Drum Corps International at War Memorial 

THURSDAY 7/26

DRUM CORPS INTERNATIONAL

7 p.m. War Memorial Stadium. $25.

In terms of staggering live productions, Drum Corps International will be hard to top. DCI bills itself as "marching music's major league," and after more than three decades of showcasing insanely complicated performances and ridiculously talented dancers and musicians, that seems like an indisputable claim. If you need evidence of the awesomeness of these upper echelon band geeks, I suggest a quick YouTube search for "DCI highlights." This show includes performances from The Cadets of Allentown, Pa.; The Cavaliers of Rosemont, Ill.; Bluecoats of Canton, Ohio; Blue Knights of Denver, Colo.; Glassmen of Toledo, Ohio; Academy of Tempe, Ariz.; Pacific Crest of Diamond Bar, Calif.; Crossmen of San Antonio; Cascades of Seattle; and Pioneer of Milwaukee, Wis.

FRIDAY 7/27

COOL SHOES

9 p.m. Downtown Music Hall. $5.

Damn. This qualifies as a bona fide "End of an Era" To-Do: Cool Shoes will no longer be a thing in Little Rock (Cool Shoes Fayetteville will continue to host monthly shows, though). From the Cool Shoes Facebook: "When we started this party over 4 years ago, we didn't know what would come of it. A dance party at a metal venue in Arkansas? It could've been a disaster but it worked. We've packed the place out with 500+ sweaty kids with lines wrapping around the block, brought in national headliners, and even had our own stage at RiverFest." This farewell show includes DJs Wolf-e-Wolf, Kichen and Raphe.

FRIDAY 7/27

HOOBASTANK

9 p.m. Juanita's. 15 adv., $17 day of.

For the last several years, I'd seen the band name. It popped up in the usual places: magazines, newspapers, the margins of web pages. But what could it mean? I found myself repeating it over and over in my head: "Hoobastank. Hoobastank. Hooooooooobastank" — sometimes drawing it out like that until it lost all meaning (or, well, you know). Based solely on the name, I though perhaps Hoobastank was some kind of Insane Clown Posse or Limp Bizkit type thing with Nu metal chuggery and rapping about weed and boobs and so forth. You know, music for guys who wear gigantic pants and have those skull jester tattoos. It was to remain a mystery for me until very recently when I actually listened to some Hoobastank and discovered that the band trafficked not in goofy clown rap, but in crunchy, lower middle-brow modern rock with actual singing. They wrote songs about feelings and breaking up with your girlfriend and stuff like that. As for the name, it's kind of genius. It's highly Googleable and it sticks in your head way better than the names of other bubblegrunge acts like Sister Mary Seven, Point of Solitude, Jars of the Day, Trading Templeton and a bunch of other ones that I made up because I couldn't remember any real ones. Hoobastank reminded me of an important lesson that I learned several years ago, when I bought a Lamb of God CD for my Aunt Sally, a devout Missionary Baptist: Never, ever judge a band by its name alone, because it can get you in trouble. The opening acts at this show are Stellar Revival and Stars in Stereo.

SATURDAY 7/28

CREED

7:30 p.m. Magic Springs' Timberwood Amphitheater. $30-$65.

People, there are 26 million Creed CDs out there in the United States. Twenty. Six. Million. Creed CDs. That's a lot of CDs for a band once described by music producer and funny guy Jack Endino as "Whitesnake without the snake." Could we get all 26 million CDs back together in one place? Probably. That would be one big stack of CDs. But then what would we do with them? Jeremy Brasher — one of the state's best musicians and most trenchant cultural observers — once said that all Christmas albums should be melted down and somehow converted into low-income housing. So that's an idea. I don't know if CDs melt all that good, so maybe we just make a big CD castle out of them and it could be like a playland type thing for underprivileged kids. Well, anyways, that's one idea. Shifting gears somewhat, here's another bit of Creed news: this very fall, in October, to be precise, we will finally get a look inside the brain of Creed singer Scott Stapp, when he releases his memoir, "Sinner's Creed." We'll just have bide our time until then. I know, I know. But check this: he recently offered some sneak-peek quotes on the book's Facebook page (yes, these days, even books can have Facebook pages). Here's a good one: "When it comes to music, rapport can't be explained. It just is. Why a guitarist and a singer are able to strike a common chord and produce something magical is something I don't understand." That right there is some truth, courtesy of Scott Stapp. No one can explain what musical rapport is, not even him. And he sold 26 million CDs.

SATURDAY 7/28

DAVID OLNEY, SERGIO WEBB

8 p.m. Maxine's. $5 adv., $7 door.

David Olney might not be a household name like John Prine or Guy Clark or Townes Van Zandt. Or he might be, depending on the hipness of your particular household. But over the last three decades or so, this veteran singer/songwriter has created a huge body of songs that hit many of the same folk/country/blues sweet spots as those aforementioned greats. Olney's voice has an unadorned appeal to it. There aren't a lot of flourishes or fanciful flitting arounds or affected gravelliness. It's more like a simple but well-made tool that does its job without getting in the way. The job in this case is the telling of stark tales of lean times, of the monsters of history, of losers' lamentations, of criminals' plots and of the bad old fashioned blues, all delivered with a great storyteller's knack for detail and the occasional touch of bone-dry humor. Olney is playing with Sergio Webb, an excellent guitarist and singer out of Nashville. Webb and Olney have collaborated before, so expect a great onstage rapport.

SATURDAY 7/28

TERROR, BANE

6 p.m. Downtown Music Hall. $13 adv., $15 day of.

All you floor-punchin' windmill maniacs better dust off your moshin' britches, because one of — if not the — biggest hardcore tours of the year is stopping off in Little Rock. The coasts are united, at least on this tour. From Los Angeles comes Terror, which has been among the lead practitioners of Integrity-esque metalcore, releasing a raft of albums and EPs full of brutal, fist-pumping, circle-pit initiating insanity. From Bawston comes Bane (no, not that one), with mosh-friendly, posi-core anthems engineered to make you feel good while running around in a frenzy and pointing and shouting along whatnot. Also on the tour are the thrash-leaning L.A. five-piece Rotting Out and the breakdown-happy throat-shredders Naysayer, of Richmond, Va. Little Rock is by far the smallest market on this tour, so good on Downtown Music Hall for booking it.

TUESDAY 7/31

CONTINENTAL

9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern.

White Water Tavern regulars are likely familiar with Continental, the four-piece fronted by former Dropkick Murphys guitarist Rick Barton. Barton formed Continental in 2009, and the group includes his son Stephen Barton on bass, Dave DePrest on guitar and Tommy Mazalewski on drums. Continental has played the WWT a couple of times in the year and a half or so. The band just released "All a Man Can Do," a full-length follow-up to its debut EP, "Death of a Garage Band." In the band's online bio, the elder Barton described their sound as "a blend of folk, punk and country with a heartfelt message of love, loss, pleasure and pain." That's a pretty spot-on description. The album will probably resonate with fans of such blue-collar punk 'n' rollers as Social Distortion, The Swingin' Utters and the Dropkick Murphys.

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