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Jeff the Brotherhood at Juanita's 

WEDNESDAY 10/24

JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD

9 p.m. Juanita's. $12.

Jeff the Brotherhood is Jake and Jamin Orrall, two brothers out of Nashville who have been around for about a decade, but have getting lots of media attention since rocking SXSW a couple of years back. This tour is to promote their sixth album and first release for Warner Bros., "Hypnotic Nights." On the opening track, "Country Life," they sing about drinking, swimming in the creek and smoking meat, which means they'll probably feel right at home here. They're the sons of country-pop singer, songwriter and producer Robert Ellis Orral. With their muscle shirts, lanky frames, shaggy hair and all-around scruffiness, these guys have a look that recalls Drag City, circa 1992. But their album is largely radio friendly pop. It's catchy and upbeat, with "ooh-oohs" aplenty, more Weezer than Royal Trux. If we're lucky, they'll toss a few of their earlier songs into the mix. That stuff has more feedback, more noise and more punk appeal. CF

THURSDAY 10/25

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS

8 p.m. Verizon Arena. $38-$58.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers weren't the first outfit to mix the free-floating fury and distorted guitars of punk with the slap-bass thumping and sweaty grooves of funk (see Exhibit A: Gang of Four). But without question, they're the biggest-selling and most popular group ever to cross those particular streams. I was introduced to the Chili Peppers hit by Mike, my old junior high chum who was always one step ahead of everyone else. He had a cassette of "Mothers' Milk" that we listened to at his house. It wasn't speed metal or thrash metal or death metal, so I pretty much ignored it. But shortly thereafter, "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" came out and before you could say "Give-it-away-now," it had become the inescapable party soundtrack for all the cool kids. That was more than two decades ago, and back then I'd never have imagined that the Chili Peppers would still be going all the way in 2012 (Is that really even going to be a year? Won't we all just have jetpacks and flying cars by then?). They just seemed so combustible, with their wacky costumes and their drug problems and their outsized personalities and their generally libidinous, freaky-styley ways. They had their challenges and setbacks, sure. But here it is, 2012, and here they are, not only survivors, but respected elder statesmen of the rock landscape. Opening the show is session badass, avant-pop/funk bassist and Flying Lotus collaborator Stephen Bruner, a.k.a. Thundercat. RB

FRIDAY 10/26

ARKANSAS PUZZLE DAY 2012

4:30 p.m. Clinton School. Free.

OK, all you crossword-obsessed puzzle geeks, put down that Sudoku for just a sec and listen up, because The Clinton School has a big treat in store for you: The Sixth Annual Arkansas Puzzle Day. There will be crossword and Sudoku competitions and a presentation by puzzle creator David Kwong, who has masterminded brain-bending games for the New York Times, L.A. Times and many other national publications. The puzzle contests start at 4:30 p.m., and at 6 p.m., Kwong — who is also an illusionist who has collaborated with David Copperfield — will present a "multi-media, puzzle-themed magic show." Call 501-683-5239 to reserve seats. RB

FRIDAY 10/26-SATURDAY 10/27

WHITE WATER TAVERN HALLOWEEN COVERUP

9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern. $5.

The great Halloween tradition of dressing up like another band and playing a bunch of their songs continues this week. If you've never been to a coverup show, let me tell you, it's nearly always a great time. Obviously, it helps if you're a fan of the band being coverupped, and this year, White Water Tavern has two nights lined up, with folks from local bands taking on some pretty legendary bands. On Friday, The Wicked Good and Bryan Frazier take on The Smashing Pumpkins, while The Canehill Engagement brings us the hits from those sublimely maudlin Mancs, The Smiths, and Matt Quinn, David Slade and Adam Sweet tackle the timeless pop-punk of Jawbreaker. On Saturday, Big Silver, Norman Williamson and Phillip Huddleston bring the Boss, and The See's Joe Yoder and Eric Morris, along with Gaines Fricke, James Szenher and Charles Lyford take on Pearl Jam's catalog. RB

SATURDAY 10/27

REASON IN THE ROCK

9:30 a.m. CALS Main Library. Free, but donations accepted.

Out of the way, religious folk! Step aside, and let those who don't believe in talking snakes and a 6,000-year-old earth have a shot at the microphone! The Arkansas Society of Freethinkers is hosting its first "Reason in the Rock" conference on secular thought and atheism, during which rationality and science are sure to hold sway over superstition. At the top of the bill: "The Thinking Atheist" podcast host Seth Andrews, former Pentecostal preacher-turned-infidel Jerry DeWitt, Texas Chapter of American Atheists president Aron Ra, Skepticon co-founders Lauren Lane and J.T. Eberhard, Arkansas Society of Freethinkers founder Tod Billings and others. Also, please note: Contrary to what many here in the hinterlands might think, the "Reason in the Rock" afterparty won't include "Rosemary's Baby"-style cavorting with Satan. Why? Because they don't believe in him, either. Duh. DK

SATURDAY 10/27

ARKANSAS VS. OLE MISS

11:21 a.m. War Memorial Stadium. $65.

For the first time since 1997, Arkansas and Ole Miss will square off in a football game that does not include Houston Nutt. Yes, the Razorbacks will square off against the Whatever-They're-Called-Nows and HDN will be nowhere close. He will not be clowning around and chewing his fingernails on the sidelines. He will not be doing that weird, eyes-darting-all-over-the-place thing, nor will he be diving into the stands. He will not be running it up the middle over and over and &*(%#$! over again. Now, I'm not prepared to use the term "closure" for what this game represents for either team or their fans, but still, something about this just feels like starting over. OK, back to the game: basically, if either the Hogs or Ole Miss are to get a bowl bid this season, they need to win this game. I'm sure Beau Wilcox has some cogent observations on the game over at Pearls About Swine (page 8), so I'll just say WPS! and leave it at that. RB

SATURDAY 10/27

PREMIERE OF '45RPM'

7 p.m. Landers Theater in Batesville. $8-$10.

"45RPM" was written and directed by Arkansas native Juli Jackson and funded in part by the Ozark Foothills FilmFest in Batesville. It's the first of three films that have been awarded grants by the festival as part of the Arkansas Indie Film Initiative. The film is Jackson's feature-length debut and was shot in Arkansas (including a scene in Arkansas Record & CD Exchange). The story concerns Charlie (Liza Burns), an artist living in New York who's seeking for a connection between her work and the music of her deceased father. That yearning turns into an actual search, for the extremely rare 45 her dad's band cut back in Arkansas during the heyday of '60s garage rock. To help her track it down, Charlie recruits an obsessive record collector (is there any other kind?) named Louie (played by Red Octopus alum Jason Thompson). The two of them hit the road in a vintage Pontiac, scouring the South in search of the elusive wax. Based on the trailer, "45 RPM" seems like a sharp (and sharp-looking) road comedy that will appeal to both record geeks and normal folks alike. RB

SUNDAY 10/28

MIKE WATT AND THE MISSINGMEN

8 p.m. George's Majestic Lounge. $13.

Look: There's just no way I'm going to be anywhere near 100-percent objectivity on this one. OK? Because not only is Mike Watt responsible for some of the finest American music of the late 20th century (The Minutemen's "What Makes a Man Start Fires?" and "Double Nickels on the Dime" are two of the greatest albums to come out of the U.S. punk rock scene), he's just flat-out an extremely likeable dude. You could take me at my word on that, but even better would be to watch the fantastic Minutemen doc "We Jam Econo." Watt's an unflappable musical force, truly one of the most out-of-the-box bassists ever. In addition to his musical accomplishments, he's also a role model for being real, staying true to your beliefs and never, ever letting The Man hold you down. And he has maybe the most cogent quote ever uttered on the role of the bass player: "You look good, making the other cats look good." What a perfectly Watt thing to say. RB

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