- NEW MODEL FOR SUCCESS: Matt White comes to Juanita's.
9 p.m., Juanita's. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.
New York musician Matt White's career could be a case study for what's becoming a new model for music industry success, one that's defined by social networking sites and product placement. After building up some 50,000 page views on MySpace, White caught the attention of Gef-fen Records, where he signed in 2006. Since then, he's released an EP and a full-length and managed to place songs on “One Tree Hill,” “Laguna Beach” and the “Hills.” Now, he comes to Juanita's on the Gap-sponsored “Vote for Love” tour. (He's stopping at Gap stores along the way and there's apparently a voucher for a free T-shirt concert-goers can get). It hasn't hurt his ascension that he's got a big Vidal Sassoon-style coif, music-video-star good looks and a vocal range smooth enough to give John Mayer nightmares. Here's betting lots of local ladies have a special place in their heart for him and his breezy lite rock. Fresh off a tour opening for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, acoustic per-former Sharon Little opens this concert with Matt Macklegan.
BIG CRUISEFEST IN THE ROCK
10 a.m., River Market. Free.
Grease monkeys, hot-rodders, low-riders, motor heads and general car enthusiasts, take note. Cruisefest returns to the Rivermarket on Friday and Saturday with a wide slate of tricked out talent. Perhaps the most legendary custom car creator, George Barris, “the king of kustomizers,” who built the Batmobile and the Muster Koach for TV, will be on hand. So, too, will Norm Grabowski, famous for creating the T-bucket hot rod. One of the last cars NASCAR hero Davey Allison drove, a 1993 Busch Series Chevrolet Lumina, will be on display. Plus, the Texas Bandit, a low-riding truck that spews flames; a NASCAR simulator; Lightning McQueen from “Cars” and Kitt from “Knight Rider” come to life. On Saturday, if your kids or significant other grows weary of cars, there's water bowling, an adult tricycle race and costumed heroes (Superman, Darth Vader, Elmo). And, from 2:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m., the local cover band CRISIS performs.
7 p.m., the Village. $17-$20.
Casual pop fans might remember Hawthorne Heights from several years back, when the emo band's label urged its street team (read: over zeal-ous fans) to boost one of its releases into the number one spot on the Billboard charts ahead of an album by Camden-born crooner and R&B star Ne-Yo by moving the latter around in stores and otherwise obscuring it. The rallying cry didn't work (Hawthorne Heights' album debuted at No. 3), and it led to the band splitting from and filing a lawsuit against its label (the charge to the street team apparently came without the group's consent). That disagreement appears to be settled now, but the hard times haven't gotten away. Guitarist and vocalist Casey Culvert died late last year of a bad drug combination. Still, the Ohio-rooted act soldiers on. Two months ago, they put out “Fragile Future,” an impas-sioned, tragic album for the kids to wave their lighters (or open cell phones) to. Four bands open the show: Emery, the Color Fred, Tickle Me Pink and the Mile After.
‘JUNIE B. JONES AND A LITTLE MONKEY BUSINESS'
7 p.m., Arkansas Children's Theatre. $11-$14.
Try this on for a mix-up. When Junie B. Jones, the irrepressible hero in Barbara Park's children's series, hears her grandmother describe her newborn brother as “the cutest little monkey” she ever saw, she takes her at her word and starts contemplating the payoff: A real, live monkey? It'll be the best kindergarten show-and-tell ever. Soon, she's scoring loot from her friends for the first look — Lucille's locket, Grace's ring, Lucille's red sweater, Grace's high tops, Lucille's red chair. But extra snack tickets, also extorted, land her in the principal's office. The musical continues through Nov. 9 with performances 7 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $5.
Canadian singer/songwriter Fred Eaglesmith has been compared to Bruce Springsteen, John Prine and Woody Guthrie. Like those icons, Ea-glesmith makes his bones on plainspoken, literate lyrics that strive to channel the voice of the common man. For nearly 20 years, in support of 18 albums, he's barnstormed across North America, picking up awards, including a Juno (Canada's equivalent to a Grammy), and acquiring a coterie of devoted fans, who bill themselves “Fredheads” and travel hundreds of miles to see shows. Fellow musicians, from Toby Keith to the Cowboy Junkies, have recorded his songs. Three tribute albums have been devoted to his music. At least two universities include his song in curriculum in poetry and social studies classes. Eaglesmith's known as a rich, in-between-song storyteller. That, coupled with his music, a blend of honky-tonk and barroom rock, seems just about perfectly suited to a venue like White Water.
9 a.m., Two Rivers Park. $25-$35.
There are foot races and then there's Mud Run. Billed as “Little Rock's dirtiest 5K,” the annual race invites participants to “run, walk, skip, trot and even cavort through our 5Kish course.” This year, the route snakes through Two Rivers Park. Along the way, racers are faced with obsta-cles. Three years ago that meant tires, two years ago hay bales, last year a human shield. The culmination, of course, is a giant mud pit, which all are forced to muck through. Prizes go to the top three fastest finishers (for men and women), the cleanest, dirtiest, best costume (adult and child), best entrance while in the pit and for stick in the mud. Visit mudrun.org for more rules and registration details. Also, there's a photo gallery to give you an idea of past costumes. You won't be original in a toga, a ladybug costume, a Batman outfit, a fat suit or covered in green body paint.
MESHUGGA KLEZMER BAND
8:30 p.m., Afterthought. $8.
Right on schedule (by which I mean, after so long I can't remember), the Meshugga Klezmer Band returns to the Afterthought. Central Arkan-sas' best and possibly only klezmer act comes with impressive bona fides. It's played with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, for bar/bat mitzvahs, at weddings, at Jewish food festivals and at a number of local venues. But lest I put the horse in front of the carriage, klezmer is Jew-ish folk music that's rooted in Eastern Europe and often takes the style of a Jewish prayer, with instruments or vocalists mirroring crying or laughing sounds. It's woozy, lilting music that usually begins contemplative and builds into a dance-y tempo. The eight-piece features guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, violin, clarinet, saxophone and accordion and two, maybe three generations. Expect new material including a new one penned by attorney Peter Miller (that's him beaming on the back of the Yellow Pages) and a klezmerized version of a holiday classic now called “Klez-Kraker.”