Alabama Shakes in Fayetteville 

Thursday 9/5


7:30 p.m. Clinton Presidential Center Great Hall. $25.

Let's be honest, it hasn't exactly been Hog heaven lately. Razorback diehards are still a bit bummed over the indignity of getting dumped from the Thanksgiving showdown with LSU. Can Coach Bret Bielema restore Arkansas football to its once-great heights this season? We'll see. In the meantime, here's a chance to remember the glory days when the Razorbacks — and their rivalry with Texas — dominated the football world. The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival will host a kickoff in Little Rock, and in addition to various festival announcements, there will be a special advance screening of "The Big Shootout: The Life & Times of 1969," a look back at college football's "Game of the Century" between Texas and Arkansas and the tumultuous times in which it was played. Director Mike Looney will be in attendance, as well as players and coaches that participated in the game, including former Arkansas coach Frank Broyles and former Longhorn QB James Street. Might want to show up early for some mingling. Call 661-1037 for ticket information. DR



Various times and venues. $5-$50.

So there will be a big motorcycle rally in Hot Springs this weekend. It kicks off Thursday. There will be a parade through downtown, as well as vendors, an indoor bike show and more. No doubt that there also will be much racking of pipes and wearing of classy T-shirts with witty messages printed on them. This whole Baby Boomer outlaw biker dress-up thing is ultra-weird and continues to confound me. It seems to have really gotten rolling about 10 years ago, and while I thought it would've gone out of fashion by now, it persists like a gnarly case of leather rash. I mean, dude, just because you paid $28,000 for a brand-new Harley and you grew out a goatee and bought a doo-rag and a leather vest, you're still a paunchy, middle-aged orthodontist from Bryant. But hey, you know, whatever. This is the U.S.A. and freedom and etc. You're all "Born to be Wild," and whatnot. I don't know, just try to be safe and courteous. Anyways, for entertainment, country singer Lee Brice performs Friday night. The main attraction on Saturday night — Grand Funk Railroad. Of course, Grand Funk coming to town begs the question: Will you-know-who be there? A certain legendary Little Rock groupie of story and song? The one who was immortalized in Grand Funk's most enduring hit, "We're an American Band"? Will she get a shout-out from the band? There's only one way to know for sure. RB



7:30 p.m. South on Main. Free.

Have you been watching the Oxford American's monthly SoLost video series? An admission: I had not until recently. But after having watched several of the National Magazine Award-winning short videos, I can say that I have been sleeping on these in a major and inexcusable way. These pieces range from, I don't know, 4-10 minutes? And in those fleeting spans, each one tells a Southern story that is funny or fascinating or illuminating or bizarre or sweetly sad or some mixture thereof. This event is billed as a celebration of SoLost filmmaker and notable photographer Dave Anderson, who will unveil his newest OA series, SoLit, which I am assuming will be related to literature and not to being super drunk. Guests include SoLost Editor Jonathan Childs and several folks profiled in the series, including Augusta's Jimmy Rhodes, the mortician, magician and politician who was the subject of the most recent installment, which is, of course, excellent. This will be some good times right here. RB



7:30 p.m. Arkansas Music Pavilion, Fayetteville. $39 adv., $42 day of.

If there's a relevant rock band out there right now that shot to the top of the game with a speedier quickness than the Alabama Shakes, I haven't heard of them. This young outfit had been together for about 15 hot seconds when they were all of a sudden being hailed as the next big thing in retro-inspired rock 'n' roll, heirs to the likes of The Black Keys and The White Stripes. They very quickly went from playing dingy, beloved dive-bars to headlining big festivals and hitting up the late-night stages, including Conan and The Late Show with David Letterman. The band's 2012 debut album "Boys & Girls" earned mostly positive reviews, with the only consistent criticism being that it didn't quite capture the power of the band's live show. Arkansas fans will now get a chance to see for themselves if that's a legit concern. Opening the show will be Nashville up-and-comers Fly Golden Eagle. RB



6 p.m. War Memorial Stadium. $55.

Sure, the last couple of Razorback football games at War Memorial Stadium should best be forgotten with extreme prejudice, relegated to the furthest, absolute dustiest back corners of the dustbin of history. But I think the Hogs looked pretty good last weekend against the Ragin' Cajuns of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. You can get all the pertinent stats and cogent observations from our resident sports writer Beau Wilcox over at Pearls About Swine, but some of the things I noticed: Jonathan Williams is a hoss; Alex Collins is a hoss; Brandon Allen looks like an entirely different quarterback from the shaky dude who sorta helmed our at-home humiliation against Alabama last year. Javontee Herndon turned in a fantastic showing. And a bunch of other players looked very promising (Kiero Small, Trey Flowers, Tevin Mitchel). So how will the Hogs handle that brutal four-game stretch in October (A&M, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama)? WE'RE GONNA WIN EVERY SINGLE ONE OF 'EM! Uh, just kidding. I'd be super pleased if we eked out one win in that stretch, but I ain't holding my breath. But back to this weekend, the Samford Bulldogs are just coming off of a 31-21 win against Georgia State. Should be a W, but even after this week's solid showing, I'm still so shaken by the disaster that was 2012 that I'm not taking anything for a given. RB



2-8 p.m. Bethel AME Church. Free, $20 for VIP seating.

This weekend, Little Rock's Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church will celebrate its sesquicentennial. Think about that: 150 years. That's older than most institutions in this state and it was begun under the type of duress and struggle that is hard to imagine. There are some interesting historical notes on the church's website. Bethel AME was first founded as Campbell Chapel by a freeman named Nathan Warren in 1863, the year of the Emancipation Proclamation. Bethel has served as one of the cornerstones of Little Rock's African-American community, and counts a number of notable congregants and attendees, including Daisy Bates, musicians Art Porter Sr. and Art Porter Jr., former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, and Little Rock Nine members Melba Patillo Beals, Ernest Green, Gloria Ray Karlmark and Carlotta Walls Lanier. The congregation will kick off the celebration of this important milestone with its Gospel Jazz Concert, featuring Memphis native and Grammy-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum, who has performed with a laundry list of notable performers (including Whitney Houston and Babyface, among others) and who released several albums of his own material. There will be a children's area at the event, as well as food vendors. RB



7:30 p.m. Arkansas Music Pavilion. $32-$77.

Is there a shaggier, stoned-er, more hippie-fied, genre-defying, consistently great, loveable, frayed-but-not-torn bunch of rock 'n' roll survivors than The Black Crowes? I think not. Seriously, what other band can come close to The Crowes' streak of fantastic albums over the course of the last nearly 25 years? They started out as a bell-bottomed, Stones-'n'-Faces-loving blues-rock swagger machine and evolved over the years into an all-encompassing amalgam of rock, soul, blues, folk, country and R&B, all wrapped up comfortably in a wooly jam-band vibe that fits like a perfectly broken-in denim jacket. Sure, they took a couple of hiatuses here and there, being that brothers will sometimes get to feuding with one another. But they always seem to work it out and answer the call of the road, and of their devoted fanbase. You know this is gonna be a great show. RB


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