Time for Wakarusa 

WEDNESDAY 5/30

BROTHER'S KEEPER BENEFIT SHOW

8:30 p.m. Revolution. $10.

This is a benefit show for longtime local horn player Gerald Johnson, who has incurred significant medical bills for treatment of an infected spider bite. This show was put together by Butterfly of New Orleans to raise money not only for Johnson's medical costs, but also the day-to-day expenses of life, so that he can get by long enough to recuperate. Besides being a benefit, it's also a chance to honor a stalwart musician who's played with many local performers. There's a ton of folks playing this show — a who's who of local musicians, including Butterfly and Irie Soul, Nicky Parrish, Tawanna Campbell, Velvet Kente, Tim Anthony, Tufara Waller Muhammad, First Impressions, Tanya Leeks, Yvette Preyer, Julia Buckingham, Steve Huddleston, Steven Bailey, Twylite Jones, Clifford Hawkins, Saabor Saalam, Dave Williams, Steve Coldy, Darril Harp Edwards and more.

THURSDAY 5/31

LAUNDRY FOR THE APOCALYPSE

9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern. $5.

Laundry for the Apocalypse might be relatively new in the Central Arkansas musical milieu, but the band has wasted approximately no time in carving out its own sonic territory. The group's blend of dramatic rock and catchy, buzz-saw pop earned it a spot in the finals at the 2012 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase. Frontman Aaron Sarlo is a veteran of many other fine Arkansas rock acts, and the rest of the guys in the band (Matt Rice, John David Hilliard, Drew Wilkerson and Adrian Brigman) are all excellent players who have an intuitive grasp on that whole quiet-loud-quiet dynamic that The Pixies pioneered. LFTA has already recorded several tunes for their debut album, "I Killify You," which should be out sometime soon. The opening acts include the melancholic, minimalist rock of Collin vs. Adam and the catchy post-punk trio Color Club.

THURSDAY 5/31

WAKARUSA

Noon. Mulberry Mountain. $109-$194.

This is year No. 4 that the music and camping extravaganza known as Wakarusa has been hosted up on Mulberry Mountain, just outside Ozark (the festival started in 2004 outside Lawrence, Kan., but moseyed south a bit in 2009). The four-day festival has always generally favored the extended noodlings of scores of jam bands, but like some of the headliners in years past (Wilco, Flaming Lips, Black Keys, My Morning Jacket) some of this year's marquee acts fall more toward the indie rock side of things. The lineup is heavy on the digital end of the jam spectrum, with DJ/producer Pretty Lights, mashup maestro Girl Talk, the glammed-out electro rock of Ghostland Observatory, the glitchy dub-trance of EOTO, and lots more rave-y thumping. But there is also no shortage of good ol' fashioned folk, blues, country, rock, neo-soul, reggae, bluegrass, impossible-to-categorize weirdoes and more. Some of the headlining acts this year are the Weir, Robinson, Greene Acoustic Trio (that'd be Bob Weir, Chris Robinson and Jackie Green), Primus, Slightly Stoopid, The Avett Brothers, Umphrey's McGee, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Fitz & The Tantrums. There'll also be many Waka veterans: Matisyahu, Perpetual Groove, Keller Williams, Railroad Earth, Tea Leaf Green, Split Lip Rayfield, Animal Liberation Orchestra and, well actually there are just way, way too many more to list. Personally, I have a strong suspicion/hope that many, um, herbally loosened minds will be blown away by Malian Tuareg group Tinariwen, whose desert blues are some of the most hypnotic, haunting and gorgeous guitar music ever made. Surely they'll get the "who-came-from-farthest-away" award. Point of Arkansas Times pride: The excellent Little Rock four-piece and 2012 Times Musicians Showcase finalist War Chief is kicking off the whole shebang, with a set at noon on Thursday. Also, just as a side note and presented with no commentary whatsoever, I must point out some of the band names I wasn't familiar with that jumped out at me while I was perusing the Wakarusa schedule: Dank Sinatra, Dangermuffin, Lance Herbstrong, Papadosio, SunSquabi, Dumptruck Butterlips.

Speaking of...

  • Wakarusa releases 2014 stage schedule

    April 23, 2014
    The 11th Annual Wakarusa Music Festival, set to be held at Mulberry Mountain in Northwest Arkansas June 5-8, has released its 2014 stage schedule, for those of you looking to plan your weekend out in advance. This year's event featured The Flaming Lips, BASSNECTAR, The String Cheese Incident, STS9, Dr. Dog and really just so many bands /more/
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