Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal
8 p.m., Revolution. $5-$10.
It's appropriate that the group putting on this show calls itself “The School of Dub.” Because there's nothing more spectral than electronic music. We need someone to walk us through. This particular “school” keeps it parochial; it's focused solely on dubstep, the genre built around wobbly, half-time rhythms that emerged in London in the early 2000s. Dark, dissonant and massively bass heavy, it's a sound, the Fader said recently, “made almost solely for dudes to bang heads, let off steam and feel awesome about life.” Dudes should be out in full force on Thursday for Israeli producer Borgore. The young, Diplo-endorsed DJ is touring the States for the first time behind “Ice Cream Man,” a mixtape that features, in addition to his own tracks, remixes of songs by Dr. Dre, Wiley and Britney Spears. You've never heard Brit-Brit until you've heard her try to compete with a bassline that sounds like the voice of the robots of the apocalypse. Stepchild, J-Low, Kinkade and Sleek open. LM
9:30 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $6.
Any band on a label named after a Shel Silverstein book (“Light in the Attic”) should spark interest, and this Seattle trio has done so since day one. Taking its name from a dreamt encounter with English poet William Blake, the Blakes have amassed hordes of fans from New York to Los Angeles, where they reportedly lived for two years in a Days Inn. With six LPs and four EPs cranked out in less than a decade, their work ethic speaks for itself. Even though they've drawn comparisons to the Kinks, the Who and other heavy names from the '60s and '70s, the band's approach is truly its own. Having just released “Souvenir,” a self-released album loaded with 16 tracks, we're lucky to have them stop by. But don't take my word for it. Iggy Pop once said of the Blakes, “Who's this? This shit is good!” PP.
ARKANSAS STATE FAIR
11 a.m., Arkansas State Fairgrounds. $4-$8.
After a soggy first week, there's sun in the forecast for the weekend (or at least there was at press time). So if you haven't taken advantage of crowds depleted by drizzle and ridden the Zipper until your heart's content, now's your chance. Also, Friday at 8 p.m., Lou Gramm, famous for his enviable mullet and for fronting arena rock stalwarts Foreigner, performs state fair standards like “Cold as Ice” and “Hot Blooded.” The rodeo — surely the pinnacle of the fair — happens on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Barton Coliseum. And for those who just want to grab a fried PB&J and some chocolate covered bacon for lunch, parking and gate admission is free on Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. LM.
8 p.m., UALR University Theatre. $5-$7.
Arkansas' only professional Shakespeare company, the Conway-based Arkansas Shakespeare Theater, comes to Little Rock on Thursday for a short run of one of the Bard's funniest and most accessible plays, “Twelfth Night.” The company presents the comedy of mistaken identity, about a woman — a separated twin — masquerading as a man, with help from local professionals and student workers. The production includes performances at 8 p.m. October 15-17 and 22-24 and 2:30 p.m. October 18 and 25. LM.
MAJESTY OF BEETHOVEN
8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $17-$58.
The search continues. Candidate two of five in the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's search for a new conductor sounds pretty impressive on paper. A Rhodes Scholar trained in the violin, Philip Mann, 31, has traveled the world as a chamber player, concertmaster and soloist. The BBC has called him a “talent to watch out for, who conveys a mature command of his forces.” He's currently an American Conducting Fellow and the San Diego Symphony's Assistant Conductor. On Saturday and Sunday, he'll conduct the ASO in the Overture to “Rusian and Ludmila” by Mikhail Glinka, the “father of Russian music;” Beethoven's “Piano Concerto No. 5” and Tchaikovsky's “Symphony No. 5.” Decorated pianist Andrew von Oeyen accompanies the ASO on the Beethoven selection, the so-called “Emperor Concerto.” LM.
9 p.m., Revolution. $15.
After a series of ups and downs, including being dropped by two labels, Bob Schneider has emerged an independent entity, releasing five albums and juggling three bands at the same time, the Scabs, Texas Bluegrass Massacre and Lonelyland, whose self-titled CD, remains the top seller at Austin's famous indie music store, Waterloo Records, at 25,000 units and counting. Somehow he's also found time to write a book. Shockorama Books published “I Have Seen the End of the World and It Looks Like This” in 2003. Schneider comes to town supporting his brand-new album, “Lovely Creatures,” a collection of inspired melodies that bounce from humor to tragedy to bedroom revelations. Look for him to explore a vast range of musical styles, all broadly contained within Americana-pop — blues, jazz, soul, hip-hop and barroom rock 'n' roll. PP.
ARTS IN CONCERT
6 p.m., Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts. $15-$25.
As arts organizations the country wide shed staff, Ballet Arkansas took a dramatically different tack. It hired an artistic director and created a professional dance company, composed of six professional dancers, many of whom moved from elsewhere to join the troupe. This weekend, director Arleen Sugano and her company — Jonathan Bostick, Case Dillard, Kelsee Green, Lauren McCarty, Grace Tilley, and Paul Tillman — inaugurate their season with original pieces choreographed by Sugano as well as pas de deux's from “Le Corsaire” and “Don Quixote.” Pianist Clark Erickson and guitarist Danny Fletcher accompany the ballet. Before the performance, an art reception features work by Heike Talbert, Charlotte Carooms, Tanya Sweetin, Susan Williams, Vicki Kovaleski and Jon Shannon Rogers. There'll be light hors d'oeuvres. Sunday, beginning at 2 p.m., is a second performance; same price and location. LM.
REGGAE ON THE RIVER
8 p.m., Ernie Biggs. $10.
A month after he inaugurated the series, Onestone head honcho Chris Bowen says he's bringing Reggae on the River back “by popular demand.” It's not hard to pick up on the success of his formula. Once again, he's assembled most all of the big names in the local “grown and sexy” scene, a who's who of jazz, reggae and soul performers: Rodney Block, Butterfly, Tawanna Campbell, the Onestone Reggae Band, Nicky Parrish, Dexter Peters and J. White. DJ Hy-C and Deja Blu man the ones and twos upstairs, while King Akeem keeps it moving downstairs. Like last time, there's a free buffet of Jamaican jerk chicken and curried chicken and rice. To reserve a seat, call 779-6302. LM.
8 p.m., Afterthought. $12.
One the most accomplished jazz players to ever come out of Arkansas — and surely the most acclaimed bassist — returns home for a series of gigs that begin at the Afterthought. Consider these bona fides: Born in Little Rock and schooled at UAPB and under the tutelage of legendary local jazzman Art Porter Sr., Leary has shared the stage and recorded with the likes of Sammy Davis Jr., Dizzy Gillespie, Albert King, Theolonius Monk, Esther Phillips and Max Roach. He's a long time member of the Count Basie Orchestra, one of the few still around hired by Count himself. Monday, he shares the stage with pianist Tom Cox and drummer Dave Rogers. Next Friday, he teams with vocalist Irene Crutchfield for a “9th Street Revisited” concert at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. Then, on Monday the 26th, he's back at the Afterthought. LM.
9 p.m., Juanita's. $15.
Kate Voegele might be the future of the pop star personified. At 20, she signed a record contract with then fledgling MySpace Records. Since last year, she's appeared regularly on the CW primetime soap “One Tree Hill,” as an upcoming young songwriter. In May, the release of her sophomore album, “A Fine Mess,” coincided with a story line on “One Tree Hill” that saw her character release her own album. Of course, a pretty face and a clean voice that can project “edgy” in the pop world haven't hindered her rise either. Texas band Green River Ordinance and LA singer/songwriter Kevin Hammond open with the same sort of earnest, radio-friendly pop that's bound to be all over the Kris Allen album. LM.