- STARGAZING: Find a dark spot to catch the Perseids meteor shower this weekend, or join one of several stargazing groups around the state to view the phenomenon.
THURSDAY 8/9-MONDAY 8/13
It’s August, and that means it’s time again to look up and see the Perseids. The meteor shower is one of the most satisfying star show of the year, with around 100 shooting stars (but at times double that this year, what’s called an “outburst”). Peak viewing time for folks who’ve found a dark spot away from light pollution is between midnight and dawn Sunday, Aug. 12, according to NASA, but the Perseids put on a show up to and after that peak. As a plus, the moon will be new this weekend, thus providing a darker sky. Arkansas State Parks has organized a Perseids Meteor Shower Palooza: In Central Arkansas, see the stars from the middle of Lake Maumelle with a guided boat cruise from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday departing from Jolly Roger’s Marina ($12 adults, $6 children), and there will be free viewing from the beach 10 p.m.-midnight Monday at Woolly Hollow State Park in Greenbrier. In Southwest Arkansas, DeGray Lake State Park has scheduled a number of family events: kayak viewing from the lake from 7:30 p.m.-9:45 p.m. Thursday-Sunday ($15 adults, $10 children); a Perseids Meteor Safari on the golf course from 8:45 p.m.-9:45 p.m. Saturday and Sunday ($10 adults, $5 children); and the Night Owl Perseids Prowl Cruise from 10:30 p.m.-11:45 p.m. Saturday ($12 adults, $6 children). Check the State Parks calendar for other nighttime hikes this weekend, too. So what’s a meteor? We’re glad you asked. They’re icy space rocks from the Comet Swift-Tuttle that burn up when they hit our atmosphere, making for lovely streaks of light across the heavens. Reserve for Maumelle at 868-5806 and DeGray Lake at 865-5850. LNP
PERSEIDS METEOR SHOWER
Arkansas State Parks (and anywhere else it’s dark).
9 p.m. White Water Tavern. $8.
The duo Telekinetic Yeti is a medley of unlikely juxtapositions: It's just not that often that the word "duo" accompanies anything described as "stoner doom metal," let alone with the geographical qualifier "from Dubuque, Iowa." Check out album closer "Himalayan Hymn" from 2017's "Abominable" for a good example of how much sonic territory two dudes from The Hawkeye State can cover in 5 1/2 minutes. They're on tour with Kansas City heavy-rock barn-burners Hyborian, and joined on the bill by locals Fred and Shoe. SS
- Jamie Harmon
- Stephen Chopek
8 p.m. The Undercroft.
The first thing that caught my ear about Stephen Chopek wasn't so much what he'd done as who he'd done it with — as drummer for a few faves: Pimps of Joytime, Shannon McNally, Amy LaVere. In "Radio Caroline," those percussion propers reveal themselves in the perfect chug of his strumming, but the text — a true tale of an off-shore pirate radio station that broadcast from the open seas in the early 1960s to thwart BBC's regulations and broadcast monopoly — sounds more like a Pete Seeger tune than a Pimps jam, and it's well tailored for a tiny, underground listening room like The Undercroft. Bring along some cash to throw in for the Undercroft-brewed beer on hand, or for the 45 RPM vinyl with Chopek's "Radio Caroline" opposite "The Ballad of Cash & Dean." SS
- Jane Colclasure
- MarQuis Hunt
2ND FRIDAY ART NIGHT
5-8 p.m., downtown galleries.
The Butler Center galleries have adopted a new name: They'll now be called the Galleries at Library Square, so you'll know they're part of the Central Arkansas Library System. Now we've got that squared away, let's move on to the art: The new show there is from the Butler Center's collection of artworks and artifacts from the WWII Japanese-American internment camps at Rohwer and Jerome. "A Matter of Mind and Heart: Portraits of Japanese American Identity" will feature Henry Sugimoto's "Arrival at Jerome," on loan from Hendrix College in Conway. (Sugimoto was still interned when, with the help of Hendrix art professor Louis Freund, he first exhibited his work at Hendrix.) Also at the Galleries at Library Square is an exhibition of work by the Brewer art dynasty: Nicholas, Adrian and Edward. River Market Books and Gifts (nee the Cox Creative Center), has also gotten a new name: It's now The Bookstore at Library Square. There, David Carpenter will perform live his gravity-defying video piece in the "Delta des Refuses" show. Over at the Historic Arkansas Museum, which is still the Historic Arkansas Museum, 2nd Friday will open "Space Between Teeth: Linda Lopez + Marc Mitchell" and MarQuis & Mood will provide the music. By making a donation to The Van, the nonprofit group that helps the unsheltered, Bella Vita will knock 20 percent off anything purchased at the artisan jewelry shop at 523 S. Louisiana St., and there will be beer from Lost Forty as encouragement. See art made live at Gallery 221, where artists and patrons will create a 60-by-60-inch triptych, "Healing Hands," and hold an auction to benefit the Children's Advocacy Centers of Arkansas. The Courtyard by Marriott will feature works by the members of the Art Group, Matt McLeod Fine Art is showing the Arkansas League of Artists "Members Show," and it's Movie Night at the Old State House Museum, with free popcorn, candy, soft drinks, beer and wine. LNP
- I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW: Pop star Tiffany helps ring in Park Plaza Mall's 30th anniversary Friday evening.
7 p.m. Park Plaza Mall. Donations of two canned goods.
In July 1988, pop singer Tiffany Darwish had a piano power ballad, "Could've Been," in heavy rotation on the radio. What it could've been, at least chronologically speaking, was the denouement of the star-crossed love story that she sang about the year before, with a drum machine-heavy remake of Tommy James and the Shondells' 1967 chart-topper "I Think We're Alone Now." Also in July 1988: What was once an open-air shopping center reopened as Park Plaza Mall in midtown Little Rock, bolstered and bookended by a double dose of Dillard's, the department store headquartered here in Little Rock. To celebrate the anniversary, Darwish — better known by her first-name mononym Tiffany — will put on a free concert in the mall parking lot near the corner of Markham Street and University Avenue. Organizers are steadfastly committed to the theme; a Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtle (Michelangelo, specifically — the Miss Congeniality and self-identifying "party dude" of the TMNT personality quadrant) and a Hello Kitty character will be in attendance, and the mall's Sephora is booking appointments for full-face '80s makeovers. See Park Plaza Mall's Facebook page for the details, and bring along two canned goods for a drive called CANstruction, benefiting the Arkansas Foodbank. SS
- Sara Reeves
- TRIPLE BILL: DOT joins Amasa Hines and Or at the White Water Tavern on Friday night for a show benefiting the Arkansas chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
AMASA HINES, DOT, OR: BENEFIT FOR CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION
9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern. $10.
What connects the three bands on this fundraising bill isn't essentially musical — they're as sonically disparate as the summer days are long — but kinetic. Amasa Hines' slow builds, alternately sparse and urgent; Or's mechanized, trance-like foreboding; and DOT's driving, beachy punk rock are all energies used for good here, benefiting the Arkansas chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This one will sell out. Get tickets at lastchancerecords.us. SS
7 p.m. Pulaski Technical College, Center for Humanities and Arts. $35-$120.
They played it like a gag in 1961, scripting a 7-year-old kid to come up and tug on the hem of Lester Flatt's suit jacket in the middle of the Martha White-sponsored Flatt & Scruggs variety show. Instead of a punchline, though, a dapper Ricky Skaggs approached the microphone and peeled out "Foggy Mountain Special" on the mandolin, following it up with "Ruby" in his west Kentucky drawl, singing lyrics he was too young to embody: "I was sittin' in the shade/with a shovel and my spade/diggin' in the ground gold mine/Ruby, Ruby/Honey, are you mad at your man?" His stagecraft has assuredly caught up to his virtuosity; back then, he ran out of camera frame before the audience had a chance to applaud him. Now, he's accustomed to multiple standing ovations like the ones he and his band Kentucky Thunder got at the Ryman Auditorium last week. He's been a bluegrass traditionalist when it was cool, he's been a bluegrass traditionalist when it wasn't, and he's been a bluegrass traditionalist in some unlikely collaborations, throwing his mandolin into the mix with Phish, Ry Cooder, on Arkansas native Erin Enderlin's 2017 record "Whiskeytown Crier." He also lent his talents to a campaign event for Jason Rapert in 2014 — why, Ricky, why? Earlier this year, Skaggs was honored with an induction to the Country Music Hall of Fame — years too late, Garth Brooks and others would claim. He'll play at UAPTC just a few weeks before accepting yet another title as an inductee to the 2018 International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. Get tickets at uaptc.edu/charts. SS
- MADE: Dennis McCann's "Sloss Furnaces" joins works by Matthew Lopas, Alice Andrews and Eleanor Dickinson in the exhibition "MADE" at Boswell Mourot Fine Art. The show opens with a 6 p.m. reception Saturday.
6-9 p.m. Boswell Mourot Fine Art.
Four great Arkansas artists in one place: That's what Boswell Mourot has going through Sept. 1. Matthew Lopas, associate professor of art at Hendrix College, sees the world through a fish-eye lens, his interiors and landscapes distorted into swirling panoramas. Alice Andrews paints the waterfalls and rocky outcrops of her Ozarks home with soft shapes of blue-greens and warm browns. In this show, Dennis McCann, a retired firefighter and winner of multiple awards for his pastels, uses complementary shades of orange and aquamarine to capture abstract underpinnings in representation. Eleanor Dickinson is an artist whose work we just don't see enough of: Gorgeous washes combined with drawing and abstracted architectural features, her take, perhaps Paul Klee-inspired, on places she's been. Matthew, Alice, Dennis and Eleanor — MADE of special stuff. LNP
- Michael Sauer
- Foul Play Cabaret
FOUL PLAY CABARET
10 p.m. White Water Tavern. $10.
Two weeks ago, when Foul Play Cabaret brought "The Modern Show" to a one-time brothel on Bathhouse Row in downtown Hot Springs called Maxine's, a young man apologized to me for having stopped so suddenly in my direct sight lines, frozen and presumably stultified by the magnetism between Violet D'Vine and Rosa Lee Bloom during a particularly intense duet. He'd come to hang out and maybe throw some darts and, I think, was surprised to find a burlesque show going on — and surprised at its thrust. "I thought cabaret was, like, the girls in the line kicking their legs up," he explained later on, mimicking a Rockettes routine with his fingers. That night, eschewing the tried-and-true Alberto Vargas pin-up incarnate aesthetic the burlesque troupe channels beautifully and often, Foul Play's dancers twirled and somersaulted instead to FKA Twigs and Katy Perry. Ruby Lead did an entire act using only a crimson swath of fabric and her jet black locks to create mesmerizing geometry, Jezebelle Jaxx revived an entire audience's commitment to yoga class and Doris Night opened the evening with a magnificently technicolor Sally Rand, her wrists twirling two enormous feather fans in time with the throbbing bass beats. It's artful and sex-positive and immaculately prepared and rehearsed, and the cost of admission is a fraction of what lounges in metropoli like Vegas and Paris are charging for shows of the same rank. If you can't catch them in this Capitol View/Stifft Station legend of a bar, consider attending the ensemble's return to Maxine's in Hot Springs on Saturday, Aug. 18, when they'll put up "Foul Play Loves the '80s," complete with hair scrunchies, leg warmers, a spandex routine called "Aerobics with Violet" and a guest appearance from Dallas dancer Vivienne Vermuth. SS
- Paris Visone
- Sully Erna
7 p.m. Verizon Arena. $40-$100.
If you hated Godsmack for sounding too much like Metallica or Alice in Chains: Good news! They sound different now. That is to say, new tunes like "Bulletproof" have more of a "commercial aspect," lead singer Sully Erna told the video series FaceCulture last year. He's right, in a way; there's more melody and less of the tortured guitar crunch that became synonymous with the words "nu metal" during the band's mid-'90s rise. Then again, can anybody who penned a soundtrack for a slice of "The Mummy" franchise claim he didn't have a commercial aspect to begin with? Erna and his crew mix that new sound with the stuff that's been the bread and butter of KDJE-FM, 100.3 ("The Edge"), for at least a decade, and they're here with fellow hard rock radio staples Shinedown who, despite anthems like "45," never took to the "nu metal" vibe wholeheartedly enough to have trouble shaking it off. SS