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WEDNESDAY 10/17

MELVINS

9 p.m. Juanita's. $15.

What we have here is nothing short of one of the most influential heavy bands of all time taking on a heroic feat of touring that would surely whip the asses of lesser groups: The Melvins are attempting to set a world record by playing all 50 states and the District of Columbia in 51 consecutive days (Little Rock is show No. 43). They got rolling Sept. 5 up in Anchorage, Alaska. Do you know how long ago that probably seems to them? Do you think any of these young, eyeliner/denim leggings/expensive-gear-that-mom-and-dad-paid-for clowns could ever withstand such an ordeal? Pffffft. Yeah, right. So one great thing that's come out of this herculean endeavor is that the band is keeping a tour blog over at Spin.com. I highly recommend it. It's hilarious, chock-full of unsparing observations about the vagaries of the road, excellent trash-talking of various bloated-corpse rock gods and other withering commentary on worthy targets. Sample headlines: "Eating Bathroom Lettuce," "Patchouli Vs. Farts" and "Bono is a 'Rich Idiot,' Freak Asks About Cobain." Pro-tip: Don't ask about Cobain. Other pro-tip: Don't scream any requests. I saw Melvins 13 years ago in Missoula, Mont., at a place that, if memory serves, was called The Cowboy Bar. It was a killer show, despite people periodically yelling out "Boris!" and "Honey Bucket!" and so forth. I can therefore tell you that best-case scenario, your entreaties will be ignored. They're gonna play what they wanna play, so how about just zip it and enjoy the show. Opening the show is Tweak Bird, a two-bro combo specializing in twisted psychedelic rock. RB

WEDNESDAY 10/17

HOT SPRINGS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL

Various times. Arlington Hotel, Hot Springs. $5-$150.

The Hot Springs Documentary Festival enters its final days with a promising line-up. At 7 p.m. Wednesday, "The Perfect Victims" makes its world premiere. The film tells the story of three women convicted of killing their abusive husbands who were denied the opportunity to enter the abuse into evidence (it screens again at 1:30 p.m. Sunday). "Detropia," perhaps the most acclaimed film in the festival, examines the economic devastation of Detroit. It plays at 7:20 p.m. Thursday. Fans of cinema verite and history, take special note: On Friday, beginning at 6:55 p.m., the festival will screen a trilogy of films by verite pioneer Robert Drew on John F. Kennedy, the short "Primary" and features "Adventures on the New Frontier" (about the early days of the Kennedy presidency) and "Crisis" (about Kennedy's showdown with George Wallace over the integration of the University of Alabama). Three shorts by Larry Foley on Crystal Bridges ("Art of Crystal Bridges"), Fayetteville ("Up Among the Hills") and Arkansas Baptist ("Growing Hope") screen at 4 p.m. Saturday. At 7 p.m. that night director James Keach screens his work in progress documentary on Glen Campbell's Goodbye Tour, which was filmed in part in Arkansas. Members of the Campbell family will be in attendance. Go to hsdfi.org for a complete schedule. LM

WEDNESDAY 10/17

ARKANSAS STATE FAIR

11 a.m. Arkansas State Fairgrounds. $4-$8.

So I went to the Arkansas State Fair last Sunday with the fam. Here are some of my food recommendations: the "medium" corndog will suffice for most people or even small groups of people. It's very tasty, but there is a lot of it — about a foot and a half, by my eyeball estimate — so think twice before ordering the "large." Regarding beer: Miller Lite pairs incredibly well with nearly any food available at the fair. Get the larger one (32 oz.), it's your better value. The beef kebab from the trailer at the east end of the grounds was smoky, tender, truly exceptional. Funnel cakes were as ubiquitous as they were disconcertingly delicious. If you detect a certain stodgy conservatism with my fair-food picks, you have detected correctly. I don't go in for any of these "beef sundae" or "chocolate-covered-pickled-okra" shenanigans. No sir, I stay with the tried-and-true over the ever-escalating "deep-fried-something-implausible" brinksmanship that has gripped the fair-food community in recent years. This week's music offerings include: The See and This Holy House on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.; Dustin Lynch, The Farm, Casey James and Morgan Frazier Thursday at 5:30 p.m.; That One Guy, Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown and prog-rockers Kansas on Friday at 6:30 p.m.; Tyrannosaurus Chicken and Christian Simmons Saturday at 7 p.m.; and The Texaco Country Showdown and Beautiful Disaster winding things down Sunday starting at 2 p.m. RB

THURSDAY 10/18

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT

7:30 p.m. UCA's Reynolds Performance Hall. $30-$40.

Rufus Wainwright has described his most recent long-player, "Out of The Game," as being "the most pop album I've ever made." It's also, courtesy of producer Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, Adele), imbued with a sublimely '70s vibe and a refreshingly loose, live sound. As Wainwright recently told Jian Ghomeshi, host of the CBC's Q talk show, the album was recorded on actual tape and mostly with live takes of him and his band performing together. That's something I wish more artists were willing to try. The title track that opens "Out of The Game," is a gorgeously languid gem, a lamentation about the exhausting world outside, with awesome female backup singers magically transported from some mid-'70s Lou Reed recording session. By contrast, "Bitter Tears" has a decidedly '80s sound, with a pulsing beat that's way down in the mix and icy synthesizers contrasting with the song's uplifting melodies. The whole album is really good. Despite the album title, Wainwright is in no way out of the game; he's absolutely on top of it. Concerts of this stature don't come around every week, so the discerning pop fan is hereby advised not to miss what will in all likelihood be a fantastic concert from a distinctive musical voice. RB

THURSDAY 10/18

CARAVANSERAI: MAJID BEKKAS GNAWA ENSEMBLE WITH BRAHIM FRIBGANE

7 p.m., Baum Walker Hall at Walton Arts Center. $10-25.

When was the last time you saw classical Moroccan music performed in front of colorful, swirling dancers clapping iron castanets? If it's been a little while, you've got a chance on Thursday when Majid Bekkas, an acclaimed music professor from Sale, Morocco, plays the guembri, a three-stringed bass lute, accompanied by his Majjid Bekkas Gnawa Ensemble. And there will be a West African chorus — you know, the dancers, some singers and those castanets. The guembri looks and sounds a bit like a banjo, and we promise, there will be pickin'. CF

THURSDAY 10/18

ARGENTA FILM SERIES: 'THE AMERICAN SCREAM'

7 p.m. Argenta Community Theater. Free.

It's October, which means that in addition to all the free candy to be potentially scored by your young'uns ("C'mon kid, it's a partnership! I'm the wheelman, you're the Face!"), many peoples' thoughts will turn to decorating their house for our most tooth-melting of holidays. But there's stringing a $2 bag o' webs across the porch and throwing some plastic spiders in it, and then there's obsession: people who literally spend months and thousands of dollars preparing to turn their yards into houses of horror come Oct. 31, with lights, Styrofoam cemeteries, animatronic figures, elaborate mazes, and costumed actors. In this documentary presented by the Argenta Film Series, director Michael Stephenson lifts the shroud on the Frankenstein-ian labors of love of three men in Fairhaven, Mass., as they try to create the ultimate old-fashioned scare from nothing but paper-mache, house paint, castoff lumber, and junk. With Halloween drawing nigh, it looks to be a heck of a lot of fun at the movies. Stephenson takes his film to the Hot Springs Doc Fest, where it screens at 9:30 p.m. Friday. DK

SATURDAY 10/20

CEDELL DAVIS

9 p.m. Stickyz. $20.

The Delta blues don't get much grittier, rawer or realer than Pine Bluff's CeDell Davis. Many Times readers will be familiar with Davis's music and story, but for the uninitiated, the man is a musical legend not on account of some dusty archival recordings or impossible-to-find 78s, but rather for his many years of live playing and for records released within the last couple decades. His "Feel Like Doing Something Wrong" was produced by the widely respected writer, scholar, musician and native Arkansan Robert Palmer. Davis was afflicted with polio as a youngster, so he had to relearn how to play the guitar, and Lord, it is a sound to behold. He flipped it over and played left-handed style, using his right hand to fret the strings with a butter knife, which results in a "welter of metal-stress harmonic transients and a singular tonal plasticity," according to Palmer. I couldn't describe the sound any better. This show will be recorded and filmed for a forthcoming live album and documentary, and includes a grip of musicians who played on Davis's '02 album "When Lightning Struck the Pine." The opening acts are Seattle super group Walking Papers (also playing Friday at Reno's in Argenta), which includes Jeff Angell, Barrett Martin, Duff McKagan and Ben Anderson, and Peter Buck's new solo band. Davis will perform with an array of these folks, as well as Joe Cripps, Scott McCaughey and others. The Tom Houston Jones Band closes it out. This is not one to skip, folks. RB

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