Ashley McBryde takes her folky, roots-tinged tunes to the stage at Dugan's Pub, 8:30 p.m., free. The R-rated improv comedy group Red Octopus Theater opens its '70s-themed show "Caged Heat," 7:30 p.m., $8-$10. The show runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 20. Does Thursday night find you in the mood for some Nat King Cole or Glenn Miller? Check out Bob Boyd Sounds at Laman Library, 7 p.m., free. For some pop bombast in the vein of a more rocking Belle & Sebastian, check out King Arthur at White Water Tavern. Sleepy Kitten and Sea Nanners open the show, 10 p.m., $5. For something completely different, say, some chugging, circle-pit instigating hardcore, check out This Is Hell, with Decoder opening at Downtown Music, 7 p.m., $8 adv., $10 d.o.s.
For some over-the-top, Vaudeville-informed modern rock, Randall Shreve & The Sideshow will rock your skinny jeans right off those skinny legs, mister. 1 oz. Jig and The Matt Smith Group open the show at Juanita's, 9 p.m. Pound for pound, dollar for dollar, you will not get more bluegrass anywhere other than The Afterthought, which hosts Runaway Planet at 9 p.m., $7. If hot-rod heavy, throwback rockabilly is your bag, then check out Three Bad Jacks. Northwest Arkansas pop-punkers Dreamfast open the show at Maxine's, 8 p.m., $6 adv., $8 door. Bust a gut at The Loony Bin with the soft-R musings of funnyman Collin Moultin, 8 p.m. and 10:30, $10.
Big Silver — led by Little Rock mainstay and musical polymath Isaac Alexander — brings lush, ornate pop sounds to White Water Tavern, 10 p.m. $5. If you visit Cork, Ireland, for Christ's sake don't kiss the Blarney Stone, no matter what the tour guide tells you about good luck. The locals pee on it. Seriously. But you might just be able to kiss the beer-swilling punks in the Blarney Street Hooligans, though it might not bring you good luck. The band plays Maxine's with Sunday Valley at 8 p.m., $5. Discovery Nightclub has another jam-packed late night with Mayday By Midnight, DJs Hollywood, Ramon, Rufio, Jared and Joel Allenbaugh and performers Teresha Foxx, Tori Mathison and Dominique, 11 p.m. til 5 a.m., $12. PG-13 headlines at Cajun's Wharf, with Jim Mills during happy hour and DJ g-force between sets, 5 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m.