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Robert Randolph & The Family Band at Revolution 

Also, 'Chihuly in the Forest,' Brit Floyd, Native American Cultural Symposium, Ward Davis, Conway Pride Parade, Malcolm Holcombe, Movies in the Park and more

click to enlarge GLASS ON GRASS: Dale Chihuly's work is on view in the north forest through November at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
  • GLASS ON GRASS: Dale Chihuly's work is on view in the north forest through November at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

SATURDAY 6/3

'CHIHULY IN THE GALLERY AND IN THE FOREST'

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville. $20.

You know the work of glass artist Dale Chihuly so well you don't need a description. You've seen his vessels, chandeliers, plant forms, his spiky red reeds in front of the Clinton Presidential Center, his drawings and tunnel of seaforms at the Arkansas Arts Center. But you haven't seen the master's work on the grounds of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, or in its temporary galleries, until now. Tina Oldknow, the former curator of modern glass at the Corning Museum of Glass, will give a free talk on Chihuly's work at 7 p.m. Friday, June 2, the evening before the opening. The talk requires a ticket, which you can reserve online at crystalbridges.org. (The show is ticketed, free only to members.) On Saturday night, frenetic band Andy Frasco and the U.N. and Fayetteville's Vintage Pistol will kick off the museum's Chihuly Saturday Nights music series with performances from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Guided tours of "Chihuly: In the Forest" will be held at 4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 15 minutes before sunset on Fridays. On June 4, ceramic artist Linda Lopez will offer a basic hand-building workshop ($65, $52 members); you can register for that online as well. LNP

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FRIDAY 6/2

WARD DAVIS

9 p.m. Revolution Room. $15.

Sometimes, the big break a musician is looking for comes around just as he or she has gotten sick of looking for it. Monticello native Ward Davis, the author of a lament about the Nashville grind called "15 Years in a 10 Year Town," talked about his time in Music City with PBS last year. "I didn't have the success that I wanted," he said. "I couldn't put my name next to anything I was really, really proud of. It was a little demoralizing." The wait was worth it, though. In 2015, Davis got word that Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard wanted to record his tune "Unfair Weather Friend" for "Django and Jimmie," a duet album that turned out to be one of Haggard's last projects. A few joints-with-Willie later, Davis is on tour with writing cohort Cody Jinks, with whom he wrote the title track for Jinks' "I'm Not the Devil," one of Rolling Stones' Best Country Albums of 2016. Jinks will be around the corner performing at Riverfest the next evening, so if you like what you hear from Davis, you know where to be Saturday night. SS

click to enlarge A MARRIAGE, A MOVEMENT: Kimberly Guerrero ("Longmire") and Charlie Soap ("House of Cards") star in "The Cherokee Word for Water," screened this weekend at the Museum of Native American History as part of the Native American Cultural Symposium and Outdoor Film Series.
  • A MARRIAGE, A MOVEMENT: Kimberly Guerrero ("Longmire") and Charlie Soap ("House of Cards") star in "The Cherokee Word for Water," screened this weekend at the Museum of Native American History as part of the Native American Cultural Symposium and Outdoor Film Series.

FRIDAY 6/2-SUNDAY 6/4

NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURAL SYMPOSIUM

9 a.m. Museum of Native American History, Bentonville. Free.

Lots of stuff happened on American soil before Columbus showed up on the scene, and the staff at Bentonville's Museum of Native American History (MONAH) want you and me to know about it. To that end, the museum debuts its Native American Cultural Symposium and Outdoor Film Series, a collection of readings, concerts and films featuring the descendants of people who shaped Native American art, history and languages. A panel discussion at 7 p.m. Friday is titled "The Wisdom of Black Elk's Reunification Prophecies and Environmental Awareness," and features panelists Bobby Bridger, whose ballad "Lakota" depicts a 1931 conversation between poet John Neihardt and Lakota holy man Black Elk; J.R. Mathews, co-founder of the American Indian Theater Company and the youngest tribal chairman in the history of Oklahoma's Quapaw Tribe; Joseph Marshall III, the author of "The Journey of Crazy Horse: The Lakota History"; and others. Saturday, there is a series of readings in the museum's Great Room: children's storytime, 10:30 a.m.; a performance from Gayle Ross, a direct descendant of Cherokee Chief John Ross, 6:30 p.m.; and the first of a two-part "Filmmaking Boot Camp with Tribal TV," in which workshop attendees will create and film a mini-short on their tablets or phones over the course of the weekend, 4 p.m. On Saturday evening, the 2013 film "The Cherokee Word for Water," which tells the story of how a rural Oklahoma Cherokee community built over 16 miles of pipeline to provide water to residents with no indoor plumbing, will be screened. On Sunday evening, Chef Justus Moll of River Grille Steakhouse serves "grilled chicken, bison fry bread, three sisters succotash, sweet potato hash" and more for "Prairie to Table Dining," a benefit for Downtown Bentonville Inc., $37-$42. Get tickets to that soiree at dbi.ticketspice.com/farm-to-table and check out the full symposium schedule at monah.us/nacs.html or on MONAH's Facebook page. You can register by calling 479-273-2456, and if you're just looking to spend Saturday at the symposium, a shuttle will run between The Walmart Museum and MONAH from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. If you can't make it this weekend but plan to be in the Northwest Arkansas area later in June, catch one of the symposium's "Dusk Outdoor Films," screened at dusk on the museum lawn: See "Playground of the Native Son," the tale of the Hominy Indians football team that, in 1927, famously took on the New York Giants, on June 10, and "She Sings to the Stars," Jennifer Corcoran's 2015 film about a Native Pueblo grandmother and a stranded magician, on June 17. SS

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SATURDAY 6/3

BACKYARD CHICKENS 101

10:30 a.m. Central Arkansas Library System's Oley Rooker Library, 11 Otter Creek Court. Free.

Everyone from Moss Mountain lifestyle mogul P. Allen Smith to Rose City tattoo lord Scott Diffie has chickens these days, and the Central Arkansas Library System plans on helping the rest of us get a little more hip on how to keep them around — and, you know, alive. There's no registration required, and live chickens will be available for viewing (and petting), so you can get a sense of what life might be like with some downy, feathered company in the backyard. SS

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SATURDAY 6/3

CELEBRATE ARKANSAS STATEHOOD

1-6 p.m., Old State House Museum. Free.

Here's your chance to be a tavern keeper, or maybe a gambler, early 19th century-style: The Old State House will celebrate the 181st anniversary of Arkansas's statehood with a living history event featuring role-playing on the lawn. The theme is "Work and Play," and the event promises that families will leave "with a greater understanding of trades and industries, wages and forms of entertainment that were available in Arkansas." The Territory of Arkansaw became a state on June 15, 1836; the population then was around 50,000. They included lawyers, performers, speculators and skilled craftsmen, and you can play those roles along with the living history performers. Visitors will get to gamble, shop, watch military drills and play period games. There will also be a horse race (we'll be interested to see how they'll pull that off there on Markham Street) and a puppet show. LNP

click to enlarge Robert Loyd and John Schenck - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • Robert Loyd and John Schenck

SUNDAY 6/4

CONWAY PRIDE PARADE

2 p.m. Pink House, 1605 Robinson St., to Simon Park, 805 Front St., Conway. Free.

This year marks the first time the long-running Conway Pride Parade will celebrate without either of its founders. Robert Loyd and John Schenck, longtime partners who died within a year of each other, were the chief residents of the "Pink House," a fuchsia queer haven on Robinson Street with the words "Teach Tolerance" emblazoned out front. Loyd and Schenck founded the parade in 2004. That year, a protestor named Wesley Bono dumped several tons of cow manure on the parade route just before dawn. About a decade later, Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) posted a Facebook rant accusing the parade of being "truly one of the most offensive public displays against Christians you will find anywhere in our state and especially offensive because they have specifically chosen Sunday to try and intimidate people who believe in the Word of God." Nevertheless, they persisted, and parade organizers invite all to gather at the Pink House for a caravan to Simon Park, where you can spread out a blanket, spend some cash with LGBT/LGBT-friendly vendors and honor the memory of two men who worked hard to make sure that the lives of openly gay people living in Conway were just a tiny bit easier. SS

click to enlarge DIVISION BELLS: Brit Floyd melds spectacle and skepticism in its elaborate Pink Floyd tribute show, which lands at Verizon Arena Monday evening.
  • DIVISION BELLS: Brit Floyd melds spectacle and skepticism in its elaborate Pink Floyd tribute show, which lands at Verizon Arena Monday evening.

MONDAY 6/5

BRIT FLOYD

7:30 p.m. Verizon Arena. $43-$68.

So, the bad news is Roger Waters' "Us vs. Them" North American tour — even with a bunch of added dates — won't stop in Little Rock. It'll only come as close as Tulsa. The good news is: Brit Floyd, which describes itself as "The World's Greatest Pink Floyd Tribute Show," is landing here, and it's more likely to play your fave Floyd stuff anyway. There will be tons of lasers. The band will likely project images of Kellyanne Conway and Obama alike in the more politically charged numbers, and for superfans, word has it the band will also play the entire first half of "Animals." SS

click to enlarge 'CRIPPLED POINT O' VIEW': Malcolm Holcombe returns to the White Water Tavern with "Pretty Little Troubles," the Weaverville, N.C., native's 15th studio album. - JOHN GELLMAN
  • John Gellman
  • 'CRIPPLED POINT O' VIEW': Malcolm Holcombe returns to the White Water Tavern with "Pretty Little Troubles," the Weaverville, N.C., native's 15th studio album.

WEDNESDAY 6/7

MALCOLM HOLCOMBE

9 p.m. White Water Tavern.

Ever the retreater from market friendly self-endorsement, Malcolm Holcombe told the Nashville Scene a few weeks ago that his music was "nothing new under the sun." Most likely, he believes that in some way, but you shouldn't. "I just got a different way of slinging baloney against the wall," he said — and you get the sense he's not so much lying to you from a place of false modesty as he is sparing you the details of a macabre story, saving you the grim downturn your otherwise perfectly good summer party will take if you even try putting "Yesterday's Clothes" on the box. Like many mystics before him, Holcombe seems to be convinced he's practicing nothing but simple observation, documenting the people, places and potholes he's seen from his coal country upbringing and several decades of hard living. The thing about observers, though, is that they stand by. Observers need to be passive and detached enough to remark on a situation without being in it, and in that way, what Holcombe does when he performs is anything but observational. His jaw hangs loose. Slobber climbs out. He teeters so far backward on his chair you get worried he's gonna take a patch of White Water stage to the back of the noggin. He's the product of an overactive empathy mechanism, situated in and of the desperation he sings about: "Fifty cents a bloody day/no child labor laws/Most them lil' babies died/ disease and alcohol, disease and alcohol." Holcombe "slings baloney against the wall" at the White Water Tavern with the aforementioned studio album in hand, his 15th such effort: "Pretty Little Troubles." Fayetteville's Dana Louise opens the show. SS

click to enlarge SACRED STEEL, REBORN: Robert Randolph & the Family Band bring some midweek revival to Revolution in support of their 2017 release, "Got Soul."
  • SACRED STEEL, REBORN: Robert Randolph & the Family Band bring some midweek revival to Revolution in support of their 2017 release, "Got Soul."

WEDNESDAY 6/7

ROBERT RANDOLPH AND THE FAMILY BAND

8 p.m. Revolution Room. $20-$25.

Organs are expensive beasts: They require a lot of capital up front to be installed, and a steady maintenance budget to maintain. So, for many black churches in the Pentecostal tradition, especially in the 1930s, pedal steel guitar became a stand-in. The church called it "sacred steel," and that was what Robert Randolph played in the House of God church in Orange, N.J., where he grew up. "It was all church music. It was a movement within our church and that's all we used to do," Randolph said on his website. He practiced — a lot — and became known in sacred steel circles as a prodigy, expertly peeling out riffs that sounded more like "Voodoo Child" than "Beulah Land," even though he hadn't been allowed to listen to secular music at home. Musicologists and college kids flocked to hear him play with his band in Brooklyn or as a revered guest with acts like North Mississippi Allstars and Medeski, Martin & Wood. Randolph added strings to the instrument (13, at one time, though by the looks of his latest album cover, he's whittled it back down to 7) and discovered the music of The Meters, Muddy Waters and The Allman Brothers. Eventually, he began developing what's now his signature sound: a funk-driven set with his ensemble, The Family Band, with whom he released "Got Soul" earlier this year. It's sweaty, frenetic rock with a blues underpinning, and it's easy to imagine how it might have moved the spirits — and the feet — of parishioners within the Church of the Living God tradition who heard it in its embryonic forms. This show is standing room only, which is just as well — having spun a few tracks from Randolph's latest, it's difficult to fathom sitting, anyway. NYC's Upright Man opens the show. SS

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WEDNESDAY 6/7

MOVIES IN THE PARK: 'LA LA LAND'

Sundown. First Security Amphitheater, Riverfront Park. Free.

Since the gif-worthy "Moonlight"/Best Picture debacle at the Oscars ceremony, moviegoers have flocked to check out Damien Chazelle's "La La Land" to see what all the fuss was about, or maybe just to grab a sparkly, choreographed respite from movies with heavier subject matter. Whatever preconceived notions you walk in with, it's a sunny choice of an opener for the always-free Movies in the Park series at the amphitheater, where guests are invited to bring coolers, chairs, kids and (leashed) dogs for a flick under the stars. Don't be late; the movie's opening number, "Another Day of Sun," is a whopper of a dance number and a callback to Busby Berkeley-era filmmaking. SS


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