"History is always happening" at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10.
Where, oh where, have all the first-generation roots rockers gone? Uncle Tupelo? Long gone. Wilco? Surely you haven't been asleep that long. Jayhawks? Splitsville. Even Jay Farrar, long the torchbearer for dusty-road anthems, is putting horns and beeps and glitches in new Son Volt material. For those still lamenting the end of No Depression — the magazine and the genre — a flicker of light: Blue Mountain is back together. After six years apart, the seminal Oxford, Miss., act launched a tour last year (it included a Little Rock date) to see if reuniting would take. There were reasons to think it might be contentious. Lead singer Cary Hudson and bassist Laurie Stirratt essentially got married on the road and then divorced on the road, and drummer Matt Brennan had retired from music. But so far, it's been smooth sailing. So smooth, in fact, that Blue Mountain has recorded a new album, to be released in July. Local roots outfit the Good Time Ramblers, which includes most of the members of the Munks, opens the show.
10 p.m., Cornerstone Pub. $5.
Overstuffed local rap bills pop up just about every week, but it's been a long while since one featured arguably the three best street acts in town. Big Drew, from North Little Rock, has long been one of the A-state's most prolific (he brags on his MySpace page that he's the “Lil Wayne of Arkansas”), steadily dropping Arkansas-repping jams about how great he is. It's not all money, cars and girls. On a new track, “Imagination,” he brags, “I'm a player with a throwed imagination/boppers fascinated by my cold conversation.” No one in rap — anywhere — does street nihilism like E-Dubb (AKA EW Bush). It helps to have a voice that sounds like he's been inhaling cigars and drinking pure grain since he was 12. Dubb releases an album in June, so look out for new jams. Then there's Grim Muzik, the massive local collective, which usually has about 15 people on stage and always sounds loud and menacing. Also on the bill: Dre and Jontae, Tho'd Studio Ent., Sean West, Pimp Slap, D-Mite, Sunny Side Click and Autumn.
MAX RECORDINGS SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY SHOW
9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $6.
Pop the champagne (or PBR), Max Recordings is seven. Long the standard- bearer for smart, local music, always packaged exceedingly well, Max isn't just celebrating itself, it's celebrating the release of two new albums. The Good Fear, based mostly in Fayetteville, plays an expansive brand of Southern rock and includes current and former members of White Whale, Lucero, the New Amsterdams, Thee Higher Burning Fire and Woods Afire. When the Good Fear is on, they might be the best of the bunch. Their new album is called “Dirty Lowdown Adventure,” Isaac Alexander, the lead singer of Big Silver and the Easys and the drummer for the Boondogs, takes a break from collaboration for “See Through Me,” his stunner of a solo debut. Look out for dreamy meditations on nostalgia, fate and love. Another Max stand-out, the pop-rock band Grand Serenade, opens the show.
DOWNTOWN MUSIC GRAND OPENING
8 p.m., Downtown Music. $6.
The local metal hub for more than half a decade now, Downtown Music celebrates its sixth anniversary with the grand opening of its new space. Just a few storefronts down from its old address, the new location, at 211 W. Capitol, gives the venue double the square footage and a larger stage. Co-owners Jay Lightle and Alan Wells, who also play in the band Shitfire, have also added a long bar and updated the PA system. Lightle and Wells experimented with serving barbecue in their old spot (it was amazingly good). Now, likely beginning in June, they're planning on serving home style cooking during lunch hours, Monday through Friday, and on nights when they host concerts. The two-day celebration starts at 8 p.m. and costs $6 each night. On Friday, Sychosys, Drop Dead Syndicate, Rusty Hook, SeaHag and Borderline Blasphemy perform. Saturday features Monoxide Project, Wishtribe, Shitfire, Bloodletting Device, Woodswyck and Divine Existence.
Congratulations Tara, beautifully written!