Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned
7:30 p.m., UALR Center for Performing Arts, University Theater. $10.
KUAR, FM 89.1, the local public radio station, once again tries to give Garrison Keillor a run for his money with “Arkansas Flyer,” a live variety show celebrating the “culture, music and politics” of Arkansas. Longtime local radio personality David B. Treadway hosts. North Little Rock's Billy Jones Blues Band serves as the show's house blues band. Other featured acts include the Edgar Allan Po' Boys (a bluegrass band that includes Treadway), Bob Hulsey's local sketch group, Invisible Radio Theater, and storyteller John Philpot. A grant from the Department of Arkansas Heritage makes the program possible. The event is free for ages 12 and under and $5 for UALR students. A reception at 6:30 p.m. kicks off the event.
10 p.m., Revolution. $5-$10.
It's possibly the plum club gig of the year: downtown, either in Argenta or the River Market, post-Riverfest. Because, you know, after a day of sun and booze and music, who wants to go home? Revolution's Chris King could probably put an ol' crunchy guitar group in this spot and they'd kill, but he's gone and booked possibly the ultimate post-Riverfest act — Boston's Bang Camaro. The throwback metal band synthesizes all the best of '80s pop metal with a unique arrangement — three guitar players, a bassist, a drummer and a choir of anywhere from 10 to 20 “lead vocalists” who belt out choruses only (no verses!). Guitarist and co-founder Bryn Bennett insists that BC isn't a retro band. He likes “evolution.” On the band's MySpace page, he says, “We took the important parts of pop metal and distilled it. We came up with a purer type of music in the end. Let's be honest, no one cared what the lead singer of those bands had to say. They were either comparing their genitalia to some type of weapon that they were going to attack groupies with or they rhymed ‘fire' and ‘desire.' The fans never cared about that stuff. They wanted to scream along with the huge choruses or they wanted to air guitar to the solos. That's what we bring.” Yes.
9:30 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
Then for those who don't mind a crowd, but might want to escape the teeming masses packed into the River Market, one of Arkansas's most popular acts headlines at White Water Tavern. Formed in 2004 in Conway, the Damn Bullets specialize in a kind of psychedelicized strain of that old, weird Americana, some indistinct spot on the map between bluegrass, old-time and hillbilly. The four members — Joe Sundell, DJ Bennett, Paul Morphis and Graeme Higgins — usually play fast, usually sing harmony and always play with sly smiles on their faces. The band's been in the studio of late, so look out for new material. Bob Oh Brown, a native of Jackson, Miss., plays a shuffling, whimsical brand of folk that should dovetail nicely with the Bullets.
10 p.m., Cornerstone Pub. $5.
Get a double dose of Riverboat Crime on Saturday. The North Little Rock pop-rockers play early at Riverfest — 1:30 p.m. on the Triple-S Alarm Stage — then they'll try to play their infectious jams loud enough that a few hundred of the thousands heading to their cars after the festival will come inside to investigate. One of the most impressive acts in this year's Musicians Showcase, the North Little Rock act plays a fairly epic brand of pop-rock that recalls the most buoyant of the '90s. Big-voiced lead singer Josh Stoffer can play a mean blues slide guitar, too. The band plays in support of its new-ish album “Walking Shoes,” which it's sure to have for sale on Saturday.