Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived
JUNETEENTH POWER JAM
3 p.m., Riverfest Amphitheatre. $20-$30 d.o.s.
Last week, Arkansas Times media columnist David Koon outlined the problems with Power 92's massive annual Juneteenth concert, as described in the documentary “The Truth Behind Juneteenth: A Paradox of Freedom.” The history and relevance of Juneteenth are barely mentioned. The station, which makes a big hoo-rah about all that it donates to the Watershed Project, pockets huge profits, while forcing local acts to pay exorbitant fees to play. But! Lil Mama's lip gloss will be popping, Mike Jones will be repeating his name, Trey Songz will be crooning, salaciously, and dozens of other acts whose names you might not know, but whose songs you probably do, will be putting it down, so look for another sell-out. For ticket outlets, go to www.power923.com. LM.
9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10.
Well before Joanna Newsom and Iron & Wine and their ilk started mining the folk traditions of the '60s and '70s, Seattle's Carissa's Wierd (misspelled on purpose) made it big in the Northwest on the strength of their throwback folk-rock. From 1995 to 2003, the band toured and recorded tirelessly, always seeming to be on the verge of breaking out nationally, but never pushing through. Splinter groups have fared better. Guitarists Mat Brooke and Ben Bridwell formed Band of Horses, which, after two albums, is arguably the biggest name on Sub Pop's roster. Now comes Grand Archives, formed by Brooke after he split from Band of Horses after the first record. Where Bridwell leans heavily on Neil Young, Brooke and Grand Archives draw influences from sunny '60s Cali pop, bands like CSNY and the Mamas and the Papas. So: five-part harmonies, whistling, harmonica-filled bridges, brightness. Another Carissa's Wierd alumna, Sera Cahoone, performs in one of the opening slots. She aspires to be considered as the love child of “Buck Owens and Cat Power.” Dallas indie-poppers the New Frontiers also perform. LM.
FOLKSY STRINGS AND SUMMER THINGS
7 p.m., Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative. $6-$10.
There will be pickin' and grinnin' and paintin's at Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative's two-day summer folk and music festival. On Friday, local country-tinged singer/songwriter Kevin Kerby headlines the music line-up (too bad he's not showing his art, which leans toward folk art). Also performing are acoustic shouter Jonathan Wilkins and We Versus the Shark, a Pennsylvania folk-rock act. Artists showing paintings, crafts and jewelry include Melverue Abraham, Heather Canterbury, Amy Carnahan, Donna Dunnahoe, Hugh Dunnahoe, Lindsey East, Holly Hall, Lisa Krannichfeld, Erin Lang, Erin Lorenzen, Nikki Paxton, Jennifer Perren, Rhonda Reeves, Levram Renrut, Teresa Smith and Kalari Turner. The exhibit opens at noon Friday and Saturday. On Saturday, Fayetteville bluegrass band Cletus Got Shot headlines, with local singer/songwriter Mat Mahar opening along with the expansive folk-rock of Justin Carr and Ghost Go. There'll be refreshments, courtesy of New Belgium and Whole Foods. LM.
COOPER'S ORBIT DAMN BULLETS / SOUTH 61
10 p.m., Juanita's. $6.
Cooper's Orbit canceled. Drummer Will Jennings recently took a job with the Obama campaign and at the last minute, had to be out of town. There's no rescheduled date yet for the CD release. We'll keep you posted.
You've got to hand it to a band whose members knew each other before they were old enough to drive and have played on and off together for a decade. Fans of the 2007 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase winner Cooper's Orbit will have plenty to gravitate toward and around as the band throws its CD release party. Paying homage to a wide spectrum of influences in the jam/alternative realm, CO is prepared to drop the long-awaited record bomb on its anticipating fan base. Expect syncopated grooves and crunchy, ambient guitars laced with self-empowering lyrical themes. The Damn Bullets and South 61 open the show. PP.
JOHN PAUL KEITH AND THE 1, 4, 5's/ SILVERTON
9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
Perhaps you caught the John Paul Keith and the 1, 4, 5's show with Ben Nichols a few months ago. If not, now's your chance. White Water Tavern commander-in-chief Matt White describes them enthusiastically as “easily my favorite new band … Jerry Lee Lewis meets Chuck Berry and Big Star.” Keith is known for his wild live shows, but his resume includes collaborations with Ryan Adams, Little Rock big wheel Jim Dickinson and Harlan T. Bobo. This time out, Keith and his numerical bandmates share the stage with Little Rock's good-time barefoot folk rockers Silverton. PP.
HOOK AND LADDER COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL
11 a.m., North Shore Riverwalk. $30 adv., $35 d.o.s.
Slather on the sunscreen, country fans. A strong line-up has been assembled in North Little Rock to benefit the Fallen Firefighters Memorial Fund. John Anderson, the '80s favorite who hit it big with songs like “Wild and Blue” and “Swingin,'” mounted a comeback last year with the funny, charming “Easy Money.” Since the late '80s, Confederate Railroad has churned out album after album of Southern rock-infused country. DeQueen native Collin Raye is known for slick, sweeping ballads. Canadian act Emerson Drive made its bones with Richard Marx-produced country-pop; the band's latest album, “Countrified,” twanged the sound up a bit. Nashville's Diamond Rio blends modern country, bluegrass, high harmonies and a taste of rock 'n' roll. Little Rock's own Riverbilly also performs. Tickets are available at RAO Video, Arkansas Record and CD Exchange, the Record Rack in Pine Bluff and online at www.celebrityattractions.com. LM.
POP! IN THE PARK
6 p.m., History Pavilion, Riverfront Park. Free.
TJ Deeter, who made his name on the scene booking Tuesday nights at White Water Tavern — matching hip-hoppers with metal dudes and folk-ladies and such — is back promoting shows in a similar fashion. On Saturday, in conjunction with the River Market, he launches Pop! in the Park, a concert series that runs once a month through the summer. The first concert features local rapper Razormack, who might be playing one of his last local shows (he's headed to ATL in the not too distant future); impressive local folk-singer Sara Thomas (who moonlights as Deeter's new bride); up and coming rapper Maxx, who got his start under the tutelage of Deeter at the Hip-Hop School; and local singer of smart, twang-tinged songs Kevin Kerby. The History Pavilion, for those not up on River Market geography, is the brick arbor-looking thing adjacent to the Junction Bridge. The Indian Head is inside. Coolers, lawn chairs and blankets (but no glass) welcome. LM.
THE ROCKIN' GUYS/ JIM MIZE
9 p.m., White Water. $5.
Goat Hill, Ark.'s favorite sons, the Rockin' Guys, continue to tour, sporadically, in support of “Performance Art Miscreants,” an album with a name that pretty much encapsulates the Guys' voodoo. They're out to subvert, but high-mindedly. For two decades (minus a decade-long hiatus), the Guys have delighted in taking songs popular and obscure and mutating them beyond recognition. Like a DJ, they often take the lyrics of one song, say, the Velvet Underground's “Heroin,” and mash it with the music of another, say Van Morrison's “Gloria” (with H-E-R-O-I-N spelled out). On Saturday, look for barely recognizable versions of songs by likes of Johnny Paycheck, Prince, the Modern Lovers and the Cramps. Conway's Jim Mize, who I've long praised herein as Arkansas's best singer/songwriter, opens with his band the Germans. LM.
8:30 p.m., Revolution. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.
How's this for power couples. Charlie Robison is married to the former Emily Erwin of the Dixie Chicks. His brother Bruce, a country star in his own right, is married to Kelly Willis. How 'bout a power tour? Ah, but somebody's got to stay home and watch the kids. Not that we're settling for Charlie. A Sticky Fingerz/Rev Room favorite, Robison is part of Texas country royalty, firmly in the tradition of literate singer/songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Billy Joe Shaver. His shows, full of raucous energy and humor, always bring out a big crowd. Look for an especially big one on Saturday as Revolution celebrates its second anniversary. LM.
JASON RICCI AND NEW BLOOD
9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $8.
You'll want to get down like James Brown when Jason Ricci & New Blood get going. Ricci executes a stunning show of force on vocals, harmonica and nose flute, flanked by a seasoned, bulletproof crew consisting of guitarist Shawn Starksy, bassist Tod “Buck Weed” Edmunds and bricklaying drummer Ron Sutton. Potential audience members should know that Ricci sharpened a few teeth while living and performing with Junior Kimbrough's son, David, and rubbing elbows with a host of the Holly Springs, Miss., foothill stomp gang. Catch Ricci and New Blood Saturday at Sticky Fingerz in support of their latest CD, “Rocket Number 9.” PP.
999 EYES FREAKSHOW
10 p.m., Juanita's. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.
Those who recall with twisted fondness or wracked nerves the phenomenon known as the Jim Rose Circus on the 1992 Lollapalooza tour or Nine Inch Nails' 1995 Downward Spiral tour are well advised not to miss 999 Eyes Freakshow. Celebrating living human oddities, the vaudeville-style show features the antics of the Half Woman, Lobster Girl, the Dancing Dwarf and Black Scorpion. Also performing is That Damned Band, which has an authentic accordion-driven repertoire of original and folk songs from traveling midway origins, who've been described as sounding like “A circus train wrecked into a hobo camp where wandering Jews and Gypsies from Eastern Europe have been learning Irish drinking songs from Tom Waits.” Eighteen and older are admitted. PP.
Building a lead so rapidly and holding it in games, even professional football, is difficult…