THURSDAY 9/25-SUNDAY 9/28
ACANSA ARTS FESTIVAL
Various venues, prices. acansaartsfestival.org.
You've read elsewhere in the Times' Entertainment section about ACANSA events "Disfarmer," Werner Trieschmann's play at the Argenta Community Theater, and musicians St. Paul and the Broken Bones at South on Main. (Disfarmer runs 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; St. Paul, which performs at 9 p.m. Saturday, is sold out.) But there's more to the festival: Art events, dance, puppetry, singing, lunchtime talks and music by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
On Thursday, Sept. 25, Anita Davis will discuss art displayed at the Bernice Garden in the garden, Daisy Bates and Main Street, at noon. That evening, the ACANSA Gallery Hop (with trolley transport) will include stops at 14 galleries in Little Rock and North Little Rock from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (see the Arts listings for details). There will be refreshments at the galleries; tickets are $20. International performer Hector Olivera will perform on his touring organ, "The King," at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1101 N. Mississippi Ave., from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.; tickets are $20 (students $10). Mime Bill Bowers tells the story of his life and career at the Scottish Rite Temple Auditorium from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.; tickets are $20 (students $10).
At noon Friday, UALR history professor Dr. Thomas E. Kaiser will discuss the exhibit "The Wartime Escape: Margret and H.A. Rey's Journey from France" at noon at the Laman Public Library Argenta Branch, 420 Main St., North Little Rock. Friday night, rock and R&B trio Bat-Or Kalo — bassist Mack McKinney, drummer Erick Worrell and Kalo — will perform at Vino's from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. The Street Corner Symphony a capella group from Nashville will sing at the Connor Performing Arts Center at Pulaski Academy at 7 p.m.; tickets are $20 (students $10).
Artists in the Park at MacArthur Park, with artist booths, a quick draw competition, live music and children's events, runs from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday. The Dallas Black Dance Theatre, with a mixed repertory of modern jazz, ethnic and spiritual works, will perform from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at North Little Rock High School East; VIP tickets of $50 will include dinner with the dancers after the performance; otherwise tickets are $20 (students $10). Phil Huber's "Suspended Animation" puppetry show is 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Temple; $50 VIP tickets include a reception with the performers; otherwise, tickets are $20.
On Sunday, Ballet Arkansas and Arkansas Festival Ballet will perform in an event called "A Pointe of Chorus" at the Lucy Cabe Theater at Wildwood Park, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Musicians Finger Food will play between the ballet performances. There are $50 VIP tickets or $30 box lunch tickets available. Or you can skip the performances and join a box lunch picnic at the park from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for $15. "Suspended Animation" repeats at 3 p.m. at the Ron Robinson Theater; tickets are $20 (students $10). LNP
THE AVETT BROTHERS
8 p.m. Walmart AMP. $32-$53.50.
The Avett Brothers are actually brothers, Scott and Seth, plus some other non-family, but the most interesting member of the group might be their manager, a tennis pro turned venture capitalist named Dolphus Ramseur. "While working at country clubs I learned the gift of gab," Ramseur said, "and this has been a big benefit in the music business." It's Ramseur who spent hundreds of thousands in old-school marketing money to make the unknown North Carolina indie-folk band a widely known North Carolina indie-folk group. Since then, the group has performed with Bob Dylan, recorded with Rick Rubin and been nominated for multiple Grammys. And Ramseur apparently did it without even signing a contract. "I know a lot of people think I'm crazy not to have a contract with the Brothers," he told Billboard a few years ago. "But as my mother says, you're only as good as the person signing the piece of paper." WS
FRIDAY 9/26- SATURDAY 9/27
JR'S LIGHTBULB CLUB 25th ANNIVERSARY
10 p.m. JR's Lightbulb Club, Fayetteville. Free.
The JR in JR's Lightbulb Club is Jimmy Rapert, who opened the Fayetteville venue, which plays an essential role in the city's music scene, in September 1989. The rest of the name came from the bleakness of the space prior to its renovation, most of which Rapert handled himself. "When we first took over the place, we were downstairs and there weren't any light fixtures," Rapert recently told the Fayetteville Flyer. "There were just bulbs hanging down there from the ceiling. I think that's where the name came from." He goes on to say, "I never really liked it, to be honest."
This weekend, the space will celebrate its 25th anniversary with two consecutive nights of free local music, including a cross section of the state's better emerging garage punk and indie rock bands. Friday's showcase will feature The Good Fear, High Magic, The Airplanes and Family History, and Saturday's will be May the Peace of the Sea Be With You, Doctor Nod, Pagiins and Monsterheart. WS
DR. JOHN AND THE NITE-TRIPPERS
7 p.m. Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville. $29-$59.
Dr. Malcolm John Rebennack, only a doctor since May of last year, when he received an honorary doctorate from Tulane University, was born and raised in New Orleans, where he became addicted to heroin in high school and gave up guitar for piano after getting shot in the left hand trying to protect a bandmate. He moved to Los Angeles in the early '60s and became a session musician, playing behind Sonny and Cher, Canned Heat and Frank Zappa, and inventing the voodoo-inflected psych-rock persona he called "Dr. John, The Night Tripper." As a solo artist, he's made hit records and classic records and some bad records. He played in The Band's "Last Waltz," made a commercial jingle for Popeye's Chicken, inspired a Muppet, toured with Ringo Starr. He invented a cartoon and eventually became the cartoon, and not too many people can say that. WS
"THE 78 PROJECT MOVIE"
7:30 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. $10.
Lavinia Jones Wright and Alex Steyermark, the producers and founders of The 78 Project, started the organization in the shadow of Alan Lomax, the folklorist and ethnomusicologist who traveled the country in the 1930s and '40s recording performances by artists like Lead Belly, Jelly Roll Morton, Muddy Waters and countless others for the Library of Congress. Like Lomax, Wright and Steyermark went around the country cutting records by musicians they admired — in their case, a varied lineup including Rosanne Cash, Loudon Wainwright III, Richard Thompson, Justin Townes Earle, The Secret Sisters, John Paul Keith and more. Also like Lomax, they recorded them on a circa-1930s Presto direct-to-acetate recorder, which works on 78 rpm lacquer discs. It's a cultural collision, then, "in which we discover," as the author William Gibson wrote of the project for the Oxford American, "that not only are dead media platforms not dead at all, but that they can be gateways into their own peculiarly new universes of creativity." The movie, which documents their journey, will be presented by the Oxford American, and OA associate editor Maxwell George will lead a Q&A with the filmmakers after the screening. In keeping with the spirit of the project, the magazine's also invited Adam Faucett to record a 78 live onstage. WS
8 p.m. Juanita's. $8.
Everything so far written about Arum Rae notes that she attended Berklee College of Music. Her fellow classmates, as she recently told Vice, are currently, "either playing in the Roots, producing with Kanye, or touring with Gaga." This could very well be her lane as well: She's had a song featured on the TV show "Nashville," her most recent single was premiered by Entertainment Weekly, and she hasn't even released an album yet. Also, her stuff is catchy and ambitiously produced. She makes pop songs that just don't happen to be famous yet, with anthemic choruses, uplifiting string arrangements and drum machines, all wrapped in professional gleam and gloss. Better to catch her now, then, when her shows only cost $8. WS