Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal
MIX MASTER MIKE
9:30 p.m., Juanita's. $20.
Fresh off playing an inauguration party with the Beastie Boys (he's long been the group's resident DJ), perhaps the world's foremost turntablist makes a stop at Juanita's. He comes pedigreed. In the early '90s, he took home a pair of DMC World Championships (the Super Bowl of DJing), alone and with his longtime collaborator DJ Qbert. Soon thereafter, he and Qbert formed Invisibl Skratch Piklz, a collective that's largely been credited for bringing turntablism into the mainstream. For the unfamiliar, the form encompasses not just simple record blending, but deftly manipulating turntables like one would an instrument. Check a video of Mix Master Mike at work if you remain unconvinced. Though he's known to mix in all sorts of genres into his sets, MMM is first and foremost a hip-hop DJ, so leave your glow sticks at home, people. LM.
9 p.m., Vino's. $5.
Emboldened by the success of the Cool Shoes parties, local promoter TJ Deeter is branching out. He's launching two regular branded parties early this year, Rock Street and Reverb. After some 450 tried to squeeze into Downtown Music last December, Cool Shoes goes to 18 and above to enter in January. Reverb, which debuts in February, is essentially the Cool Shoes concept, but open to all ages. Friday's inaugural Rock Street event takes that dance music concept and applies it to a hip-hop party. Local rappers and promoters 4x4 Crew host. Standout local MC Rockst*r performs a couple of new songs. Ditto for Bonafide Music, an upcoming duo of hip-hop school alums. But the DJs get top billin': DJ Fatality, DJ Trukula and Mister Deetrix (the latest of Deeter's ever-evolving DJ names) spin all flavors of hip-hop — old-school, blog fresh, bounce, snap, hyphy, hip-hop house, East Coast and, surely, a hearty dose of Dirty South. There'll be graffiti artists, hip-hop dancing and open-mic slots, too. LM.
COL. BRUCE HAMPTON AND THE QUARK ALLIANCE
9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $8 adv., $10 d.o.s.
Five years after I first saw Col. Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit, my former band mate Sterno turned me on to Hampton Grease Band, which featured a wily and screaming side of Hampton. You may also have glimpsed him in “Slingblade” and “Outside Out,” or recall his musical tenure with the Fiji Mariners. Or the Codetalkers. Never one to stand idle, the veteran colonel returns for what's becoming at least a bi-annual Little Rock appearance with another of his tenured projects, the Quark Alliance. Expect heavy, yet intricate guitar work and stellar musicianship, as Hampton is known for recruiting and training heavyweights before turning them loose on the world. With books, additional movies and more CDs on the horizon, he's not putting on the brakes anytime soon either. There's no opening act, so expect a lengthy show, and one worth arriving early for. PP.
7:30 p.m., Alltel Arena. $6.25-$21.75
In these gas-conscious, economically unsure times, one issue not getting enough coverage in the mainstream media is the burden borne by average Americans who might otherwise be buying huge trucks driving them over large obstacles and through the mud. Thank God, for those oppressed thousands, many undoubtedly Arkansan, for Monster Jam. For a couple hours, the truck-less can live vicariously through behemoths with names like Black Stallion, Iron Warrior, Raminator, Ramunition and Prowler as they smash clunker cars and pop wheelies. The crushing continues on Saturday, same time, same place. LM.
10 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
Still pushing their aptly titled “Electric Folk Boogie,” the Damn Bullets return to the Tavern on Friday armed not just with those songs, which should be familiar to fans by now, but also seven or eight brand spankin' new ones. Look for some of those to appear on a five to six songs demo EP, likely out sometime in the spring, says drummer Graeme Higgins. Smithsonian, a new, similarly folk-aligned Fayetteville act, opens the show. Locals might remember the band from its previous incarnation, True Folk. LM.
9 p.m., Revolution. $10.
The regular hip-hop get-down returns with a familiar formula. Patrons are encouraged to come dressed “fresh to impress” with a promise of prizes for the “flyest of the fly.” Local R&B diva Maria V co-hosts with Epiphany, the deep-voiced rapper and organizer of the series. The latter also performs, likely in the headlining spot, with his live band, One Night Stand. Also performing: R&B crooner Sean West, rap crew Da Saw Squad, new-ish duo and Suga City side-project Goines and Kwestion and Fayetteville rap band Hardaway and the Commoners.
DIKKI DU AND THE ZYDECO KREWE
9:30 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $6.
Even though it's alive and flourishing just a couple hours to our south, zydeco rarely makes an appearance in Central Arkansas. That's too bad because it's damn fun music to hear live. For one, it's a bizarre mix of influences only America could produce — French Canadian (the songs), European (the accordion and violin), Afro-Caribbean (the beat), R&B (the funk) and Louisiana Cajun (the style). For another — the main reason to hear it live — it's music made for dancing. Even the tone-deaf can't miss its driving beat and fast tempo. From Latwell, La., Dikki Du (“most people don't but Dikki Du”) comes from a musical family; his brother, Chubby Carrier, is a certified zydeco star. But don't mistake Dikki for a mere traditionalist. You'll certainly recognize the sounds of zydeco in his music, but he promises a hearty dose of funk as well. LM.
DAYS OF THE NEW
9:30 p.m., Juanita's. $15 adv., $17 d.o.s.
At the ripe old age of 17, Travis Meeks signed to a major label, and in 1997, with his band Days of the New, released a widely successful self-titled album that included the No. 1 single, “Touch, Peel and Stand,” which took a few beatings for its obvious parallels to Alice in Chains' songs. Internal strife reared its head early on, and Meeks began earning an Axl Rose reputation for his mouth and refusal to play well with others. After missing a Florida concert in April 1998, band members appeared physically black-eyed and beaten the following day after what sources claimed to be a brawl. Criticizing a touring bill with Metallica and Jerry Cantrell, Meeks said that due to the band's acoustic sound, Days of the New should have toured with a group like Dave Matthews Band. Blah blah blah. Fast-forward a decade. Still in the public eye, Meeks survived addictions to booze and blow before graduating to speed, the latter of which landed him on the A&E series “Intervention.” He's still tussling with a diagnosed case of Asperger Syndrome, too. Musically worth noting, however, is his highly praised performance on the recent Doors tribute album. Look for Meeks to carry that kind of spirited vibe into Juanita's by fusing experimental, alternative and post-grunge sounds. Silverstone opens the 21-and-up show. PP.
DREXEL AND THE BOOTLEGGERS
6 p.m., Barnes and Noble. Free.
9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
High praise once again for drummers who harness their songwriting capacity and forge onward to front their own projects. Count Drexel Baker III (Trey), former Go Fast drummer-turned-Manhattanite who's touring behind his second solo effort, “Green Sky,” among them. Having traveled, performed and recorded with Wilco's Ken Coomer, former Black Crowes keyboardist Audley Freed and Counting Crows' Ben Mize, Drex loaded “Green Sky” with Little Rock alums such as Mulehead and Kevin Kerby and Battery's Geoff Curran, the Boondogs' Charles Wyrick and Jason Weinheimer, Smoke Up Johnny's Matt Floyd, Jim Mize and former Battery keyboardist and one of the most fluid bassists I've ever known, Pete Jones. Did I forget drummer Colin Brooks? Yeah, he's on the record, too. So if you miss the intimate, mind-your-manners atmosphere of the Barnes & Nobles gig (6-8 p.m., free) on McCain Boulevard in North Little Rock, fear not. A sweaty, smoky and much louder rematch is in store at the Tavern. Kevin Kerby and Battery opens both shows. PP.
7:30 p.m., Alltel. $66.25-$91.25.
At least at press time, after AC/DC plays Memphis on Friday, its next 29 dates — many of them in Europe — are sold out. Many of them sold out in a matter of minutes. Lead singer Brian Johnson had a theory: “Some fans are saying, ‘The singer's 61. I'm going to that show, I might see him die.' “ Ah, but here we are, a quarter of the way through the band's “Black Ice Tour” (its first in North America since 2001) and everyone's still alive and, by all accounts, really killin' it. I even found a picture of Angus, who's only 53, but looks almost translucent, with his shirt off. If this show doesn't sell out, there's something wrong with Central Arkansas. There's no way a more rockin' show comes our way all year. LM.