Get out your cheap sunglasses, 'cause "that little ol' band from Texas" is headed to Fayetteville's Arkansas Music Pavilion for an Oct. 4 concert. Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 30 and they're gonna run you $37-$102. Here's where to go to get 'em. Or you could call 479-443-5600.
The 'Top recently got the Rick Rubin treatment with last year's "La Futura," a gettin'-back-to-their-roots collection with real drums and a gritty, mean guitar tone.
After the jump, one of my favorite ZZ Top tunes, from 1973's "Tres Hombres." No, not "La Grange" (though that one is totally the jam).
If you're looking for something not quite so Riverest-y to do Friday night, The American Guild of Organists presents a recital to benefit the Pediatric Injury Prevention Program at Arkansas Children's Hospital, Christ Episcopal Church, 8 p.m., free, donations accepted.
Texas-based blues-blaster Wes Jeans brings the 12-bar tube-amp jams to Denton's Trotline, 9 p.m., $10.
The Sideshow Tragedy and Damn Arkansan offer an evening of Americana/roots rock at Maxine's, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 door.
Up in Fayetteville, A Concert for Campers has performances by John Henry & Friends, Brick Fields, Houston Hughes, Dividend and Joey Largent, with proceeds helping to send children to Camp Quest Oklahoma, Nightbird Books, 7 p.m., donations accepted.
If you want to keep the good times going after things wind down at Riverfest, check out Lawler and Ewell's 5th Annual Bday Bash with Raydar and Shaolin, Joe C, Noodles and JDawg, Revolution, 9 p.m., $5 adv., $10 day of.
The Center for Artistic Revolution's Rainbow Camp is a sure bet for LGBTQ and ally youth, Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center, Friday-Monday. More info here.
9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern.
Mad Nomad is one of the newer entries on the Little Rock musicscape, having formed in September. But they're not exactly taking the leisurely route, having already finished up their first full-length, the nine-song "Black Out," available at this album-release show.
The group plays an amped-up sort of indie rock that's informed by the classics (Replacements, Built to Spill, Dinosaur Jr.) and unabashedly guitar-centric. They remind me a bit of the Springsteen-gone-punk sounds of Against Me! circa "New Wave." Most of the tunes are of the fist-pumping, triumphant sort, but they slow down the pace a bit on the Southern-rock-riffing "Me Tarzan, You Jane" and they break out the acoustic guitars on the wistful "When You Were Here."
The band includes Joe Holland, Jacob Mahan, Jesse Bell, Adam Hogg and Chris Honea. Hogg's piano playing adds some nice texture to the guitar squall. The album, good on its own merits for sure, is also a promising indicator of things to come. Good-time party-rockers Booyah! Dad and The Bootheel of Springfield, Mo., will open the show.
Murry's Dinner Playhouse just opened its production of the touching yet funny "Steel Magnolias," which runs 6 p.m.Tue.-Sat., 11 a.m. Wed. and 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Sun., $15-$35.
Folk-rock singer/songwriter Ben Robbins plays a free show at Maxine's, 8 p.m.
FLOWING ON THE RIVER
5:30 p.m. River Market Pavilions. $35.
This looks to be a fine way to get yourself in the Riverfest spirit: A wine and craft beer tasting the night before things kick off. You can mill about the River Market Pavilions and sample from an array of beverages while experts, including Bruce Cochran of Custom Beverage, fill you in on all of the interesting tidbits and tasting notes of each beverage and their respective vintners and brewers.
And what would a booze tasting be without some delectable nosh to accompany it? Providing hors d'oeuvres will be Blue Coast Burrito, Your Mama's Good Food, Bray Gourmet, Brenda J. Majors Catering, Palette Catering, Newk's Express Cafe, Boscos, Cabot Cafe and Cake Corner, Sufficient Grounds Cafe, Cheers in the Heights and J&M Foods. FreeVerse Duo provides the live musical entertainment.
Also of note, this event is a fundraiser for Argenta Community Theater's upcoming ACTing Up Summer Camp, which will provide students in grades K-8 with the opportunity to learn about stagecraft, theater, film and filmmaking. There are a small number of scholarships available.
9 p.m. White Water Tavern. $20.
I've listened to and loved plenty of sadly beautiful music in my time: Leonard Cohen, Cat Power, Nick Drake, Townes Van Zandt, Jackson C. Frank. All of those folks have made timeless records that have resonated on a deep emotional level. I have never been as emotionally wrecked as I was after listening to Mary Gauthier's 2007 album "Between Daylight and Dark."
I fired the album up on the ol' Spotify, thinking, "OK, what's up next? Acclaimed folk singer/songwriter I've never listened to before. I'll check out some of her tunes, play a few of them from throughout her catalog and write up a To-Do. No biggie." What I heard stopped me from doing anything else other than listening and trying to keep my eyes from welling up, which had become a very tall order by the time the final strains of the last song, "Thanksgiving," were ringing out. I listened to the entire album start-to-finish.
The playing is masterful, the instrumentation full and rich but never overshadowing Gauthier's extraordinary voice, which is smoky and smoldering one moment, clear and high the next. And of course, the songs are just devastating. I started to listen to Gauthier's 2010 album "The Foundling," which has to be her most personal work. But by the time I got to the second song, "Mama Here, Mama Gone," it was frankly just too much to take. It's not maudlin, it's neither self-pitying nor over-the-top nor anything else that might diminish its power and thus make it easier to withstand. It's a simple, beautiful, utterly devastating song that becomes truly wrenching if you know Gauthier's backstory, of her troubled upbringing and how she finally made contact with her birth mother later only to be denied a meeting.
But Gauthier never wallows in misery. She faces down some of the most painful feelings imaginable with honesty and grace. A lot of very good singer/songwriters have come through in the last few years. Very few have been close to the stature of Mary Gauthier. I believe she deserves to be counted among the ranks of the great. This show is not to be missed.
Winnipeg native Scott Nolan opens the all-ages show.
Who doesn't love a good cocktail, right? And who doesn't love "Jersey Boys," the Tony- and Grammy-winning jukebox musical that tells the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons?
Say, here's an idea: what if the Arkansas Times was to have a contest for the best "Jersey Boys"-inspired cocktail, and give the winner a pair of tickets to see the musical June 19 at Robinson Center Music Hall, plus entry to the official after-party at Boscos, where that person's winning cocktail would be served? Sound keen? Bet.
Here's the deal: email your cocktail recipe to email@example.com and put "JERSEY BOYS COCKTAIL" in the subject line. We'll select the most promising recipes, then your trusty and (very) seasoned Times cocktail experts will try them out and anoint a winner. The contest is open from through June 6, and the usual caveats apply (no Times employees, don't scalp the tickets, etc.).
Feel free to get all crazy and "mixologist" with this thing, but know that if your recipe is too out-there, calling for emulsified durian oil or pulverized fresh loganberries or something else that no self-respecting bartender has ever heard of, then you might not win. Cool? OK. Aaaand... go!
Here's what you get when you combine "Rockin' Robin" with "Folsom Prison Blues" and "The Joker." What say you — abomination or finger-snapping good time?
The mash comes courtesy of DJ Faroff.
I'll have more on my impressions on this year's festival tomorrow. In the meantime, here are this year's prize winners.
Oxford American Best Southern Film Award ($10,000 prize money): "Bayou Maharajah"
Heifer International Social Impact Film Award ($10,000 prize money): "These Birds Walk"
Golden Rock Narrative Film: "Short Term 12"
Golden Rock Documentary Film: "Dirty Wars"
Extraordinary Courage in Filmmaking: Jeremy Scahill ("Dirty Wars")
Arkansas Times Audience Award: "Bridegroom"
Made in Arkansas Best Feature: "45 RPM"
Made in Arkansas Best Short: "The Discontentment of Ed Telfair"
Made in Arkansas Best Director: Mark Thiedeman for "Last Summer"
Made in Arkansas Best Actor: Liza Burns in "45 RPM"
World Shorts: "When We Lived in Miami"
A previous version of this post incorrectly listed the World Shorts winner as "When We Live in Miami."
Arkansas is full of talented people, and we ran across yet another one of them last night: the thoroughly-hilarious writer and video blogger Joseph Birdsong. In the video seen above, Birdsong, who was born in Arkansas, schools out-of-staters on some skewed facts about the Natural State, including: "People in Arkansas are born with the ability to recognize 30 different kinds of roadkill based on scent alone," and "The first gay person to ever come to Arkansas was George Takei, and that was because he was forced here to live in an Arkansas Japanese internment camp during World War II." Just remember, he's laughing WITH us, not AT us. Okay, he's laughing AT us as well, but a great sense of humor covers a multitude of sins.
If you're looking for a good laugh, you can check out almost 200 of Birdsong's quirky videos on his Youtube site, cupofjoeshow.com. He's also got a site where he blogs, a very funny Twitter account. and a video blog for My Damn Channel's Answerly page where he talks about sex and relationships.
If your first reaction to Vine, the new-ish Twitter app that allows users to post 6 second video clips, was, "This is worthless," you need to check out the Vines "Short Term 12" director Destin Cretton and actor Keith Stanfield did while they were in town for the Little Rock Film Festival. So good. They're on the jump. (Click the box on the top left of each one to un-mute the sound.)
If you missed 'Short Term 12,' the opening night film at the Little Rock Film Festival that's the heavy favorite to win the festival's Golden Rock Narrative Award, you blew it. Maybe it'll play here when it opens in August.
"Diary of a Wimpy Kid" fans should be excited to catch a screening of the "Rodrick Rules" installment of the film at Arkansas Repertory Theatre, followed by a Q&A with actors Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron and producer Brad Simpson, 10 a.m., $10. The Little Rock Zoo hosts an autograph signing with Gordon, Capron and Simpson from 2-4 p.m.
Discovery hosts rapper Coolio, with DJ Feelgood and MC Cat Daddy, plus DJs Crawley, Sleepy, Platinumb and Brandon Peck, 9 p.m.-5 a.m., $10 before midnight, $15 afterward.
Thick Syrup Records celebrates its anniversary in Hot Springs, with Ginsu Wives, Ezra Lbs. and Burnt, Maxine's, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 door.
Texas bluesman Chris Duarte plays an all-ages show at Juanita's, with Steve Hester & Deja VooDoo, Davis Coen and Chris Milam, 9 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of.
Weakness For Blondes brings the goodtime jams to White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m., $5.
11 a.m. North Little Rock RV Park. $10.
Q: How awesome is barbecue? A: Probably more awesome than most other things, but not quite as awesome as having the superpowers of flight and invisibility, which I think we'd all have to admit would be hard for anything to top. Not going to happen to anyone anytime real soon though.
But you know what is going to happen soon? The 9th Annual Buzz-B-Q Food and Music Festival, that's what. More than 100 teams will compete in professional and amateur categories to see who can create the most delicious 'cue. And hey, there's about $5,000 worth of cash and prizes for those who make the best pork, ribs and chicken.
All your favorite 103.7 The Buzz hosts will be there, including Tommy Smith, David Bazzel, Roger Scott, Justin Acri, RJ Hawk, Joe Franklin and Trey Schaap, with Matt Jones serving as emcee. The Dirty White Boys, Canvas and Jeff Coleman and The Feeders will perform. There's going to be a rib-eating contest, and if there's ever been a better-sounding way to maybe hurt yourself on purpose, I've yet to hear it.
Best of all, the event will raise money for Camp Sunshine, an annual four-day camp for pediatric burn survivors.
607 PRESENTS: BLOCK MONSTER PARTY
9 p.m. Revolution. $10.
Her new record, "The Mad Teacher," boasts ethereal synthesizers ("Dumb Girlz"), icy-sounding dubstep touches ("Stranger Danger") and a club-ready jam about having a double life ("She Wolf"), among others. The album's title is a reference to JLaur's day job as a teacher for the North Little Rock School District.
In addition to JLaur, there will be performances from ItsJusBobby, GM tha Boss, Sarah Cecil and TGE, with Shortfuze on the steel wheels and host DJ No Name. It's an 18-and-older show.
8TH ANNUAL STUEART PENNINGTON RUNNING OF THE TUBS
9 a.m. Central Avenue, Hot Springs.
Well, it's that time of year again, when teams of crazed, costumed contestants get together for the Stueart Pennington Running of the Tubs.
If you're unfamiliar with the annual event, here are the basics: Teams create bathtubs on wheels, fill them with water and a teammate, and then race them down Hot Springs' Central Avenue for the cheering throngs. The audience is encouraged to get in on the fun as well, with water guns, shower caps, robes and so forth.
Sounds like a great time.
It's more of a meltdown than a mashup.
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