The To-Do List, Dec. 20 

click to enlarge PUNKSTERS


9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.

Score another point for the local music scene. You'd have to search far and wide to find another tribute band to cult hero Roky Erickson. As music nerds everywhere know, Erickson rose to late-'60s prominence as the lead singer of Texas-based psychedelic rockers 13th Floor Elevators. Arrested in 1969 for marijuana possession (of a lone joint), Erickson tried to escape a 10-year prison sentence by pleading insanity. As a result, Erickson was diagnosed as a schizophrenic and sent to a hospital for the criminally insane, where he was given intensive electroconvulsive therapy and Thorazine treatments. He emerged four years later a significantly changed man and a musician whose focus turned to paranoid, horror- and science fiction-influenced material. By 1982, he'd signed a legal affidavit declaring that a Martian had taken residence in his body. He drifted out of focus for nearly a decade, but in the last 20 years he's emerged as a cult hero, most recently as the subject of the critically acclaimed documentary “You're Gonna Miss Me.” Formed earlier this year, Bloody Hammer brings together five vets of dozens of local acts, including Clicking Beetle Bad Omen Band, Doktors for Bob and the Glands. Bloody Hammer plans to learn more than 50 Erickson songs and go out on short tours. Always entertaining local rockers Loch Ness Monster open.

FRIDAY 12/21


8 p.m., Vino's. $5.

A long devotee to seasonal shows, Localist presents a Christmas punk rock and rap blowout at Vino's. Young folks get top billing. Punk, in this case, seems to be a catchall for noise. Mother 33, from Russellville, has evolved from aggro-industrial to something still loud and fuzzy, but more direct. The duo makes its racket with a keytar, an active drum machine and a distorted mike. Appetite for Orange features a throaty lead singer and spindly guitar figures that spit and spurt often irrespective of the rest of the song. Call it gothic punk-pop. A new project from the Crisco Kids' Wesley Broadstone, Cinemahurt plays loud and fast and inevitably sounds 10 times better live than on their MySpace profile. Maxx, the lone rapper on the bill, has been rhyming since he was in third grade. Seen lately with Blockade, the performance group that sprang from Localist publisher T.J. Deeter's hip-hop school, Maxx crafts lyrics that belie his high school age.



9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $6.

Few local acts can set a mood like the Munks. Aaron Grimm's throaty, Tom-Waits-style lead vocals lend most everything a woozy, end-of-the-night tenor. But with violin, pedal and lap steel and piano augmenting band-typical bass, guitar and drums, the Munks' thoughtful arrangements give color to all the plaintiveness. On Saturday, the quintet celebrates the release of its sophomore album “Sing Dirty Songs.” Ho-Hum's Lenny Bryan produced the album, and from preview tracks streaming on the Munk's MySpace page, he's given the band's orchestration some extra room to breathe, a move that gives the music extra heft. Expect dirges and oompahs and songs about drinking and bad women. The $6 cover charge also buys a copy of the CD.


9 p.m., Revolution. $5.

Thanksgiving weekend always signals jam-packed local bills, but it's got nothing on Christmastime. Annually, Max Recordings hosts a line-up chock-full of local favorites. How 'bout this for a considered bill? The American Princes star as the local band made big-ish nationally, triumphantly returning home to preview songs from their forthcoming album. Not to be outdone, the Big Cats only play two or three times a year and feature a dude who plays with Green Day. Six months ago, no local band could touch the immediacy of the Moving Front's post-punk. They've since taken a long sabbatical to work on new material, which they'll premier at Revolution. If past gigs are any indication, Smoke Up Johnny, who've loudly fought their way up to the top of the local music heap, will close the show. Their success usually runs in direct proportion to the bar's.


2:05 p.m., Alltel Arena. $25.

n It's become an annual tradition: Early in the season, the basketball Hogs come to North Little Rock to let us centrally located folks get a peek at the team. Even with last Saturday's disappointing loss to Oklahoma, you can bet fans will represent in droves. For one, early signs point to new coach John Pelphrey being fairly awesome. Did you catch him yelling maniacally, with crazy eyes, and chest-bumping players after a dunk led to an Oklahoma time-out on Saturday? Razorback fans appreciate that kind of fire, especially when it manifests itself into a fiery defensive plan and a lot of fast-break points. Also, we're poised to have a solid year. We've got loads of size in the frontcourt and a lot of seasoned vets. Few players in the SEC can keep up with Sonny Weems and Patrick Beverly, and I'm convinced that Michael Washington is soon to emerge as a game-changing badass. The Hogs take on Appalachian State, a team that, thanks to Michigan, won't be sneaking up on anyone, regardless of the sport, in the next several years. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and the Alltel box office.

SUNDAY 12/23


6 p.m., Juanita's. $20 adv./$30 d.o.s.

Throw your hands in the air if you think melisma is ruining contemporary soul and R&B. Once upon a time, the genre was rooted in music of substance — gospel, blues, jazz — not Celine-Dion-style vocal acrobatics. Upscale Underground, the fledging local promotional company, seems to be fighting the good fight. In October, they brought rising Nu-soul sensation Dwele to town. On Sunday, they present Fort Worth throwback Keite Young, a singer/songwriter/instrumentalist who seems to be doing his best to channel D'Angelo. Which ain't a bad thing. Over sultry guitar plinks, Young's effortless groove flirts and flits between the urbane and the just plain down and dirty. Don't be surprised if you start seeing national press on Young and his new album, “The Rise and Fall of Keite Young,” six months from now. Upscale Underground seems committed to being ahead of the curve.

MONDAY 12/24


9 p.m., Markham 801. $5.

When family time becomes oppressive on Christmas Eve, Grim Muzik is there for you. For the fourth year, the local rap collective hosts a mammoth Christmas party, replete with two DJs, a free buffet and live performances by at least nine acts. Shew. Better hope your family is up for moving Christmas morning to Christmas afternoon. The party kicks off at 9 p.m., with DJs Tre and Ham-Ten on the ones and twos. The concert follows at 11 p.m. Shea Marie, who's angling to fill the local female rap void left by XXzotic, performs solo, as does Little Rock's most compelling and prolific rapper, 607. Doing the “Jump Rope” and other club favorites, local duo Dre & Jontai also perform. Otherwise, the bill features nearly all the largest local rap cliques: impressive high-school age crew Combination, longstanding innovators Backyard Ent., rising crew Conduit and street-focused collectives Tho'd Studio Ent. and 501 Entertainment. Then, of course, there's Grim Muzik, the Wu-Tang of Arkansas. Sixteen members strong, Grim is loud and menacing and never boring.



8 p.m., Revolution. $15.

“Guitar Hero” enthusiasts with “Possum Kingdom” stuck in their heads will join grunge holdouts on the day after Christmas to celebrate the return of the Toadies, the South's answer to Bush. After releasing their mainstream breakthrough “Rubberneck” in 1995, the band took six years to put out a follow-up, which found them largely abandoning Nirvana-influenced grunge-pop in favor of sludge-metal. But by the end of 2001, they'd split, with lead singer Todd Lewis moving on to form the Burden Brothers, whose alt-rock has attracted a large grassroots following. After being on hiatus for six years again, the Toadies have reformed. “Let's face it; the music industry isn't the same as it was 10-15 years ago,” the band says on its MySpace page. “Bands don't sound like the Toadies, or the Pixies, or Nirvana, or the old Pearl Jam … Music needs redemption, dammit.”




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