The Venture Center hosts a real-time "elevator pitch" competition with a $500 prize at Brewski's Pub & Grub's "Pitch 'n' Pint," 6 p.m., $15-$20. Erik Myers takes his stand-up set to The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., $8-$12. The William F. Laman Library hosts John Neal as part of its Live @ Laman concert series, 7 p.m., free. The Arkansas Arts Center hosts trivia at Stone's Throw Brewing, 6:30 p.m., free. Maxine's in Hot Springs hosts The Gold Show Drag Show, 9 p.m., $5. Gospel/pop singer B.J. Thomas gives a concert at Reynolds Performance Hall on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas, 7:30 p.m., $27-$35.
Jeff Coleman and The Feeders play an early set at Vino's with Sabine Valley, 7:30 p.m., $10. CosmOcean performs for the late-night crowd at Oaklawn's Silks Bar & Grill, Hot Springs, 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., or catch the happy hour set from Mayday by Midnight at the casino's Pops Lounge, 5 p.m. Fri.-Sat., free. The Matt Spinks Trio takes the stage at Four Quarter Bar, 10 p.m., $7. Brian Nahlen performs at Skinny J's, 7 p.m. Bluesboy Jag plays a solo set at Cregeen's Irish Pub, 8 p.m. The Electric 5 kick off the weekend with a dance party at Cajun's Wharf, 9 p.m., $5. Couch Jackets perform at Blue Canoe Brewing Co.'s warehouse at 1637 E. 15th St., 7 p.m., $10. Tall Tall Trees and Urban Pioneers kick off the annual Ozark Mountain Music Festival in downtown Eureka Springs; on Saturday The Creek Rocks, Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy and American Lions perform, see ozarkmountainmusicfestival.com for details and tickets. The Harlem Globetrotters take their time-honored trick-shot repertoire to the floor at Verizon Arena, 7 p.m., $29-$132. Ozark string band Sad Daddy lands at Kings Live Music in Conway, with a set from Kassi Moe, 8:30 p.m., $5. William Clark Green puts on a red dirt country show at Stickyz Rock 'n' Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $10-$12. Nuthin Fancy performs at Thirst N' Howl Bar & Grill, 8:30 p.m., $5. The Statehouse Convention Center hosts the 36th annual Arkansas Marine Expo, noon Fri.-noon Sun., $6. The Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville hosts a reception for new exhibition, "The Grammar of Ornament," 5-7 p.m.
Mark Currey takes tunes from "Tarrant County" and others to Core Public House, 7 p.m., free admission. Jet 420 takes the stage at Thirst N' Howl, 8:30 p.m., $5. Sad Daddy brings its clever lyrics to the White Water Tavern, 9 p.m. Khaki Onion reunites for a show at Revolution Taco & Tequila Lounge, 9 p.m., $10. After the Alan Jackson show ends, The Salty Dogs bring the twang to Four Quarter Bar, 10 p.m., $7. Marcellus Nash takes the stage at Gigi's Soul Cafe & Lounge in Maumelle, 9 p.m., $15-$20. Brian Nahlen and Nick Devlin perform for happy hour at Cajun's Wharf, 5:30 p.m., followed by a set from Rustenhaven, 9 p.m., $5. The Dirk Quinn Band plays a show at Kings Live Music, with Stuart Thomas, 8:30 p.m., $5. The Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre's annual Bard Ball fundraiser kicks off onstage and backstage at Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA, 6:30 p.m., $75. Author Jenette DuHart signs copies of her book, "The Happy Penny," at the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library, 1 p.m. College Station, Texas, rockers The Ex-Optimists share a bill with River Valley jazz trio Escape Tones at Maxine's, 9 p.m., $5. Andy Tanas plays a free show at Markham Street Grill and Pub, 8:30 p.m.
Professor Annette Trefzer of the University of Mississippi gives a talk on the exhibition "Discovering Kate Freeman Clark" at UALR's Windgate Center, 2 p.m., Lecture Hall.
Barry McVinney, Steve Hudelson, Brian Wolverton and Patrick Lindsey of The Goat Band play an evening of jazz at The Lobby Bar, 7:30 p.m., donations accepted.
Author and journalist Janis Kearney speaks about her memoir "Sundays with TJ: 100 Years of Memories on Varner Road" as part of the Arkansas State Archives' "Pen to Podium" lecture series, 7 p.m., the Department of Arkansas Heritage, 1100 N. St., with a reception at 6:30 p.m.
The Joint Venture kicks off an improv show at The Joint, 8 p.m., $8. The Juke Joint Zombies host the Arkansas River Blues Society Blues Jam at Thirst N' Howl, 7 p.m. At the Clinton School of Public Service, PBS NewsHour special correspondent Nick Schifrin unravels the implications of the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, 6 p.m., free.