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Swingin' Utters to White Water Tavern on Thanksgiving

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THURSDAY 11/28

SWINGIN' UTTERS

9 p.m. White Water Tavern.

So it's Thanksgiving. Maybe you're already tired of being around your annoying family members. Or maybe you're alone, wishing you had some annoying family members around to get tired of. Either way, here's a great excuse to get out of the house and be social and also take in some punk rock. San Francisco's Swingin' Utters are back at White Water Tavern, this time for a Turkey Day throwdown. The Utters were one of the catchiest, best punk bands of the '90s. They took a hiatus for a few years and returned in 2011 with "Here, Under Protest." The band's newest album, this year's "Poorly Formed," is, understandably, a bit more varied than the street-punk anthems of "The Streets of San Francisco" and "A Juvenile Product of the Working Class," records that came out 18 and 17 years ago, respectively. There's nervy, jagged punk ("In a Video"), a little bit of country and banjo ("I'm a Little Bit Country"), rootsy numbers with violin, accordion and acoustic guitars in the mix ("Greener Grass"), jangly guitars ("A Walk With the Postman," "Brains") and even a sweet-sounding love tune ("Sevita Sing"). Also on this bill: Little Rock punk stalwarts The Burnt.

FRIDAY 11/29

WAR(M) CHIEF

9 p.m. Stickyz. $6 or a donation.

'Tis the season for benefit concerts. It's around this time of year that several local bands and venues give back to the community. This week sees the second annual War(m) Chief coat drive, benefitting The One Inc., a volunteer-run charity whose mission is "to identify and meet needs of our homeless and/or impoverished neighbors that are not currently being met." It's been uncomfortably cold outside as of late. Now just imagine how cold it must be for someone who doesn't have anywhere to go. So go open up your closet or get up into the attic and gather up those old coats you don't wear anymore, or maybe that tent you used once or that older but still serviceable sleeping bag and bring it to this show. You'll get in for free to see War Chief and headliners The London Souls, and you'll also help replenish the stockpile of warm items dispersed to homeless folks via The Van.

FRIDAY 11/29

(HED) P.E.

Revolution. 8:30 p.m. $12 adv., $15 day of.

It's time once more for a round of Learn About a Band by Watching One of that Band's Most Popular Videos on YouTube with the Sound Turned Off. This time the band is So-Cal heavy rap-rockers (hed) P.E. and the video is for their song "Renegade" (4.07 million views). OK, we start with a punker dude drinking at a park. He looks like he should be at a Casualties or Civil Disobedience show in 1995. He's getting sloshed and appears to be frustrated (you can tell because he smashes his bottle). He takes off skating down the street, does an ollie off of a sidewalk and then we're watching the band play in a parking lot. Singer Jared Gomes is walking down a street toward the camera and he is singing and moving his hands around. Punker dude is also walking down a street and he starts harassing people. He knocks a newspaper out of this one guy's hands. Then he messes with another guy, grabbing him and pushing him against a wall. Not a good idea, punker dude! Because then another dude comes up behind him and tosses him into a pile of cardboard boxes. The band is playing the whole time. Punker dude gets up, shakes it off and takes off walking again. He has an interesting style of walking that involves a lot of wild gesticulations and arm movements and sneering. He sneers at people while doing his unique walk. Then the video is over. I think what we learned about (hed) P.E. from this video is that the band has some sympathy for outcasts who feel frustrated by the confines of social and cultural mores and thus lash out with violence. But there is also a more nuanced message to the video: You are free to do your sneering/strutting thing all you want, but if you grab someone and push them against a wall, another guy might come up behind you and throw you into a pile of boxes. Also performing at this all-ages show will be Righteous Vendetta and At War's End.

SATURDAY 11/30

ZOOGMA

9 p.m. Revolution. $10 adv., $12 day of.

Electro/jam outfit Zoogma are no strangers to the shores of Arkansas's clubs, having played Revolution's Zodiac series as well as at Wakarusa. The four-piece is currently on tour promoting its second album, "Anthems 4 Androids." Zoogma definitely isn't beholden to any one style of music, mixing together just about any type of music that gets people moving (techno, drum 'n' bass, various newer strains of EDM) with some surprising types that usually don't (prog, in particular). On "Anthems 4 Androids," there's definitely a party vibe, particularly on the disco-informed "Mirage," which mixes things up from the standard 4/4 thumping with some off-kilter rhythmic touches. This show will be a great warm-up for you folks who are planning to go see DJs from Mars. Also on the bill at this 18-and-older show: Modern Measure.

SATURDAY 11/30

DJS FROM MARS

Late. Discovery. $10-$15.

Word on the street is that this right here will be one of the bigger electronic dance music shows of the year. DJs from Mars aren't actually from Mars; the two hail from Turin, Italy, and they've quickly become popular on the strength of their mashups. But unlike certain other notable mashup makers, they don't follow the mode of splicing together disparate and highly familiar tracks into a pop Frankenstein ("Dude, it's Dolly Parton and Peter Frampton mixed together! And it totally works, bro!"). Rather, these guys mash up currently popular EDM tracks to keep things bumping along nicely all night.

SUNDAY 12/1

LEOPOLD AND HIS FICTION

8 p.m. Stickyz. Free.

Here we have Leopold and His Fiction, a garage rock band from Austin, Texas. These guys aren't your typical bash-away-at-two-chords-and-scream style outfit. They mix in some skilled playing and actual singing along with the screaming and bashing. You know, real musical-type sounds. According to the band's bio, they "absorbed pieces of the Motown catalog along with the protopunk resonance of Iggy's Stooges and molded them into a personal version of the rock 'n' roll dream." This isn't really related to the music, but I must point out that Leopold himself (actual name: Daniel James) looks quite a bit like the love child of Freddie Mercury and Jake Gyllenhaal. Bonus: This 18-and-older show is free! Is there a better way to spend your Sunday evening? Perhaps, but probably not.

WEDNESDAY 12/4

ROD BRYAN & OILFLOWER

9 p.m. Stickyz. $5.

For your Wednesday entertainment needs, I'd recommend this here performance from singer/songwriter/political gadfly Rod Bryan his current outfit Oilflower. Bryan has been on what can only be described as a goddamn tear recently, with a relentless stream of releases on his Bandcamp page (18 or so since May). His most recent offering is a fine collection called "An Avalanche of You." It's got this duet with him and Megan Michelle called "Former Lover." It's one of those country style smart-assed back-and-forth numbers in the spirit of "Jackson," only a lot meaner. It's full of sick burns like: "And I'll find 20 of you before you find another of me / In that time how low do you think you'll be?" And then there's "It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Reeding," which finds Bryan toasting over a reggae track. And it's just ... I don't know, it sounds like some very hilarious word salad peppered with one-liners that only Little Rock folks would get. You should probably just go listen to it now. Also performing at this 18-and-older shindig: Crash Culture with Megan Michelle.

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