"History is always happening" at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
Revolution. 8:30 p.m. $17 adv., $20 day of.
See, here's the thing about Cinderella: The band is sometimes unfairly lumped in with many of their blow-dried '80s hair-metal band peers. But "Long Cold Winter" and "Heartbreak Station" are solid, quality rock 'n' roll albums. Sure, they have their share of period production touches that maybe you'd do differently now. But the songs are tough, coming from a Stones/Faces sorta mold, way more strutty and bluesy than anything by White Lion or Nelson or whoever. Seriously, go blast the first two tracks off "Long Cold Winter" — "Bad Seamstress Blues/Fallin' Apart at the Seams" and "Gypsy Road" — and tell me they don't rock. Frontman and founder Tom Keifer recently released a solo album, "The Way Life Goes," that's cut from a similar cloth. It's 14 tracks of blues-informed, swaggering rock that'll make you forget everything that happened to mainstream rock radio between 1991 and, say, right now. That could be a very good thing indeed, depending on one's particular feelings about post-grunge and Nu Metal and whatever it is that followed those two low points. Expect Keifer to play some of the more rocking cuts from the new album (opener "Solid Ground" is great), along with some Cinderella hits. John Corabi, formerly of The Scream and who sang for Motley Crue in the Vince Neil interim, opens the 18-and-older show.
'J DILLA CHANGED MY LIFE'
9 p.m. The Joint. $10-$15.
James Yancey — or as he was more widely known, J Dilla — was one of those rare, brilliant musical minds who died too young and whose influence and unique vision wasn't properly recognized during his time on the planet. The Detroit native had been obsessed with music since he was a child. By the time he was in his teens, he'd already mastered several instruments, started a band and begun experimenting with drum machines and samplers, making forays into the production work on which he would make a career. Dilla worked with some of the biggest names in hip-hop: A Tribe Called Quest, Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, Pharcyde, Questlove, De La Soul and others. He'd long suffered from a rare blood disorder, and he passed away in 2006 at the age of 32. His legacy shows no signs of diminishing, though, with numerous tribute albums, posthumous releases and critical accolades continuing unabated. At this show, Rodney Block & The Real Music Lovers will perform with Damarcus "Blaze Beatz" Pettus, Osyrus Bolly, Fiyah Burnz, Sutter Kaine, Asylum and DJ Swift to pay tribute to the late, legendary musical genius.
7 p.m. South on Main. Free.
The Oxford American begins its programming at its new South on Main venue with a good'n: author Nathaniel Rich. His latest novel, "Odds Against Tomorrow," has been praised pretty much across the board. It's about Mitchell Zukor, a young mathematician who takes a job that puts him at the forefront of corporate hedging, calculating the odds of various disasters that might befall society. But soon an actual catastrophe unfolds. It's sort of a comedy of manners/apocalypse thriller that Vanity Fair called "scarily prescient and wholly original." Rich will read from the book, and if you have not yet secured a copy of it, WordsWorth Books & Co. will have some on hand, presumably so you can get him to sign his name on it. Little Rock-based writer Jay Jennings will emcee, and The John Burnette Duo will play music.
GOOD TIME RAMBLERS
9 p.m. Stickyz.
The Good Time Ramblers are probably a familiar name to most Times readers. The five-piece has spent the last several years honing an Americana sound with roots in the classic rock canon, playing steadily and sharing the stage with some notable country and Red Dirt acts. This is an 18-and-older album-release show for the band's new full-length, "Bigelow Strange," the follow-up to the 2009 recording "Nashville Cowboy." The 8-song album sounds fantastic (it was produced by keyboardist/vocalist Jeff Coleman and engineered by Coleman and Jason Tedford), especially the keyboards and shimmering pedal steel. "Illegal Things" gets the record off to an energetic start, with tales of youthful hijinks. "Six Feet Deep" finds the Ramblers considering the pursuit of material things and asking whether it was all worth it. "Last in Line" has some subtly sophisticated, Knopfler-esque guitar playing. It's an earnest, driving rocker and one of the best tunes on the album. "Nothing Left" closes out the album with hypnotic, chiming guitar/keyboard interplay, gorgeous leads and a moving chorus. It's a bit of a departure from the Ramblers' signature sound, but it's a bet that paid off and a fantastic track.