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Lanterns! at Wildwood 

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FRIDAY 3/2-SUNDAY 3/4

ARKANSAS FLOWER & GARDEN SHOW

9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun. Arkansas State Fairgrounds. $10.

Things move slowly in the flower and garden world, and changes tend to reveal themselves incrementally: A watermelon swells at an imperceptible rate, a properly staked spray orchid will stretch into a predictable arch according to its first tiny flower, and a healthy tomato plant sends a slow, steady broadcast that it will eventually outgrow its cage. Imagine the excited murmurs, then, that have been floating around the cash registers at Hocott's and The Good Earth garden centers, as word has gotten around that the annual Flower and Garden Show will be moving from the Statehouse Convention Center to the Arkansas State Fairgrounds this year. Consensus among the dirt-diggers has been pretty clear: This was a stellar move. For one thing, parking is free. For another, you'll be able to pull right up to a package holding and loading station to get your finds into your car as you're leaving, instead of pitching them hastily into your ride as your companion sits in the driver's seat on Markham Street with the flashers on, hoping someone with a badge doesn't come and shoo off the whole affair. Classes in subjects like blackberries and drought tolerance will be held in the Farm & Ranch and Arts & Crafts Buildings; the Sunday program is tailored for kids; and the Hall of Industry will be home to all the nerdy vendor stuff we're there for: terrifically porous irrigation hoses, fancy hand salves, seed packets with detailed botanical sketches in colored pencil, a live bee colony encased behind a glass screen. Check it out and get tickets at argardenshow.org. SS

click to enlarge LUMINARY: Swan Lake lights up at Wildwood Park for the Arts for the Lanterns festival. - ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF PARKS & TOURISM
  • Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
  • LUMINARY: Swan Lake lights up at Wildwood Park for the Arts for the Lanterns festival.

FRIDAY 3/2- SUNDAY 3/4

LANTERNS FESTIVAL

6 p.m. Wildwood Park for the Arts. $5-$10.

For the 10th year, Wildwood Park for the Arts will transform its grounds into a glowing, multicultural festival to celebrate the Chinese New Year and the first full moon of the lunar year. If you have little kids and need to get out of the house, this is an almost obligatory destination. The cultures of a number of foreign countries — China, Italy, Ireland, Cuba, Morocco and Egypt — along with that of New York City will be on display, with representative food and games. Arkansas Circus Arts will man a moon-themed area where there will be fire-breathing and karaoke and probably people on stilts. But the true magic — especially for the kiddos — comes in releasing luminaries (which cost a few bucks) into the park's Swan Lake. Food and drinks, including booze, range from $2-$8, but you'll have to buy WILDBucks to do your purchasing. LM

click to enlarge Industrial Series No. 9 “Pierced," by Robyn Horn, 2016.
  • Industrial Series No. 9 “Pierced," by Robyn Horn, 2016.

FRIDAY 3/2

HOT SPRINGS GALLERY WALK

5-9 p.m., galleries on Central Avenue and elsewhere.

The monthly gallery stroll in Hot Springs will feature lots of racehorse art (which sells well during the season), especially Gallery Central (800 Central Ave.), which will not only show pony art, but will host live painting by local artist Bob Snider. Whittington Gallery (307 Whittington Ave.) will feature the work of 21 artists, some of it surely equine, and will have music by the Tone Chasers, too. Ten artists will show in a pop-up gallery next door, in The Yoga Place. Shifting gears, "Shifting Gears," wood and metal pieces from Little Rock sculptor Robyn Horn's "Industrial Series," will be on exhibit at Dolores Justus Fine Art (827A Central) in a show curated by Rachel Golden. Horn and Golden will be on hand at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 3, for a gallery talk. Figurative works by Jan Briggs and abstract paintings by Bonnie Ricci are at Artists' Workshop Gallery (610A Central). Ermie Bolieu will talk about design and stones at American Art Gallery and Gifts (724 Central). The Landmark Building (6 p.m.-8:30 p.m., 201 Market St.) is showing "Daughters of the Diaspora — Women of Color Speak," works by established and emerging women artists. Other venues participating in the after-hours event are Emergent Arts (341A Whittington), The Avenue (240 Central), Crystal Springs Gallery (610 Central), Bubba Brew's Brewing Co. Spa City Tap Room (528 Central) and Riley Art Glass (710 W. Grand St.) LNP

click to enlarge 'LIPSHIFTER': Ghost Bones takes tunes from its latest to Maxine's with Swear Tapes and Bonus. - DEVIN CASTLE
  • Devin Castle
  • 'LIPSHIFTER': Ghost Bones takes tunes from its latest to Maxine's with Swear Tapes and Bonus.

FRIDAY, MARCH 2

GHOST BONES, SWEAR TAPES, BONUS

9 p.m. Maxine's, Hot Springs. $7.

When Hot Springs punked-up rockers Ghost Bones won the 2015 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, this is how judge Mitchell Crisp described the quartet: "This band is for throwing TVs out of three-story windows, sleeping under dirty sheets in a room lit by Christmas lights, drunk on cheap wine with a boy you just met but have seen around for a long time." Who could resist that? Particularly when the band will be playing songs from its newish record, "Lipshifter," including "Sticky Willow." Sample lyric from lead singer Ashley Hill: "I've got a hot heat on the back of my kiss/I've got a slight spit coming out like a hiss." A double bill from Oxford, Miss., joins the locals: delightful pop rockers Swear Tapes (the latest project of Jim Barrett, formerly of Fat Possum's Young Buffalo) and indie rockers Bonus. LM

click to enlarge Dylan Earl - ROBBIE BRINDLEY
  • Robbie Brindley
  • Dylan Earl

FRIDAY 3/2

DYLAN EARL, LOST DOG STREET BAND, HANG ROUNDERS

9 p.m. White Water Tavern.

This bill feels like two-tone embroidered Western shirts with pearl snap buttons and sounds like pedal steel under the crunch of an empty can of Coors heavy. It's country and Western "before they ruined it"-style, with Denver's Hang Rounders; Tennessee-based old-tyme musicians Lost Dog Street Band; and Fayetteville's own Dylan Earl, a baritone whose easy swing and plaintive delivery summon the olfactory memory of stale cigarette smoke and Stetson for men as clearly as did any of his apparent influences: Dwight Yoakam, George Jones and Billy the Kid. SS

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SATURDAY 3/3

'THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA'

6:30 p.m. Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. $15.

Look, if you're going to screen a silent film with a scene that reportedly made theater patrons scream and/or faint when they saw it in 1925, you may as well do it in a giant Gothic Revival Cathedral from the 1880s and slap some creepy pipe organ over that mess, right? The Arkansas Cinema Society has done just that for this screening — a fantastically imagined blend of holy venue and unholy programming — with Scott Foppiano at the organ. A Q&A session follows with host Jonathan Crawford, and food trucks will be outside the church beforehand. SS

click to enlarge JOHANNA SLAUGHTER-GORDON
  • Johanna Slaughter-Gordon

SATURDAY 3/3

MORTALUS

7 p.m. Vino's Brewpub.

When Mortalus played the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase last week, the band's drummer had just been injured in a car accident and the bass player filled in for him in a reconfigured trio. Judges' comments included the following remarks: "Helluva shredder," "Very Dio/Maiden," "melodic classic thrash metal," and '"love the twin guitar leads." That about sums up the style of Mortalus — led by that "helluva shredder" Michelle Gann — and gives you an idea of what kind of talent it displayed even when a quarter of the band was out of commission. If all goes as planned, the full outfit is celebrating the release of its full-length album, "Heart So Black," a 10-track guitar assault with classic influences (aforementioned, plus Judas Priest) and a lead-out single that takes its narrator from post-apocalypse refugee to bona fide undead zombie in fewer than six minutes. Celestials, Sylo and Josh the Devil and the Sinners share the bill. SS

click to enlarge IRIE VIBES: Katrice "Butterfly" Newbill performs with her 5-piece reggae outfit Irie Soul at The Griffin Restaurant in El Dorado this weekend. - JOSHUA ASANTE
  • Joshua Asante
  • IRIE VIBES: Katrice "Butterfly" Newbill performs with her 5-piece reggae outfit Irie Soul at The Griffin Restaurant in El Dorado this weekend.

SATURDAY 3/3

BUTTERFLY & IRIE SOUL

9:30 p.m. The Griffin Restaurant, El Dorado. Free.

There's a contingent of the Central Arkansas music community that would probably still be making their art in New Orleans had Hurricane Katrina not displaced them — Ted Ludwig, notably. Count Katrice "Butterfly" Newbill among those who landed here in that twist of fate, and she's a dynamo contralto and bandleader whose all-women NOLA reggae band The Irie Dawtas have been reinvented here as Irie Soul. Newbill sings with her whole body and commands a call-and-response with audiences regardless of how familiar (or not) they are with gospel and reggae. She brings that dynamic to the Murphy Arts District's farm-to-table restaurant this weekend. If your Saturday plans don't include a jaunt to South Arkansas, catch her here in Little Rock when you can; she'll be the one up front delivering brawny, syncopated incantations and bouncing around in incredible stilettos. SS

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SUNDAY 3/4

LITTLE ROCK MARATHON

7 a.m. LaHarpe Boulevard.

Consider this a multifaceted P.S.A.: If you somehow have been training relentlessly but were not disciplined enough to register for the full or half marathon early, you're in luck: Late registration happens at the marathon Health & Fitness Expo at the Statehouse Convention Center from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday. If you have not been training relentlessly and have not registered early, but still think you've got what it takes to run (or walk briskly) 26.2 miles, don't. Just watch this year. One piece of guidance for rooting racers on from littlerockmarathon.com: "Unless you're right next to the finish line, don't yell, 'Almost there' or 'Not far to go.' " You can find the marathon route at the race website. For folks who don't care anything about the race, expect to find roads blocked throughout Little Rock east of Van Buren Street (and also along Rebsamen Park Road). LM

click to enlarge THE SOUL AND THE HEAL: Guitarist, songwriter and producer Gurf Morlix comes to the White Water Tavern for an early Sunday show. - MATHEW STURTEVANT
  • Mathew Sturtevant
  • THE SOUL AND THE HEAL: Guitarist, songwriter and producer Gurf Morlix comes to the White Water Tavern for an early Sunday show.

SUNDAY 3/4

GURF MORLIX

6 p.m. White Water Tavern.

In a 2009 interview with Texas Monthly, Gurf Morlix answered a question about his early career with "I was always the side guy." And until his 2000 solo record "Toad of Titicaca" — named after a lake between Bolivia and Peru in which Jacques Cousteau discovered 2-foot-long underwater toads — he was. Morlix's "side guy" contributions, though, were the kind that make or break an album (in his case, mostly the former), as his minimalist guitar work and clarity-obsessed production lent magic to recordings by Lucinda Williams, Warren Zevon, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Arkansas's own Blaze Foley, the subject of a celebrated new film directed by Ethan Hawke. (See Morlix's 2011 record, "Blaze Foley's 113th Wet Dream" for a tribute to same.) Morlix is the kind of name you hear painted in reverence as it leaves the lips of talented guitarists everywhere. This Sunday, he's at the White Water Tavern for the first time with his newest, "The Soul and the Heal," which, if you order a copy, will come to you by way of the one-man operation that is Morlix, as he states on his website: "I am the chief strategist, here at Rootball Records. I'm the only strategist. I'm the label. I'm the distributor. I'm the manager. I'm the one that sweeps up. I'm in charge. Of all of it. ... That's my DNA on the copies I mail out to anyone who orders them." But then, you won't need that, since he'll be here in the flesh. Don't miss this one. SS

click to enlarge PAUL MOORE
  • Paul Moore

WEDNESDAY 3/7

WILD MOCCASINS

10 p.m. Stickyz Rock 'n' Roll Chicken Shack. Free-$5.

In a brilliant feat of programming, the folks at Stickyz/Rev Room booked Houston's winsome Wild Moccasins for a later slot on the same night as Beth Ditto's return to Little Rock, and offered free admission to anyone with a Ditto ticket in hand. To see why this is such a natural fit — and a recipe for a dance party in the River Market district Wednesday night — observe Wild Moccasins' Zahira Gutierrez in the drag-tastic video for "Eye Makeup." There, an ounce of Morrissey's pout and a "Lucky Star"-era Madonna beat are paired with lyrics immediately relatable to anyone who's ever made an unexpectedly early morning run, sans full face, for some item at the Beechwood Kroger and subsequently run into every person they have ever known: "I took my makeup off/You said I looked tired/How could you?" Monsterboy opens the show. SS


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