Autumn temps are perfect for outdoor activities
NATIONAL BLACK STORYTELLING FESTIVAL
7 p.m., Peabody Hotel. $15-$300.
“Our Soul Looks Back: Stories of How We Got Over!” is the theme of 27th annual National Black Storytelling Festival and Conference, which runs for four days in Little Rock beginning on Thursday. Big name storytellers like Queen Nur (Willingboro, N.J.), and Mitch “Gran'daddy Junebug” Capel (Spring Lake, N.C.) will feature along with a liar's contest and an awards gala. See the full schedule at NABSINC.org. Sessions and panels are open to the public at al a carte prices. LM.
8 p.m., Verizon Arena. $31.75- $101.75.
According to the numbers, Dane Cook stands at the zenith of the modern comedy mountain. His 2005 album “Retaliation” went double platinum, and he became the second comic to sell out Madison Square Garden two years later. But he's taken a ritual beating for material-jacking, and it's been argued that his over-animated delivery robs his bits of context. For specifics, hunt down Joe Rogan's scathing revelations of how Cook lifted material he watched Rogan perform live. Or dig up the shameful lifting of three Louis C.K. bits from 1996, which resurfaced via Cook in 2003. A 2006 Rolling Stone article zaps Cook for a joke originally performed by Emo Philips. For someone claiming, “I want to be the heavyweight comedy champion of the world,” racking up shoplifting charges may not be the way to go. PP.
BILLY JOE SHAVER
8 p.m., Revolution. $12 adv., $15 d.o.s.
He's a hero to your heroes — Willie Nelson called him maybe the best songwriter alive today and Bob Dylan name-checked him on his last album — and one of the last living connections to the outlaw country movement. More bona fides: He wrote nearly every one of the songs on Waylon Jennings' seminal “Honky Tonk Heroes,” and just about every song on his debut, “Old Five and Dimers Like Me” (“I've Been to Georgia on a Fast Train,” anyone?) is a classic. Which is not to say that Shaver's genius ended in the '70s. He's been remarkably prolific of late, releasing a new album at least every two years since 1993. He's had plenty of material to draw from. Even beyond his young life, where he severed two fingers in a sawmill accident, spent time homeless, served in the Navy and worked as a bronco buster, the man has a surfeit of experience to mine. He lost his wife and his mother within a month of each other in 1999; saw his only son die of an overdose in 2000 and suffered, himself, a heart attack onstage a year later. But today, at 70, he's alive and well, still on the road, still preaching sin and redemption. You'd be dumb to miss this one. LM.
“FIVE DAYS OF GIVING”
9 a.m., Clinton Presidential Center. Free.
Time flies. It seems like just yesterday that noses were pressed up to the glass at every downtown Little Rock restaurant in hopes of glimpsing Robin Williams or someone more glamorous in town for the grand opening of the Clinton Library (I cut through a roped-off area on way to a bar with some friends that weekend and someone yelled, “Who are y'all?”). But it's been five years. And in that time officials say that the Clinton Center's received 1.6 million visitors. To celebrate the milestone, the center is hosting “Five Days of Giving.” From Friday until the following Tuesday, the Clinton Center hosts a drive to collect new or gently used coats. Donors get a $25 gift certificate at the Clinton Store and discounts at the on-site restaurant, 42. Saturday, all day, admission to the library is free. On Monday at noon, the Clinton School hosts a student service project panel, where Clinton School students will talk about their public service experience at home and abroad. Tuesday, Clinton Center staff and City Year work on service projects around Central Arkansas. You can, too. Sign up at www.fivedaysofgiving.com. The closing event, a luncheon featuring a keynote address by President Clinton, is sold out. LM.