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To-do list, March 27

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THURSDAY 3/27

THE DREAMING/ AVI GHOSH

9 p.m., Juanita's. $7.

Pull out the eyeliner and black shoes/shirt/pants/lipstick/fingerless gloves. It's time to get angst-y. First up, from Hollywood, it's the Dreaming, a new group led by Christopher Hall, the former lead singer of Stabbing Westward. The band may look like the Lost Boys, but even with lyrics like, “you're nothing, you're no one, you're dead to me,” the band favors less of the industrial punch of Stabbing Westward and more straightforward melodic, sing-along alt-rock. (Everyone, even the eye-shaded, likes to sing along.) In the opening slot, Avi Ghosh makes his local debut. The 23-year-old moved to Little Rock last year to work for Acxiom, all the while continuing to write, record, perform and produce new material in his bedroom. You wouldn't guess that “Severing the Tie,” Ghosh's new album, was recorded at home. There's a crispness, a big sound and a strong sense of melody in his music that stands out in the mix of industrial, aggro alt-rock. This marks Ghosh's first album released under his own name — he previously recorded and released under dEFY and claims to have sold upwards of 4,000 CDs independently. He seems to be popular in Germany. It might be time for hometown crowds to catch up. All ages welcome.

FRIDAY 3/28

‘FAT PIG'

7:30 p.m., Weekend Theater. $10-$14.

Arkansas culture hounds will remember this Neil LaBute play for launching the career of Little Rock native and Hendrix alum Ashlie Atkinson, who played the main character in the play's original run. A funny, scathing dramatization of the way in which our culture discriminates against the obese, “Fat Pig” centers on a good-looking guy, Tom, who falls for a plus-size woman, Helen. Scenes of the couple's blossoming relationship contrast with scenes of Tom amidst his co-workers: Carter, a cynic in the standard LaBute sadist mold, and Jeannie, Tom's ex, who's not afraid to unleash scorned-woman wrath on Helen's physique. The play, like most of Labute's, is darkly humorous, but might, in spots, make you feel bad about laughing. Duane Jackson directs. “Fat Pig” runs Fridays and Saturdays through April 12.

SATURDAY 3/29

DESIGNER'S CHOICE FASHION PREVIEW

7 p.m., Clear Channel Metroplex. $20-$35.

Isn't Little Rock fashion-forward all of a sudden? Wasn't it just last season that the biggest stage local designers saw was the front porch of Ciao Baci? Now, just months after the Delta Style fashion show at the Arkansas Arts Center drew several hundred folks out on a rainy night, the Designer's Choice Fashion Preview aspires to an even larger audience. Mychael Knight, a former “Project Runway” contestant who's gone on to date Brandy and design clothes for Ciara and Queen Latifah, hosts the showcase of the latest from eight local designers: Georgia Ashmore, Andrea Jenkins, Missy Lipps, Erin Lorenzen, Marcus Lewis, Korto Momolu, Natasha Rawls-Dixon and Stephanie Thomas. A fashion expo will precede the preview at 5:30 p.m. Admission is steep, relative to past events, but a model I know from around the way says that preparation for this has been on a whole other level, so bring high expectations with your nice pair of jeans.

LORENZEN'S LAST DAY

8 a.m.-6 p.m., Lorenzen and Co. Booksellers. Half price books.

Full disclosure: I spent more than a year loitering behind the cash register, dusting bookshelves and reading thousands of back cover book blurbs at Lorenzen and Co. Booksellers not too long ago. It was a great job, even if it didn't fit my post-collegiate-haze aspiration to land a job where I could read all day long. Still, just surveying shelves and catching fleeting glimpses of sold books on their way into paper sacks expanded and provoked my literary interests immeasurably. Who could envision a cozier store in which to browse, full of tight bookcase passageways, tiny rooms, worn Oriental rugs and sun-bleached armchairs? Then, of course, there's Rod Lorenzen, the store's owner and namesake, who's been a force in the Little Rock book business off, but mostly on, for more than 30 years. He opened the Paperback Writer (which later became WordsWorth) in 1975 and Lorenzen in 1990. You'd be hard-pressed to find a bookseller with more encyclopedic knowledge or an easier smile. After Saturday, when all of the store's remaining books will be half off, there will be no local major retailer of used books. Who cares if you can buy a used copy of “Go Down, Moses” on Amazon for a dollar? I want the unexpected. Go tell Rod you'll miss him and pick up something strange for the road. It goes to a good cause: All proceeds from the last day's sale will go to local literacy projects.

MISS GAY REVOLUTION

8 p.m., Revolution. $10.

Michael Brown, a longtime manager at Discovery and a DJ who goes by nom de turntables Mandonna, thinks he might be the only straight promoter of Miss Gay USA in the country. “The art of female impersonation” is how he describes it, but some of the contestants might take issue with that characterization. Like RuPaul once pointed out, “How many women do you know who wear seven-inch heels, four-foot wigs and skintight dresses?” Not to delve too deep in semantics: This is men dressing up as women and competing in a contest that adheres to the traditional pageant formula. Pre-show, contestants participate in an interview with judges. At the event, queens battle it out, gracefully, in an evening gown section, a talent portion and an onstage question. The winner of this event goes on to compete in Miss Gay Arkansas, which, of course, sends a finalist to Miss Gay USA. RK Collections sponsors and contributes its fashion show expertise to the production. Brown says if this event goes well, he hopes to hold a monthly dance event geared to the gay community at Revolution.

SUNDAY 3/30

ROCKSTAR TASTE OF CHAOS TOUR

4 p.m., Riverfest Amphitheatre. $27.

The premier hard rock festival on the road right now makes a stop in Little Rock. Yeah, it's a Sunday fairly early in the afternoon, but I suspect you can rally. So-Cal's Avenged Sevenfold — the only band to headline the Warped Tour and Ozzfest — leads the pack behind its latest self-titled, self-produced album, which debuted last year at number four on the Billboard charts. Atreyu, from Orange County, Calif., may be named for the kid in “The Neverending Story,” but they kick out punchy hard rock. Hugely popular British metal band Bullet for My Valentine comes through on only its second stateside tour. Plus, there are bands like Blessthefall, from Arizona, and Mucc, from Japan, that sound in the neighborhood of what you'd expect.

MONDAY 3/31

PHANTOM PLANET

8 p.m., Juanita's. $10 adv./$12 d.o.s.

Chances are if you know Phantom Planet you're good at pop culture trivia. The band first came onto the scene when founding — but not current — drummer Jason Schwartzman started to get rave reviews for his role in “Rushmore.” A little farther down the road, the group's sunny anthem “California” became the theme song of “The O.C.” But on the eve of the release of Phantom Planet's fourth album, and first in four years, the band seems poised to become a band you know simply because they're a really sharp pop-rock band. On “Raise the Dead,” to be released in mid-April through emo giant Fueled by Ramon (home of the likes of Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco and Paramore), Phantom Planet sounds incredibly self-assured. The lead single, “Do the Panic,” is infectious, jittery pop-punk that's sure to blow up on the web or wherever it is songs blow up for the kids these days. Local shimmering pop-rockers Kingsdown open. All ages are welcome.

TUESDAY 4/1

ELECTRIFY YOUR STRINGS!

7 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $24.

Central Arkansas loves the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Its holiday shows at Alltel Arena are always jammed tight with folks. Now, all those adoring fans have a chance to see what is, as organizer John O'Keefe terms it, “essentially, Trans-Siberian Orchestra without the fireworks.” A slightly stripped down version of TSO led by lead electric violinist Mark Wood will join local high school musicians in creating a full-fledged rock orchestra. Wood, whose resume is pretty staggering, trained at Juilliard, studied under Leonard Bernstein, has worked with Lenny Kravitz, and most recently appears in a Pepsi commercial performing a Kanye West hip-hop update of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” He's also the creator of the seven-string fretted electric Viper violin. In the days leading up to the concert, Wood will hold workshops with local orchestra students, focusing on improvisation and composition of their string instruments. All proceeds from the event will go back into music education in public schools.

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