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'Bellflower' comes to Argenta Film Series 

WEDNESDAY 11/9

JUCIFER

8 p.m. Downtown Music Hall. $7.

One night about 10 years ago, at the old JR's Lightbulb Club in Fayetteville, I went downstairs to check out this band on the advice of my buddy, who was the doorman. "They've got so many amps it looks like they're trying to hurt people," he said. "Like, cause bodily harm. They're called Jucifer." Indeed, there on the tiny stage towered at least 47 million watts' worth of massive guitar amps, dwarfing the tiny woman standing there with a tiny guitar and a tiny drummer sitting at a tiny drum set. I'm not exaggerating here: it looked comical. Unsurprisingly, it was deafening. Surprisingly, it was pretty awesome. Often, when you see a band that wears silly costumes or has a zillion amps or something like that, what you're seeing is novelty trying to mask poor songwriting. Not so with Jucifer. The band has traversed a lot of stylistic territory over nearly two decades, from blunt-force stoner riffage to skeeze-rock sleaze-o-rama to free-form feedback squalls that recall My Bloody Valentine, another band that was certainly fond of guitar volume violence. Guitarist and singer Amber Valentine's vocals, too, range in style, from ethereal beauty to raw, guttural throat damage. The duo has convincingly pulled off this sonic grab-bag on a handful of albums, though 2010's "Throned in Blood" saw a decidedly more metal concentration. Which is just fine, as heaviness for its own sake can be a good thing for an inspired, veteran act such as Jucifer. Just be sure to bring some earplugs. The opening acts are Oracle and DDT.

WEDNESDAY 11/9

"BELLFLOWER"

7 p.m. Argenta Community Theater. $8.

Young manhood can be a confusing, challenging time, especially for the budding pyromaniac-would-be-post-apocalypse gang leader. "Bellflower" follows Woodrow and Aiden, two best bros who while away the hours drinking hard and crafting flamethrowers and tinkering on their Mad Max-style death-machine hotrod in anticipation of the end of the world and the opportunities for social advancement that will presumably arise thereof. Throw a sassy blonde love interest into that already volatile mixture and somebody's likely to get themselves blowed up. This feature-length debut has earned big-time plaudits from legit sources, such as The New Yorker ("agonizingly intense, almost unbearably beautiful") and Roger Ebert ("possibly represents the debut of a one-of-a-kind filmmaker, a natural driven by wild energy, like Tarantino"). As with many entries in the Argenta Film Series, this screening includes a visit with one of the film's principals, in this case writer, director and star Evan Glodell. He'll also be leading some workshops and a screening of "Bellflower" at UCA on Nov. 10.

THURSDAY 11/10

BRASIL GUITAR DUO

7:30 p.m. St. Mark's Episcopal Church. $10-$25.

Attention, fans of chamber music and classical guitar duos: here's one you'll want to be sure and catch. Joao Luiz and Douglas Lora, longtime friends and natives of Sao Paulo, have been performing together for many years. The pair has toured the globe to widespread acclaim, playing a blend of classical pieces, traditional Brazilian songs and new compositions for guitar. Recently, the duo performed with symphony orchestras in Dallas and Houston, at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall and at the University of Chicago, among other high-profile gigs. The Brasil Guitar Duo will perform works by Piazzolla, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Villa Lobos, Debussy and Rameau.

THURSDAY 11/10

THE DIRTY GUV'NAHS

9 p.m. Stickyz. $7. 18+.

Among the many things for which we can praise/blame (but mostly praise) The Black Crowes, one of them has got to be that the brothers Robinson et al made it safe for subsequent generations of gangly white boys to get on down, let it all hang out and boogie with unselfconscious, funky abandon and smokin' hot backup singers. Yeah yeah, the Stones are God and blah blah. And really, they are. "Moonlight Mile" is probably the second best rock song of all time. But it's been at least 30 years since Keef 'n 'em put out an unqualifiedly great album, while there's nary a bum note in the Crowes' 20-plus year catalog. Currently, there are probably half-a-dozen or so acts on the middle-market touring circuit that owe a heavy debt to the Crowes' greasy Southern gospel. Exhibit A: The Dirty Guv'nahs, a Knoxville sextet that's been plying its bloozey, boozey trade for the last few years to general acclaim. So do these Tennessee boys, with their aviators and perfectly broken-in denim and song titles like, "We'll Be the Light" and "Baby We Were Young" sound like the Crowes? 'Course they do. So is it derivative? Yes, unquestionably. Does that matter? No, not even a little bit. If you dig bluesy Southern rock with a hint of soul and a touch of swagger, The Dirty Guv'nahs should tide you over very nicely until about a month from now, when you can get your next fix at Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights at Stickyz. Opening act at the 18-and-older gig is Moon Taxi.

FRIDAY 11/11

A.A. BONDY

9 p.m. Stickyz. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.

Last year, the Alabama-born singer and songwriter A.A. Bondy crashed his motorcycle in upstate New York, sorta like Dylan did way back yonder, in the olden times. Bondy, though, he really did tump his hog pretty bad. He got scraped up and went to the hospital, unlike Blind Boy Grunt, who probably just consulted the closest blind veterinarian he could rouse. Also, Bondy didn't use the wreck as an excuse to ditch everybody and hang out down in the basement. No, he got back on the hoss and into the studio and recorded "Believers," which came out back in September. Man, this is a good album. The opening track, "The Heart is Willing," is a hauntingly beautiful and mesmerizing tune. The rest of the album follows suit, enveloping the listener in a warm, hazy cloud of songs that blur together nicely — like you've taken one too many Xanaxes, but you're still OK. Previously, Times boss-man Lindsey Millar wrote that Bondy was "Cat Power for dudes," and as a dang-near fanatical devotee of Cat Power I pretty much concur, though I'd add "bros," "brahs," "guys," "fellows," "chaps," "punters," "lads," "blokes," "gentlemen," "scoundrels," "wastrels," "drifters," "grifters," "scholars," "drunks," "convicted felons" and "dangerous loners" to that description. Bondy's tunes will appeal to all of those types and more. Opening act is Gold Leaves.

SATURDAY 11/12

ASO: "BEETHOVEN & BLUE JEANS"

8 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall. $14-$48.

If the only thing that's been holding you back from checking out the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is your lack of a tuxedo, top hat and monocle, well here's your chance to take in some Beethoven while wearing your Saturday evening best. That's right, you can go to the symphony wearing your Loverboy T-shirt and those purple acid-washed Z. Cavariccis with the nine pleats and the ultra-high waist (and yes, you are encouraged to tight-roll those bad-boys). This program features, of course, Beethoven (Leonore Overture No. 3 Op. 72b and Egmont: Overture) as well as Bernstein's symphonic dances from "West Side Story" and Voodoo Violin Concerto No. 1 by composer and electric violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain, who performs with the ASO. Roumain is often referred to as DBR. You know somebody is for real if he goes by initials alone, which means DBR is probably the SRV of the classical scene. In addition to the Beethoven and the blue jeans, concertgoers can enjoy bratwursts and $2 beers from Diamond Bear. The ASO reprises the concert at 3 p.m. Sunday; same price and place.

SUNDAY 11/13

CHUCK RAGAN

9 p.m. White Water Tavern. $10. All ages.

For at least a decade, you couldn't beat Hot Water Music out of Gainesville, Fla., for rousing, anthemic post-hardcore, with crunchy Gibson guitars and virtuosic bass playing. And have you noticed how everybody has a beard these days? Yeah, the HWM guys started that whole thing way back in the mid- '90s. Also the Bukowski-referencing band name was a good call. After the band called it a day back in '06, co-frontman Chuck Ragan struck out on his own, pursuing a more roots-oriented, acoustic direction, country even. He'd hinted at this previously with a couple EPs from Hot Water Music side project Rumbleseat. Here in 2011, Ragan has just released "Covering Ground." In keeping with his recent output, this album has much more in common with Springsteen than Fugazi. Ragan's gravelly howl is probably even more effective in this mostly acoustic context than it was in his old band. Ragan's songs aren't as loud as they were a decade ago but they're every bit as intense.

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