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Low Key Arts' Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival in Hot Springs 

Also, 'Latino Leadership and the Cinco de Mayo in the American West,' Pallbearer, 'Bach in the Castle of Heaven,' Weedeater, 'My Scientology Movie,' Argenta Artwalk, 'Bunny Lake Is Missing,' The Dead Deads, 'Sing Out for the Buffalo'

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THURSDAY 3/16

'LATINO LEADERSHIP AND THE CINCO DE MAYO IN THE AMERICAN WEST'

6 p.m. Sturgis Hall, Clinton School of Public Service. Free.

As it turns out, Cinco de Mayo is not, in fact, Mexican Independence Day. It's actually a celebration of an unlikely victory the Mexican army took when defending the city of Puebla against invasion in 1862, when America was in the throes of the Civil War. "Cinco de Mayo is probably the best known Mexican holiday in the United States," UCLA Professor David E. Hayes-Bautista said in an interview on University of California Television. "One would think it should be celebrated all over Mexico, and in fact, it isn't, outside of Puebla. ... For me, the question always was: Why do we celebrate it so much here?" In 2012, Bautista wrote the book on the topic, "El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition," and for this lecture, as the press release reads, Hayes-Bautista expounds on the holiday's origins with "Latinos in California, Nevada and Oregon as part of the Latino experience of the American Civil War in the Far West." SS

click to enlarge SAVE THE BUFFALO — AGAIN: A Rowdy Faith (pictured), Isaac Alexander, Amy Garland Angel and others perform Thursday night for the benefit of the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance, a nonprofit working to curb C&H Hog Farms' encroachment into the waters of the Buffalo National River, 7 p.m., Argenta Community Theater, $59. - KATIE CHILDS
  • Katie Childs
  • SAVE THE BUFFALO — AGAIN: A Rowdy Faith (pictured), Isaac Alexander, Amy Garland Angel and others perform Thursday night for the benefit of the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance, a nonprofit working to curb C&H Hog Farms' encroachment into the waters of the Buffalo National River, 7 p.m., Argenta Community Theater, $59.

THURSDAY 3/16

SING OUT FOR THE BUFFALO

7 p.m. Argenta Community Theater. $59.

When C&H Hog Farm established operations on Big Creek, a major tributary to the Buffalo National River, a group of citizens living in the area formed a nonprofit to advocate for the responsible conservation of the river: the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance. A timeline of the BRWA's attempts to protect the 153-mile paradise involves a long list of permit applications and words like "karst" and "vac tankers," but the idea is simple: Assuming our national obsession with bacon isn't going away anytime soon, let's find places to put hog shit that are not, say, in the country's first National River. Bumper stickers that read "Save the Buffalo — Again" adorn cars all over the state and elsewhere, referencing the hard-fought victory on the part of Dr. Neil Compton and the Ozark Society, who successfully campaigned in the 1960s to stop construction of two dams that would have jammed up the Buffalo — one at Lone Rock and one at Gilbert. The Alliance's immediate goals are simply stated on the organization's website: "to educate and advocate for protection of the Buffalo River and its associated watershed by 1) working for the closure of C&H Hog Farm, and 2) supporting a moratorium on any future hog CAFOs within the Buffalo River watershed." To that end, the Alliance is hosting a fundraiser with a rich musical lineup: A Rowdy Faith, Isaac Alexander, Amy Garland Angel, Nick Devlin, Missy Harris, Jim Hathaway, Phil Martin, Nick Matson, Brian Oman, Matt Treadway, Jason Weinheimer, Brad Williams and Justin Patterson & Laura Lynn Danley. There's a cash bar, food from Whole Hog Cafe (no pork) and a silent auction that features, as organizer Billy Jeter told us, "a Buffalo River painting by Mari Eilbott, a cabin near the Buffalo and [items from] three float vendors: Crockett's Country Store, Buffalo River Float Service and Buffalo River Outfitters." Right now, C&H is pursuing a permit for, as the public notice reads, "the storage and land application of liquid waste from a swine facility in accordance with Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission (APC&EC) Regulation 5." The public comment period on the request ends at 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 17. So, if you can't attend the fundraiser but feel compelled to voice your opinion, visit buffaloriveralliance.org for more information, and send comments directly to buffalowatershed@gmail.com. SS

click to enlarge DEAD CORPS: Nashville rockers The Dead Deads bring tunes from last year's "For Your Obliteration" to Stickyz Thursday night, 9 p.m., $5.
  • DEAD CORPS: Nashville rockers The Dead Deads bring tunes from last year's "For Your Obliteration" to Stickyz Thursday night, 9 p.m., $5.

THURSDAY 3/16

THE DEAD DEADS

9 p.m. Stickyz. $5.

Somewhere around Halloween in 2013, a few women got together and rehearsed what they thought would be a one-off Dead Milkmen tribute set in the spirit of the holiday. They called themselves Dead Milkmaids and played " 'Punk Rock Girl,' 'Bitchin' Camaro,' 'Nutrition' and a few others," drummer Billy Dead recalled. After the show, though, they decided that wasn't the end of it. "We realized that we wrote/played well together and wanted to keep playing together," Billy said. "To do that, we decided that we'd better write our own material. We wore XXs over our eyes to have the appearance that we're 'dead,' like the old cartoons." They called themselves The Dead Deads, and in an unusually collaborative process, they wrote 11 songs for a debut album, "Rainbeau," recorded live to tape in three days and released in November 2014. Songs like "Organ P" and "Weedo" borrow from the dark crunch of bands like Helmet and L7, but have all the pop sensibility of a late-'90s Veruca Salt, unafraid to mix brutal rock noise with decidedly feminine vocal stylings and creepy cooing (see: outro to "The Glow"). The record was well received, especially in the band's native Nashville, and The Dead Deads began playing shows on the likes of Motorhead's Motorboat cruise, developing a legion of fans affectionately known as the "Dead Corps." Predictably, they're a hit with distortion-loving dudes, but they've been assertive about nurturing a connection to a broad fanbase of women, too, as lead singer and guitarist Meta Dead told The Blue Banner in Asheville, N.C.: "We are women, adult women, in an industry that doesn't have a lot of adult women doing the kind of music we're doing, so my goal is for us to be some kind of paradigm shift where more adult women are out playing rock and roll and not being like, 'Oh, you're a mom and you're 30 so this is out of reach for you.' I would love that." Check out our full interview with Billy and Meta Dead on our online arts and entertainment blog, Rock Candy. SS

click to enlarge From Beverly Buys' "Delta in Blue" series. - BEVERLY BUYS
  • Beverly Buys
  • From Beverly Buys' "Delta in Blue" series.

FRIDAY 3/17

ARGENTA ARTWALK

5-8 p.m., downtown North Little Rock.

The third Friday of the month opens the doors of Argenta's galleries on and off Main Street for after-hours art appreciation; March blows in with three new exhibitions and a painting demonstration. That demonstration you'll find at Barry Thomas' studio at 711 Main St., where the impressionist will be working on a large canvas and "jamming out to music." Next door, at 703 Main St., Argenta Bead hosts a trunk show of Janu Gems, which continues on Saturday, the bead store's last day of operation in Argenta. (It reopens March 24 at 1608 Main St. in SoMa, but will keep the Argenta name.) At Mugs Cafe, 515 Main St., see "Outside the Lines," graphic work by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette artists Nikki Dawes, Kirk Montgomery, Dusty Higgins and Ron Wolfe. At 420 Main St., the Laman Library's Argenta branch hosts "Delta in Blue," an exhibition by award-winning photographer Beverly Buys, which she produced with the assistance of a Henderson State University Ellis College Margin of Excellence grants. Greg Thompson Fine Art, 429 Main St., continues its "22nd Anniversary Show" of works by fine regional and state artists, such as Carroll Cloar, William Dunlap, Henri Linton and Robyn Horn. North Little Rock arts promoter John Gaudin steps out with his own work in the show "Dancers" at Argenta Gallery, 413 Main St.; a portion of proceeds will go to the Christen Pitts dance program at North Little Rock High School. Other arts venues include Pennington Studio/Claytime Pottery, the Southern Women Artisans Guild and the House of Art. LNP

FRIDAY 3/17

'BACH IN THE CASTLE OF HEAVEN'

7:30 p.m. St. James United Methodist Church. $15-$25.

If you don't have any preconceptions about J.S. Bach, go enjoy this one-night-only concert, and revel in a half hour of fantasias and arias, 1735-style. Observe the measured, tip-toeing pace of the fourth movement for alto and violin, and notice how Bach omitted the bass in the 10th movement for soprano, flutes, oboe and strings, creating a sense of upward lift and purity most appropriate for the words: "Jesus, your gracious look I can still see continually." Dig the final number, a chorale for the whole ensemble that sounds the way a Peter Paul Rubens painting looks. And, for anybody who does have preconceptions about Bach, do exactly the same thing, but go to the bookstore beforehand and treat yourself to the 2013 book that inspired this concert: conductor, farmer and Bach expert John Eliot Gardiner's "Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven." SS

click to enlarge A SPACE OF COLLECTIVE POWER: Self-described "bi-bilingual political dance sax punk party from Providence" the Downtown Boys join the lineup for Low Key Arts' 13th annual Valley of the Vapors Music Festival March 17-21, downtown Hot Springs, $10-$100. - ALEXANDRA GAVILLET
  • Alexandra Gavillet
  • A SPACE OF COLLECTIVE POWER: Self-described "bi-bilingual political dance sax punk party from Providence" the Downtown Boys join the lineup for Low Key Arts' 13th annual Valley of the Vapors Music Festival March 17-21, downtown Hot Springs, $10-$100.

FRIDAY 3/17-TUESDAY 3/21

VALLEY OF THE VAPORS INDEPENDENT MUSIC FESTIVAL

Various times. Downtown Hot Springs. $10-$100.

Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase winners Dazz & Brie are a prime reason to go on a Hot Springs music bender of multiday proportions. Other reasons include, but are not limited to: workshops on processing fear from Martha Bayne and Andrea Jablonski, the VOV zine, Joan of Arc, the food at Maxine's, DTCV, NIL8, Sneaks, Ronnie Heart, the Dean's List Improv Comedy Group, and local bands like Big Piph & Tomorrow Maybe, Dangerous Idiots and the eternally disturbing Ginsu Wives. Not to be missed: Sunday night's 10 p.m. show from the self-described "bi-bilingual political dance sax punk party from Providence," Downtown Boys. Check out the full schedule at valleyofthevapors.com. SS

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SATURDAY 3/18

WEEDEATER

8:30 p.m. Revolution. $15-$18.

It's a good week for local fans of doom and stoner rock. Pallbearer's third album release show is this week and Weedeater's in town. Hailing from quite possibly the most metal of all headland towns — Cape Fear, N.C. — the trio was born of the breakup of sludge founders Buzzo*ven. As Metal Injection's Chuck Loesch aptly wrote, "Weedeater makes six minutes feel short." Despite lucky-rabbit's-foot album names like "And Justice for Y'all" and "God Luck and Good Speed," the group's been plagued by a remarkable degree of accident proneness: bassist Dave "Dixie" Collins shot himself in the foot while cleaning his shotgun (prompting the group to rename their next tour "Nine Toe"), and guitarist Dave "Shep" Shepherd broke his pinkie finger while on tour in Europe in 2010, and broke his hand the next year. They call their music "weed metal." Do with that what you will. Weedeater is joined by Beitthemeans, Iron Tongue (full disclosure, my band) and Tempus Terra. SS

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TUESDAY 3/21-WEDNESDAY 3/22

'MY SCIENTOLOGY MOVIE'

6 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. $5.

Chick Corea, Beck and Laura Prepon all seem like pretty insightful folks — and maybe they're also testament to the success of Scientology's effort to recruit celebrities into the religion's fold. In 1955, Scientology co-founder L. Ron Hubbard introduced "Project Celebrity" with the idea that famous people are "Prime Communicators," influencers capable of spreading the truth of Scientology to a world that desperately needs it, and stars like John Travolta and Tom Cruise have been defending it with varying degrees of cultish fervor ever since. British documentarian Louis Theroux ("The Most Hated Family in America," "Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends") set out to discover why so many successful and seemingly rational people believe in the mysterious, sci-fi-esque principles of "Dianetics." Given the cold shoulder by the Church of Scientology itself, Theroux recruited Marty Rathbun, a former senior church official, to help him re-create church rituals and incidents described by defectors. When the church gets word, they turn the cameras on Theroux, resulting in an absurd, protracted game of surveillance chicken that, in Telegraph film critic Tim Robey's words, does little "to reassure us that Scientology is in fact cuddly, socially progressive or misunderstood." SS

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TUESDAY 3/21

'BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING'

7 p.m. Riverdale 10 Cinema. $8.50.

Shortly into Otto Preminger's' "Bunny Lake Is Missing" (1965), Anne Lake (Carol Lynley) goes to pick up her daughter, Bunny, from school. She wanders around the waiting room with a crowd of mothers who are also there waiting to pick up their Bunnys. School ends, the group of mothers dissipate. Only Anne is left, and there is no Bunny. The rest of the film exists in a nightmare state where the viewer is never quite sure of what to make of what is going on — or if Bunny even exists. It's a terrifying prospect. The only other film that so successfully elicits a sense of total discombobulation is Orson Welles' "The Trial," adapted from the Kafka story of the same name, and every facet of the camerawork works toward producing this feeling; it's classical in style, keeping an objective distance, moving subtly in lieu of wild pans and close-ups. It almost has the sense of a police procedural. Penelope and John Mortimer adapted the screenplay from a novel by Merriam Modell, thanks to a reprinting of the work from The Feminist Press, a publisher whose "Femme Fatales" line of books is devoted to reprinting pulp novels by women. Modell was a graduate of Cornell University and, after living abroad, settled into life as a writer of short stories and suspense novels under the pen name Evelyn Piper. Many of her stories, Modell's New York Times obituary reads, "had a common theme: the domestic conflicts faced by American families." The film moves the setting from New York to London to further heighten the sense of loneliness and isolation Anne feels as she searches for her daughter, in a new place surrounded by strange people who mostly think she's insane. This screening of "Bunny Lake Is Missing" is part of the Arkansas Times Film Series, in partnership with Riverdale 10 Cinema and Film Quotes Films. OJ

click to enlarge DANCING IN MADNESS: Little Rock sludge metal masters Pallbearer release their third full-length album "Heartless" at Rev Room with Sumokem, Auric and Colour Design, 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, $12-$15.
  • DANCING IN MADNESS: Little Rock sludge metal masters Pallbearer release their third full-length album "Heartless" at Rev Room with Sumokem, Auric and Colour Design, 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, $12-$15.

WEDNESDAY 3/22

PALLBEARER

8 p.m. Revolution. $12-$15.

While on tour with Baroness last fall, Little Rock sludge heroes Pallbearer released a single from "Heartless," their much anticipated follow-up to their 2014 release, "Foundations of Burden." The long-player was self-produced in Little Rock and mixed by the "inimitable" Joe Barresi (Tool, Queens of the Stone Age, Melvins), the band notes on its website, which adds: "The album artwork includes a beautifully emotive oil painting by Michael Lierly [percussionist Mark Lierly's brother], emanating the very core of this record." For those of us who have just been coasting on the endorphins from those stellar Black Sabbath and Type O Negative covers Pallbearer included on its 2016 EP, "Fear and Fury," this fix has been a long time coming. Pallbearer is joined by fellow stoner rock beasts Sumokem, Auric and Colour Design. SS



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