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Dining Review

Trio's: tried, true, tasty

May 24, 2018
Trio's: tried, true, tasty
Salads, fresh fish, reliable dishes keep people coming back. /more/

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Max Brantley

Now, the main event

I write Tuesday morning, before polls close on primary and judicial election contests. /more/

Ernest Dumas

Flooding the swamp

It became clear the first week of his presidency what Donald Trump meant with his repeated campaign pledges to "drain the swamp," the moneyed culture of Wall Street and corporate lobbyists who dictate the laws and rules of governing in Washington. /more/

Gene Lyons

Like wrestling

So what's it going to be, America: a democratic republic, or Trumpistan? A nation governed by the rule of law, or an oversized kleptocracy, whose maximum leader uses the decayed shell of government to punish his political enemies and reward friends and family? /more/

Pearls About Swine

Post-season time

May 24, 2018
Arkansas fans who have been focused on enjoying the high level of achievement of the baseball team are hopefully not neglecting the young women on the softball diamond who are making record progress after years in the doldrums of a cutthroat conference. /more/

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Arkansas Blog

Hourly news and comment

Rock Candy

Music, art and eats in Arkansas


Arkansas's guide to medical cannabis

Arkansas Blog

Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 16:38:00

The Tom Cotton Big Lie open line

click to enlarge screen_shot_2018-05-26_at_4.32.19_pm.png

Here’s the Saturday open line. And tell me:

Do the algorithms on your web habits line up right? Are ads popping up promoting the notion that Clarke Tucker, the Democratic nominee for 2nd District Congress, would be a tool of Nancy Pelosi (who Tucker has distanced himself from)?

The ads take you to a website created by Sen.Tom Cotton's PAC, the Republican Majority Fund, which is devoted to electing people like him (think banker 2nd District Republian Rep. French Hill, another trusted ally of the Trump agenda). The National Republican Committee is also selling the theme. Pelosi apparently puts fear in the trembling spines of the old white male Fox viewers who make up so much of the Cotton/Trump base. Their social media pages will be lighting up with the Tom Cotton ad buy. Liberals like me? Not so much.

This follows the Russian election model. Find an appealing scare tactic, no matter how big the lie, and shovel gigabytes of it down the social media throats of true believers. Keep them motivated. Worked for Trump. Might work for Cotton's boy French.

One thing is clear: Tucker is viewed as a threat. They weren't dumping huge sums into ad buys in May 2016 against Diane Curry, the unknown Democratic nominee who nonetheless beat French Hill in his hometown. Scaring off potential swing voters is the name of this game.

Perhaps somebody should create a frenchkoch2018 website. The Koch brothers are among the plutocratic, earth-warming, immigrant-hating deep pockets behind Cotton  ($8 million in his first Senate race) and, thus, Hill. Hill and Cotton have been doing their work for some time, working to prop up the carbon burning industry.

I don't happen to fear Nancy Pelosi. Tom Cotton and Donald Trump and enablers like French Hill? Different story.


Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 07:32:00

The new RiverFest, a review from our photographer

click to enlarge BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
Times photographer Brian Chilson was on hand as ever for the opening of the new RiverFest and he's offered a review along with a comprehensive batch of photographs on Facebook.

click to enlarge FEST FARE: The offerings include a walkaway carton of wok-fried noodles. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • FEST FARE: The offerings include a walkaway carton of wok-fried noodles.
Brian's take:

1. No Riverbucks, so no getting stuck with tickets you cant redeem at the end, and you can use cc at most vendors.

2. they didn't close the streets, Markham/Clinton/Cumberland open.

3. the crowds were smaller than Riverfest CAN be, but no worse than I've seen it under the old management.

4. The footprint of the festival as a whole is smaller, it no longer goes back onto the parking lot near the Marriott (the old Peabody Hotel) there are rides down on the grounds near the Clinton Library, so no real change there, and the gates are fewer but the flow kind of makes sense.

5. all in all, when you take into account that the contract was not confirmed until mid-February, and the old Riverfest had divided into two separate festivals (family fest and Riverfest) it's really not a bad start. Yes some of the bands started late (nothing new) and there aren't as many vendors and they aren't all the same ones you might remember, BUT again, they did this in just a few months.

just my two cents
Our RiverFest highlights article points to some of the acts still to come, such as Kip Moore and Young Thug tonight and Peter Frampton Sunday night.


Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 07:19:00

'Spirit-filled' Senator Rapert talks about his war with Satan

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Thanks to a reader who follows Charisma News for this report on Sen. Jason Rapert.

Times have been tough for the man of God because of his advocacy for state establishment of religion on the Capitol grounds through the 10 Commandments monument.

From the beginning, I started receiving hostile e-mails, threatening messages and hate mail. I endured public ridicule by the atheist community, extreme liberals and even by organized satanic organizations.

There is no question the American public has been successfully confused about the Judeo-Christian history and heritage of our nation by secular humanist organizations over the past few decades. The ignorance present in our country about the Ten Commandments as a historical and moral influence on the development of American jurisprudence has fueled the intensity of organizations that seek to undermine any reference to God in the public square.

There's much more.


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Friday, May 25, 2018 - 12:48:00

No Small Talk, Ep. 17: Mortalus and more

click to enlarge nosmalltalk_-_copy.png

This week, Omaya Jones and Stephanie Smittle hear from Michelle Gann of Mortalus about heavy music, classic influences, Friday night's show with Houston's Doomstress and what it's like to be a trans woman making metal in Arkansas.

First up, Riverfest is happening, and it's  in new hands. Check out this week's cover story for the details, and for a handful of highlights from the three-day lineup.

Also, Little Rock has a new movie theater. At long last, the IMAX-outfitted cinema at The Promenade on Chenal is re-opened under AMC Theatres, and you can watch "Solo" with a film-inspired cocktail and a fancy flatbread pizza in hand.

The Weekend Theater is doing something new in late October/early November called "Playwright's Week," and the company is soliciting submissions from locals for one-act plays to be showcased later this year. Check it out.

Also: An event at Courthouse Square Park in Helena ushers in Conway Twitty Day, an official designation in honor of the Arkansas son who gave us these gems:

Next, we visit with Michelle Gann and Bryan Bedgood of Mortalus, a local metal band with classic influences. They'll share a bill with Doomstress of Houston tonight at Vino's. Check 'em out:

Next up, Omaya and Stephanie make some recommendations:

Omaya recommends Episode #93 of The Kitchen Sisters podcast, "Prince and the Technician," the story of Susan Rogers - "a trained technician with no sound engineering experience [who] became the engineer of "Purple Rain," "Parade," "Sign o’ the Times" and all that Prince recorded for the next four years. For those four years, and almost every year after, Prince recorded at least a song a day and they worked together for 24 hours, 36 hours, 96 hours at a stretch, layering and perfecting his music and his hot funky sound."

click to enlarge Susan Rogers - KITCHEN SISTERS
  • Kitchen Sisters
  • Susan Rogers

Stephanie suggests you check out the music of The Matchsellers and go catch them Friday night at Four Quarter Bar. Here they are with a 2-D animated video featuring an articulated paper doll version of Earl Scruggs and, following that, some dubious advice for new parents.


Friday, May 25, 2018 - 11:42:00

"Delta Exhibition" winners announced

The Arkansas Arts Center announced the winners of its 60th annual "Delta Exhibition" last night, and all are Arkansans. 


Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 15:59:00

Philip Mann to leave symphony after 2018-19 season

click to enlarge LEAVING ARKANSAS IN 2019: Maestro Philip Mann.
  • LEAVING ARKANSAS IN 2019: Maestro Philip Mann.

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra announced in a press release today that the next season of the symphony will be Maestro Philip Mann's last. The ASO will give Mann the title of "Music Director Laureate" and hopes that "Mann will be able to continue his highly successful relationship with the ASO as he grows his international conducting presence and broadens his role within classical music."

The final season will be Mann's ninth with the ASO. Symphony CEO Christina Littlejohn said in the announcement that she wanted to let symphony fans know the orchestra is on solid ground. “As we look ahead to next season and beyond, Arkansans should rest assured that we are a thriving, financially stable organization and our priority is to provide engaging, high-quality performances and offer music education initiatives around the state," she said.

In a Q&A in January, Mann told the Arkansas Times that his relationship with the symphony was a "charmed one that I'm very lucky to have." He described his meeting up with the orchestra:

We knew in that first rehearsal that we had some chemistry. Sometimes when you have this immediate, big flashy spark, things won't continue to build, but they continued to build all the way through the week and into each performance. Each performance was memorable — the kind of experience that you carry with you for the rest of your life. I draw on those remembrances of those first performances as a reminder of how far we've come, and also how we started off together. There was a sense of momentum and kind of passion. There was an abandon to the performances that was very invigorating.


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Cover Story

RiverFest gets a revival in its 41st year

May 24, 2018
RiverFest gets a revival in its 41st year
Memphis group takes over annual festival. /more/


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Arkansas Reporter

Bike nonprofit in high gear

May 24, 2018
Bike nonprofit in high gear
Recycle Bikes for Kids gives away hundreds of refurbished bikes every year. /more/

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