8 p.m., Arkansas Flag and Banner. $5.
What would you say if I told you that you could hear new, sure-to-be-compelling local music and support a good cause all in the same three hours? What would you expect that to cost? Fifty dollars? One hundred dollars? How 'bout $5, like it says an inch above? That's right, for half a sawbuck you can support the Backyard Garden Project and the Arkansas Sustainability Network and catch Eclipse Glasses, the new local act that includes vets of dozens of great local bands — Kyle Carpenter, Lorenza Harrington, Colin Miles, Andrew Morgan and Zach Reeves. This is the band's debut show. Morgan says they'll be doing an amalgamation of “funk, soul, electro, Afrobeat, reggae, weirdo disco.” I've got high hopes. The Backyard Garden Project is an initiative that's helping folks create backyard gardens, particularly those who are clients of local foodbanks. The Arkansas Sustainability Network, like its name suggests, is a non-profit aimed at fostering sustainable development. All ages welcome.
5:30 p.m., River Market Pavilions. $22-$30.
The four keys to maximizing your Foam Fest experience: Eat a big lunch, make sure you're hydrated, recruit 10 friends and line up a sober bus. Then, for four hours, drink steadily and broadly, sampling more than 65 varieties of beer and wine, while head-nodding and, later, singing (slurring) along to local cover bands. All proceeds benefit the Arthritis Foundation. The music kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with Saline County's most active blues act, the Mike Dollins Band. At 6:30 p.m., good-time cover band Crisis! plays a broad range of recognizable rock covers. Jam band Weakness for Blondes follows at 7:30, and local dance favorite Mr. Happy helps close down the event at 8:30. Just before the drink-a-thon ends, a people's choice award will be presented to the favorite brew. If you're in a group of 10 or more, admission is $22. Advance tickets are available at foamfest.org.
10 p.m., Downtown Music. $5.
Here's a slogan I can get behind: “Brought to you by dance music and cheap beer.” That's the tag for Cool Shoes, the regular dance/art party that man-about-town TJ Deeter is hosting. The inaugural party, held last month, was billed as Little Rock's answer to Club MTV. Dancers were filmed and performers shoes' were interviewed (really), but Deeter says the party won out over the concept. So those who were wary of grinding for hundreds of web-video watchers can now get-low carefree. Helping move butts: Deeter, who briefly was TJDJ's, but never TJ the DJ, and is now just simply Deeter. Plus, representing the 4X4 Crew, DJ Fatality, and — composed of two local dudes who you'll probably recognize from seeing out — Broez B4 Hoez. Like last time, a performer will take the mic for one song. This time it's local polemicist 607. It'll be a bustle of activity: Dirtbag is doing graffiti art throughout the night and Magpie and Birdie host a trunk show of vintage clothes. All ages welcome.
KYOTO BOOM/ BROWNINGHAM
9:30 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $5.
Give it up for a few people making big noises. As anyone who followed the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase earlier this year knows, Kyoto Boom kicks out new-wavy jams befitting arena stages. Drummer Duke Boyne and guitarist Dave Raymond are extremely adept and precise at what they do, but the bigness comes, most of all, courtesy of Scott Cook, who plays keyboard and bass and sings full-throated with a voice that's more real-deal rock 'n' roll than anyone in town. Opening the show, which Boyne curated, is one-man band Nathan Brown, AKA Browningham. Known to local concertgoers as a crooner in the Michael McDonald mold, Brown comes to Sticky Fingerz armed with new material that he's performing with a guitar with keyboard, bass and drum loops backing him. After Kyoto Boom plays, DJ Rod Bryan spins a specific mix — Ghanaian funk, political punk and American Southern soul ex-pats.
7 p.m., Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, Petit Jean. $10.
Like my homie Derek Jenkins always says, film is a medium made by a lot of people, for a lot of people. So why shouldn't it be social? Why shouldn't we discuss/critique/question films together? The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute (part of the University of Arkansas System) agrees. On the fourth Fridays of June, July and August, the institute presents a documentary and then follows the showing with a discussion among the filmmaker, topical experts and the audience. “Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections” kicks off the series this Friday. The film's director, Emmy award-winner David Earnhart, will be on hand along with regional political experts to discuss the doc. Space is limited, so advance registration is recommended. Go to uawri.org to register online. In July, “Spilled Milk: Our Milk, Our Farmers, Our Arkansas” screens. “Who Killed the Electric Car?” closes out the series on Aug. 25. A three-film pass is available for $25.
8 p.m., Timberwood Amphitheater. $45.99.
The Gin Blossoms owned rock radio in the early '90s. Troubled relationship songs like “Hey Jealousy,” “Found Out About You” and “Allison Road” were just about inescapable. The tortured lyrics didn't come from the ether; lead singer Doug Hopkins struggled with alcoholism and depression and was fired from the band just before the release of its debut album. Later that year, even as his songs were in heavy rotation on the radio and MTV, Hopkins killed himself. Still, the band has persevered. Guitarist Scott Johnson stepped into the frontman role and the band subsequently released big songs like “Til I Hear it from You,” a collaboration with AM-pop hero Marshall Crenshaw for the “Empire Records” soundtrack, and “Follow Me Down,” the lead single off the band's second record, “Congratulations…I'm Sorry.” Even with that success, the Gin Blossoms hung it up in 1997, only to reunite four years later. With two recent albums in the can, the band continues to tour steadily.
12 p.m., Easy Street. Donations.
The Arkansas Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Film Festival kicks off at noon Saturday with “The Golden Age of Broadway,” a documentary about the musical comedies, and their stars, that made Broadway what it is today. Throughout the two-day festival, a number of shorts, documentaries and narrative films will celebrate their Arkansas premiere. At 4 p.m. Friday, a men's shorts series airs. Then at 6 p.m., a women's shorts series airs. At 8 p.m. Friday, filmmaker Mark Jones of Memphis will attend the screening of his film, “Eli Parker is Getting Married?” Sunday features all long films, including the documentary “Abomination: The Ex-Gay Movement” at 2 p.m. and the equal rights documentary “Pursuit of Equality” at 7:30 p.m.
8:30 p.m., Juanita's. $12 adv., $15 d.o.s.
Unabashedly derivative, hugely poppy and ooh-so dreamy, Rooney returns to Little Rock for the second time this year. Here's betting that the audience looks quite a bit different. The L.A. quintet's February show, which might've been the band's first in Arkansas, found them opening for tween sensations the Jonas Brothers. Despite an earlier tour with Kelly Clarkson and pretty transparent aspirations to break into mainstream pop radio, Rooney's likely to draw more young indie-rockers than anyone else on Wednesday. Led by Robert Schwartzman (brother of Jason, son of Talia Shire, nephew of Nic Cage, et al), the band draws influences from sunny California throwbacks like the Beach Boys and British revivalists like ELO and Superdrag. Currently on the Calling the World Tour, in support of 2007's album of the same name, the group has said that at this tour's conclusion, they'll go into the studio to record a new album. Maybe we'll get sneak peeks. Brooklyn's Locksley, who mine similar Brit-pop territory, opens, with High Places.
Sundown, Riverfest Amphitheatre. Free.
It's a rom-com of the first order — schmaltzy, predictable and fluffy. But I got stuck on it the other day on HBO and, I cannot tell I lie, I sort of misted a little. Julia Roberts just has such a nice, big toothy smile, and she's playing a movie star, and not just a movie star, but like the biggest movie star, which she's obviously more than qualified to do, so when, after making several cavalier relationship gaffes, she comes hat-in-hander to Hugh Grant's bumbling bookstore owner, it's, well, pretty freaking sweet. Plus, you know, there's some serious wish-fulfillment at work here. How many of us former book clerks haven't dreamed of Julia Roberts coming hat-in-hand to our store? This also, you'll barely remember, was the big debut for oafishly charming Rhys Ifans as Grant's roommate. Fellas, here's a chance for the cheapest date ever. As always, Movies in the Park is free. Beach towels, lawn chairs and coolers are welcome.