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'Southern Cross' at Weekend Theater

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WEDNESDAY 8/8

RANDY ROGERS AND WADE BOWEN

9 p.m. Revolution. $25.

This is being billed as Round VI of the "Hold My Beer and Watch This" tour, in which Texas Red Dirt giants Randy Rogers of San Marcos and Wade Bowen of New Braunfels join forces to showcase their tunes acoustically. They'll often tell the story of how a particular song came into existence, offering fans a glimpse behind the songwriting process. Rogers and his band have a new album coming out soon called "Trouble." The album's lead single, "One More Sad Song," was released last week. Bowen's latest is "The Given," 10 tracks of his hybrid classic rock, country and thoughtful singer/songwriter fare. This is an 18-and-older show.

WEDNESDAY 8/8

SOULFLY

9 p.m. Juanita's. $20.

Guitarist and vocalist Max Cavalera formed Soulfly back in the mid '90s after splitting from Sepultura, the enormously popular Brazilian metal band he'd co-founded. While his work with Sepultura looms large in metal history, Cavalera has nonetheless carved out a distinct space and his own legacy in the landscape of heaviness with Soulfly and his other band, Cavalera Conspiracy (which features his brother Igor Cavalera on drums). The band's latest album, "Enslaved," is a particularly brutal slab of harsh vocals, relentless double bass drumming and crushing riffage. This show is a stop on what's billed as "The Maximum Cavalera Tour," which seems appropriate given that the opening bands — Lody Kong and Incite — include his sons Igor, Zyon and Richard. It's important to note that the very next day after this show, Soulfly is headed up to Cave-in-Rock, Ill., to play The Gathering of the Juggalos, described by a dude on the festival's promo video as "a safe haven of free thinking." On the Soulfly website, Cavalera elaborated: "It's a challenge and at the same time it's an honor that they specifically asked for Soulfly to play at the festival. We're gonna give our best show possible and we're going to [eff] [stuff] up at the Gathering of the Juggalos." So good luck and Godspeed to the members of Soulfly as they face the uncertainty and high potential for chaos that's always lurking at the Gathering. Oh, and dudes, if they start tumping over Portapotties, just get the hell out of there as quickly as possible.

FRIDAY 8/10

'SOUTHERN CROSS'

7:30 p.m. The Weekend Theater. $12-$16.

This work, by playwright Jon Klein, is an epic that spans many decades of Southern history, touching on major figures and happenings, as well as lesser-known events. According to a synopsis of the play, some of the more familiar stories it tells are of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's march to the sea, the rise and fall of the legendary Louisiana politician and populist firebrand Huey Long and the Civil Rights struggles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Ala. Among others, the play stars Byron Taylor as Long, KUAR reporter Malcolm Glover as King and Joe Ochterbeck as Elvis Presley. The Weekend Theater's production, directed by Frank O. Butler, runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through Aug. 25.

SATURDAY 8/11

ARKANSAS BOOK AND PAPER SHOW

9 a.m. Jacksonville Community Center. $5.

OK, so I suppose that some awful day in the (hopefully distant) future, the printing presses will shut down and everything anyone reads will be on some sort of glowing screen on a device that's so magical and high-tech that my feeble imagination can't even conceive of it. But until then, there will still be those old souls who want to have it on a physical format, be it vinyl, cassette, 8-track or CD for the music heads or hardbound, paperback or book-on-tape for the bibliophiles. If you're the sort who fits that description, you might want to head to the 27th annual Arkansas Book and Paper Show, which "promises to be an exciting event for collectors, historians, and those who want to view museum quality materials all available for purchase," said Jeff Baskin, show director in a press release. "Many dealers are from out of state, bringing with them postcards, rare books, leather-bound books, printed ephemera, maps, children's books and much more." Sounds like a good time for book geeks, obsessive map collectors and other assorted lovers of the printed word. The show continues Sunday, opening at 10 a.m.

SATURDAY 8/11

THE BLACK ANGELS

9 p.m. Stickyz. $12 adv., $15 day of.

Austin, Texas, fuzz-merchants The Black Angels have spent the last several years creating pitch-perfect drone-y psych that pulls equally from the vintage psychedelic sounds of such timeless influences as the Velvets, Jefferson Airplane and the inestimable 13th Floor Elevators, as well as the slightly more recent sturm und drang of Loop, The Spacemen 3 and the like. In other words, if you're looking for a dark, druggy, droning, churning, Farfisa-fied fuzz fiesta, The Black Angels have your fix. The band is on tour with Seattle's Night Beats, a three-piece that trucks in similarly reverb-drenched dark psych, with lots of pounding drums, scorching guitar licks and a generally acid-fried vibe. Opening up the show is Brut Choir, featuring Everett Hagen and Arkansas expat Jimmy Spice. The two create an awesomely foreboding, claustrophobic sort of coldwave that reminds me of "Sparks in a Dark Room" by Belgian gloom-meisters Minny Pops.

SATURDAY 8/11

ANTHONY HAMILTON

8 p.m. Robinson Center Music Hall. $61-$71.

Anthony Hamilton might have gotten his start as a background singer (for D'Angelo), but in the nearly 10 years since his breakout album, "Comin' From Where I'm From," he's proven many times over that he fully deserves his place in the spotlight. Hamilton has released six full-length albums of solid, highly acclaimed neo-soul that sounds fresh and contemporary, but at the same time hints at some lost-treasure Southern soul album that was criminally overlooked. He's got a voice that can shift from honey sweet to world-weary in the span of a moment and that has drawn numerous comparisons to the great Bill Withers. If you like contemplative, gritty R&B in the vein of Donny Hathaway, Bobby Womack or D'Angelo, don't skip out on this one. Opening the show is Detroit singer K'Jon.

TUESDAY 8/14

THE CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD

9 p.m. Revolution. $17 adv., $20 day of.

Besides possessing one of the greatest voices in rock music, Chris Robinson exudes amiable hippie charm like nobody else. But behind that laid-back exterior lies a restless spirit with a tireless work ethic. With The Black Crowes once again on hiatus, co-founder Robinson is heeding the call of the endless golden road with his new crew, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood. Back in June, the band released "Big Moon Ritual," seven tracks of gorgeous, meandering, Dead-inspired rock and roll. The shortest song clocks in at a shade over 7 minutes, but the record never drags. "I think I'll take my own sweet time," Robinson sings on opener "Tulsa Yesterday." He and the band proceed to do just that. There's soulful funk aplenty, but overall, the CRB has a way more cosmic kinda vibe going on than the Crowes. The echoing, outer space-gurgling midway through "Rosalee" wouldn't sound out of place on a Gong record, and the synthesizer that pops its head up throughout the record sounds like 1971. Not like something recorded in 1971, like the year 1971 itself. There's a real subdued middle section, with the beautiful "Reflections on a Broken Mirror" and the forlorn "Beware, Oh Take Care." "Big Moon Ritual" is a fantastic album, but it's not exactly party music. If you're looking for a soundtrack to some skinny-dipping at the swimming hole with a couple of cases of beer and a bunch of your best friends, that worn-out cassette copy of "The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion" will do fine just like always. But if you need the perfect companion for getting lost in thought on a long, late-night drive by yourself, definitely pick up "Big Moon Ritual." This is an 18-and-older show.

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