Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
UPSCALE UNDERGROUND'S LIVE KARAOKE
8 p.m., Crush Wine Bar. $5.
Karaoke can be fun. There are worse ways to spend an odd Thursday than laughing at your atonal friends work through “More Than a Feeling,” high on liquid courage. Even better if you happen to catch a regular, someone who'd be touring the karaoke circuit if it existed, who pantomimes, wears a special outfit and sings with a bright-eyed confidence that far exceeds their talent. But after a few drunk girls you don't know giggle their way through “Strawberry Wine,” karaoke can get tedious pretty quick. So here's hoping Upscale Underground is on to something. On Thursday, in lieu of the promotional company's regular Thursday night listening parties, they present live karaoke, itself a novel and welcome departure from the typical karaoke, with Soul Food laying down the musical foundation. To further fit the night into a niche, Upscale Underground sticks to its raison d'etre and makes it a night of nu-soul and R&B, too. Karaokers can pick from smooth jams like Anita Baker's “Sweet Love,” R. Kelly's “Step in the Name of Love,” Michael Jackson's “PYT” and Angie Stone's “Brother.”
10 p.m., Juanita's. $17.
The death of Shannon Hoon in 1995 of a drug overdose seemed to signal that “wasted promise” would forever be a part of Blind Melon's bio. The band had come onto the scene in the early part of the decade, on the strength of the smash single “No Rain,” which propelled it on tour with the likes of Neil Young, Lenny Kravitz and the Rolling Stones and garnered it a pair of Grammy nominations. Unquestionably the band's driving force, Hoon died just a few months after Blind Melon released its sophomore album. But after an 11-year hiatus, the four surviving members have reunited with Travis Warren, a native of Amarillo who hits in the high register in which Moon worked, but doesn't in the slightest sound like a mimic. On Tuesday, the band released “For My Friends,” an album that's sure to have old fans fist-pumping along. Boston pop singer/songwriter Eric Hutchinson and garage-poppers the Greater Good open.
9 p.m., the Village. $18-$35.
Club kids, relish the opportunity. With only a night or two a week regularly devoted to full-on house and techno in Little Rock, ravers and fancy dancers and everyone who looks back on Studio 54 with imagined nostalgia will flock to Vibe 4 in droves. Organized and promoted by Cybertribe, a collective of mostly Little Rock-based DJs like Dave McRoberts and Justin Sane, the annual event isn't skimping on the visuals. They'll rig four YAG lasers in the Village's dome and put a giant visual screen on the stage. For high rollers, there'll be a VIP room with a separate bar. Known for her “Bass Queen in the Mix” series, Orlando's DJ Baby Anne headlines with house hero Josh the Funky 1, from Chicago.
MAUMELLE FAMILY FEST
5 p.m., Lake Willastein. $5-$7.
How can you call yourself a parent and not take your prepubescent tykes to the Maumelle Family Fest? Its lineup is a recipe for kid heaven: carnival rides and games, large inflatable play areas, clowns, magic shows, Alltel's NASCAR to ooh and ah over, face painting, and a screening of a Disney movie. For the grown folks, there are cars and boats to ogle, golf games, food from the likes of Chicken King (best wings in Central Arkansas) and Mi Burrito, and face painting. The festival runs from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. On Friday night, the live entertainment comes courtesy of the highflying local gymnasts from Arkansas Elite Athletics. On Saturday, there'll be live entertainment from a diversity of local performers including 7 Toad Pete, Gloryland Mass Choir, Solstice, Bailey Hefley, Cara Martin and more. Pay special attention to Martin, a 14-year-old Pottsville native who's poised to sign a major label deal.
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