12TH NATIONAL DRAWING INVITATIONAL AND LECTURE
Arkansas Arts Center. Free.
When the Arkansas Arts Center says its "12th National Drawing Invitational" is a really big show, here's what that means: really big drawings, such as wall-sized portraits, abstracts and narratives. Also: live drawing. Cut paper drawing. Installations. For this year's biennial show, revived in 2012 after a seven-year dormancy, independent curator Laura Roulet invited eight artists from the mid-Atlantic region who are "pushing the traditional boundaries of graphic art," the Arts Center's Ann Prentice Wagner says. The show opens to the public July 18, but if you're not a member, you can pay $15 on July 17 to hear a talk by Roulet, "Contemporary Mid-Atlantic Drawing: Noun + Verb," at 6 p.m. and then attend the members' reception (6:30-8:30 p.m.). Invitational artist Gary Kachadourian, who is in the process of installing Xeroxed drawings around the Arts Center's 1937 facade (now enclosed in the Winthrop Rockefeller Gallery) and elsewhere, will give a talk at noon July 18 as part of "Feed Your Mind Friday." Also in the show: Victor Ekpuk, who'll draw on the gallery wall on Aug. 21-22 and give a talk Aug. 21; Ian Jehle, who makes giant portraits of people he knows intimately; Laura Ledbetter, whose drawings are three-dimensional thanks to the use of string and other objects; Linn Meyers, known for her abstract site-specific drawings at the Phillips Collection and other museums; Sharyn O'Mara, who cuts paper into threads; Mia Rosenthal, who illustrates the "story of life" on earth in large-scale drawings, and Andrea Way, featuring complex small black-and-white drawings and large color works. LNP
BIG GAY RADIO SHOW RELAUNCH
5 p.m. Sway. $5.
"The Big Gay Radio Show," the most popular show on KABF-FM 88.3 and the state's only LGBT issue-oriented radio program, recently got a new host in Jason Wiest, the owner of the Little Rock nightclub Sway, who hopes to use the show to help "shake off the bigotry and oppression that unfortunately are still a fact of life for many LGBT Arkansans." The show, which airs every Friday from noon to 2 p.m., was launched last August by former host Joseph Birdsong and remaining co-host H.L. Moody, in continuation of a KABF legacy that started with a show called "The Queer Frontier" back in 1996. To celebrate the new era, Wiest is hosting a Relaunch Happy Hour at Sway, featuring drink specials, new KABF merch and music by John Willis. WS
8 p.m. Vino's. $10.
After forming in 1995, Dallas death metal band Devourment released its first studio album four years later. It begins with a song called "Festering Vomitous Mass" — you can find the "karaoke" version, with subtitles, on YouTube. It's pretty chilling but more than that, it's an impressive feat: Front man Ruben Rosas has a voice like an angry chopped-and-screwed ghost. His death growl is legendary. Later, he left the band to go to prison for a few years. There's an interview with him from behind bars, where he complains about the food: "They very often use emu meat instead of beef," he said, "and sometimes you'll find rocks and dirt in your vegetables or weevils in your oat meal." Now he's back in the band. Their new record is called "Conceived in Sewage," and opens with a track called "Legalize Homicide." It'll give you weird dreams. They'll share a bill at Vino's with Abandon The Artifice, Splattered in Traffic and Slamphetamine. WS
THE GREAT ARKANSAS BEER FESTIVAL
5:30 p.m. Clear Channel Metroplex. $25 adv., $30 day of.
Dear God: Thank you for the rain and the little birds, the sunshine and the trees, the cool breezes and marijuana. But especially thank you for visiting upon mankind the divine knowledge of how to make beer, which is clearly your favorite beverage given that it's about as close to the honeyed Balm of Gilead as my puny human mind can imagine. Also, thanks for people who love beer, as they're a cheerful bunch, always ready to buy a round, and seemingly much less ready to get their barroom brawl on than people who like to two-fist the hard stuff, if my limited experience is any yardstick. And thanks for this weekend's upcoming Great Arkansas Beer Festival, which kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of the Clear Channel Metroplex at 10800 Colonel Glenn Road in Little Rock. It will reportedly feature suds from over 100 breweries, with more than 350 beers on tap. You can check the festival Facebook page, Dear Lord, at facebook.com/GreatArkansasBeerFestival, and tickets are available at lrtix.com. Though, with you being The Almighty and all, you probably knew that. Amen. DK
10 p.m. White Water Tavern.
In a video produced by Tulsa literary magazine This Land Press, Wink Burcham plays slide guitar on his porch, shoeless and apparently unshowered. He starts out by restraining his two dogs, pulling them back by their collars after something's spooked them. Then he swigs what looks like Coors Light and starts playing a song called "My Old Man," that begins, "I was born the son of a travelin' man." Tulsa is Burcham's hometown, and his following is due to the detailed story-songs he writes about it, folk songs about characters he remembers from childhood or people he met at the liquor store. If he had a local analogue, it would be Kevin Kerby, who as it happens is sharing the bill with Burcham Saturday night. WS
8 p.m. Stickyz. $10.
In an interview with Vice magazine, the Nashville garage punk musician Daniel Pujol describes the "narrative" of his new album "KLUDGE" as "essentially a Self 'breaking up' with his/her Sense Of Self and rediscovering Other People. Just long enough to be seduced by their own identity again." He also talks about Godzilla. It's confusing, especially since the record itself is pretty notably direct and easily absorbed – loose, stoner noise-pop from a scene that has also spawned bands like Turbo Fruits and Diarrhea Planet. The album's cover prominently features LEGOs and it was supposedly recorded in the middle of the night at a teen suicide prevention center and also Jack White produced one of his songs. WS
MOVIES IN THE PARK: 'FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS'
Sundown. First Security Amphitheater. Free.
There's a reason the word "fan" comes from "fanatic." Some peoples' devotion to sports borders on religious zealotry sometimes, with all the tearful huzzahs and thanks to Big G when their side wins, and all the rage and rending of garments when they don't. Such religious devotion is even more pronounced in small town America, where 16-17-18-year-old kids playing a game on grass or hardwood with a ball can get hopelessly tangled in an adult-woven Gordian knot of pressure, pride, racism, arrogance, local identity, economic reality and the Glory Days-fueled expectations of their has-been forebears. It can get ugly. Based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Buzz Bissinger, 2004's "Friday Night Lights" tracks the fortunes of the Permian High School football team in Odessa, Texas, as they compete for the state championship in 1988. Featuring Arkansas's own Billy Bob Thornton in the role of Coach Cary Gaines (reuniting with an all-grown-up Lucas Black, who played young Frank in Thornton's breakout film "Sling Blade"), it's a hell of a flick about sports, fading small towns, the pressure adults can put on young athletes and all the things that can get forgotten while a ball is in the air under the bright lights. DK