Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal
AMERICAN IDOLS LIVE
7 p.m., Alltel Arena. $50.75-$68.25.
The dominant pop-culture phenomenon of the last five years makes the jump from the small screen to the stage on Friday. The 56-concert tour brings the television show’s top 10 finalists to town. Irrepressible 17-year-old winner Jordin Sparks will perform with runner-up “beat-boxing” Blake Lewis, Melinda Doolittle, LaKisha Jones, Chris Richardson, Phil Stacey, Sanjaya Malakar, Haley Scarnato, Chris Sligh and Gina Glocksen. Over the two-hour concert, each performer will sing one song alone, duos and trios will take on hits and all 10 will do several numbers. If American Idol’s history is any indication, more than one of the top 10 will go on to become bona fide stars. This might be the last time to see them when up-and-coming is a fitting adjective.
7:30 p.m, Acoustic Sounds Cafe. $10.
Runaway Planet can get after it. When Little Rock’s premier bluegrass act decides to dive into an upbeat number, those who want to foot-tap along better be ready to get downright aerobic. Runaway Planet’s players pick cartoonishly fast. With Greg Alexander on vocals and guitar, Steve Brauer on vocals and banjo, Ben Ellis on mandolin and Michael Proveaux on vocals and bass, the band formed in 2001 and has played all across the state and with Del McCoury and Sam Bush and every big name bluegrass performer who’s come to town. In 2002, the four-piece won our annual Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, and two years later, they put out “No Part of Nothin’,” a gem of a debut album that found them bridging the gap between genre pioneers like Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs and “newgrass” acts like the Seldom Scene. Now, RP is in the studio working on a much-anticipated follow-up album, due this fall. Mark Wayne Glasmire, a singer/songwriter from Pennsylvania, who calls Texas home now, will open the show. He cites the Beatles, Harry Chapin and John Denver as influences and seems to be on the road constantly. Acoustic Sounds is smoke and alcohol free.
SAN ANTOKYO / WINTER FURS / THE EASYS
10 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
The brothers Kerby, Josh and Kevin, make up the core of San Antokyo, a raw roots rock outfit in the tradition of Centromatic. Kevin, lead singer of Mulehead and storied solo performer, cedes the front-man role to his brother, who handles it like he’s always been there. The band is set to go into the studio in August to record its debut, tentatively scheduled to come out in late fall. If it’s anything like the infectiously hooky “Guilty Pilots” (off the Thick Syrup compilation), it’ll be a must-own. Also on the bill: Winter Furs, a lo-fi four-piece made up of former members of Sugar and the Raw Conrad Burnham, Mark Lierly and Brandon Johnson, along with Chris Thomas. Burnham sings and plays lead guitar in this melodic pop band that makes moody music that can easily move from soothing to stirring. Worth the wait: The Easys, led by Isaac Alexander (Boondogs, Big Silver) and backed by Jason Weinheimer, Charles Wyrick, Rob Bell and John Crowley. A Costello-like crooner, Alexander is a masterful singer/songwriter, who’ll surely deliver several songs off of the band’s newish album “Blood Capsule,” which was released on Max Recordings in March.
10 p.m., Juanita’s. $8
The polish of Latture’s self-titled debut belies the Conway six-piece’s time together. Formed in February 2006 by five UCA students and a local friend, the glam-pop outfit released its debut in November of that year. Nine months might be an eternity in the world of local bands, but Latture’s sound aspires for something grander. Seth Latture leads the band on vocals and piano, and as the band’s name suggests, his voice — big and sunny and almost operatic in spots, ghostly and plaintive in others — drives the group. Jeff Buckley, Thom Yorke and Freddie Mercury are obvious vocal touchstones. Augmenting Latture’s bouncing piano is Cale Mills on vocals and guitar, Mandy Tollett on vocals, Jessica Allgaier on violin, Jordan Wright on bass and Jason Bourg on drums. Expect a stylistic tour through stripped-down weepers, jaunty pop ballads and anthemic numbers as big and flamboyant as anything Meatloaf or Queen ever did. Stylistic cousins Quiet Company bring a more upbeat brand of piano-pop to the bill, and Fort Smith history buffs and punk-rockers Drennen Scott House round out the all-ages show.
“I SHOT ANDY WARHOL”
8 p.m., Darragh Center. Free.
In conjunction with 2nd Friday Art Night, the Central Arkansas Library has been hosting an impressive line-up of art films as part of its “Reel Evenings” series. Already this year, the program has offered “The Agony and the Ecstasy,” “Basquiat,” “Frida” and “Ghost World.” Friday, Mary Harron’s docudrama “I Shot Andy Warhol” screens. Based on the true story of Valerie Solanas, the radical feminist who shot Andy Warhol in 1968, the film tracks Solanas, played expertly by the underrated Lili Taylor, from a childhood of abuse, to her teenage years as a prostitute in New York, to an adulthood of full-blown man-hatred, which found her crafting the “SCUM Manifesto,” an extremist tract whose aim is made clear by the words behind the lead acronym, “Society for Cutting Up Men.” After befriending a transvestite named Candy Darling (played in the film by Stephen Dorff) and landing on the fringes of the enchanting world of Warhol, she sees a brief ray of hope, only to turn violent when Warhol and his posse start to push her away from their scene.
LACY J. DALTON
8:30 p.m., Windsong Performing Arts Center. $50.
One of the more distinctive country singers of the ’80s headlines a two-night run at the state-of-the-art Windsong Performing Arts Center in North Little Rock. Lacy J. Dalton got her start as a folk singer doing protest numbers in the ’60s before teaming up with a Bay Area psychedelic-rock group named Office. In the late ’70s, she reinvented herself as a country singer and through a demo that reached famed country producer Billy Sherrill, she landed her debut single, “Crazy Blue Eyes,” in the top 20. That was followed with a line of hits over the next several years — “Hard Times,” “Tennessee Waltz,” “Hillbilly Girl with the Blues,” “Everbody Makes Mistakes” and more. Her latest album, “Last Wild Place,” recently hit number one on the Country World Indie Chart. Ten percent of the proceeds from ticket sales will go toward Central Arkansas Rescue Effort for Animals (C.A.R.E.), and on Saturday, Dalton will be at Windsong for C.A.R.E.’s adopt an animal day, along with cats and dogs who need homes, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. That hands-on access to artists typifies Windsong’s performer/audience philosophy. Dalton will also perform on Saturday night at 8:30.
QUINTRON AND MISS PUSSYCAT
9 p.m., Low Key Arts Building, Hot Springs. $8.
There are few acts around as bizarre as the New Orleans duo Quintron and Miss Pussycat. Lead singer Quintron is a multi-instrumentalist one-man band, who plays guitar, drums, trumpet and an assortment of homemade instruments, like the “drum buddy,” a oscillating synthesizer that kicks out analog drum sounds when triggered by light, and a Hammond/Rhodes organ/synthesizer combo adorned with working car headlights. Miss Pussycat, Quintron’s wife, sings back-up and puts on involved and mesmerizing sock puppet shows to accompany the music. (Pussycat’s puppeteering is so renowned, in fact, that she has her own show, “Trixie & the Treetrunks,” on Vice Magazine’s web TV station.) The duo describes its lounge-act organ grinding and big 808 beat as a new genre, self-dubbed “swamp tech,” a name that hints at the outfit’s deep, lo-fi rawness. It’s juke joint music of the future. Look out for “Swamp Buggy Badass,” a minimal, syncopated jam with lyrics that could be a twisted lesson in personal pronouns: “I am a badass/he is a badass/she is a badass/you are a badass…”
FISH FRY / SARAH HUGHES
7 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
White Water head cook (or maybe he gets the chef designation) Seth Baldy was cooking schmancy food at the chic Hillcrest eatery So when a group of his buddies took over managerial control of White Water earlier this year. Not one to be left out of the fun, Baldy quit the high-tone restaurant to reinvigorate the bar food at White Water. So far, he hasn’t made any drastic changes to the menu (they’re forthcoming, he tells us), but damn if he isn’t giving Midtown a run for its money for best burger in town. Saturday marks the second in what seems to be a regular series for the bar. Last month, the bar hosted a shrimp boil. Saturday it’s a fish fry. Show up for the fish, stay for Sarah Hughes. The singer/songwriter grew up in Forrest City, schooled at Hendrix, did a stint in East Village folk clubs after college and now calls Fayetteville home. Hughes began her career with just her voice and a guitar; she’s since recruited a full band, which includes steel guitar and piano. There’s no affectation in Hughes’ Arkansas twang. You can hear hints of Lucinda Williams in her signature track, “Southern Savage.”
THE BOTTLE ROCKETS
9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10.
Formed in the ashes of a band called Chicken Truck, the Bottle Rockets were one of the 1990s’ leaders in the alt-country revival. Bottle Rockets lead singer/guitarist Brian Henneman and drummer Mark Ortmann came up in the same Midwestern scene that birthed Southern Illinois’ Uncle Tupelo, a band whose success inspired the Bottle Rockets to record 1993’s “The Brooklyn Side,” a raucous brand of alt-country, with witty, provocative songwriting holding ground with the rock. The single “Radar Gun,” a song about a sadistic traffic cop, is essential road-trip music. Record label problems plagued the band throughout the later part of the ’90s. A tribute to pioneering country rocker Doug Sahm helped revive the band’s career in 2001. Since then, the four-piece has released a steady stream of material, including last year’s “Zoysia,” which might be the strongest collection of songs from Henneman since the band’s debut. And they still know how to turn it up.