Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
6 p.m., Riverfest Amphitheater. $10-$99.
Kenny Loggins kicks off “Music in the Park,” a new concert series in the Riverfest Amphitheater that's piggybacking on the success of “Movies in the Park.” Presented by Chesapeake Energy (which, among Fayetteville Shale drillers, has been the most eager to engender public good will), the series runs for two weeks (see our Calendar for more info), and all the shows, save this one, are free. But $10 for Kenny Loggins? That's a steal. He's given smooth pop music at least four phases of awesomeness. First, as a songwriter, working for a $100 a week, he wrote the greatest Winnie the Pooh song of all time, “House at Pooh Corner,” initially made famous by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Then, on the strength of that lite rock jam and others written for NGDB, he attracted the attention of Jim Messina, late of Poco and Buffalo Springfield, and the two formed Loggins and Messina, the softest rockin'est duo of the mid-'70s. When egos grew beyond the mutual joy of writing ballads about livin' free and easy and ladies with angry eyes, the duo split and Loggins tapped into the raw edge of '80s commercial rock, scoring hits with theme songs to your favorite movies of the decade: “I'm Alright” (from “Caddyshack”), “Footloose” (from “Footloose”), “Danger Zone” and “Playing with the Boys” (from “Top Gun”), and “Nobody's Fool” (from “Caddyshack II”). He's stayed active since; though, aside from appearing on that summer reality staple, “Don't Forget the Lyrics!” in July and being the father of Crosby Loggins, the winner of children-of-musicians reality contest “Rock the Cradle,” you probably haven't noticed. The most recent phase of smooth pop awesomeness: Inspiring the hilarious web series “Yacht Rock,” the stories behind some of the greatest smooth pop songs of all-time. Go there now: yachtrock.com. LM.
10 p.m., Sticky Fingerz, $3.
The Effects have been praised as an “eight-legged groove machine of the highest order” by MTV's Buzzworthy. It's a surprisingly accurate description, especially coming from a soulless corporate cog machine. For the curious or doubtful, a taste of the audio/video offerings at the band's website could whet the appetite for an economical Thursday outing. Think 1970s ass-shaking sweat rock. The Effects' songs invoke a T-Rex-White Stripes-Neil Young-ish vibe, with a splash of the Black Crowes at their heaviest. And featuring a lead vocalist whose pipes range from simply carrying melodies to delivering solid primal screams. The Effects are independently seasoned road warriors to boot, claiming 200 gigs in '06 alone in the U.S. and Canada. They've shared bills with the likes of Kings of Leon, Cowboy Mouth and Velvet Revolver, and have played festivals such as Austin's South By Southwest and the ever-so-aptly-named Mobfest in Chicago. Special guest Anxiety opens the show. PP.
‘SOUTHERN BAPTIST SISSIES'
7:30 p.m., Weekend Theater. $10-$14.
Never one to shy away from controversy, the Weekend Theater takes aim at the Huck and them — that is, Southern Baptist fundamentalists, particularly of the fire-and-brimstone variety. Del Shores' tragicomedy centers around four teen-age choirboys in a Southern Baptist church struggling (or not) with their homosexuality. One, a military brat, doesn't consider himself gay; another suffers in the closet; another loves the military brat and narrates the play with a solid helping of snark, and yet another rails against his upbringing and becomes a drag queen. The play follows them to adulthood, interweaving Bible verses that support and contradict the Baptists' teachings about homosexuality. The satire continues through Sept. 6. LM.
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