Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal
HOLIDAYS AT THE SOCIAL LOUNGE
10 p.m., The Social Lounge, Pine Bluff.
If you're looking to step out on Christmas Eve or Christmas, the pickin's are slim. But the Social Lounge in Pine Bluff (at 3032 W. 31st) has you covered. On Thursday, the club hosts “Mix and Mingle,” with DJ Klassik spinning and free food and cheap drinks. On Friday, once you've had your fill of the fam, “Rock the Bells” features DJ Hi-C and Little Rock R&B dude Justamor, with the soul group Phil Wright performing, too. On Saturday, DJ Klasski returns to the ones and twos for a party hosted by Stuttgart native and “America's Next Top Model” finalist Furonda Brasfield and Ezra “Buddha” Masters, whose bona fides include stints on “I Love New York 2” and “For the Love of Money 2” (sounds like a catch, ladies). The doors open at 10 p.m. each night and only those 23 and older are allowed entry. LM.
AMERICAN PRINCES/ LOVE GHOST/THE SEE
9 p.m., Revolution. $10.
After last week's acoustic mini-set at the benefit for bassist Luke Hunsicker, the Princes return to Revolution for a full-blown rock show. Should be in for a treat. The Princes seem to get better every time they play live. Plus, they've got a few new songs. After years of making melancholic folk-pop with the Boondogs, Jason Weinheimer is getting his pop-rock fix with Love Ghost. His new project features an all-star lineup of his musician friends, including Jeff Matika on guitar, New Orleans pedal whiz Dave Easley, Tulsa bassist Eric Arndt and the Boondogs' Dylan Turner. In the band's lone gig so far in Little Rock, it sounded fantastic, especially the hook-harmonies of Weinheimer and Matika (give him a pound for representing Little Rock around the world with Green Day). Saturday marks the official CD release of the band's debut album, “Exit Wounds,” which you can stream and buy digitally at loveghostmusic.com. And, the See, one of our favorite new bands in ages, has gotten dramatically better — which is saying something, since they were already great — of late. They've added Eric Morris on guitar and toured regionally — you'd be hard pressed to find a local band more serious about making music. LM.
6 p.m., SpeakEasy, $10.
No excuses for boredom on this Sunday night. In what's shaping up to be a night of jazz, funk, soul and poetry, local heavyweights should help put this new venue on the map. Since the early to mid-'90s, it's hard to find anyone around here who hasn't at least heard, if not seen, Tim Anthony's long-running funk brigade known as Afrodesia. Also on this bill is joshua, the singer/guitarist who fronts Velvet Kente, a truly unique Afro-beat outfit who took the crown in this year's Musicians Showcase. Recently featured on VH1's “Soul Cities,” neo-soul diva Tonya Dyson is among the performers, along with poet A.P.O.L.L.O., a nationally ranked wordsmith who recently released his sophomore album, “Something Beautiful.” As if this isn't enough to keep the party going all night, be on the lookout for several guest performers. PP.
FAIR TO MIDLAND
7 p.m., Juanita's, $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.
With a sound that encompasses art and indie rock, alternative, folk and progressive metal, Fair to Midland's classification range borders on schizophrenic. Formed 11 years ago in Sulphur Springs, Texas, the band has three albums under its belt (“The Carbon Copy Silver Lining,” “inter.funda.stifle,” and “Fables From a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True”), and a fourth, yet-to-be-titled release scheduled for early 2010. Lead singer Andrew Darroh Sudderth's got one hell of a range. In a way I'm not mad at, the wailer, in spots, sounds like a spot-on clone of Queensryche's Geoff Tate. Known for an enthusiastic stage presence, Sudderth's occasionally been known to climb various parts of the stage. Look out for leaping. The Vail kicks off the 18-and-up show at an early start time. PP.
THE BIG CATS/
10 p.m., White Water Tavern. Donations.
It's a holiday tradition as old as any in the local scene. Every year, for as long as I can remember (granted, that's not too terribly far back), the Big Cats come together to play songs that, even though the band only plays once or twice a year, everyone seems to know. All four Big Cats — Burt Taggart, Jason White, Colin Brooks, Joshua Bentley — were at the vanguard of Little Rock's vibrant early-'90s punk scene. For the last year plus, the band's stolen time here and there to record with local producers Will Boyd, Marcus Lowe and Barry Poytner, but guitarist Jason White's schedule with Green Day this year pretty much scuttled any major efforts. In the meantime, lead singer and Max Recordings head Burt Taggart says he's written a lot of new songs; by the time the band finishes recording, they could have a double record, he says. The Big Cats are joined by label mates the Reds, a pop-rock trio, who specialize in spare, bass-heavy songs with hooks that don't quit. They're in the mixing phase of their sophomore album, so hopefully, we'll hear the debut of some new ones. LM.
ARKANSAS VS. BAYLOR
8 p.m., Verizon Arena. $25.
Maybe the holidays will inspire the spirit of reconciliation to work its magic in whatever stands between Coach Pelphrey and Courtney Fortson. Or maybe not. Maybe Fortson deserves to ride the pine for his transgressions. Pel's my-way-or-the-highway attitude (inexcusably weak as it was after the dorm room incident) will serve us better in the long run. In the meantime, with new star Rotnei Clarke battling tendonitis and big man Michael Sanchez still hobbled by a bum foot, we're liable to be more short-handed than ever. But true Hog fans come out in support even in the bad times. If this season's to improve, it's going to require better fan support than the team's been getting in Bud Walton lately. Plus, it's a once a year occasion for Central Arkansans. Leading up to the game, Pelphrey will speak to the Downtown Tip-Off Club luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 29, at the Wyndham Hotel in North Little Rock. For tickets, call the NLR Chamber at 372-5959. LM.