Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived
8 p.m., the Village. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.
Proud (and slightly sentimental) pop-culture geeks, take note. An indie-pop band from St. Louis has your number. Named for a character in “Labyrinth,” Ludo specializes in the kind of bouncy, dramatic anthems of ironic angst on which bands like Weezer and Jimmy Eat World have built careers. Lead singer Andrew Volpe uses his adenoidal tenor to navigate through relationship problems that make him feel like “Elliot when E.T. drank the beer” or like there's “a metric-ton of Easy Mac in [his] soul.” Earlier this year, the band released its third album and first on a major label. “You're Awful, I Love You” finds Ludo working with producer Matt Wallace (Maroon 5, Faith No More) and adding a pop-rock sheen to its sound. Volpe, too, has left his cultural referencing behind for the most part, though he's still retained his oddball lyrical sensibility. From the album's title track: “ ‘High-maintenance' means/You're a gluttonous queen/Narcissistic and mean/Kill me romantically/Fill my soul with vomit/Then ask me for a piece of gum.” Sherwood Christian indie-rockers Sincerely September open with Little Rock pop-punks Alert All Arms and Free Micah, from Texarkana.
J. RODDY WALSTON AND THE BUSINESS
9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz.
Hirsute and hyper, J. Roddy Walston and the Business bring their long manes and Muppet mustaches to Sticky Fingerz for their first show in Little Rock since May. Which is a long time for the Baltmore-based rawkers, who've become one of the scene's most beloved acts in the last several years. Introduced to Little Rock by the American Princes, J. Roddy and the Biz have played probably a dozen shows here since 2007. Their shtick is almost instantly infectious: no-frills rock ‘n' roll played with the kind of heedless passion seen ... well, almost nowhere. J. Roddy, who sings lead and bangs, hands pumping, on a keyboard, strikes a Jerry Lee-like blur of a stage presence. Bassist Zach Westphal looks like a cartoon — lanky with crimped hair down to his back and a mustache known within the band as the “Shalit” — and usually spends most of the show thrashing his hair with force not seen since W.A.S.P.'s heyday. And so it goes from there. Local kings of barroom rock and vets of a Green Day tour, Smoke Up Johnny, open with Magic Hassle, a new-ish band featuring members of American Princes.
9 p.m., the Afterthought. $7.
Arguably one of Central Arkansas's finest vocalists, Genine Perez brings her broad repertoire to the Afterthought for a fairly rare solo performance. The front woman of the party/wedding band Lagniappe, Perez has also become known for her impressive abilities to admirably cover the first ladies of jazz, like Billie Holiday, Etta James, Sarah Vaughn and Lena Horne. Look for an urbane night of the best in local vocal jazz.
LORD T & ELOISE
9 p.m., Revolution.
Regular visitors to Sticky Fingerz and Revolution, Memphis' Lord T & Eloise have spent the last year honing a new genre: aristo-crunk. Combining heavy low-end with samples of tympani and gothic choirs and lyrical references to the upper crust (the social pages, Sperry topsiders, stock market fluctuations), the duo knows that a good back-story and a refined look go a long way. According to their MySpace page, “Lord T and Maurice Eloise XIII are twins born into the richest family in the universe. Lord T was born with white tendril hair, befitting a man of leisure. Maurice Eloise XIII was born with 24-Karat Gold skin, a genetic mutation caused by generations of inbreeding Royal blood from different aristocratic families of the intergalactic realm.” To that end, Lord T wears a long, flowing powder wig, and Eloise paints his face gold. The beats usually hit pretty hard and the duo's lyrics, for all their silliness, are clever. Increasingly, the duo is transcending the joke-rap margins. Memphis rap legends Skinny Pimp and 8ball guest on new songs and Spin and Blender have written glowingly about the regal rappers.
ARKANSAS VS. LOUISIANA-MONROE
6 p.m., War Memorial Stadium. $45.
The Bobby Petrino era is underway. And after last Saturday's nail-biter against Division I-AA Western Illinois, we've learned a few things. The red pants will never work. Our defense will probably be woeful. Once again, our receivers seem likely to drop a lot of passes. We're way, way young. But, you know, at least over the radio and on paper, most of Bobby Petrino's play calls made sense. We're throwing the ball again. Casey Dick apparently looked steely and out-threw all other SEC quarterbacks. That's an unexpected sentence. So even though pre-season expectations could never live up to the reality of our team's talent level, last weekend's underwhelming results aren't likely to keep Central and South Arkansans away from War Memorial on Saturday. It's a party, after all. And even if ULM breaks some big plays open, as long as Casey's still throwing the ball all over the field and improvising big gains, everybody's buzz will stay intact.
BLACK TOP BOOGIE
2 p.m., Riverfest Amphitheater. Free.
An annual country concert sponsored by KSSN 96 FM, this year's Black Top Boogie comes courtesy of your local natural gas driller, Chesapeake Energy, always eager to engender goodwill. Boogie is the culmination of the company-sponsored “Music in the Park,” a two-week concert series at the Riverfest Amphitheater. A who's who of country music up-and-comers headline the all-day concert. The end of the night headliner is likely to be either country-pop pretty Chuck Wicks or contemporary country (read: NashVegas) singer Luke Bryan. Or you never know, maybe one of the ladies will get top-billing. Ashton Shepherd pairs Dixie Chicks-style folk-country with tough-woman lyrics, while former “Dancing with the Stars” winner Julianne Hough does big, beaming country-pop weepers. Tickets are free, but must be picked up at an outlet. Find locations at kssn.com.
JUMP BACK JAKE
10 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
“Jump Back” Jake Rabinbach moved from Brooklyn to Memphis four years ago. He's out to appropriate the best of Bluff City's soul traditions. Or as he brags in his MySpace bio, he's “done to Memphis Soul what Nick Cave did to the gothic murder ballad, and what The Blues Explosion did for electric blues: Stolen what they loved and made it sound contemporary.” Even if his rhetoric might outstrip his talent, Rabinbach seems to be on the right path. He just wrapped up recording with producer Pete Matthews, who discovered Evanescence, at famed Ardent Studios in Memphis. The blue-eyed soul man comes to White Water as part of a regional tour in advance of that album's release. Indie-folk rocker Free Micah, from Texarkana, opens.
Building a lead so rapidly and holding it in games, even professional football, is difficult…