As if great beer weren't reward enough, you can earn prizes for sampling local craft beverages
By Lindsey Millar
and paul peterson
7 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $47-$77.
Several years back, Comedy Central named Jerry Seinfeld the 12th greatest comedian of all time. Just ahead of Robin Williams and behind Johnny Carson. It's a list made for debate (Ellen ahead of Bill Hicks, really?), but I've got few quibbles with the top 15 (Pryor is, rightly, number one). Among that number, most are dead, out to pasture or retired to TV or movies. In fact, among the top 15, only four — Chris Rock, Bill Cosby, Robin Williams and Seinfeld — do stand-up with any regularity anymore. With Williams coming to Verizon Arena in October, you've got the rare chance to cross two of the all-time greats off your list this year and not even drive very far. On Friday, expect an hour and a half or so of the same sort of observational, philosophical humor that made “Seinfeld” a sitcom juggernaut for almost a decade. If prior shows are any indication, look for jokes on the likes of marriage, prescription drug commercials, coffee and the crawl at the bottom of newscasts. A short Q&A is likely to follow the set, too. Actor and comedian Larry Miller (“Best in Show,” “Waiting for Guffman”) opens. LM.
7:30 p.m., Weekend Theater. $14-$18.
It's one of the most acclaimed musicals in modern times. A Pulitzer Prize winner. A four-time Tony Award winner. One of the longest running shows in Broadway history. An update on Giacomo Puccini's tragic opera “La Boheme,” “Rent” trades in modern themes like drug addiction, homelessness, homophobia and AIDS, but still manages to convey, as the Weekend Theater bills it, “the sweet spirit of a kid's show.” Or, as Neil Patrick Harris reminded us on a recent “SNL,” chirpy overexuberance. You say tomato, I say toe-mato. All that buoyancy comes wrapped in a rock musical. It's the story of a group of young, poor artists and musicians living in the Lower East Side. Whatever you think of the production, you're bound to have “Seasons of Love” and its “525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear” line stuck in your head for weeks. John Thompson directs and Lori Isner provides musical direction. LM.
8:30 p.m., Vino's, $6.
Warming up for a string of dates for its third outing on the Vans Warped Tour, Nashville's punk 'n' roll poster boys bring heavy, sing-along anthems to town on Friday. The band's logged serious road mileage, supporting acts such as Circle Jerks and the Queers, and they've survived hardships ranging from lineup changes to terminal illness. Blacklist Royals delivers overwhelming punk attitude at 99 miles per hour with songs like “Fuck It, Let's Roll,” but the band's hardly one-note. Look out for well-placed, rollicking piano and occasional harmonica interludes, which makes for arrangements that don't sound too rehashed or borrowed. Expect a preview of new tunes from its yet-to-be released “Semper Liberi” from Paper And Plastick Records. This should be a good show for some old-school Vino's patrons. PP
8 p.m., Revolution. $12 adv., $15 d.o.s.
In his defense, he got into rapping with a partner, Lil Black. But his new imprint, Wyte Music? Pull back. In that spirit of identity through race, a slightly backhanded compliment: Lil Wyte is probably the best white rapper in the South. Raised in Memphis' notorious Frayser Home projects, Wyte — real name Patrick Lanshaw — put out a mixtape as a teen-ager as part of an all-white rap group that caught the attention of Three 6 Mafia's Juicy J and DJ Paul. With their backing, he sold some 135,000 copies of his 2003 debut, “Doubt Me Now,” with little to no promotion. Those kinds of numbers tend to get you noticed, and Warner Bros. snatched the rapper up for its Aslyum imprint, where he released two more albums. His new one, due, according to one report out of Memphis, sometime this month, looks like it'll come out on the aforementioned Wyte Music. Like most everything from the Hypnotize Minds camp, the rapper's songs are built on creepy, minor key synths, big bass tracks and raw lyrics about all things street. But unlike his mentors, Wyte's flow is rapid fire. An act with a less defensible name opens: Taco and Da Mofros. It's a not so novel take on rap rock. Also, after a long hiatus, Little Rock's favorite rapper, 607, returns to the stage. LM.
9 a.m., Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, Petit Jean Mountain. Free.
Looking to grow your own fruits and vegetables, but don't know where to start? The Rockefeller Institute has you covered. On Saturday, it celebrates state-raised and produced food with Bountiful Arkansas Day. Farmers and organizations will be on hand to sell produce and offer information about Arkansas food and garden programs. Those with booths include the Arkansas Sustainability Network, Armistead Mountain Farm, the Arkansas Earth Institute and the Backyard Garden Project. Two horticultural workshops will be held (for $15) — a vegetable workshop from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and one on growing fruits from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. From 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., visitors will be able to sample 20 different varieties of locally grown tomatoes (for $5). Free tours of the Rockefeller Institute's Heritage vegetable garden will be available throughout the day. At 4:30 p.m., Canadian journalists Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon, the authors of “Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet,” speak about their yearlong experiment to eat only food that came from within a 100-mile radius of their Vancouver apartment. Registration, via www.uawri.org, is required for the workshops and encouraged for the tomato tasting and lecture. Local bluegrass standouts Runaway Planet perform after the speakers. LM.
9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $8.
Deer Tick — yet another terribly named band in indiedom — comes to town riding a wave off positive buzz. Few up-and-comers attracted as much attention at SXSW. Since then, the group's been featured in Rolling Stone and, hilariously, on the inaugural webisode of Bri-tunes, NBC anchor Brian Williams' online music interview series (he's got good taste!). Known for blistering live performances, the Providence-based foursome does a revved-up, folk-flecked rock that fans of bands like Lucero and Glossary should appreciate. California's Dawes does a sunnier version of folk-rock in the opening spot. LM.
8 p.m., Timberwood Amphitheater, Magic Springs. $35.99-$45.99.
Sara Evans, as they might say in the business, is the complete package. She's good lookin' enough to have made People's most beautiful people list. She's Christian, but not so pious she can't sing something like “Can't wait to get him home / Ain't gonna have nothin' but the supper on ...” convincingly. More than a decade ago, she entered into the majors thanks to Nashville legend Harlan Howard, who was so blown away after hearing her sing his “I've Got a Tiger by the Tail” that he lobbied on her behalf. Her first album, “Three Chords and the Truth,” established her as the face of new traditionalism in country music, but on the four that followed, she retained enough throwback sound to appease the nostalgic and added enough sheen to rule the radio. She comes to Magic Springs amidst a busy schedule. Her lead single off her forthcoming studio album is due out later this month. And in the fall, her first novel, “Sweet By and By,” a collaboration with a Christian romance writer, will be published. LM.
KINOBE & SOUL
7 p.m., ACAC. $15-$20.
Kinobe (pronounced “Chi-No-Bay”) Herbert, the 25-year-old leader of Uganda's Kinobe & Soul Beat Africa, does not take a parochial approach to music. On album covers and promo pics, he appears leaning against a kora, a West African harp-like instrument. It's just one of many instruments he's crafted himself — the okogo, a thumb piano, is another cool one — that reflect his devotion to a broad African musical heritage. Kinobe sings, in a breezy tenor, in Luganda, English and Swahili. The four men who back him up play a wide variety of stringed and drum instruments and hand drums and offer bright harmony. It's vibrant music that, if a performance video is any indication, will be more so live. It's rare, almost unheard of really, that any worthwhile African music — or world music for that matter — stops in Little Rock, so look out for a strong turnout. The ACAC, which rarely hosts events that might sell out, is going about the advance-ticket scheme a little differently. Instead of getting a deal for acting early, those who want to be assured of a seat pay $20 for the privilege, while those who chance it at the door pay only $15. The extra five should be worth it for this show. The venue is at 900 S. Rodney Parham Road. LM.