Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned
9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $6.
Years before Ben Nichols smoked his millionth cigarette, gravelling his voice to its current phlegmatic depths, there was Brent Best, who fronted a band that sounded as guttural and down-and-out as its name — Slobberbone. For somewhere around a decade, the group, based in Denton, Texas, toured tirelessly and released four albums that got lumped in the '90s alt-country movement, mostly as a consequence of geography. Best's growl came with a West Texas twang, but otherwise the band was stylistically all over the place — messy, Replacements-style bar rock, ruminative folk, with rooftop horns, keyboards, tuba and harmonica featured liberally. Now after a post-Slobberbone hiatus, three-fourths of the group, including Best and guitarist Jess Barr and drummer Tony Harper, have come together as the Drams. They sound an awful lot like Slobberbone, if a little poppier. Fans of bands like Lucero, the Hold Steady and Drive-By Truckers, take note. In what's becoming a calling card for White Water, the venue has the Drams playing a two-night stand with Glossary, another band that often unjustifiably gets tagged as alt-country. In the last year, the Murfreesboro rockers have built up a sizeable following with repeated visits to the tavern. Locally revered singer/songwriter Kevin Kerby, who grew up in Texas with Best, opens the show.
9 p.m., Revolution. $10.
There are talented musicians all over the place in Central Arkansas, but nowhere is musical success tied to the rigors of capitalism like within local hip-hop. A sizeable majority of local artists aspires to live off their music; several even do. No one, locally, thinks more about the business of music than Chane “Epiphany” Morrow, the rapper who fronts the live hip-hop band One Night Stand and heads the local label Conduit Entertainment. The Stanford-educated 28-year-old has elaborate philosophies on everything from hosting parties to targeting demographics when selling mixtapes. On Friday, he celebrates the launch of his biggest endeavor yet, IAmTheLife.net, a promotional website that will highlight the evolving careers of six local acts. Specific details remained closely guarded at press time, but Epiphany has promised the site will include interactive elements, video and downloadable music. The featured artists include Epiphany, Suga City, DK and Souljah T, 607, Carteaire Custom and Sean West. At “The Chill,” the regular concert series Epiphany organizes, Epiphany and One Night Stand perform with 607 and, for the first time in months, slow-roll duo Suga City. DJ Discipline mans the turntables. There's bound to be audio/visual presentations.
8 p.m., Peabody RiverTop Party. $5.
They might not draw the biggest crowd — that feat almost surely will be accomplished by '80s cover band Venus Mission — but the Peabody doesn't have a bigger name on the schedule for this year's RiverTop Party concert series. Long a heavyweight on Southern stages, New Orleans act Cowboy Mouth barrels into town in support of their latest album, “Voodoo Shoppe.” Recorded pre- and post-Katrina, the album captures the party rockers in poppy kiss-off mode (in “Joe Strummer,” lead singer Fred LeBlanc is dumping a girl because she doesn't know who the Clash front man is) and in a more reflective spirit (“Home” considers post-Katrina devastation). Even though LeBlanc is the sole original member, the band's punchy rock sounds mostly unchanged. “Jenny Says,” the 1996 song that might be the group's biggest hit, sounds right at home next to Cowboy Mouth's newest single, “Kelly Ripa,” which, perhaps predictably, includes lines like “a mommy, with a body of a strippa.”