7:30 p.m. The Joint Theater & Coffeehouse. $30.
The “Canadian blonde with guitar” descriptor alone is probably enough to understand why fingerstyle guitarist Brooke Miller reminds so many listeners of Joni Mitchell. A quick spin of Miller’s “You Can See Everything,” though, gives the comparison a little more musical substance. Like fellow Canadian songbird Mitchell, Miller picks with dexterity, chooses corner-turning chord changes and sings as someone who long ago abandoned the confines of a lyrical couplet, preferring instead to dance around the lines of text: “I’ve been singing about water/Without a second foot on dry ground/You make swimming so easy I’m gonna drown/In your capping blues and greens/I mean who gets to feel this way?” Then again, she’s had plenty of time to have grown weary of predictable song structures; 36 years old, Miller’s been honing her husky alto and playing guitar since age 12, when she fronted a punk trio that toured the Maritimes. She’s since carved out a niche for herself with six studio releases, some of which have landed on television soundtracks (“You Can See Everything” was on Showtime’s “The L Word,” for one) and been adored by audiences in cozy theaters in Germany, where she toured last fall. She’s at The Joint as a guest of the Argenta Acoustic Music Series, and is the series’ penultimate performer this year. SS
8 p.m. South on Main. $28-$36.
Robert Finley lost his marriage, his house and his eyesight one right after another, and if that isn’t fodder for some achingly beautiful soul, I don’t know what is. Finley’s career has been framed as a rediscovery: Though he’d been playing locally for decades at fish fries and in prisons, it was in 2015 that Timothy Duffy of the Music Maker Relief Foundation heard Finley busking on a street corner and whisked him off to make “Age Don’t Mean a Thing,” Finley’s debut on the Big Legal Mess label. Since then, Finley’s developed a partnership with The Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach, one that’s meant Finley’s sound — as we hear it on his latest, “Goin’ Platinum” — is couched in the likes of Preservation Hall horns, drummer Gene Chrisman, guitarist Duane Eddy and some of the most revered session musicians Auerbach could gather. “I didn’t ever have to play him any references, I just let him sing,” Auerbach said of the sessions. “He naturally did what the song wanted to hear. He was capable of doing it in this huge bark, this soft whisper, a falsetto. … I said, ‘Can you sing falsetto?’ He said, ‘I don’t know.’ ‘Why don’t you give it a shot and see what happens.’ And he sang ‘Holy Wine,’ ” just like you hear it on the record. We were all sitting in the control room and my brain short-circuited.” If, like me, you wandered around listening to the utterly A-list talent scheduled for the B-list performance spaces at King Biscuit Blues Festival earlier this month, maybe it’s not so surprising voices like Finley’s tend to get overlooked. Here’s a chance to hear such a voice shining brightly, on a stage befitting of its range and beauty. SS
THURSDAY 10/18-SATURDAY 10/20
6:30 p.m. Thu., 6 p.m. Fri., 5:30 p.m. Sat. Murphy Arts District, El Dorado. $60-$220.
It was this time last year that anyone keeping tabs on Northwest Arkansas and Little Rock’s respective cultural mecca points had to stop and ask, “Wait, what? El Dorado?” The oil boomtown’s been rebuilding its historic downtown area as an arts district, and has been home to shows from Steve Earle, Jason Isbell, Migos, Train and Brad Paisley thus far. This year, the Murphy Arts District is following up its 2017 launch lineup with sets from Toby Keith, George Clinton, 2 Chainz, Justin Moore, Gucci Mane, Sammy Hagar and The Circle, Sheila E and Morris Day & The Time, not to mention locals Jamie Lou & The Hullabaloo, Dazz & Brie, Trey Johnson and Rodney Block. Main Street El Dorado adds all kinds of free family activities downtown: “Visitors can enjoy a zip line, a ferris wheel, the Flight Crew Jump Rope team that appeared on NBC-TV’s ‘America’s Got Talent’, a NASCAR simulator, free music on the square, a mechanical bull, a rock climbing wall, food vendors and much more,” a press release notes. See eldomad.com/musicfest31 for a full schedule, a map and links to buy tickets. SS
THURSDAY 10/18-SATURDAY 11/3
THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW
8:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat. through Nov. 3, additional performance 8:30 p.m. Wed., Oct. 31. Club Sway. $20-$25.
Let’s be honest. It’s pretty difficult to make an alien-cannibal rock opera about a “sweet transvestite from Transexual Transylvania” boring, but time, repetition and community theater troupes full of straight people have unwittingly chipped away at the show’s bite, taming the selfsame elements that made the 1975 Tim Curry film such a pivotal queer oasis for countless high schoolers in suburban America who longed to express themselves outside the prescribed gender binary. Leave it to the campy whimsy of the Club Sway family to set the record straight (or rather, right) this Halloween season, as it’s done the last three years. Actor Brittany Sparkles is both director and Frank. N. Furter; the cast of Sway regulars, whose dead seriousness about dressing up/making pageantry, will be the heartbeat of these 10 performances. Get tickets at clubsway.com/tickets, and spring for the extra $5 for a prop bag to score your audience participation points. Parties follow the curtain calls for Friday and Saturday night performances. SS
THIRD FRIDAY ARGENTA ARTWALK
5 p.m. Argenta galleries. Free.
If this rain, rain, rain will go away, the Arkansas Innovation Hub will fly you to the moon telescopically for “International Observe the Moon Night,” starting at 7 p.m. The Central Arkansas Astronomy Society’s Bruce McMath will give a talk on astronomy for attending moonatics and UA Little Rock astronomer Dr. Tony Hall will bring meteorite samples for folks to handle and admire. In case of rain, the event will be held at the same time Saturday. But no matter the weather, the Hub (201 E. Broadway) will have “Make it Spooky” activities for children in its arts studios starting at 5 p.m. Also up: The Thea Foundation (401 Main St.) will feature artworks by patients of Arkansas Children’s Hospital at its after-hours event, with ACH artists-in-residence at the reception; Core Brewery (411 Main) hosts a show called “Into the Blue”; Argenta Gallery (413 Main) opens an exhibition of work on paper by Lisandra di Liberto and other Puerto Rico-born artists; gallery neighbor studioMAIN (413 Main) celebrates unsung civil engineers; the Argenta branch of the Laman Library (420 Main) opens an exhibition by members of the Arkansas Pastel Society; and Greg Thompson Fine Art (429 Main) continues its “Best of the South” exhibition of works by regional and Arkansas artists. Impressionist artist Barry Thomas will demonstrate painting at his studio at 711 Main St. A new venue joins the October Art Walk: Thrive Argenta, the apartments at 501 N. Magnolia, is hosting a show of artwork by residents and staff in its courtyard. LNP
FESTIVAL OF DARKNESS 2018
4 p.m. Lost Forty Brewing. $15-$30.
Recipe for Nighty Night, Lost Forty Brewing’s most-anticipated small-batch beer of the year: Age an American Imperial Stout in rye whiskey barrels, bourbon barrels and red wine barrels until it positively oozes darkness. Recipe for Lost Forty Brewing’s Festival of Darkness: Release that dark concoction into the wild with a daydrinking party; invite a kajillion other Arkansas breweries, plus Loblolly Creamery, Slader’s Alaskan Dumpling Co. and Count Porkula food trucks; book Little Rock scene triumvirate-of-musical-venerables Dazz & Brie and The Emotionalz, Adam Faucett and Big Piph; get everyone to dress up like lumberjack zombies, give away swag and prizes, give a boozy Saturday night boost to Little Rock’s ridesharing economy. Pull out your walking dead-est lewks, call an Uber and see the Facebook event page for an Eventbrite ticket link, plus a full schedule by which to time your undead arrival. SS
LITTLE ROCK PRIDE FESTIVAL
Noon-6 p.m. Riverfront Park. $5 suggested donation.
Central Arkansas’s LGBTQ community’s annual parade and celebration of diversity is this weekend, and rainbow or shine, Riverfront Park is going to glow. Cece Peniston, the woman who brought 1992 dance anthem “Finally” to the airwaves, is paying a visit, as is actor and trans activist Laith Ashley. The William F. Laman Library sponsors Drag Queen Story Time with Melanie Masters, Charnay Cassadine, Roxie Starrlite and Blaze Duvall, and a Kids Zone features face painting, a bounce house and an obstacle course. With state Rep.-elect Tippi McCullough (D-Little Rock) as grand marshal, the parade begins at 1 p.m. at Markham and Louisiana streets, and progresses down President Clinton Avenue. See lrpride.com for details or to grab a VIP ticket for brunch with none other than songstress/”Dreamgirls” goddess Jennifer Holliday. SS
10 p.m. Low Key Arts, Hot Springs. $10-$15.
Marissa Paternoster devotees won’t need this inroad, but if you’ve yet to witness the marriage of the Screaming Females frontwoman’s virtuosic guitar prowess with her explosive voice — at turns a pulsating, soaring vibrato and a low, cavernous yowl — go cue up the Screaming Females’ cover of T. Swift’s “Shake It Off” for The A.V. Club Sessions. Then, follow the pathway backward to the New Jersey trio’s 2018 release “All At Once,” anchored by the claustrophobic “Glass House” and the deceptively bouncy “I’ll Make You Sorry.” Minneapolis trio Kitten Forever opens the show, and as the concert is an after-party for the concurrent Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, HSDFF passholders get in free. Everyone else, head to prekindle.com and search for “Screaming Females” for a link to tickets. SS
SATURDAY 10/20-SUNDAY 10/21
ARKANSAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: ‘THE MUSIC OF STAR WARS’
7:30 p.m. Sat., 3 p.m. Sun. Robinson Performance Hall. $16-$68.
It was inevitable. After playing signature riffs from all eight Harry Potter films and accompanying a screening of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” with live orchestration, your neighborhood symphony is turning its sights on a tried-and-true chapter of the John Williams repertoire. With four decades of cantina ditties, Imperial Marches and battle themes to draw from — over 18 hours of music across the franchise — the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is performing “Star Wars” selections on the stage with trivia, a Star Wars-decorated Robinson Performance Hall and costumery. Audiences are invited to come dressed as their favorite Dewback/Rebel Alliance leader/galactic villain/spinoff character/Wookiee. Grab tickets at arkansassymphonyorg. SS
‘TAKE ME TO THE RIVER: NEW ORLEANS LIVE’
Noon and 7:30 p.m. Center for the Humanities and Arts, UA Pulaski Technical College. $30-$110 concert admission, free film admission.
The term “musical gumbo” gets thrown around with abandon, usually when we can’t find the words to talk about intermingled genres of sound properly, and especially when we want to emphasize that the intermingling doesn’t necessarily diminish the individuality of the sound’s individual components. Here, though, gumbo is probably as good an analogy as any. Like okra, shrimp and andouille, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Ivan and Ian Neville, George Porter Jr., the Lost Bayou Ramblers duo, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, 79ers Gang and Terence Higgins appear together, the distinct qualities of their sounds unquestionably intact. Put simply, musical vibrancy is synonymous with New Orleans itself, and it’s artists like these that make it so. From the Lost Bayou Ramblers’ half-punk, half-preservationist approach to Big Chief Monk’s ambassadorship of the Mardi Gras tribal cultures to the funk torch-carrying of The Meters’ Porter Jr. and Dumpstaphunk’s Nevilles, the show is built to give the listener as much of a multi-generational sonic picture of New Orleans as she can ge in an hour or so. There is, admittedly, no substitute for being daydrunk, covered in glitter and surrounded by horns and mayhem at the corner of Canal and Rampart streets in the middle of February, but what the Pulaski Tech CHARTS show may lack in parade-adjacent chaos, it more than makes up for in scholarship. Catch a free noontime Monday screening of the concert film, “Take Me to the River — New Orleans!” followed by a Q&A with Higgins and members of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Lost Ramblers Duo. No tickets are required for the noontime film; tickets for the evening concert range from $30 for standing room only ($10 for students), $65 and $85 for reserved seating and $110 for VIP seating and admission to the snacks and drinks in the Ben E. Keith VIP Room just outside the theater. SS