"History is always happening" at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
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.