- John Deeb
- The Pauses
- Ron van Rutten
- Jonah Matranga
JONAH MATRANGA, THE PAUSES, I WAS AFRAID, HEADCOLD
8 p.m. White Water Tavern. $12-$15.
Here to prove — as he did two decades ago with a 1998 record called "Water & Solutions" — that one need not abandon melody or backbeat to make confessional music is Jonah Matranga. And, instead of getting surly about playing a set full of songs from the era of Barenaked Ladies and Marcy Playground, Matranga — an author, artist, poet and father best known for his work with Far and under the name onelinedrawing — rings in the anniversary by playing "Water & Solutions" in its entirety on a U.S. tour. To that end, Matranga's been joining forces with The Pauses, an enchanting, muscular outfit helmed by the brilliant Tierny Tough; if tour precedent holds, The Pauses will both open the show and act as Matranga's backing band. The traditional gift for a 20th anniversary is china, but with sets from I Was Afraid and Headcold on the bill, you may want to opt for something a little more shatterproof. SS
- Ulloa Photography Studio
- 'GIRL, FRIEND': T-Rextasy gets Jurassic at Stickyz Thursday night, with Sabine Valley.
8:30 p.m. Stickyz. $8.
First things first: T-Rextasy is not to be confused with T.Rextasy, a tribute band dedicated to the sweet glam of Marc Bolan and company. Little Rock is about to be graced by T-Rextasy with the hyphen — not the dot — and it makes all the difference. T-Rextasy is an all-female New York pop-punk band with more than a little touch of cutesy and twee vocals over speedy, driven instrumentation. If we pulled their DNA, it wouldn't be surprising to see a heritage mishmash of maybe 22 percent Shonen Knife layered with respectable doses of L7, La Luz and the actual Powerpuff Girls. The fun surprise, though, is in the clever and sometimes cutting lyrics about feminist issues, privilege and queer politics, delivered with a healthy dose of the funny. The band's 2016 debut, "Jurassic Punk," garnered positive reviews from many corners, including National Public Radio, which listed the bitingly comic "Gap Yr Boiz" on its list of "Songs We Love." The summer of 2018 has seen a release of their fun single, "Girl, Friend," exploring the various combinations and possibilities contained within the title, over a sugar-sweet catchy beat. This one's gonna be fun. You have our written permission to break your "no weekday shows" rule. Get on out. Sabine Valley, finalist and crowd fave in the 2018 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, opens the show. GH
FRIDAY 8/24-SUNDAY 8/26
QUANTUM FLUX 6
Noon Fri.-Sat. Cadron Creek Outfitters. $56-$120.
If the words "space force" have registered in your retinas with enough frequency to leave you considering the potential benefits of an off-the-grid lifestyle, here's some water in which to dip the toe. A few times a year, a bunch of people loosely identified as the "Flux Family" gather around the banks of Cadron Creek's North Fork and camp out, occupying the hours with funk and pulsating psychedelic dance music, late-night light shows, juggling workshops, organic food, fire circles, fractal paintings, swimming and general spiritual communion. Think: Burning Man, Faulkner County-style. This late-summer edition features workshops on hula "knee hooping," laughter yoga, essential oils and music theory, plus an all-day lineup of sets from Spoonfed Tribe, The Rios, Open Fields, Charlie Askew, Vintage Pistol and too many EDM sets to count. These festivals are wildly popular; grab RV passes and camping reservations at fluxfamily.com beforehand and, especially if you hope to camp down the abominably steep hill next to the creek, pack light and wear comfortable shoes. SS
- LYRICS IN STRATA: Colour Design shares a bill with Modeling and Tyler Tradewell at Capitol View Studio Friday night.
COLOUR DESIGN, MODELING, TYLER TRADEWELL
9 p.m. Capitol View Studio. $10.
If the Cocteau Twins' "Four-Calendar Cafe" has taught me anything, it's that you don't necessarily need to know the words to a song to have it committed to memory. For me, Colour Design's "They Don't Exist" lives on this same layers-before-lyrics terrain. With the exception of the wrenching "Twenty Seasons," Shawn Hood's voice is shrouded in guitar strata, self-aware enough to melt into its place within the sprawling ensemble sound, urgent and shrewd enough to soar above it. If you haven't seen them live, you couldn't have happened upon a more fitting setting: Capitol View Studio shows are intimate and communal by design. For a peek at the rest of the bill, dig the single-take spell cast in the video for "Apex" by Modeling (formerly Move Orchestra), a Fayetteville-based trio of brothers as skilled in mesmerizing the eye as they are the ear; and fellow Fayetteville musician Tyler Tradewell's austere, plaintive "Stayed Too Long." SS
JAMIE LOU AND THE HULLABALOO
10 p.m. Four Quarter Bar. $7.
Maybe children, tinnitis or a general proclivity for early bedtimes have kept you away from seeing a lot of live music in the last calendar year. Nevertheless, you're likely to have come across Jamie Lou Connolly's voice — alternately sweet and soaring — on a commercial for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Sunny as the ad spot is, it doesn't hold a candle to hearing Connolly and her outfit — a runner-up who rounded a corner and took home the championship at this year's Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase — in the flesh. The tight-knit ensemble (with two newlyweds at the helm) takes the stage Friday night at Four Quarter Bar, a historic Argenta spot as beloved for its late-night menu as it is for its consistently stellar musical lineup. SS
- LAST CALL FOR BASEBALL: The Arkansas Travelers enter the home stretch of this year's baseball season.
SATURDAY 8/25-MONDAY 8/27
ARKANSAS TRAVELERS VS. NORTHWEST ARKANSAS NATURALS
6:10 p.m. Sat., 2:10 p.m. Sun., 7:10 p.m. Mon. Dickey-Stephens Park. $7-$13.
Lawd, this summer has been almost too hot for baseball, right? We've been in the "let's wait until it's cooler" mode for too long and — whoops! — the Travs are suddenly right up on their final homestand of the regular season. Time to suck it up and head to the park! To play catch-up a bit: The Travelers have been having a decent year, winning the first-half division title outright and sitting just outside of first place as the second half nears an end. Standing in the way? The Northwest Arkansas Naturals, who have been pretty much owning the Travs this year. Can the Travs come through when it counts the most, with the second-half title on the line? Nab some tickets and find out. If you need some additional incentives, the final homestand is heavy on the promos: On Saturday, the first 1,000 fans get a mobile phone holder/stand. Sunday is "Photo With A Trav" day, kids get to run the bases after the game, plus it's First Responders Appreciation Day. The regular season wraps up Monday, with "Bark in the Ballpark" ($1 general admission tickets for those who bring a dog) and free train rides for the kids. Yep, it'll undoubtedly be a sweaty and sticky old time, but that's what the Icees and other cold beverages are for. See ya on the berm. GH
THREE ON A STRING
5 p.m. Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. Free.
Folks, this is good, clean fun. To end a series of alternatives masses — including a Taize service, a Gregorian chant service and a bluegrass mass (with a deviled egg cookoff!) — Trinity Episcopal Cathedral is bringing in Birmingham, Ala., based Three on a String. They're a band, but they're also a vibe. And that vibe is khaki shorts. Where do khaki shorts belong? Alternative liturgies. This is a match made in heaven — and generally God-approved. Three on a String perform a vaudeville throwback show of bluegrass music, (grand)dad comedy and PG hijinks, and the group's been performing for 45 years, notably in front of Presidents Bush and Reagan. A trustworthy, family-friendly performance awaits. JR
9 p.m. White Water Tavern.
Blood is red, periwinkle is blue and Vincas — a heavy-as-hell noise rock band from Georgia named after (I assume) the botanical genus for the periwinkle plant — will destroy you. How? With songs like "Murder" and "Death March" and "Love Noose" and "Dead and Alone" and "Deadache." You get the idea, but just in case, here are their two albums: "Blood Bleeds" and "Deep in the Well." Both, records, of course, brood. They're full up of tar-black and bass-heavy noise rock, sprinkled with psychedelia and post-punk. "Most of the time when I sit down to write with this band, I'm in a more aggressive headspace," said Chris McNeal, frontman of the band, to Athens-based Flagpole. In fact, yes, the color for Vincas is not the periwinkle of their namesake flower or the blood red of their first record title — it is sludge black, the color of the dark mud in which the vinca plant swarms, "invad[ing] a piece of land," according to its encyclopedia entry. I'm sure the band's inky sound will creep around the bar, filling White Water with horrific shadows, especially as primed by locals Or. JR
PRIDECORPS ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
5:30 p.m. Boswell Mourot Fine Art. Donations.
We write a lot about the mission of Central Arkansas nonprofit Lucie's Place in the Arkansas Times, but supporting LGBTQ young adults in meaningful ways takes a village. Enter Pridecorps, an outreach group founded in 2014 for LGBTQ youth ages 13-20. The group meets biweekly at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church for panel discussions on mental health, wellness and nutrition, substance abuse, suicide prevention, safe sex, bullying and self-esteem. It also offers community-building activities: yoga, bowling, geocaching, cooking classes. To celebrate the mission's fourth anniversary, Pridecorps is throwing a party at Boswell Mourot Fine Art, where you can find out more about the work being done to make life a little safer and more fulfilling for young people in the LGBTQ community. SS
- Alyssa Gafkjen
- 'THAT SANTA FE CHANNEL': Cordovas storms into Stickyz Wednesday evening.
8:30 p.m. Stickyz. $10.
If the Grateful Dead or The Band's "Big Pink" are in your regular rotation, do yourself a solid and get to Stickyz on Wednesday night. The Cordovas, were they not born a generation too late, could've warmed up the crowd for the taping of "The Last Waltz," and, like Levon Helm, frontman and North Carolina native Joe Firstman left home only to discover that the rest of the country was head over heels for the music of the American South. Cue up "Louisiana Hurricane" on the band's website, where multiple movements therein emulate a storm with an unspoken implication that natural disaster wreaks its havoc most cruelly on those clinging to the bottom rungs of the economic ladder, just above the high-water mark. It's the kind of outfit where everyone sings, everyone's a virtuoso, everyone shares the same inner eighth note pulse and arrangements feel like they've been set in stone for decades. The quintet brought in Milk Carton Kids' Kenneth Pattengale to produce their latest, "That Santa Fe Channel," in which guitars glitter and airtight harmonies hold sway. SS