- LUCERO LEADER
‘SHOTGUN STORIES' AFTER PARTY
10 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $15-$20.
Cinephiles, kids from around the way, proud parents and your friends from the Arkansas Times will all mingle and get down at Sticky Fingerz for the after party of the premiere of “Shotgun Stories” (7 p.m., Market Street). The film's director, Jeff Nichols, will be in the house for you to backslap, as will his brother, Lucero lead singer Ben Nichols. Hugely popular in these parts (the band sold more than 600 tickets at the Village last year) and increasingly so nationally, Lucero has made its bones on literate songwriting about, as the band says, “life, love and drinking while on the road.” Ben Nichols, who provided the ambient, alt-country-tinged score to “Shotgun Stories,” will help celebrate the film with a solo show — just his guttural voice, a guitar and songs Lucero fans know by heart. This might be one of Smoke Up Johnny's last shows. The local barroom rockers just released their debut album and have a huge local following, but once “Shotgun Stories” gets out there a little more, SUJ lead singer Alan “Disaster” Wilkins, who very nearly steals the movie as a meth dealer named Shampoo Douglas, is surely bound for bright lights and big cities. In the meantime, expect pure, deeply infectious rock 'n' roll from his band in the headlining spot. A combo ticket to the premiere and after party is $20. The movie alone is $10; after party alone is $15.
8 p.m., Revolution. $10 adv./$13 d.o.s.
Keoki Franconi is a man of many (mostly self-dubbed) nicknames. “The Bad Boy of Techno.” “The It Boy.” “The Pied Piper.” “The Mixmaster.” “The God of Techno.” But it's Superstar DJ Keoki, a name Franconi gave himself before he even had DJ experience, that's stuck. As a member of the Club Kids, the outlandishly costumed New York-based partygoers and throwers, Keoki came to fame as a frequent DJ for the crew. He also dated, on and off, Michael Alig, the head of the Club Kids, who's now in jail for murder. The film “Party Monster” captured the whole sordid story, with Macaulay Culkin starring as Alig and Wilmer Valderrama as Keoki. Still riding the “Party Monster” wave, Keoki comes to Revolution for Zodiac Sagittarius, the club's monthly DJ showcase. Trance vet Vicious Vic co-headlines with locals Platinumb vs. Kinkade, the Tony Danzas and Die Theory.
SECOND FRIDAY ART NIGHT
5 p.m., downtown. Free.
See art; give food. That's the theme for this Friday's 2nd Friday Art Night event at downtown galleries, to be held 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Collection boxes for canned food will be placed at each of the venues for donations to the Arkansas Foodbank Network, which distributes to relief agencies across the state.
The evening's lineup: River Market ArtSpace, 301 President Clinton Ave., will open “Baubles, Bangles, and Beads,” a holiday jewelry show and sale of work by Kathleen Bearden, Jeff and Judy Goodwin, Nancy Brillos Henderson and Burke Johnston on Friday. Hearne Fine Art, 500 Clinton Ave., will present “2007 in Retrospection,” featuring ceramic work by Chukes; mixed media sculpture by Kevin Cole; mixed media on paper and canvas by Rex Delony, Mr. Imagination, W. Earl Robinson and Artis Lane; silverpoint by Marjorie Williams-Smith; etchings, oils and watercolors by Dean Mitchell, and acrylics by Sylvester McKissack and Dianne Smith. Artists showing in the Delta Exhibition will be on hand at the Arts Center, where the Museum Shop and Best Impressions Restaurant will be also open. At the Cox Creative Gallery, 120 Commerce St., the 3rd annual Holiday Market continues with work by more than 30 artists in its second and third floor galleries. The Historic Arkansas Museum at Second and Cumberland will host its “Third Ever Nog-Off” competition of historic recipes and a reception for the exhibit “Dominique Simmons and Sammy Peters: Geography Lessons.” Ten Thousand Villages at 305 President Clinton Ave. will also be open.
8 p.m., the Village. $23 adv/$26 d.o.s.
Texan Pat Green spent the late '90s touring relentlessly and self-releasing albums, building up a strong regional fan base and selling more than 200,000 albums without major-label support. With a sound somewhere in between that of home-state heroes like Robert Earl Keen and Jerry Jeff Walker and the arena pop of bands like Hootie and the Blowfish, Green became a juggernaut in the college scene. When he signed to Universal in 2001, he appeared to be on the road to superstardom. Four albums and six years later, he's still dancing between regional and national success, but in these parts, he's unquestionably a big deal. KSSN brings him to the Village to headline its annual Christmas concert. Local singer/songwriter and piano player Susan Erwin opens with Conway's Cyprus Creek, who walk the line between Southern rock and down-home country. As lead singer B.J. Moody sings in “Southern Nights,” they're “getting crunk — country-style.”
7:30 p.m., Acoustic Sounds Cafe, 2nd Presbyterian Church. $8-$10.
Muriel Anderson comes to Acoustic Sounds Cafe with quite a pedigree. A granddaughter of a saxophonist in John Phillips Sousa's band, Anderson studied classical guitar at DePaul, then went on to work with guitar greats Christopher Parkening and Chet Atkins. Later, she became the first woman to win the National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship. Today, she's widely regarded as the premier woman fingerstyle guitarist. According to Acoustic Sounds, her repertoire extends through dozens of genres and eras — from Bach to the Beatles, Spanish flamenco to Japanese Koto music, Sousa marches to her own Weavers-style folk-pop. With 12 albums under her belt (and three in Japan), Anderson comes to Little Rock in support of the albums “Wildcat” and “Harp Guitar Christmas,” a selection of Christmas carols played on a wooden harp guitar. Little Rock's Tom Cox Jazz Quartet opens with Cox on piano and Barry McVinney on sax/flute, Joe Vick on bass and Brian Brown on drums.
BALLET ARKANSAS'S ‘the NUTCRACKER'
3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $18-$48.
What would the holiday season be without “The Nutcracker,” an annual collaboration between Ballet Arkansas and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra? Besides being the only ballet most of us can name, “The Nutcracker” also might be the only Tchaikovsky composition a smaller percentage of us can name. More trivia to wow your friends and neighbors: The Adagio Pas de Deux in the second act is the result of a bet Tchaikovsky is said to have wagered with a friend who contended that the composer couldn't write a tune based on the notes of an octave in sequence. In the original score at least, “Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy” features the celesta, an upright instrument somewhat akin to the glockenspiel. In 1962, B. Bumble and the Stingers rode a piano boogie version of “The Nutcracker's” “Marche” that they called “Nut Rocker” all the way to the top of the British charts. Saturday's performances will be followed by one performance on Sunday at 3 p.m. The Peabody will offer a “Nutcracker Tea” on Saturday and Sunday from 12:30 p.m. until 3 p.m.
DEAD BEATLES NIGHT
9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
There will be lots of “If you're going to stab a Beatle, STAB PAUL!” shouting on Wednesday night, predicts Jason Weinheimer, spokesman, sometimes singer and guitarist of the Libras, Little Rock's favorite theme-night-obsessed cover band. After memorable nights covering the songs of Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello, the Libras dip into the canon to pay tribute to the songs of John Lennon and George Harrison. Joining Weinheimer onstage will be Isaac Alexander, Chris Michaels, Greg Spradlin, Dylan Turner and Charles Wyrick, who're moonlighting from regular duty in bands like the Big Silver, the Boondogs, the Easys and Western Meds. New Orleans native Dave Easely, who plays the pedal steel hauntingly and often without shoes, will open the show and perform as the Libras' special guest. A well-placed whiskey shot or seven is sure to coax the dudes into just about anything you want to hear, maybe even something from Paul or Ringo.