Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned
For the better part of 25 years, Robert Earl Keen has been the very definition of troubadour, a Lone Star musician with his dial permanently set to "tour." In fact, he's been too busy zigzagging the country with his long-time backing band to bother getting an inroad into the Nashville country music grinder. But it's paid off in the spades known as reverence. He has legions upon squads of followers and imitators alike and now gets mentioned in the same ranks as Jimmie Dale Gilmore or Townes Van Zandt; he's pretty much the most successful Texas English major ever. And no doubt he has an author's wicked wit behind his cowboy chords. Who else is going to whip up something like "The Great Hank," a song about a Hank Williams impersonator getting drunk in a sequined dress and lipstick? JT.
It's a weekend of benefit concerts at Juanita's. On Friday, Invisible Children, a group seeking to end the conflict in Uganda and stop the abduction of children for use as child soldiers, is the recipient of donations. At 7:30 p.m., the documentary "Go: The Schools for Schools Movie" screens. It follows 20 young Americans who travel to Uganda to help rebuild schools. A concert immediately follows, with music by locals Falcon Scott, Sean Michel, Badhand and Stephen Neeper & the Breakthrough. Last year, the UAMS students who organized this weekend's concert raised $8,700 on behalf of Invisible Children. Saturday, the beneficiary is CARTI Kids, a support network for pediatric cancer survivors who receive treatment at CARTI. The lineup includes Free Micah, Catskill Kids, Knox Hamilton and Inner City Lights. Both concerts are open to all ages. LM
Has any local album in recent memory been more anticipated? Nearly three years after it released a widely adored self-titled debut, The Moving Front is finally ready to unleash its follow-up, "Everyday Dissonance." A promising title from a group of post-punk polemicists, to be sure. That we're only now seeing the album (with cover art by this week's Times' cover artist Nate Powell!) owes to several factors, including the band's assiduousness; it spent months on end with engineer Jason Weinheimer at Lucky Dog Audio Post tweaking. Also, lately the 'Front's managed to hold onto guitarists about as well as Spinal Tap kept drummers. First Jeff Matika joined for about a day before he got called up to the bigs with Green Day. Then founding member Mark Lewis sort of moved to Austin. And then Scott Cook, who replaced Matika, started working with Julian Lennon and traveling around the country. Saturday, look for all of them to be onstage for at least a little while, along with other special guests, like joshua from Velvet Kente. From the band's Facebook event for the concert: "Have you ever been in The Moving Front? Well, you can be again, just show up to our practice a few times, 'cause it's gonna be like mothership connection up there but with less funk, no spacecraft, and a lot more beer." Magic Hassle and joshua open. LM.