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Arts and Entertainment News, Dec. 6

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Jeff Nichols' debut film, “Shotgun Stories,” has been nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. The drama, filmed in Pulaski and Lonoke counties, landed in the John Cassavetes award category for directors, producers and writers of feature films made for under $500,000.The nomination follows wins at film festivals in Austin, Texas; Newport, R.I., and Seattle.

In case you haven't gotten the memo, the Arkansas Times is hosting the Little Rock premiere of “Shotgun Stories” on Friday, Dec. 14. The screening is at 7 p.m. at Market Street Cinema with an after-party to follow at Sticky Fingerz featuring performances by Ben Nichols of Lucero and Smoke Up Johnny. Tickets, which are limited, are $20 and available at the Times office, Sticky Fingerz or Market Street Cinema. Call Lindsey Millar at 375-2985 for more information.

After months of speculation, local rap duo Suga City has secured a distribution deal with Koch, a national indie label that has put out albums by folks like Jim Jones, UNK and Styles P. Long affiliated with local collective Conduit, the duo, which includes Arkansas Bo and Goines, is aiming for a mid-'08 release, according to Conduit head dude Epiphany.

In other Conduit news, Jordan Atwater's H.A.P.S. local music video series just released a video for Epiphany's song “Can't Tell,” featuring R&B singer JP. You can find it on the Times entertainment blog “Rock Candy.”

Lucero will play a rare, intimate show at White Water Tavern on Friday, Dec. 28. Tickets are $20 and White Water is limiting the crowd to 175. Organizers say tickets are selling quickly. Tickets are available online at www.lastchancemusic.com or at White Water. Smoke Up Johnny and San Antokyo will open the show.

A clip has been released of “Pineapple Express,” the big budget directorial effort from Little Rock native David Gordon Green. The action-comedy, which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, is being produced by Judd Apatow for release Aug. 8, 2008. See the clip on “Rock Candy.”

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