5:30 p.m. Arkansas Arts Center. Free to members, $10 to nonmembers.
Nigerian-American artist Victor Ekpuk will create a drawing on the wall of the Winthrop Rockefeller Gallery Thursday and Friday nights in conjunction with the talk he's giving at 6 p.m. Thursday, "Ode to Joy — Meditations in the Lines." (Reception is at 5:30 p.m.) Ekpuk's work is part of the "12th National Drawing Invitational: Outside the Lines," on exhibit in the gallery. His drawings are inspired by the nsibidi symbols he saw as a boy in Nigeria, marks that were part of a secret adult male society. He'll use his personal figurative glyphs to create at the Arts Center a drawing inspired by Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, his first work to be drawn from music. See it before the exhibition goes down Oct. 5, when it will be destroyed. LNP
FRIDAY 8/22-SATURDAY 8/23
MADE BY FEW CONFERENCE
Argenta Community Theater. $235.
The design and development agency Few, founded by well-bearded entrepreneurs Arlton Lowry and David Hudson, hosts Made by Few, "the conference for makers of the web," on Aug. 22-23 at the Argenta Community Theater, 405 Main St. in North Little Rock. The conference brings in 11 speakers, including Google Senior UX designer Marc Hemeon, customer.io founder John Allison, Salesforce senior product designer Jina Bolton and freelance interface designer Meagan Fisher, to provide two days of inspiration for web developers and entrepreneurs from Arkansas and around the country. Listed under the website's "What You Should Expect" section, you can find, among other points, "Hugs," "Learning ... a lot," "Making new friends" and "Free schwag." Lowry said the conference has in years past hosted a dance-off, and one of its themes, "Make Epic Shit," suggests the style of fearless creativity Lowry and Hudson hope to inspire over the weekend and beyond. CG
10 p.m. White Water Tavern. $7.
The twisted roots of punk rock can be traced back to just about anything. But don't tell me it was an accident that almost exactly a month to the day after the Sex Pistols released "Never Mind the Bollocks," Jerry Lee Lewis drove up to the gate at Graceland, brandished a .38-caliber derringer pistol and drunkenly demanded to speak to Elvis, who, Lewis insisted, he had come to kill. "He would pound the piano and sing his sinful songs," Nick Tosches once wrote of Lewis, and "he would beckon those before him ... to stand with him awhile at the brink of hell." Rockabilly, country's raucous redneck offspring, was terrifying, blasphemous, repulsive. The Cramps knew it, and so does Joe Buck, formerly of Th' Legendary Shack Shakers and Hank Williams III's (both his "Damn Band" and his weirdo punk group Assjack) band. Buck recently told the Charleston City Paper that he fell for country when a Piggly Wiggly employee broke up a punk house party he attended in the '80s, threw on a Hank Williams record and said "Y'all's music sucks." "He was singing right to me," Buck said, "like he sang to everyone." It's Buck's goal to make country music scary again, and with songs like "Hillbilly Speedball" and "Demon in My Head" he does that. WS
8:30 p.m. Juanita's. $25 adv., $30 day of.
In the beginning, meaning the late '80s and early '90s, Mark Chesnutt became for some a figurehead of post-Ronnie-Milsap New Country schmaltz, with his treacly string sections and magic hour postcard music videos. Today's charts, though, the decadent arena of Dierks Bentley's "Drunk On a Plane" and Jason Aldean's "Burnin' It Down" (is that an 808?), make Chesnutt look like George Jones. And his stuff holds up: "Too Cold At Home," at least, is a stone classic (even if it was unlucky enough to come out a month after Garth Brooks' era-defining "No Fences"). Also remember his take on "I'll Think of Something," an acceptable Hank Williams Jr. single transformed into an honest tear-jerker and a dive-bar karaoke standard. His cover of "Sunday Morning Coming Down" (from his latest record "Outlaw") is respectable, too, a 25-plus year Nashville veteran holding a seance with his own roots, made distant by money and age. He says he wishes, Lord, that he was stoned, and listening to Dierks Bentley. I have to say I believe him. WS
11 a.m. The Joint. $10.
A paltry $10 gets you a ticket to The Joint's all-day local music festival, featuring John Willis and The Misses, Collin vs. Adam, The Dangerous Idiots, The Big Dam Horns, TwiceSax, Leta Joyner, Brown Soul Shoes and more. There will also be stand-up comedians and improv, and a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. You shouldn't even need a good reason to go get drunk in Argenta, but The Joint has given you one anyway. WS
CHEECH AND CHONG
7:30 p.m. Walmart AMP. $49-$69.
Now that both Washington state and Colorado have legalized recreational marijuana and are raking in the sweet tax dough from ganja sales, Cheech and Chong are looking pret-ty smart, aren't they? Well, OK, no. They're not. The whole "so stoned they can't think" thing is kind of their shtick, but you get the point: They were medicating themselves with weed long before it got all cool and legal, pushing back against the fledgling War on Drugs in the best way possible: by laughing at it. This writer's favorite Cheech and Chong movie: 1978's "Up in Smoke," the "Smokey and the Bandit" of the stoner set, featuring the dazed duo smuggling a van literally made of pot. We still can't stand "Nice Dreams," though. The movie didn't make sense, no matter how stoned we were. Though Cheech Marin took a break to play the sidekick on "Walker, Texas Ranger" and Tommy Chong went off to the federal hoosegow for a while for selling creative glassware during the Bush II years, they're bankrolling their retirement now in the best way possible, by getting back together and doing comedy tours. They'll be in Rogers at the Walmart AMP this Saturday, with special guests War ("Low Rider," "Why Can't We Be Friends?"). The laughs are sure to be plentiful and the smoke is sure to be herbaceous. DK