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To-do list, March 26 

THURSDAY 3/26

 

AMERICAN PRINCES

9 p.m., Revolution. $10.

 

Everyone's favorite possibly-soon-to-blow-up local rockers return to Little Rock for the second time in a month. Even with guitarist and vocalist Collins Kilgore living in New York, the band convenes at home with just about seasonal regularity. With shows booked through April at all the clubs in New York you would go to if you lived in New York — Bowery Electric, Mercury Lounge, Arlene's Grocery — best count on this being your last opportunity to catch the Princes until it's sweaty hot outside. They're back in town after a week at SXSW (where, undoubtedly, it is already sweaty hot), where they played an early gig sponsored by buzzy music blog Aquarium Drunkard, a nighttime showcase, a bill with 14 other bands you've definitely never heard of and the It-tent of the whole shebang, the Fader Fort (they opened it; Kanye closed it). So they should be ready to rock. The See, fresh from an impressive showing in the Times Musicians Showcase, opens the show. Despite earlier promises, the trio won't celebrate the release of its debut CD, recorded, incidentally, by the Princes Will Boyd. Look for a headlining gig for that in the near future. The show's open to ages 18 and older. LM.  

 

 

OZARK FOOTHILLS FILM FEST

12 p.m., Independence Hall, University of Arkansas Community College, Batesville. $5-$25.

 

In its eighth year, the Ozark Foothills Film Fest continues to draw diverse fare from places far flung: the narrative short “Dolls and Houses” (Israel); a survey of the neighborhood where jazz was born, “Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans,” and the doc “Throw Down Your Heart,” about Bela Fleck's search for the roots of the banjo in Africa. But, perhaps more so than in years past, the festival's program embraces Arkansas filmmakers. The drama “The River Within,” directed by Zach Heath and shot mostly along the Spring River, makes its world premiere. Alex Karpovsky's narrative feature “Woodpecker,” about the fanatical birdwatchers who've descended on the Arkansas bayou in search for the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, debuts regionally. Additionally, on Saturday, there'll be a panel discussion, “Whither the Newspaper Critic?” featuring Philip Martin and the Onion A.V. Club's Noel Murray, and a concert with New Orleans vocalist John Boutte. The festival continues through Sunday. For a complete schedule, visit www.ozarkfoothillsfilmfest.org. LM.

 

FRIDAY 3/27

 

PICKIN' AND WINNIN'

5 p.m., Arlington Hotel, Hot Springs. $25-$40.

 

The brainchild of Memphis singer/songwriter Keith Sykes, long a regular presence in Central Arkansas, this two night-showcase gathers 10 acclaimed songwriters for some pickin' and some grinnin' and some songs you probably know by heart. Sykes, who's penned songs for the Judds, John Prine and Jerry Jeff Walker might be best known for “Volcano,” which Jimmy Buffett made a hit. Those sharing the spotlight with Sykes include Richard Leigh (Crystal Gayle crossed over with his “Don't It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue”) and Susan Gibson (she penned the Dixie Chicks' biggest hit, “Wide Open Spaces”), popular Texas songwriter Larry Joe Taylor, Michael Hearne, Jimmy Davis, Jed Zimmerman, Nancy Apple, Blair Combest and Delta Joe Sanders. The event kicks off on Friday with a meet-and-greet reception with the songwriters, followed by a songwriters-in-the-round concert at 8 p.m. The finale, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, features individual sets by each songwriter. Tickets for Saturday only are $25; it's $40 for both nights. Proceeds benefit the Tim Mathis Memorial Scholarship Fund. Special room rates are available at the hotel. LM.

 

 

PAT GREEN

9 p.m., Revolution. $30.

 

Hailing from a family with nine siblings, Texan Pat Green began his country music career as a member of Texas Tech's FarmHouse fraternity, gigging at the house and local bars in Lubbock. Since 1995, he's recorded 10 studio albums, including several independent works and one for BNA. Perhaps he's grateful to his stepfather, who apparently fired him from his fuel-wholesaling job while watching him count money from the previous weekend's gigs in hopes of lighting a candle beneath his ass. It worked. Soon Green caught the ear of Willie Nelson and began touring with him and other country stars, including label mate Kenny Chesney. His appearance at the 1998 Willie Nelson Fourth of July Picnic marked the start of his road to national recognition. Soon, he was playing sold out shows throughout Texas, including Houston's Astrodome, while selling more than a quarter million records without major-label support. A decade later, successful albums such as “Wave on Wave” from 2003 and the brand new “What I'm For” have kept Green in the public eye on stages nationwide. With his latest album debuting at number two on the Billboard Country charts, look for him to become even more of a household name in years to come. Tour mate Randy Houser opens the 21-and-up show. PP.

 

 

 

ARKANSAS NEW PLAY FESTIVAL

6 p.m., Nadine Baum Studios, Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville. $5 per play.

 

Thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Department of Arkansas Heritage, nine new plays by Arkansas playwrights debut in Fayetteville this weekend. All focus on some element of Arkansas. Four come from high school students and the other five from established playwrights. Actors will tackle each play with script in hand and without props or sets. Perhaps most anticipated is Werner Trieschmann's “Disfarmer” (7 p.m., Fri.), about the strange, posthumously acclaimed Heber Springs photographer. Other featured plays include “Look Away” (8:30 p.m., Fri.), by organizer Robert Ford. Based on a true story, it follows two black men escaping a lynch mob in Mississippi County. “Vinegar Pie and Chicken Bread” (12 p.m., Sat.), by A.E. Edwards, is an adaptation of Margaret Bolsterli's book of the same name about the frontier diaries of Nannie Stillwell Jackson. “Ivanhoe, Arkansas” (3:30 p.m., Sat.), by Sherry Kramer, weaves a tale of a “Passion Play” rehearsal with the construction of a NASCAR track and the emergence of a pack of white supremacists. Finally, Kevin Cohea's “Sundown Town” (8 p.m., Sat.) tells the tale of Healing Springs, Arkansas, which is changed in 1918 when a black drifter arrives. LM.

 

 

SATURDAY 3/28

 

ARKANSAS TWISTERS

7:05, Alltel Arena. $11-$28.

 

Even though the Arena Football League cancelled its season this year (the economy, natch), its spin-off league AF2 soldiers on. I guess down here in the hinterlands, same as in places like Amarillo, Lexington and Tulsa, we treasure our pro sports teams no matter what shape or size. As long as there are cheerleaders (check), some violence (check) and T-shirt cannons (surely). The Twisters, who're expected to hold their own in the AF2 again this season, open against Bossier-Shreveport. New to the team this year: Former UA quarterback turned receiver turned quality football player Robert Johnson. LM.

 

SUNDAY 3/29

 

NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

3 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $17-$58.

 

As part of its annual American Residencies Program, Arkansas gets a rare chance to see and interact with the National Symphony Orchestra through Tuesday. There are a number of appearances throughout the state leading up to this performance, including a concert at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, at Reynolds Performance Hall at UCA (see our calendar for more). Conductor Ivan Fischer leads the orchestra through the same program at each stop. It'll include “The Star Spangled Banner” along with selections from Dvorak, Wagner, Leonard Bernstein and Hungarian composer Leo Weiner. LM.

 

 

MONDAY 3/30

 

YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND

8:30 p.m., Revolution. $20.

 

Talk about pickin' and grinnin'. These progressive, country- bluegrass jammers seem to be simply buddies who like to make music together. The band's history stretches back to when banjoist Dave Johnston and mandolinist Jeff Austin were still in college. Having met in Urbana, Ill., Johnston asked Austin to join and sing in his band the Bluegrassholes. Austin, who played no instrument, revealed to Johnston that he owned a mandolin, which prompted Johnston to tell him to come on down and “play anything, just play fast and loud.” Austin is also known to break into freeform scats during songs. With nine albums behind them, five of which are volumes of live recordings, this all-ages, taper-friendly show could stretch for a while. PP

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