VELVET KENTE9:30 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $5.
This time last year, Velvet Kente
had only a handful of live shows under its belt. Observant local scenesters might have remembered the band's front man, joshua, from his live performances from several years prior, or know that “Project Runway” star Korto Momolu used his song “binti” to debut her collection at New York Fashion Week. But practically speaking, Velvet Kente was an unknown quantity last January. By March, the funk-rock-Afrobeat hybrid was unquestionably regarded as one of the state's finest. What happened? The Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase. Which is not to say that the Showcase made Velvet Kente or that the band wouldn't have blown up on its own, but the Showcase certainly helped speed things along. On Thursday, get a taste of what makes last year's champs so special and make sure you come back a week later as we begin the search for this year's in the 2010 Musicians Showcase. Local pop-rockers Whale Fire
, who also made a strong showing in last year's Showcase, share the bill.