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VOLUME 38, NUMBER 44 ARKANSAS TIMES (ISSN 0164-6273) is published each week by Arkansas Times Limited Partnership, 201 East Markham Street, 200 Heritage Center West, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72203, phone (501) 375-2985. Periodical postage paid at Little Rock, Arkansas, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ARKANSAS TIMES, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR, 72203. Subscription prices are $42 for one year, $78 for two years. Subscriptions outside Arkansas are $49 for one year, $88 for two years. Foreign (including Canadian) subscriptions are $168 a year. For subscriber service call (501) 375-2985. Current single-copy price is 75¢, free in Pulaski County. Single issues are available by mail at $2.50 each, postage paid. Payment must accompany all single-copy orders. Reproduction or use in whole or in part of the contents without the written consent of the publishers is prohibited. Manuscripts and artwork will not be returned or acknowledged unless sufficient return postage and a self-addressed stamped envelope are included. All materials are handled with due care; however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for care and safe return of unsolicited materials. All letters sent to ARKANSAS TIMES will be treated as intended for publication and are subject to ARKANSAS TIMES’ unrestricted right to edit or to comment editorially.


JULY 4, 2012



State court ruling applauded The news that the Arkansas Supreme Court had struck down the state’s lethal injection statute thrilled me. There is now effectively a moratorium on the death penalty in Arkansas. I have never supported the death penalty and my opposition to the death penalty became even stronger after my brother, Ronald Schlatter, was murdered in 1968. Ronald was murdered in a public place with many eyewitnesses, four of whom gave statements to the police immediately following the shooting. Despite this the suspected shooter was free for almost 40 years before finally being apprehended. By that time it was too late for justice and the suspect was free six days later. The prosecutor could no longer make a case. The eyewitness statements could no longer be corroborated and physical evidence had long since been destroyed. I can’t begin to express the painful emotions that were stirred up for my family and me during this process. Arkansas shouldn’t be looking to the death penalty for justice; we should be looking at supporting law enforcement so they can investigate these crimes and arrest the people responsible — that’s where the pursuit of justice needs to begin. Numerous studies have shown that death sentences cost much more than life without parole. Imagine what our justice system could do with all those millions of dollars they are currently sinking into capital punishment! Maybe families like mine could have access to services to help us heal. Maybe more resources could be directed to solving unsolved crimes rather than to the broken, bloated death penalty system. And just maybe my brother and my family would have received justice. I am grateful for the Supreme Court’s ruling on June 22, and I am hopeful that the legislature will take this time to think about what really serves justice for victims and their families instead of just drafting yet another new law for lethal injection protocol.  The death penalty doesn’t serve me, it doesn’t bring me peace, and the expense of it may well have cost my brother and my family the justice we deserve. Judith Elane Little Rock

Obama must provide U.S. citizens with exact information to the excellent things this law does, such as insuring a greater number of people, eliminating preexisting conditions and allowing people to keep the coverage they have, just to name a few. So, when Mr. Romney tries to tell you the horrors of the Affordable Care Act and calls it by a fictitious name, just remember, he set up the model for this act in Massachusetts when he was governor there. Don’t let him fool you. You are smarter than that, aren’t you? Brenda Ball Tirrell Hot Springs Village


JULY 4, 2012

Mr. Dumas was wrong! He expected an activist Supreme Court to take the individual mandate down (“Scalia makes plain court is politicized,” June 27). The rulings were fairly simple. Chief Justice Roberts agreed this is simply a massive tax increase (thus the 5-4 ruling), which is within the job description of the Congress. At least Mr. Dumas is happy to officially be the federal government’s bitch because we can now be forced to do anything through taxation. Nevada needs more hookers — implement the Affordable Hooker Act

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Don’t call it Obamacare There is no such thing  as Obamacare. When Mitt Romney speaks of such, he is hoping to lead you astray. There is such a thing as the Affordable Care Act, passed by the U.S. Congress and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, which gives everyone a chance for affordable health care. Now, Democrats and President

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and tell everyone they have to pay a tax if they don’t have their own hooker policy. Obama and all Democrats vowed this wasn’t a tax bill. Would this have been able to pass had Obama been honest and called this a tax increase? Even with the super majority Democrats held, not very damn likely. Conservatives got one positive out of the rulings and that is that the Medicaid expansion was invalidated as states can’t be punished for not expanding the Medicaid pool forcing states to raising their taxes because they can’t afford the expansion. A big part of the appeal was that in five years states have to pick up the costs of Medicaid expansion. This part of the ruling (by 7-2) leaves states the opportunity to ignore this expansion if they so choose. If Arkansas chooses to implement the Medicaid expansion we will be fully on the hook in five years and Arkansas taxes will have to go up. We have Senator Pryor to thank for this massive tax increase and we will remember in 2014 when he’ll have to explain why he didn’t understand the amount of taxes built in to this bill. Brice Hammerstein Sherwood

Tech Park unaccountable I had serious misgivings about supporting the tax increase proposal that will eventually fund the Little Rock Technology Park. Now I know it was the wrong decision, and not just because the Technology/Research Park concept has a hit and miss record of success. The appalling arrogance shown by the Technology Park Authority and the Chamber of Commerce in their rush to make a site selection is mind-boggling. Their lack of concern for the fabric of the city and lack of compassion for the citizens they plan to remove from their homes is inexcusable. It appears that this enterprise is being engineered as a source of profit for the real estate/development industry by their cronies who serve on the Tech Authority and City Board. Equally appalling is the lack of concern shown by the city directors and mayor. The Technology Park Authority needs to be reined in and made accountable. Can’t the City Board of Directors do that? It is difficult to believe that an appropriate site that wouldn’t require the demolition of viable neighborhoods cannot be found. One must wonder what the true motivation of the Authority Board is. Who stands to profit from this development? Why are these three sites the only acceptable ones for this Authority? It will be the proverbial cold day in hell before I, and many other citizens, trust the city of Little Rock when it places another tax increase proposal on the ballot. Gary Evans Little Rock


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JULY 4, 2012





Public enemies “I will be guided, first and foremost, by the fact that before I turn my back on the 200,000 to 250,000 Arkansans who don’t currently have health-care coverage, it would take a pretty dang strong argument for me to say no to those people.” — Gov. Mike Beebe, on whether he will expand the state Medicaid program, as is authorized and funded by the federal Affordable Care Act.


t was not the governor’s most eloquent utterance, but among his most important, and welcome. As there is no strong argument to deny health care to our neighbors, we can be assured they’ll be covered. And we can be grateful there are still public officials like Governor Beebe and President Obama who believe a government should help its people. Shrill and selfish factions disagree. What sort of people are those who would deny medical care to sick children in America, who would even in some cases spend millions of dollars to prevent this life-saving treatment? Oh, the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Republican Party — you know the sort. Cold-hearted and deep-pocketed. These misanthropes aspire to win Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, as well as the presidency for Mitt Romney, in the hope that that they can undo the Affordable Care Act. The notion that even people who aren’t rich should get to see doctors is offensive to the Kochs and their crowd. Where is the joy in being rich, they say, if you don’t get to watch other people suffer because they’re poor? It’s an indication of how much money these people have to spend that they could purchase Romney as their candidate. He’s immensely wealthy already and he’s the father of Romneycare, the Massachusetts health care system that is the model for the Affordable Care Act (sometimes called Obamacare). Running against President Obama, Romney now must repudiate the very thing he championed, the greatest accomplishment of his life. It can’t be pleasant. According to the Congressional Budget Office, about 30 million more Americans will have health care with Obamacare than without it. With Obamacare, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. With Obamacare, women can’t be charged higher premiums because of their gender. With Obamacare, people won’t lose their health care when they lose their jobs, something that’s happening to more and more of us as private equity outfits like the one Romney ran take over American companies and send the jobs overseas, as Romney did so often. The Affordable Care Act is not even fully effective yet, and 64 percent of Arkansas children have already been able to maintain or improve their access to affordable preventive services. Almost 23,000 young Arkansas adults have been able to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26. The Affordable Care Act is like Social Security, Medicare and the Civil Rights Act — America at its best.


JULY 4, 2012


WHERE IN ARKANSAS?: Know where this slice of life in Arkansas is? Send along the answer to Times photographer Brian Chilson and win a prize. Once a month in this space, he’ll post a shot from a relatively obscure spot in Arkansas for Times readers to identify. We also invite photographers to contribute submissions of both mystery and other pictures to our eyeonarkansas Flickr group. Write to to guess this week’s photo or for more information.

Health care and the tech park


ajor developments in two favorite topics this week:

HEALTH CARE: The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Obamacare. This only guarantees a continued pitched battle by the Republican Party at the national and state level to undo it. If they can win a majority in Congress, Republicans will vote to repeal it. Short of that, Republicans will try every trick to block increased federal spending on the program. In Arkansas, the ultimate battle is really quite simple. The health exchanges to provide affordable insurance coverage will move forward under federal guidance in Arkansas. There’s nothing the state legislature can do to stop that. But Republicans need not even take control of the legislature to kill a huge part of Obamacare — the expansion of Medicaid to more of the working poor. It’s a free benefit worth hundreds of millions to the state the first three years. The state will eventually pay a small match, gradually rising to 10 percent in 2020. The money will cover 200,000 to 250,000 Arkansans without insurance or with very little. It will save rural hospitals. It will prevent more expensive illnesses. It will ease the hidden tax on paying patients of uncompensated care. It will stimulate the Arkansas economy and the health of its people, notably children. Because the legislature can’t spend money without appropriating it, it would take only 26 Republicans in the House or 9 in the Senate to block this enormous benefit to Arkansas working people. Common good versus greed. Simple choice. Is Arkansas as good as France? Does it believe in a shared responsibility for universal health coverage? Or does it prefer every man for himself? Gov. Mike Beebe clearly leans toward an expansion of service for Arkansans and compassion for the state’s people. Do Republicans? TECHNOLOGY PARK: I remain skeptical about the

Little Rock Technology Park concept. I think brains and venture capital are better development tools than a spec office building. But voters indirectly approved spending $22 million and elected MAX officials seem determined to BRANTLEY move forward. If so, the project should not go forward at the cost of bulldozing hundreds of residential houses, even in a marginal neighborhood, as Tech Park backers seem to prefer. Bitter experience tells us that urban renewal, at best, only relocates blight. It sometimes also creates new wastelands. The hand-picked group of Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce-influenced insiders who are running the show should stop, look and listen to other locations. This week came an idea to put the project on largely derelict commercial ground to the south of the Clinton Library and Heifer International. The core is 10 acres once intended for a new home for World Services for the Blind. That project isn’t to be built. The property could be acquired for $3.6 million, far less than residential home acquisition cost in the Oak Forest neighborhood and without evictions. Additional underused property is available for expansion. The land sits alongside Interstate 30, where a tech park would be a high profile addition to the billion-dollar redevelopment that area has already seen. The happening River Market neighborhood is a better spot for synergy with tech types. The density of highrise development and multiple attractions, plus a core of existing tech workers at Acxiom, have been boons elsewhere, such as a now vibrant but once forlorn area of London. Downtown is a short freeway hop to Arkansas Children’s Hospital and UAMS. It’s just a few minutes farther via freeway and four-lane city street to UALR. Locating there also would end a divisive community debate that won’t be resolved short of a courtroom.


Republicans reject own health care plan


ll the fury over Obamacare and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding its constitutionality suggests that the law will drastically alter the lives of all Americans. That is one of the many ironies of this epic battle, now in its fourth year. For the most part, the 15 percent of Americans who will be directly and significantly affected by the Affordable Care Act because they are not now insured seem to rather like the law’s controversial provisions or accept them. It’s the other four-fifths — the 170 million who are already fully insured by employer or individual policies and the nearly 100 million who are covered by one of the government programs — who are ready to storm the ramparts, for or against it, if you believe the polls. Yet many, perhaps even most, of insured Americans will never be affected in a direct way, unless the law does succeed in one of its goals, which is to slow the growth of medical costs for one and all. Some are skeptical that the government will take the steps prescribed in the Affordable Care Act to get costs under control because many providers will oppose them. But it remains a hope. There is, however, one sure direct effect: The law directs insurance companies to

send rebates to policyholders each year when the companies spend more than 15 or 20 percent of ERNEST people’s premiums DUMAS (depending on the size of the insurance pool) on administration, profits and executive bonuses rather than medical care. That means that this summer, some 115,000 Arkansans who have individual or employer insurance will get about $7.8 million in rebates for insurer overcharges in 2011. Most of them will cash the checks not knowing it resulted from the Affordable Care Act, and they will go on cursing Obamacare and the Supreme Court. Indirectly, everyone who is insured now will benefit if everyone else becomes insured and his or her medical care is paid for, as the law intends. That will end or dramatically reduce the unreimbursed care at hospitals and clinics and end the cost shifting to the premiums of the insured. That part of the law — the so-called mandate for people who are not insured and who earn more than 133 percent of the federal poverty line to buy insurance with government help — is the one that has

Another Supreme Court’s missed opportunity


ven when blockbuster decisions are not being handed down almost daily by the U.S. Supreme Court, rules of procedure passed down by Arkansas’s top court typically gain little attention. Most outside of the legal profession don’t even know the state Supreme Court’s power to remake important rules in the Arkansas justice system — rules that fundamentally shape whether the justice system provides accurate and fair rulings on matters criminal and civil. While a start towards the goals of accuracy and fairness, an amendment to the Arkansas rules of criminal procedure handed down by the Court last week promoting the recording of interrogations by Arkansas police was a missed opportunity for the Court. Stating that recordings should be done “whenever practical,” the new rule does not require that all interrogations carried out by police officials in Arkansas be recorded from start to finish. Instead, the new rule allows trial courts to consider whether a failure to record a statement undermines the value of the evidence provided

by the interrogation. Moreover, the rule is silent on whether video recording should be employed; JAY other states have BARTH adopted videotaping as the preferred method of recording because of the information inherent in seeing the face of the person being interviewed across the hours. As in many criminal justice matters in the contemporary era in Arkansas, there is a link between this rule and the West Memphis Three case. In Jessie Misskelley Jr.’s 1996 appeal of his conviction in the case, his attorneys cited the fact that the infamous lengthy interrogation of Misskelley was not recorded in its entirety as one justification for a reconsideration of the verdict. The Supreme Court rightly noted that “No Arkansas law requires this.” While less well known than the interrogation central to the WM3 case, the case of Thomas Cogdell from Camden is

caused the fury. It was the basis of all the suits challenging the constitutionality of the law on the theory that the commerce clause didn’t expect government to ask people to buy insurance. (The government has been requiring people to buy insurance since 1935, when everyone was mandated to buy Old Age, Survivors’ and Disability Insurance, and 1965, when they had to buy old age and disability health insurance.) If you are young and healthy, you have a reasonable case for being sore that the country will ask you to buy insurance now rather than wait until you get sick. If your pay is not so swell, the government is going to pay a hefty part of the monthly premium for you — nearly all of it if your family income is very low. But if you are insured and you and your employer are paying hefty premiums, don’t you also have a case for being sore that all those people have gotten a free ride at the hospitals and clinics and that the costs are passed along every year to you in the form of another premium increase? I referred to all the ironies of the Affordable Care Act battle. The most perverse is that the mandate that people buy insurance is the conservative and Republican formula. It was hatched by Ronald Reagan’s think tank, the Heritage Foundation. It was the soul of the Personal Responsibility movement, embraced by Reagan and Bush I and then by Republicans in Congress in the healthcare battle of 1993-94, lost by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Monday, Mitt Romney, whose Massachusetts mandate law was the

template for Obamacare, disagreed with his party and the Supreme Court and said the little penalty in the law for not buying insurance ($99 in 2014) was not a tax. It was not a tax when he prescribed the same thing in Massachusetts eight years ago. Republican legislators in Arkansas, like those in Congress and in a few other states, were saying over the weekend that they would block state participation in the expanded Medicaid, which the Supreme Court said states could choose to skip without penalty. For Arkansas, skipping it would be unimaginable: billions of dollars for Arkansas health care and the economy, none of it costing the state government a dime until 2017 and after 2020 costing the state 10 cents on the dollar. You may wonder why Arkansas hospitals supported the law, joined last week by the chancellor of the state’s medical school and hospital. For 2010, the last year for which figures are available, the uncollected bills and charity care at Arkansas hospitals totaled nearly $1.3 billion — people who were not insured and did not pay for their treatment. At the state medical center at Little Rock, the uncompensated care for the uninsured last year came to $175 million. Arkansas taxpayers picked up most of the bill for them through state and federal taxes. Under Obamacare, Medicaid and the insurance mandate will end nearly all that cost shifting in 2014. Does that sound like something we should turn down?

just as troubling. As a 12-year-old, Cogdell was convicted of killing his younger sister based solely on his confession. Police began video-recording his interrogation, during which he adamantly and tearfully denied all wrongdoing in his 11-year-old sister’s death. After the boy broke down under strenuous questioning, police turned off the camera. Several hours later, the camera was turned back on and the boy calmly confessed to his sister’s murder. After the confession, Cogdell’s mother was brought in and Thomas whispered she shouldn’t worry because fingerprint evidence would prove his innocence. Later, Cogdell said that during the lengthy gap in the recording, he was threatened with the death penalty if he failed to confess. Ultimately, the conviction was reversed because of the police’s failure to adequately inform the boy of his right to remain silent. Under a mandatory recording rule, of course, police would never have been permitted to create the mysterious gaps in the recorded interrogations of Misskelley and Cogdell. For advocates of fairness and accuracy in the criminal justice system, the new rule was not the desired outcome. In their comments to the Court leading up to this final action, those promoting required taping of such interviews noted the ease of such

recordings in an era when technology is cheap and omnipresent. Indeed, over 15 other states have created such requirements through court rules or through legislation. In addition, advocates of a change argued that videotaping is decidedly preferable to audio recordings because of all the information provided by those pictures. (Indeed, on the same day that the new interrogation rule was issued, the Court showed its own awareness of the importance of such visual information in a new rule allowing videoconferencing in pretrial hearings; in that rule the Court affirmed that the video quality must “allow the participants to observe each other’s demeanor and nonverbal expressions as well as the demeanor and nonverbal expressions of any witnesses who testify in the proceeding.”) While less than perfect, the new rule is, as the Court put it, a “starting point.” The power is now in the hands of police and sheriff officials in Arkansas to do the right thing and always videotape interrogations, prosecutors to encourage them to do so enhancing the likelihood that they will get their prosecutions right, and local circuit judges to challenge any interrogation presented as evidence that cannot be seen and heard from start to finish.

JULY 4, 2012



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“It’s getting down right biblical at Plaza Towers.” The first question about this sentence is easily answered. Downright is one word. The second, should biblical be capitalized, is not so clear-cut. The name of the sacred book of the Christian faith is always capitalized (Bible) and Random House prefers a capital for the adjectival form too, although it acknowledges that biblical is used also. The Associated Press Stylebook and other authorities say that biblical is always lowercase. Under the constitutional provision for separation of church and language in this country, you can probably get by with either Biblical or biblical. Speaking of that noted secular document, Constitution and constitutional raise the same question as Bible and biblical. The AP Stylebook, which is followed by most of the American press, says: “Capitalize references to the U.S. Constitution, with or without the U.S. modifier: The president said he supports the Constitution. “When referring to constitutions of other nations or of states, capitalize only with the name of a nation or a state: the French Constitution, the Massachusetts Constitution, the nation’s constitution, the

state constitution, the constitution. “Lowercase in other uses: the organization’s constitution. “Lowercase constitutional in all uses.”


“The announcement means that George likely doesn’t take the stand. Despite the obvious drama that would be created by such a game-changing moment ...” John Wesley Hall wrote, “Game-changing is another phrase that should have ended with the book and movie.” I’d heard the phrase, but, embarrassingly, I didn’t know the book and the movie it came from. I guessed “Abbott and Costello Meet the Game-Changer,” thinking it might be one of the pair’s more recent efforts, but Hall explained that “Game Change” was a book and later a movie about the 2008 presidential campaign. Having missed both, I’m not quite as tired of game-changing as he, but I’ll probably get there. Hall is annoyed also by “It is what it is.” So am I, but I thought this one was dying out. Maybe I’ve just been lucky.


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ARKANSAS’S FINANCIAL HEALTH. The state revenue report for the budget year ending June 30 was a bright one — $145 million surplus on gross revenues of $5.9 billion. Putting that aside will go a long way, one time, to covering coming increases in Medicaid costs — projected to rise somewhere from $250 million to $400 million in 2013. The net revenue increased 3.9 percent over the previous year, with increases in all the major income categories — sales tax and corporate and personal income tax. Gross revenue was up more than 4 percent. ARKANSAS’S MEDICAL HEALTH. Gov. Mike Beebe indicated that he favors Medicaid expansion in Arkansas as prescribed by the Affordable Care Act. The coming election will be crucial in determining whether the legislature allows him to proceed. If Republicans have their way, they would deny some 200,000 poor Arkansans health care. PETITIONERS. Representatives for ballot initiatives for a severance tax increase and medical marijuana say they have collected the required number of signatures to get their measures on the November ballot. The Regnat Populus group pushing an ethics reform act have said it is close. Those backing an act that would allow casinos in the state haven’t said. TRANSPARENCY. The much-bally-

hooed on-line Arkansas checkbook is up and running (transparency.arkansas. gov), though you’ll have to wait until July 6 before expenditures of each agency and contract data are accessible. This new database includes not just state agencies, but the offices of elected officials.

It was a bad week for... THE PEABODY DUCKS. The Peabody Hotel Group signed an agreement to sell the Little Rock Peabody to Fairwood Capital, a Memphis-based real estate investment firm, which is considering several upscale hotel franchises with which to partner. U.S. REP. MIKE ROSS. The U.S. House voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for not turning over enough documents about Justice Department deliberations over an investigation of a gun-running probe in Arizona. The vote was 255-67, with 109 not voting as an expression of contempt for the purely political act. The core elements of the Republican complaint — administrative complicity in allowing guns to reach illegal hands — are no longer in question. If any problem existed, it was a lack of sufficient gun laws to justify prosecutions against people who buy guns in bulk to put in the hands of criminals. That didn’t stop lame duck congressman Ross, a gun lobby toady, from voting with the Republicans.



to the office last week when a homeless dude stopped us in the River Market, a guy in a dirty ball cap, red-rimmed eyes and three days of stubble. We expected the usual request for change — we always try to give something if we’ve got it — but this dude was different. He had a handful of books. They were simple: white paper, printed out somewhere for cheap and stapled crooked down the spine. “Hookers, ExWives and Other Lovers” by Justin Booth. “Poetry,” he said. “Five bucks.” The Observer has never been able to turn down a book. The blurry photo on the back shows him as a much younger and more put-together man, in a clean, pressed jacket. There’s what looks to be a drink in his hand, and snowy woods behind him. “His poetry reflects the life that he lives,” the blurb below the photo reads. “He struggles with addiction and homelessness, but always manages to find poetry in the moment.” Worked as a bricklayer, the blurb says. Rode with an outlaw motorcycle club. Served time. He took five rumpled ones and rushed away south, toward — he said — the McDonald’s. As The Observer walked, we flipped open the book, not expecting much. Soon, though, we had to stop in the middle of the hot sidewalk, poleaxed to the point of immobility by the loveliness. The poems are all about the shadow Little Rock where the homeless live — a city full of pigeons that coo “oh no, oh no, oh no,” and dark alleys where anything might happen. Such beauty, from such an unexpected source. What was it the man said about books and covers? Here’s our current fave:

slow as morning fog then abra ka dabra and disappear into a strangers car I wave at mouthwash jimmy his tired face split open a Listerine smile kicking hope broken pipes come to the place where we all sleep Tammy is drunk and cursing big baby sells his dope the queers have just started cruising and red looks crazy for cops

past the tattoo man his machine buzzing dragons and butterflies and other ink dreams into college kids who have never been here before the angels of the sidewalk pop their gum and yawn strolling




sleeping bags and church handout blankets stretch corner to corner I sit down on the curb to untie my laces the final encore of a concert at the ballpark across the river drifts down on me as I close my eyes to sleep

WHERE WE ALL SLEEP I walk the wee hour through the neon lit part of town


ALSO, MUSIC FROM UNEXPECTED PLACES: The ice cream truck. It creeps

through the neighborhood playing an awful mechanical version of Turkey in the Straw over and over, which gets on The Observer’s nerves. But to our great surprise, a new tune, ding-ding free, was broadcast last week. It was familiar but we couldn’t quite pin it down. Then — all of sudden — the words of the refrain came to us: “Oh you can’t scare me, I’m sticking to the union, I’m sticking to the union. Oh, you can’t scare me, I’m sticking to the union, I’m sticking to the union ’til the day I die.” Sounds like a wobbly has taken the wheel of the ice cream wagon.

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Arkansas Reporter



Like the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the city has not paid its $25,000 installment on its $125,000 pledge to the Little Rock Technology Park and won’t until after the leadership can meet with Tech Park board members “to make sure we’re on the same page” on site choice, City Manager Bruce Moore said Tuesday. Speaking for UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn on Monday, Vice Chancellor Tom Butler said UAMS decided to withhold its payment after the Authority board said it would not actively participate in seeking non-residential acreage for construction of the park. Both Rahn and the Little Rock City Board of Directors, through an ordinance, have asked that the board shelve its plans to locate in one of three neighborhoods under consideration and look for an alternative. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock, like the city and UAMS a sponsor of the park, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, which is not a sponsor but which is contributing financially, did paid this year’s installment on receiving an invoice from the Technology Park Authority. Moore said the city was satisfied with Authority board chair Dr. Mary Good’s released statement that the neighborhoods have been “taken off the table” unless there is support from residents who would have to give up their property for the park, which will require that 30 acres be demolished under the board’s current plan. The board will release a site submission form later this week for those wishing to propose alternative sites, Authority board member Dickson Flake told the Times in an e-mail. One of those alternatives will certainly be 10 acres on Interstate 30 between Sixth and Eighth streets, which has the support of Heifer International, the Clinton Foundation, the University of Arkansas’s Clinton School of Public Service and Acxiom Corp.

Lawyer and judge still at it Andi Davis of Hot Springs, “the lawyer in the paper mask,” continues to seek the fair treatment for herself and her clients that she says is being denied in the court of Garland Circuit CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 10

JULY 4, 2012



City hasn’t paid tech park share

EVEN NOVELS: “Camp Nine” is one of the UA Press’s biggest sellers.

UA Press relatively safe Keeping an eye on its troubled Missouri colleague. BY DOUG SMITH


hile its neighbor to the north, the University of Missouri Press, is in grave danger, the University of Arkansas Press appears reasonably secure. Some 14 years ago, the UA Press survived the same sort of threat the Missouri Press is facing now, and ever since then, friends of the press have kept a close eye on it and the UA administration, which once wanted to shut the press down. The present chancellor at Fayetteville, David Gearhart, says “We think the press serves a very important purpose for the university, the state and the nation. We publish books from all over the country. … We hope some day they’ll be able to pay their own way. But we’re not overly concerned about it. It’s not a heavy cost to the university.” Few if any university presses ever break even on their operations. Part of their job is to publish worthy books that would go unpublished otherwise. Most university-press books are not

bestsellers. The UA subsidizes the press to the tune of $250,000 a year. The UM gives its press an annual subsidy of $400,000. When UM President Tim Wolfe revealed last month that he planned to shut down the press, outrage ensued, on and off campus, just as happened in 1998 when John White, then the UA chancellor, announced that the UA press would close. White eventually backed down, and after he did, Larry Malley was hired as director of the press, a position he still holds. White was succeeded by Gearhart. “We publish about 20 books a year and we’re trying to grow that number,” Malley said in a telephone interview. The press’s best-selling books of the last season were “Medgar Evers: Mississippi Martyr,” a biography of the civil rights activist by Michael Vinson Williams, and “Camp Nine,” a novel by Vivienne Schiffer about a Japanese-American internment camp in South Arkansas dur-

ing World War II. “We’re approaching 3,000 on both of those books,” Malley said. “That’s a very good number for a university press book.” Ten people work at the press. The Missouri situation has been on Malley’s mind. He said he didn’t know what would happen there, but over the last dozen years, many university presses have received similar bad news and then got a last-minute reprieve. He didn’t know of any immediate threat to the UA press, but in the university-press world, “Safe isn’t a word we use. These are hard times. The book business is in trouble.” The change in chancellors probably benefitted the UA Press. White was an engineer, not known as a big reader. Gearhart was in arts and sciences as an undergraduate. He said he reads many of the press’s books. “I just finished a book about Ernest Hemingway in Northeast Arkansas that was written by an ASU professor. It’s really good.” The book is “Unbelievable Happiness and Final Sorrow: The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Marriage” by Ruth A. Hawkins. In Missouri, supporters of the UM Press are campaigning to save it, how effectively is not entirely clear. A June 27 Associated Press report from Columbia, Mo., said “The University of Missouri is standing behind its cost-cutting decision to shutter the school’s academic press. Dozens of University of Missouri press supporters attended a Board of Curators Meeting Tuesday and Wednesday in Columbia in hopes of swaying the campus governing board. But the curators did not publicly discuss the recent decision by Tim Wolfe, the new president of the university system. And the board doesn’t typically carve out time for public comment.” But Jennifer Hollingshead, the chief communications officer of the UM System, told the Arkansas Times that the UM Press would continue in some form. “We’re working on a more sustainable, financially stable model,” she said. “That was always the plan.” The new model might emphasize digital distribution, one report said. It’s unlikely to appease the UM Press’s supporters. Katha Pollitt wrote a column in The Nation last week headlined “Score So Far at the University of Missouri: Books 0, Football Coach $2.7 Million.” She went on to say, “You can always find the money for the things you really want.”


Tune in to the Times’ “Week In Review” podcast each Friday. Available on iTunes &






Number of applicants the Arkansas State Police received in advance of this year’s Arkansas State Police Trooper School, which concluded last week. All received a letter from the state police to schedule testing dates.

Physical Assessment Test


Did not report for testing





Knowledge Skills Test






Polygraph Text


Failed to report for testing



Formally withdrew from consideration



Background Investigations

9 97

Accepted for oral interview process


Formally withdrew from consideration


State troopers retired during the time recruits spent in troop school



Extended offers of employment as State Police recruits and report for troop school on Feb. 26

30 years

Judge Marcia Hearnsberger. The judge continues to deny Davis’s allegations and dismiss her motions. Davis claims that Hearnsberger is biased against her, for reasons unknown to Davis, and she wants the judge to recuse from all of Davis’ cases. She says that Hearnsberger once made her wear a paper surgical mask in court (ostensibly because the judge feared Davis had bird flu), has ordered her out of the courtroom for showing too much cleavage, and has otherwise treated her unfairly. At a hearing last week, Davis wanted to present witnesses, including members of Hearnsberger’s staff that she intended to subpoena because they wouldn’t testify voluntarily. These included trial court assistant Cindy Hunt, who Davis said had delivered many of the judge’s orders to her, and bailiff Al Miller. The judge refused to hear witnesses; Davis said this violated her constitutional right of due process. Hearnsberger than read a statement saying that she was not biased and would not recuse. One way for a higher court to consider Hearnsberger’s alleged bias would be if Davis’ client James Allen Echols, charged with rape and incest, were convicted and the alleged bias was used as grounds for appealing the conviction. At press time, it was unclear whether Davis would continue to represent Echols. She didn’t return calls from a reporter. Hearnsberger has refused to discuss Davis’ allegations with a reporter.


Graduated from Troop School on June 28

The average length of the career of those troopers who retired


Ward 1 city Director Erma Hendrix voted June 19 against deferral of an ordinance proposed by Ward 2 Director Ken Richardson that would have prohibited the use of city tax dollars to use eminent domain to take residential property. An article in last week’s Times (“When is a win not a win?”) failed to include her support for the ordinance, which was deferred on a vote of 6 to 3. Sponsor Richardson and Director B.J. Wyrick also voted against deferral. Last week’s cover story (“The long pour”) indicated that Joubert’s offers a full bar and Gusano’s offers pool and shuffleboard. Joubert’s serves beer only and Gusano’s, after a remodel, no longer offers pool or shuffleboard. The story also included an incorrect phone number for Lulav. The number is 374-5100.

JULY 4, 2012


‘Voice in the wilderness’ calls for reading-teacher reform Living in the past, opponents say. BY DOUG SMITH

STOTSKY: Full of ideas about education.


JULY 4, 2012




FAYETTEVILLE lementary-school teachers are poorly trained, there are too many of them, and state colleges of education are uninterested in solving the problems. So says Sandra Stotsky, a professor in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She is, she admits, not in the majority. Stotsky wants all colleges of education, including Arkansas’s, to teach phonics — she says they don’t now, or not much anyway — and she wants all aspiring teachers of elementary-age children to be tested on their mastery of phonics, which Stotsky says is the best way to teach young children to read and that studies have so proved. Arkansas has a good way to go before reaching these objectives, she says. “I’m still a lone voice in the wilderness here.” Stotsky is more like a voice from the past, according to Deborah Owens, an associate professor of reading in the Department of Teacher Education at

Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. After reading a recent article by Stotsky, headlined “Reading teachers should pass a phonics test,” Owens told the Arkansas Times, “I thought I’d somehow been transported back to 1955, when Rudolf Flesch published his book ‘Why Johnny Can’t Read and What You Can Do About It’ … For those who earn their living in the arena of reading and literacy education, Flesch’s book signaled the politicization of reading instruction that would endure for decades.” But today, Owens said, “the ‘Whole Language/Phonics wars’ are dead. Teachers across Arkansas and the United States have devoted their professional lives to children, not to fighting some non-existent ideological war over methodology. Let me also say that, while I think there is far too much emphasis on testing, a phonics test for

instruction [phonics].” Such legislation is needed, Stotsky says, because Johnny still can’t read very well, and often is not even asked to. In another essay published earlier this year, “What Should Kids Be Reading,” she wrote that American high school students don’t read challenging books, whether assigned by their teachers or chosen themselves for leisure reading. She said surveys showed that the high school literature curriculum was “incoherent and undemanding,” in Arkansas and across the nation. The average reading level of the 40 most frequently read books by students in grades 9 through 12 is 5.3, she said. That’s slightly above a fifthgrade level. She said a comparable survey, made four years earlier, showed a reading level of 6.1, suggesting a sharp decline in just a few years. The reading levels of books, includ-

“Reformers have fought for generations to have decoding [phonics] skills taught systematically and directly but schools of education will have none of it.”

pre-service teachers does not bother me at all. ASU graduates are prepared.” Stotsky, who has been soldiering in the Whole Language/Phonics wars for years, believes the wars continue, and her side is gaining strength. She cites a new Wisconsin law, supported by that state’s now-famous governor, Scott Walker, and signed by him in April, “which will help ensure that teachers no longer receive inadequate training in their preparation and professional development.” Stotsky testified for the bill in legislative hearings at Madison. It’s modeled after a Massachusetts law that she helped write in 2002, when she was an associate commissioner in the Massachusetts Department of Education. Like Massachusetts, Wisconsin will now require would-be teachers of elementary-age children to pass a licensing test that includes “knowledge of code-based beginning-reading

ing textbooks, assigned in schools have been regularly declining for decades, she says, and a recent study of the books most often recommended by school librarians for high school students showed an average reading level of between fourth and fifth grade. “Why the librarians were choosing books with such low reading levels for high school students I don’t know,” Stotsky wrote. “They do not appear to have high academic expectations for these students.” Parents and the community at large should seek a more challenging curriculum, Stotsky said. “Students have to do more reading on their own. More and more students have been increasingly unwilling to do homework — which involves reading on one’s own at home — and teachers have had vastly diminished authority CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

KNOW THE SOUNDS: Phonics instructional materials.

JULY 4, 2012


Nest of reformers


to assign and expect homework to be done. They also do not get the support they need from parents themselves.” This sort of stirring things up (or “advocating reform,” depending on one’s viewpoint) is what Stotsky does for a living, as a member of the faculty in the UA Education Reform Department. As Owens says, phonics hostilities erupted with the publication of Flesch’s book in 1955, were fought heatedly for years and then appeared to cool off somewhat, partly because the education establishment eventually conceded some of Flesch’s points. Flesch argued that the use of phonics, the soundingout of words, was a better way to teach reading than requiring children to learn words by sight, sometimes referred to as “look-say” or “whole language.” Most educators today seem to agree that phonics has its place, and they say they’ve made room for phonics in their schools and in the colleges of education. Stotsky


JULY 4, 2012


schools. Our core strategy is to infuse competitive pressure into America’s K-12 educational system by increasing the quantity and quality of school choices available to parents, especially in low-income communities. When GREENE all families are empowered to choose from among several quality school options, all schools will be fully motivated to provide the best possible education. Better school performance leads, in turn, to higher student achievement, lower dropout rates and greater numbers of students entering and completing college.” Many supporters of public schools, including teacher unions, consider the Foundation an enemy. (They’re not keen on Greene, either. When he was hired at Fayetteville, Rich Nagel, executive director of the Arkansas Education Association, a teachers union, said. “Dr. Jay P. Greene has devoted his career to promoting vouchers and other measures aimed to weaken or dismantle public schools.”) Stotsky and Greene are two of the seven faculty members in the Department. Liberals would consider these professors a conservative group, but Greene says there’s diversity. “We have Democrats and Republicans. We don’t all agree on everything.” One of the group, Robert Costrell, recently was named to Mitt Romney’s advisory committee on education. Costrell has worked for Romney before, when Rom-


ne man’s reform may be another man’s reaction. The director of the University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform tacitly conceded the point when he said that a similar entity on a different campus would probably be called the “Department of Education Policy.” But the name was chosen at Fayetteville before Jay P. Greene was hired, he said. It was chosen, presumably, by the Walton Family Foundation, which gave a big chunk of money to establish the Department in 2005. Although the UA administration has always insisted that it makes the decisions concerning the Department’s operation, not the conservative-minded Walton Foundation, suspicion remains. Members of the Walton family (the Waltons of Walmart) have long been interested in and contributed to the cause of changing the American educational system — “reforming” it, if you will. Vouchers, charter schools, and increased teacher testing are among the controversial proposals that have engaged both the Waltons and the Department of Education Reform. The increased use of phonics to teach reading, which Sandra Stotsky advocates, is another. The Walton Family Foundation website says that the Foundation invested $159 million in K-12 education reform around the country in 2011. “The Walton Family Foundation is committed to improving K-12 student achievement in the United States at every level — in traditional public schools, charter public schools and private

ney was governor of Massachusetts. Greene notes that another Education Reform professor, Robert Maranto, once worked in the Clinton administration, “although he calls himself a conservative.” A UA news release on Costrell’s appointment said: “University of Arkansas policy states that university employees have the right to engage in political activity. Costrell is not being paid for the advisory role in Romney’s campaign. In the past, University of Arkansas faculty members have served in a variety of advisory roles to presidential campaigns, including several who advised then-Gov. Bill Clinton’s campaign for president in 1992. Numerous political science students have served internships with presidential campaigns as well.” The Department has a national reputation, Greene said. In September, two of the professors testified about school accountability before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on education. Two others recently wrote articles on their opposing views of charter schools for the magazine published by the American Association of School Administrators. (Some would be surprised to find the Department not unanimous in support of charter schools, but Paul Hewitt, a former school superintendent in California, takes an opposing view.) According to a UA news release, a school choice demonstration project based in the Department found that a school voucher program in Milwaukee increased the chances of students graduating from high school and going on to college. Department faculty do their own research, Greene said, and they write mostly books, book chapters and peer-reviewed articles. “But we also do popular writing, newspaper articles,” like Stotsky’s on phonics, he said.

OWENS: The war is over.

is skeptical, although she admits that she hasn’t probed deeply on her own campus, not wanting to ruffle feathers in her own nest. The Education Reform

Department, which was established in 2005 with private contributions, is officially part of the UA College of Education and Health Professions.

Tom Smith, dean of the College, said “We’re definitely not anti-phonics,” an accusation that Stotsky has lodged against education colleges generally. He agreed with Stotsky that research has shown the effectiveness of phonics. “Most colleges do include phonics in their instruction today,” Smith said, in accordance with a recommendation of the National Reading Panel. Dr. Greg Meeks, interim dean of education at ASU, said that ASU too followed the international reading association guidelines. “Everybody that teaches how to teach reading does that.” (Of the Education Reform Department generally, Smith says “They do some great work, they think outside of the box. Some of the things they do I agree with. Some I don’t.”) Owens, in her written commentary on Stotsky’s article, said: “I’m not sure where Stotsky has been for the past twenty years, but I would

suggest that she actually visit some early childhood classrooms in her home state of Arkansas and observe reading instruction today (with few exceptions, she will see phonics instruction). Stotsky claims, ‘… the education establishment prefers to teach beginning readers to guess at the identification of a written word using its context — the so-called wholelanguage approach. The people who run education schools hate the “code” because they say it requires a repetition of boring exercises — “drill and kill” … ’ [The reference is to drills on the sound of individual letters of the alphabet.] “While I don’t run an education school,” Owens wrote, “I do work as a professor in one, and, therefore, can say with confidence that I don’t know any professor or administrator in an education school who ‘hates the code.’ And, while I can’t speak for all Colleges of Education, Dr. Stotsky can be assured that those of us who teach reading methods for early childhood pre-service teachers at Arkansas State University focus our instruction on preparing all of our students to enter their profession able to implement scientifically-based reading research methods and teach the alphabetic code, phonemic awareness, and phonics systematically and explicitly. Dr. Stotsky may also be interested to know that there is absolutely nothing boring or ‘drill and kill’ about the methods we promote for teaching the alphabetic code.” (“Phonemic awareness” has to do with the basic sounds in the language, and “phonics” with combining these sounds to make words, but the whole process is often called “phonics.”) Stotsky said she’d concluded, after talking with people in the state Education Department, that the colleges of education in Arkansas aren’t interested in teaching phonics, just as colleges of education elsewhere aren’t. Colleges don’t like to change their professional programs, she said. Phonics has come to be associated with conservative politics and conservative politicians, like Governor Walker in Wisconsin. But Stotsky says her belief in phonics is based on research, not politics. She says that at Harvard she studied under Jeanne Chall, a famous phonics champion who always considered herself a liberal Democrat. Still, much of Stotsky’s work appears in conservative journals, and concerns issues beloved by conservative commentators. One of the books she’s written is “Losing Our Language: How multiculturalism undermines our

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children’s ability to read, write & reason.” Conservatives loathe “multiculturalism.” An excerpt from the book: “When multiculturalism was first promoted as an educational philosophy, its stress seemed to be on the positive contributions of minority groups in this country and on a balanced portrayal of a variety of cultures around the world. But over the years, multiculturalism acquired an additional meaning. Instead of emphasizing the positive contributions of America’s minority groups and a balanced range of social groups from around the world, the version of multiculturalism now promoted in our universities and schools of education seeks to ‘close young people off into identities already ascribed to them,’ as Anthony Appiah, a professor of Afro-American Studies at Harvard, has described this second, ‘illiberal’ version of multiculturalism in a 1997 essay in the New York Review of Books.” It’s a pretty good bet that there are more conservatives who dislike multiculturalism than there are who understand what it is. A favorable review of “Losing Our Language,” for the Textbook League, a source sometimes popular with conservatives, said: “Stotsky demonstrates that instruction in reading has been degraded into a vehicle for the preaching of sociopolitical ideology — especially the array of racial and sexual dogmas which travel under the name ‘multiculturalism’ — and that intellectual development is relentlessly subordinated to the goal of inculcating students with multi-culti views and attitudes. Indeed, intellectual development is deliberately scorned.” Stotsky received a bachelor’s degree with distinction from the University of Michigan and a doctorate in reading research and reading education with distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. While she was serving as senior associate commissioner in the Massachusetts Education Department (pre-Mitt Romney), she directed revisions of the state’s standards for every major subject taught by the public schools in pre-K through 12. She also directed revisions of the Massachusetts licensing regulations for teachers, administrators, and teachertraining schools, and the state’s tests for teacher licensure. Before she came to Fayetteville, she was a research scholar in the School of Education at Northeastern University. She maintains a home in Massachusetts and goes there for the summer. She’ll return to Fayetteville in mid-August. Her salary at the UA is $140,000. In an article originally published


by Bloomberg News, and reprinted by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette May 6, Stotsky wrote that the most effective method of teaching beginning reading “is called decoding, the shorthand word for the scientifically tested techniques for teaching children the relationships between symbols and sounds, often just called phonics. Reformers have fought for generations to have decoding skills taught systematically and directly but schools of education will have none of it. “Instead, the education establishment prefers to teach beginning readers to guess at the identification of a written word using its context — the so-called whole language approach. The people who run education schools hate the ‘code’ because they say it requires a repetition of boring exercises — ‘drill and kill’ — turning children off and discouraging them from ‘reading with meaning.’ There has never been evidence for this view, however.” The brighter kids can do well with the whole-language method of learning, Stotsky says, but most kids need the sounding-out method. “Language has an alphabet. Kids have to learn the alphabetical principle.” As for that excess of elementary school teachers, “We produce twice as many as we need. Half of them never go into teaching. Daddy pays for their college, and they want a diploma to show him he got something for it. Other countries look at how many new teachers they need every year, and they train just a few more than that, to allow for retirement. If we raised the bar, there wouldn’t be as many students in elementary education, but the ones who were there would be the better ones.” But, once again, the colleges of education are no help, Stotsky says. The

JAMES: Little Rock schools teach phonics.

colleges don’t want tough testing of elementary-education students precisely because it would result in fewer students, she says. “The elementaryeducation students are cash cows to them.” Dean Smith quoted U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as saying that the U.S. needs a million more teachers in the next few years. “Right now, we have teachers holding onto jobs longer than usual,” Smith said. “Because of the economy, people don’t want to give up their job and go on fixed-income retirement. Most people think that when the economy turns around, jobs will open up. But there are many parts of Arkansas, like the Delta, that have a shortage of elementary-education teachers right

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now. In Fayetteville, it’s hard to get an elementary-teacher job, but not in other parts of the state.” Regarding Stotsky’s statement that half the elementary-education students will never teach, Smith said, “I suspect it’s like getting a law degree or an engineering degree. Some people get degrees and don’t work in the field, but they still derive a benefit.” Karen James is director of elementary literacy and early childhood education for the Little Rock School District. Little Rock schools do teach phonics, she said. “Mostly it’s taught K through 2, maybe 10 to 15 minutes a day, every day.” One of the books used by Little Rock elementary schools tells pupils “Listen to the sounds and then blend them to

make a word. k o [with a horizontal line over the letter] l d.” And, “Tell me a word that rhymes with bat, rug, got.” James, a University of Missouri graduate, said it’s probably true that some colleges of education give short shrift to phonics. After 60 years, the phonics wars still aren’t over, she said, and the attitude of a particular college is likely to depend on its faculty — what they were taught as students, what they’ve found in their own research. Most colleges fall between the prophonics and anti-phonics extremes, she said. The higher expectations for students under the new “Common Core” standards adopted by Arkansas and other states probably will require higher standards for some teachers too, Jones said. In the end, she’s hopeful. She said that reading skills have improved since she started teaching some 15 years ago, particularly over the last six years. “The gap between racial groups and the gap between socioeconomic groups is starting to narrow.” There are two ways for a gap to narrow, of course. Even if they continue to disagree over “methodology” (a word often used, dismissively, by the phonics-indifferent), all those involved in the teaching of reading probably would agree with Stotsky that teachers could use more support from parents. To go a step further, most of the experts probably would agree that if Johnny lives with a set of parents who read and who want their kids to read too, Johnny is much more likely to be a good reader. But how do we get more families like that, when the arc of history seems headed in the other direction? Maybe methodology is the most we can do for Johnny, small help though it may be.

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JULY 4, 2012


Arts Entertainment AND


NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK What is the state of Arkansas hip-hop? BY NATALIE ELLIOTT


ost folks, whether fans of hip-hop or involved in the hip-hop community in Arkansas, are aware that for all the rap scenes throughout the Southeast that have generated at least one popular star, Arkansas, for its part, is still lacking that one breakout. There have been a few hopefuls over the past few years, rappers still practicing many of the old-school methods of self-promotion: hand-to-hand marketing, driving around from club to club passing out CDs, paying club DJs to consider spinning their singles, all on a wing and prayer, funded entirely by their own limited finances. Of course, now everyone markets themselves on the Internet. Dropping mixtapes online has propelled independent rappers 18

JULY 4, 2012


from other Southern locales — G-Side of Alabama and Big K.R.I.T. of Mississippi spring to mind. After speaking with several Arkansas hip-hop stalwarts and a slew of younger rappers from the up-and-coming generation, everyone agreed that Arkansas is still in need of a breakthrough. But no one is exactly sure how we’re going to get it.


And what of the recent contenders? Of the several hopefuls of previous years, only a few remain working in Arkansas. Epiphany, who has done his part to promote shows and self-market via old-fashioned methods of passing out CDs and seeking Internet coverage, just released his album, “Such is Life.” 607 recently announced he was taking a hiatus from releasing music.

“I can’t just keep putting out music like I have; it’s like throwing it out in the air and seeing what happens,” he told the Times back in May. “The money I make off of albums is increasing, but so is the cost of living.” Goines, for his part, has semiretired after the 2011 release of his album, “Something to Lose.” He claims rap will always be a singular obsession he’ll keep coming back to, but he’s fulfilling a promise he made to himself as a young man: If he didn’t make it by now, he’d be out. S.L. Jones, a Little Rock native who’s had national success on the mixtape circuit, collaborating with name producers and MCs, didn’t start rapping until he moved to Atlanta in the early 2000s and he’s not yet known enough to have much impact on the Arkansas scene. Rod D, despite having secured a distribution

deal through a Universal Music subsidiary, is busy opening a club in Cabot, and continues to promote hip-hop shows, hoping to include more local artists as opening acts on the bill. There was some celebration surrounding Arkansas Bo, who, despite being based in Dallas for a few years now, recently collaborated with Houston legend Scarface on a track, and who makes sure to get hometown credit where it’s due. Most notoriously, E Dubb, one of the most unifying presences on the scene, according to 607, was incarcerated earlier this year on drug and gun charges. For a limited community that harbors such high expectations for each other — each rapper both counting on and dreading the fact that his comrade might make it before him — it’s quite a wound to lose a diplomatic figure like E Dubb. However, you can’t say that any of them have yet broken out. There seems to be a variety of theories surrounding why this is. The scene has grown significantly in the past decade. But where is the wider public interest? 607 chalked it up to a lack of venue support in the area — if club owners, promoters, DJs and event organizers created a cult of celebrity surrounding local artists, then the general club-going public would respond, saying “This is America, we sell celebrity.” He believes that the success of nearby scenes in Memphis, Dallas, and Atlanta has depended entirely on this implicit “hierarchy” of local performers. Others like Goines and Arkansas Bo speak with a sense of disenchantment, naming limitations like lack of exposure and most rappers’ inability (or reluctance) to leave the state in order to promote their music. Bo, in particular, while in Dallas, drives around to communities in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri passing out CDs. He claims that he would have never gotten the chance to work with a figure like Scarface if he hadn’t left Arkansas and moved closer to a city with an established hip-hop reputation. Knowing this opinion would be unpopular in such a pride-oriented community, he says, “We’ve got a lot of talent — but that’s all we’ve got. If we don’t have anybody to put the talent on, then it isn’t going to get heard.”


Of course, when asked what the current state of Arkansas hip-hop is, most of the rappers, especially ones who’ve been at it for a while, acknowledge that the scene CONTINUED ON PAGE 24

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thurSday, JuLy 12 • 7pm

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DRAg tHe RiveR w/ JOHN mOReLAND (tuLSA, Ok)

IT’S TIME FOR ANOTHER TICKET GIVEAWAY, faithful Arkansas Times readers.

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This time, we’re giving away two pairs of tickets to see the Grammy-winning blues group The Tedeschi Trucks Band July 15 at Robinson Center Music Hall. This giveaway will be a simple drawing. Just send an e-mail with TEDESCHI TRUCKS TICKETS to tiffany@arktimes. com by 5 p.m. July 11 and you’ll be entered. We’ll draw names and announce the two winners on Rock Candy Thursday morning. And now for the disclaimers: No Times employees past or present are eligible, only enter if you actually plan on going, don’t scalp the tickets and so forth.


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Meet the Author Series Tues, July 10, 6 pm

tigeR HigH (mempHiS, tN)

Tues, July 17, 6 pm




tueSDAy, JuLy 10 tHe See




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Little Rock’s Down-Home Neighborhood Bar

7th & Thayer • Little Rock • (501) 375-8400


emerGenCY DepArtment



Open JulY 5






Construction is complete on the new South Wing addition at Arkansas Children’s Hospital! Look for our brand new EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT to open July 5 in the South Wing. Be sure to note the new Emergency Department entrance accessible from 10th street. YB






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DJ DEREK VINCENT SMITH, A.K.A. PRETTY LIGHTS, returns to Little Rock this fall for a show at Riverfest Amphitheatre on Sept. 26. That’s almost exactly a year after he was last in Central Arkansas. Smith told the Times last fall that “people in the South love to get down and have a good time, and the fact that it’s a Halloween party and I’m dropping some new music — well, Arkansas always puts it down for me.” So this year’s show won’t exactly line up with Halloween, but I’ll bet Arkansas will put it down for Pretty Lights regardless. Tickets are on sale now. The first 1,000 are $36.50, the next 1,000 are $41.50 and after that, they’re $43.50. Also advertised: no additional Ticketmaster fees.

NEW Arkansas Children’s Hospital


“Doug,” is hoping public donations at crowd-funding site will bankroll a new family-friendly feature film about homelessness and autism to be shot in Arkansas. A press release says the film, “Guttersnipes,” is about the relationship between a homeless teen-ager and an autistic girl who has been abandoned by her parents as they both try to find their mothers. The film will be shot in Arkansas, with director Shuchi Talati at the helm. Aaron’s daughter is autistic, and the release says he “wrote the family-friendly film to address autism, homelessness and race relations.” The film will begin seeking funding through Kickstarter on July 12, with sponsorship beginning at $5 and up and a funding goal of $150,000. If the goal isn’t reached before the donation period ends on Aug. 26, the donors will be reimbursed. “When I started out, the only way to work in the entertainment industry was to ‘play ball’ with the Hollywood power brokers,” Aaron said. “That’s why Kickstarter and the independent film movement is so important. This time, I’m the producer, and there will be no Hollywood interference. By using Kickstarter, and with the help of the community, my film will remain mine – family-friendly and shot in my home state.” Visit the film’s webpage at


Visit for updated information.

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9:30 p.m. White Water Tavern. $5.

This show is a release party for the debut from The Tricks, a relatively new local group made up of Gabe Smoller, Alexander Jones and Jason Griswold. According to the band’s presser, the trio “grew up on the sounds of Pixies, Pavement, Ween and Weezer.” There’s definitely some Pavement influence audible on the record, especially on the shambling “Sorghum,” the acoustic-tinged “Chessmaster,” and album closer “Parachute,” all of which recall the quiet-loud dynamic that runs throughout “Wowee Zowee,” perhaps the weirdest and most underrated Pavement album. I also hear some traces of the rough-around-theedges, pre-indie rock sounds of ’80s U.S. underground bands such as Squirrel Bait or The Embarrassment. “The Burglary” is a slice of unvarnished yet catchy pop punk that reminds me a bit of early stuff by The Cure. There’s

HOW’S TRICKS? Find out Thursday at White Water Tavern, which hosts the release show for debut album from The Tricks.

an appealingly scrappy and youthful vibe to the album. It’s good stuff, and you can get it for $10 or the album and



10 p.m. Arkansas Queen. $15.

Ah, the 7” split single, the historically punk- and hardcore-oriented format that gave us classic unions like Melvins/Nirvana, Destroy/Disrupt, Rorschach/Neanderthal, Crossed Out/Man is the Bastard and so many more. Add to the list Iron Tongue/The Dirty Streets. The two bands are chums and did a tour together in 2010. Now, they’re joining forces for a split vinyl slab of bluesy heaviosity. Iron Tongue you probably know as the local supergroup whose steel-forged songs of

9 p.m. Stickyz. $5.

If you’re looking for a night to cut loose, have a drink or three or four and dance around with complete abandon like some kinda gol-durn fool, this right here should do quite nicely. Dikki Du is the stage name of Troy Carrier, who grew up in the tiny South Louisiana town of Lawtell (say it like “lot-tell”). Carrier has a great voice 20

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based six-piece that has a new album coming out later this summer called “Crowded Car.”

SATURDAY 7/7 pain pick up your head and slam it gently into the sidewalk — metaphorically speaking, mostly. The Dirty Streets is a power trio out of Memphis that boogies down the same overdriven, fuzzed-out highway as yesteryear greats like Blue Cheer or The Groundhogs or more contemporary cosmonauts such as Comets on Fire. The Dirty Streets are out on the dusty road right now, but you can catch Iron Tongue aboard the Arkansas Queen, with Hot Springs’ finest purveyors of nasty punk ’n’ roll The Holy Shakes and Little Rock’s The Nigh Ends, which has personnel from some of the city’s best rock bands of the last decade-plus.



a T-shirt for $15. Also performing are the folk-rockin’ multi-instrumentalists in Don’t Stop Please, the Conway-

and is a maestro on the accordion. Backing him up is The Zydeco Krewe, an ace group that includes his son, drummer Troy Carrier Jr. The group’s tight playing anchors the whole thing, though they’re never shy about stretching it all the way out like sticky sonic taffy. In terms of pure and utterly unselfconscious fun, this 18-and-older show will be hard to top and at a mere five bones, it’ll be a hell of a bargain as well.


7 p.m. Magic Springs’ Timberwood Amphitheater. $30-$65.

Look out, Central Arkansas, because Gretchen Wilson — that’s right, the genuine “Redneck Woman” herself — is here to raise a little hell and tell all you lily-livered liberals and pop country fans specifically where you can stick your Dixie Chicks and Rascal Flatts CDs. Hint: It ain’t in that CD wallet thingy that’s attached to the sun visor of your Subaru Forester. Naw, according to the video for “Redneck Woman,” her massive hit from back in aught-four, Wilson “ain’t never been that Barbie Doll type.” She wears a ball cap and drives a four-wheeler and goes muddin’ in, I don’t know, what looks like a ’76 Silverado shortbed, and she prefers beer to sweet champagne and she shops at Walmart and she’ll stand barefoot in her own front yard with a baby on her hip. Also, according to her videos, her drummer looks disconcertingly like James Carville. Also, according to her videos, her house got a lot nicer between the videos for “Redneck Woman” and “Come to Bed.” Of course, she played some big tours and sold more than a few albums in the interim. But then in ’07 or so, her album “One of the Boys,” which had lots of tender tunes like “Come to Bed” and “Heaven Help

REDNECK WOMAN: Gretchen Wilson brings Southern-fried country tunes to Magic Springs Saturday night.

Me,” wasn’t doing so great on the charts. She eventually broke ties with her big label and struck out on her own. She amped up the Southern rock-style country with “I Got Your Country Right Here,” released in 2010 on her own Redneck Records. It’s pretty good, even though she never does tell us specifically where she’s got our country. Wilson’s fresh off being named NRA Country Artist of the Month for June. She had this to say about it, according to “As I go through this journey called ‘life,’ I am reminded every day of God’s sweet blessings. Freedom to live my life the way I was raised is what makes me who I am. I am Gretchen Wilson. I am a strong woman. I am NRA Country! God Bless America.”


THURSDAY 7/5 It’s the first Thursday of the month, which means one thing in Hillcrest: First Thursday Shop & Sip, starting at 5 p.m. There’s an ice cream social this month in front of Kroger on Kavanaugh Boulevard. Downtown Music Hall has a mouthful of metal, with Impending Doom, Within the Ruins, The Plot in You, Erra, To Each His Own and From Which We Came, 6 p.m., $13. Murry’s Dinner Playhouse’s production of the Neil Simon classic “Barefoot in the Park” continues, with shows at 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday through July 21 and matinees at 11 a.m. Sunday through July 22 and Wednesday, July 11, $15-$33. If you’re in Hot Springs Village, check out Village Summer Fest. It includes a variety of summertime events to celebrate Independence Day. Check the website for venue information and the full schedule,



10 p.m. Revolution. $10-$20.

I heard recently from promoter Chris Bowen that Little Rock singer Michael Walker has been making big waves and playing to growing crowds at Ernie Biggs over the last few weeks. Walker has been singing since he was a youngster, drawing influence from such R&B and soul giants as Al Green, Frankie Beverly and Maze and Charlie Wilson of the Gap Band. This show is to celebrate the release of Walker’s single “She Left Me,” which was produced by Bowen. It’s a heartbroken lamentation for the woman who left and it lets Walker showcase his great voice. The tune has a classic ’90s R&B sound that hearkens back to such artists as Jodeci and Keith Sweat. Bowen said there’s more to come from Michael Walker, but until then you can pick up the single starting July 9 at Ugly Mike’s Records. Other performers include trumpeter par excellence Rodney Block, as well as singer Jeron Marshall and The Live Onestone Band.


SINGLES PARTY: Revolution hosts a release show Saturday for Michael Walker, whose new single “She Left Me” is out July 9.

Colorado alt-country favorites Drag the River return to White Water Tavern with Tulsa singer/ songwriter John Moreland, 9:30 p.m. Cajun’s Wharf has Donna Massey & Blue-Eyed Soul playing the headliner slot at 9 p.m. and Brian Ramsey helming the happy hour at 5 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. If you’re looking to hear some Sousa, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “The Stars and Stripes Forever” and more, The North Little Rock Community Concert Band has you covered with a free concert at Lakewood Village Amphitheatre, 7 p.m.



9 p.m. Juanita’s. $20.

Minneapolis-based Atmosphere has been at it since the late ’90s, more or less inventing the confessional emorap subgenre along the way. Primarily a duo — MC Slug and producer and DJ Ant — the group has taken a decidedly more punk rock approach than a lot of other hip-hop bands, releasing their

own albums, touring relentlessly (sometimes with a live backing band) and generally eschewing the brand-whoring and braggadocio of a lot of mainstream hip-hop in favor of darker, more introspective and personal material. The title of Atmosphere’s ’08 album sums up its approach nicely: “When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold.” I suppose Atmosphere is among the bands that could be dubbed as indie

backpacker fare, but that seems like a copout way to sum up a group that’s most certainly paid its dues and blazed its own path. Whatever you wanna say about Atmosphere, 2 Chainz it ain’t. Openers include DJ Rare Groove and Blueprint and I Self Devine, both of which are on the Rhymesayers roster that includes Atmosphere and other indie hip-hop luminaries such as Aesop Rock and MF Doom.



8:30 p.m. Stickyz. $12 adv., $14 day of.

South Dakota blues rockers Indigenous started out as a family band, with frontman Mato Nanji being backed up by his brother Pte, sister Wandbi and cousin Horse. But after several albums of crunchy, electrified blues

SOMA’s Green Corner Store celebrates its third anniversary with a get-together that includes ice cream and float samples, live music, door prizes and more, noon. Memphis-based avant-garage rockers Tiger High take to the stage at White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. The Arkansas Queen hosts a Reggae, Hip Hop & Old Skool Cruise presented by Ras Levi. It departs at 10 p.m. and returns at 1 a.m., $25. Local country stalwart Ryan Couron plays at Shooter’s Sports Bar & Grill, 9 p.m., $5. Austin-based indie rockers Mobley come to Maxine’s with Kansas City’s We Are Voices, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 door.

MONDAY 7/9 in the vein of the late, great SRV, culminating with the band’s Vanguard debut, 2006’s “Chasing the Sun,” the lineup changed. Pte, Wandbi and Horse departed, and Mato Nanji lined up a new crew and took things in a slightly rootsier direction, with 2008’s Broken Lands, which was described by Allmusic’s Richie Unterberger as owing more

to “Bruce Springsteen than it does to Muddy Waters.” 2010’s “The Acoustic Sessions” offered 11 tracks of, as advertised, acoustic guitar-centric renditions of several Indigenous tunes, as well as a cover of Roy Orbison’s “You Got It.” The opener at the 18-and-older show is Arkansas blues rock wunderkind Stephen Neeper.

CALS’ Main Library screens “Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets” as part of an ongoing series of Potter-related events, 2 p.m., free. Christian hardcore band Emery plays Juanita’s, with North Carolina metalcore act To Speak of Wolves, 9 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of. Get your weekly Dead fix with Grateful Dead tribute act Touch, Stickyz, 8 p.m., $5.

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All events are in the Greater Little Rock area unless otherwise noted. To place an event in the Arkansas Times calendar, please e-mail the listing and all pertinent information, including date, time, location, price and contact information, to



“After 7.” Includes open mic performances, live band, drink specials and more. Porter’s Jazz Cafe, 7 p.m. 315 Main St. 501-324-1900. www. Canvas. The Tavern Sports Grill, 8 p.m.; July 20, 8 p.m., free. 17815 Chenal Parkway. 501-8302100. Dogtown Thursday Open Mic Night. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 8:30 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. Fire & Brimstone Duo. Browning’s Mexican Food, 6 p.m. 5805 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-6639956. Impending Doom, Within The Ruins, The Plot In You, Erra, To Each His Own, From Which We Came. Downtown Music Hall, 6 p.m., $13. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. “Inferno.” DJs play pop, electro, house and more, plus drink specials and $1 cover before 11 p.m. Sway, 9 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Karaoke. Zack’s Place, 8 p.m. 1400 S. University Ave. 501-664-6444. Karaoke with Larry the Table Guy. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. A Man’s World. Featuring J. White, Osyrus Bolly, AyeTell’Em JT, Asylum, Kwestion, Sean Fresh, DJ Greyhound and more, hosted by Tasha Warrior. Ladies only $5 before 10:30 p.m. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $10. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Port Arthur Band. Parrot Beach Cafe, 9 p.m. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. RockUsaurus. Senor Tequila, 7 p.m., free. 10300 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-224-5505. Singer/Songwriter Showcase. The Joint, 9 p.m., $5. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 5 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. Tragikly White (headliner), Dean Agus (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www. The Tricks (album release), Don’t Stop Please. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th. 501375-8400.

ALAMO CITY ROCK: San Antonio’s Pop Pistol plays emotive post rock that’s swathed in swirly psychedelia and the clanging echo of dub. The band plays Maxine’s with Prestor John and Bizarro Buddha, 8 p.m. Friday, $5 adv., $7 door. 4301 W. 65th St. 501-565-8121. Hillcrest Shop & Sip. Shops and restaurants offer discounts, later hours, and live music. Hillcrest, first Thursday of every month, 5 p.m. P.O.Box 251522. 501-666-3600. Village Summer Fest. Variety of summertime events to celebrate Independence Day from Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Association. Some events have a fee, but many are free. Check website for full schedule. Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Associatio, through July 7, 10 a.m. 895 DeSoto Blvd., Hot Springs Village. 501-922-5530. www.hsvpoa. org/villagesummerfest.htm.


The Youth Theatre of Central Arkansas. For students in grades 3-12, through 4 p.m. daily. University of Central Arkansas, Snow Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, through July 13: 9 a.m.,

Daniel Dugar, Brian Shirley, Bob Zany. The Loony Bin, 8 p.m.; July 6, 10:30 p.m.; July 7, 7, 9 and 11 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555.



JULY 4, 2012




12 Sharp. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, July 6-7, 10 p.m., $5. 215 N. Shackleford. 501224-7665. 2 Hole Punch. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 9 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. cstonepub. com. Bluesboy Jag and His Cigar Box Guitars. Dogtown Coffee and Cookery, 6 p.m., free. 6725 John F. Kennedy Blvd., NLR. 501-833-3850. DJ Silky Slim. Top 40 and dance music. Sway, 9 p.m., $5. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Donna Massey & Blue-Eyed Soul (headliner), Brian Ramsey (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell

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Arkansas Foodbank Summer Feeding Sites. Two meals a day served at the Billy Mitchell Boys and Girls Club, Thrasher Boys and Girls Club, Penick Boys and Girls Club and Dalton Whetstone Boys and Girls Club in Central Arkansas, and the Boys and Girls Club in Benton in Saline County. Arkansas Foodbank, through Aug. 20: 8:30 a.m. and 12 p.m., free.

$275-$300. 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway. 501450-5092.

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Road. 501-375-5351. Drag the River, John Moreland. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th. 501-375-8400. “The Flow Fridays.” Twelve Modern Lounge, 8 p.m. 1900 W. Third St. 501-301-1200. “Lucky 777” Inch Vinyl Release Cruise. With live performances from Iron Tongue, The Holy Shakes and The Nigh Ends. Arkansas Queen, 10 p.m., $15. 100 Riverfront Park Drive, NLR. 501-372-5777. Molasses Midnight, Mainland Divide, Randy Harsey. Downtown Music Hall, 8 p.m., $6. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. downtownmusichall. com. North Little Rock Community Concert Band. Lakewood Village Amphitheatre, 7 p.m., free. Lakewood Village, NLR. Pop Pistol, Prestor John, Bizzaro Buddha. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 door. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Rodney Block & The Real Music Lovers. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $10. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Rusty White. The Tavern Sports Grill, 8 p.m., free. 17815 Chenal Parkway. 501-830-2100. www. Sean Austin. Flying Saucer, 9 p.m., $3. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-8032. www. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. Tragikly White. Denton’s Trotline, 9 p.m., $10. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. Trey Hawkins Band. 18-and-older show. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9:30 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. “YOLO.” Featuring four DJs and beach volleyball, 18-and-older. Flying DD, $5. 4601 S. University. 501-773-9990. Zodiac: Cancer Edition with Raydar & Shaolin, Rufio, Andy Sadler and Durden. 18-and-older. Revolution, 9 p.m., $10. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090.


Daniel Dugar, Brian Shirley, Bob Zany. The Loony Bin, through July 6, 8 p.m.; July 6, 10:30 p.m.; July 7, 7, 9 and 11 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www. The Main Thing. Sketch comedy show. The Joint, 8 p.m., $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205.


Arkansas Foodbank Summer Feeding Sites. See July 5. Food Truck Fridays. Three food trucks on the corner of Main Street and Capitol Avenue. Main Street, Little Rock, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Main St. 501-375-0121. LGBTQ/SGL Youth and Young Adult Group. Diverse Youth for Social Change is a group for LGBTQ/SGL and straight ally youth and young adults age 14 to 23. For more information, call 244-9690 or search “DYSC” on Facebook. 800 Scott St., 6:30 p.m. 800 Scott St. Sandwiching in History: Dr. Albert G. McGill House. Dr. Albert G. McGill House, 12 p.m. 2209 S. Battery St. Village Summer Fest. See July 5. Zoo Story Time. Little Rock Zoo, through Aug. 31: 10 a.m. 1 Jonesboro Dr. 501-666-2406. www. CONTINUED ON PAGE 25

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NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK, CONT. these days has banded together in support of each other’s projects. 607 mentioned the fervent support for Rod D’s distribution deal. Also, the crew LabRatz, which consists of more than a dozen artists, including 607’s brother Bobby, serves as a self-support system for many of the most ambitious rappers in the state. Bobby said that the crew formed officially back in August. The purpose was to unite as many artists as possible in hopes of dissolving the competitive hater culture characteristic of hiphop and to present a united front where artists can all openly promote one another. Goines mentioned the general excitement surrounding the LabRatz, remarking that although Arkansas has perhaps suffered in the recent past by only having the limited influence of nearby scenes like Memphis and Houston to draw from, LabRatz seems to be a crew interested not only in making innovative tracks but also fresh lyrical content. But, some older rappers see the flaws of having such interdependent support for a scene: all of the same people are always going to be at your shows, without expanding your audience. What could be the solution, then? Obviously, the dilemma is clear — in order to succeed, you need to build hometown support, everyone needs to support one another, and artists must reach outside of their own immediate communities to garner further interest. If the promotion machine of the Internet can’t address this problem alone, what can be done?


Curiously, there is a new generation cropping up in Central Arkansas that has mobilized an entire movement. Inheriting the Internet as their playground, these young rappers (ages ranging from 17 to 25) and crews from Little Rock, North Little Rock, Sherwood and Bryant have handled their own booking and promotion, befriended older rappers like Epiphany and crews like LabRatz, and created their own publicity machine with music video production, scene blogs, and even burgeoning fashion designers. They are motivated, organized, and undaunted by the thwarted reputation Arkansas hip-hop may self-consciously shoulder. One benefit is that some of the rappers or promoters have affiliations outside the state. Malik Flint (who goes by MP the MVP), founder of Bryant-based crew Weekend Warriors, is originally from Denver, Colo. He says the music scene


JULY 4, 2012




there was so broad and efficient that when his family relocated to Arkansas, it was something that he wanted to make happen here. And, for the most part, he has. Flint’s crew consists of a group of fun suburban skater kids (black and white) whose songs have a chill party vibe over tracks culled from myriad genres. Flint also fronts an Afrobeat-influenced hip-hop band, Flint Eastwood, who are about to embark on an initial string of out-of-state gigs. Nick Ward, an independent rapper simpatico with all of the crews, attends school out of state in Iowa but never stops repping the Arkansas scene, even when he’s booking shows at festivals as far away as Connecticut. Jay Smith, founder of another crew, Outta Here Gang, originally hails from Birmingham and became involved in Arkansas hip-hop after seeing a commercial for Joker Entertainment Studio in Little Rock. He found that when he set up time to record there, he met so many folks and received such helpful feedback that he knew it was a community that would foster other artists’ growth, even if he was a transplant to the state. Another affiliated crew, G3M (which

stands for “Getting Money Making Moves,”) was founded by Loso (Carlos Corbin), a 20-yearold promoter from Little Rock. G3M consists of 21-year-old rapper Lo Thraxx (Marlo Griffen), who grew up with Loso, and recent Central High grad, rapper J Mula (Justin McNeely). Most notably, G3M contains one of the only female rappers on the scene, Kari Faux, who began collaborating with MP and the G3M crew upon returning to Arkansas from audio engineering school in Atlanta. Kari has a palpable confidence and innovative sense of style — her rhymes are often about her flamboyant personality. As inclusive as the hip-hop scene seems to be these days, she still finds she’s not taken as seriously because she’s a young woman. To remedy this, she said she’s going to “step it up” on her next EP to show the breadth her skills. She’s hellbent on proving that she’s not just another “bubblegum rapper.” And these examples are just a taste of the newly assembled crews that are out there, hoping to break out.


With so many associations and origins in different parts of the city, a publicity apparatus more straightforward than mere social networking was needed. So in stepped Jasmine Blunt, who manages the site “Highly Influential,” which serves as host for local artists’ music releases and videos, but also as forum for the “Highly Influential” collective, the members of which range from 14-year-old dudes trying to get into fashion to photography students and video editors. (Their “crew” photos and bios can be found on the site.) “Highly Influential” even conducts interviews with local artists, like Kari Faux and Weekend Warriors crewmember BVMBINO. Sure, these kids are obviously friends, and it might seem a little excessive to do a formal Q&A with someone you know, but the interviews are undeniably helpful for someone who’s looking to find out more about the artist and the their music. And, in a way, this is exactly the kind of “hierarchy” hometown star treatment that rappers like 607 suggest the hip-hop community lacks. But the promotional techniques aren’t

limited to music. A video artist/editor like Jordan Lowe, a.k.a. Fresco Grey, provides an affordable way for these young rappers to market themselves by frequently turning out music videos — even better branding than streaming music is streaming video. It also serves as a showcase for his work, which, in turn, gets him more notoriety. Jordan Allen pulls double duty as a clothing designer and video editor, and explains the ascent of these crews as representative of a time when “everyone has decided to come out of their comfort zone and enjoy what they love doing.” Also, to help with the branding of the movement, Brandon Burris, a rapper-cum-fashion designer who goes by Brandon Burrito, helms the clothing line, New Youth, in direct affiliation with the cool party kid atmosphere extolled by these young crews. He says that he mostly has just T-shirts and hoodies now, and sells them online and in sporadic trunk-show type sales, which he promotes on social media and which never last more than a few hours before he sells out completely, as he did with his last show. While no one can guarantee that Arkansas will finally see its due as a hiphop stronghold in the South, it’s hard not place some hope in this generation of fashion-forward, DIY-oriented, hyper-ambitious kids who have ignored paradigms and statewide insecurities in order to create an entire scene on their own terms. While they readily embrace other more established rappers and crews — and in truth, they must, in order to reach a more expanded audience — it’s possible that the whole Arkansas rap scene will receive what appears to be a much-needed shot in the arm. If there’s anybody who believes we can get the start and the rep we deserve, it’s all these crews who do what they love and love to support each other. They know that Arkansas hip-hop does indeed have something to show for itself, and that now is the time.

Several members of LabRatz, including Osyrus Bolly, Asylum and Kwestion will, perform at Stickyz Thursday night, with jazz musician J.White, AyeTell’Em JT, Sean Fresh, DJ Greyhound and host Tasha Warrior. The show is a release party for the Sean Fresh video “In Love with a Friend,” Kwestion’s latest album “Greater Than Great... 2nd Quarter” and Asylum’s debut album “Asylum: The Crow.” The show starts at 9 p.m. and it’s $10 or $5 for ladies before 10:30 p.m.



The Youth Theatre of Central Arkansas. For students in grades 3-12, through 4 p.m. daily. University of Central Arkansas, Snow Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, through July 13: 9 a.m., $275-$300. 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway. 501450-5092.



12 Sharp. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $5. 215 N. Shackleford. 501-224-7665. Aaron Owens. Denton’s Trotline, 9 p.m. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. Crankbait, Giant of the Mountain, A Darkend Era, Grasshopper. Downtown Music Hall, 8 p.m., $5. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. Dikki Du & The Zydeco Krewe. 18-and-older show. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. Gretchen Wilson. Magic Springs’ Timberwood Amphitheater, 7:30 p.m., $30-$65. 1701 E. Grand Ave., Hot Springs. Integrity. The Afterthought, 9 p.m., $7. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. Karaoke. Casa Mexicana, 7 p.m. 6929 JFK Blvd., NLR. 501-835-7876. “KISS Saturdays” with DJs Deja Blu, Greyhound and Silky Slim. Sway, 10 p.m. 412 Louisiana. 501-907-2582. Michael Walker, Rodney Block, Jeron Marshall, Live Onestone Band. Revolution, 10 p.m., $10$20. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. Mobley, We Are Voices. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 door. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Number 2 with Me and Hugh. Midtown Billiards, 12:30 a.m., $5. 1316 Main St. 501-3729990. Pat Anderson. Flying Saucer, 9 p.m., $3. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-8032. www. Pickin’ Porch at the Library. Faulkner County Library, through Aug. 4: 9:30 a.m., free. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. Raising Grey (headliner), Jocko (happy hour). Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. Reggae, Hip Hop & Old Skool Cruise. Arkansas Queen, 10 p.m. 100 Riverfront Park Drive, NLR. 501-372-5777. Rodge Arnold. The Tavern Sports Grill, July 7, 8 p.m.; July 12, 8 p.m.; July 26, 8 p.m., free. 17815 Chenal Parkway. 501-830-2100. www. Ryan Couron. Shooter’s Sports Bar & Grill, 9 p.m., $5. 9500 I-30. 501-565-4003. Songwriters Showcase. Parrot Beach Cafe, 2-7 p.m., free. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 9 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474. www. Tiger High. White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th. 501-375-8400. www.whitewatertavern. com.


Daniel Dugar, Brian Shirley, Bob Zany. The

Loony Bin, 7, 9 and 11 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www. The Main Thing. Sketch comedy show. The Joint, 8 p.m., $20. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205.


Little Rock West Coast Dance Club. Dance lessons. Singles welcome. Ernie Biggs, 7 p.m., $2. 307 Clinton Ave. 501-247-5240. www. Magnolia Ball: “A Night of 19th Century Music and Dance.” The evening’s fare will include live 19th century ballroom music and dancing, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and vintage cocktails. Period attire is encouraged but not required. Arlington Hotel, 7 p.m., $75. 239 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4763.


Argenta Farmers Market. Argenta, 7 a.m.-12 p.m. Main Street, NLR. Civil War Perspectives. Sponsored by the Garland County Historical Society. Hot Springs Convention Center, 2 p.m. 134 Convention Blvd., Hot Springs. 501-321-2159. www. Falun Gong meditation. Allsopp Park, 9 a.m., free. Cantrell & Cedar Hill Roads. Green Corner Store Third Anniversary. Includes ice cream and float samples, live music, door prizes and more. Green Corner Store, 12 p.m. 1423 Main St. Suite D. 501-374-1111. www. Hillcrest Farmers Market. Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 7 a.m.-12 p.m. 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd. Little Rock Farmers’ Market. River Market Pavilions, through Oct. 27: 7 a.m.-3 p.m. 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-375-2552. Super Summer Saturdays. Free family event celebrating baseball. Clinton Presidential Center, through Aug. 11: 10 a.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 370-8000. Village Summer Fest. See July 5.



Victoria Christopher Murray and Reshonda Tate Billingsley. Meet the bestselling authors. Pyramid Art Books and Custom Framing, 3 p.m. 1001 Wright Ave. 501-372-6822.



7th Street Peep Show. Featuring three or four bands per night. Bands sign up at 6:30 p.m. and play 35-minute sets (including setup) on a first come, first served basis. House band is The Sinners. Solo artists, DJs and all other performers welcome. Vino’s, 7 p.m., $1. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. Emery, To Speak of Wolves. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. Hollows. The Exchange. 9:30 p.m.100 Exchange St., Hot Springs. Irish Traditional Music Session. Khalil’s Pub, Fourth and second Monday of every month, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. The John Bush Group. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www. Karaoke. Thirst n’ Howl, 8:30 p.m. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. Reggae Nites. Featuring DJ Hy-C playing roots, reggae and dancehall. Pleazures Martini and Grill Lounge, 6 p.m., $7-$10. 1318 Main St. 501-376-7777. bargrill. Richie Johnson. Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-3755351. Touch, Grateful Dead Tribute. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 8 p.m., $5. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707.


Arkansas Foodbank Summer Feeding Sites. See July 5.

Soul Spirit Zumba with Ashan. Soul Spirit Zumba fuses Latin rhythms with soulful inspirational music. Canvas Community Art Gallery, 9:30-10:30 a.m., $5. 1111 W. 7th St. 501-4140368.




Victoria Christopher Murray and Reshonda Tate Billingsley. Meet the bestselling authors. Walmart, El Dorado, 12 p.m. 2730 N. West Ave., El Dorado.



Karaoke with DJ Sara. Hardrider Bar & Grill, 7 p.m., free. 6613 John Harden Drive, Cabot. 501-982-1939 . Sunday Jazz Brunch with Ted Ludwig and Joe Cripps. Vieux Carre, 11 a.m. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Taylor Trash, School Boy Humor. All-ages show. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 8 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. 107 Commerce St. 501-3727707.


Bernice Garden Farmers’ Market. The Bernice Garden, through Oct. 14: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 1401 S. Main St. 501-617-2511. “Live from the Back Room.” Vino’s, 7 p.m.

We Specialize In Custom Silk Arrangements

923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466.

“Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets.” Main Library, 2 p.m. 100 S. Rock St. www.cals.

Dragons, Fairies & Castles. Kids ages 6-12 learn about history, imagery and imagination. Artchurch Studio, July 9-12, 1-4 p.m.; July 16-19, 8 a.m.-12 p.m., $100. 301 Whittington Ave., Hot Springs. 501-318-6779. Museum of Discovery Summer Camps. Rocket Science, Your Evil Genius, Amazing Bugs, Tinkering Academy, all 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for ages 4 to 13. Prices vary; register at 501537-3073. Museum of Discovery, Continues through Aug. 3. 500 Clinton Ave. 396-7050, 1-800-880-6475. Robots, Rockets & Aliens. Kids ages 6-12 learn about creating art through the scientific discovery process. Artchurch Studio, July 9-12, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.; July 16-19, 1-4 p.m., $100. 301 Whittington Ave., Hot Springs. 501-318-6779. The Youth Theatre of Central Arkansas. For students in grades 3-12, through 4 p.m. daily. University of Central Arkansas, Snow Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, through July 13: 9 a.m., $275-$300. 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway. 501450-5092. CONTINUED ON PAGE 27

Florist & Gift Shoppe

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LR • Rodney Parham • 227-7272 LR • Ranch Blvd. • 868-8226 Conway • Oak Street • 205-8224

COMING SOON 9 10 11 13 14 17 18 27 29

2 3 4





5 10 23 27




JULY 4, 2012


These venues will be open late. There’s plenty of parking and a free Trolley to each of the locations. Don’t miss it – lots of fun! free PArKING at 3rD & CUMBerlAND free STreeT PArKING All oVer DoWNToWN AND BeHIND THe rIVer MArKeT (Paid parking available for modest fee.) SponSored by

July 13

The 2nd Friday Of Each Month, 5-8 pm Live Music by Interstate Buffalo

Drivers Legal Plan Drivers Legal Plan

The Old State House Museum is a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

The Eleventh Annual Eclectic Collector Series

Gallery 221 & art StudioS 221

From the Collection of the Strojek Family

Live music by Steve Bates Ice cream tasting with Loblolly Creamery

“Shoreline Sunrise” by Jennifer Cox Coleman. A museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage

200 E. 3rd St. 501-324-9351

Pyramid Place • 2nd & Center St • (501) 801-0211 Fine Art ♦ Cocktails & Wine ♦ Hor d’oeuvres

Featured artiSt exhibit:

“Colors Abound”

Featuring works of art from ArtGroup Maumelle.

July 13 JULY 4, 2012

401 President Clinton Ave.

Barbie Doll: The 11 1/2 -inch American Icon

521 President Clinton Ave. River Market District (501) 975-9800

Works by Kathy Thompson needlepoint, oils, watercolor, and mixed media

artist reception 5-8 pm libations and refreshments

Gourmet. Your• Way. All Day. 300 Third Tower 501-375-3333


Opening in the Butler Center Galleries

The Old State House Museum


Christ Church

509 Scott Street | 375-2342 Little Rock’s Downtown Episcopal Church


July 13 • ThE 2nd Friday OF Each MOnTh, 5-8 pM

Montage 24

CeleBrATING 24 yeArS of AfrICAN AMerICAN ArT Oil • Sculpture • Mixed Media Pastel • Fine Art Prints Art tAlk With GArbo heArne: Are You A Patron Or A Collector? Why Does It Matter? Friday, July 13, 2012 6 p.m.

red rose, 2012 Marjorie Williams-Smith Silverpoint And Copperpoint 6 5/8” x 4 7/8”

Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday 9am – 5pm • Saturday 10am – 6pm

1001 Wright Ave. Suite C Little Rock, AR 501-372-6822

Gypsy Bistro

200 S. rIVer MArKeT AVe, STE. 150 • 501.375.3500 DIZZySGyPSyBISTro.NeT

Featured Artist

Linda BradLey CuRRAn HAll

615 E. Capitol • (501) 371-0076

cOME ridE ThE FrEE TrOllEy!

WILDKids Sing!. Camp for ages 7-10 focuses on singing. Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts, 9 a.m. p.m., $140-$150. 20919 Denny Road.


Finding Family Facts. Rhonda Stewart’s genealogy research class for beginners. Arkansas Studies Institute, second Monday of every month, 3:30 p.m. 401 President Clinton Ave. 501-320-5700 .



12 Stones, Blameshift, Digital Summer, Throwing Gravity, Se7en Sharp. Flying DD, 7:30 p.m., $10 adv., $12 day of. 4601 S. University. 501-773-9990. Atmosphere, Blueprint, I Self Devine, DJ Rare Groove. Juanita’s, 9 p.m., $20. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. www. Brian & Nick. Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-3755351. Brian Martin. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., free. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Indigenous, Stephen Neeper Band. 18-andolder show. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 8:30 p.m., $12 adv., $14 day of. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. www.stickyz. com. Jeff Long. Khalil’s Pub, 6 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. Karaoke Night. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 8 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. Karaoke Tuesday. Prost, 8 p.m., free. 322 President Clinton Blvd. 501-244-9550. Karaoke with Big John Miller. Denton’s Trotline, 8 p.m. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. Lucious Spiller Band. Copeland’s, 6-9 p.m. 2602 S. Shackleford Road. 501-312-1616. www. Place of Prominence. Downtown Music Hall, 8 p.m., $6. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. Ricky David Tripp. Rocket Twenty One, 5:30 p.m. 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-603-9208. The See. White Water Tavern, 10:30 p.m. 2500 W. 7th. 501-375-8400. Spoken Nerd, Children of Spy. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., free. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Top of the Rock Chorus rehearsal. Cornerstone Bible Fellowship Church, 7-10 p.m. 7351 Warden Road, Sherwood. 501-2311119. Tuesday Jam Session with Carl Mouton. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. www.afterthoughtbar. com. Tuesday Night Jazz/Blues Jam. The Joint, 8 p.m. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205.


“Latin Night.” Revolution, 7 p.m., $5 regular, $7 under 21. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501823-0090.


Arkansas Foodbank Summer Feeding Sites. See July 5. Little Rock Farmers’ Market. River Market Pavilions, through Oct. 27: 7 a.m.-3 p.m. 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-375-2552.

The Severance Tax: The Other Side of the Story. Political Animals Club features Randy Zook of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce. Hilton Medical Center Hotel, 7 a.m., $20. 925 S. University Ave. Tales from the South. Authors tell true stories; schedule available on website. Dinner served 5-6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Call for reservations. Starving Artist Cafe, 5 p.m. 411 N. Main St., NLR. 501-372-7976. Trivia Bowl. Flying Saucer, 8:30 p.m. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-8032. www. “Voluntary Simplicity.” Discussion course hosted by the Ecumenical Buddhist Society of Little Rock. Ecumenical Buddhist Society, July 10, 7:15 p.m.; July 17, 7:15 p.m.; July 24, 7:15 p.m., $35. 1015 W. 2nd St. 501-376-7056. Wiggle Worms: “Density.” Weekly program designed specifically for pre-K children. Museum of Discovery, 10:30 a.m., $8-$10, free for members. 500 Clinton Ave. 396-7050, 1-800-880-6475.


“Shaft.” Market Street Cinema, 7 p.m., $5. 1521 Merrill Drive. 501-312-8900.


Meet the Author Series: Dr. David Lipschitz. Renowned health expert Dr. David Lipschitz will discuss his latest book, “Dr. David’s First Health Book of MORE (Not Less).” Laman Library, 6 p.m. 2801 Orange St., NLR. 501758-1720.


Museum of Discovery Summer Camps. See July 9. The Youth Theatre of Central Arkansas. For students in grades 3-12, through 4 p.m. daily. University of Central Arkansas, Snow Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, through July 13: 9 a.m., $275-$300. 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway. 501450-5092.



Acoustic Open Mic. The Afterthought, 8 p.m., free. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663-1196. Ben Coulter. The Tavern Sports Grill, 7:30 p.m. 17815 Chenal Parkway. 501-830-2100. www. Clutch. George’s Majestic Lounge, 8 p.m. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-442-4226. Eden’s Edge. Shooter’s Sports Bar & Grill, 10 p.m., $10. 9500 I-30. 501-565-4003. www. Forever the Sickest Kids, Plug In Stereo, Paradise Fears, It Boys. Juanita’s, 8:30 p.m., $13 adv., $15 day of. 614 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-1228. Grim Muzik presents Way Back Wednesdays. Cornerstone Pub & Grill, 8:30 p.m. 314 Main St., NLR. 501-374-1782. John Evans, David Beck, B.T.. The Loony Bin, July 11-13, 8 p.m.; July 13, 10:30 p.m.; July 14, 7, 9 and 11 p.m., $7-$10. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. www. Karaoke at Khalil’s. Khalil’s Pub, 7 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. www. Karaoke. Maxine’s, 8 p.m., free. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. Karaoke with Big John Miller. Denton’s CONTINUED ON PAGE 30

JULY 4, 2012



JULY 6-7

Market Street Cinema times at or after 9 p.m. are for Friday and Saturday only. Rave showtimes are valid for Friday and Saturday only. Lakewood 8 and Riverdale showings were not available as of press deadline. Find up-to-date listings at NEW MOVIES The Amazing Spider Man (PG-13) – Already? It’s like, jeez, Tobey MaGuire’s Spider Man’s body ain’t even cold yet. Starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Breckenridge: 1:10, 4:20, 7:30, 10:30 (2D), 12:40, 3:50, 7:00, 10:10 (3D). Chenal 9: 10:30 a.m., 1:35, 4:20, 7:20, 10:20 (2D), 10:25 a.m., 1:25, 4:25, 7:25, 10:25 (IMAX 3D). Rave: 9:15 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:30, 2:15, 3:45, 5:00, 7:00, 8:15, 8:45, 10:15, midnight (2D), 11:45 a.m., 1:45, 3:00, 6:15, 9:30, 11:30 (3D), 10:00 a.m., 1:15, 4:30, 7:45, 11:00 (Xtreme 3D). Katy Perry: Part of Me (PG) – Yeah, but which one? Breckenridge: noon, 2:25, 5:00, 7:25, 9:55. Chenal 9: 10:00 a.m., 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00. Rave: 9:20 a.m., 11:50 a.m., 2:50, 5:25, 10:50 (2D), 10:50 a.m., 1:50, 4:25, 7:10, 9:55 (3D). Savages (R) – A hippie and a former Navy SEAL take on Mexican drug lords, from director Oliver Stone. Breckenridge: 12:10, 4:10, 7:15, 10:10. Chenal 9: 10:20 a.m., 1:20, 4:20, 7:20, 10:20. Rave: 10:45 a.m., 1:00, 2:00, 4:15, 5:15, 7:30, 8:30, 10:45, 11:45. To Rome with Love (R) – Latest charmingly aimless Eurocentric comedy from Woody Allen, with Jesse Eisenberg, Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz, Ellen Page and Roberto Benigni. Market Street: 1:45, 4:00, 6:45, 9:00. Rave: 10:40 a.m., 1:40, 4:40, 7:40, 10:40. RETURNING THIS WEEK Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (R) – Pretty much what it sounds like, from producer Tim Burton and director Timur Bekmambetov. Rave: 8:35 p.m., 11:25. Battleship (PG-13) – Action adventure film starring Rihanna, whose Battleship many people would no doubt like to sink. Movies 10: 12:45, 4:00, 7:00, 9:55. Bernie (PG-13) – Based on a murder in smalltown Texas, starring Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey and Richard Linklater. Market Street: 2:00. 4:15. 7:00. 9:15. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (PG-13) – British senior citizens go to India and learn about poor people and that it’s OK to eat weird stuff and it’s all very heartwarming. Market Street: 1:45, 4:15, 6:45, 9:15. Brave (PG) – Animated fantasy tale of a Celtictype girl who must save her kingdom from something or other. Breckenridge: 2:00, 7:00 (2D), 11:30 a.m., 4:30, 9:30 (3D). Chenal 9: 10:05 a.m., 1:05, 7:05, 9:45 (2D), 4:05 (3D). Rave: 10:25 a.m., 1:25, 4:10, 7:15, 10:00 (2D), 9:30 a.m., 12:25, 3:05, 5:40 (3D). Chimpanzee (G) – Beautifully shot documentary footage of majestic primates, but it’s narrated by Tim Allen. Movies 10: 12:35, 2:50, 4:50, 7:30, 9:40. Dark Shadows (PG-13) – Kinda like Dracula goes to “Austin Powers,” starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, directed by Tim Burton. Nah, baby. Movies 10: 11:55 a.m., 2:30, 5:05, 7:40, 10:15. The Dictator (R) – Sacha Baron Cohen is a dictator from a fictional foreign country and he has a funny accent and so forth. Movies 10: 12:20, 2:40, 4:45, 7:15, 10:05. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (PG) – When


JULY 4, 2012


NEW SPIDEY: Andrew Garfield stars in “The Amazing Spider Man,” a reboot of the Marvel franchise. you were watching “Land of the Lost,” did you find yourself wishing they’d cast The Rock instead of Will Farrell? Well, here you go. Movies 10: 12:25, 4:55, 9:30. Lola Versus (R) – A young woman is dumped by her fiancé weeks before their wedding and she tries to feel better by eating junk food and having sex and so forth. Market Street: 2:15, 4:15, 7:15, 9:15. The Lorax (PG) – A 3D CGI adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic tale. Movies 10: 12:15, 2:25, 4:40, 7:10, 9:25. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (PG) – The Dreamworks franchise rolls on, with Chris Rock, Ben Stiller and other people who make stupid amounts of money as talking animals. Breckenridge: 11:45 a.m., 4:20, 9:25 (2D), 2:10, 7:10 (3D). Rave: 9:25 a.m., 2:25, 7:25 (2D), noon, 4:45 (3D). Magic Mike (R) – Former male stripper Channing Tatum stars as a male stripper in a story inspired by Tatum’s former life as a male stripper. Breckenridge: 12:10, 4:35, 7:25, 10:15. Chenal 9: 10:15 a.m., 1:15, 4:15, 7:15, 10:15. Rave: 11:20 a.m., 2:20, 5:20, 8:20, 11:20. Moonrise Kingdom (PG-13) – With Ed Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand and Bruce Willis, from director Wes Anderson. Breckenridge: 12:05, 2:15, 4:25, 7:15, 9:35. Rave: 9:45 a.m., 12:10, 2:45, 5:35, 8:00, 10:30. People Like Us (PG-13) – Family drama/comedy about a twenty-something salesman who must confront a family secret after the sudden death of his father. Breckenridge: 12:20, 4:35, 7:20, 10:05. Chenal 9: 10:10 a.m., 4:10, 10:10. Rave: 9:50 a.m., 5:55. Pirates! Band of Misfits (PG) – Hugh Grant’s voice stars as an animated pirate captain, also starring Brendan Gleeson as “The Pirate with Gout.” Movies 10: 12:10, 2:20, 4:30, 6:40, 8:55 (2D), 1:15, 3:25, 5:35, 7:50, 10:00 (3D). Prometheus (R) – Shiny sci-fi from Ridley Scott. Supposed to be an “Alien” prequel. Chenal 9:

1:10, 7;10. Rave: 7:50, 9:50. Ted (R) – From the mind of the inescapable Seth MacFarlane, the story of a talking teddy bear named Ted. Breckenridge: 11:50 a.m., 2:20, 4:50, 7:45, 10:15. Chenal 9: 10:20 a.m., 1:20, 4:20, 7:20, 10:20. Rave: 9:40 a.m., 11:10 a.m., 2:10, 3:10, 5:10, 8:10, 9:10, 11:10. Think Like a Man (PG-13) – Based on Steve Harvey’s best-selling book. Movies 10: 1:10, 4:10, 7:05, 9:50. The Three Stooges (PG) – Yup, starring three guys you’ve never heard of. Movies 10: 2:45, 7:20. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection (PG13) – Latest product churned out by the Tyler Perry machine. Breckenridge: 11:35 a.m., 12:30, 2:05, 4:00, 4:45, 7:05, 7:35, 9:40, 10:20. Chenal 9: 10:25 a.m., 1:25, 4:25, 7:25, 10:25. Rave: 10:20 a.m., 12:20, 1:20, 4:20, 5:50, 7:20, 10:20, 11:50. What to Expect When You’re Expecting (PG13) – Film mines bestselling pregnancy book for attempt at comedy. If that’s what you were expecting, you were right. Movies 10: noon, 2:35, 5:10, 7:45, 10:20. Your Sister’s Sister (R) – Indie comedy about the romantic entanglements of attractive young people, with Emily Blunt. Market Street: 2:00, 4:20, 7:00, 9:00. Chenal 9 IMAX Theatre: 17825 Chenal Parkway, 821-2616, Cinemark Movies 10: 4188 E. McCain Blvd., 945-7400, Cinematown Riverdale 10: Riverdale Shopping Center, 296-9955, Lakewood 8: 2939 Lakewood Village Drive, 7585354, Market Street Cinema: 1521 Merrill Drive, 312-8900, Rave Colonel Glenn 18: 18 Colonel Glenn Plaza, 687-0499, Regal Breckenridge Village 12: 1-430 and Rodney Parham, 224-0990,


‘TED’: Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis star.

Ted talks Animation king Seth MacFarlane goes live-action with a talking teddy bear.


THE UNIQUE NEIGHBORHOODS OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS Full of interesting voices and colorful portraits of 17 Little Rock and North Little Rock neighborhoods, this book gives an intimate, block-by-block, native’s view of the place more than 250,000 Arkansans call home. Created from interviews with residents and largely written by writers who actually live in the neighborhoods they’re writing about, the book features over 90 full color photos by Little Rock photographer Brian Chilson.

Payment: check or credit card Order by Mail: arkansas times Books, P.o. Box 34010, LittLe rock, ar 72203 Phone: 501-375-2985 Fax: 501-375-3623 Email: Send _______ book(s) of The Unique Neighborhoods of Central Arkansas @ $19.95

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sibility almost note for note. The prime audiences in both cases are emotionally stunted bros who were raised by television and who enjoy jokes predicated on beers, butts and beatings. If that sounds dismissive, don’t worry: “Ted” happens to be pretty damned funny. The script is original, vulgar and littered with MacFarlane’s kaleidoscopic pop culture references. Wahlberg plays John as a simple straight man who bumbles as he tries to keep his best friend and his girlfriend happy at once, and who views Ted as his equal. If the movie misses an opportunity, it’s by deploying Kunis mainly as hot-girl wallpaper. (She has something of the opposite problem playing the ignoredand-abused Meg on “Family Guy.”) And if the plot arc is more accurately a speed hump, it may not matter. MacFarlane’s style is to bury you in a flurry of jokes. You’re never sure from which direction they’re coming, even if you know exactly where the story is heading. At least “Ted” brings a jaundiced sweetness that your average “Family Guy” episode merely hints at. The moving force in “Ted” is a 35-year-old dude truly loving his childhood stuffed-animal best friend, for it was little Johnnie’s wish that brought Ted to life. While that moment is played for laughs by the awesome narration of Patrick Stewart, the dippy sense of sincere kid-wonder never quite leaves, despite the R-rating. Maybe MacFarlane is winking to all the 11-year-olds who will dupe their parents into taking them to a film that depicts stuffed-toy-on-woman sex and more bong hits than “Pineapple Express.” Or maybe he’s acknowledging his key demographic and the furry line between precocious childhood and stunted adulthood.


he titular teddy bear in “Ted,” the live-action film debut for animation star Seth MacFarlane, begins his life as a miracle, when a little boy named John wishes his Christmas gift bear would be his friend for ever and ever. The next morning, Ted talks! Upon meeting the freely moving, yappy, sentient bear, John’s parents recoil in horror, yank John away from the bear and prepare to blast the toy back to hell. John intervenes, insisting that Ted is his friend, and they chill. Ted becomes an international story, makes magazine covers, slays on Carson. Twenty-seven years later, the gild is off the lily. Ted (voiced by MacFarlane) is just a foul-mouthed deadbeat. He still has enough sway over John (Mark Wahlberg) to coax him into watching Flash Gordon movies and smoking pot when he should be getting to his shift at a rental car office on time. John should also be thanking his dead-end-job stars for his girlfriend of four years, Lori (Mila Kunis). She’s smart, successful and mostly unfazed that Ted is still hanging around. Gradually, though, John manages to botch a good thing and Lori forces the choice: her or the bear. MacFarlane’s reputation as a guy who’ll do anything for a laugh can only be enhanced by his turn as Ted, who uses the same sort of animated bodycapture that Andy Serkis used to play King Kong and Golem. MacFarlane has built a comedy empire by creating, writing and directing “Family Guy”; a recent New Yorker profile of the cartoonist and actor pegged the value of that franchise in the neighborhood of a billion dollars and MacFarlane’s own annual “Family Guy” take at north of $30 million. The scattershot, scatological sense of humor in “Ted” echoes the series’ sen-


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AFTER DARK, CONT. Trotline, 8 p.m. 2150 Congo Road, Benton. 501-315-1717. King Tuff, Natural Child. 18-and-older show. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 8:30 p.m., $8. 107 Commerce St. 501-372-7707. www. Les Racquet. Vino’s, 8 p.m., $6. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. Mayday By Midnight. Cajun’s Wharf, 5 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. Ricky David Tripp. Rocket Twenty One, 5:30 p.m. 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-603-9208. www. RockUsaurus. Senor Tequila (Maumelle Blvd.), 6 p.m., free. 9847 Maumelle Blvd., NLR. 501758-4432. Sychosys, Sangre, Jessica Seven, Adam. Downtown Music Hall, 8 p.m., $10. 211 W. Capitol. 501-376-1819. downtownmusichall. com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 5 p.m., free. 111 Markham St. 501-374-7474.


The Joint Venture. Improv comedy group. The Joint, 8 p.m., $5. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205.


Little Rock Bop Club. Beginning dance lessons for ages 10 and older. Singles welcome. Bess Chisum Stephens Community Center, 7 p.m., $4 for members, $7 for guests. 12th & Cleveland streets. 501-350-4712. www.littlerockbopclub.


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55th Annual Miss Arkansas Pageant. Summit Arena, July 11-14. 134 Convention Blvd., Hot Springs. 501-321-3506. Arkansas Foodbank Summer Feeding Sites. See July 5. “Fleur Delicious Weekend.” Five-day festival includes a variety of French-themed fun and culinary events at locations around Eureka Springs Downtown Eureka Springs, July 11-15. Downtown Eureka Springs, Eureka Springs. 479253-6807.


Movies in the Park: “Jaws.” Film begins at sundown. Riverfest Amphitheatre, 8 p.m., free. 400 President Clinton Ave.


Rock Town Slam. Arkansas Arts Center, 6:30 p.m., $5-$10. 501 E. 9th St. 501-372-4000. www.


Museum of Discovery Summer Camps. See July 9. The Youth Theatre of Central Arkansas. For students in grades 3-12, through 4 p.m. daily. University of Central Arkansas, Snow Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, through July 13: 9 a.m., $275-$300. 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway. 501450-5092.



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“Barefoot in the Park.” The Neil Simon comedy about a couple of newlyweds, their first apartment, eccentric neighbors and a meddling mother. Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, through July 22: Tue.-Sat., 6 p.m.; Wed., 11 a.m.; Sun., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., $15-$33. 6323 Col. Glenn Road. 501-562-3131. Opera in the Ozarks: “A Little Night Music.” Stephen Sondheim’s romantic Broadway smash about the intersecting love lives of several couples. Inspiration Point, Thu., July 5, 7:30 p.m.;

Sat., July 7, 7:30 p.m.; Wed., July 11, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., July 13, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., July 19, 7:30 p.m., $20-$25. 16311 Hwy. 62 W., Eureka Springs. Opera in the Ozarks: “La Boheme.” Puccini’s tale of bohemians living in Paris. Inspiration Point, Sun., July 8, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., July 12, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., July 14, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., July 20, 7:30 p.m., $20-$25. 16311 Hwy. 62 W., Eureka Springs. Opera in the Ozarks: “The Magic Flute.” Mozart’s masterpiece. Inspiration Point, Fri., July 6, 7:30 p.m.; Tue., July 10, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., July 15, 7:30 p.m.; Wed., July 18, 7:30 p.m., $20$25. 16311 Hwy. 62 W., Eureka Springs.



ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: Galleries open July 4, trolley transportation from parking lot to Arkansas Symphony’s “Pops on the River” concert. 372-4000. CANTRELL GALLERY, 8206 Cantrell Road: “Still Crazy …,” paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture by Warren Criswell, through Aug. 18. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 224-1335. CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER, 1200 President Clinton Ave.: Free admission July 4. “Play Ball! The St. Louis Cardinals,” memorabilia, including World Series trophies, rings and Stan Musial’s uniform, through Sept. 16; “Dorothy Howell Rodham and Virginia Clinton Kelley,” through Nov. 25; “Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America,” replicas of artifacts from the Louise and Barry Taper Collection, through July 17; permanent exhibits about policies and White House life during the Clinton administration. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. $7 adults; $5 college students, seniors, retired military; $3 ages 6-17. 370-8000. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM, 200 E. Third St.: “Frontier Fourth of July” celebration, 2-4 p.m. July 4, parade, children’s activities, living history, lemonade and watermelon; “A Collective Vision,” recent acquisitions, through March 2013; “Creating the Elements of Discovery: Tim Imhauser, Jason Powers and Emily Wood,” sculpture, drawings and paintings, through Aug. 5, “Doug Stowe: The Making of My Small Cabinets,” through July 8. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9351. L&L BECK GALLERY, 5705 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “The Wild Ones,” paintings and giclees by Louis Beck. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 660-4006. HOT SPRINGS ALISON PARSONS GALLERY, 802 Central Ave.: Large-scale oil sketches and installation, “Left,” by Gabrielle Ray; Gallery Walk reception 5-9 p.m. July 6, show through the month. Summer hours 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 501-625-3001. BLUE MOON, 718 Central Ave.: “sUZI mADE,” mixed media pieces by Suzi Dennis, Gallery Walk reception 5-9 p.m. July 6, show through August. 501-318-2787. GALLERY CENTRAL, 800 Central Ave.: Work by new gallery artists Sandy Newberg and Amy Hill-Imler and others, “Spirittiles” by Houston Llew, Gallery Walk open 5-9 p.m. July 6. 501318-4278. HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE THE WOODLANDS: L. Allan Schaefer, nature photography, through July. VAN BUREN CENTER FOR ART & EDUCATION, 104 N. 13th St.: “Disciplined Imaginations,” paintings by Patricia Lappin and John Lasater IV, opens July 6; “The Arc of the River Valley,” art by disabled persons, July 2-27. CONTINUED ON PAGE 32







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Lady Antebellum

June 28, Verizon Arena BY BILL PADDACK



ately, country music is many things. Clean-cut traditionalist George Strait can still, after more than 30 years, send a single to the top of the charts. Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, though differing in styles, both can pack an arena. But more and more, it’s a world that belongs to country-pop queen Taylor Swift and her shaggy-haired male counterparts that populate the many so-called country groups. Halfway through 2012, Central Arkansas has already seen the likes of Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Rascal Flatts, the Zac Brown Band, Sara Evans, Chris Young and Alison Krauss. But perhaps no show this year illustrates the current state of country music as well as Wednesday night’s triple bill of Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker and Thompson Square at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock. The sweet sounds of Lady A are certainly pleasant and have earned the threesome a large following and a boatload of awards. I remember reading a review a few months back that claimed Lady Antebellum is the band for people who think Taylor Swift is just too darn country. That pretty much sums up how I feel. Their show seemed slick; a bit too calculated. But, hey, obviously that wasn’t a problem


for most of the crowd of 9,278. Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott share lead vocalist duties and are joined by Dave Haywood — who’s proficient at a variety of instruments — and are backed by a talented band. The latter was highlighted by a buzz-cut, bearded guy named Chris Tyrell who is one heck of a drummer and who, I learned, just happens to be married to Scott. Kelley, Scott (the daughter of country music artist Linda Davis) and Haywood harmonize well on songs like their first No. 1 hit, “I Run to You,” and Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion.” And Kelley uses his soulful voice to help the trio soar on numbers like “Love’s Lookin’ Good on You.” They performed on a gigantic stage (the final setup of which, I assume, was what brought a 45-minute interim between Rucker and Lady A) that featured

a lengthy catwalk and allowed them close exposure to the audience. That was handy since they taped this stop on their Own the Night 2012 World Tour. A highlight of their hour-and-a-half set was when they brought Rucker and Thompson Square back out for short covers of songs like the Doobie Brothers’ “Black Water.” (You weren’t really expecting them to cover traditional country, were you?) And I enjoyed their encore performance of the terrific heartbreaker “Need You Now.” Former rock star Rucker of Hootie & the Blowfish fame has recycled his musical career as a just-plain-fun solo act. Country radio tends, after all, to be very friendly to both past pop-rock performers like himself and rock-star wannabes like Sugarland (ugh) — often at the expense of the more traditional sound.

But don’t get me wrong. I’m not quibbling a bit with Rucker. In fact, I love him. His energy and showmanship — along with his powerful, flexible voice — delight from beginning to end. And it was left up to him to actually bring a bit of country to this country concert. His cover of the Hank Williams Jr. classic “Family Tradition” was certainly a highlight of the show, just like it was when he was previously in concert here with Brad Paisley. Ditto his version of the Steve Miller Band’s huge hit “The Joker.” But he also shined on the tunes that have brought him his most success on the country charts — “It Won’t Be Like This for Long,” “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” and “Alright” — and that, um, not-socountry classic, “Purple Rain.” Husband and wife Keifer and Shawna Thompson of Thompson Square, the opening act, brought their own unique look and their version of a rock-infused sound. Fresh off winning Duo of the Year in the recent Academy of Country Music awards, he was sporting his trademark newsboy cap while she stood out in a little black tutu skirt. They also push the envelope a bit with loud, edgy numbers that at times tended to overshadow the lyrics. Their “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not” is a great song that — along with tunes like “I Got You” and “Getaway Car” — like it or not seems to epitomize what passes for mainstream country these days.



The Hot Springs Fine Arts Center is accepting entries to its 9th annual “Diamond National Art Competition” that will be on exhibit in September. Deadline to enter is Aug. 13. Twoand three-dimensional work in all media will be considered. Jurors are Thad Flenniken, Jim Larkin and Gary Simmons. There will be cash awards. For more information, call 501-624-0489 or go to The Jim Elder Good Sport Fund, which benefits several area non-profits, is seeking artists to participate in its annual Home Plate Heroes exhibition and auction. Artists are provided wood panels in the shape of home plate to paint or otherwise decorate for the event, to be held at the Thea Center Sept. 17-28. Blank plates are available at Thea; deadline is Aug. 15. For information, e-mail Susan Elder at selder52@


ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: “Tattoo Witness: Photographs by Mark Perrott,” 25 large-scale black and white photographs of tattoed men and women, documenting


JULY 4, 2012


tattoos over 25 years, with murals painted by Arkansas tattoo artists Robert Berry, Richard Moore, Caleb Pritchett, Chris Thomas, Brooke and Ryan Cook, Nancy Miller and Scott Diffee, through Sept. 9; “The Rockefeller Influence,” 57 works donated or loaned by the Rockefeller family, through Aug. 19; “11th National Drawing Invitational: New York, Singular Drawings,” through Sept. 9, curated by Charlotta Kotik; “The New Materiality: Digital Dialogues at the Boundaries of Contemporary Craft,” through Aug. 5; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. THE ART LOFT, 1525 Merrill Drive: Work by Dan Thornhill, Catherine Rodgers, Rosemary Parker, Kelly Furr, Melody Lile and others, with music by Rico Novales. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat. 251-1131. BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute: “Pattern in Perspective: Recent Work by Carly Dahl and Dustyn Bork,” through Sept. 29; “Arkansas Art Educators State Youth Art Show 2012,” through July 28; “Small Town: Portraits of a Disappearing America,” through Aug. 25. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5790. GALLERY 221, 221 W. 2nd St.: “Impressions and Reflections,” work by Jennifer Cox Coleman, Catherine Rodgers, Larry Hare, Cynthia Ragan

and others. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 801-0211. GREG THOMPSON FINE ART, 429 Main St.: “Best of the South,” works by regional artists including Carroll Cloar, Theora Hamblett, Walter Anderson, William Hollingsworth, Noel Rockmore, William Dunlap, Philip Morsberger, Donald Roller Wilson, Gary Bolding, Robert Rector and others, through July 10. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 664-2787. KETZ GALLERY, 705 Main St., NLR: “Trees, Trees and More Trees,” pastels by Mary Ann Stafford, through July 14, also work by gallery artists. 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 529-6330, LAMAN LIBRARY, 2801 Orange St.: “The White House Garden,” Smithsonian traveling exhibition, through July 21. 758-1720. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK: “Works from the UALR Permanent Collection,” including paintings by Al Allen and Karen Kunc, photographs by Timothy Hursley, woodcut by Kathe Kollwitz, prints by Takeshi Katori and David O’Brien, and more, through July 20, Gallery I. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 569-3182.



VISITOR CENTER, Bates and Park: Exhibits on the 1957 desegregation of Central and the civil rights movement. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. 374-1957. MOSAIC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER, Ninth and Broadway: “Creativity Arkansas Collection,” works by black Arkansas artists; permanent exhibits on African-American entrepreneurial history in Arkansas. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 683–3593. MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY, 500 President Clinton Ave.: “Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss,” through July 29; “Astronomy: It’s a Blast,” through Sept. 17; “Wiggle Worms,” science program for pre-K children 10 a.m.10:30 a.m. every Tue., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun., $10 ages 12 and older, $8 ages 1-11, free under 1. 396-7050. OLD STATE HOUSE MUSEUM, 300 W. Markham: “Battle Colors of Arkansas,” 18 civil war flags; “Things You Need to Hear: Memories of Growing up in Arkansas from 1890 to 1980,” oral histories about community, family, work, school and leisure. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9685. More gallery and museum listings at


Information in our restaurant capsules reflects the opinions of the newspaper staff and its reviewers. The newspaper accepts no advertising or other considerations in exchange for reviews, which are conducted anonymously. We invite the opinions of readers who think we are in error.

B Breakfast L Lunch D Dinner $ Inexpensive (under $8/person) $$ Moderate ($8-$20/person) $$$ Expensive (over $20/person) CC Accepts credit cards

BELLY UP Check out the Times’ food blog, Eat Arkansas


Mr. Chen’s Asian Supermarket and Restaurant 3901 S. University Ave. 562-7900

QUICK BITE Don’t let the lack of beer or wine get you down; the selection of hot and cold teas and coffees available still makes the drinks menu one of the most diverse in town. HOURS 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday to Saturday.


OTHER INFO Credit cards accepted, no alcohol.

CRAZY SPICY CHICKEN: At Mr. Chen’s Asian Supermarket and Restaurant.

Cheap, fast and delicious At Mr. Chen’s.



ith a restaurant population consisting mainly of fast food chains, we’ve never really thought of the Village Shopping center on South University to be much of a culinary destination, and upon first glance, the simple sign that hangs above the entrance to Mr. Chen’s Asian Supermarket and Restaurant doesn’t do much to change that idea. Don’t let the faded and out-dated surroundings fool you, though: Mr. Chen’s is one of the most exciting places to shop and eat in town. The grocery section is almost overwhelming, with aisle after aisle of exotic foods, spices, cookware and a wall-long, well-maintained fish market. Stocked with live crawfish and blue crabs, huge slabs of grouper, tilapia, and catfish, and some out-of-the ordinary things like snails and conchs, this section alone makes the store worth a visit. The back wall boasts a varied, inexpensive selection of fresh produce, herbs, and meats that’s sure to please any bargain hunter. Some of the delicacies, such as the fertilized duck eggs known as balut, are beyond our experience, but we found ourselves salivating at the whole roast

SESAME CHICKEN: One of Mr. Chen’s lunch specials.

ducks and piles of fruit. In addition to the wonderland of ingredients and snacks that constitutes the grocery section of Mr. Chen’s, the store also has a small, elegantly decorated restaurant. Like the grocery section, the restaurant’s offerings are diverse, reasonably priced, and extremely fresh — and served up quick enough to make an hour-long lunch break seem a lot longer. We always like to start our meal at

any Chinese restaurant with an order of dumplings, which are available either steamed or pan-fried. At $3.95 for an order of eight, we thought it prudent to try both varieties. We’re pretty picky about our dumplings, having eaten far too many limp and soggy versions, but these hit the spot. The steamed dumplings were firm, tightly wrapped, and packed with a savory pork mixture that had a nicely balanced flavor — and more importantly, held up to a vigorous dunk in the soy sauce and rice vinegar dipping sauce provided. The pan-fried dumplings were crisply seared; fans of either variety of dumplings will enjoy these.  We were less pleased with our second starter, a bowl of Seafood Hot and Sour soup ($4.95), which while loaded with flavorful shrimp and bits of crab was a touch too thick for our taste. A lighter touch with the cornstarch in the broth-based soup would have served it well. The best deals on the menu are to be found at lunch, and we tried several. Each lunch special is served with a scoop of either fried or steamed rice and a tasty egg roll. Being enamored of all things cashew, we tried both the Cashew Chicken ($6.50) and the Cashew Shrimp ($6.95), both of which came with a light sauce of stirfried cashews, mushrooms, and zucchini. This proved to be the backbone for the rest of the lunch specials we tried: cashews or peanuts, mushrooms, zucchini, and a tangy sauce. While this might sound like a recipe for boredom, it isn’t — where the first two lunch CONTINUED ON PAGE 34


will now offer drive-through service after its dining room closes from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. (Dining room hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. those same days.) Additionally, the midtown restaurant just unveiled, a site where customers can pay in advance, pull into the Jimmy’s parking lot, call 671-1200 and have the food delivered to their car. (The restaurant isn’t utilizing its new drive-through option during regular hours for fear of congestion.) Jimmy’s is located at 5116 W. Markham St. The business phone number is 666-3354. THE BERNICE GARDEN FARMERS’ MARKET at 1401 S. Main St. will

host a Watermelon Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, July 8. The winner of the festival’s watermeloneating contest will receive a gift certificate from the Bernice Garden Farmers’ Market to be used at any participating vendor’s booth, and the person who can spit his watermelon seeds the farthest will win a free loaf of bread from Boulevard Bread Bakehouse. The contests starts at 11 a.m.; spitters can come early and practice. Josh Hardin of Laughing Stock Farms and Hardin Farms is donating the melons. There will also be a kids’ scavenger hunt, with the winner receiving a free ice cream cone from Loblolly Creamery. The scavenger hunt also begins at 11 a.m. IT TOOK TWO YEARS, but The Box,

a legendary burger joint that anchored the northeast corner of 17th and Main for many a year, is back. The original griddle is doing the frying. They even saved the old ketchup bottles, according to Kat Robinson of tiedyetravels. com. Find them on Seventh Street, just east of Ringo, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.




ALL AMERICAN WINGS Wings, catfish and soul food sides. 215 W. Capitol Ave. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-376-4000. LD Mon.-Fri (LD on Sat. beginning after Jan 2012). ALLEY OOPS Plate lunches, burgers and homemade desserts. Remarkable Chess Pie. 11900 Kanis Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-221-9400. LD Mon.-Sat. B-SIDE The little breakfast place turns tradition on its ear, offering French toast wrapped in bacon on a stick, a musthave dish called “biscuit mountain” and beignets with lemon curd. 11121 Rodney CONTINUED ON PAGE 34

JULY 4, 2012




GENEROUS PORTIONS: Mr. Chen’s combination lo mein.

specials we tried were savory and mild, the tender Kung Pao Beef ($6.50) we sampled on our second visit added a healthy dose of dried chili peppers to the mix and had us in a pleasant pepper glow by the end of the meal. Our last lunch special sampled, Sesame Chicken ($6.50) broke the mold completely, with breaded chunks of chicken in a sweet orange sauce. We returned for dinner to try Chen’s Crazy Spicy Chicken ($8.95), which we had to order based on name alone. The chicken in question was dusted with rice flour and fried crisp along with pieces of seitan (wheat gluten), scallions and more of those hot red peppers. It tasted like some of the best popcorn chicken we’ve ever eaten, but we thought it could have been spicier, at least as spicy as the Kung Pao Beef we had earlier. Wanting to try a noodle dish, we went for the Combination Lo Mein, a generous portion of firm noodles mixed with bits of beef, chicken, shrimp, and cabbage. The flavors and textures of the lo mein were executed perfectly, but we wished for a few more vegetables in the mix. Either of these dishes could be split between two people, adding to the value on this menu. The best part of the Mr. Chen’s menu is the huge variety of dishes on offer. Despite having eaten there multiple times, we’ve just barely scratched the surface of the menu, which includes things found on few menus in Arkansas — like jellyfish, stirfried anchovies, crispy pig’s ear, and several dishes that prominently featured the word “intestines.” Foodies interested in unleashing their inner Andrew Zimmern could definitely stage their own “Bizarre Foods” meal at Mr. Chen’s, while folks more used to tried and true mainstream items will be impressed with the high-quality versions of those dishes found here. On every visit, service was impeccable and friendly, and the food is served up so fast and fresh that you’ll find yourself digging into a plate of something delicious before you know it. 34

JULY 4, 2012


DINING CAPSULES, CONT. Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-7162700. BL Wed.-Sun. BIG WHISKEY’S AMERICAN BAR AND GRILL A modern grill pub in the River Market with all the bells and whistles. Plus, the usual burgers, steaks, soups and salads. 225 E. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-324-2449. LD daily. BOBBY’S COUNTRY COOKIN’ One of the better plate lunch spots in the area, with some of the best fried chicken and pot roast around, a changing daily casserole and wonderful homemade pies. 301 N. Shackleford Road, Suite E1. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-2249500. L Mon.-Fri. BOGIE’S BAR AND GRILL Menu filled with burgers, salads and giant desserts, plus a few steak, fish and chicken main courses. 120 W. Pershing Blvd. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-812-0019. D daily. BUFFALO GRILL A great crispy-off-the-griddle cheeseburger and hand-cut fries star. 1611 Rebsamen Park Road. Full bar, CC. $$. 501-2969535. LD daily. 400 N. Bowman Road. Full bar, Beer, All CC. $$. 501-224-0012. LD daily.

CATFISH CITY AND BBQ GRILL Basic fried fish and sides, including green tomato pickles, and now with tasty ribs and sandwiches in beef, pork and sausage. 1817 S. University Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-663-7224. LD Tue.-Sat. CHEERS Good burgers and sandwiches, vegetarian offerings and salads at lunch and fish specials, and good steaks in the evening. 2010 N. Van Buren. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-6635937. LD Mon.-Sat. 1901 Club Manor Drive. Maumelle. Full bar, All CC. 501-851-6200. LD daily, BR Sun. CORNERSTONE PUB & GRILL A sandwich, pizza and beer joint in the heart of North Little Rock’s Argenta district. 314 Main St. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-1782. LD Mon.-Sat. DAVE AND RAY’S DOWNTOWN DINER Breakfast buffet daily featuring biscuits and gravy, home fries, sausage and made-toorder omelets. Lunch buffet with four choices of meats and eight veggies. 824 W. Capitol Ave. No alcohol. $. 501-372-8816. BL Mon.-Fri. DAVID’S BUTCHER BOY BURGERS Serious hamburgers, steak salads, homemade custard.

new menu items


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1135 Skyline Dr.

Conway 501-205-1985

101 S. Bowman Road. DOGTOWN COFFEE AND COOKERY An up-to-date sandwich, salad and fancy coffee kind of place, well worth a visit. 6725 John F. Kennedy Blvd. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-833-3850. BL Mon.-Sun., BLD Fri.-Sat.,. E’S BISTRO Try the heaping grilled salmon BLT on a buttery croissant. 3812 JFK Boulevard. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-771-6900. FLIGHT DECK Inventive sandwiches, salads and a popular burger. Central Flying Service at Adams Field. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-3753245. BL Mon.-Sat. GREEN CUISINE Daily specials and a small, solid menu of vegetarian fare. 985 West Sixth St. No alcohol, CC. $-$$. Serving. HILLCREST ARITSAN MEATS A fancy charcuterie and butcher shop with excellent daily soup and sandwich specials. Limited seating is available. 2807 Kavanaugh Blvd. No alcohol, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-671-6328. L Mon.-Sat. KITCHEN EXPRESS Delicious “meat and three” restaurant offering big servings of homemade soul food. 4600 Asher Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-666-3500. BLD Mon.-Sat., LD Sun. LYNN’S CHICAGO FOODS Outpost for Chicago specialties like Vienna hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches. 6501 Geyer Springs. No alcohol, All CC. $. 501-568-2646. LD Mon.-Sat. MADDIE’S If you like your catfish breaded Cajun-style, your grits rich with garlic and cream and your oysters fried up in perfect puffs, this Cajun eatery is the place for you. 1615 Rebsamen Park Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-660-4040. LD Tue.-Sat. PHIL’S HAM AND TURKEY PLACE Fine hams, turkeys and other specialty meats served whole, by the pound or in sandwich form. 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-225-2136. LD Mon.-Fri. L Sat. SAY MCINTOSH RESTAURANT Big plates of soul food, plus burgers, barbecue and famous sweet potato pie. 2801 W. 7th Street. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-664-6656. LD Mon.-Sat. L Sun. SLICK’S SANDWICH SHOP & DELI Meatand-two plate lunches in state office building. 101 E. Capitol Ave. 501-375-3420. L Mon.-Fri. SPORTS PAGE Perhaps the largest, juiciest, most flavorful burger in town. Grilled turkey and hot cheese on sourdough gets praise, too. 414 Louisiana St. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-3729316. L Mon.-Fri. STARVING ARTIST CAFE All kinds of crepes, served as entrees or as dessert. Dinner menu changes daily. 411 N. Main St. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-372-7976. L Tue.-Sat., D Tue., Fri.-Sat. THE TAVERN SPORTS GRILL Burgers, barbecue and more. 17815 Chenal Parkway. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-830-2100. LD daily. UNIVERSITY MARKET @ 4CORNERS A food truck court where local vendors park daily. Check to see what carts are scheduled to be parked. 6221 Colonel Glenn Road. CC. $-$$. 501-515-1661. LD daily. 6221 Colonel Glenn Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-413-3672. LD. VICTORIAN GARDEN Healthy, balanced entrees and crepes. 4801 North Hills Blvd. NLR. $-$$. 501-758-4299. L Tue.-Sat.


CHI’S DIMSUM & BISTRO A huge menu spans the Chinese provinces and offers a few twists on the usual local offerings. 6 Shackleford Drive. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-221-7737. LD daily. 17200 Chenal Parkway. No alcohol, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-821-8000. FAR EAST ASIAN CUISINE Old favorites such

DINING CAPSULES, CONT. as orange beef or chicken and Hunan green beans are prepared with care. 11600 Pleasant Ridge Drive. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-219-9399. LD daily. FORBIDDEN GARDEN Classic, American-ized Chinese food in a modern setting. Try the Basil Chicken. 14810 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-868-8149. LD daily. FU LIN Quality in the made-to-order entrees is high, as is the quantity. 200 N. Bowman Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-225-8989. LD daily. IGIBON JAPANESE FOOD HOUSE It’s a complex place, where the food is almost always good and the ambiance and service never fail to please. 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-2178888. LD Mon.-Sat. KOBE JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE & SUSHI Kobe stands taller in its sushi offerings than at the grill. 11401 Financial Centre Parkway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-225-5999. L Mon.-Sat. D daily. VAN LANG CUISINE Terrific Vietnamese cuisine, particularly the way the pork dishes and the assortment of rolls are presented. 3600 S. University Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-570-7700. LD daily.


CAPITOL SMOKEHOUSE AND GRILL Beef, pork and chicken, all smoked to melting tenderness and doused with a choice of sauces. 915 W. Capitol Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-372-4227. BL Mon.-Fri. CROSS EYED PIG BBQ COMPANY Traditional barbecue favorites smoked well such as pork ribs, beef brisket and smoked chicken. 1701 Rebsamen Park Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-265-0000. L Mon.-Sat., D Tue.-Fri. 1701 Rebsamen Park Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-2277427. LD daily. FATBOY’S KILLER BAR-B-Q Features tender ribs and pork by a contest pitmaster. Skip the regular sauce and risk the hot variety, it’s far better. 14611 Arch Street. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-888-4998. LD Mon.-Fri. HB’S BAR B.Q. Great slabs of meat with fiery barbecue sauce, but ribs are served on Tuesday only. 6010 Lancaster. No alcohol, No CC. $-$$. 501-565-1930. L Mon.-Fri. MICK’S BBQ, CATFISH AND GRILL Good burgers, picnic-worthy deviled eggs and heaping barbecue sandwiches topped with sweet sauce. 3609 MacArthur Dr. NLR. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-791-2773. LD Mon.-Sun. SIMS BAR-B-QUE Great spare ribs, sandwiches, beef, half and whole chicken and an addictive vinegar-mustard-brown sugar sauce. 2415 Broadway. Beer, CC. $-$$. 501-372-6868. LD Mon.-Sat. 1307 John Barrow Road. Beer, All CC. $-$$. 501-224-2057. LD Mon.-Sat. 7601 Geyer Springs Road. Beer, All CC. $$. 501-562-8844. LD Mon.-Sat.


CROSSWORD EDITED BY WILL SHORTZ Across 1 TV sitcom boy who liked to fish 5 Theater prize 9 Essence 14 See 40-Across 16 63-Across, for one 17 With 38- and 59-Across, typical opinion about a record on 40-/14-Across 19 Nautical hazard 20 Flop 21 Subject of a hanging without a trial 22 African capital 24 Miscalculate 26 Grp. on a raid 29 Org. in Robert Ludlum novels 30 Catherine I of Russia, e.g. 34 Labor leader Cesar

36 World’s Oldest ___ (nickname for 63-Across) 37 Prefix with flop 38 See 17-Across 39 Juicy fruit 40 With 14-Across, long-running TV show popularized by 63-Across 43 Buffalo’s Metsaffiliated team 45 “Buck Rogers” and others 46 Prevailed 47 Cologne compass point 48 “Is that ___?” 49 Little squealer? 51 Many a beneficiary 53 Ebb 55 Former Giants QB Phil 59 See 17-Across 62 Step in















63 Late beloved TV personality 64 Audibly stunned 65 Saloon choices 66 Genesis figure







1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

9 10 11 12 13 15 18 23 25 26 27

28 30 31 32 33












16 18 20

22 26



17 19

Down Tokyo ties Lane ___ many words Award for mystery writers Giant who swung for the fences Start of a children’s rhyme Gold bar Biblical land whose name means “red” in Hebrew King or queen Cause to blush, maybe Cake finisher In order Understand Comfort Too weighty Hollywood, with “the” Bled Pretend to be With 51-Down, “14-Across Boogie,” on 40-/14-Across Sea follower? ___ talks (annual idea conferences) Nanook’s home Las Vegas signs “Give it ___!”






















46 48 51

















Puzzle by David J. Kahn

35 Zoning board issues 36 C&W channel, once 38 Standard batteries 41 Actor McShane 42 Funny one 43 Heckle, in a way 44 Right away

46 From what place 49 ___ mail 50 King or queen 51 See 27-Down 52 “I’m ___ here!” 54 “___ little sugar” (recipe directive) 56 Complain

57 A Barcelona museum is dedicated to his work

58 Nasdaq listings: Abbr.

59 Vote of approval

60 Dada pioneer

61 Bank printings: Abbr.

For answers, call 1-900-285-5656, $1.49 a minute; or, with a credit card, 1-800-814-5554. Annual subscriptions are available for the best of Sunday crosswords from the last 50 years: 1-888-7-ACROSS. AT&T users: Text NYTX to 386 to download puzzles, or visit for more information. Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle and more than 2,000 past puzzles, ($39.95 a year). Share tips: Crosswords for young solvers:


KHALIL’S PUB Widely varied menu with European, Mexican and American influences. 110 S. Shackleford Road. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-224-0224. LD daily. BR Sun. THE PANTRY The menu stays relatively true to the owner’s Czechoslovakian roots, but there’s plenty of choices to suit all tastes. There’s also a nice happy-hour vibe. 11401 Rodney Parham Road. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-353-1875. LD Mon.-Fri., D Sat. STAR OF INDIA The best Indian restaurant in the region, with a unique buffet at lunch and some fabulous dishes at night. 301 N. Shackleford. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-227-9900. LD daily. TASTE OF ASIA Delicious Indian food in a pleasant atmosphere. Perhaps the best samosas in town. Buffet at lunch. 2629 Lakewood Village Dr. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-812-4665. LD daily. TAZIKI’S Offers gyros, grilled meats and veggies, hummus and pimento cheese. 8200 Cantrell Rd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-227-8291. LD daily 12800 Chenal Parkway. Beer, Wine, All CC. 501-225-1829. LD daily.


DAMGOODE PIES A somewhat different Italian/pizza place, largely because of a spicy garlic white sauce that’s offered as an alternative to the traditional red sauce. 2701 Kavanaugh Blvd. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-664-2239. LD daily. 6706 Cantrell Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-664-2239. LD daily. 10720 Rodney Parham Road. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-664-2239. LD daily. 37 East Center St. Fayetteville. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 479-444-7437. LD daily. GUSANO’S They make the tomatoey Chicago-style deep-dish pizza the way it’s done in the Windy City. 313 President Clinton Ave. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-374-1441. LD daily. 2915 Dave Ward Drive. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-329-1100. LD daily. LARRY’S PIZZA The buffet is the way to go — fresh, hot pizza, fully loaded with ingredients, brought hot to your table, all for a low price. 1122 S. Center. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-224-8804. LD daily. 12911 Cantrell Road. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-224-8804. LD daily. NYPD PIZZA Plenty of tasty choices in the obvious New York police-like setting, but it’s fun. Cheap slice specials at lunch. 6015 Chenonceau Boulevard, Suite 1. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-868-3911. LD daily. PALIO’S Not quite artisan-grade, but far better than the monster chains and at a similar price CONTINUED ON PAGE 39

JULY 4, 2012


hearsay ➥ YAYA’S EURO BISTRO AT THE PROMENADE AT CHENAL reopened July 2 after a June 27 fire damaged its roof and ventilation system. The restaurant is currently preparing a more limited menu until the roof and ventilation system is fully repaired. ➥ BRAVO! CUCINA ITALIANA, which has a location at The Promenade at Chenal, was voted top in a Consumer Reports survey in the Italian food category for ratings in taste, value, service, mood, noise, menu and cleanliness. The Roman ruin décor along with the upscale affordable dining and incredible service earned Bravo! above average ranking. Celebrate with Bravo’s daily (Monday-Friday) bar bite specials starting at $3.95 and drink specials starting at $5. ➥ THE ARKANSAS CRAFT GUILD AND GALLERY will host a fund-raising SALEabration on July 6-7, beginning with a preview show and sale from 5:30-8p.m. July 6. All proceeds will be used to fund gallery improvements, including a face lift and better lighting and displays. It’s a great way to support local artists and pick up great deals on quality art and crafts, including items not claimed by departing artists. Those items will be on sale for At half-price. The gallery will also be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 4 with an opportunity to win KFFB cash until 11 a.m. The gallery is located at 104 E. Main St. ➥ In other art news, L AND L BECK ART GALLERY’S July exhibit is “The Wild Ones,” a series of paintings of wild animals in various settings. This month’s giclée giveaway is titled “Buffalo.” The exhibit will run through the month of July, and the giclée drawing will at 7 p.m. July 19. The gallery is located at 5705 Kavenaugh Blvd. and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call (501) 660-4006 or email ➥ Summer apparel is now 30 percent off at THE TOGGERY. Check out their locations in the Heights and at Pleasant Ridge Town Center. ➥ Word on the street is that there’s a new SCENE coming to the Hillcrest portion of Kavanaugh. We’ll have more details soon! CORRECTION: In last week’s CUE, information about The Butcher Shop was incorrectly reported. The restaurant is owned and operated by Al Watkins, who was been part of Little Rock’s restaurant scene for 30 years. We apologize for the error. 36

JULY 4, 2012

JULY 4, 2012

The Firepot is made of BPA-free Merritt stemless acrylic wine glasses, KEN RASH’S OUTDOOR wrought iron and burns liquid fuel, KEN RASH’S ($24.95) FURNITURE ($7.95 each)


The Starburst wind-proof luminary “doesn’t go out until you want it to,” KEN RASH’S ($29.99 for luminary; 3-pack candles $10.49)



friend of ours bought a new home in March. Located in the Woodland Hills neighborhood, it was built in 1985 and had a small concrete slab patio in the backyard that’s common in older homes. Surrounded by patches of scraggly grass, it wasn’t exactly an inviting spot for relaxing. “I thought it was OK,” she said recently about the backyard’s original setup. “I thought I’d put out a little table


and chairs and eventually screen in the pad.” Well, that was the plan — until the first time it rained, when water runoff collected on her patio, creating her own temporary pond. A conversation with a neighbor revealed runoff from the empty lot next door to our friend created drainage problems and the flood conditions in the backyard when it rained. Rick Penor, owner of Picture Perfect Grounds came to take a look at our

friend’s place and confirmed the drainage problem, which also contributed to the lack of grass in the backyard. At first, he suggested putting in a French drain — a trench covered with gravel or rock that contains a perforated pipe that carries excess water away from a given area. The yard would have required two French drains, which would have blown our friend’s modest budget. Penor came up with an alternate plan, which was to extend the concrete slab

and build a retaining wall. He dug out the dirt surrounding the patio area to make it sit lower than the surrounding yard. Because of where the backyard fence was located, the earth had to be dug out by hand. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They hauled off a lot of dirt,â&#x20AC;? the friend said. Next came the new concrete slab and a brick retaining wall. Then Penor, with the help of the homeowner, laid sod in the rest of the yard to make the area a lush green paradise. My friend decorated the patio with vintage metal chairs that she painted in bright colors. Other additions included a blue glider, umbrella, rug and cushions from Ken Rashâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Outdoor Furniture. Housewarming gifts in the form of Home Depot gift cards allowed her to buy several plants and planters to complete the cozy space. The whole project only took about three weeks from start to finish. Now the only thing keeping her from enjoying her new outdoor space is the 100 degree-plus temperatures. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been awesome,â&#x20AC;? she said of her patio area. Need some design ideas for your own space? Here are some tips from the designer tips blog at the Ken Rashâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website (www.kenrashsoutdoorfurni-


before ď&#x192;&#x153; The size of your yard doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter. A top-of-the-line grill, a shade-providing umbrella or even a charming fire pit can spruce up any space. ď&#x192;&#x153; Colorful furniture, rugs, ceramics and accents pieces give small spaces a larger-than-life impact. ď&#x192;&#x153; Lighten up summer parties after dark with lanterns, twinkle lights and outdoor torches. ď&#x192;&#x153; Using a single color on your porch or patio is a great way to tie the look of

HEADING EAST Boswell Mouton Fine Art takes first steps to open gallery in Berlin BY JANIE GINOCCHIO


resh off the success of its Miami gallery, Boswell Mourot Fine Art is expanding its reach to Europe, and specifically Berlin, owner Kyle Boswell said in a recent interview. The modern art gallery, located in the Heights, features work from Arkansans as well as national and international artists. Boswell said Hans Feyerabend, one of the national artists featured at Boswell Mourot, will be the first to participate in an exchange program with Temporary Gallery Berlin, which is owned by Andrea Amelung. Located in an art district in what was once known as West Berlin, Temporary Gallery Berlinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s primary mission is to create â&#x20AC;&#x153;an exhibition space for independent artists in Berlin as well as connecting those artists with similar exhibition spaces all over the world,â&#x20AC;? according

to its website. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Andrea will send one or two of her own artists to Little Rock,â&#x20AC;? Boswell said, adding that an Arkansas artist will be the next to go to Berlin. The exchange is the first step toward establishing a Boswell Mourot gallery in Berlin. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m hoping by late 2013 or early 2014, we will be open there,â&#x20AC;? Boswell said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want to test the waters. I want to see the response and welcome, not only for U.S.-based but primarily Arkansas artists.â&#x20AC;? Along with Feyerabend, who helped find Temporary Gallery Berlin, Boswell Mourot Miami managing partner Teresa Sorrentino played a â&#x20AC;&#x153;vital roleâ&#x20AC;? in helping establish the exchange program, Boswell said. Adding encouragement to Boswellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision is the success heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seen with the Miami gallery, which

all of your decor together. ď&#x192;&#x153; Hang an extra-long porch swing on your back porch to create an inviting, comfortable place to relax while reading a book or just take a nap. ď&#x192;&#x153; Hanging plants are great for decorating your front or back porch. For more ideas and expertise on how to turn your backyard or patio into an outdoor escape, talk to the experts at Ken Rashâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Outdoor Furniture (6631818) or Rick Penor at Picture Perfect Grounds (590-3051).

opened in November 2011. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The best-selling artists [at the Miami gallery] are the Arkansas artists,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been a huge hit in Miami.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very positive for us as a city and a state and for our artists in whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s developing,â&#x20AC;? he said of the expanding opportunities for local artists to reach a wider audience. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want everyone to be a success, whether I represent them or not,â&#x20AC;? he said.

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JULY 4, 2012


Hot as a $2 cookstove


ou can’t beat this kind of heat. You can only endure it, if you have to be out in it, which a lot of people do, and I’m not counting those who make the short warm passage from airconditioned house to air-conditioned car and then on to air-conditioned workplace. Counting them would be disrespectful of our ancestors, both slave and Snopes, who gave long old day after long old day to stoop labor in the shadeless dust of cottonfields that seemed to run on forever. So I’ve read. So I’ve been told. They were the ones, each stink-dogged by his own little pea-green cloud before the advent of anti-perspirant, who had the right to bitch about summer heat. And those who baled hay in it. Or tarred roads and roofs with hot pitch the livelong day. Or stoked sawmill furnaces. Or boiled wash in yard cauldrons, then hung it to dry in the hot sun, then fotched it on into the hot house to iron with a hot iron. And it would behoove those of us who haven’t been there not to whine as though it were otherwise. And not to gather up wimpy coping tips like they were something other than lame filler mots. Nonetheless, some typically weenie 21st Century thoughts on the matter. Holiday blatherskite is bound to add to

the heat index. Whiskey’s risky but don’t fear beer. Don’t fry your morning eggs on the sidewalk just BOB because you can. LANCASTER It’s not proving anything. And it’s not making anybody feel any better about the situation. Check in on the proximate shut-ins whose rigor might already have mortised as they debated the relative affordability of plugging in the fan for a few minutes or last-suppering on the only can of Alpo left in the pantry. Don’t deblubber in a sweat lodge or longsuffer blistering cups or pursue any other method of dehydration on the theory that it would be cooler turning yourself into jerky. This can be an appealing notion — as when you consider how comfortably mummification seems to have brought the pharaonic husks through the  burning sands for 5,000 years now — but it is wrong-headed. Those mummies weren’t merely unvexed; they were dead. You’d have to be not only dead but way dead to lie unperturbed with scarab beetles running parody gondola tours through your dried-up ear canals. Beware of spontaneous combustion of

your person. There are famous cases, first thought to involve arson, in which human beings, sitting in large stuffed chairs in sultry parlors in the hot summertime have literally melted into puddles of goo, which ignited, and were consumed, sometimes along with the chair and sometimes not, and sometimes the parlor, and sometimes the entire domicile. And no one knows the how or the why of it — the science of it. We know that people freeze because they get too cold; but we don’t know that they melt and burn because they get too hot. It might just be something they ate. Or a flare-up of old unresolved road rage. An infernal mystery. It’s not the best of times to smith horseshoes or clean the attic but it’s a swell time to spelunk if your cavern complex goes all the way down into the unvarying limestone cool. Also, if there’s a meat locker nearby, this isn’t a bad time for a leisurely extended family or VBS class visit. Take along a sleeve of saltines and a honed Neolithic hide-scraper and you can shave off some deli slices of tartare for your brood to snack on. Talk to the parson and the music minister about getting up a more weather-sensitive hymn selection program. For instance, see if they’d substitute “There Shall Be Showers of Blessing” for “Bringing in the Sheaves.” I know that “In the Cool Cool Cool of the Evening” isn’t a hymn, but they might be agreeable just this once to inter-

preting it as one. Whatever the question is, an igloo is not the answer. Nor is the answer to keep your hairpiece in the deep freeze between donnings. Don’t be strumming on the old banjo outdoors without sunscreen and a boater. In vitro fertilization can save on nooner over-exertion. You might persuade Dick Morris to suck your podological digits, and if he’ll blow on them afterward (being a blowhard is his strong suit), you might get a pleasant cooling sensation, but you should seek medical assistance if a consequence of the experience is a piggy-that-went-to-market tumescence that lasts more than four hours. Sharia law kicks in when the mercury goes above 105 degrees F. and you might as well get used to it. Raise a stink about it and they’ll chop off one of your hands. Or so the tea-party honcho was saying. Urinating on flora sapped and sere won’t help it any. Of course there’s a simple remedy for this kind of weather-related existential damage. That remedy isn’t 100 per cent effective against depressing developments but it usually provides some much appreciated uplift. You can’t hoke it up from a rainmaker’s smokepot, or pray it up. It’s not a remedy you can buy, no matter how fat your Superpac. You know what it is if you’ll think back a couple of years. More cowbell.




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DINING CAPSULES, CONT. point. 3 Rahling Circle. Beer, Wine, All CC. $$. 501-821-0055. LD daily. VESUVIO Arguably Little Rock’s best Italian restaurant is tucked inside the Best Western Governor’s Inn within a nondescript section of west Little Rock. 1501 Merrill Drive. Full bar, All CC. $$$. 501-225-0500. D daily. VILLA ITALIAN RESTAURANT Hearty, inexpensive, classic southern Italian dishes. 12111 W. Markham St. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-219-2244. LD Mon.-Sat.

SMOKEY JOE’S BAR-B-QUE A steady supplier of smoked meat for many a moon. 824 Military Road. Benton. All CC. 501-315-8333. LD Mon.-Sat. L Sun.


CASA MANANA Great guacamole and garlic beans, superlative chips and salsa (red and green) and a broad selection of fresh seafood. 6820 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-280-9888. BLD daily 18321 Cantrell Road. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-868-8822. BLD daily 400 President Clinton Ave. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. L Mon.-Sat. CASA MEXICANA Familiar Tex-Mex style items all shine, in ample portions, and the steakcentered dishes are uniformly excellent. 6929 JFK Blvd. NLR. Full bar, All CC. $$. 501-8357876. LD daily. COZYMEL’S A trendy Dallas-chain cantina with flaming cheese dip, cilantro pesto, mole, lamb and more. 10 Shackleford Drive. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-954-7100. LD daily. LA VAQUERA The tacos at this truck are more expensive than most, but they’re still cheap eats. 4731 Baseline Road. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-565-3108. LD Mon.-Sat. LAS DELICIAS Levy-area mercado with a taqueria. 3401 Pike Ave. NLR. Beer, All CC. $. 501-812-4876. LONCHERIA MEXICANA ALICIA The best taco truck in West Little Rock. 620 S. Bowman. No alcohol, No CC. $. 501-612-1883. L Mon.-Sat. MERCADO SAN JOSE One of Little Rock’s best Mexican bakeries and a restaurant in back serving tortas and tacos for lunch. 7411 Geyer Springs Road. Beer, CC. $. 501-565-4246. BLD daily. SUPER 7 Great daily buffet featuring a changing assortment of real Mexican cooking. Fresh tortillas pressed by hand and grilled, homemade salsas, beans as good as beans get. 1415 Barrow Road. Beer, No CC. $. 501-219-2373. LD and buffet daily.

EL ACAPULCO Tex-Mex served in hefty portions in a colorful atmosphere. 201 Highway 65 N. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-3278445. LD Mon.-Sun. EL HUASTECO Reasonably priced Mexican fare. 720 S. Salem Road. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-764-1665. LD Mon.-Sun. EL PARIAN Traditional Mexican and Tex-Mex favorites are offered by this Arkansas restaurant chain. 2585 Donaghey. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-513-1313. LD Mon.-Sun. FABY’S RESTAURANT Nuevo Mexican and Continental cuisine meet and shake hands at Faby’s. The hand-patted, housemade tortillas are worth the visit alone. 2915 Dave Ward. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-3295151. LD Mon.-Sun. LA HUERTA MEXICAN RESTAURANT Standard Mexican fare with an emphasis on family favorites. 1052 Harrison Street. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-762-0202. LD Mon.-Fri. LOS AMIGOS Authentic Mexican food where everything is as fresh and tasty as it is filling. At lunch, go for the $4.99 all-you-can-eat special. 2850 Prince St. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-329-7919. LD daily. MARKETPLACE GRILL Big servings of steak, seafood, chicken, pasta, pizza and other rich comfort-style foods. 600 Skyline Dr. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-336-0011. LD Daily. MIKE’S PLACE Delicious New Orleans-inspired steaks and seafood, plus wood-fired pizzas, served in a soaring, beautifully restored building in downtown Conway. 808 Front St. Conway. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 501-269-6493. LD daily. SLIM CHICKEN’S Chicken in all shapes and sizes with sauces. 550 Salem Road. Conway. All CC. $$-$$$. 501-450-7546. LD Mon.-Sun. SOMETHING BREWING CAFE Coffee, pastries, sandwiches and such dot the menu of this longtime Conway favorite. 1156 Front St. Conway. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-3275517. BLD Mon.-Sun.





BROWN’S COUNTRY STORE AND RESTAURANT The multitude of offerings on Brown’s 100-foot-long buffet range from better than adequate to pretty dadgum good. 18718 I-30 North. Benton. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 501-778-5033. BLD daily.

CARIBE RESTAURANT & CANTINA 309 W. Van Buren St. Eureka Springs. Full bar, All CC. 479-253-8102. DEVITO’S You absolutely cannot go wrong with the trout here -- whether it’s the decadent Trout Italiano, the smoky Chargrilled Trout or the cornmeal encrusted Trout Fingers. DeVito’s housemade marinara is also a winner. 5 Center

St. Eureka Springs. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 479-253-6807. D. ERMILIO’S Great mix-and-match pasta and sauces, all done with fresh ingredients and creativity. Warm service in a classy atmosphere. 26 White St. Eureka Springs. 479-253-8806. LD. GASKINS’ CABIN Solid American food highlighted by the fish specials and prime rib. Highway 23 North. Eureka Springs. 479-2535466. D. MYRTIE MAE’S Hearty country breakfasts, sandwiches and Arkansas-style dinner plates. May be the second best fried chicken in the state. 207 W. Van Buren. Eureka Springs. No alcohol, All CC. $$. 479-253-9768. BLD.


A TASTE OF THAI Terrific Thai food, from the appetizers to the entrees to the desserts. Only the brave should venture into the “rated 5” hot sauce realm. 31 E. Center St. Fayetteville. All CC. $$-$$$. 479-251-1800. LD Mon.-Sat. ARSAGA’S FAYETTEVILLE COFFEE ROASTERS A locally owned and operated chain of Fayetteville-area coffeeshops featuring hot coffee and chai, sweet pastries, sandwiches and live performances by area musicians. 1852 N. Crossover Road. Fayetteville. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. (479) 527-0690. BLD daily. DAMGOODE PIES A somewhat different Italian/pizza place, largely because of a spicy garlic white sauce that’s offered as an alternative to the traditional red sauce. Good bread, too. 37 East Center St. Fayetteville. Full bar, All CC. $$-$$$. 479-444-7437. LD daily. HERMAN’S RIBHOUSE Filets, not ribs, are the big seller at this classic, friendly, dumpy spot. The barbecue chicken is another winner. 2901 N. College Ave. Fayetteville. 479-442-9671.


ARLINGTON HOTEL Massive seafood buffet on Friday nights, breakfast buffet daily, served in the splendor of a grand old hotel. 239 Central Ave. Hot Springs. 501-623-7771. BLD. THE BLEU MONKEY GRILL High end, artfully prepared pastas, salads, sandwiches and appetizers are one of the hallmarks of this classy/casual newcomer to the Hot Springs dining scene. Stay for the interesting dessert menu. 4263 Central Ave. Hot Springs. Full bar, All CC. 501-520-4800. LD daily. CAJUN BOILERS Expertly prepared boiled shrimp, crawfish and such, served in a fun atmosphere. 2806 Albert Pike. Hot Springs. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-767-5695. D Tue.-Sat. HOT SPRINGS BRAU HAUS All the usual schnitzels are available, an inviting bar awaits as you enter, and the brick-walled place has a lot of history and coziness. 801 Central Ave. Hot Springs. 501-624-7866. LD.

JASON’S BURGERS AND MORE Locals love it for filets, fried shrimp, ribs, catfish, burgers and the like at good prices. 148 Amity Road. Hot Springs. 501-525-0919. LD. LA HACIENDA Authentic Mexican food; array of entrees. 3836 Central Ave. Hot Springs. 501-525-8203. LD. OHIO CLUB Great atmosphere and a standout burger highlight what claims to be the state’s oldest bar. 336 Central Ave. Hot Springs. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-627-0702. LD daily. ON THE BORDER Tasty Tex-Mex at reasonable prices; great margaritas too. 190 Pakis St. Hot Springs. Full bar, All CC. 501-520-5045. LD daily. ROD’S PIZZA CELLAR Terrific handmade pizzas highlighted by the Godfather, a whopper. Lunch specials are a steal, especially the buffet. 3350 Central Ave. Hot Springs. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-321-2313. LD Tue.-Sun. TACO MAMA Fresh, creative, homemade Mexican treats created with a Southwest flair. The menu is not huge, but there’s not a dud in the bunch. Truly a treasure for Hot Springs. 1209 Malvern Ave. Hot Springs. Full bar, All CC. $-$$. 501-624-6262. LD Mon.-Sat.


THE ORIGINAL FRIED PIE SHOP Fried pies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 1321 T.P. White Drive. Jacksonville. $-$$. 501-985-0508.


CHARLOTTE’S EATS AND SWEETS SHOPPE This country restaurant answers all kinds of cravings, from fruit salads to hamburgers to catfish to cake. But no matter the entree, it’s the cakes and pies that have made Charlotte’s famous, so save room. 290 Main St. Keo. $-$$. 501-842-2123. L.


THREE SAM’S This family-owned barbecue spot packs ’em in at lunch with huge portions of well-smoked barbecue, 7-ounce handpatted burgers, homemade signs and wide array of homemade desserts. 10508 Mann Road. Mabelvale. No alcohol, All CC. $-$$. 501-407-0345. L Mon.-Fri., D Thu.-Fri. (closes at 6:30 p.m.).


GRAMPA’S CATFISH HOUSE A longtime local favorite for fried fish, hush puppies and good sides. 100 Shadow Oaks. Sherwood. Beer, Wine. $$. 501-834-5400. D Tue.-Sun., L Sat.-Sun. PRESS 1’S PIZZA Massive pies, tasty appetizers and cold beer at this homey, oft-overlooked Sherwood pizza shack. 8403 Highway 107. Sherwood. Beer, Wine, All CC. $-$$. 501-8355673. D Mon.-Sat. July 4, 39 2012 39 JULY 4, 2012

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Bonnie Raitt With the release of her nineteenth album, Slipstream, Bonnie Raitt is starting anew. The album marks her return to studio recording after seven years; it’s coming out as the launch of her own label, Redwing Records; and it delivers some of the most surprising and rewarding music of her remarkable career, thanks in part to some experimental sessions with celebrated producer Joe Henry. PLUS! Samantha Fish, Kenny Smith Band with Bob Margoolin & Ann Roabson, Reba Russell Band, The Cate Brothers, Randall Bramblett Band, Roy Rogers, James Cotton Band and more!

R eserv e You r Seat Today!

The Blues B us leaves at 10 a.m. October 6 th from the pa rk in g garage at 2nd and Main in dow ntown Little Rock and re turns after th e concert same day.

Arkansas Times  

Arkansas Times