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.
Little Rock native Ashlie Atkinson has a role on the upcoming Fox comedy "Us & Them" (it's a de-Anglicized version of the Brit series "Gavin & Stacey").
It's a rom-com-type program in which two super attractive people finally get up the gumption to meet in person after making goo-goo eyes at each other over the internet. Naturally, they each recruit their respective weirdo siblings (Atkinson and Dustin Ybarra) to come along as wingmen.
The two main characters are played by this guy and this woman who were in some other stuff, but who cares about them, because Atkinson and Ybarra look to be way more interesting and funny. Also: small roles for Kerri Kenney and Michael Ian Black!
Check out the trailer after the jump. And oh yeah, "cobra basket."
H/t to Vulture, which reports that "Us & Them" will air mid-season sometime.
The Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau just released the lineup for this year's Movies in the Park, the quite popular series of free outdoor film screenings that take place at Riverfest Amphitheater long about dusk on midsummer Wednesday nights.
This year kicks off June 12 with "Twilight: Breaking Dawn," which concerns vampires and werewolves or something, if I'm not mistaken. The lineup is heavy on feelgood and popcorn-flick fare — "Remember the Titans" (June 19), "The Notebook" (June 26), "The Dark Knight Rises" (July 3). That's to be expected, for sure. Gotta give the people what they want, and what they want is the crowd-pleasing blockbusters. But wouldn't it be funny if, just for one year, Movies in the Park went really weird? Like, way-off-the-rails arthouse/trashy B-movie/exploitation-type weird?
What if the Movies in the Park schedule was like:
June 4: "Blue Velvet"
June 11: "Holy Mountain"
June 18: "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song"
June 21: "Suspiria"
June 28: "The Harder They Come"
July 5: "Weekend"
July 12: "Weekend at Bernie's"
July 19: "Pink Flamingos"
July 26: "The Hills Have Eyes"
Aug. 2: "Fellini Satyricon"
Actually, looking at that list reinforces what a gigantic failure that lineup would undoubtedly be (though it would be amazing to watch "Holy Mountain" outside on the big screen surrounded by a cross-section of Central Arkansawyers). Probably better to just stick to "The Zookeeper" (July 10), "Finding Nemo" (July 24) and so forth. The press release with a full (and real) schedule is after the jump.
Jason Aldean dished out small-town imagery and described a perfect shindig, Jake Owen unleashed his passion for Southern summer nights and Thomas Rhett contemplated having a little talk with Jesus over a beer.
Welcome to the North Little Rock stop of Aldean’s "Night Train Tour." The three talented young vocalists dispensed their own brands of country — all heavy on pop and rock influences — Saturday night at Verizon Arena in a concert that ran well over three hours.
Best known among the three and the reigning Academy of Country Music Male Vocalist of the Year, Aldean likes singing about towns in the South. In this concert alone, he served up “Crazy Town,” “Tattoos on This Town,” “This Nothin’ Town” and “Hicktown,” the latter an up-tempo number that has become his signature song. It pays homage to football games, muddin’ and buying beer at Amoco.
A hologram of duet partner Kelly Clarkson joined Aldean on their nice Grammy-winning ballad “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” and he saved his anthem to good times, “My Kinda Party,” for the encore. It’s the one where he’s “in the back of a jacked-up tailgate … chillin' with some Skynyrd and some old Hank.”
Before Aldean hit the stage, fans got an hour’s worth of Owen, a past ACM Top New Male Vocalist honoree. We won’t try to say he upstaged the headliner, but with a confident and incredibly energetic stage presence, an infectious smile and a handful of hits, he more than held his own.
“Barefoot Blue Jean Night” was, of course, a crowd favorite, with lines like “we were shining like lighters in the dark in the middle of a rock show.” And he sent the crowd of 13,139 into a frenzy when he and his band mates belted out the Beastie Boys’ "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)"
Wearing an Arkansas flag T-shirt during his stint on stage, Owen slowed it down for perhaps his best song, “Don’t Think I Can’t Love You,” and also pleased with “Alone With You,” “Southern Summer” and “Eight Second Ride.”
Opening-act Rhett, aka Thomas Rhett Akins Jr., son of singer-songwriter Rhett Akins, only had time for five songs, but he made the most of it. “Something to Do With My Hands” and “It Goes Like This” were enjoyable, but it was the curiously terrific “Beer With Jesus” — “ask him how'd you turn the other cheek to save a sorry soul like me” — that was the most memorable.
It's not a typical documentary profile. There's a bit of archival footage and some reminiscing, but most of the film takes place closer to the present, during the nearly three years filmmaker Jacob Hatley shadowed Levon (for a time, living in his Woodstock barn). It covers what might be called the beginning of Levon's comeback, following his recovery from throat cancer (though it seems to be recurring in the film), when "Dirt Farmer," his first album in 25 years, was recorded and the "Midnight Ramble" concerts at his Woodstock farm were in full swing. But most of all, as Hatley said when I interviewed him yesterday, "it's a hangout movie." Levon swapping stories with Billy Bob Thornton. Levon and frequent collaborator Larry Campbell humming and strumming, trying to puzzle out how to complete a long-lost unfinished Hank Williams song. Levon and his daughter Amy casually serenading Amy's new baby with "In the Pines."
It's a collection of small moments that feel honest. You see some of the bitterness Levon felt about how The Band fell apart and how its legacy has been handled. Mostly, though, it's a portrait of a warm, gregarious man with a gift for telling stories and singing songs. It's filmed almost entirely in Woodstock, but Levon's Turkey Scratch roots always show.
Below is a condensed version of my interview with Hatley.
"Ain't in It for My Health" screens at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday at The Rep.
What was your initial pitch to Levon? You were with him making a music video, right?
Yeah. It was a pretty easy pitch. It didn’t really come by in a form of a “let’s sit down and let me run something by you.” I was up there, and we had a camera and we’d just break it out between takes of the music video. We did a 20-minute short film/music video thing. The idea was to do a series of vignettes that featured Levon as a personality as an actor and intercut those with him performing a couple of the songs music video style. It’s called “Only Halfway Home.”
When we were filming the stuff between takes, it was so much more fun than filming the music video. A lot of it was Levon hanging out with a couple of sweet corn farmers who live down the road from him, sitting around talking politics. Him hanging out in a seedy motel, playing music and telling stories. We had so much fun during that part, and Levon, I think, more than anyone else had a blast. Levon is an actor. He’s a performer. It felt good to have cameras around and for him to be back in front of it. He was enjoying it as much as we were.
You lived in Woodstock for several years while making the film. When you ran out of money, you lived in Levon’s barn for a while?
That’s right, but when you say “barn,” people think we were really roughing it. But if you’ve seen his barn, it was pretty good living.
If you're interested in catching the standup comedy of Bill Cosby, the gentle country stylings of Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan, an evening with Tony-winning actress and singer Audra McDonald or an mind-blowingly intriguing presentation from astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, you will be pleased to know that all of those folks are on the bill for the University of Central Arkansas's upcoming Public Appearances series.
Other highlights: "The Addams Family Musical," journalist Lisa Ling, The Haifa Symphony Orchestra and a performance from Bela Fleck and Chick Corea.
A press release with the full schedule is available after the jump.
Country favorite Jason Aldean comes to Verizon Arena on his "Night Train Tour," with Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., $41-$69.
In search of the right Mother's Day gift? How about taking a trip to Eureka Springs' May Festival of the Arts and the John Two-Hawks Mother's Day Concert? It's at The Auditorium, 2 p.m., $12, and hey! It's free for mothers!
The Mother's Day Strawberry Festival at Bernice Garden is also a good option for showing moms how much they're appreciated. There'll be fresh strawberries for purchase from North Pulaski Farms and Barnhill Orchard, plus Boulevard Bread Co. will be offering strawberry shortcake and other treats, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: 'CIRQUE DE LA SYMPHONIE'
8 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall. $10-$58.
What goes really well with a boisterous orchestra performing a lineup of lively classics? How about high-flying acrobatics? Sound good? Of course it does.
In this, the fifth installment of the Acxiom Pops Live Series, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will be joined by a talented array of dancers — mostly from Russia — who'll perform feats of derring-do, including acts of contortion, dance, acrobatics, juggling, balancing and that thing where they hang and twirl around in midair on really long pieces of fabric.
Musical highlights include Strauss' "Overture to Die Fledermaus," selections from Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" and "Sleeping Beauty Suite," Debussy's "Suite Bergamasque: Claire de Lune" and works by Rimsky-Korsakov, Bizet, Bartok and more. Geoffrey Robson conducts. The program also runs Sunday at 3 p.m.
It's an Osyrus Bolly Birthday Bash at Utopia Restaurant and Lounge, with Osyrus Bolly, Rhetoric Jones, SeanFresh, Big Drew of TGE, Jay Bundy, Zo Carver, Arkansas Bo, Southwest Boaz & Ill Bill, Rod-D, Konyak, Duke Stigall and more, 9 p.m., $5.
The River City Comic Expo features guest James O'Barr, Hot Dog Mike, cosplay, gaming, comics, toys and more, Sherwood Forest, $3.
The Conway Crawfish Crawl includes, naturally, hundreds of pounds of delicious crawfish. But there will also be music from Riverbilly, The Trey Hawkins Band, Jocko Deal, Luscious Spiller and more. Mudbugs are $12 for a plate with two pounds, corn and two potatoes. It starts at 4 p.m. at 1020 Front St. Call 501-932-3054 for more info.
"Wild Wines Of The World" boasts wines from around the world, paired with food from Arkansas restaurants, Little Rock Zoo, 7-10 p.m., $45 members, $50 non-members.
Attention, punkers: The STDs, Jethro Skull, The Muddlestuds and Sin City Scoundrels are playing at Downtown Music Hall, 8 p.m., $5.
Hey you Phanatics, need a Phix? Don't miss this Phish Phacsimile, billed as A Live One: Celebrating the Music of Phish, 18-and-older, Revolution, 9:30 p.m., $5.
If you think of Alvin Youngblood Hart only as a Handy and Grammy award-winning interpreter of roots and blues music of bygone eras (as many seem to continue to try to do), you would be missing the majority of what the multifaceted artist has created thus far and continues to create. It would be akin to judging a bowl of gumbo base solely on a single ingredient, a folly to be sure. That fine gumbo has a roots and blues component, sure enough, but there is also R&B, soul and good ol’ fuse-blowing Southern rock 'n' roll, just to name a few of the ingredients.
Hart hits the White Water Tavern Saturday night with his three-piece band, Muscle Theory. The smart money would seem to indicate that this show will be loud, in your face and will make you shake what you got. Nothing quaint or overly nostalgic seems very likely.
I recently got to talk to Hart about coming to Arkansas. Turns out, he's no stranger to our fair state, his history here dating back to the 1980s, cleaning navigation channels in the Ouachita River. Hart has worked with many Arkansawyers throughout his career. Arkansas-born Memphis record legend Jim Dickinson produced Hart’s album “Start with the Soul,” which contains a blistering cover of Black Oak Arkansas's “Cryin’ Shame.” Hart, along with Dickinson’s son Luther (of The North Mississippi All Stars) and the “Arkansas Son-In-Law” Jimbo Mathus make up the South Memphis String Band. Memphis bass mainstay and Pine Bluff native Mark Edgar Stuart (The Pawtuckets, One Four Fives et al) handled the bass chores for Hart’s band in the early 2000’s. He has also shared the stage with our own Greg Spradlin, the pride of Pangburn.
Though Hart has played Little Rock before, this is his first appearance at the venerable White Water Tavern. Given his history of defying musical categories while still acknowledging the past, the sometimes-cramped White Water should be a perfect fit for his huge sound. If you still need categories to enjoy music, categorize this show under “not to be missed.”
According to this item in Deadline Hollywood, Arkansas native Jeff Nichols will direct an upcoming feature for Warner Bros.
"Midnight Special," written by Nichols, will star the young director's muse, the intense Michael Shannon. Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr. says the film was described to him "as a contemporary science fiction chase film." As Collider points out, Nichols had discussed his desire to make "a 1980s John Carpenter movie." Personally, I've got my fingers crossed for a combination of "They Live" and "Big Trouble in Little China."
(Side note: Shannon was great in all of Nichols' films, but seriously, if you haven't seen it, watch "Let's Go To Prison." The movie really isn't that good, but Shannon plays a murderous inmate who's so terrifying he makes Anton Chigurh look like Stanley Spadowski. So if you're into that sort of thing, there are probably worse ways to kill 84 minutes.)
Whiskey-soaked Arkansas rockers Swampbird will play an 18-and-older album release show with Open Fields, Stickyz, 9 p.m., $6. The band's album is called "On Being Alone."
Cornerstone Pub and Grill has live music and poetry, with SOULution and The Roots Poets of Little Rock, 8 p.m., $7 or $10 after 8:30 p.m.
If you're up Eureka Springs way, check out folk/old-timey outfit The Carper Family at Chelsea's Corner Cafe.
Nashville rockers Modoc make a welcome return to Arkansas, with The See and Mandy McBryde, Maxine's, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 door. Modoc will also play Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at Bear's Den Pizza in Conway.
Texas singer/songwriter Radney Foster is at Juanita's, with Adam Hambrick and Covert Case, 10 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of.
Out at The Tavern Sports Grill in The Promenade at Chenal, don't miss FreeVerse Duo, 8 p.m., free.
ARKANSAS DELTA ROCKABILLY FESTIVAL
3 p.m. Downtown Helena. $30.
All right rockabilly lovers, check it: They're gonna be havin' a party over in Helena, and they invited Wanda Jackson, who probably needs no introduction, so notable are her contributions to the history of the genre. The tireless Sonny Burgess & The Legendary Pacers are also performing at the 3rd Annual Arkansas Delta Rockabilly Festival.
That right there makes for two bona fide, genuine, real-deal rockabilly innovators (they both play on Saturday). But wait, there's more: Sleepy LaBeef's playing on Friday, along with Brandon Cunning & The Stunning Cunning Band, C.W. Gatlin, The Cate Brothers (in tribute to Levon Helm) and Cooter and Cooter's Garage Band.
Saturday kicks off at 11 a.m. with the great drummer D.J. Fontana performing with Stan Perkins (son of Carl Perkins), followed by Reba Russell, W.S. Holland (drummer for Johnny Cash), Ace Cannon, Linda Gail Lewis (sister of Jerry Lee), Burgess and The Pacers, Jackson, Travis Wammack and The Kentucky Headhunters.
Kids younger than 12 are free with a paid adult.
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