9 p.m., Juanita's. $7.
St. Louis power-pop band Ludo makes a stop in Little Rock at Juanita's on Thursday night. Formed four years ago by singer-guitarist Andrew Volpe and guitarist Tim Ferrell, the band got its name from the giant Muppet in the movie “Labyrinth.” Later expanding to a five-piece group with the addition of Tim Convy (keyboard), Marshall Fanciullo (bass) and Matt Palermo (drums), Ludo has toured extensively for the past two years, picking up a large fan base (made up of kids who call themselves “ninjas.”) After winning contests to appear at SXSW, having a video produced by MTV-like Fuse, playing the Winter X Games and performing on the Warped Tour, the band recently recorded their second full-length album “You're Awful, I Love You,” out now on Island Records. Known for their rambunctious — often themed — live shows, they're throwing a luau on Thursday night and welcome audience members to dress up in grass skirts and leis.
9 p.m., Revolution. $15.
Go to a concert to see your favorite radio rapper, and you're likely to leave disappointed. Most of today's MCs don't take the time to hone their stage show. They rap over — or more often than not, under — a vocal track, usually with at least a couple hype-men screaming along with them. If giving a quality performance is an old-school ethic, Guru comes fully equipped with bona fides. Half of the legendary Brooklyn duo Gangstarr, the MC helped create two of the seminal early '90s hip-hop albums, “Step in the Arena” and “Daily Operation.” Over producer DJ Premier's jazz samples, the rapper usually delved into socially conscious territory with his lyrics, yet always managed to sound hard. The duo hung up the Gangstarr name in 1999, but both remain active, if not downright prolific, Premier as a big-time producer and Guru with Jazzmatazz, his series of collaborations with a star-studded collection of jazz and soul musicians. His latest, “Jazzmatazz Vol. 4,” came out on Tuesday and features Common, Damian Marley and Bobby Valentino. You can bet he's been around long enough to know how to work a stage. At the other end of the spectrum, Blockade, the teen-aged rap collective, has only performed twice before, but as the first graduates of TJ Deeter's Hip-Hop school, they've been well-versed in the subtleties of stage presence. Another local collective, Goon Squad, also opens.
“SNOW WHITE AND THE MAGIC MIRROR”
10 a.m., Reynolds Performance Arts Center, UCA, Conway. $5.
Children's Theatre To Go Inc. presents two performances of “Snow White and the Magic Mirror,” an original script by the theater's award-winning playwright and director, Bob May. In this adaptation of the classic story, Snow White's evil stepmother is determined to destroy her because of her beauty and innocence, but the kind-hearted huntsman comes to her aid and helps her escape. While seeking refuge with dwarf children, she soon realizes that escaping the vain queen is not so easy, and she must rely on help from her new friends. In the adult roles are Eric Harrison as the magic mirror, Daisy Owings as Snow White's mother, Brent Wood as the king and Karen Owings as the evil queen. Child actors include Jeni Fuller as Snow White, Ben Scheuter as the huntsman and Col Schott, Dylan Barber, Julius Cornett, Andrew Gillespie, Jacob Webb, Marshall Bellando and Abby Shourd as the dwarf children. A second showing is set for 2 p.m. Saturday.
5 p.m., Gallery 801, Hot Springs. Free.
Jón “Jónsi” Birgisson, singer-guitarist for Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós, and Alex Somers of Parachutes will promote their art/music side project “Riceboy Sleeps” at Gallery 801 in Hot Springs on Friday night. Last November, the duo compiled their drawings and paintings along with found photographs and pages from old books to create a 48-page picture book, also titled Riceboy Sleeps. For the book's release, Birgisson and Somers held an exhibit at Gallery Turpentine in Reykjavik, Iceland, where they presented 14 works from the book, each installed in old window panes, much like the ones to be on display at Gallery 801, 801 Central Ave. (Spencer's Corner.) Friday night's event kicks off the only stateside exhibit Riceboy Sleeps scheduled this year. Why Arkansas? As the story goes, Gallery 801 owner Josh Varnedore sent a shot-in-the-dark e-mail to the “Riceboy Sleeps” website and was soon talking to Somers about bringing the show to Hot Springs, using the city's rich history as a selling point. The duo will be in attendance for the opening, which includes a free, open-to-the-public reception and an invite-only after-party, featuring a first-time performance by ambient Nashville act Hammock. The event should draw some serious, even famous, Sigur Rós enthusiasts. The exhibit will run through Sept. 7, then travel to Melbourne, Australia, and back to Iceland.
8 p.m., Vino's. $10.
If you're much out of your teens, you probably don't know PM Today. Formed five years ago, when its members were barely in high school, the Jacksonville foursome has risen to become one of the state's most popular acts. Initially, the band played derivative pop-punk in the tradition of flavors of the day Sum 41 and Blink 182, but age and constant touring seem to have matured the group. On Saturday, they celebrate the release of their debut full-length, “After the Hurricane,” an album that seems poised to push them to the next level. After the Tragedy, another group of young pop-punk rockers, opens the show. Last year, the Cabot group won a battle of the bands for a spot on the soundtrack to “Amped 3,” a game for Xbox360. After the Vino's show, the bands will hit the road for a month-long tour of the East Coast and Midwest.
LAMB OF GOD
6 p.m., Clear Channel Metroplex. $23.
Randy Blythe, the lead singer of black metal kings Lamb of God, sounds like Tom Waits possessed by a demon. Or like someone vomiting, or even better, like someone trying to destroy his larynx. Hundreds, maybe even a thousand, will be on hand to hear Blythe wail over his band's unrelenting noise. Originally called Burn the Priest, the Richmond, Va., five-piece plays brutal, searing hardcore metal that's so precise and technical it could almost be prog-rock. They're still touring behind the album they released last year, “Sacrament,” which includes the Grammy-nominated track “Redneck,” a song in which Blythe dares anyone to use the epithet. You can bet he'll being singing to a sympathetic crowd.
8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $29.50
Chris Daughtry lost out to Katherine McPhee and Taylor Hicks in the fifth season of “American Idol,” but the North Carolina rocker is having the last laugh. While albums from McPhee and Hicks sold dismally, Daughtry's self-titled debut album went platinum after just five weeks and went on to become one of 2006's biggest records. Like Puddle of Mud and Fuel — a band that asked Daughtry to fill their lead-singer opening after he was voted off “Idol” — the singer carries the torch for grunge, yet with enough grandiose hooks to crossover into the mainstream. He also can't help but let his Southern accent slip into his material. Expect to see lighters waving for the hit-single anthem “It's Not Over.”
RED OCTOPUS' “PAGANS SUMMER LOVE-IN!”
8 p.m., Easy Street Piano Bar. $10
In their latest creation, “Pagans Summer Love-In!”— featuring Sandy Baskin, Brian Chambers, Josh Doering, Drew Ellis, Audie Grider, Michael Henderson, Melissa Neal, Jennifer Pierce and Jason Willey — the Octopi will wade into cultural differences and Dr. Seuss in “Green Eggs and Ebonics,” examining the shallow talent pool in “America's Got Talent?” and feature Daniel Radcliffe, of “Harry Potter,” offering advice to young up-and-comers in “Radcliffe's Revenge.” Other celebs, like Christopher Walken, who'll star in a music video for “These Boots Are Made for Walken,” and Quentin Tarantino, who'll direct his first QVC infomercial, will make appearances. The show will run Monday through Saturday, Aug. 6-11, in Easy Street's cabaret room. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for students. The bar is located at 307 W. 7th St.
GHOSTS I'VE MET /MAGIC CROPDUSTERS
10 p.m., White Water Tavern. Donations.
Ghosts I've Met, which specializes in understated alt-country, is made up of a crew of former session players who've collaborated with a veritable who's who in indie rock — Modest Mouse, Cat Power, Built to Spill, Belle and Sebastian, Sleater-Kinney and Sparklehorse. Lead singer Sam Watts is a gifted lyricist with a penchant for penetrating songs of loneliness that recall the best of Whiskeytown, especially when Watts and violinist Margaret White harmonize. Earlier this year, the band recorded in Kitty Wells' studio in Nashville for an album it's yet to release. This is a chance to see them before they get snatched up by one of the big indie labels. It's also a rare opportunity to see the Magic Cropdusters, a fantastic local band that plays only a handful of shows a year. There's a singular, skewed brilliance to lead singer David Jukes' songwriting, which ranges in focus from the mundane to the bizarrely random. On the band's latest, “The Apartment,” Jukes devotes lyrics to a hiding place for a mouse, a new wheel for a mountain bike and pictures of a friend's trip to England. Ashtray Babyhead guitarist Jeff Matika and American Princes drummer Matt Quin play in support. Big Silver, the much-respected local rock outfit, also performs.
Revolution, 9 p.m. $18 adv./$20 d.o.s.
Former Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, who's nearly as famous for marrying and divorcing Heather Locklear and, later, Pamela Anderson, as his musical career, is coming to town to “DJ” at Revolution. Which means he'll be pushing buttons on his laptop and dancing with his shirt off a lot. Lee currently drums in Rockstar Supernova, a band of washed-up alums of '80s metal groups that picked its lead singer on a TV show. Before that, Lee filmed the reality show “Tommy Lee Goes to College” during a brief stint at the University of Nebraska. Surely, no genre has more steadfast fans than metal. Here's a guess at who'll come: Dudes with long hair and mustaches and Crue shirts. Reality TV fiends. Rave kids who twirl glow ropes. Female admirers of Lee's home video, um, footage. Savvy dudes on the prowl, who realize that there will be more ladies on the prowl than Lee can handle. And Sweet Sweet Connie. She'll definitely be there. Shockingly, these people still exist.
QUEENS OF STONE AGE
The Village, 8 p.m. $22 adv./$25 d.o.s.
There are few touring bands around who can do no-frills, balls-to-the-wall rock ‘n' roll like Queens of the Stone Age. Formed in the ashes of stoner rock legends Kyuss, the Palm Desert, Calif., group has put out six albums over the last 10 years. Lead singer Josh Homme is all that remains of that original line-up, but the band's certainly not suffering. “Era Vulgaris,” QOTSA's album that came out in June, might be the group's best effort yet. There aren't any likely crossover hits like 2002's “No One Knows” simply because the Queens come on too hard for the radio. Tight and precise, always with a furiously propulsive backbeat, Homme and Co. build their songs around a wall of huge gnarly guitar riffs. Everything is framed in a posture of menace, but peel away a layer and you'll see Homme smiling slyly. Lately, the band's been performing “The Feel Good Hit of the Summer,” a song from their 2000 release “Rated R,” with the lyrics, “Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol. Cocaine,” repeated over and over. To achieve the profane trinity, Homme's lately been adding a chorus of “everybody knows you dance like you f**k” to the drugs and rock 'n' roll cocktail.