UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA
9 p.m. Stickyz. $10 adv., $12 day of.
This show has been marked on a lot of folks' calendars for several months now. Portland-based Unknown Mortal Orchestra has only been around for about seven minutes (OK, three years if you wanna be accurate about it) but the band has already gone from elusive Bandcamp mystery to award-winning psych-pop outfit with two critically acclaimed albums under its belt. The trio put to rest any concerns about a sophomore slump with its follow-up, "II," also earning a generally warm reception. The first album had an appealingly underwater-sounding lo-fi mix while "II" puts just a tad more shine on the sound, but only a tad. At its core, this is still music that manages to sound like a long-lost '60s psych nugget, yet also something totally otherworldly. It's much more than just three dudes going through the motions of perfectly recreating something from a bygone era.
KYLESA, PINKISH BLACK
8 p.m. Downtown Music Hall. $12 adv., $15 day of.
Kylesa has deep roots in the fertile musical ground of Savannah, Ga. The band has been around for more than a decade, and formed out of the ashes of '90s crust/hardcore greats Damad (whose "Rise and Fall" is a touchstone of sludgy Southern hardcore). As with many of the group's peers, Kylesa has taken sounds from outlying genres (psychedelia, shoegaze) and worked them into its overall downtuned, heavy sound.
The band is on tour with Fort Worth duo Pinkish Black, whose recent sophomore album "Razed to the Ground" is a further refinement of their foreboding sound. The new album is a bit more on the death-rock side of things, though with moments of unnerving synth drone that churns like Tangerine Dream's psychotic cousin.
7:30 p.m. The Weekend Theater. $12-$16.
Though Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House" was controversial in its day for its unconventional approach to the prevailing social norms of the late 19th century, the work is unquestionably one of the cornerstones of contemporary realist drama. It's one of the most widely produced works of any playwright of any era. So why would Ingmar Bergman want to remake it? Matt Patton, director of The Weekend Theater's production of "Nora," offers some insight in his director's note: "As to the former, I can only speculate that [Bergman] felt the need to address what he (and many other directors and critics) perceived as a basic flaw: Nora's transformation from a naïve child to a mature woman in the matter of only a few days." Patton figures Bergman cut out about one-third of the lines of dialogue in the original. "So what, then, did Bergman add? Nothing! As best as I can determine, he did not create a single line of dialogue. He did, however, significantly rewrite some stage directions, most notably in the final scene, and thus giving that scene a completely different orientation. Even if you are familiar with the original, I think you will be startled by the conclusion of Nora." Sounds interesting. The play runs at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 19.
FRIDAY 10/4-SUNDAY 10/6
ARKANSAS FESTIVAL BALLET: 'AT THE BARRE'
7:30 p.m. Arkansas Academy of Dance. $15-$20.
Ballet fans, you're on notice: This weekend, Arkansas Festival Ballet will be presenting "At the Barre," an intimate performance at the Arkansas Academy of Dance Studio. For the Friday and Saturday evening shows, there will be a pre-recital wine bar and reception, so you can have a glass of Shiraz or something before watching the dancers as they bring to life excerpts from "Giselle" and "The Firebird," with original, new choreography from UALR artist-in-residence Rhythm McCarthy. As for music, how about Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3? There will be a no-booze reception before the 2 p.m. Sunday matinee performance. Friday and Saturday start times are 7:30 p.m.
FRIDAY 10/4-SATURDAY 10/5
HOT WATER HILLS FESTIVAL
Hill Wheatley Plaza. $5, free for ages 11 and younger.
Low Key Arts' annual Hot Water Hills Music and Arts Festival is going to be a for-sure good time for anyone who digs having fun and enjoying music and activities in a family-friendly atmosphere. There's gonna be a raft of great live music, including the Memphis Dawls, Adam Faucett and The Tall Grass, Telegraph Canyon, Brian Martin, Kentucky Knife Fight, A.J. Gaither, The Jamaican Queens and the Arkansas School for Math, Sciences and the Arts' Folk Music Ensemble. With an array that diverse, it's guaranteed you'll hear something that will tickle your fancy. But that's not all! There will also be a Retro Rummage Sale (like, real-deal 1983-and-earlier vintage stuff, so butt out, 1984-2013 stuff!). There will be an artists' market, kids' activity tent, a teepee village and other artist-created experiences and The Cardboard City contest (with cash prizes of $400 and $100). And, of course, there will also be refreshments on hand, with beer, Grapette, tacos and sandwiches available for purchase. Bring lawn chairs and good vibes; don't bring outside food or drinks or bad vibes. The event starts at 4 p.m. Friday and at noon Saturday. Check HotWaterHills.com for full details.
9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern.
This Portland, Ore., crew has been causing palpitations of all sorts for a good minute or two now. A listen to more than 30 seconds or so of the band's soul-steeped post-punk makes it obvious why the band has earned such breathless accolades. Singer Chanticleer Tru swings effortlessly from a smooth high falsetto to a smoky croon to a heartbroken wail while the band cranks out sweaty, tight funk grooves. The band's recent EP, "Devil May Care," was released last month on the Fast Weapons label and shows off the band's range (check the slow-build burner "Mother Lode" — so good!). The band is Bonnie Montgomery-approved (they all opened for Gossip on a recent tour), so you know they're the real thing. Speaking of Montgomery, she's also on the bill at this shindig. It's gonna be a good one, you guys.
'TALES OF THE CRYPT'
5:30-8:30 p.m. Mount Holly Cemetery. Free (donations accepted).
It's that time of year again, when Mount Holly Cemetery comes to life as students from Parkview Magnet School portray some of the notable historical figures whose final resting place has been dubbed "the Westminster Abbey of Arkansas." According to a press release, this year's presentation will feature 20 student actors "recreating the lives of Arkansans who have helped shape Little Rock's history. The students have researched each character and prepared original scripts for the performance under the direction of Fred Boosey and Tamara Zinck. Award-winning local costumer Debi Manire will once again provide the wonderful historical characters' costumes." This year's Tales is dedicated to the late Susan Barham, the Parkview teacher who originated the event and who died last year. Although admission is free, you should probably do a solid for the historic cemetery and make a donation.
BILLY JOE SHAVER
8 p.m. White Water Tavern. $25 adv., $30 day of.
Not really sure what else I can add to this one, other than to restate what's already resoundingly clear: Billy Joe Shaver is without question one of the finest and most highly regarded songwriters in all of country music. He's also one of the genre's liveliest performers and a storyteller who can make you laugh and cry, sometimes within the space of a single between-song tale. If you only go to one show all year (a practice that I am in no way advocating), make it this one.
SHOOTER JENNINGS, REVEREND PAYTON'S BIG DAMN BAND
8:30 p.m., Revolution. $17 adv., $20 day of.
Here's one that you might wanna go ahead and take off of work the next day for. You all probably know what's gonna be in store at a Shooter Jennings/Reverend Payton show. So just make sure to drink plenty of water, get yourself a cab or DD (preferably one who won't mind if y'all maybe stop off at the Waffle House for steak and eggs and scattered, smothered and covered on the way home), and remember to take three ibuprofen before you finally go to bed. Leopold and His Fiction opens.