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A&E News, Jan. 12 

A&E News

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The 2011 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase is ready to kick off its 12th year with one of the best lineups we've ever had.

We're thrilled to announce the 20 semifinalists are, in alphabetical order:

10 Horse Johnson

Androids of Ex-Lovers

Brown Soul Shoes

Catskill Kids

Echo Canyon

The Evelyns

Ezra Lbs

Ginsu Wives

Hector Faceplant

This Holy House

Mandy McBryde and the Unholy Ghosts

Michael Leonard Witham

The Pink Drapes

Sea Nanners

The Smittle Band

Tyrannosaurus Chicken

Zach Williams and the Reformation

The Wicked Good

The Yipps

Year of the Tiger

The five semifinal rounds will feature four bands per night and will be held every Thursday from Jan. 27 to Feb. 24 at Stickyz Rock n' Roll Chicken Shack. Each week, a panel of judges will choose one band to advance to the final round on Friday, March 3, when the five finalists will face off at Revolution.

The winner gets a hefty load of bragging rights and a place beside recent winners like Brother Andy and His Big Damn Mouth, Velvet Kente and 607 as well as a hefty assortment of prize packages.

We'll announce details of the winning prizes next week, along with this year's judges and the final schedule.

Until then, congratulations to our semifinalists and good luck!


Tired of the dead bird story yet? Apparently the producers of Saturday Night Live aren't. Andy Samberg made an appearance on Weekend Update last week as Cameron the Blackbird, the lone survivor of the tragic event. He was accompanied by Everett the Fish, a survivor of the subsequent fish kill. Hilarity ensues.


The huge camping and music festival known as Wakarusa returns to Mulberry Mountain in Ozark on June 2-5, with a stellar, 100-plus band lineup that includes My Morning Jacket, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Ben Harper and the Relentless 7, Thievery Corporation and Mumford & Sons.


Great news for fans of early Johnny Cash — and who isn't? Columbia/Legacy is set to release "Bootleg, Vol. 2: From Memphis to Hollywood," a two-disc set of demos, outtakes, rarities, etc., on Feb. 22.

The first disc highlights Cash's work with Sun Records from late 1954 to late 1957, including 12 demos (11 of which have been unreleased for 50+ years), seven outtakes from the Sun Studios and a Memphis radio broadcast from the Man himself.

Disc two focuses on Cash at Columbia Records from 1958 to 1969, with non-album singles, outtakes and b-sides from his time in Los Angeles.


As it has in years past, the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre takes a two-for-us, two-for-the-masses approach with its 2011 season.

From The Bard: "Othello" and "As You Like It." From Aesop and Andrew Lloyd Webber, respectively: "The Tortoise and the Hare" and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

The festival runs June 16 through July 2 at Reynolds Performance Hall on the campus of UCA in Conway.

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