At On the Rocks regular Thursday night music series, local party band Weakness for Blondes takes the stage, 9 p.m., $5. The Afterthought continues its new music series with the Ed Smith Quartet, 8 p.m., $5. As usual, the Ted Ludwig Jazz Trio plays early at the Capital Bar, 5 p.m., free. Ditto for the live act Third Degree, who backs karaoke-ers at Juanita's, 9 p.m., $5.
Just a week after claiming the top spot in the Showcase, Velvet Kente shares a bill with the equally groove-oriented instrumental act Eclipse Glasses Banda at Arkansas Flag and Banner, 9 p.m., $5 (it's a benefit for the building's Dreamland Ballroom). For those who don't mind traveling for the blues, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm bring their deeply infectious North Mississippi jams to Maxine's in Hot Springs, 9 p.m., $5. The Weekend Theater opens “Lonely Planet,” a PEN U.S.A. award-winning drama about bearing witness to the AIDS epidemic, 7:30 p.m., $10-$14. It will be performed again at the same time on Saturday. Popular Texas country singer Wade Bowen returns to Sticky Fingerz, with Fayetteville's Charliehorse supporting, 9 p.m., $10. At Counterpoint, popular local party-band the Gettys play late, 10:30 p.m., $5.
Early Saturday, skaters and friends of skaters gather to raise money to improve and expand the Kanis Skate Park. There are a gang of bands playing — the Moving Front, Smoke Up Johnny, Zuccura, G. Noam Chomsky, the Tom Sweet Band, the Witches Tit and Ninth Scientist, 11 a.m., donations. Later in the evening, rising country star Justin Moore, from Poyen, comes to Juanita's behind singles like “I Could Kick Your Ass” and “Small Town U.S.A.,” 9 p.m., $18 adv., $20 d.o.s. Ryan Couron and Hwy 5 open. At Vino's, local rockers Notion headline, 8:30 p.m., $6. Piano man William Staggers holds it down at the Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. Local artist and video collagist Cameron Holifield tries his hand at DJing with a free set at Satellite Cafe, 9 p.m. At the new ACAC space, it's a showcase of punk and hardcore with Uh-Oh, Monterey Jack and the Thing That Always Explodes, 9 p.m., $5. Roots rockers Sean Rock and the Toltecs return to the stage at Off Center after a hiatus, 9 p.m., free. At Cornerstone, Runaway Planet picks and grins, 9 p.m., $5.