At On the Rocks, hirsute former “American Idol” contestant Sean Michel shares a bill with local rocker Johnny Rocket, 9 p.m., $5. It's the last Thursday before 2009 to catch Little Rock's liveliest jazz act, the Ted Ludwig Trio, who play the Capital Bar and Grill at 5 p.m., free, before jumping over to the Afterthought, 8:30 p.m., $5. One Love Entertainment hosts a reggae-themed holiday party at Juanita's, 9 p.m. At Cajun's, party band Mr. Happy headlines, 9 p.m., $5.
Springfield, Mo.-based family band Big Smith always packs 'em in when they come to Revolution, 9 p.m., $8 (open to all ages). At Cornerstone, Chris Denny lends his golden voice to a string of folk rock covers and originals you'd swear weren't, 9 p.m., $5. Up-and-coming singer/songwriter Elise Davis headlines at Juanita's with local pop hero Isaac Alexander and the Bill McElroy Band lending support, 10 p.m., $7 (open to 18 and older). Brenda Neal and her band Past-time get help from Gerald Johnson on solid gold soul covers, 9 p.m., $7. Sticky Fingerz hosts local party band Tragikly White, 10 p.m., $6. If you can stay up late enough, Grand Serenade brings its shimmering pop to Midtown, 12:30 a.m., $5. Gospel soul singer Bethany Devine headlines a holiday concert at the Village, 7 p.m., $15 adv., $20 d.o.s. From Dallas, Chant specializes in funk and soul covers at Cajun's, 9 p.m., $5. Steady-giggin', the Ted Ludwig Jazz Trio returns to the Capital Bar, 8 p.m., free.
Local hard rockers Four on the Floor headline at Revolution, 9 p.m., $5. At Vino's Kingsdown and Solstice play alt-rock to raise money for Toys for Tots, 8 p.m. It's the sixth year for “Seasons Beatings,” a mixed martial arts bout that the Village hosts, 7 p.m., $20-$40. Local jam band Weakness for Blondes sustains a groove at Sticky Fingerz, 9 p.m., $5. From Memphis, Mudflap Kings offers a broad selection of covers, 9 p.m., $5. At Discovery, Michael Shane spins in the club, while Balance keeps butts moving in the lobby, midnight, $10. Cornerstone hosts local blues-rock act the Joe Pitts Band, 9 p.m., $5. In Hot Springs at Maxine's, the Schwag continues to rep for the legacy of the Grateful Dead, 9 p.m., $5.