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Branan plays for friends at White Water 

And Menomena! plays Sticky’s on Thursday.

BRANAN: Acoustic at Sticky's.
  • BRANAN: Acoustic at Sticky's.

“Baby Jesus hates me.” Or so says Cory Branan, the sharp-tongued folk rock singer-songwriter coming to the White Water Tavern on Saturday, April 7.

After rave write-ups in Playboy, Blender, Men’s Journal and numerous other big-name publications, it’s impossible to believe that Jesus — or much of anyone, really — hates acoustic-cliche-crushing Branan. Of course, in a purely clubs question, we have to wonder: Why the White Water as a venue for this up-and-coming folkster with a following?

“White Water is probably the only place I’ll play now that Matt and Seth and all those boys are running it,” explains Branan of the venue’s new owners, which include Matt White. “They’re good friends.”

The show with Memphis folk rocker Blair Combest starts at 10 p.m. with a $6 cover. For the rest of the Branan interview, check out arktimes.com/blogs/prowl.

Thursday gives an early start to another weekend of shows, shows and more shows. At Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom, it’s Russellville’s tender five-piece Christian indie rock group Deas Vail with emotional, melodic Kingsdown and Pinckneyville, Ill., indie rockers Dear Future and Futuro Boots (9 p.m., $8 advance, $10 day of show) … Dallas’s Elvis T. Busboy (a.k.a. Stephen Shaw), the former P.J. Belly Band roadie and singing dive bar cook, plays at Cajun’s Wharf (8:30 p.m., $5). Shaw is playing another show the following night, same time, place, and cover … At Sticky Fingerz, it’s airy post-rock pop from Barsuk Records’ Menomena!, a group we mistakenly mentioned in last week’s column as playing on April 4 (9 p.m., $8) … Meanwhile, at Vino’s Brew Pub, Dallas alterna-rock group Faktion plays with Soupe and Tennessee alt-rockers Wake The Light (8 p.m., $6) … and New Orleans jazz reverberates through the Afterthought with the Ted Ludwig Jazz Trio doing its regular Thursday gig (8:30 p.m., $2).

On Friday, be wooed by the warbling ballad singer ways of local indie folk group Christopher Denny and the Old Soles at the White Water Tavern (10 p.m., $5) … Austin country rock ’n’ roll singer Charlie Robison will be at the Revolution Music Room (9 p.m., $12 advance, $15 day of show) … Memphis’s costume-happy ’80s dance cover band the Venus Mission is holding a CD release party at Sticky Fingerz (9 p.m., $5) … Little Rock’s subtly Southern indie rock group Notion appears with jam band the Winter Furs at Juanita’s (10 p.m., $6) … Austin two-piece alt-rock/metal group Full Stride, Oklahoma instrumental rock Secant, and local horror-voiced metal group Calcabrina take the stage at Downtown Music (9 p.m., $5) … And Cherry and Cal play the Afterthought (8:30 p.m., $5).

Saturday kicks it up another notch, and as Emeril might say, Bam! Austin’s fierce indie rock alto Patrice Pike, former lead singer and rhythm guitarist for Sister Seven, is finally in town at Sticky Fingerz with Smitten of Conway. Her January show was postponed due to weather, but it’s fairly safe to say that this one won’t be snowed out. Smitten was an Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase semifinalist and features three young females out front on guitars and a male drummer (9 p.m., $10) … After several weeks of battling bands, the Decadent Evil 2 Soundtrack Contest at Vino’s is coming to a close. The lineup for Saturday night’s finals includes dirty psychobilly group Josh the Devil and the Sinners, alterna-rock/metal group MonoXide Project, Hot Springs alt-rock Lythium, and one other yet-to-be-announced act (7 p.m., $7) … At the Afterthought catch Quadraphonic, which includes former members of the Big John Miller Band. The offshoot, with Jason Hale on guitar, does standards, rock, and pop covers for your listening and dancing pleasure (8:30 p.m., $5) … Local alterna group Chasing the Fall, featuring former Hap-Hazard drummer Justin Carder, who now fronts as a singer, rocks out at Juanita’s (9 p.m., $7) … Maumelle blues rock jam songstress Shannon Boshears gets the groove going at Cajun’s (8:30 p.m., $5).

Monday: At the Easy Street Piano Bar, Seattle ’50s-tinged power-pop group the Pop Machine plays with local nerdy electronica Browningham and experimental group Divided Like a Saint on the cabaret side of the joint (9 p.m., $3, all ages) … Indianapolis metal/rock group Haste the Day, New York City hardcore band From Autumn to Ashes, Birmingham, Ala., Southern hard-rockers Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, alterna-rock group the Sleeping, and screamo band Alesana make sound waves in a mega-show at the Village (7 p.m., $13 advance, $15 day of show) … Debbie T and her T’s Tunes present The Rock Underground at Juanita’s (9 p.m., $5) … and Monday always means jazz at the Afterthought — a 20-year tradition. On Monday the music’s brought to you by the Dave Rogers Trio (9 p.m., $5).

Tuesday: Only one show in town, and it’s alterna experimental group Vast with Seattle rockers Point One Blank, and Orange County emo-whine indie group August House at Juanita’s (9 p.m., $12 advance, $15 day of show).

Wednesday: It’s music (and entertainment) with meaning on April 11 when Vino’s hosts the Women’s Project Coffeehouse featuring an Italian-mafia-themed drag king show with the Mob Kings and assorted local music with Pam Capel, Missy Harris, Sherry Hamilton, Chris Baldwin and Liz Mack (8 p.m., $5) … At Easy Street, check out brooding, life-worn folk-punk one-man-band Destroy Nate Allen (9 p.m., free, all ages) … Downtown Music turns it up with thrash metal Psyopus, New York hostile instrumental rockers Dysrhythmia, Brooklyn’s manic thrash/crushing dissonance Behold the Arctopus and Jacksonville metal act Mary Bell’s Day of Doom (8 p.m., $8) … Chris DeClerk, formerly of Weakness for Blondes, plays Cajun’s Wharf (9 p.m., $5) … Dell Smith is on piano at the Afterthought (8:30 p.m., free).

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