‘FRONT ROW WITH THE SALTY DOGS'
6:30 p.m., AETN Studios, Conway. Free.
Once again, AETN returns with a live taping of its semi-regular local concert show. After playing against type the last go-round with live hip-hop group Epiphany and One Night Stand, the program returns to more “Austin City Limits” territory, with Arkansas honky-tonk heroes the Salty Dogs. With three albums of bright country that veers between Western swing, classic country and down-home ingenuity, the Dogs are sure to come armed with plenty of foot-tapping material for Thursday night's performance, which will air for the first time on Aug. 20. Getting tapped to appear on AETN is only the latest in a long line of achievements. The band won the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase back in 2003. Their music's been featured on “Trading Spaces,” and Elvis' drummer, DJ Fontana, liked them well enough to contribute a few licks on their most recent album, “Autoharpoon.” AETN asks that you RSVP for the free show via aetn.org or by calling 800-662-2386. LM.
8 p.m., the Village. $12 adv., $15 d.o.s.
Apocalyptica's latest album, “Worlds Collide,” has generated high and heavy praise for encompassing the band's evolution while forging headfirst into uncharted realms. The four-piece from Helsinki, Finland, consists of three classically trained cellists and a drummer who deliver a rare flavor of metal, cello rock and classical. Other suggested genres include chamber, neo-classical and symphonic metal. Recent co-collaborators include Stone Sour/Slipknot front man Corey Taylor, Lacuna Coil's Cristina Scabbia and longtime friend and collaborator Dave Lombardo, known far and wide for his Machine Gun Kelly footwork as Slayer's drummer. Nine albums and 11 years later, their lengthy tour brings them to Little Rock. With no scheduled opener, attendees may be treated to a range of covers of the likes of Slayer, Pantera, Metallica, Rammstein and David Bowie, whose heartfelt classic “Heroes” is recorded on “Worlds Collide.” PP.
THE MOVING FRONT/ KYOTO BOOM
8:30 p.m., On the Rocks. $5.
It's a surefire barroom trick: Book a popular bill of bands that have never played your venue and offer ridiculous drink specials. The masses will flock. On Thursday, the Moving Front and Kyoto Boom, two local post-punk acts who sound polished enough to be national, headline at On the Rocks, the River Market bar on the ground floor of the Block 2 lofts. The Moving Front, who seemed to own Little Rock stages during the early part of last year, have been playing out less lately, while they work on a sophomore album. Bassist Brian Rodgers reports that they have 10 songs, minus vocals and mixing, in the can. It'll still be a while before they release the album, but look for them to test the new material on Thursday. Kyoto Boom, who came close to winning this year's Musicians Showcase, still hasn't recorded a debut album, though the band's looking to in the coming months. Expect both bands' fanbases, which overlap to a certain degree, to be out in full, particularly since drink specials include 25-cent Bud Light, $3 pitchers, $3 Sex on the Beach and $10 Bud Light towers, which must be only a few liters away from a pony keg. LM.
2nd FRIDAY ART NIGHT
5 p.m., Downtown Little Rock. Free.
Those willing to brave the late-afternoon/early-evening heat on Friday will be rewarded by free food and booze and, most importantly, good art. At the Historic Arkansas Museum, impressive local artist John Kushmaul debuts a show called “Downtown Nonfiction.” In his artist's statement, he says, “Little Rock serves as a convenient subject because the varieties of architecture document the role of history in a modern day Arkansas. The historic architecture viewed in conjunction with the street's power poles, wires and satellite dishes show both the historic legacy and the progression of technology in Little Rock.” The museum will also have scores by American composers from the collection of Robert and Angie Boury on display. Nearby, River Market ArtSpace presents the opening of “Intervals of Time and Space: The Paintings of LaDawn Whiteside.” And at the ACAC space on South Main, three artists, Mindy Lacefield, Catherine Gilbert and Cary Jenkins, debut new work. That show begins at 6 p.m., rather than 5 p.m. LM.
LOCH NESS MONSTER
9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $8.
? Together for years under various names and iterations, Loch Ness Monster celebrates on Friday the release of its long-gestating debut album, “Eleven Traditional Songs” (Max Recordings). With Sulac, also of Hector Faceplant, singing skewed lyrics about Edna Ferber novels and holes in the ozone over frantic, shimmering post-punk, there's sure to be plenty of bopping around. LNM has the foresight to know that booze on an empty stomach and bopping around rarely make a good combo, so to the first comers, they're offering traditional Scottish stew made “Scottish” Brian Hirrel, the band's guitarist, with beef tenderloin tips supplied by bassist Jim Young, who's the GM at Sonny Williams'. The stew, until it runs out, comes with admission, which is $8 with a CD or $5 without. Memphis' Dragoon, which features members of Trusty and the Grifters, opens the show with the Buttons. LM.
9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10.
Jon McLaughlin's resume looks like a C-list-actor-turned-overnight sensation. The Indiana-born pop singer/songwriter has taken what's lately become a popular path to music stardom: He's scored placement of his songs on TV shows. So, off-brands like “Ghost Whisperer” and “A Little Thing Called Life.” But, too, shows like “Scrubs,” which probably helped McLaughlin make the jump into movies like “Bridge to Terabithia” and that Lindsey Lohan stinker “Georgia Rule.” Then, last year, came the coup: McLaughlin made an on-screen appearance performing the song “So Close” in Disney's “Enchanted.” The song, like just about every song in that movie, got nominated for an Oscar, and McLaughlin got to perform at the ceremony. Since then, he's toured with Kelly Clarkson, appeared on Leno and cut a track for a Randy Jackson comp. His second studio album, “OK Now,” comes out in October; the first single, “Beating My Heart,” is already getting radio play. You'll probably hear it on your favorite TV show soon. LM.
8 p.m., Revolution. $20 adv., $25 d.o.s.
Candlebox originally was named Uncle Duke, perhaps a nod to Gary Trudeau's Doonesbury character of the same name, who was blatantly cloned from Hunter S. Thompson. The Seattle band's 1993 debut album sold an impressive 4 million copies, with plenty of assistance from radio and MTV's rotation overkill. After albums in 1995 and 1998, Candlebox remained below mainstream's radar for an entire decade. Until now. Last month's long-awaited release of “Into the Sun” spawned a single, “Stand,” that's picking up airplay on mainstream rock radio stations. Now the band returns to the public sphere with three of its four original members. The Little Rock show falls only one week into a tour that runs through Oct. 4. Known for hard-hitting live performances, Candlebox has toured with the diverse likes of the Flaming Lips, Rush, Henry Rollins, Living Color and Metallica. Vocalist Kevin Martin delivers his signature plaintive wails with his hard-rocking cohorts Monday at Revolution for an all-ages show. Supporting acts the King's Royal and Smalltown Sleeper complete the bill. PP.
9 p.m., Juanita's. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.
Hailing from Louisville, Ky., the city that spawned 20th-century freethinking renegades such as Johnny Depp, Hunter S. Thompson and Muhammed Ali, the quartet Tantric is composed of vocalist Hugo Ferreira, drummer Matt Taul, bassist Jesse Vest and guitarist Todd Whitener. The latter three played together as teens, and eventually evolved in 1995 into a band called Days of the New, whose debut album went platinum. On tour with Metallica, conflicts resulted in the three getting fired by shameless Layne Staley poser Travis Meeks. “We went from opening for Metallica, and feeling like we had everything and more going for us, to picking up job applications at Arby's,” Whitener has said. But the trio hooked up with singer Ferreira, and, in time, caught the attention of Madonna's record label, Maverick, which dropped the name Carbon-14 for the more mysterious-sounding Tantric. In 2001, they released tracks that have been described as a blend of unusual vocal harmonies, hard riffs and intriguing experimentation. At the helm was Toby Wright, who had produced Primus, Alice in Chains and Korn. With a full head of touring steam, Tantric heads to town for Tuesday's 18-and-up show at Juanita's, with openers FosterChild and Aranda. PP.