Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.
8 p.m., Vino's. $7.
You know, I'm just dying for a snack. Maybe not a full meal. Something I can pick at. Oh, I'm sorry, this is a band! Specifically, a young and newish libertarian rap band from Pittsburgh. They've recently completed tours with Of Montreal and equally newish pop band MGMT, and have now struck out on their own, in advance of their due-to-drop album “King Vision.” Catch them now, before their inevitable appearance on “Yo! MTV Chicken Wraps.” Sorry, still hungry. Ginsu Wives and Futuro Boots open. FB.
BEN NICHOLS AND FRIENDS
9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $14.
One of the great challenges of this occupation is coming up with something fresh to say about Lucero, a Lucero-related act, or a group that sounds like Lucero every other week. It's getting a bit ridiculous, folks. At the beginning of the new year we'll publicly announce our frivolous antitrust lawsuit against the band members for their stranglehold on the local music scene. In the meantime, warm up your hollerin' voice and take a visit to White Water for the obligatory sing-a-long. The Friday night Lucero show is sold out, but a second night — featuring Lucero lead-man Ben Nichols, singer-songwriter Cory Branan, Lucero keyboardist Rick Steff and pedal-steel player Todd Beene — has been added in order to temporarily sate the city's unquenchable thirst for twang rock. Tickets will be limited to 125. JW.
8 p.m., Revolution. $10.
What's a roots-rock-loving Hendrix alum to do? While Ben Nichols plies rough-hewn songs of drink and women across town at White Water, Hendrix's other alt-country hero offers his take on the Great American Songwriting Themes at Revolution. Hayes Carll returns to what's more or less become his adopted hometown as part of his short year-end tour, or as he's calling it, “End of the Year Rock 'n' Roll Jamboree and Toga Party.” The Texas native comes to town riding high. Stephen King named Carll's “Down the Road Tonight” his second favorite song of the year in his Entertainment Weekly column. The singer/songwriter also comes fresh from the recording studio, where he's working on an album due on esteemed indie Lost Highway in March of next year. He's sure to preview at least a couple tracks for Little Rock. LM.
‘MURDER & MAYHEM CHRISTMAS' BURLESQUE
8 p.m. and 11 p.m., Easy Street Cabaret Room. $5.
In what's becoming a holiday tradition, Little Rock's “Finest Assettes” once again present a scintillating night of burlesque, i.e. scantily clad ladies doing subversive sketch comedy. I've heard tell of some sort of “reverse Norman Bates” shower scene, and a femme fatale tribute to film noir. Usually, “feminist” is a modifier thrown in before local burlesque. Take it for what you will that it's nowhere to be found on this year's posters. Hideous Kinky, a local photographer whose name gives you an idea of her work, has documented this year's event since its inception. She'll kick off the weekend with a photography show at the ACAC space at 1419 S. Main on Thursday, 5-10 p.m. In addition to the two shows on Friday, the troupe will reprise their act at 9 p.m. Saturday, also at Easy Street. LM
9 p.m., the Village. $8 adv./$10 d.os.
For sake of illustration, let's say that hard house and trance DJs live in a world not far removed from Dungeons & Dragons enthusiasts. Sure, one is all trolls and 12-sided dice and amphetamines and the other is glowsticks, yellow-tinted sunglasses in the dark and E, but they're both insular, fairly nerdly boys' clubs (we see your spiky Mohawk, DJ Irene). So it's not a small deal that Gianna Lavarda, a techno DJ from Nashville who surely has been or will be in the pages of Maxim, is headlining the third annual Prismation, the pre-New Year's party at the Village. Lest she's actually some Lonelygirl15 creation of a blonde-tipped, pencil-thin mustache-sporting trance MySpace geek, she's going to kill. At least eight other DJs from local crews PyroTekniques Productions and Digital Blend will also offer up an array of electronic offerings. LM
3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Alltel Arena.
A true product of American ingenuity, Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a band that had the vision to take the nation's love for orchestral arena rock and pyrotechnics, combine it with a similar adoration for Bing Crosby and flashing yuletide light-emitting diodes, and turn it into a giant carbon footprint, every day, twice a day, two months out of the year. All in the name of holiday spirit. Inspired by the popular Trans-Siberian Railway, which band members say is similar to music because it likewise connects many cultures, Mannheim Steamroller formed in New York in 1996. The band's idea of combining rock and Christmas music did not precipitate a rush to the bank among record executives, but audiences of thousands quickly embraced Manhattan Transfer's live spectacle. The group has branched out to other genres of rock opera as well, producing an album in 2000 called “Beethoven's Last Night.” According to Manhattan Strings lead singer, former New York Yankees outfielder, and ex-Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill, the band is “about creating great art. And there are three categories of art; bad art, good art and great art.” JW
LOCALIST DANCE PARTY
8 p.m., Revolution. $5.
The end of the year is a time for nostalgia. In that spirit, Localist is reviving its local mix-making tradition and throwing a lavish dance party. Like it was 2005. From 8 p.m. until near 10 p.m., the online magazine will host a listening party for its latest “Locals Only” compilation, with tracks from Mother 33, Ettiem and Sara Thomas. In the spirit of the season, there will be free champagne during the listening party. Once everyone is good and lifted, the DJ collective Beeping Slag takes control. It's a largely initial-based group: ATM, I.K.E., TJD and Kyle from Tel Aviv. They'll be playing a wide variety of jams — all guaranteed to be ass-shaking. The $5 cover also gets you a copy of the CD. LM
THE BLOODLESS COOTIES/THE REDS/ THE EASYS
9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
Max Recordings bookends the holiday with another big blowout. The theme here seems to be really good local bands who lately haven't been playing out that often. Garage rock miscreants the Bloodless Cooties are the best father-son act in town. Lead singer Jeremy Colburn usually wears a suit and rocks a pompadour; his high-pitched screech is as sinister as “Bikini Girls with Machine Guns.” His dad, Jerry, keeps the beat, stoically, while longtime lady about the scene Louisa Rook handles guitar duties and provides vocals, too. The Reds play smart, new-wavy pop-rock. Lead singer Johnny Mac crafts punchy hooks that invariably get stuck in your head. Ditto for Isaac Alexander, lead singer of the Easys, a local favorite that specializes in buoyant, shimmering pop-rock. LM.
607's NIGHTMARE AFTER CHRISTMAS
8 p.m., Vino's. $5.
607 is accomplished and established enough as a performer that he doesn't need theme nights or gimmicks to draw crowds. But, man, do I love it when he does them anyway. Who could forget “Symphony of the Night,” where he dressed in bondage gear and “married the game”? Or the time when he did his palingraph — a rap that more or less makes sense forwards and reverse — with it all written out on giant poster board so everyone could follow along? Two days before he celebrates the New Year “Studio 54” style with a show at Gusano's, 607 hosts on “Nightmare after Christmas” at Vino's. The details were still fuzzy at press time, but Six told me he's planning on making some beats from “The Corpse Bride” soundtrack (Tim Burton and stop-animation somehow make it relevant?) and using a black Christmas tree as a prop. The rapper also said he hoped to get local pop-rock band Latture to support him on at least part of the set. Talented young rappers JD and J-Dubb, from Blockade and the Hip-Hop School, perform, too. Fans expecting the long promised 607 Christmas album will have to wait until next Christmas, 607 says, but maybe he'll pull out a few to preview tonight. LM