Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
BENNETT RYEL BENEFIT
9 p.m., Revolution. $5.
If you follow local music, you've probably heard of Bennett Ryel. The violin player is a member of the Munks and has collaborated with everyone from 607 to Notion to Sara Thomas. Ryel has a rare form of cancer, which started in his neck and has since spread elsewhere, making it hard for him to work. To help him with his expenses, several musician friends have organized a benefit. On the bill: The Good Time Rambers, who play an elastic style of country rock. Sometimes it's shuffling and twang-y, others it's raucously shout-along. Lead singer John Lefler sings in a gravelly tenor about things like drinkin' and cross-country misadventure. He plucked the rest of his band — Rich Dwiggins (vocals, bass), Alex Piazza (lead guitar, pedal steel, etc.) and Brooks Browning (drums) — straight from the Munks. Also: Full Flavor Menthol, a cover act with Munks' front man Aaron Grim and fiancee, Ganelle Holman. Local five-piece jam band FreeVerse shares the bill. LM.
7:30 p.m. Weekend Theater.
A high school staple at the Weekend Theater, home of social justice dramas and outre musicals? Yes, but despite what you remember of Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, director Jamie Scott Blakely — who first read the play in high school English class, natch — doesn't want anyone to confuse the spirit of “Our Town” with nostalgia: “It's not sentimental, but eye-opening,” she's said. Behind the set-up — a day in the life of Grover's Corners, N.H., and in particular, the lives of two families who live next door to each other — the play delves into what Blakely says is “perhaps the most important social issue”: that there's nothing more important in life than relationships. The director hopes “Our Town,” which as usual is being staged minimally, with only tables and chairs for props and action mimed, might inspire a bit of reflection. “There is no way to truly understand what is happening now and how precious it is. The catch phrase of today is ‘live in the moment,' but can we truly do that?” she asks. Performances continue Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 26. LM.
9:30 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $5.
We've been here before, brethren. Twice, in fact. Back in July, the lads in Frown Pow'r scheduled a CD release party at Sticky Fingerz for their debut, “Don't Doubt It, Shout It!” only to spin it a pre-release party when the album got hung up at the distributor. Same deal in August at White Water (local bands, Frown Pow'r is well-positioned to tell you who not to get to duplicate your CDs). But saving some unforeseen catastrophe, you won't get burned a third time. The CD is in and ready to be sold. I've seen it; there's a cathead sticking out of a Funland-style vortex on the cover. More importantly, I've heard it, and can say with some confidence, that it'll appeal both to the band's fervent base, those who appreciate the cracked-out hoedown feel of their live show, as well as to anyone who appreciates smart, allusive songwriting, dissonance and tambourines. Or, how's this for a plug? Courtesy of David Fair, of Half Japanese fame: “[The album] sounds like the Beatles if they came from the United States instead of England and kept playing in a little club instead of touring the world. And I mean that all in a good way. Maybe if the Beatles had followed this path they would've ended up this good.” The See and Androids of Ex-Lovers open. LM.
Good analysis, something completely lacking from the daily newspaper's sports reporters/columnists.
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