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'30 Americans' debuts at Arts Center





Best Western Inn of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs.

The keynote speaker at the 28th Ozark Mountain UFO Conference, held annually at a Best Western in picturesque Eureka Springs, is Richard Dolan, an author and 9/11-truther with scraggly gray hair and a closely cropped beard. His lecture is titled "UFOs, the Real Power Struggle and the End Game." Other special guests this year include crop circle expert Barbara Lamb; Nikki Pattillo, the psychic and self-proclaimed "star child"; investigative journalist Linda Moulton Howe, who has studied time travel, "self-activating software and machines" and "thermal plasmas of unknown origin" all over the world; Kewaunee Lapseritis, a former "dowsing" instructor at the Wisconsin Society for Psychic Research and a "world authority on the Bigfoot/Sasquatch phenomenon"; and Peter Davenport, director since 1994 of the National UFO Reporting Center, who previously worked as a "fisheries observer aboard Soviet fishing vessels" and saw his first UFO over the St. Louis municipal airport in the summer of 1954. There will also be a cash bar and a screening of a 1975 made-for-TV movie called "The UFO Incident," described on the conference's website as "Recounting Barney & Betty Hill's Experiences Recalled During Hypnosis of the First Alien Abduction Event of Modern Times!" To skip this conference would be to cast a vote for xenophobia on a cosmic scale, or anyway it would be a mistake. WS



Arkansas Arts Center.

There has been a lot of well-deserved hoopla about the coming of "30 Americans," an exhibition of four decades of work by African-American artists. Much of that has been generated by the anticipation of seeing Kehinde Wiley's giant paintings that play off Neoclassical scenes of important figures in history and the abstract expressionism of legendary street artist Basquiat. Here's more to look for: Flat Jacob Lawrencesque paintings by Nina Chanel Abney, odd and ominous oils by John Bankston, wondrous Asian-inspired works on wood by Iona Rozeal Brown, iconoclastic paintings by self-taught artist Purvis Young, an 8-foot-long silhouette cut-out by Kara Walker, surreal images by Wangechi Mutu ... well, one could go on and on. Better to go to the Arts Center and see for yourself. All the works are from the collection of Mera and Don Rubell, whose family exhibits the collection in Miami. The show runs through June 21; the Arts Center's website has a calendar of show-related events, including noon-hour "Feed Your Mind Friday" tours, a talk by the collectors, films about the artists, "Assembly Required" interactive nights for adults, poetry and programming for teens. LNP



8 p.m. White Water Tavern. $25.

"I was not even born yet when my father first tried to kill me." That's the first line of Billy Joe Shaver's autobiography, a brisk and funny ghostwritten book called "Honky Tonk Hero" (a reference to the 1973 Waylon Jennings record for which Shaver wrote all the songs). His father was Buddy, who was half-French, half-Blackfoot Sioux and "one-hundred-percent mean." "The violence of that night set the stage for my childhood," he writes of the night Buddy tried to kill his mother. "In many ways, I think that night is the reason I write country songs." This makes a kind of satisfying Freudian sense: Shaver's songs, including classics like "Georgia on a Fast Train" and "Live Forever," are populated by characters like Buddy — angry, powerless and desperate men, mostly unrepentant assholes and sketchy drunks. "I've lost parts of three fingers," Shaver writes later in the book, "broke my back, suffered a heart attack and a quadruple bypass, had a steel plate put in my neck and 136 stiches in my head, fought drugs and booze, spent the money I had and buried my wife, son and mother in the span of one year." That list overlooks the man he shot outside of Waco, Texas, in 2007. He played a show the night he got out of jail. On stage that night he said, "Don't forget to pray for me, and tell your kids to pray for me, too." WS



10 p.m. South on Main. $8 (cash only).

Anyone not too physically or emotionally wrecked by the Billy Joe Shaver show should look to South on Main afterward for a late-night bill featuring two of Little Rock's finest young bands. Newcomers Bad Match will play impassioned retro rock that sounds like Cat Power on caffeine, or like Adele if she weren't so British and wealthy and relatively comfortable. Front woman Sarah Stricklin made a guest mix for the Times last year that featured songs by Fiona Apple, Frank Ocean and Astrud Gilberto, alongside Bobby McFerrin's 1986 weirdo-sensual classic "Thinkin' About Your Body" — it's a lot like that. Opening the show will be Little Rock's The Coasts, whose 2014 debut LP "Racilia" made our top 10 local records of the year list. They make lavish, panoramic indie rock, well produced and fragile and likeable. WS



8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., Revolution. $25.

Hannibal Buress has been an unremarkable high school football player, a Pita Pit employee and, briefly, homeless. He has been a writer on "Saturday Night Live," though virtually none of his sketches aired and he mostly just sat around and slept. He has been a sidekick on an absurdist late night show, "The Eric Andre Show," on which he rarely spoke but did all sorts of other things, like rap in costume as Morpheus from "The Matrix." He has been a rising comedian "to watch" for at least six years. He has released three highly acclaimed specials, is a regular guest star on Comedy Central's "Broad City" and, last year, very likely devastated Bill Cosby's legacy — deservedly, if probably unintentionally — with a joke that went viral and reignited the media's interested in several long-overlooked rape allegations. He is often described as "laconic." Or as Mike Birbiglia put it: "Hannibal has my favorite quality in a standup comedian, which is that he doesn't stress me out." This is maybe the best comedy show Little Rock will see this year, and, due to demand, Revolution has added a second, late-night show at 10:30 p.m. WS



7:30 p.m. Juanita's. $30.

Country, rock, bluegrass, folk and now blues — Steve Earle has done it all since the release of his platinum-selling debut "Guitar Town" way back in 1986. Earle and his longtime backing band the Dukes roll into Juanita's Wednesday in support of "Terraplane," a rollicking homage to Texas-style blues that stays true to the style while still embodying the best of Earle's signature wit and grit. Earle's long career since his initial mainstream success has been a journey through the soul of American music — very few musicians could pull off the sort of genre-hopping that has marked his 21st century career. Expect a show with a little something for almost everyone. New York-based husband and wife duo the Mastersons (who played with Earle's band before going solo in 2012) open things up with an alt-country sound — just don't expect things to stay there. MR


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