Here’s the music lineup in central Arkansas for this week:
Let’s kick off this week of music with Tauk. Give the New York City-based quartet’s Homunculus album a listen. Start right there with the opening track, “Dead Signal,” a tune awash in keyboard and guitar twirls but with a rock-solid foundation. Then keep going. “Afro-tonic,” “Hello Narwhal,” “The Spot” and so on. This is instrumental music that can duck into a detour jam, but the band’s deep groove and pop melodies keep a watchful eye on their instrumental gestures. Grammy-winner Robert Carranza (Mars Volta, Jack Johnson) was the producer who guided the foursome of Matt Jalbert on guitar, Charlie Dolan on bass, Alric “A.C.” Carter on keyboards and Isaac Teel on drums through the 10 songs of the album, melding progressive rock and jazz with funk and rock. So maybe you want to dance on a midweek night. Get to Stickyz. That’s where Tauk is. There’s no opening act with the music starting at 9:30 p.m. for the 18-and-up show. Cover is $3. Yes, $3.
Good Time Ramblers, the rowdy, good-timing, country-rock band out of Little Rock whose newest album is Bigelow Strange, are back in action and this time visiting the Oxford American‘s restaurant and cultural experience spot South on Main. This is part of South on Main’s Local Live series, and that means the music, which starts at 7:30 p.m., is free. The eight tracks of Bigelow Strange are filled with stories of teens stealing dad’s whiskey, dying mom-and-pop stores and girls breaking hearts. The band’s sound is genuine music, not polished country rock.
First, you should know this White Water Tavern show includes an appearance by Brother Andy & His Big Damn Mouth. “White-trash power pop” — that’s the genre of music that Brother Andy & His Big Damn Mouth have perfected. Those guys are the local support for this 9:30 p.m. show. Who else is on the bill? New York City Queens. Now, this band is not from New York City. Try Houston. The one in Texas. The group plays indie rock, but a kind of indie rock with nods to several other genres. Look at the band’s 2012 album, Burn Out Like Roman Candles. “Roman Candles” is seven minutes of unhurried dream pop, but then “Tell Me All About It” comes along and it’s catchy power pop with buzzing guitars. And there’s more, too, like the delightful pop rock of “Waited for You.” The final band in this three-band lineup is Roses, the new group from former Deer Tick lead guitarist Andrew Tobiassen which includes fellow Rhode Island musicians Matt DeCosta and Nick Dawson. Andrew Tobiassen left Deer Tick after the recording of The Black Dirt Sessions (the departure was amicably), and his new stuff — like “I See It All” from last February’s Roses EP — is minimalist but pop-heavy rock ‘n’ roll. Think of ’70s Lou Reed and Jonathan Richman. Street-smart, jangly and a little dangerous.
In his “We Do It in a Field,” Texas-raised country artist Granger Smith sings, “George Strait blaring in a Chevrolet, we open up the doors wide and let it play,” before reminding listeners he and his friends rock all night until the sun comes up. This being Arkansas, you should probably know that Smith is a proud Texas A&M grad. Heck, he wrote a song titled “We Bleed Maroon” about his Aggie love and Heisman Trophy-winner Johnny Manziel pops up in the video for Smith’s “Silverado Bench Seat.” But Smith plays that kind of country music — just poppy enough and just country enough — that Arkansans dig. Consistent, tuneful and heartfelt. Granger released his ninth studio album since 19 in 2013, and Dirt Road Driveway debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Country Chart. And yes, his alter ego is Earl Dibbles Jr. It’s Smith that comes to Rev Room. Fayetteville’s Backroad Anthem opens the show with their country rock sound at 9 p.m. Tickets for the 18-and-up show are $10 in advance and $12 day of.
The Cedric Burnside Project makes a return visit to Little Rock, bringing its primal, juke-joint blues with traces of funk, R&B and soul to White Water Tavern. This project sees Cedric Burnside (yes, he is the grandson of North Mississippi hill country blues legend R.L. Burnside) on vocals, guitar and drums, and his childhood friend Trenton Ayers on guitar and bass. Ayers’ guitar playing is mesmerizing, incorporating traces of jazz into the band’s sound, which is raw, hypnotic and hip shaking.
“Broadville” — that’s what the Pretty Thing Peepshow trades in. A fun old time of sideshow, burlesque and variety entertainment with Mr. Donny V, Go-Go Amy, Frankie Sin and Brianna Belladonna. A little sexy. A little dangerous. Sword swallowing, fire eating, knife throwing, comedy and more. And Pretty Thing Peepshow bring their show to Rev Room for a “Valentine’s Hangover Ball.” The show starts at 8:30 p.m., and tickets are $12 in advance and $15 day of. The music includes Cabaret Kittens (a Little Rock burlesque and dance troupe), The Revolutioners (a Little Rock rock ‘n’ roll band) and Jessica Carder.
Canadian metalcore band Abandon All Ships hits Juanita’s as they tour in support of their Malocchio album. Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 day of show with the music starting at 9:30 p.m. Joining them is Kansas City , Mo., electronica-flavored metal act The Browning, Ohio “puke rock” quartet My Ticket Home and Pennsylvania hardcore band I Am King.
Sunday night might not be your night for going out. Reconsider. Sebadoh comes to Stickyz. That’s right. The band known for such pioneering indie rock albums as 1991’s Sebadoh III and 1993’s Bubble and Scrape (oh, go ahead and throw everything from their 1989 The Freed Man debut to 1996’s Harmacy in there) has reformed with Lou Barlow (the one Sebadoh constant), Jason Loewenstein and Bob D’Amico, and in September 2013, that lineup released Sebadoh’s first new album since 1999 with Defend Yourself. Don’t think of it as a comeback album though. Band members have busied themselves with projects from solo albums to Dinosaur Jr. (Barlow’s a member) to Fiery Furnaces to Folk Implosion and more. Barlow wrote Defend Yourself following the end of his relationship with his wife and partner of 25 years, but there’s still a lot of live-wire indie rock music mixed with lo-fi on the album. The music starts at 8:30 p.m. with openers to be announced. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 day of for the 18-and-up show.
Here’s Sebadoh: I Will