Favorite

Who loves the sun? 

Spring brings singing, swinging and a bit of blinging.

click to enlarge The Black Keys
  • The Black Keys

After a long, icy winter, cabin-feverish Arkansans can look forward to a spring bloom of live bands. Here, we note shows on Little Rock's club scene worth plugging into your planner and preview the season's festival lineups at Riverfest; the Blues Weekend and Opera in the Ozarks (Eureka Springs), and Wakarusa (Ozark).

Kings of the Muscle Shoals, Ala., jam-house-psych scene and festival circuit regulars BoomBox will feature sequencers, turntables and lead guitar by the son of Grateful Dead backup-singer Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay (March 19, Revolution). John Lee Hooker Jr., another son of American music royalty, visits town with his updated take on his father's rustic talking blues (March 20, Sticky Fingerz).

Sweet Eagle, the local supergroup with a cult following under its belt after only three shows join chief peddlers of fried sonic testosterone, J. Roddy Walston and the Business for a raucous double header (March 21, White Water Tavern). When Green Jelly, the comedy-rock band that takes a legendary pride in its ineptitude, comes to town, puppets, stupidity and nostalgia abound (March 22, Juanita's). Concluding this three-day stint of ridiculously named outfits, Little Rock gets a taste of Brooklyn with experimental popsters Suckers and literate streetsmith Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson (March 23, Sticky Fingerz).

Hot Springs hosts a couple of particularly eye-catching events with the annual “Keith Sykes Weekend” (March 26-27, Arlington Hotel), where the award-winning songwriter (known for penning songs for Jerry Jeff Walker, John Prine and Jimmy Buffet) will be joined by 10 fellow troubadours for two days of performance and shoptalk. Across the road, three Chinese rock bands, Carsick Cars, P.K.14 and AV Okubo stop in on their way to SXSW for “China Rocks!” (March 26, Maxine's).

G-Love and Special Sauce, the hip-hop-by-way-of-hacky-sack college favorites are still touring and, even more surprisingly, still making music after 17 years (April 1, Revolution). British singer/songwriter and collaborator with Billy Childish and The White Stripes, Holly Golightly comes to town in her newest, garage-y incarnation as Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs (April 7, Sticky Fingerz). British-born rapper Slick Rick, with his trademark eye patch and Mr. T-style gold chains, remains compulsively listenable more than 20 years after he recorded songs like “La Di Da Di,” “Children's Story” and “Teenage Love.” Beatbox pioneer Doug E. Fresh and actress Vivica Fox, who's hosting, share the bill, a birthday celebration for One Stone Entertainment's Chris Bowen (April 9, Revoltuion).

Critically acclaimed Scottish outfit Frightened Rabbit has built a reputation for intense live shows thanks to its desperate rock music with emotion to spare (April 23, Revolution). Known for his experimental funk-metal band, Primus, his collaborations with Tom Waits, and for composing the theme music to “South Park,” eccentric bass madman Les Claypool visits as well (April 24, The Village). Fresh off hosting the Oscars, Steve Martin shows off his adept banjo-playing ability, with the bluegrass band The Steep Canyon Rangers (April 24, Walton Arts, Fayetteville).

Poppy, harmonic and hook-heavy Los Angelenos Local Natives are quickly making a name for themselves in the music press for their hypercurrent Afropop-guitar/angular drum sound (April 26, Sticky Fingerz). In Conway, UCA hosts the touring Moscow Festival Ballet company for a one-night only performance of “Sleeping Beauty” (April 26, Reynolds Performance Hall).

Two of the most beloved bands on the college charts, the genre-mashing, ever-bright Dr. Dog and the melodic, Southern gothic Deer Tick (May 3, George's Majestic Ballroom) visit Fayetteville. The next night, Little Rock plays host to the latter (May 4, Sticky Fingerz).

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra holds a night of famous cinematic scores, songs and love themes from “Wizard of Oz” to “Lord of the Rings” with “Spotlight on Hollywood” (May 7-8, Robinson Center Music Hall).
Then comes the Arkansas festival music season.

The Riverfest lineup for the three-day Memorial Day weekend (May 28-30, Riverfront Park) is shaping up nicely with Oklahoma's jam stalwarts Cross Canadian Ragweed, bluesman Robert Cray, classic rock radio staples Steve Miller Band, country radio superduperstars Blake Shelton and Gary Allan and perennial blues-rock favorites The Black Crowes.

Accepted (and adored) as the quirkiest town in Arkansas, Eureka Springs holds its annual Eureka Springs Blues Weekend (June 3-6, various venues) and celebrates the 60th anniversary of its yearly Opera in the Ozarks festival by staging three of the most well-known operas in the canon with Bizet's “Carmen,” Mozart's “Don Giovanni,” and Puccini's “Tosca” (June 18-July 27, Inspiration Point Lookout).

And finally, the new kid on the festival block, Wakarusa (June 3-6), hopes to repeat the success it had last year after it moved to Ozark and brought in over 80 bands over four days. Headliners include Widespread Panic, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Umphrey's McGee and Disco Biscuits. Joining these overlords of all things jam are garage blues heroes The Black Keys; '90s radio staples Blues Traveler (you now have “Hook” stuck in your head); Frank's son, Dweezil, performing Dweezil Zappa Plays Zappa; the soulful, Harding University-enraging Robert Randolph and the Family Band, the fantastic, soul outfit of Black Joe Lewis and the frustratingly underrated twilight country act The Moondoggies.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by John Tarpley

  • The Beatles anew

    Daniel Whelan's remixes expose hidden treasure in the Fab Four's catalog.
    • Aug 17, 2016
  • Walter was the worst

    But Steely Dan's Donald Fagen, the Danettes and Steve Winwood wow at Verizon Arena.
    • Jun 30, 2016
  • A new era for Riverfest

    In its 38th year, Little Rock's annual summer music festival reinvents itself.
    • Jun 2, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Architecture lecture: Sheila Kennedy on "soft" design

    Sheila Kennedy, a professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founder of Kennedy & Violich Architecture Ltd., will give the June Freeman lecture tonight at the Arkansas Arts Center, part of the Architecture + Design Network series at the Arkansas Arts Center.
  • Petition calls for Jason Rapert Sewage Tanks in Conway

    A tribute is proposed for Conway's state senator Jason Rapert: naming the city's sewage sludge tanks for him. Petitioners see a similarity.
  • Health agency socked with big verdict, Sen. Hutchinson faulted for legal work

    A former mental health agency director has won a default judgment worth $358,000 over a claim for unpaid retirement pay and Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson is apparently to blame for failure to respond to pleadings in the case.
  • Religious right group calls for compromise on damage lawsuit amendment

    The Family Council, the religious right political lobby, has issued a statement urging its followers to oppose the so-called tort reform amendment to limit attorney fees and awards in damage lawsuits.
  • Constituents go Cotton pickin' at Springdale town hall

    Sen. Tom Cotton, cordial to a fault, appeared before a capacity crowd at the 2,200 seat Pat Walker Performing Arts Center at Springdale High tonight to a mixed chorus of clapping and boos. Other than polite applause when he introduced his mom and dad and a still moment as he led the crowd in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance — his night didn't get much better from there.

Latest in Cover Stories

Visit Arkansas

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Historical entertainment planned for joint celebration of three Southwest Arkansas milestone anniversaries

Event Calendar

« »

February

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28  

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation