A venture to this state park is on the must-do list for many, the park being the only spot in North America where you can dig for diamonds and other gemstones and keep your finds.
When you throw down $15 to see a favorite band for the first time, there's always that risk that what you fell for on record won't translate live. But short of a speaker blowing or a freak violin accident, Ra Ra Riot looks like a safe bet to put on a strong live show. The six-piece specializes in slightly prog-y pop with big orchestral flourishes; these guys really know how to play their instruments. Formed when its members were students at Syracuse, the band enjoyed a rapid ascent in the indie ranks. In the winter of 2006 they were students; in the winter of 2007 they were signed to Universal subsidiary V2. Comparisons to Vampire Weekend, which entered the New York scene around the same time, have followed the band through two albums. Sure, both are polite and sunshine-y, but there's way more drama in Ra Ra Riot's music than in that of its pals Vampire Weekend — the chamber pop flourishes provided by cellist Alexandra Lawn and violinist Rebecca Zeller and frontman Wes Miles' mournful vocals almost recall Morrissey. Heralded Dublin act Villagers recalls Elliott Smith in the opening slot. Lafayette, La.'s Givers round out the bill for the all-ages concert.
Every year since 2003, the Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative has thrown a big Halloween blowout in which local acts impersonate national ones in look and song. Inevitably the line-up is hit or miss. Bands either go all-out and practice like crazy and recruit girlfriends to sing back-up (like the American Princes did when they played, near flawlessly, as The Pixies) or they spend too much time finding the perfect wig, don't practice and spend their time onstage muddling through your favorite songs. If this year's roster follows the former path, it'll be epic. The line-up includes Mandy McBryde as Loretta Lynn, Mad Trucker and Jen Shaw as Portishead, Real Live Tigers as Bruce Springsteen, (clap!)Kidzpop as Belle & Sebastian, Osyrus as Common and The Flaming Death Faeries as KISS. Dress-up and you'll save $3 on the $10 cover charge. White Water Tavern came later to the party, but its track record — The Libras as Fleetwood Mac, The Good Fear as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Moving Front as The Clash — has been just about uniformly great. This year, three acts try to keep the streak alive. The Moving Front take on punk-pop icons The Jam, while two collectives take on perhaps the most beloved albums of '90s indiedom: A large group of friends of the late Little Rock musician Luke Hunsicker, who movingly paid tribute to him at a memorial service, come together to do Neutral Milk Hotel's spectral "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea," while members of the local literary collective [we at the book] try on songs from Weezer's emo classic "Pinkerton."
If you've been working on your Halloween costume since September, this is the party for you. Once again, the Peabody's annual Boo Bash is home to one of the city's fattest cash costume prizes. A thousand smackers goes to the best outfitted. Or rather the best outfitted as determined by judges including ALICE 107.7 DJs Heather, DC and Poolboy; KATV's Pam Smith and Christina Munoz, and chef Donnie Ferneau. Last year, a "Where the Wild Things Are" duo jointly won the prize. Their costumes looked good, but Lady Gaga in a meat dress they weren't. In other words, bring it creative Little Rock. Popular local cover bands CRISIS and Tragikly White provide the soundtrack, which will be augmented by "a spooky light show." Don't want to try to fit the hoop skirt in your Marie Antoinette costume in a cab? The Peabody's offering special rates and one free ticket for guests. Only those 21 and older can attend.