and Elwood Shannon. Tickets are available at Jeante OneofOne, Box Turtle, Vogue Visage, 4th Dimensions Salon and Uncle T's. A $50 VIP ticket includes a meet and greet with Momolu and Beckford (at 5:30 p.m.), free booze and food, good seats and free access to the after party. LM.

9 p.m., Juanita's. $5.

After a five-month absence from the local stage, one of the most reliably remarkable acts in town returns with its second LP in the pipeline and, still, it's worth noting, with guitarist Scott Cook on board (his recent solo work and collaborations with Julian Lennon notwithstanding). The new album, “Everyday Dissonance,” brings them back to gigging because, well, gigs make money and money prints music. Sporting guest spots from their old guitarist (current live guitarist for Green Day), Jeff Matika, as well as members of Stella Fancy and Velvet Kente, it's a curiosity of an album that needs to be in ears sooner rather than later. Their self-titled 2007 album is a bona fide local classic and, judging from the couple of new tracks on their MySpace, the second will keep the familiar jabbing guitars and gasping vocals like Joe Strummer's jittery little brother intact. The guys are playing alongside peppy local favorites Magic Hassle and the reliably jaw-dropping Underclaire. JT.


7:30 p.m., Juanita's. $3.

Dear Juanita's, thanks for hosting a weekend of much-needed local rawk. Iron Tongue is really great stuff. I don't think you'll be disappointed. They're so loud and forward that it literally contorts your body. Once, during one of their sets, my friend told me that I “looked like I sat on a crooked stump,” whatever that means. Sounds about right, though. When a band roars and thrashes and sounds like a warship made out of muscles, you're bound to walk a bit funny. And Sweet Eagle…let me tell you, Juanita's, they're going to chip the paint off of that big, blue mural on your wall. They're a true super group in a town where, well, everyone's a super group by default. The Eag — can we start calling them “The Eag,” y'all? — is like when you're a kid (or, y'know, 25) and you make your “perfect team” out of baseball cards, except it's with dudes in town who are just, y'know, really freaking good at ripping blisters in people's ear canals with their instruments. Thanks for a good weekend. Keep 'em coming. Best to you, Juanita's. JT.


8 p.m., Vino's. $7.

A bit of a surreal band, these guys are. The New Jersey trio's fronted by Marissa Paternoster, a 5-foot tall tomboy who jumps from teenaged Marianne Faithful chanting, ululations and all, to throaty Medusan shrieks the next, shredding — and I mean shredding — a Strat that dwarfs her all the while. The bass player trades in any typical garage bass-player trappings for PiL-by-way-of-Larry Graham licks as the drummer rips blisters into his kit. It's power pop with just enough of a gruff edge, or maybe The Slits on Pixy Stix. Either way, it's as good of a Monday night show as you'll find in town. Heck, with Dutch thrashers Elle Bandita and lo-fi psych from Bad Assets, it's as good of a show as you'll find any night in town. JT.



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