As if great beer weren't reward enough, you can earn prizes for sampling local craft beverages
If you haven't yet made it to Hot Springs' annual documentary extravaganza, take heart: Much of what's already screened will play again during the festival's final four days, including nearly all of festival organizer Dan Anderson's picks for films not to miss. Among them, several that particularly stand out: "God Willing" (7:25 p.m. Thursday), a look at The Brethren cult; "Dirty Pictures" (8:45 p.m. Friday, 6:55 p.m. Sunday), a portrait of Dr. Alexander Shulgin, the famed chemist and creator of MDMA (better known as Ecstacy) and other psychedelic drugs; "Goodbye, How Are You" (3:05 p.m. Friday), an examination of how Serbians use — and misuse — language to criticize their government; "Space, Land and Time: Underground Adventures with Ant Farm" (3:30 p.m. Saturday), the first doc to explore the underground architecture and video art collective from 1970s Texas; and "Eleanore and the Timekeeper" (3:30 p.m. Sunday), a study of family, sacrifice and disability that follows a 91-year-old mother as she's forced to place her 61-year-old developmentally disabled son into a group home. If you're looking for after-hours fun to go with a night at the movies, at 10 p.m. Thursday Austin-based folk chanteuse (and Hendrix alum) Dana Falconberry performs at Maxine's with Sunset. Friday, following the documentary "Haack: King of Techno" (9:10 p.m.), synthesizer pioneer and electronic music legend Bruce Haack offers a DJ set at Low Key Arts, 118 Arbor St. That's an absolute can't-miss for avant-garde music fans. See the remaining schedule on page 26. LM.
My advice: Go to Halloween Express as soon as you read this and stock up on fake blood, because I'm thinking there won't be a drop to be had at any price once shock rockers Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie hit town. You might want to see how local stockpiles of rubber bats and black eyeliner are holding up as well. Known far and wide as the kings of horror-themed rock, Messrs. Cooper and Zombie bring their Halloween Hootenanny Tour to Verizon Arena this week, with Zombie's label-mates Murderdolls warming up the crowd. Watching the two acknowledged masters of dark "look at me!" rock try to out-monster each other on stage is likely to be worth the price of a ticket, as will be the epic goth-watching in the crowd. Too, it's just the right fit for the impending Halloween season. DK.
This Houston oddball has spent the better part of 12 years writing, recording and releasing instantly recognizable, soul-doused hip-hop tracks exclusively about, as he puts it, "wine, women and weed." Sure, it's not a broad scope. But that's why underground icon Devin the Dude and his songs about everyday life's simpler pleasures are, more than ever, a good-natured change of pace from other rappers concerned with being Richard Branson (Jay-Z) or Alexander McQueen (Kanye, that's you). There's no one else writing stone (and stoned — really stoned) classics about the little things, like having to scavenge an apartment on your hands and knees for weed after a rough day ("Doobie Ashtray") or loving a fussy, high-maintenance car in spite of yourself ("Lacville '79"). These aren't club bangers for the iced-out nightclub set or jigsaw puzzle MENSA songs for the backpackers; they're couch tracks for the workaday cats who know that, as Devin puts it, "anything is plenty and better than nothing at all." No private jets and supermodels here. The Dude is supported by a barge full of locals including 607, E Dubb, 4x4 Crew, Arkatext and more. JT.
Ballet Arkansas's annual celebration of the arts leads off with a reception featuring the work of local painters and sculptors and light hors d'oeuvres. At 7 p.m., Ballet Arkansas's professional and junior companies take the stage. Professionals Jonathan Bostik, Katchiri Feys, Kelsee Green, Lauren McCarty Horak, Grace Tilley and Paul Tillman dance "Pressing On," a piece choreographed by hotshot dancer Kiesha Lalama-White for the company. The professional company also performs pieces choreographed by Arkansas native Shawn Stevens, Jonathan Bostick and Ballet Arkansas artistic director Arleen Sugano. "Adagio for Strings," choreographed by Natalie Smith Berry and accompanied by the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra, highlights the junior company's performance. Ballet Arkansas reprises Arts in Concert on Sunday; the visual arts reception begins at 2 p.m.; ballet starts at 3 p.m. LM.
Sunday, Sticky Fingerz opens its doors early for a triple-bill of throwback, harmony-drenched folk rock. Dawes, the headliner, is a North Hills, Calif., quartet, whose formula borrows heavily from the sound of '60s era Laurel Canyon (think Crosby, Stills & Nash). Little Rock's seen the band grow from a promising upstart to a buzz-y national act that's signed to ATO (home to My Morning Jacket and Drive-By Truckers). The Romany Rye hopes to follow in Dawes' footsteps. Led by California singer/songwriter Luke MacMaster and featuring Little Rock's Whitman Bransford, Ryan Hitt, Judson Spillyards and Joshua Spillyards, the group came together after Chris Denny disbanded The Natives (which included Hitt and the brothers Spillyards) and the members of Dawes put MacMaster and the Little Rock guys in touch. Anchored by Judson Spillyards' ace guitar work, The Romany Rye explores the same sort of California sun-dappled harmonies, but with more rock punch. Minneapolis-based folk duo Peter Wolf Crier comes from the same Eau Claire, Wis., scene that birthed Bon Iver and the two-piece specializes in similarly otherworldly folk as Bon Iver's Justin Veron, but with less sadsackery. LM.
As scary metal front men go, it's hard to top Glenn Danzig. The man founded The Misfits, AKA the scariest, hookiest band in the punk era. In the process, he came up with the Misfits Skull, which has become a commonplace emblem of creepy menace — probably more so even than the music of The Misfits — on the hoodies and T-shirts of millions of kids. He pioneered the punk-rock pompadour (sort of like a greasy pony tail in the front), which, along with blacked-out eye make-up and a regular leather ensemble, helped advanced horror schlock style farther than anything since Alice Cooper popped out of a coffin. Sure, later, when he started up the Danzig, he may've dabbled a little too much in fishnet shirts, but for almost 35 years he's been kicking out reliably dark, cartoonishly gory punk, hardcore and metal anthems. Talk about getting ready for Halloween: Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie and Danzig within the span of a week? Start painting your faces, ghouls. Possessed, Marduk, Toxic Holocaust and Withered open on Wednesday. LM.