Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
8 p.m. Juanita's. $10,
Not long ago I got an email from a public relations professional about the Little Rock band Knox Hamilton. The writer told me the indie rock group (and former Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase participants) had just signed a record deal and topped the satellite radio charts with their recent single, "Work It Out," which had been "streamed over 250,000 times." They went on to ask if I'd be interested in writing about the band "for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette." I'm not sure how the Democrat-Gazette would feel about this arrangement, so I'm hoping the Times will do instead. Thursday night's show is a homecoming of sorts — the band is coming off their first national tour. "We all quit secure, good-paying jobs to pursue rock stardom, beginning with a four-month tour," singer Boots Copeland said. "What could go wrong?" I get stressed out just reading that quote, and I hope Copeland and the rest of the band know what they're doing, but really I suspect they do: "Work It Out" is a great song, worth every one of those (now 540,000) Spotify streams. Canopy Climbers and Brothers and Company will open. WS
9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern.
Pianist Thollem McDonas grew up in the Bay Area and has divided his time between experimental music and political activism. He has performed with anarcho-punk groups, dance troupes, filmmakers, Javanese gamelan ensembles and musicians like Damo Suzuki, Nels Cline and Jad Fair. In 2008, he recorded an album of Debussy pieces on the last piano owned by the composer, the piano on which they were originally written. Terry Riley has called him "a true original," noting that he "inhabits a world uniquely his own, rhythmically, harmonically and formally." As Thollem Electric, he plays a Rhodes electric piano with effects and a shifting lineup of drummers that includes Deerhoof's Greg Saunier. Signal to Noise magazine described the project pretty memorably as "a supercollider centrifuge of innumerable disasters, a churning black caldera bespattered with beautiful madness." WS
7:30 p.m. South on Main. Free.
Memphis songwriter John Kilzer released two albums on Geffen in the late '80s and early '90s — his songs were covered by Rosanne Cash and appeared on MTV and "Melrose Place." He was maybe best known for the bizarre, 1988 anti-Communist anthem "Red Blue Jeans" ("She got Stalin on the wall, Beatles in her box ..."). Years later, Kilzer got a Ph.D. in Divinity and began leading Friday night services at Memphis' St. John's United Methodist Church. Kilzer — Reverend Kilzer, I guess — is well known there today for his "recovery ministry." He hasn't given up on music completely, however, and he's holding his new album release show at South on Main Thursday. The record is called "Hide Away" and features guests like Luther Dickinson, Alvin Youngblood Hart and Steve Selvidge. WS
THIRD FRIDAY ARGENTA ARTWALK
5-8 p.m. Galleries in downtown North Little Rock.
Yes, Christmas is right around the corner. Does that make your blood pressure rise? Will the gift of art bring it down? Especially since you can take care of all your shopping this weekend? From 5 to 8 p.m. Friday night in Argenta, 31 artists are taking part in Artist Inc.'s "Holiday Art Show" at Argenta Gallery, 413B Main St., North Little Rock; all sales benefit the Art Connection program for students seeking careers in art-related fields. Then trot on down to Mugs Cafe at 515 Main St. to find the "Mugs Art Bunch Holiday Show" for more acquisition opportunities, and over to Art Connection itself, 204 E. Fourth St., to pick up some student art before they get famous and raise their prices. LNP
THE IDLE CLASS RELEASE PARTY
7 p.m. Vino's. $3 suggested donations.
Arkansas zine The Idle Class hosts a release party for its new radio-themed issue Friday, appropriately co-presented by the Little Rock community radio station KABF FM, 88.3. Indie rock group Whale Fire (who describe themselves as "Four bros from Little Rock, lost in a haze of pop") headlines, with openers The Hacking and Move Orchestra. There will also be wine specials and readings by Kara Bibb, Sean Sapp, Amy Pannell and Keith Glason. WS
FRIDAY 11/21-SATURDAY 11/22
ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER MUSEUM SCHOOL SALE
6-9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Clear Channel Metroplex.
There is more artwork than you can throw an easel at here: photography, ceramics, paintings, etchings, jewelry, woodwork, stationery, drawings, printmaking, glass ... . They plumb fill the Clear Channel Metroplex, and that place is huge. Here's how the Arts Center fills it: by inviting 80 museum school instructors and their talented friends to sell their work here. If you're a member of the Arts Center, you can get a jump on shopping by going Friday night (you can buy a membership at the door); everyone else can pile in Saturday for free. While you're picking up a few things, you can shop unhindered by your crumb snatchers, since they will be entertained at the Kids Activity Area for children ages 4 to 9 (open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.). LNP
7 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. $15.
Little Rock rapper-activist Big Piph has had the kind of year that ought to make the rest of us re-evaluate our priorities. He released a new album, "The Calm," completed a pilot program for his organization Global Kids Arkansas, collaborated with the Clinton Presidential Center on a new after-school program and, this month, premiered a self-produced, autobiographical web series titled "I Am Not Them." In February, he and his band Tomorrow Maybe will be traveling to Morocco, Algeria and Equatorial Guinea via the American Music Abroad program. Friday night, thanks to the concert series Arkansas Sounds, Piph and Tomorrow Maybe will play a unique set at Ron Robinson featuring "exclusive visuals for each song that will be projected on the movie screen behind them." They'll also have copies of their new unplugged EP for sale. WS
8:30 p.m. Revolution. $7.
Singer-songwriter Chase Bryant doesn't play a guitar in the video for his debut single, "Take It On Back," but he does hold one. The video, filmed on a vintage locomotive borrowed from the Tennessee Railway Museum, is about a romance sparked on a train between two heterosexual teenagers, who seem to be the only passengers. They bond over a shared appreciation for books. A third-generation country musician from Orange Grove, Texas (his grandfather performed with Roy Orbison and his uncles founded the group Ricochet), Bryant is 21 years old and emerged with the song over the summer — since then, he's been profiled by Billboard and toured with Brantley Gilbert. He's claimed Merle Haggard as a major influence, though he looks like a character from "The Vampire Diaries." He admitted admirably, in one recent interview, that the first thing he notices about a girl is her smile. "While I want to be a rising star," he said in another interview, "at the end of the day, I'm just Chase Bryant and that's who I've always wanted to be." "From the outside, Chase Bryant is living the life of a country star," one Texas newspaper noted. "But on the inside, he's just a normal country boy who has had the thrill of seeing his dreams come true." WS
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