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2012 Showcase schedule 

OK, after a bit of shuffling around and substitution, here's the schedule for this year's Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, which kicks off a week from Thursday at Stickyz, starting at 9 p.m. Stay tuned for more band info and songs in the coming weeks in the Times and on Rock Candy. Jan. 26: Shining Rae, The Holy Shakes, The Coasts, Vore. Feb. 2: JD Parker & The Tin Strings, Lindsey Kate Band, Don't Stop Please, Holy Angell. Feb. 9: Wes Patterson, Tsar Bomba, War Chief, Se7en Sharp. Feb. 16: Wooden Toys, Swampbird, Joey Farr & The Fuggins Wheat Band, Quadkiller. Feb. 24: Trasspassers, Laundry for the Apocalypse, Ben Franks & the Bible Belt Boys, Jab Jab Sucker Punch.

Film buff website Ioncinema.com lists Little Rock native Jeff Nichols' next film as its 13th most anticipated feature of 2012. Says Eric Lavallee: "For film snobs such as myself, you'd need a really valid reason to want to see a film with Reese Witherspoon and Matthew McConaughey toplining. Arkansas born Jeff Nichols is that reason."

Back in 2009, Discovery night club owner Norman Jones told the Times that, "anything I've got is for sale to the right person at the right price." It looks like the right person was Phillip Patten, owner of the North Little Rock bar Sidetracks, who purchased 610 Center and Pulse/Off Center from Jones in the fall. No word on the price, but manager Todd Chambers detailed some of the things that have changed and some that will stay the same. 610 Center is now officially SixTen Center Street Bar, and Pulse is Miss Kitty's/Saloon. Sidetracks is now known as Trax. Chambers said Miss Kitty's has a "rustic country decor going on. It'a a work in progress." He added that the club would be opening up to live bands. "We're also going to do karaoke starting this year and some other theatrical acts. And it's still going to be a dance and socializing bar, too," he said. Miss Kitty's and Saloon — both under the same roof at 307 W. 7th St. — will also be rented out for private events and fundraisers. All of the bars will remain gay friendly and gay-owned and operated, but open to all, Chambers said.

As for whether he might be considering the sale of Discovery, Jones chuckled and quipped, "Like I said before ..."

"Ann Richards' Texas," the new bio-doc about the feisty and proudly Democratic Texas governor defeated for re-election by a weekend brushcutter named George W. Bush, will get a pre-release sneak peek at the Athena Film Festival in New York City on Feb. 10. The film was co-directed by former Little Rock Film Festival executive director Jack Lofton, and executive-produced by Little Rock Zoo spokesperson Susan Altrui and El Dorado's Margy Merkle Niel. Niel, Altrui, and co-directors Lofton and Keith Patterson will participate in a panel discussion about the film immediately after the screening. Altrui says the film — the first full-length documentary about Richards, who served one term as Texas governor from 1991 to 1995 and died in 2006 — is almost complete as of this writing. Featured in the film are interviews with Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, Nancy Pelosi, Bill Clinton, Michael Dukakis, Paul Begala, Richards' daughter and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, former Texas Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby and others. The Athena Film Festival — sponsored by the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College — runs this year from Feb. 9 -12, and spotlights films about women.

Wakarusa last week made its second round of lineup announcements. Some of the headliners announced include Primus, Umphrey's McGee (two sets), Girl Talk, Fitz & The Tantrums, Big Gigantic, The Del McCoury Band, Quixotic (two sets), Tea Leaf Green, Gary Clark Jr., Iration, Blitzen Trapper, Emmitt-Nershi Band (two sets) and VibeSquaD (two sets).

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