Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
6 p.m., Murry's Dinner Theater. $25-$30.
Maybe there have been stranger trajectories for musical adaptations, but I can't think of one. The camp musical “Little Shop of Horrors,” which opened Wednesday at Murry's Dinner Theater, grew out of a 1960 B-movie from Roger Corman (Jack Nicholson had a small role). In 1982, Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (“Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast”) adapted the cult film into a musical, full of songs inspired by '60s-era rock 'n' roll and soul. The musical, as you might remember from the Frank Oz big-screen adaptation, tweaks a tried-and-true formula: A hapless geek, who works in a plant shop, pines for an attractive co-worker who's dating a bully. The geek discovers a Venus flytrap, which he soon discovers thrives on blood. If that's not enough to pique your interest, a sadist dentist and a Greek chorus modeled on Phil Spector's most famous girl groups figure in, too. The musical runs through April 1. LM.
7 p.m., Vino's. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.
Pelican get called a lot of names. Post-rock. Instru-metal. Prog. Arty. But none of those, and at least a half dozen other less awful-sounding sub-genres, quite do the trick. In fact, Pelican would probably just as soon you think of it, as the group self-identifies on MySpace, as “other.” Fair enough. But for our purposes, how 'bout some other adjectives? Since debuting, in 2003, on Hydra Head Records, the Chicago quartet has made its name on dense, moody instrumentals that split the difference between Melvins-style sludge and the moody experimentation of, say, Explosions in the Sky. Either way, bring your earplugs. Particularly since the band's new material — its first release for Southern Lord — is apparently heavier, darker and more “riff-oriented,” according to Pelican's Trevor De Brauw. Another Southern Lord act, Wolves in the Throne Room, opens with Tombs. LM.
POISON ARROWS/ HEYPENNY/ THE HEAT MACHINE
9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
It's the second of three weeks of bands heading to and from SXSW, and White Water's kicking off the weekend with one of those wildly diverse bills one might've regularly stumbled into at the tavern three or four years ago. From Chicago, the Poison Arrows represent File 13, the Little Rock-born label that's now based in the Windy City. The experimental trio, featuring ex-members of Don Cabellero and Atombombpocketknife, comes to town behind its engagingly discordant recent album, “Casual Wave.” Nashville-based pop rockers Heypenny features two Arkansans, Little Rock native Benjamin Elkins and Fayetteville's D.J. Murphy. The band has a new album, “Parade,” with a hugely catchy single with the same name, but it seems to be available only in the UK at the moment. Maybe the band will have some imports on hand. From Nebraska, the seven-piece band the Heat Machine melds ska, rock and '50s era pop. LM.
9 p.m., Juanita's, $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.
This five-piece, post-hardcore act from Nashville comes complete with heavy radio rotation and trendy haircuts. Supporting 2007's debut, “The Moment,” which includes the single “Hear Me Now,” these homemade heartthrobs re-released the same album, “Deluxe Edition,” last year, which includes a metal-hop infused cover of Lil' Wayne's “Lollipop,” complete with catch-phrase “Call me so I can make it juicy for ya.” But they do, however, score some diversity points. On a completely different spectrum, the “lonely-at-night, I'll-hold-you-again” power ballad “Alone in This Bed” will probably get lighters raised high. The band name, kind of a head-scratcher, does, however, have a sentimental origin deserving mention. Through late 2006, the crew went by Embers Fade, until the drummer's fiancee, Ashley Hanley, who once served as the band's photographer, passed away. So take the picture “framing” and her last name and you have a band titled in her honor. Canadian alt-rockers the Veer Union, whose singer collaborated on Tommy Lee's “Tommyland: The Ride” album, and Memphis' soul-pop-punksters Sore Eyes open the 18-and-up show. PP