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Arkansas Times Margarita Festival returns 

And much more.

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THURSDAY 5/10

ARKANSAS TIMES MARGARITA FESTIVAL

6 p.m.-9 p.m. River Market Pavilions. $25.

Margarita mavens, now's the time to strut your salt, at the second annual Arkansas Times Margarita Festival, with tequila by Don Julio. Mixologists from The Pizzeria, 109 & Co., O'Looney's & Loblolly Creamery, Taco Mama, Revolution Taco & Tequila Lounge, Cache, Doubletree-Bridges, La Terraza, the Ohio Club, Bleu Monkey Grill, Samantha's Tap Room and Wood Grill, Big Whiskey's and Ernie Biggs will put their own twist on tequila in the potent competition for Best Margarita, offering up samples of more than 20 varieties of the concoction. There will beer to cleanse the palate and Capt. Morgan Rum drinks, too, for sale, and Taco Mama and La Terraza will sell food to sponge up the spirits. Because you want your friends to see you having a good time, Colonial Wine & Spirits will provide a photo booth in which to set up your selfies; Latin ballroom Club 27 will provide music to move to. Those still standing can get into after-parties at Willy D's and Prost free with their wristbands. LM

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THURSDAY 5/10

AUSTIN LUCAS

9 p.m. White Water Tavern.

It's a well-trod and beer-dank barroom floor, that intersection in the Venn diagram of country, punk, folk and rock. Austin Lucas' last album, "Between the Moon and the Midwest," sits as close to the sweet spot right in the middle as any you're likely to find this side of Uncle Tupelo or Rank & File. That 2016 album, inspired by a weed brownie-induced sleepless night, Cormac McCarthy and '60s psych-pop like Zombies and Os Mutantes, is a lovely collection of music, layered and textured with Lucas' twangy vibrato on counterpoint to an ever-present pedal-steel swooping and a chorus of guest spots from names familiar to the Arkansas Times' To-Do List: John Moreland, Lydia Loveless, Cory Branan, et al. Lucas' new commitment to strong production continues on his upcoming album, "Immortal Americans," which will be guided under the jumpsuited auspices of none other than Steve Albini. And that, y'all, is cooler'n hell and probably fuzzier'n anything else we're used to. But those acoustically inclined fans are in luck: Reports are that Lucas will be releasing a second album this year, "Field Recordings," a slab of stripped-down, acoustic recordings released by Last Chance Records. Fans at the White Water Tavern (his website calls it "our favorite bar in the world") surely will get a heaping helping of material from both. JT

click to enlarge ROLLIN', ROLLIN', ROLLIN': Holly Laws' work in rawhide will be on display at the Historic Arkansas Museum on 2nd Friday Art Night.
  • ROLLIN', ROLLIN', ROLLIN': Holly Laws' work in rawhide will be on display at the Historic Arkansas Museum on 2nd Friday Art Night.

FRIDAY 5/11

2ND FRIDAY ART NIGHT

5-8 p.m. Galleries and other downtown venues.

A lively May after-hours gallery cruise is on tap this Friday as Lost Forty serves samples of its craft brews to folks who take the rubber-wheeled trolley between art venues. Those who choose to walk will also be rewarded: There will be outdoor visual and performing artists on the plazas on either side of the Main Street bridge. All travelers will find new exhibitions at the Historic Arkansas Museum ("Secret Stories: Anais Dasse and Holly Laws," with live music by Sad Daddy); the Butler Center Galleries ("Andrew Rogerson: Landscapes"); River Market Books and Gifts ("46," by John Kushmaul); and Matt McLeod Fine Art Gallery (new work by Henry James). Returning to the lineup are the Antigallery at Sway, with works by LGBTQ artists and allies, and the Marriott Little Rock, with work by The Art Group Gallery members. Living history is the lure to the Old State House Museum, where there will be music from Michael Carenbauer, demonstrations of WWI life on the home front, Army camp life, Red Cross activities and more: Rally for women's suffrage! Gallery 221 features a "Round Robin" show with work by the gallery's second-floor artists (Mike Gaines, Michael Darr and Larry Crane), and Bella Vita Jewelry will be a shopping destination with harvest and gift items from Boggy Creek Beehives and Bell Urban Farm, set to the tunes of The Creek Rocks. The trolley will run continuously from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. LNP

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FRIDAY 5/11

KELLER WILLIAMS

8:30 p.m. Rev Room. $20.

Keller Williams? Like the real estate company? No! Wait, Keller Williams, like the guy who — if you squint real hard — kinda looks and sounds like Jack Black? Yes, that one! But Keller Williams, to me, is like a jam scene Bert from "Mary Poppins," a whirling dervish of a one-man band that's all loop pedals and like half a dozen guitars strapped around his back, flitting back and forth onstage, from a Theremin on one side to a drum machine on the other. It's really a sight to behold. He's also a jam journeyman extraordinaire, collaborating with String Cheese Incident, pairing up with Leo Kottke, the progenitor to his own 12-string funk ("Freeker by the Speaker" is the grandson of "June Bug," no doubt), and an adherent of the greatest American band ever as a member of bluegrass Dead act Grateful Grass and leader of Grateful Gospel. That's only the tip of it. Williams is maybe the hardest working man on the circuit and his projects seem to multiply by the day. Where does he get the time? And where does he get the extra fingers? No 10-digited person should be able to play like that. He defines his solo sound as ADM: acoustic dance music. No doubt, if your butt is inclined to shake to slaps, thumps, pops, scrapes and fingerpicking, this is the place to be. Recommended starting place: the aforementioned "Freeker By the Speaker," his 2002 diss track to the crusty, wook-ish twirlers and dusty ravers that congregate like king rats at shows. It's a jam classic now, but 16 years ago it was the mind-blowing song of my own summer and still gets me psyched. JT

click to enlarge 'YOU LOOK LIKE I NEED A DRINK': Poyen native Justin Moore returns to Arkansas for a show at First Security Amphitheater. - JASON MEYERS
  • Jason Meyers
  • 'YOU LOOK LIKE I NEED A DRINK': Poyen native Justin Moore returns to Arkansas for a show at First Security Amphitheater.

FRIDAY 5/11

JUSTIN MOORE

7:30 p.m. First Security Amphitheater, River Market. $23-$50.

Poyen's favorite son is maybe also the most famous current resident of Saline County. Right now, Justin Moore is 4x platinum, with three albums posting at No. 1 on the country charts, and one single that has the funniest title in years, "You Look Like I Need a Drink." His last album, 2016's "Kinda Don't Care," turned down the achy heart nostalgia and turned up the, well, it just straight up turned up. Suddenly, the minor key longing turned into major key songs of drinking and defiance ("Stuff like that makes me wish I had more middle fingers!") with the occasional synth wobble thrown in for good measure. It's a sort of triumphant move away from emo-country of "If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away" to a buzzed exasperation with the jackasses of the world that reminds you why country moved out to the sticks to begin with. Going back home is one of the most time-tested themes of country music, and this hometown gig from a country superstar is likely going to be a Jack-hoisting, hat-waving celebration local country fans won't want to miss. JT

click to enlarge NEAL K. HARRINGTON
  • Neal K. Harrington

SATURDAY 5/12

45TH ANNUAL TERRITORIAL FAIR

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Historic Arkansas Museum. Free.

There's new fare at this year's fair, thanks to free ice cream custom-made for the day by Loblolly Creamery and homemade root beer from Diamond Bear Brewing Co., but that's just part of the attraction of celebrating a day in May the way folks did a couple of hundred years ago. Weaver Louise Halsey, the Arts Council's 2017 Living Treasure, will demonstrate rag rug weaving, and master bladesmith Lin Rhea will be laboring over a hot fire in the blacksmith shop. There also will be Mother's Day card-making in the Old Print Shop with blocks made by Russellville woodcut artist Neal Harrington. Animals from Heifer International will lend a bit of woolly authenticity to the pre-statehood agrarian way of life and there will be demonstrations of natural dye making and cooking. Pioneer games involving zero need for screens or cellphone towers will return, along with performances by the Arkansas Country Dance Society and live music. The custom ice cream will take its inspiration from territorial days; you can vote on a name for the new flavor through the week on HAM's Facebook page. For heartier sustenance, Cypress Knee Food will have lunch for sale, including a territorial-themed specialty. LNP

click to enlarge MAKERS' SHOW AND TELL: Photographer, videographer and musician Rah Howard is among the creators at the North Little Rock Mini Maker Faire this Saturday.
  • MAKERS' SHOW AND TELL: Photographer, videographer and musician Rah Howard is among the creators at the North Little Rock Mini Maker Faire this Saturday.

SATURDAY 5/12

NORTH LITTLE ROCK MINI MAKER FAIRE, DELTAMADE

10 a.m.-4 p.m. North Shore Riverwalk. Free.

What greater testament to the human spirit is there than our knack for taking the stuff around us and make cool shit out of it? In one set of hands, a plank of cedar morphs into bevel siding for a log cabin; in another, it becomes a vehicle for imbuing a side of wild-caught salmon with earthy flavor. The North Little Rock Mini Maker Faire celebrates creators in all their forms — culinary, musical, technical, mechanical and otherwise. Stop by the north shore of the Arkansas River on Saturday to check out vibrant handbags from Ofaolain Leather; pendant crystals from Lane's Arcanum Toolkit; German-inspired fare from The Wunderbus; tabletop games from Little Rock Games; Drew Lovell's "Short Circuit"-inspired design for a real-life "Johnny Five" robot; handmade Bluetooth speakers from Rock City Thumps; hand-stamped jewelry from City Chick; denim from Raiz Apparel; music from Big Piph, John D Neal, Monsterboy and Rah Howard; macrame wall hangings from The Earth Divine; and a ton more. Stick around afterward for DeltaMade, a mini-festival (also free) featuring performances from Delta Region artists Big Piph, Charlotte Taylor and Dazz & Brie. SS

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SATURDAY 5/12

QUAPAW QUARTER SPRING TOUR OF HOMES

1 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m. Sun. $20-$150.

It's a big year for this Little Rock springtime mainstay. The Quapaw Quarter Association is celebrating its silver 50th anniversary, and this, the 54th annual spring tour of homes, is honoring the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High by focusing on some of the greatest homes in the Central High School Neighborhood Historical District. This year features six homes on Schiller, Summit and Battery streets, including the incredible Martin A. Sharp House, a Queen Anne-style home that marked the first construction on the block when it was purchased in 1899. It's one of our city's greatest neck-craners, and here's your chance to finally explore its interior, along with five other grand old Little Rock homes in this celebrated, architecturally significant neighborhood. The QQA takes to Philander Smith College on Saturday night for a candlelight dinner and silent auction staring at 5 p.m., followed by a private tour. Those tickets are available for $150. Sunday morning brings an 11 a.m. Mother's Day brunch to Curran Hall, to be followed by an early afternoon tour of homes. Those tickets are $50 per person, and include the after-meal tour. JT

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SATURDAY 5/12

RELIVE YOUR PROM 2018

7:30 p.m. Robinson Center. $69/singles, $99/couples.

You know, I honestly can't remember anything about my prom. I was primed for a great night, but it sort of bleeds together with my equally pathetic graduation night. Seems like my favorite part of prom must have been my friend Brad, who shaved his beard into a Doc Holliday mustache for the occasion. You get promised some sort of color and magic through all the '90s teen movies you were raised on and end up getting Brad's mustache instead. Ain't that life. Me, I revile — I mean, relive — those years enough while searching for a scrap of meaning on my therapist's couch. But if you associate your teen years and prom with fun, dancing and drinks, and want to experience them for one more night, oh, brother, do I have an event for you. "Relive Your Prom 2018" offers adults the chance to party the night away downtown at Robinson Center with music, "mature beverages" and other adults turning back the clock. "Relive Your Prom" isn't just for folks who loved it the first time around, it's for people who want to take a mulligan on their old, disappointing prom nights: "Redeem Your Prom," if you will. Sounds fun. Groups of 12 get in for the discounted rate of $499, couples tickets are $99, and singles tickets are the very nice price of $69. JT

click to enlarge JOHN HONORE/PETER PARDINI
  • John Honore/Peter Pardini

SUNDAY 5/13

CHICAGO

7:30 p.m. Verizon Arena. $50-$90.

Few bands draw a range of response like Chicago. Now entering its 51st year as a touring unit, with 24 studio albums under its belt, "the rock band with horns" has guided itself, in name at least, through virtually the entirety of contemporary rock history. Line up Chicago's albums and you'll get a pretty uneven oeuvre, but one album seems to stand out as an exemplary classic. 1970's "Chicago II," which the band will perform in its entirety Sunday night, is a proggy, big-band jazz-rock monster full of three-part harmonies, a DuPaul-trained horn section and some truly wild guitar moves by the late, great Terry Kath. Folks who were there may remember the album for "Ballet for a Girl In Buchannon" and "It Better End Soon," the two song cycles that occupy the bulk of the album. Younger heads will know it from Chicago's greatest song, "25 or 6 to 4" — still an unparalleled headbanger, as far as dad rock goes. (And, it just occurred to me, it's a riff bit clean off by Green Day on "Brain Stew.") The show's second half, which the band calls "the world's longest encore," runs down the group's greatest hits. Classic rockers, you know what to do. JT

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