Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived
CIRQUE DES O'BOOGIE
8 p.m., Vino's. $7.
Folks long on the scene might be a little quick to dismiss the local youth movement as a glut of emo kiddie-punk. Cirque des O'Boogie, AKA the 2008 Dance Punk Prom, celebrates young musicians doing diverse things. Jack to the Future is a local one-man band who uses a computer, a synthesizer, two keyboards and “glowsticks, fog machines, real monsters, lights” and other elements he's keeping close to the vest. From that hotbed of punk experimentation, Blytheville (God love the Internet), Goodnight Panda specializes in synth-heavy funk rock. Appetite for Orange plays shambolic garage punk. Now that he's on track to become a local heavyweight, rapper Max Farrell is being billed as Maxx the Great. No quibbles here. If he keeps churning out infectious jams like his new track “Like So,” he'll earn it and then some. LM.
GREEK FOOD FESTIVAL
11 a.m., Annunciation Greek
Orthodox Church. Free admission.
If you're driving with the windows down, odds are that the aroma will tease the tastebuds before you find a parking spot. This event needs little, if any, introduction, so let's crunch some sugarcoated numbers. Add 1,700 pounds of butter, 750 pounds of nuts, another 700 pounds of phyllo dough and you'll have the ingredients to produce more than 10,000 sourota, 17,000 pieces of baklava, 5,700 melomacrona, 14,000 butter cookies and thousands more pastries certain to be devoured by the eager masses awaiting the 2008 Greek Food Festival. And that's just the dessert options. An absolute melting pot of intercontinental cuisine, multicultural entertainment and a wide array of specialized gifts await newcomers and returning faithful to this annual event, which continues to outdo itself with each passing year. For those who enjoy donning an apron and creating their own mouth-watering meals, expect the Old World Market to have all the necessary ingredients to make it happen, or bring some frozen dinners home for later. There'll be jewelry and guided church tours, too. At least seven charities benefit from proceeds generated by the festival, which continues 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Recipes, entertainment schedules, parking locations and trolley routes and the entire lowdown are available at www.greekfoodfest.com. PP.
TRAVELERS VS. THE NATURALS
6:45 p.m., Dickey-Stephens Park. $6-$10.
Of course it's a manufactured rivalry. The Travs and the Naturals have only played eight times. Plus, it's the minor leagues, where rivalries don't really play out since teams often lose players as soon as they get on a roll. Still, each swept the other in the first two homestands, so you know the hometown fans — even those who come solely to drink tall beers and eat peanuts — will be whooping and hollering to keep the streak alive. The series begins Friday and stretches through Monday. On Friday, the crowd is likely to be especially frenzied as midget wrestling, long a Bill Valentine staple, makes its first appearance at Dickey-Stephens. Li'l Kato takes on Beautiful Bobby Dean at 6:45 p.m. for the World's Midget Heavy Weight Wrestling Championship. Belvis the Black Elvis will be entertaining the crowd, too. The game starts at 7:45 p.m. On Saturday, the first 2,000 fans get a Travs fleece blanket, 7:10 p.m. And on Sunday, for the 2 p.m. day game, the first 2,000 get a Travs team picture. LM.
THE LEE BOYS
9 p.m., Revolution, $10.
The Lee Boys are one of America's finest African-American sacred steel ensembles. This family group — Alvin Lee (guitar), Derrick Lee and Keith Lee (vocals), along with their three nephews, Roosevelt Collier (pedal steel guitar), Alvin Cordy Jr. (seven-string bass) and Earl Walker (drums) — began making music at the ages of 7 and 8 in the House of God church they attended in Perrine, Fla. They underwent a rigorous course of training in a variety of musical instruments, including lap and pedal steel guitars. Inspired by master sacred steel guitarists, the band draws from elements of rock, blues and country music, and applies liberal doses of contemporary R & B, hip-hop and funk to create its own flavor. Praise and worship fans and jam-band adherents alike should flock to Revolution Friday night to catch this rare show. Arkansas Times 2007 Musicians Showcase winner Cooper's Orbit opens. PP.
ATTRACTIVE AND POPULAR
8 p.m., Low Key Arts Building, Conway. $5.
If it's been a minute since you trekked to Spa City, here's a good excuse. Low Key Arts Building, the city's indie music and art hub, hosts Attractive and Popular for the venue's last show of the spring/summer. DIY devotees know all about Attractive and Popular. Formed in Lafayette, La., the four-piece moved to Hot Springs several years back and took over the Exchange, which they operate as an all-ages club when they're not touring (so, somewhat infrequently). The dance punks have built their reputation on hard touring and ferocious performances that usually find them sweating a lot in black and gold outfits. Their last full-length came out on GSL, a label founded by Mars Volta. On Friday, they're celebrating the release of a split CD, “Live from Hell/Jungle Fever,” on Little Mafia Records with El Paso Hot Button, a one-man band from Norman, Okla., that dexterously kicks out full, raucous garage-rock. Impressive local noise-punks Ginsu Wives open. LM.
11 a.m., North Shore Riverwalk. $5 (free for children under 12).
Now in its fourth year, Buzz-B-Q pairs together the key ingredients of any good party: barbecue and live music. On the barbecue side of things, contestants in two divisions — Pro Joe and Average Joe — will start cooking bright and early. Hosted by 103.7 "The Buzz" and benefiting the North Little Rock Firefighters Local 35 Fallen Firefighters Memorial Fund, the event opens to the public at 11 a.m. and as the meat gets done, most contestants will be offering up free samples. Some $5,000 cash and prizes will be up for grabs in the Pro Joe division, where the judging will be somewhat rigorous. All the Buzz dudes—Tommy Smith, David Bazzel, Justin Acri, Pat Bradley and Joe Franklin will be on hand to host and emcee the event. For kids, there'll be a a Family Fun Zone with a rock climbing wall, super slide, obstacle course, the Twisters Football Toss, 3D miniature golf and a hunting simulator. Plus, for grown folks, age 21 and up, the "Buzzeritaville" area features T's Tunes karaoke, pool tables, TVs to watch the Preakness and Stinky Gringo margaritas. LM.
ARKANSAS MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION
7:30 p.m., Revolution. $10.
In conjunction with the Little Rock Film Festival, the Arkansas Music Video Competition gives top billing to the local music scene's latest obsession — locally made music videos. From 16 or so entrants, the field has been narrowed down to four (full disclosure: I was a judge). These got the most votes: Epiphany's “Can't Tell,” the Moving Front's “Zombies,” Ace Spade and the Whores of Babylon's “Ice Crystals” and Bryan Frazier's “Unwise.” A smidge of background: Epiphany's video was shot entirely in Rumba-Revolution, where the finals will be held. There are zombies in the Moving Front's “Zombies.” Ace Spade and the Whores of Babylon cook meth in a trailer B-movie-style in “Ice Crystals,” and Bryan Frazier is possibly a ghost in his video. A cocktail reception opens the evening, followed by a screening of the videos and an awards ceremony at 8:30 p.m. The finalists will then all perform short sets. Plus, a boon to any local show, rapper 607 performs, and in the headlining slot, Technosquid Eats Parliament, the long defunct Little Rock-based power pop band, reunites for a special appearance. LM.
607 DOWNLOAD EXTRAVAGANZA
4 p.m., Kanis Park. $1 per song.
607 has always been a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to sales. He takes the long approach. He punches the clock just about every night, briefcase in tow, and makes the rounds, hitting up every bar and restaurant and hangout, all throughout Central Arkansas. He's a roving storefront. When you want a new 607, you just wait — never long — until you see him out. But because he's just one man, with one normal-sized briefcase, he only usually carries his latest release. For fans clamoring for old cuts, he's going to slow down and set up shop in Kanis Park, where he and local DJ g-force will be holding court with an external hard-drive, a laptop and a lot of cords, offering songs from Six's catalog, stretching back 10 albums, for $1 a pop. Fans are invited to bring blank CDs, jump drives, iPods — any kind of digital storage. Eager fans will also have a chance to pick up “Nobody but Us,” the new album from 607 and Bobby, before it's officially released at Riverfest. LM.