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To-do list, May 29 

THURSDAY 5/29

 

BLUE MOUNTAIN

9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10.

 

Where, oh where, have all the first-generation roots rockers gone? Uncle Tupelo? Long gone. Wilco? Surely you haven't been asleep that long. Jayhawks? Splitsville. Even Jay Farrar, long the torchbearer for dusty-road anthems, is putting horns and beeps and glitches in new Son Volt material. For those still lamenting the end of No Depression — the magazine and the genre — a flicker of light: Blue Mountain is back together. After six years apart, the seminal Oxford, Miss., act launched a tour last year (it included a Little Rock date) to see if reuniting would take. There were reasons to think it might be contentious. Lead singer Cary Hudson and bassist Laurie Stirratt essentially got married on the road and then divorced on the road, and drummer Matt Brennan had retired from music. But so far, it's been smooth sailing. So smooth, in fact, that Blue Mountain has recorded a new album, to be released in July. Local roots outfit the Good Time Ramblers, which includes most of the members of the Munks, opens the show.

 

 

SUMMER MELTDOWN

10 p.m., Cornerstone Pub. $5.

 

Overstuffed local rap bills pop up just about every week, but it's been a long while since one featured arguably the three best street acts in town. Big Drew, from North Little Rock, has long been one of the A-state's most prolific (he brags on his MySpace page that he's the “Lil Wayne of Arkansas”), steadily dropping Arkansas-repping jams about how great he is. It's not all money, cars and girls. On a new track, “Imagination,” he brags,  “I'm a player with a throwed imagination/boppers fascinated by my cold conversation.” No one in rap — anywhere — does street nihilism like E-Dubb (AKA EW Bush). It helps to have a voice that sounds like he's been inhaling cigars and drinking pure grain since he was 12. Dubb releases an album in June, so look out for new jams. Then there's Grim Muzik, the massive local collective, which usually has about 15 people on stage and always sounds loud and menacing. Also on the bill: Dre and Jontae, Tho'd Studio Ent., Sean West, Pimp Slap, D-Mite, Sunny Side Click and Autumn.

 

 

 

FRIDAY 5/30

 

MAX RECORDINGS SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY SHOW

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

 

Pop the champagne (or PBR), Max Recordings is seven. Long the standard- bearer for smart, local music, always packaged exceedingly well, Max isn't just celebrating itself, it's celebrating the release of two new albums. The Good Fear, based mostly in Fayetteville, plays an expansive brand of Southern rock and includes current and former members of White Whale, Lucero, the New Amsterdams, Thee Higher Burning Fire and Woods Afire. When the Good Fear is on, they might be the best of the bunch. Their new album is called “Dirty Lowdown Adventure,” Isaac Alexander, the lead singer of Big Silver and the Easys and the drummer for the Boondogs, takes a break from collaboration for “See Through Me,” his stunner of a solo debut. Look out for dreamy meditations on nostalgia, fate and love. Another Max stand-out, the pop-rock band Grand Serenade, opens the show.

 

 

DOWNTOWN MUSIC GRAND OPENING

8 p.m., Downtown Music. $6.

 

The local metal hub for more than half a decade now, Downtown Music celebrates its sixth anniversary with the grand opening of its new space. Just a few storefronts down from its old address, the new location, at 211 W. Capitol, gives the venue double the square footage and a larger stage. Co-owners Jay Lightle and Alan Wells, who also play in the band Shitfire, have also added a long bar and updated the PA system. Lightle and Wells experimented with serving barbecue in their old spot (it was amazingly good). Now, likely beginning in June, they're planning on serving home style cooking during lunch hours, Monday through Friday, and on nights when they host concerts. The two-day celebration starts at 8 p.m. and costs $6 each night. On Friday, Sychosys, Drop Dead Syndicate, Rusty Hook, SeaHag and Borderline Blasphemy perform. Saturday features Monoxide Project, Wishtribe, Shitfire, Bloodletting Device, Woodswyck and Divine Existence.

 

 

SATURDAY 5/31

 

THE GUESS WHO

8 p.m., Timberwood Amphitheater, Magic Springs. $45.99.

 

n Now in only its sixth year, Magic Spring's Timberwood Concert Series seems to have made the jump from hosting county-fair-level performers to being one of the state's top regular attractions. Well, there are still a few fair regulars in the mix — classic rockers Starship (June 14) probably take the cake — but by and large, series organizers have booked top-notch talent:  popular young rockers Flyleaf (June 21), R&B megastar Sean Kingston (July 5), Morris Day (Aug. 23). The series opener ain't too shabby either. Canada's favorite classic rock sons the Guess Who (the first Canadian rock group to hit number one in the States) are sure to inspire sleeveless shirts, fist-pumping and lots of full-throated singing along to “American Woman.” Magic Springs encourages repeat visitors. The ticket price above is for one day for an adult. A season pass is $49.99.

 

 

BLUES PATROL

8 p.m., Cornerstone Pub. $2.*

 

Blues Patrol tore up local stages in the '80s with their fiery brand of blues. Now, the wildly popular act is reuniting at Cornerstone Pub to celebrate the release of “We Walked the Streets Like Giants,” a DVD that pairs contemporary footage of Blues Patrol vet Gil Franklin, who's still active around town, with archival interviews and footage of the band performing in its heyday. Former Circuit Judge David Bogard put together the film, a 10-minute snippet of which will screen at the event. Longtime blues jam organizer Jeff Weeden hosts. A jam, featuring Charlotte Taylor, 420 Blues Band and other local blues players, precedes and follows the Blues Patrol's performance. *Admission is free to anyone wearing a Blues Patrol T-shirt. DVDs, normally $15, will be sold for half-price to those in Blues Patrol T-shirts, too.

 

 

BIG BOOTS/ CHRIS DENNY

8:30 p.m., Vino's. $6.

 

Give it up for a local bill that doesn't really go together. There was a time, a not too distant time, when just about every week you could catch disparate local acts — a hip-hop group here, a bluegrass band there — teaming up to put on a show. It was worlds more fun than the sonic matchmaking that's been the norm of late. The Wilco (or are they the Son Volt?) of the Uncle Tupelo-style divide that followed the break-up of popular local rockers Sugar and the Raw (once upon a time, Sugar in the Raw), Big Boots does a sort of Brit-rock inflected Southern pop. Chris Denny, long known 'round these parts as the kid with the golden voice, is beginning to stretch his reputation into other markets. He's got a big booking agency and an important PR firm behind him. He's apparently taken meetings with Rick Rubin and other big-time record company brass, but at least for the time being, he's still here, singing songs about wandering and trains in a high, lonesome warble. Catch him before he's gone.

 

 

WEDNESDAY 6/4

 

‘E.T.'

Sundown, Riverfest Amphitheatre. Free.

 

Grab a blanket, ice up the cooler and head down to the River Market. With drive-ins in short supply in these parts, the annual “Movies in the Park” series in the Riverfest Amphitheatre is your best chance to commune with nature and catch a flick. All for the low, low price of … free. The series, which runs every Wednesday through July 23, kicks off with Steven Spielberg's “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.” Now 26 years old (how's that make you feel, '70s and '80s babies?), it remains one of the greatest family adventure films of all time. If there are sentient beings out there somewhere, they owe Spielberg some major PR dough. Before “E.T.” (and to some degree “Close Encounters”), we'd seen few, if any, examples of friendly aliens. The bike riding through the night sky scene is sure to play well under the moonlight.

 

 

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