Just a gentle reminder, in case you breezed past our opening feature: The ARKANSAS TIMES MUSICIANS SHOWCASE KICKS OFF TODAY! With Riverboat Crime! 607! Justin Bank! And the Running Back! The show starts at 9 p.m. at Sticky Fingerz, but get there early: The first 50 people through the door get a free compilation CD, featuring all 16 semi-finalists. $5 cover. Otherwise, the Ted Ludwig Trio plays its weekly gig at the Afterthought. Hourglass dominates with friends in metal Adisis and Cradlecythe, 9 p.m., $6. Local rockers Unpainted Arizona perform at Cajun's Wharf, 9 p.m., $5. Comedian Pat Goodwin is at the Looney Bin, 8 p.m., $7. The Electric Cowboy hosts a mixed martial arts bout, “Clash at the Cowboy,” at 8 p.m., $15-$175.
Soulman Big John Miller belts out all the hits at the Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. Cajun's hosts hard-to-pin-down local rockers Thanks for Nothing, 9 p.m., $5. At Reno's, guitar and drums duo Luke Johnson and Paul Peterson performs its regular gig, 10 p.m., $5. Rising Austin-based alt-rock group Vallejo performs at Juanita's, 10 p.m., $7, for those 18 and older. Sticky Fingerz hosts the Rolling Stones tribute band Satisfaction at 9 p.m., $5. In Hot Springs, local favorite Weakness for Blondes jams, 10 p.m., $5. Nathan Singleton & His Sideshow Tragedy perform with Conway's Mat Mahar at White Water, 9 p.m., $5. At Barton Coliseum, the Arkansas Impact takes on the Quad City Riverhawks in Premiere Basketball League action, 7:30 p.m.
Bluesman Mark Sallings brings his band the Famous Unknowns to the Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. Fayetteville favorite (and future Showcase participant) Benjamin Del Shreve performs a rollicking set at the Flying Saucer, 9 p.m., $3. Downtown Music hosts a benefit for the West Memphis Three, 8 p.m., $6. It's a night of bluegrass at White Water Tavern with Runaway Planet and the Pine Box Boys, 9 p.m., $5. The Downtown Dames host the fourth annual Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball, at the Junior League of Little Rock building, with a performance by Damn Bullets, 7 p.m., $75. Earlier, the second annual Mardi Gras Parade kicks off at 3 p.m. at 17th and Main streets, going down Main to 12th Street. Mayor Mark Stodola will serve as the grand marshal.