Giving you the music a day early:
Unknown Hinson is the self-proclaimed King of the Country Western Troubadours. Or, as he says on his website (Newly redesigned!), he looks like “Dracula’s nasty little brother who spent some hard years drinking and working as a carnival barker for a second-rate freak show” and plays “country-and-western tinged psychobilly.” It’s no novelty act though. Hinson is a vampire-dressing parody of ’50s and ’60s country singers, cranking out his music while dressed in a campy, white-trash persona. He is also the voice of Early Cuyler, the hell-raising, beer-drinking, violence-condoning, backwoods, North Georgia redneck squid on Cartoon Network’s Squidbillies. Catch it all at Juanita’s. Little Rock’s own honky-tonk country extraordinaires The Salty Dogs are the opening act, kicking off the music at 10 p.m. The doors open at 9 p.m. with tickets $15 in advance and $18 day of show.
Get the sunglasses ready because it’s time for the return of the pyromaniac-pleasing, laser-loving, fire-breathing band known as Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Yes, regular as clockwork, the symphonic rock-playing act returns for their annual Christmas season visit with a show at Verizon Arena. Combining progressive rock, classical and orchestral music, and creating it with a host of musicians, Trans-Siberian Orchestra will play two shows: 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Doors open an hour before each show and tickets are $31, $43, $53 and $63 for each show through the Verizon Arena Box Office or through all Ticketmaster outlets for $39.60, $54.95, $66 and $76.30. One dollar of each will be donated to a local charity. It’s not really Christmas until Trans-Siberian Orchestra comes to town.
Speaking of Christmas, downtown Little Rock’s Historic Arkansas Museum gets in on the game, hosting its seventh annual Nog-Off as part of the 2nd Friday Art Night festivities. Phil Brandon’s eggnog spiked with his Rock Town Distillery’s Young Arkansas Bourbon is one of the new contestants for the title along with Argenta Arts Foundation’s Drue Patton with OMnoG. (Get it?) Following a win by Tandra Watkins of Ashley’s in 2010, David Burnette of the Capital Bar and Grill will also battle for the tile along with Mary Beth Ringgold of Copper Grill, Tracy Sterling of JAVA Roasting Express @ Wright & Chester, and Bridget Farris. Samples will be available to the public who will decide on the People’s Choice winner, and a panel of judges will decide the overall winner. The night also includes Jewish folk music from The Meshugga Klezmer Band, and the opening of the new exhibit: Found-Fired-Formed: Sarah May Leflar, Donna Uptigrove and Amber Uptigrove. It all starts at 5 p.m., and it’s free.
Dallas-bred blues rock outfit Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights is returning to Little Rock and Stickyz with their mixture of the heavy rock of Led Zeppelin hanging out with the bluesier side of The Rolling Stones with a touch of Southern soul and gospel. It’s swaggering rock ‘n’ roll that is best turned up with the windows turned down — a little blues-soaked, sex-driven rock ‘n’ roll balanced with the save-your-soul howl of gospel music. The band’s newest album is Pardon Me, the five piece’s major label debut. The opening act is Zach Williams & the Reformation, kicking off the music at 9:30 p.m. with their bluesy — and a little raunchy — neo-Southern rock with a touch of retro. Cover is $10 for the 18-and-up show.
Rodney Block and the Real Music Lovers are the centerpiece of a night of music at Twelve Modern Lounge that is being called A Soulful Christmas. A night of music featuring the angelic voices of Little Rock — Jeron, Mia McNeal, Dee Davis and Bijoux — gets started at 9 p.m. with reserve seating $20 and general admission $10. It’s a semi-formal affair. For their third annual Christmas party, Block and band — Sam Carroll on keyboards, Michael Chandler on drums and Oliver “OT” Thomas on bass — will include a number of jazz, neo-soul and R&B tunes along with favorite Christmas tunes.
Here’s Unknown Hinson with his “Venus Bound”: