RAY WYLIE HUBBARD
9 p.m., Juanita's. $10 adv., 12 d.o.s.
Ray Wylie Hubbard came up in the outlaw days of Texas country, hanging with three-name honky-tonk heroes like Michael Martin Murphy, Ramblin' Jack Elliot and Jerry Jeff Walker, the latter of whom first recorded Hubbard's biggest hit, “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother,” in 1973. The fame gained from that song, which Hubbard recorded himself on his 1975 debut, didn't last. When Hubbard failed to write a follow-up success, he drowned his struggles in alcohol. But with the help of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Hubbard conquered his addiction in 1987. Since then, he's carved out an impressive solo career, releasing six albums of progressive, blues-inflected country and becoming a mentor to a new generation of country-rockers. They call him the “Wylie Lama.” Since the last time Little Rock saw Hubbard, he's been channeling his panache for creating characters into a screenplay he's co-writing for a “bad ass Western.” The concert is open to ages 18 and up. LM.
9 p.m., the Exchange, Hot Springs. $TBA.
So you're teen-aged, white and gangly. You're awkward in a way that suggests you won't grow out of it. You live in the suburbs. Now, thanks to the pioneering work of Juiceboxxx, a 22-year-old club rapper from outside of Milwaukee, Wis., who's been doing his thing for seven years now, you, too can become moderately famous and make the kids go crazy with your booty bass anthems. Painfully earnest, often shirtless and always sweat soaked, Juiceboxxx brings his infectious stage show to the Exchange on Thursday in support of his new 12-inch collab with Dre Skull, a slapper of a dance jam called “Center Stage.” Holy Shit is a new collaboration between underground heroes Matt Fishbeck, late of the Push Kings, and Ariel Pink, home recorder and Animal Collective compatriot. They come to Spa City in support of their debut album, “Stranded at Two Harbors,” a dreamy, disorienting slice of experimental pop to be released May 18 by UUAR. Local punks That Thing That Always Explodes open. LM.
10 p.m., Downtown Music. $5.
In the grand tradition of localizing popular culture that's given us Little Rock Star and Belvis the Black Elvis, local promoter/roustabout TJ Deeter offers up his version of “Club MTV” (which, of course, was modeled on “American Bandstand,” which, in turn, had its own Little Rock version, “Steve's Show”). As Deeter envisions it, Cool Shoes will bring dancing, jams, live performance, art and video together in a package that, when edited down, will make for a nifty webisode for his localistmagazine.com and his homeboy Rod Bryan's anthro.tv. Sadly, Deeter will not be filling the Downtown Julie Brown role. No one will. But back to the pressing matters: Friday night is all about dancing, to jams provided by Deeter and Casey Stuart, looking at cool art by Ike Plumlee and Cameron Holifield, and head nodding to a one-song live performance by Rockst*r, who'll be unveiling a new single. Deeter didn't see a need to extend a special invitation to folks to wear their spiffiest kicks. “Everyone already wears cool shoes.” LM.
HURRICANE CHRIS/LIL JJ
8 p.m., the Village. $20 adv., $25 d.o.s.
You've heard the chirp. “You wanna know what we say in the club? A Bay Bay.” Maybe not in your car stereo, but in passing, blaring out of another. “White folks, gangstas and the thugs? A Bay Bay.” Or from from your kid's ringtone. “A Bay Bay, A Bay Bay, A Bay Bay.” Pronounced “ay-bay-BAY,” like a catcall, repeated over and over and over again until it wedges itself deep in the recesses of your brain, where novelty pop like “Rubber Biscuit” and “Rump Shaker” go to live forever. On Saturday, Hurricane Chris, the chirper, a 19-year-old Shreveport rapper, roils into the Village. Here's a not so bold prediction: The seats will be filled and those who fill them will be young and know all the words. Bonus appeal for young fans: Lil JJ, the Little Rock-born actor and comedian who currently stars on Nickelodeon's “Just Jordan,” hosts the concert. LM.
7 p.m., Arkansas Children's Theatre. $10-$14.
The Children's Theatre closes its season with a modern classic, the stage adaptation of Beverly Cleary's Newbery-winning “Ramona Quimby.” The story, Cleary's fifth in the series, finds Ramona at age 8 and in the third grade. She's having a tough time. She doesn't like her teacher, her Dad has lost his job and her older sister Beezus, as ever, gets on her nerves. When things don't go her way, she's known to make “a big, noisy fuss.” A classmate provokes her, she blows up and she's sent home in shame. Meanwhile, the Quimbys deal with issues familiar to any family: steady sibling bickering, a parent trying to quit smoking and preparing for a family wedding. Of course, Ramona, in the end, overcomes all struggles and hurdles and learns valuable lessons. Maybe you will, too. The show runs through May 18. LM.
‘BRUNDIBAR'/‘CONTACT WITH THE ENEMY'
7:30 p.m., the Weekend Theater. $14-$18.
The Weekend Theater concludes its 2007-2008 season with a World War II-themed double bill. The opera “Brundibar” was originally performed by the children of the Theresienstadt concentration camp in occupied Czechoslovakia, using only the instruments available to them at the camp. Reminiscent of “Hansel and Gretel,” the opera follows the travails of two fatherless children who're trying to earn money for their sick mother in a marketplace controlled by an evil organ grinder, Brundibar. The second half of the bill features “Contact with the Enemy,” a one-act play about two World War II vets who meet by chance in front of the Holocaust Museum and realize that they once knew each other, giving rise to conversations and recollections of long suppressed events. The double bill runs through May 18.
NORTE DE HAVANA
9 p.m., Cajun's Wharf. $5.
Latin dance enthusiasts, put on your silky shirts and dig out the dancing shoes. The famed Denton, Texas, collective Norte De Havana has reunited. On hiatus while percussionist (and Little Rock native) Joe Cripps skipped from coast to coast to work on various projects, the act returns to town, where Cripps is also working with Brave Combo and the Magic Cropdusters. Composed of members of Brave Combo (like Cripps) and the Latin Pimps (ditto), the band makes its bones sweating the dance possibilities out of traditional Mexican, Brazilian and Cuban music. Cripps says that if things go well, the band might revert to Latin Pimps mode and play songs from their original album, “Mi Voy,” but no promises. Either way, this is a can't-miss get-down. LM.
THE MOVING FRONT/DAVID'S PEGASUS/A+ SET-UP
8:30 p.m., Vino's. $5.
It's a DIY throwback: Three bands from three different cities who came up around the same time a couple years back and who, in their short existence, have become local indie darlings. From Fort Smith, there's the fiery trio A+ Set-Up, who kick out propulsive, baritone jams that recall the best of early-'80s post-punk. Out of Fayetteville, David's Pegasus exists within a videogame world, where King David is a refugee from a Bible trivia game and Pegasus comes from a game called Rainbow Pegasus Land. Barry Brinegar and company dole out moody, bit-pop songs, sturdy enough to stand on their own, but usually anchored by an 8-bit A/V show that tells their tale. Sure to land the headlining spot, by virtue of their hometown heroics, the Moving Front plays searing post-punk that always inspires fist-pumping. They're stage-testing new-ish material, so come ears open. LM.
THE AVETT BROTHERS
9 p.m., Revolution. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.
Music serves countless purposes for the individual. As perhaps the universal language, it can frame moods, trigger reactions, invoke memories, inspire long-dormant creativity and even force its way into our consciousness whether we want it to or not. In a phrase, facing the music is perhaps one lyrical storyboard behind what the Avett Brothers continue delivering with each passing album, especially their latest 2007 release, “Emotionalism.” It debuted at No. 1 on Billboard Magazine's Heatseeker Chart, and it was on many year-end “Best Of” lists for 2007. This three-piece has heartfelt and soulful lyrics on tunes such as “Weight of Lies”: “The weight of lies will bring you down, and follow you to every town. When you run, make sure you run to something and not away from, 'cause lies don't need an arrow plane to bring you down.” True, true. The Avett siblings Scott (vocals, banjo) and Seth (guitars, vocals) and upright bassist Bob Crawford deliver a bittersweet blend of acoustic bluegrass tunes to Revolution Saturday night. PP.