Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
'THE HUNTING OF THE PRESIDENT'
7 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. Free.
Longtime Arkansas Times contributor (and National Magazine Award-winning cattle farmer) Gene Lyons co-authored with journalist Joe Conason "The Hunting of the President: The Ten Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton," a book that set out to chart the various legal, political and journalistic efforts to take down the Clintons in the '90s by whatever means necessary. The book, published in 2000, was made into an award-winning documentary narrated by Morgan Freeman, a film the Clinton Presidential Center presents Thursday as part of its 10th year anniversary festivities. "Many of us have done stupid things in our lives," as James Carville puts it in the film. "None of us have had $80 million spent to try to see what all those stupid things were." Very few of us are the president of the United States, either, but Carville's point more or less stands. From a pure genre standpoint, the film appeals to fans of conspiracy and political thrillers (complete with tearful confessions and dramatic orchestra stabs to punctuate startling revelations) and, if nothing else, it's a fascinating historical document. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with producer (and "Designing Women" creator) Harry Thomason.
'WHO IS DAYANI CRISTAL?'
7 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. Free.
As the second entry in the new Arkansas Times Film Series, we'll be screening "Who Is Dayani Cristal?" in partnership with El Zócalo, the Central Arkansas Immigrant Resource Center. The film is a kind of documentary hybrid, described by NPR as a "forensic procedural," a "road movie" and a "man-who-wasn't-there mystery" all in one. It stars Gael Garcia Bernal (who also produced and narrates the film), following him on the immigration trail from Central America to the Arizona border, in pursuit of the title's enigma. The New York Times called it a "compellingly multifaceted approach," and said it "could be enlisted in the perennial battle over immigration law," which is exactly how we see it. Times associate editor Benji Hardy will lead a panel discussion after the screening with El Zócalo's Sara Mullally and two members of Little Rock's immigrant community. A food truck will be outside selling tacos, tamales and enchiladas. The film series is co-sponsored by the Little Rock Film Festival.
'CELEBRATE 10' CONCERT
8 p.m. Clinton Center. Free.
The centerpiece of the Clinton Presidential Center's 10th anniversary celebration is the "Celebrate 10" concert at a pavilion on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Park. Funk legends Kool and the Gang perform alongside Billboard-charting singer-songwriter Amos Lee, country-folk duo Court Yard Hounds and former Disney star (presumably a Clinton favorite) Nick Jonas. Given his newfound role as the national emblem of soulless political corruption (due his starring role in "House of Cards"), you'd think Kevin Spacey would be the last celebrity a politician would want to be associated with these days, but Spacey is hosting nevertheless. With that non sequitur of a lineup (with Bill and Hillary on hand to laugh graciously at Spacey's inevitable award-show-host jokes), the event will kick off at 8 p.m.
9 p.m. Stickyz. $10.
Conway native Adam Hambrick moved to Nashville last year to write songs for Sony, working as a country music gun-for-hire for big-time artists like Miranda Lambert and fellow Arkansas natives Justin Moore and Kris Allen. Now he's branching out on his own with a new EP called "Wheels or Wings" (which you can find on Soundcloud). It's full of elaborately produced pop-country anthems, all of them outfitted with handclaps, drum machines, hyper-sentimental choruses and string sections. It's the kind of thing that'll be easily dismissed by listeners who say they only listen to "real country," but it is indisputably real country (for better or worse) and sounds expensive. The guy may well be the next country star from Arkansas, for all I know, so you may as well catch him now, on his way up.
9 p.m. JR's Lightbulb Club, Fayetteville.
Drag City four-piece Dope Body hails from Baltimore and makes a kind of jittery, savage post-punk with neurotic overtones, fast and physical and steeped in the '90s art-rock mold. They sound a little like Fugazi or The Jesus Lizard and name their songs things like "AOL" and "Repo Man." They also have a reputation for especially energetic live shows. Drummer David Jacober is aggressively technical, and the band's newest album, "Lifer," is a brutal, punishing experience. "On this record we were trying to be a classic rock band, to an almost comical degree," guitarist Zachary Utz told Vice in a recent interview. "I feel like we made a fucking concept album with this one. ... It's like some kind of half-assed epic novel about suburban abandon and Caucasian alienation amongst a sea of shaven sheep. We may have crossed the prog boundary on this one. But no regrets, right?"
POCKETS, DON'T CRY PAULA, THE CASUAL PLEASURES, 607
9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern. Donations.
TJ Deeter started booking shows at White Water Tavern in the early aughts, taking the bar's slowest night of the week (Tuesday) and turning it into the Arkansas Rockers Revue, aided by $3.50 PBR pitchers. "At the time, there were all these groups of people who didn't mix," Deeter told the Times in 2010, "the punk rock kids, the hip-hop people that did Under the Ground, the established groups like your Ho-Hums, the North Little Rock sludge metal folks, and the Conway and Fayetteville crowds. I knew everyone, so I decided to invite everyone I knew from these different crowds because I wanted to kill cliques. I would try to put together the most random acts — say a folk singer with a rap group and a metal band." Initially skeptical, then White Water owner Larry "Goose" Garrison had to admit it worked. "After 30 days, it was fucking packed," he said. "And it just got better and better." Tuesday night, Deeter is bringing back the Revue with Pockets, Don't Cry Paula, The Casual Pleasures and 607 (fresh off the release of his 40th album, "GrowTivation") in support of his film, "Third in the House of Dydimus," which he's currently attempting to finance via Indiegogo.
CAPTURED! BY ROBOTS
7 p.m. Low Key Arts, Hot Springs. $10.
Jay Vance (a.k.a. JBOT) is a musician based in San Francisco who is notable largely for building an animatronic robot band, with which he has toured the country in a van since 1997. According to Vance, he built his own group because "he was extremely unlikeable, and wanted to play in a band after all his past human bands hated him." In addition to the robots, who play drums and bass, there are also cymbal and tambourine-playing apes and a three-piece horn section called the Headless Hornsmen. The effect is like a punk rock "Mystery Science Theater 3000," and Hot Springs community arts organization Low Key Arts will host the group on their latest tour. Peckerwolf and Ghost Bones will open.
Good analysis, something completely lacking from the daily newspaper's sports reporters/columnists.
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