Halloween cover-ups 

Friday 10/28


7:30 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall. $27-$67.

But for the fact that he died in 2003, two years after the first Shrek movie kicked off the franchise, New Yorker Cartoonist William Steig would today be rolling around in royalties today. He is, after all, the original creator of the green ogre who has appeared in four movies, various fast food and theme park tie-ins, and now a Broadway musical based on the earliest Shrek film. It's the anti-fairy tale, anti-Disney story of the crotchety eponymous ogre who saves a princess from a diminutive, equally crotchety bad guy. Because it gives sarcastic shout-outs to every anthropomorphized member of the Mother Goose canon, and then some, it's been a hit with kids on its national tour. Just about everybody, though, should get a laugh from its notorious jabs at the fairy tale establishment (whatever that is). The musical continues on Saturday and Sunday with performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 7 p.m. on Sunday. BR

Friday 10/28


9 p.m. White Water Tavern. $5.

In 10 years of existence, the Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative hosted punk rock proms, put on fashion shows, booked touring bands, threw art shows and screened indie movies. The group called it quits earlier this year, but lives on in spirit through a tradition it started eight years ago, when it convinced a handful of local bands to dress up like famous bands from past and present and cover their songs. The show was always an event even if local acts were terribly unprepared. Several years back, White Water Tavern started hosting similar shows, but usually featuring only bands that were really, really serious about doing justice to whatever band they were impersonating (remember The Boondogs as Fleetwood Mac? Good Fear as Six Tom Pettys and the Heartbreaker?). Now comes a group of local musicians who're poised to do more justice to their source material than anyone who's come before. The players include most of Amasa Hines (and formerly The Natives and Romany Rye): Whitman Bransford (keys), Ryan Hitt (bass), Judson Spillyards (guitar) and Joshua Spillyards (drums). Plus Arkansas guitar god Greg Spradlin and Velvet Kente's polyrhythmic drummer Jamal. That, friends, is a badass group of players, and the same instrumental line-up the classic-era Allmans employed. The plan, according to Judson Spillyards, is to, over the course of two sets, play all of the self-titled debut album and visit a number of the hits — "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed," "Hot 'lanta" and "Don't Keep Me Wonderin.' " LM

Saturday 10/29


9 a.m. Two Rivers Park. $20-$35.

Mud, you know, has positive therapeutic and dermatological properties; people pay a lot of money to dip themselves in it at fancy spas when Neutrogena won't do the trick. Some of my earliest experiences with mud probably came on an elementary school playground and involved proto-scatological pranks. Most recently, I slipped on it in the rain. The Mud Run is a convenient combination of all these qualities: restorative, regressive and downright mucky. For the benefit of Little Rock Parks and Recreation, you get to run a 5K through obstacles and ultimately a 300-foot mud pit. Dress to get dirty, and leave your diamond rings at home. Expect exceptionally clean and firm skin afterwards, as well as a lingering sense of Freudian satisfaction. BR.

Saturday 10/29


9 p.m. The Peabody. $10.

The Peabody RiverTop Parties continue into the fall with the city's biggest Halloween celebration. Local DJ Brandon Peck is spinning and Epiphany is emceeing at the voodoo-themed extravaganza. Plus, $5,000 in cash and prizes are being given away for the best costumes — first place gets $3,500 and prizes, including $1,000 cash, $150 in dining certificates and an overnight invitation to the Peabody's Presidential Suite. Reservations are available for the VIP Voodoo Lounge, as well as a special ticket package that includes a guest room the night of the party, and breakfast for two at Capriccio Grill the next morning. Better get that costume pulled together if you really feel like partying in style this year. BR.

Saturday 10/29


9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.

As mentioned earlier, now that ACAC is closed, White Water Tavern is the only game in town for locals impersonating bands you know. As usual, this year's line-up holds a lot of promise. Big Silver, the long tenured folk-flecked pop-rock band led by Isaac Alexander, takes on The Band. The same group that covered Weezer last year at White Water — Michael Inescoe, Jack Lloyd, Phillip Huddleston, Thom Asewicz and Patrick Rippy — offer their take on The Strokes. A group led by Joe Yoder of The See covers Elvis Costello and the Attractions (surely Elvis' best backing band, but don't the Imposters make a better fit here?). And Paul Bowling of Glittercore (and Trusty and Il Libertina) opens the bill with a short set of David Bowie covers. LM

Sunday 10/30


8 p.m. Revolution. $12 adv, $15 d.o.s.

The husband-and-wife duo is making its Revolution debut to promote "Mountaintops," its seventh album of high-energy, manageably poignant indie pop. Resorting to hackneyed comparisons, the duo's still not quite as danceable or infectious as Matt & Kim or Vampire Weekend, and it hasn't achieved the empyrean, indomitable status of Neutral Milk Hotel or Belle & Sebastian. That said, it seems the couple is getting more in love with each other — as corny as it sounds, their voices are getting more and more similar, much in the same way that couples begin looking like each other after so many years. "Mountaintops" doesn't get bogged down in musical technicalities, and probably that will lend itself to an enjoyable show. That, and the fact that Halloween costumes are encouraged; come in the most ironically un-ironic getup you can pull together. BR.

Tuesday 11/01


9 p.m. Stickyz. $10.

As long as human beings possess the urge to sit around all day smoking pot and listening to classic rock, bands like The Sheepdogs will have it pretty good. Hailing from Saskatchewan, they pull off the Southern rock resurgence sound so well it doesn't seem right to call them nostalgic — maybe that really is CCR you're listening to? But no, it's the Sheepdogs, whose claim to fame (besides, you know, their music) is their democratic triumph against 15 other bands to make the cover photograph of Rolling Stone. More nostalgia at work, apparently, for a time when such an honor would never have been bestowed upon the Jonas Brothers or the cast of "Gossip Girl." Like Obama's Nobel, Rolling Stone could be jumping the gun, but the Sheepdogs are earnest and funky and they've done their classic rock homework. Why would you want to get high and watch "Gossip Girl" anyway? BR.

Wednesday 10/26


7 p.m. Wildwood Park for the Arts. $10-$25.

Way back when I was in high school (early to mid-aughts), it was not cool to like '80s music; everybody was too busy cramming their old school iPods with the most obscure bands imaginable, all for the sake of appearing more musically nuanced than can reasonably be expected of a 16-year old. The Rep's Summer Musical Intensive Theatre ("Smitty"), whose actors are ages 10 to 23, offer us a review of hits from the decade of excess in their program "We Built This 'Smitty' on Rock and Roll." Of course, the joke is that none of them are old enough to have been around in the '80s, and I suspect that their tunes will be decorated with the hyperbolic tackiness that we've come to expect from '80s nostalgia. Which is awesome — who needs to have lived through them when you can just celebrate the catchy pop melodies and regrettable fashion choices that were? The show continues through Nov. 5 with performances at 7 p.m. and one matinee, 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5. BR




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