"History is always happening" at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
TRUE SOUL ALBUM RELEASE PARTY
5 p.m. Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. Free.
In music geek heaven (which is sort of like regular heaven only it looks like an endless, cluttered record shop) there will be a special place of honor for those crate diggers who prize nothing more than turning folks on to the obscure, the unheralded, the you-gotta-hear-this tunes that might otherwise be relegated to the dustbins of wax history. Along with Numero, Mississippi Records, Light in the Attic and a handful of others, the fine folks at Now-Again will surely have prime seats at that table for their efforts. The label specializes in painstakingly researched, lovingly assembled reissues of everything from Iranian psych rock to Zambian funk to all-but-forgotten Southern soul. Now-Again recently compiled "True Soul: Deep Sounds from the Left of Stax," a two-volume set chronicling legendary Arkansas imprint True Soul, which entrepreneur and musical impresario Lee Anthony started in the '60s and operated through the '70s. Now-Again spared no expense on the release, which is available as separate two-CD/DVD sets or as a four-LP box set. Of course beautiful packaging, fantastic photos and detailed, lengthy liner notes don't mean much if the music doesn't measure up. And while True Soul isn't a household name like Stax/Volt, Hi or Motown, the music that came out on a tiny label from the relatively tiny outpost of Little Rock is awesome. Check out "Thank You" or "Wheezin'" by York Wilbourn's Psychedelic Six for some funky, wacka-chicka-wacka-chicka instrumental workouts. "The Real Thing" by The Conspiracy is sweaty, high-octane funk with punchy horns and a frenetic chorus, and Thomas East's cuts, including "Slipping Around" and "Funky Music," offer a glimpse back to a bygone era of soul music. East, John Craig and Clifford Hawkins are among the True Soul alums playing this album release party with the True Soul Revue, which is led by Lorenzo Smith. Arkansas Record & CD Exchange stocks the True Soul reissues, and Bill probably has a few of the original 45s too.
'AFROFUTURISM AND THE POLITICS OF POSSIBILITY: RADICAL SOCIAL LOVE AND THE CAREER OF MICHAEL JACKSON'
2:40 p.m. College of Business, UCA. Free.
Man, that, uh ... dang. That's all I've got. That title stands on its own and it doesn't need a thing from me or anybody else. Prof. Lisa Corrigan of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville presents this lecture, which has the most badass, intriguing title ever. If you were wondering how you should go about picking a name for your lecture, this is how it is done, folks. Rock on, Prof. Corrigan.
CULTURE SHOCK: THE '80S
7 p.m. Arkansas Arts Center. $10-$19.80 (yes, really).
Ah the '80s. Remember what you were like back then? All havin' feathered hair and Wayfarers with neon green frames? All sufferin' from a totally tubular case of Pac-Man Fever? All sportin' those raggedy red parachute pants and that fingerless glove while dancing around the room and lip syncing in front of the mirror to "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," stopping only to answer your hamburger phone? All sayin', "I Want My MTV!" and "Where's the Beef?"? All havin' '50s nostalgia even though the '50s were terrible and you weren't even alive back then? What's that? Oh, you were born in 1990 and yet somehow you're already old enough to legally drink? [Sigh] Anyways, this right here promises to be a good time, no matter how many miles there are on your nostalgia-ometer. DJ Poebot spins the hits, The Food Truck serves up the grub, Moon Distributing juices the hooch and the AAC shows off works it acquired in the '80s. You can dance if you want to, but please don't touch the art.
Congratulations Tara, beautifully written!