'WAKE THE QUEENS': Heart Society and Dazz & Brie share a rock-soul bill at the White Water Tavern on Friday night. Beck Photo

FRIDAY 12/14

2ND FRIDAY ART NIGHT

Advertisement

5-8 p.m. Downtown museums.

Many noggins will come together Friday for the “14th Ever Nog-off,” the fierce annual eggnog battle at the Historic Arkansas Museum (200 E. Third St.). Prepare to taste all sorts of nogs, from the traditional to nog made with beer, which might win the “Not Your Great, Great, Great Grandfather’s Eggnog Award,” created a while back so the recipe by Nicholas Peay (1812-1857) wouldn’t get all the nog nods. Sippers will name the People’s Choice Award winner; experts in the making of nog will present the Taster’s Choice Award. Then find a more sober, yet rich in purpose, gathering at the Cox Creative Center (100 Rock St.): There the Arkansas Music and Arts Foundation, which sponsors the girls songwriting camp Trust Tree, opens the 2018 Robert J. Fisher Award photography exhibition. Nationally known architectural photographer Tim Hursley judged the competition; photographs by winners Destiny Lepard, Tom Nguyen and Paris Dugan will be displayed. Jamee McAdoo, who merges ukulele with hip-hop and spoken-word poetry, will perform. Shows at the Galleries at Library Square in the Butler Center next door includes paintings and video by Terry Brewer; Gallery 221, which has moved its gallery to the second floor at Second and Center streets, will be open; Bella Vita (523 S. Louisiana St.) will host a design-your-own-earrings event; McLeod Fine Art (108 W. Sixth St.) is hosting a holiday group show; Art Group artists have work at the Marriott Little Rock (3 Statehouse Plaza); and the Old State House Museum (300 W. Markham St.) is screening the classic “A Christmas Story.” LNP

Advertisement

FRIDAY 12/14

CORY BRANAN

Advertisement

9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern. $10.

Perpetually undersung Memphis rocker Cory Branan followed up “No-Hit Wonder” in 2014 with “Adios,” the 2017 release Branan’s bio labels “his death record.” Don’t dare take it for a soft-focus glorification of the dead, though; Branan’s acidic takes on expired relationships mingle with elegies to American patriotism and, heartbreakingly, to his late father, as in “The Vow”: “I could’ve curled up in one footprint, one giant laugh, one giant hand/Until the sickness and the treatment shrunk him down to just a man/A shrinking man still tinkering with my old busted car/When his wedding ring must’ve slipped into the muddy yard/At least that’s what he figured when he noticed it was gone/I can still see him on his knees digging up that lawn.” No spoilers here, but suffice it to say Branan can wreck you with a quatrain and reassemble the pieces with an E Street Band-inspired rocker like “Another Nightmare In America.” What’s more, the record’s peppered with musicians you already dig from other projects: Amanda Shires, Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace and Deer Tick’s Robbie Crowell. SS

FRIDAY 12/14

Advertisement

HEART SOCIETY, DAZZ & BRIE

9 p.m. South on Main. $8-$10.

It must be exhausting to be asked, as musicians so often are, to explain their music in easily digestible and decidedly unmusical bullet points, which is probably why so many defer to the listener for her own individual interpretation. Not so with Heart Society’s “Wake the Queens,” which guitarist/soul queen Teneia Sanders-Eichelberger will wrap up neatly for you, thankyouverymuch, as she did following a live performance of “What’s On Your Mind, Kid?” for GoDaddy last year: “It’s an album about female empowerment. It’s about women standing strong, speaking their truth and not worrying about what other people think.” And with Sanders-Eichelberger’s mighty belt as a vehicle, that’s exactly what the band’s flagship track sounds like. In a beauty of a pairing, Dazz & Brie — fellow merchants of positive vibes, electric guitar and mighty melisma — share the bill. It’s gonna be a lovefest and a dance party, guaranteed. SS

FRIDAY 12/14-SUNDAY 12/16

‘HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS’

7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 3 p.m. Sun. Robinson Performance Hall. $16-$75.

Families and festive Arkansans of all ages can join in the jam-packed holiday spirit with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s “Home For the Holidays” series. The ASO will perform such holiday favorites as Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride”; the “Hanukkah Festival Overture” with three traditional bright, melodic Hanukkah songs; and a unique rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” called “The Twelve Gifts of Christmas,” excerpts of classics arranged by Jeff Tyzik. Other highlights include “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker,” which will be performed with the Episcopal Collegiate School Steel Drum Ensemble; “Silver Bells,” with tenor Vernon Di Carlo, a New Orleans native who’s performed with Opera in the Rock and the River Rhapsody Concert series; and “O Holy Night,” featuring soprano Maria Fasciano, who also has performed with Opera in the Rock and with the ASO. Each “Home For the Holidays” show will also feature preconcert performances, so arrive early to hear Andrew Irvin’s “Caroling Violins” before Friday’s show, Brent Shires and Hornaments before Saturday’s show and ASO’s “Caroling Cellos” before Sunday’s final show during the annual ASO Children’s Fair. The ASO Youth Ensembles’ Academy Orchestra will perform during intermission Sunday. Ugly holiday sweaters welcome! RH

FRIDAY 12/14

Advertisement

AKEEM KEMP BAND

8:30 p.m. Markham Street Grill and Pub. Free.

If you’re a fan of the electric blues and you’ve been sleeping on this Conway County outfit, sleep no more. Blues guitarist Akeem Kemp is the real deal — way too young to channel Albert King so convincingly, and way too virtuosic to be so young. Even better, he’s been playing with the same musicians — bass player Kentrell Clemons and drummer Juwaan Trezvant — long enough to take genuine musical risks and liberties, of which flipping the guitar over behind his head and shredding Hendrix-style is only one. For fans of Gary Clark Jr. and Eric Gales. SS

SATURDAY 12/15

QUINTO PODER

8 p.m. CALS Ron Robinson Theater. Free.

In the musical landscape where polka accordion rhythms and the bright strings of the bajo sexto hold sway lives Q5P, a local Norteño quintet. The genre’s both a staple of Mexican-American radio and one that’s experiencing a revival of sorts, with takes from traditionalists and reinventors alike. (For more on the latter, check out Los Tigres del Norte’s immigration reform anthems or the band’s GLAAD Award-winning “Ella Era Diferente,” a Norteño bop about a lesbian who falls in love with her best friend.) And, for a primer on QP5, check out the polyrhythmic excerpt of “Las Envidias” the group posted to its Reverb nation page (with hay bales as benches and a cameo from a horse!), or the YouTube video for “El Adaptado,” performed guerilla cinema-style on a railroad track. Or the bedroom ballad confessional video for “Fue Un Error Amarte,” a slow jam from the sometimes-trio’s full band. I’m not convinced there’s a better aural antidote to the overplayed holiday mishmash of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree“and “Jingle Bell Rock” than this free concert from Quinto Poder, brought to you courtesy of the Butler Center’s Arkansas Sounds series. SS

SATURDAY 12/15

BILLY DON BURNS

8 p.m. Low Key Arts, Hot Springs. $10-$15.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Billy Don Burns, a Fifty-Six (Stone County) native and the man whose songs landed on the lips of Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, is playing a show at Low Key Arts. Nelson, in a written appeal to a Kentucky judge for leniency for Burns after he landed himself in legal hot water (again), described him this way: “Keep him in rehab until he’s clean, then give him another chance. He’s not a bad guy, he just made some bad choices.” Connecticut’s Shore Line Times introduced him as follows: “He’s been stabbed 17 times, been divorced six, and had a deviated septum from the time he was beat up and left for dead. 2014 was his most recent stint at a penitentiary, for a parole violation.” His life’s one giant outlaw country song, and he’s got the writer’s touch to make that story sing. Catch him here, so that when somebody makes a movie about him, you can say you were there. Danny Smith and Garth LaGrone share the bill; all proceeds benefit the Unknown Legends Musicians Relief Fund, an Arkansas nonprofit that supports Arkansas-based musicians with medical needs. For details on the show, see lowkeyarts.org, and for details on ULMRF, see ulmrf.org. SS

SATURDAY 12/15

NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS

9 p.m. Rev Room. $20-$25.

From the DNA — musical and biological — of ever-Dixie Fried pianist and producer Jim Dickinson come Luther and Cody Dickinson, the duo at the core of the North Mississippi Allstars. They’ve been at the forefront of blues reimagining for decades now, managing all the while to channel the legacy of the Mississippi tradition to which they’re connected through collaborations with family members of R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, producing with Royal Studios royalty Boo Mitchell and through sheer collective devotion to keeping the grooves greasy. Cody Dickinson & Friends open the show, giving you a chance to understand what Luther meant when he said, “We used to filter every experiment, every new interest, every aesthetic idea, into the Allstars because we were so focused on the one band. Now that we’ve spread our wings and have other outlets, everything can just breathe and be itself. We know what we’re supposed to do so we can just go in and do it.” SS

SATURDAY 12/15

DEEP SEQUENCE

10 p.m. Four Quarter Bar.

Song titles like “Double Scrootie” and “Midnight Snack” are the tip of the iceberg here; Deep Sequence dropped many a jaw when the quartet played our Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase this year with infectious, front-and-center bass riffs and arpeggio solos arranged so tightly Zappa and Bach must surely have smiled down at them from the clouds and whispered to themselves, “It’s good, what we’ve done.” Oh, and the fact that Four Quarter’s bar menu is eternally on point doesn’t hurt things one bit. For an idea of what you’re getting into, devote the next 11 minutes to the meandering, funkified “Helix” on Deep Sequence’s Bandcamp page. SS

TUESDAY 12/18

‘FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED POLITICS’

6 p.m. Great Hall, Clinton Presidential Center. Free.

Political superstars Donna Brazile, Yolanda Carraway, Leah Daughtry and Minyon Moore, the African-American authors of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics,” will give a moderated discussion about race, gender and politics. Brazile has served as interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee and as a trusted talking head on CNN and ABC News; Carraway chaired the DNC’s Fairness Commission; Daughtry has twice chaired Democratic National Convention committees; and Moore was the first African-American woman to serve as political director in the White House, under President Bill Clinton. This powerful group is encouraging women to continue carving space for themselves in the political landscape. A book signing will follow the discussion. Reserve free seats by emailing publicprograms@clintonschool.uasys.edu or by calling 501-683-5239. RH

TUESDAY 12/18

‘HIS GIRL FRIDAY’

7 p.m. Riverdale 10 Cinema. $9.

Howard Hawks’ 1940 film “His Girl Friday” is both a remake and an adaptation. The film is a comedy of remarriage in which reporter Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) is engaged to be married to an insurance salesman (Ralph Bellamy) and is trying to break the news to her ex-husband, editor Walter Burns (Cary Grant). Meanwhile, a man sentenced to death for the murder of a black police officer has escaped. Burns’ goal is to get Hildy to cover one last story before she goes off to marital bliss with her husband. There’s tension in that Hildy, a good reporter, has an exciting life, but marriage promises bland stability. Adapted from Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s 1928 play “The Front Page,” and the 1931 film adaptation of the same name, the role of Hildy Johnson was initially played by a man. Hawks supposedly got the idea to gender swap Hildy’s role (and to make the character the ex-wife of editor Walter Burns) after his secretary read the part during a rehearsal. He liked the way the dialogue sounded coming from a woman. The film is known for its snappy, overlapping dialogue, a trait attributed to Robert Altman some 40 years later. There’s no shortage of film discussions these days about the lack of quality roles for women and people of color. One solution? Take your script and just flip the gender or race of a protagonist, a la a 2016 “Ghostbusters” or a 2018 “Oceans 8.” “His Girl Friday” screens at Riverdale 10 Cinema as part of the Arkansas Times Film series, programmed and presented by Film Quotes Film. OJ