Autumn temps are perfect for outdoor activities
7:30 p.m., Electric Cowboy. $15.
Joe Nichols is coming home, new album in tow. It's called “Old Things New,” which is probably an apt summation of Nichols and his music. For more than a decade, the Rogers native has eschewed Nashville gloss for traditional country sounds — pedal steel, fiddles, twangy guitars. Nichols' voice, warm but gritty, harkens back to a rougher time, too (the Washington Post recently said that “no one in Nashville has a ‘countrier' voice” than Nichols). Couple that voice with songs like “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” and “Cheaper than a Shrink” (“About 18 bucks will get you four six-packs/No pouring out your heart to some high-dollar quack”), and it's not hard to see why Nichols is steadily emerging as country superstar. Admission on Thursday includes a copy of “Old Things New.” LM.
8 p.m., Peabody Hotel. $10.
If you're going all out for Halloween this year, this is the party for you. Top costume earns you a cool $1,000. With stakes that high and with hundreds expected, you better come with some Lady Gaga-style innovation if you've got any hope at taking home the prize. A host of celebrity judges, including Pamela Smith, Christina Munoz and the Alice 107.7 morning crew, pick the winner. There's also a “Blood Curdling Scream” contest for dinner for two at Capriccio. Local cover bands Crisis! and Tragikly White perform. LM.
8BALL AND MJG WITH HILL COUNTRY REVUE
8 p.m., Revolution. $15 adv.
In an interview this summer, 8ball told me that live instrumentation would play a big part in the future of 8ball and MJG. Hill Country Revue wasn't exactly what I had in mind from a band that's built its reputation on “space age pimpin',” but damn if the prospect of the two acts together doesn't ring with potential. As North Mississippi Allstars fans know, HCR is what Cody Dickinson and Chris Chew keep busy with while Luther Dickinson's off cheatin' on 'em with the Black Crowes. Like the Allstars, blues-filtered Southern rock is their standard mode. But for one of the South's most respected rap duos, expect them to be pliable. For more than 15 years — starting in 1993 with “Comin' Out Hard” on Suave House, an album that set the standard for much of Southern rap that's followed — the pair's represented Memphis with gritty lyrics and percussive flows. They've got a new deal with T.I.'s Grand Hustle imprint that, this summer, 8ball promised would yield a new album this fall. Maybe we'll get an update. Epiphany and One Night Stand, Rockst*r and Dirtbag open. LM.
THE SCREAMING MIMES
9:30 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10.
It's a dream come true for fans of mid-to-late-'90s local funk. In what's emerging as an annual tradition, Fayetteville's Punkinhead reunites for a pair of Halloween shows in Fayetteville and Little Rock, two cities in which the band reigned supreme back in the day. Expect a heavy dose of wah-wah pedal, hollered harmonies and funky drumming. Ditto for the Screaming Mimes, who, on their way to becoming perhaps the most beloved high school band in the history of White County, worshiped at the altar of Punkinhead. (With Gossip at Vino's, Friday night is all about Searcy High School reunions; see Rock Candy for more nostalgia). If you've long wondered what the Easys or Big Silver would sound like with a touch of funk, here's your opportunity, courtesy of Isaac Alexander, Rob Bell and co. LM.