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NEWS + POLITICS + ENTERTAINMENT + FOOD / JULY 28, 2016 / ARKTIMES.COM
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CIRCUS EXERCISE! BREAD PORN! Readers’ pick for Worst Arkansan, birthday-cake-eating US Sen. Tom Cotton
JULY 28, 2016
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Falling apart Here’s an idea. Instead of our national news reporters (we’ll call them that as a kindness) talking about how our political system has chosen a sociopathic buffoon to represent one of our two political parties as a nominee for POTUS, let’s talk about the well-qualiﬁed candidate from the other party having a problem with “trust” and “likability.” And, while we are ginning up nonexistent controversy, what about attacking the head of the Democratic National Committee for supporting a Democrat rather than a self-described Socialist and independent for the executive ofﬁce? Remember what Mama told us: “If there is nothing negative we can ﬁnd to say, what’s the point of saying anything at all?” That is what she said, right? Oh wait, maybe it was: “We get paid for doing this?” Meanwhile, we’ll drool on our guns waiting for any opportunity to prove how useful they are at doing violence to stop violence or maybe just to stop anything we don’t happen to like at the moment and we’ll keep all of those we missed or just ran out of ammunition for in our thoughts and prayers. And while we’re talking about God’s grace, don’t you just hate it when you don’t get what you want
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all the time? Everybody else gets theirs all the time and I don’t ever get what I want. Somebody should pay for that. President Obama ruined my whole weekend with that Trans-Paciﬁc Partnership and didn’t even say he was sorry. They just think they’re so entitled to everything just because ... well, you know. It’s why our country is just falling apart and nothing works. As long as we’re slithering around at the bottom of the puddle, you know our justice system is broken, don’t you? I heard the other day an unarmed man was shot right outside a Walmart by a policeman. They didn’t close the store or ﬁre him or run his family out of town or anything so you know that means our whole justice system is just no good and won’t never be. We need to change everything because it’s not working and everybody says so on Instagram and Facebook and just everywhere. That just proves it. David Steadman Damascus
From the web: In response to Max Brantley’s July 21 column, “1957 all over again”: But there is one huge difference between 1957 and current school assign-
ment policies. In today’s environment, after witnessing 50 years of failed liberal desegregation policies, there is broad support among all races for greater school choice, including vouchers for students to attend private schools. Only the liberals in the Democratic Party, through the use of tyrannical judges, are still insisting on the fantasy benefits of an education monopoly provided by the government to force students into public education. Even advanced placement is the equivalent of segregation within the school district as the overwhelming majority of those students are white or Asian. Thomas Pope
really think this is necessary to get support from the Arkansas electorate or is this really her persona? Don’t know her personally. She does not speak for all of us. JCP
In response to the Arkansas Blog post, “RNC wraps up: Donald Trump yells at America”: I can’t even say the word “Trump” in my house, but I will say he’s doing a better job of driving the Republican Party into the ground than any other person in history. Paying Top Dollar for Legislators
In response to the Arkansas Blog post, “Arkansas Republicans are all aboard the Trump train”:
It makes me sad to see the Arkansas attorney general on national TV sounding like an uneducated person. Does she
The shouting is a carryover from Trump’s WWE actor days. Shouting is an essential element in the performance. Another WWE essential component took place in the convention narrative/ script: Having “bad wrestler/guy” Ted Cruz show up and say crap so that he can be booed and the “good wrestler/ guy” show up to be cheered on. imjustsaying
When the Kool-Aid drinkers start making self-referential jokes about drinking the Orange Kool-Aid, you may be sure that the nutter express has left Drumpf Station & is headed for crazy-town. I try to believe that they (Rapert excepted) are just posturing for our homegrown foamer voters, but damn. Do these people even know what history is? tsallernang
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JULY 28, 2016
EYE ON ARKANSAS
WEEK THAT WAS
Quote of the Week: “I suspect, after this week, when Dona ld Trump is the nominee and he begins to receive classified briefings … he may have a different perspective on Vladimir Putin and what Russia is doing to America’s interests and allies in Europe and the Middle East and Asia.” — U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, trying to explain away the Republican nominee’s foreign policy heresies, including his apparent admiration for Putin and his disdain for NATO. Though Cotton is known for his hawkishness, the Arkansas senator is still embracing Trump. Well, sort of — in his speech to the Republican National Convention, Cotton avoided using the candidate’s full name and only mentioned “a Trump-Pence administration” once.
Two other Arkansans for Trump also addressed the RNC in Cleveland last week. Governor Hutchinson, who once told Arkansas voters they must “stop the Donald Trump show,” is now fully on board the Trump train. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge used her moment in the spotlight to pan Hillary Clinton’s accent; she then slathered on an extra helping of drawl to declare, “Y’all, this is what a real Arkansas woman sounds like.” Former Gov. Mike Huckabee was originally scheduled to speak as well, but Fox News said he couldn’t do so while also being a paid commentator for the network. Huckabee opted for the cash. The big drama at the RNC was Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s refusal to endorse Trump, and the ongoing divides in the GOP played out in some small parochial ways, too. Hottempered state Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Bigelow), a Trump convert, had a hostile encounter on the convention floor with some state legislators from Colorado. (According to one, Rapert was trying to “bully” a female proCruz delegate.) This week, the Dems face their own fissures as the DNC gets under way in Philadelphia. But Bernie Sanders is no Cruz: On Monday night, the Vermont senator told his diehard supporters “Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States.” 6
JULY 28, 2016
BAR THE DOOR: This katydid nymph isn’t shown full size in this photograph from the Arkansas Times’ Eye On Arkansas Flickr page, thank goodness.
Ted Suhl convicted of bribery After a fiveday trial, a jury convicted former mental health care provider Ted Suhl on four of six counts in a federal bribery prosecution mounted by the U.S. Justice Department. Suhl, whose businesses have received hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid reimbursements to treat troubled youth around Arkansas, was accused of bribing a top official at the Department of Human Services, the state agency responsible for overseeing Medicaid and regulating mental health providers. Former DHS Deputy Director Steven Jones has already pleaded guilty to accepting cash from Suhl through a middleman. Suhl still maintains the money was intended to be a charitable contribution to a West Memphis church, but the jury believed the prosecution’s argument that the church was simply a convenient means of laun-
dering payments from Suhl to Jones. Suhl’s legal team has vowed to seek a new trial.
Governor OK to stump, panel says The Arkansas Ethics Commission dismissed a complaint brought against Governor Hutchinson for campaigning for a legislative candidate during normal office hours. Little Rock attorney Matt Campbell (the brains behind the Blue Hog Report blog) said Hutchinson’s campaign assists violated state law, even if other elected officials of both parties have done the same in the past. After a brief investigation, the Ethics Commission rejected that argument, saying the governor effectively took leave when he attended the campaign events. Campbell is appealing the decision in Pulaski County Circuit Court.
Disenfranchised? Not our problem. Oops. An unknown number of Arkansas voters have been mistakenly flagged for removal from the registra-
A spokesperson told the Arkansas Times that it’s the job of the county clerks to vet data sent from the state. In other words, call and make sure you’re registered before Nov. 8. tion rolls, the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office admitted, including some 4,000 people who have never been convicted of a felony but were wrongly identified as felons by the Arkansas Crime Information Center. The office passed on the flawed data to county clerks, some of whom may have canceled those voters’ registrations. If that wasn’t bad enough, though, the state office now wants to wash its hands of the matter: A spokesperson told the Arkansas Times that it’s the job of the county clerks to vet data sent from the state. In other words, call and make sure you’re registered before Nov. 8.
Still who she was
had the good fortune to see Michelle Obama fairly early in her public life. On New Year’s Eve 2007, while in Iowa blogging for this publication in the lead-up to the 2008 caucuses, I trekked out to the little college town of Grinnell. Michelle Obama had an event at a retirement center a few blocks from the Grinnell College campus. Michelle had stayed home with their young girls for most of the campaign to that point, but she came to Iowa to help close the deal for her husband. About 150 folks — mostly residents of the center, along with random Grinnell citizens and a few of us curious writers (I remember Maureen Dowd being there) — filled the community room. Thanks to C-SPAN, there’s actually a clip of it. Aside from her height (even in flats she towered above the audience), several things stood out about Michelle Obama that day. We saw a speaker who was decidedly more restrained than her husband, more a conversationalist than a barn-burning stump speaker. Prob-
ably driven by her understandable nervousness as someone new to the national limelight, she smiled JAY very little. BARTH She did, however, draw more laughs than her husband (who has come to use his snarky humor well, but veered away from it at that stage of his career). Michelle’s humor then exhibited a real edge, with Barack as the regular butt of her jokes. While Barack Obama kept his references to race implicit at the time, Michelle Obama was much more explicit. In the New Year’s Eve talk, she attempted to sell her husband’s racial background as a plus — that he “crosse[d] lines of race,” that he brought with him the communitarian values of the African-American community where he organized, that his success would be emblematic of change, and that his election would send a message to the world that Amer-
mong the thousand bizarre aspects of the presidential campaign has been the Donald TrumpVladimir Putin axis. But who figured that it would become a big story line? It started as a novelty, the Kremlin boss and the rising Republican star flattering each other. In 2013, as he was contemplating a run for the presidency, Trump took his Miss Universe Pageant to Moscow. He had expressed his admiration for the Russian president and he tweeted: “Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow — if so, will he become my new best friend?” Putin was busy that week, but when the presidential campaign got earnest, they connected. In a Fox-sponsored debate, Trump said he could negotiate with Putin because he got to know the Russian very well when they were “stablemates” for a “60 Minutes” TV show. “We did very well that night,” he said. When someone pointed out later that Putin was taped in Moscow and Trump at a different time in his New York penthouse and that they never met, Trump said maybe so. At a year-end session with report-
ers in 2015, Putin called Trump “a really brilliant and talented person,” adding “he’s the absolute leader in ERNEST the presidential DUMAS race.” Trump had said he wanted a new strong relationship with Russia. “Of course, we welcome that,” Putin said. Russia was suffering through a recession, caused partly by Obama-led sanctions after Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Trump responded on the “Morning Joe” show: “When people call you brilliant, it’s always good, especially when the person heads up Russia.” The host noted that Russian journalists who had been critical of Putin were killed. Trump replied, “He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader, you know, unlike what we have in this country.” Then there is the similarity of the Trump and Putin political strategies: national victimhood. America’s problems, as Trump summarized them in his acceptance speech, arose from national leaders who let other nations push them
ica has changed. Finally, the theme of her talk was different from her husband’s constant mantra of “hope.” Instead, Michelle Obama emphasized the necessity of a rebirth of empathy in America. “Our souls are broken,” she said, as a result of a culture in which our leaders had told us simply to worry about ourselves. Her speech to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday was undoubtedly the best ever delivered in such a setting by a political spouse. Michelle Obama simultaneously showed how much has changed in those eight-plus years, and how little has. She is now at total ease on a national stage — decidedly more so than in her first convention speech in 2008 (now known as the “Melania speech”) in which she showed nerves — with a smile that fills a convention hall. But the core of what she talks about and how she discusses it has remained constant. While Barack Obama, beginning with the March 2008 speech about Rev. Jeremiah Wright, eventually came to talk more explicitly about race than he did in those early days, Michelle Obama still discusses the topic in a way that feels less analyti-
cal and more real than the president’s approach. There was an emotion in her talking about her “daughters, two beautiful and intelligent black young women, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn” that would never be heard in the words of her more chill husband. Michelle Obama’s emphasis on empathy, and leaders’ responsibility for fostering empathy, was at the core of her endorsement of Hillary Clinton. “I want a president who will teach our children that everyone in this country matters, a president who truly believes in the vision that our founders put forth all those years ago: That we are all created equal, each a beloved part of the great American story. And when crisis hits, we don’t turn against each other — no, we listen to each other. We lean on each other. Because we are always stronger together.” At the end of the day, the fact that so little has changed in what she obviously cares most about since she entered the national stage is at the heart of Michelle Obama’s authenticity. And that authenticity is what made her such a potent surrogate for Hillary Clinton Monday evening.
around in international diplomacy and trade negotiations and who allowed antagonistic groups such as immigrants, Muslims, terrorists and angry blacks have their way at home. Putin runs a stagnant economy and a country that now has two friends in the world, the leaders of North Korea and Syria. For 14 years, he has told Russia all its problems are owing to U.S. leaders who interfere in his country’s affairs. When Putin won re-election in 2011 in an election marred by massive fraud and it was followed by huge street protests, Putin blamed Hillary Clinton. He said the secretary of state signaled the protests to begin. When Clinton compared Russia’s intervention in Ukraine in 2014 to Hitler’s moves in the 1930s, Putin burned publicly. By the GOP convention week, the Putin issue was starting to boil. In a recorded interview with The New York Times, Trump said that he might not defend the Baltic countries if Russia invaded (it has organized threatening military exercises nearby), even though the treaty obligates us to defend them. Meantime, some of the media focused on the past of Paul Manafort, Trump’s top adviser and national chairman. A lobbyist and political consultant for Republican presidential candidates from Ronald Reagan forward, Manafort has had heavy
financial and political dealings with business and political leaders in Russia and Ukraine. Manafort was the hired strategist for the Russian president of Ukraine, who was overthrown and fled to Russia in the 2014 uprising. Putin retaliated for the overthrow of Manafort’s man by seizing Crimea. Some of Manafort’s Russian business dealings were detailed in 2011 in a lawsuit filed by the chief rival of the soon-to-be-ousted Ukrainian president. Another top Trump adviser, Carter Page, was a consultant for Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned energy giant. He gave a college graduation speech early this month in Moscow urging a close Russia-USA alliance. Then, days before the Democratic convention opened, Wikileaks dumped thousands of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee’s server, which showed the party had actively thwarted the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. That was already obvious, but it was a massive embarrassment to the party and its nominee. Who would hack into the DNC computer? Maybe the same people who hacked into the State Department’s computers in 2010? Cybersecurity experts tracked the hacking to the same Russians. Putin’s paranoia aside, can you really blame him for a bit of quid pro quo, if it might help land a new ally? He needs one. arktimes.com
JULY 28, 2016
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Hillary hit jobs
t’s always been my conviction that if Hillary Clinton could be appointed president, she’d do a bang-up job. Getting elected, however, might prove more difficult. Michelle Goldberg does an excellent job defining the problem in a Slate article about why so many people say they hate her. “There’s a reason actors do screen tests,” Goldberg writes. “Not everyone’s charm translates to film and video. For as long as Hillary Clinton has been in public life, people who’ve met in her person have marveled at how much more likable she is in the flesh than she is on television.” As a friendly acquaintance since 1980, I’d second that. My wife, who worked with her on the board of Arkansas Children’s Hospital, will hear nothing against her. We recently read a Facebook posting from a friend in Eureka Springs. Neither a bigshot nor a political activist, Crescent was profoundly touched that after her husband died in a bicycle crash, one of her first callers was New York’s newly elected senator. Hillary had left Arkansas for good, but not its people. But no, her personal warmth doesn’t always come across on TV. She’s anything but a natural actress. However, like most pundits, Goldberg glosses over the issue that’s plagued Hillary since Bill Clinton’s first term: the unrelenting hostility of Washington’s courtier press. People say they don’t trust the media, and then they credit the imaginary scandals this cohort has peddled for 25 years. The exact causes of Clinton-hatred among the press clique remain obscure. Was it Bill Clinton’s humble Arkansas origins? Humbling the Bush family? Failing to pay homage to society hostess Sally Quinn? Nobody knows. Todd S. Purdum has recently offered a classic in the genre: a compulsively disingenuous Politico piece entitled “Why Can’t Hillary Stop Fudging the Truth?” It begins by describing a “brief, but revelatory” exchange between Clinton and Charlie Rose. Asked about her damn emails, Hillary tried to broaden Rose’s focus. “Well, I would hope that you like many others would also look at what he said when he testified before Congress,” she said, “because when he did, he clarified much of what he had said in his press conference.” If you’re like most Americans, you don’t know that when Comey testified, he was forced to walk back his assertion that the FBI found three (out of 30,000) doc-
uments marked “classified” among her emails. Were they properly marked? Rep. Matt CartGENE wright (D-Pa.) LYONS asked. “No,” Comey answered. So wouldn’t the absence of such markings “tell her immediately that those three documents were not classified?” “That would be a reasonable inference,” Comey said. In other words, contrary to the FBI director’s grandstanding press conference and a million Republicans chanting, “Hillary lied,” there were zero documents marked classified on her server. Not one. So was Comey dissembling during his press conference? Or had he made an honest error? Pundits like Purdum know better than to ask. He never acknowledged Comey’s walk-back. No, the real issue was Hillary’s “sloppiness,” and her forgetting Comey used that exact word. “The pattern is unmistakable,” Purdum scolded “from the Whitewater inquiry (when she resisted disclosing documents about a failed Arkansas land deal) … to the Rose Law Firm billing records (which infamously and mysteriously turned up in the White House residence after she’d said they were missing) to the Monica Lewinsky affair and the State Department emails themselves.” A more misleading paragraph would be hard to imagine. In fact, the Clintons voluntarily delivered Whitewater documents to the independent counsel, but not to New York Times reporters whose inept, downright deceptive reporting created the bogus “scandal.” If there had to be an investigation, they wanted a real one. Also no, the famous billing records didn’t turn up in the White House residence, “mysteriously” or otherwise. An aide found them in a box under her desk in the Old Executive Office Building, where she’d misplaced them. (They were Xerox copies, incidentally. Hence no motive for hiding them existed.) Once found, of course, they vindicated Hillary’s sworn testimony. See Joe Conason’s and my book “The Hunting of the President” for details. As to the “Monica Lewinsky affair,” is there anybody in America that doesn’t know Bill Clinton played slap and tickle with a young thing at the office and lied about it? How is that his wife’s fault?
rkansas’s landlord tenant laws work well for honest landlords, too well for slumlords, and they don’t work at all for honest tenants. Disputes between landlords and tenants are inevitable, and Arkansas needs laws that capture the worst players on both sides without abandoning good tenants or overburdening good landlords. The goal should be fixing the stark lack of legal balance that heavily favors landlords. Arkansas is the only state where not paying rent on time can land you in jail, and the only state where landlords are not required to uphold basic living standards of their properties. There is little sympathy from Arkansas courts for a well-meaning tenant who is late on paying rent. Even reasonable situations like an honest misunderstanding with a landlord or a serious medical emergency are not considered in a criminal conviction. There is no distinction made between tenants acting in good faith and tenants who are avoiding payments in attempts to take advantage of landlords and live rent-free. If you are on the property and don’t pay on time, you are subject to criminal eviction that can come with a $1,000 fine or up to 90 days in jail. In other states, failure to pay rent is treated as a breach of contract and landlords have to go to civil court and pay for their own legal fees. In Arkansas, landlords can evict tenants at little cost because they are essentially being represented by the state. Prosecutors and city attorneys, and ultimately Arkansas taxpayers, end up footing the bill for evicting tenants. There are generally no other circumstances in Arkansas where someone can use the criminal justice system to go after another person for unpaid debts. Arkansas Legal Aid Services works on behalf of some tenants, but by no means are able to represent all cases. If they can’t get help from Legal Aid, the thousands of low-income Arkansans who face criminal evictions every year almost never have legal representation. Some circumstances even require tenants in Arkansas who want to plead not guilty to pay whatever amount the landlord claims they owe before being granted a day in court. That practice all but guarantees that a tenant with a genuine reason for not being able to pay is prevented from pleading not guilty. Those practices have come under scrutiny for violating constitutional rights to trial. Higher income socioeconomic groups typically play by an entirely different set of rules. People with well-paying jobs are
more likely to own their homes under a mortgage agreement with a bank. Being a few days late on a monthly ELEANOR mortgage payment WHEELER is approached with considerably greater leniency than being late on rent, and there is generally no possibility of criminal conviction or jail time for defaulting on a mortgage. Groups of realtors and landlords in Arkansas are, somewhat understandably, resistant to change in these laws. First, most of them are good people. The vast majority of well-intentioned landlords are able to work under Arkansas law to resolve disputes with tenants in a reasonable manner. Also, a bad tenant can be expensive. They don’t want to give up advantages that help them deal with tenants who are truly destructive and unreasonable. If a tenant is wrongly withholding rent or destroying property, a criminal eviction is a much cheaper and faster way of getting rid of a bad apple. However, there is room for improvement in our laws that will continue to protect good landlords from abusive tenants and also improve protection of good tenants from slumlords. A good first step would be implementing a “warranty of habitability.” Arkansas, again, is the only state that does not have such a law. Definitions vary by state, but warranties of habitability generally allow tenants to demand things like doors that lock, functional plumbing and compliance with local codes. No reason for withholding rent is currently justifiable under Arkansas law. Tenants cannot withhold rent because a roof is caving in, because sewage is backed up in the yard, because of a rat infestation or any other reason. Enforcing a warranty of habitability would give many low-income residents, who are most likely to live in dangerously unmaintained rental homes, a more reasonable chance at defending themselves against slumlords. Falling behind on expenses is a fact of life for many working poor families. Criminalization of minor bad behavior like falling behind on rent frequently targets lower-income citizens. Without more balanced laws, the most financially vulnerable families in Arkansas can end up being trapped in a cycle of fees and evictions. Eleanor Wheeler is a senior policy analyst for Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.
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PEARLS ABOUT SWINE
Celebrate American Folk Art on the Arkansas Times Art Bus Saturday, August 20 To Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
AMERICAN FOLK ART. FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT’S BACHMAN-WILSON HOUSE. BLACK UNITY. We’ll take the opportunity to see the Bentonville museum’s temporary exhibition of more than 115 objects from the American Folk Art Museum in New York: post-Revolutionary War quilts, paintings, samplers, weathervanes. We’ll arrange tours of the Frank Lloyd Wright’s BachmanWilson House, which was moved to the museum grounds from New Jersey. We’ll also see the temporary exhibition “Black Unity,” which features photography, painting, tapestry and sculpture, including woodwork by the great African-American Artist Elizabeth Catlett.
ARKANSAS TIMES ART BUS
Price includes: Round-trip Tour Bus Transportation. Pastries with coffee from Boulevard Bread. and box lunches en route to Crystal Bridges. Dinner and admission to exhibit included. Drinks will be served en route to Crystal Bridges.
MEET UP SPOT IS 2ND AND MAIN, DOWNTOWN LITTLE ROCK RESERVE YOUR SEAT BY CALLING 501.375.2985 OR EMAILING KELLY LYLES AT KELLYLYLES@ARKTIMES.COM
Round-trip bus transportation provided by Arrow Coachlines. Admission into Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is free. Like our Bus Trips page for details, updates and other perks! facebook.com/arktimesbustrips 10
JULY 28, 2016
Hogs not thin
on’t let the Arkansas Razorbacks’ graduated offensive skill players dampen your enthusiasm for 2016. The cupboard is hardly bare. This may be the strongest returning receiving corps that the Razorbacks have fielded in the post-Petrino days. Keon Hatcher and Cody Hollister both should be ready to go after foot injuries took them out of the Toledo game and left at least Hatcher sidelined the rest of the year. Drew Morgan capitalized on their absences to become the SEC’s most unheralded wideout last fall, Dominique Reed was lethal once he got untracked with a big touchdown catch against Tennessee, and the exciting Jared Cornelius arguably made the biggest impact on the offense last fall once he came back from a gruesome arm injury against Texas Tech. Henry’s departure only means that Jeremy Sprinkle will finally get a chance to be the preferred option at tight end. On the offensive line, for all that Tretola and regrettably early entry Denver Kirkland meant, the nucleus of Dan Skipper — who quietly was a stalwart last year after being dogged by bad penalties his first two seasons — and Frank Ragnow remains entrenched. And the running game behind them will still be solid in Collins’ absence, because Kody Walker has trimmed down, Rawleigh Williams has recuperated, and Devwah Whaley provides that top-tier talent that will push those returnees. This embarrassment of riches means that Austin Allen’s ascendancy into the role his brother occupied the past three years will either be a much less daunting obstacle than anything Brandon faced, or he’ll falter inexcusably and let one of the signal-callers behind him take the reins. All signs point to the younger Allen being a potential star: It’s oft-forgotten in the moments of panic, but he left Fayetteville High School more universally regarded for his arm strength and on-field moxie. His elder brother’s calmness finally became a precious asset last year when times toughened; this year, with expectations being hard to pinpoint given the combination of a favorable home schedule and these offensive personnel losses, Austin’s bravado may pay dividends. He’s gotten the benefit of some reasonably productive game reps the last two years as well. Where you should be more reassured is watching the defense in those two signature games. Yes, the Hogs yielded often to the Rebels, but there’s a team
that’s always going to score with that pacing and production. Instead, notice how that game paved the BEAU way for Deatrich WILCOX Wise Jr. to assert himself over the final half of the season and then mature into the team’s top defensive lineman for 2016. See how Dre Greenlaw, though raw and untested, put himself in the midst of every play of consequence with his ball-hawking ability and lateral speed. And pay close attention to guys like Tevin Beanum, Bijhon Jackson, Jared Collins and Brooks Ellis: Even when overmatched at times, the effort was always there, and the productivity only promises to increase. In fact, this fall, Robb Smith has something closer to what he had two years ago when he debuted quite well, only to fall out of favor slightly as teams like Texas Tech and Auburn pushed the Hogs around at times as the season came into bloom. There’s leadership up front in the same way that Trey Flowers contributed in 2014, as well as some steadiness to the back end with Ellis trying to rebound from an off year and Greenlaw and a cadre of well-touted freshmen hoping to stabilize the longstanding weakness at linebacker. The secondary doesn’t overwhelm at first glance, but the experience gained by Santos Ramirez, Kevin Richardson, and D.J. Dean last fall won’t be for naught. All got exposed from time to time in 2015, but learned from it, as evidenced by Richardson shaking off some bad plays against Mississippi State to tally a critical interception in that game, and Dean snaring a pick in the LSU end zone after he perfectly played a fourth-quarter back-shoulder throw. The emphasis this fall for Bret Bielema and the staff is clearly on starting strong, because the schedule necessitates it. Louisiana Tech and TCU are as stiff a 1-2 opening tandem as the Hogs have drawn in a while, and therefore, the Razorbacks cannot keep their left feet gingerly near the brakes once the season starts. We’ll get into the entire schedule in subsequent weeks with our month-long season preview throughout August, but suffice to say, the recruiting improvements have been substantive enough to warrant the stepped-up scheduling and the noexcuses mentality that the staff seems to embody.
THE OBSERVER NOTES ON THE PASSING SCENE
he Observer is tied up this week, so he’s asked The Baby Observer to fill in for him. The moniker reflects a youngster among professionals, each with endless experience. That feeling was turned on its head when The Baby Observer recently attended a past elementary school principal’s retirement party, which probably felt like a Richard Linklater film to many of the teachers in attendance. Looking around, they asked themselves, Who the hell are these gangly guys and gals with voices as deep as mine? What happened? Life, obviously. For fellow classmates, the thinking was the opposite: Jeez, these teachers don’t look any different. One teacher, who retired about 15 years ago, looked like she hadn’t aged a bit since she quit presiding over naptime and teaching kids, yours truly included, how to pronounce “pterodactyl.” Was that because The Baby Observer could barely reach the kitchen counter upon last seeing her, or had Father Time been kind enough to keep her looking sprightful? Probably a bit of both, but it was eerie to see someone so unmarred by 15 years, while the gears of puberty turned her former students into giants. Luckily, some teachers weren’t as taken aback by the grown kids in the room. An old aide, who watched over us in the cafeteria, the playground, the hallways, recognized each face she saw, and lamented how much times have changed. “These kids ain’t like y’all! Nu-uh! They’re baaaaad! Y’all used to talk and stuff, but these kids today are cursin’ up a storm! I just treat ’em like dogs. I tell them to get gone and not even speak to me if they’re gonna have an attitude.” We all laughed, but her words had the same sentiment us kids feel as adulthood begins weighing on our shoulders, a yearning for a past that probably looks prettier in the rearview mirror. The retirement party was the closest thing to a class reunion The Baby Observer has attended yet. While the thought of a class reunion, one filled with small talk and unspoken judgments, hovers unforeseen in the future as surely as the Reaper, perhaps it won’t be as surreal as we think. After running into
an old classmate at the retirement party, we swapped stories and caught up on where life had taken us. With a smile, The Baby Observer thought back to his classmate’s third-grade self, constantly adorned in all things “Family Guy.” Whether it was his Peter Griffin shirts, his life-size Stewie doll, or his spot-on renditions of the TV show’s theme song, the kid loved “Family Guy” with fervor that most of us saved for SpongeBob or Scooby-Doo. As we reminisced on days past, The Baby Observer noticed Stewie Griffin’s looking defiantly onward from the 19-year-old’s hot-red shirt. At least some things never change. SPEAKING OF CHANGES, The Regular Observer got out to a funeral in South Arkansas over the weekend, the burial of Spouse’s stepfather, Winfred “Wimp” Ward, who died at 81 years old on July 20 down in Strong. Funerals are sad affairs, of course, made even more jarring by seeing people you haven’t laid eyes on in years. The Observer will, we guess, never quite get over the shock of realizing that someone we haven’t been around in a while no longer looks the way they did when last we saw them: young men and women gone gray, once-kids with kids of their own in tow, babies stretched to fullgrown people. Somehow, we always expect everyone to stay the same while out of our sight, the way the preacher says it’ll be once we all get Up Yonder. That little shock of change always makes The Observer think it must be the same for them, seeing Yours Truly, once a strapping young fella, but now the spitting image of an aged Victorian whaling ship captain, with eyes that prove, as Kristofferson once sang, we’ve gone aloft and furled the mainsail in a blow. Still, it was good to see all the kin we married into, to eat the cooking of good Christian ladies in a paneled fellowship hall way down near Lou’zana, to see the great secondhand sweep of time in the smiling faces of those who we have cared for and who have cared for us as we all laughed and cried and remembered someone gone on to glory.
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BEST LIQUOR STORE
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JULY 28, 2016
ABANDONED: State Sen. Stephanie Flowers (D-Pine Bluff) at the old Altheimer school.
School’s out forever When the last school building in Altheimer closed in 2013, resources and student records were left to rot — despite the state Education Department being in control. BY BENJAMIN HARDY
t the edge of Altheimer (Jefferson County, pop. 923) stands a shuttered school complex, its students long since transferred to campuses in nearby Pine Bluff. The last building to close its doors was Altheimer-Martin Elementary School, in spring 2013. By that point, the school had been consolidated into the Dollarway School District in Pine Bluff, and the Dollarway superintendent at the time determined it was financially unfeasible to keep the Altheimer school open, given its dwindling enrollment. But although the building has sat vacant for three years, the door to this public property was unlocked and unsecured when a reporter visited on a recent afternoon. Some classrooms still seem eerily
JULY 28, 2016
intact: Desks and chairs are arrayed in small groups, cheerful wall displays are festooned with bubble letters, textbooks and other materials are stacked on shelves. In one room, three SMART boards — interactive electronic displays that cost thousands of dollars apiece when purchased new — sit in a corner. Other rooms are in worse shape, with broken windows, vandalized walls and air thick with mold. In the old library, hundreds of ruined, mildewed books carpet the floor; the glass in a massive trophy case near the gym is smashed to pieces, but dozens of awards from decades past still stand inside. Thieves have plundered the HVAC systems and torn copper from the walls. Across the street, a football field and track are overgrown
with weeds. The facility, which was originally built to be a high school, encompasses some 30,000 square feet when the attached gymnasium is included. Constructed in 1987, it was abandoned just 24 years later. The average lifespan for a school building is 50 years. And state facilities records show that major improvements were made to the building only years before it was allowed to fall into disrepair. In 2008, state facilities records show, taxpayers paid $611,000 for (among other things) a new roof, flooring repairs and upgrades to the very HVAC system that has since been ransacked. Of that amount, $120,000 came from the state; the rest would have come from local sources. The Altheimer property clearly has lost much of its value due to neglect and theft, but it may be impossible to know just how many resources have been lost over the past three years. If an inventory was taken of the building’s contents when it was closed down, it’s no longer known to state or local officials. That’s despite the fact that at the time of the closure, the Dollarway School District was controlled by the Arkansas Department of Education. In June 2012, the state Board of Education directed the Education
Department to take over the Dollarway district for its failure to meet accreditation standards. In the years since, the district’s problems have only continued. Three superintendents have come and gone, and, in December, former superintendent Patsy Hughey was charged with fraudulently using a school district credit card during her tenure. Though the state returned Dollarway to the control of a locally elected school board in 2014, it was taken over again by the state in 2015 for low student achievement — the district had been in “academic distress” for five straight years, meaning fewer than half of students met a benchmark on standardized tests. In April, the state Board of Education said the district was also in “fiscal distress,” after an audit uncovered a long list of financial irregularities. Somewhere in the shuffle, the Altheimer school building seems to have been thoroughly forgotten. State Sen. Stephanie Flowers (D-Pine Bluff) is pushing local and state education officials to take action on the Altheimer school building. Flowers said she first became aware of the situation when approached by the town’s mayor, Zola Hudson. In May, Flowers and state Education Commissioner Johnny Key toured the facility. “It was unreal. It was like a movie,”
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Flowers said. “It looked like someone pulled a fire alarm and everyone left the building and nobody ever went back in.” In addition to brand-new books and other resources (Flowers said she found a box of seemingly unused microscopes in the science lab) the senator and the commissioner found boxes of old student records. Flowers pointed to a state law that requires a school district to “obtain and retain all student and historical records and documents” after a consolidation has occurred. Student transcripts, graduation records and sports trophies are among the specific items required under the statute. Flowers, who is an attorney, said the disregard for the records and awards is not just an affront to the law, but also to those who graduated from the old high school. “To see the trophies strewn about everywhere — that was really hurtful,” she said. Commissioner Key said he was similarly appalled by the condition of the building. Key was appointed to head the Education Department in July 2015, so he was not yet commissioner when the Dollarway district was first taken over by the state in 2012 nor when the Altheimer school was closed in 2013. “It’s heartbreaking, and it’s frus-
trating,” Key said, confirming that he and Flowers found boxes of textbooks, equipment and “student records [going] back to the mid-1960s that were unsecured and left open for anyone to find” on their May visit. Key said that Education Department staff had not been aware of the building’s plight: “I don’t know if anyone was previously, but no one here right now was aware of that situation.” The department is now considering a change to its standard operating procedures regarding facilities in districts under state takeover, he said. The current Dollarway superintendent, Barbara Warren, was appointed to lead the troubled district by the state board after the most recent state takeover last December. (She was formerly the director of the Arkansas River Education Service Cooperative.) Although she toured the building in December soon after meeting with Mayor Hudson, Warren said she didn’t realize at that time the old school contained all that it did. Since being told about the derelict student records, Warren said, “We’ve gotten [them] and brought them to a place that’s safe in the district.” (When this reporter visited the facility, no student records were immediately visible, although old paperwork was strewn about rooms that appeared to be administrative offices.) Warren said taking stock of the books, furniture and other resources remaining in the building is a work in progress. “For sure, anything that is useable we want to be good stewards and get whatever in the hands of teachers and children, to be used,” she said. Warren said she student-taught in the building when it was a high school, adding, “I’m affiliated with Altheimer on a personal level. … My dad pastored there for 20-plus years. That community means a lot to me.” Commissioner Key said Warren “has been absolutely fabulous” in addressing Dollarway’s myriad difficulties. “In a situation like Dollarway, we went in and there were so many problems that needed to be addressed,” he said. “It’s like medical triage. What do we do first? The fiscal concerns were very real, the academic concerns were very real — those were kind of the top-
tier things. There were teacher contract issues … [and] salary schedules had not been completed properly in years past. Obviously, when we found out about the Altheimer facility, that went on the list.” Hudson, who was elected mayor of Altheimer in 2014, said the city hopes to take ownership of the old school if the necessary repairs are done first. The gym and track could be used as a recreation facility for both youth and adults, she said. “Many people here have health problems, obesity … They should have some place to walk inside.” Hudson also has dreams of the building becoming a broader community center. “It could be used as an event space, for weddings. People could hopefully start businesses there. … The Jefferson County Sheriff Department could put a substation in there.” Like others, Hudson is frustrated with the neglect of the property. “If you don’t do something with a property, it’s going to go down,” she said. “When [the Dollarway School District] left the building, everything was in good condition.” She also recognizes, though, that “[Superintendent Warren] is new, and I’m new, so there are a lot of things that happened prior to us being appointed and elected.” Warren said she’d “love to see the city have that building, if that is feasible,” but cautioned that “there are legal ramifications when you talk about donating” real estate. “Naturally, you wouldn’t want to hand over something in bad condition,” she added. But who will pay to repair the damage that’s been done by three years of abandonment? Dollarway is in fiscal distress and can’t afford to do renovations. It’s not even clear what the insurance status of the building is. Warren said she is in the process of researching whether claims have been made regarding damage and theft. Key said the state is “committed to helping Ms. Warren and the mayor and Sen. Flowers … find what resources might be available,” including discretionary funds from the governor’s office or an inmate work crew from the Arkansas Department of Correction to maintain the grounds. One possibility, he said, is helping the town secure a rural development grant from the U.S.
Department of Agriculture. The Education Department itself does not have a program for funding such repairs, Key said. He said there’s no “clear legal obligation” for the department to make sure a school district under state control is maintaining school facilities that have been shut down. The state provides some support for public school facilities through the Arkansas Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation, an entity that’s distinct from the Education Department. However, the director of the facilities division, Brad Montgomery, said it has no authority to monitor abandoned school buildings. “When that building ceases being used as an academic facility, we have very little involvement in it,” he said. “If we’re asked to assess, we can send a team down to do a walk-through. … There are some things that we can suggest to a district, but we have no code authority or inspection authority for an inactive facility that’s fallen into disrepair.” It’s unclear whether other abandoned facilities throughout the state might be similarly situated. Montgomery provided a list of vacant school buildings known to the facilities division: In 2015, a survey of districts showed there were at least 239 vacant buildings in 41 districts (although 96 districts did not respond to the question). But Montgomery, who was maintenance director at the Pulaski County Special School District before joining the state facilities division, said it’s unusual for a school district to abandon a facility without taking stock of what can be repurposed. “That’s what a maintenance director lives for — producing money where there is none,” he said. “Most directors are not going to sit there and let a building full of furnaces and air conditioners and other appliances get pilfered when there’s a need for them at another building.” Flowers said that’s no excuse for what happened in Altheimer. “I don’t know if you have the same situation in other districts,” she said. “You probably do. But what you don’t have is a district in takeover — that’s being run by the state — in a condition like this.” arktimes.com
JULY 28, 2016
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
The votes are in Readers elect the Best of Arkansas; plus a new feature.
DAMSITE BEST: A painted bunting.
he Arkansas Times presents its annual “Best of” issue, giving our readers the floor to present their nominees for the best candidates in
clothes-shopping, gun-buying, plant-picking, farmers marketing, hairdo-ing and so forth. You may, of course, vote your conscience, or you may follow the lead of those who say Lake Ouachita is the best place to swim, Pinnacle Mountain State Park is the best place to hike, Riverdale 10 is the best place to watch a movie and the Arkansas Repertory Theatre is the best place to see a play. Along with our list of bests, we take a closer look at local best musical equipment winner Dogtown Sound by our music expert Stephanie Smittle; the hip shoe emporium Old Heights Corner Store, a runner-up in several categories and written by the hippest person on staff, Tom Coulter; and Arkansas Circus Arts, which reached performing runner-up status with the greatest of ease, by our earthbound writer David Koon. The Times staff also offers its write-in best candidates, including the beef cheeks at Hillcrest Artisan Meats, a faunal viewing drive in East Little Rock, magical elderberries, the best shoe repair shop, the best place to watch a meteor shower, the best place to hear “new classical” music for free and more. As our yin to your yang, we also offer a new feature, a Worst of Arkansas Activity Book! Get out your crayons and pencils, put on your thinking caps and have fun with games inspired by our readers’ least favorite Arkansans!
JULY 28, 2016
The best of the rest Arkansas Times editors offer a few of their favorite things. BY MEGAN BLANKENSHIP, TOM COULTER, BENJAMIN HARDY, DAVID KOON, LINDSEY MILLAR, LESLIE NEWELL PEACOCK AND STEPHANIE SMITTLE
Best city wildlife drive Thibault Road, named for the family that farmed in the area in the 19th century, and Frazier Pike, which Thibault turns into south of Welspun Pipes in East Little Rock, pass through pecan groves and wet fields en route to the David D. Terry Lock and Dam West Recreation Area. Except for little wooded areas here and there, the route looks uninteresting to those who barrel down it en route to somewhere else. But the road itself is a destination, and if you creep along it you will, yes, irritate the drivers behind you, but you’ll also see all manner of wildlife, changing with the seasons. In spring, look to the south when Thibault makes a 90-degree turn just before it hooks up with Frazier Pike; if the fields are wet you can see longlegged wading birds and their squatter cousins probing the mud for a meal. If the fields are dry, you’ll see grassland birds. In winter, in a lone tree on your left just past the 90-degree turn is the Merlin tree, so-called because a merlin, a kind of falcon you don’t see much around here, returns to the tree every year to hunt from a perch there. Sometimes you’ll see an enormous snake or two in the roadside ditches; this may or may not appeal, but since you can see them from the car, enjoy! As you continue due south on Frazier Pike you’ll see all sorts of birds on the wires or flying over the fields, dickcissels and scissor-tailed flycatchers in spring, marsh hawks in winter. Then turn left onto Damsite Road to see llamas and donkeys and cattle grazing in the field on
your left. Sometimes, youngster cattle will gambol up to the fence to see you. Frankly, I can’t get enough of donkeys. In spring, Damsite Road is a rest stop plus multistory housing project for innumerable species of birds. Orioles build their pendulous nests here while burbling their musical songs; red-headed woodpeckers dart in pairs; thrushes lurk along the forest floor; grosbeaks, their breasts splashed crimson as if pierced by an arrow, pass through; and vireos are everywhere, as is the way of vireos. From the parking lot at the end of Damsite Road you can see and hear the roaring river churn from beneath the dam, feeding gulls in winter; terns in spring. On the wooded side of the drive is the piece de la resistance, the painted bunting (spring and summer), our astonishing parti-colored perching visitor. If you’re lucky, a male will be singing from atop a snag just across from the parking lot. South of the dam, back on Frazier Pike, a winter drive’s may be rewarded with sandhill cranes, who like to flock in the same place every year, way off in the distance, which means you’ll need to bring a scope, which means the cars will just have to pass you. Forget the gestures; just smile. There is signage on the road that indicates it is a bike trail, but bikers face even greater threats to personal safety than birders. LNP
Best person to follow on the internet Little Rock’s Sally Nixon illustrates
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
scenes of mundanity in vivid colors. Mostly of women, who are mostly doing unremarkable things they do when no one else is watching: putting on socks, eating toast, brushing teeth in the shower, napping on the dog. They’re unposed, usually unsmiling, and typically offset by brilliantly patterned wallpaper or an upholstered chair. Until recently, Nixon was doing an illustration a day for a year (see them all at sallustration.tumblr.com). Though that’s finished, she remains incredibly prolific. She’s most active on Instagram (@sallustration), where she also posts pics
of its infrequent appearances on the butcher shop’s menu over the last several years, the sandwich has become the early bird’s worm, a chief incentive to click the “like” button on H.A.M.’s Facebook page for the daily specials, and an example of good technique; it’s much easier to make a marvelous sandwich, after all, when you start out with something other than bovine facial muscle. Perfecting the unsung heroes of a cow’s body takes some effort, and a more pretentious joint, having gone to all the trouble of coaxing a rich velvety quality out of the often-neglected cut, might
Best interstellar open invitation About once a month — sometimes more, sometimes less — anyone with vehicle access and at least one functional eyeball can peer through the telescopes of the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society during one of its public star parties. Comprised of local amateur astronomers generous enough to allow the masses to press greasy faces to their well-polished eyepieces, CAAS is the best sort of club: the kind that shares its toys with everybody else. Star parties are most often held at Pinnacle Mountain State Park, occasionally at Woolly Hollow State Park in Greenbrier or elsewhere. It’s true that the night skies over Pinnacle may grow a little muddier every year as Little Rock’s sprawl continues its westward seep, but they’re still dark enough for you to see, depending on the hour and the date, Saturn, the moons of Jupiter, globular clusters, spiral galaxies and any number of other wondrous objects out there in the unimaginable deep. Whenever there’s a high-profile astronomical occurrence to be observed (last fall’s “super blood moon,” for example), the CAAS telescopes train their lenses on it as well, and the public is invited. The next star party at Pinnacle will be 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20. For more details, or for future dates and times, visit caasastro.org. BH
BEST LIST Goods and services SHOPPING CENTER
Promenade at Chenal Runners-up: Midtowne, The Outlets of Little Rock, Park Plaza Mall, Pleasant Ridge Town Center GROCERY STORE
Local winner: Edwards Food Giant Runners-up: The Fresh Market, Natural Grocers, Whole Foods Market WOMEN’S CLOTHING
Runners-up: Anthropologie, Dillard’s, E. Leigh’s, Tulips MEN’S CLOTHING
Runners-up: Barakat Bespoke, Baumans, Greenhaw’s Fine Men’s Wear, Mr. Wicks HIP CLOTHING
Fringe Clothing Runners-up: Box Turtle, Old Heights Corner Store, Rock City Kicks, Scarlet CHILDREN’S CLOTHING
Runners-up: Carter’s, The Children’s Place (Conway), Dillard’s, Pickles & Ice Cream
SALLUSTRATION: Sally Nixon makes the mundane droll.
of freelance work she’s done (she illustrated the cover of the Arkansas Times last month and recently did an illustration for Lenny Letter and designed a tote bag in collaboration with Lenny and Fab.com). Be sure and check out sallynixon.com and buy stuff on her Etsy page, too. LM
Best use of offal According to my email records, Hillcrest Artisan Meats began offering the braised beef cheek sandwich somewhere around September 2012. Perhaps the fact that the sandwich warranted mention in an email is telling enough, but more importantly, that was probably not an isolated case. In the course
serve the cheeks stacked high in a vertical tower on an enormous and mostlyempty platter, layered between things like microgreens or parsnip mousseline. The Kavanaugh crew smooshes it unceremoniously between two halves of a baguette with some Gruyere and caramelized onions and probably some other ingredients that elude memory because Arkansas summers are apparently a time when rational people forgo beef cheeks for things like heirloom tomatoes and brick-pressed fig and Brie. When I, like so many before me, asked H.A.M.’s owner Brandon Brown about the beef cheeks’ return, he said he “almost ordered some this week,” and assured us the treasured sandwich will be back on the menu semi-regularly “when it’s not a thousand degrees.” SS
No, not that kind, you hippies. I’m talking about elder, 2013 international herb of the year (yes, there are folks who organize such a thing), which happens to grow with vigor in these parts, especially, I’m told, in ditches by roads on the east side of the state. It looks like Queen Anne’s Lace, but bigger, lumpier, with purple stems, each head eventually producing hundreds of berries about the size of mini M&Ms. My mother, a pharmacist by trade gone over to the dark side (i.e. unregulated, naturally occurring herbals), keeps a few elderberry bushes along the edge of her garden, and every fall at family gatherings conscripts us into berry-harvesting regiments around the supper table, which, let me tell you, is meticulous work, as the stems contain cyanide. The fruits of our labor she soaks for a few weeks in jars of pure grain alcohol, resulting in the vilest elixir I know short of Jagermeister. Don’t let her hear you complain of a sniffle or a raw throat, or you’ll get
Local winner: Mid-Towne Antique Mall Runners-up: Cheap Thrills (Fayetteville), Galaxy Furniture, Savers LINGERIE
Victoria’s Secret Local winner: Cupids Runners-up: Adam and Eve, Dillard’s, Seductions SHOES
Dillard’s Local winner: Rock City Kicks Runners-up: DSW, Old Heights Corner Store, Shoe Carnival ANTIQUES
Mid-Towne Antique Mall Runners-up: Blue Suede Shoes, Fabulous Finds, Sweet Home/Clement, Morris Antiques FURNITURE
Hank’s Fine Furniture CONTINUED ON PAGE 22 arktimes.com
JULY 28, 2016
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
a shot of elderberry tincture quicker than you can utter the words “Z-pack.” It’s powerful antiviral stuff, capable of stopping a measly flu in its tracks and completely annihilating the common cold or any rogue bands of marauders that might be about. If you can force it down, it does wonders for a head filling up with gunk. Buy it at natural food stores in tincture or capsule form. It also comes in sweeter guises: The berries themselves are pretty tasty, even better as jam or pie, and the flowers can be used to make syrups and liqueurs (St. Germain, anyone?). I was skeptical at first, but elder is my go-to now when I find my immune system in need of reinforcement. MB
Best leather The current fascination with the handmade and the handcrafted has its roots in a lot of things, but it’s probably mostly about Walmartization, the manufacture of consumer goods — even supposedly “luxury” consumer goods — stamped out in mass quantities, often with not much more personality than the presses that make them. While some might dismiss the Etsy ethos as a millennial thing, it’s really a kind of rebellion against a disposable, impersonal world. If you want to get into life as a craftsperson, a good place to start is the Little Rock outlet of Tandy Leather, underneath Professor Bowl just off Rodney Parham. They’ve got leather out the wazoo, along with enough tools, dye, finishes, rivets, stamps, adornments and cutters to beautiful the hides of a thousand former cows. Manager Brian Deputy is a font of enthusiasm and knowledge about the subject, and never fails to have a suggestion or two if you’re stumped. Too, it’s the best smelling place in the known universe. DK
Best legal off-leash dog walk Honestly, I get tired of walking my dog: the straining, the wheezing, the simple small annoyance of clutching a leash. But let her off her lead for one second, and the next thing I know she’s blocking traffic or nibbling on a neighbor child or indulging her bottomless online gambling addiction. Until the day arrives when cybernetics render her a mindless automaton programmed to goose-step her own way around the block, the best means I have of taking 16
JULY 28, 2016
my dog on off-leash walks is the section of the Ouachita Trail just west of town. The trail winds its 223-mile way across the western half of Arkansas clear to Oklahoma, but it reaches its eastern terminus at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. In Roland, there’s a trailhead that picks up near Lake Maumelle and traverses the north shore of the lake. This is a great spot for walking or running with a dog — but (cue stern voice) if and only if it’s a well-behaved sort of creature. The U.S. Forest Service’s website urges pet owners to keep their dogs “under verbal or physical restraint at all times” on the trail, which means “if your dog doesn’t come when called and play nice, keep it tethered firmly to your person.” Nobody wants a swarm of invasive pugs infesting the Lake Maumelle watershed, so please don’t bring your dog off-leash to the Ouachita Trail unless you’re sure you can bring it out again, too. BH
Best state agency social media presence Arkansas Grown is the state Agriculture Department’s initiative to promote produce that’s — you’re not going to believe this — grown in Arkansas. Small growers can connect with potential buyers, and consumers can find exactly what they’re interested in, from rutabagas to raspberries. There’s a website, but I think the better resource is the Arkansas Grown Facebook page (which, full disclosure, is managed by a friend; also, our sister publication, Arkansas Food & Farm has a parternship with the program). It provides a steady stream of local food miscellanea from around the state: seasonal recipes and goat milking workshops, small-town farmers markets and updates on what produce is in season where. BH
Best shoe repair Even in this age when every new shoe in the world is available 24/7/365 — many of them on the cheap — sometimes only the old faithful shoe will do. The problem is by the time you get your favorite clodhoppers broken in, the soles are worn out, or the heel is coming off, or they’re covered in nasty scuffs. Rather than add to the overflowing landfills, however, be good to some old friends and walk on down to Cobblestone Quality Shoe Repair at 800
Reservoir Road in Little Rock. A few months back, the missus had a pair of suede boots she loved but were coming apart at one sole. After a few days of stewing on whether she should toss ’em and restart her eternal search for The Right Boots, she took them in to Cobblestone. Less than 48 hours later, they’d been returned to her, fixed up good as new, and for a small fraction of what a new pair would have cost her. She’s a regular customer now. If you care about your footwear, you should be, too. DK
together in prime position for an “outburst” in a couple of weeks (Aug. 12-13), during which they will streak through the sky at double the rate they did last year, according to the American Meteor Society. Moonset is at 1:20 a.m. on Aug. 12, and at 2:03 a.m. on Aug. 13, after which the showers will be in full effect. Trek on out, give your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust, put some “Cooleyhighharmony” on the playlist for old Swift-Tuttle’s sake, lie back and watch the show. SS
Best place to watch a meteor shower
Best place to hear new ‘classical’ music for free
The last time the Swift-Tuttle Comet passed by Earth was in the early ’90s, sometime during the radio reign of Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road,” and it sprayed its trail of sloppy astral litter into the atmosphere so vigorously that Earth passes into the path of its leftovers every year. Our atmosphere causes them to heat up and disintegrate and, aside from a handful of panicky predictions of eminent galactic traffic collisions, we reap the visual benefits. Loon Point Park on Lake Maumelle’s Farkleberry Trail is a prime spot to view the momentary majesty of such a meteor shower and, although a wiser stargazer might keep that information to herself, I’d never have found it anyway were it not for a tip from a friend, so consider this karmic upkeep. The 0.13-mile trail is little more than a picnic spot with a loop curving out to Lake Maumelle and back to the ample parking lot along Highway 10, but there’s plenty of coastline on which to lay a sleeping bag and chill out while your eyes adjust to the darkness enough to behold showers like The Perseids, which gave a stunning showing last August. The Perseids have since been meddled with by Jupiter’s gravity, causing them to clump
In January, I heard a live performance of composer Sydney Hickok’s “Hey,” a short a cappella piece for three women’s voices. Hickok described the piece’s goal beforehand: to evoke the feeling one experiences when she runs into someone she knows, likes and hasn’t seen in a while. The lyrics — the word “hey” repeated over and over to a catchy rhythm — evoked just that, and provided a prime example of how effective a song can be when it keeps a tight focus. The piece was part of a program put on by the Conway Composers Guild, and it ranged widely in scope and in instrumentation: Jorrell Bonner’s pop-inspired songs for cello and violin, the premiere of Karen Griebling’s sublime “Dialogues d’amour et de la mort,” a sprawling aquatic piece on fretless electric bass from Michael Yoder, a fiercely difficult oboe trio from Paul Dickinson called “DDG” (Duck, Duck, Goose) inspired in part by that instrument’s tendency to “quack,” and Ryan Key’s McBeth Memorial Competition award-winning trio for euphonium, tuba and piano. While we’ve got plenty going for us in the way of formal symphony concerts in our part of the state, the Guild is carving out a decidedly casual space for Central Arkansas’s composers at all levels to share their work in performance; they’re letting the audience into the laboratory. If you’re a fan of instrumental or choral music, especially when it’s hot off the presses, check the Guild concerts out when you can. The next installment features local composers and guest composers Mei Han and Randy Raine Reusch, and takes place at 3 p.m. Sept. 25 at First United Methodist Church in Conway, at the corner of Prince and Clifton streets. Admission is free, but they will gladly accept your donation. SS
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
B E ST G RO CERY S TORE
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BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016 18
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MAKING DOGTOWN SOUNDS: Adrian Bozeman, who co-owns Dogtown Sound with Andy Warr and Jason Tedford, plays an art deco-inspired Lindert Conductor guitar at the shop in Park Hill.
A NEW DINOSAUR North Little Rock’s Dogtown Sound takes up the torch from the old guard of luthiers. BY STEPHANIE SMITTLE
edged in Park Hill just between ½ of ½ Name Brand Clothing, a car wash and an elementary school, there’s an unassuming storefront with the words “Dogtown Sound” in the sort of font we’re accustomed to seeing in slogans like “Keep On Truckin’ ” or “Feelin’ Groovy.” Inside, the design is sharp and clean. A single seafoam green wall makes the Resonator and Lindert guitars hanging on it look like oversized pieces of candy. In sharp contrast are the adjacent walls, on which dark blocks of multitoned wood fit together like a screenshot from Tetris. Shiny skateboard decks hang on a rack in two rows, and drumsticks are organized in a wire bin atop a glass display case bookended by a low chalkboard that’s evidently kept children busy doodling while their older companions browse and strum. It’s the gearhead opus of Adrian Bozeman, Andy Warr and Jason Tedford, who opened their doors on New Year’s Day 2016 with a mission to “buy, sell, trade, repair and consign guitars and accessories for local musicians,” and to operate a “micro-venue” for intimate early-evening shows. It works at least in part because the owners’ collective resumes are a major part of the soundtrack to this city. Bozeman, son of luthier John Bozeman and veteran of bands like Peckerwolf, the Federalis and The Brian Nahlen Band, has been working on instruments since he was 7 years old. He mans the shop most days, and he’s responsible for the vibrant interior design.
“We didn’t want it to feel dark and dusty,” he said. “Even those old music stores that we love were sort of stagnant, never really in that much motion. We want this to feel like a music store, but also sort of like a head shop or a record store, lively and airy and fun.” He shows me a mountain dulcimer lying on the counter. I remark on the flower-shaped accents adorning the front. He tells me his father made them, and flips the instrument over to reveal tiny teal deposits where one might usually see rivets or pins. “Turquoise powder,” he says. “Mixed with epoxy.” The dulcimer, as it turns out, is backed with wood from a cedar tree Bozeman cut down himself. “It was being choked by some elms. I had a choice between a few new cedars nearby, but this one needed to go. I prayed over it and cut it down. I’m weird like that.” Bozeman’s woodwork frames the space at the back of the shop, too, where there’s a full drum set and an open carpeted area where a live Willie Nelson show is playing on a TV screen. Dogtown’s hosted a few early shows in the space, and has plans to expand this “microvenue” part of the business in the upcoming year. Warr and Tedford had already been planning the venture when Bozeman stepped in. It’s hard to think of anyone in Little Rock who’s had more occasion to test out what sorts of sounds complement what sorts of bands than Warr because, well, he’s played with so many of them (Brother Andy and
His Big Damn Mouth, Marvin Berry, Frontier Circus, Iron Tongue, Booyah! Dad). Local musician Isaac Alexander designed the store’s logo, which Bozeman says was used without edit. “We told him what we wanted, and he sent us that design, and that was it. He worked the dog in there, and the dog’s tongue. Even the holes in the letters look like a violin bridge.” Tedford’s co-ownership of a guitar shop is another natural fit. Besides being a veteran of the scene himself (Ashtray Babyhead, Marygold, Gas Can, Iron Tongue), he’s owned and operated Wolfman Studios since 2005, and recorded bands for 10 years prior. His sense of what kind of equipment local musicians seek out is finely tuned. When I visited Wolfman Studios last week to talk about Dogtown Sound, Tedford was putting the finishing touches on a track earnestly titled “Rock and Roll,” by local band deFrance. I asked what sorts of tracks patrons play in guitar shops when they’re trying to impress those in the vicinity. Joseph Fuller, who plays more instruments than most people could identify on sight, and Drew deFrance, the group’s frontman and guitarist, weighed in. “Stevie Ray,” Fuller said. Tedford described some unwritten rules: “It used to be no “Stairway to Heaven,” then maybe no “Enter Sandman.” DeFrance ticked off a few: “Guitar Center kids playing ‘Need for Speed’ licks. Maybe [twangs out the opening riff to “Folsom Prison Blues”], but that’s just ’cause we’re in Arkansas. Or just anything with a bunch of gain.” Tedford said, “That doesn’t happen very often” at Dogtown, though, and rattles off a tale about “this North Little Rock police officer who comes in. He’s a flatpickin’ bluegrass dude. He comes in, and
he’s real [puts on a mock serious police voice], he’s real quiet. Proper.” “He also drives this 1997 gold Trans Am that’s tits. We’re sitting there gawking at his car from inside the store, and then he comes in and grabs an acoustic and just kills it.” Although they’re eager to see more patrons from the other Little Rock neighborhoods, Bozeman says Park Hill’s been a good home to the shop in many ways. Ira’s Park Hill Grill is in the same plaza for visitors who want to hear an early show and follow it with dinner, and the shop is surrounded by residential areas full of folks who play guitar as a hobby or want to introduce their children to a string instrument. A new biannual event called Patio in the Park was soundtracked by a DJ until May of this year, so the Dogtown Sound crew put together a lineup of live bands for the event. I ask about timing. After all, the era of big-box stores doesn’t seem like an especially fortuitous time to open an independent guitar shop of the Gist Music variety. “There was a time when Guitar Center was a cool thing, when it first came here,” Tedford said. “I’ve said this a lot, but it’s true as hell — Guitar Center is the meteor that killed the dinosaurs, you know, the mom-andpops. Boyd’s, Music City and Stonehenge, where I used to work in the early ’90s.” Bozeman, a student of his father’s and many other luthiers over the years, mentions Bob Boyd, too, a staple in the Little Rock jazz and music education scene whose tenure reaches back to the days when he taught accordion at Rosen Music Studios in 1957. I ask if he’s been into the store yet. Bozeman says no, and that he can imagine the reprimand he might receive if and when the revered mentor pays a visit: “[In Bob Boyd voice] Adrian, come on. What are you doing with that stomp pedal and that piece of marble near that customer’s guitar?” Dogtown Sound is located at 4012 J.F.K. Blvd. in North Little Rock and is open 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
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BOULEVARD OF BAKED DREAMS H
COUNTRY RYE SOURDOUGH
8-GRAIN HEART HEALTHY
ONION AND ASIAGO CHEESE BAGELS
ow much bread can a bread baker bake if a bread baker takes no break? Oh, about 15 different kinds of bread, if you’re baking at Boulevard Bread Co. The winner of the Arkansas Times’ Best of Arkansas bread category always has baguettes (until they’re sold out), spongy ciabattas, asiago cheese bagels (until they’re sold out) and rustic pagnottas. The chocolate cherry bread is a favorite, as is the monkey bread. Boulevard also sells Danishes and muffins, but here we’re talking about substantial variations on the staff of life. Like the whole-wheat sourdough, which is as beautiful as it is delicious. While the frosted blackberry orange loaf isn’t for sandwich-making in the way the 8-grain heart healthy bread is, it will make a fine picnic; if you’re lucky, you can take a loaf of fig hazelnut bread along, too.
FIG HAZELNUT CIABATTA WHOLE WHEAT SOURDOUGH 20
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BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
Thank You for Voting Us the Best Music Equipment Store and Voting Local!
G N I T O V R O F S K N A ! H T T S E B E H T F O E N O S U
Local Musicians serving Local Musicians.
MICRO-VENUE: Join us for Live In-Store Music Events
• Music Accessories • Live Mobile Sound • Back-line Rentals • Repair & Service
501-478-9663 | 4012 JFK Blvd., NLR www.dogtownsound.com
BEST MUSIC EQUIPMENT STORE
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BEST DIET/WEIGHT LOSS CENTER Bryant Weight Loss Center • 501-425-3353 408 Office Park Drive, Suite #3 • Bryant, AR, 72022 Dr. Bryant provides medically managed weight loss specifically tailored to your needs and medical issues.
THANK YOU ARKANSAS!
FOR VOTING US FINALIST: BEST LIQUOR STORE
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BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016 Runners-up: Ashley Furniture, Erdos at Home, Cantrell Furniture Design Center, Nichols Furniture
Hillcrest Farmers Market Runners-up: Argenta Farmers Market, Bernice
GARDEN STORE OR NURSERY
The Good Earth Garden Center Runners-up: Botanica Gardens, Green Tree Nursery, Hocott’s Garden Center, Plantopia HARDWARE/HOME IMPROVEMENT
Fuller and Son
Runners-up: The Home Depot, Kraftco Hardware and Building Supply, Stanley Hardware, Lowe’s Home Improvement
Garden Farmer’s Market, Fayetteville Farmers Market, Little Rock Farmers’ Market
Burrow’s and Mr. Frank’s Optical
Ozark Outdoor Supply Runners-up: Academy Sports and Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Gander Mountain, Gene Lockwood’s
Runners-up: The Charlotte John Co., Crye-Leike, The Janet Jones Co., Keller Williams Realty
COMMERCIAL ART GALLERY
COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AGENCY
Moses Tucker Real Estate
Gallery, Hearne Fine Art, M2 Gallery
Runners-up: Coldwell Banker Rector Phillips Morse, Flake & Kelly
Runners-up: Sprint, Verizon
Jett’s Gas and Service
INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER
Runners-up: Austin Brothers Tire and Service,
Chainwheel Runners-up: Angry Dave’s Bicycles, Arkansas Spokes
Discount Tire & Brake Inc., Foster’s Garage, Firestone
Runners-up: Aristotle, Centurylink, Comcast, Conway Corp., Suddenlink
Arkansas Car Stereo
Runners-up: Deer Penick Eye Clinic, James Eye
Don’s Weaponry Inc., Gander Mountain
Runners-up: Boswell Mourot Fine Art, Cantrell
Cycling & Fitness, The Community Bicyclist,
Runners-up: Arkansas Armory, Bass Pro Shops,
Fort Thompson Sporting Goods
Care, Kavanaugh Eye Care, Little Rock Eye Clinic
RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE AGENCY
Coldwell Banker Rector Phillips
Runners-up: Auto Audio, Best Buy, Bryant Audio
CONTINUED ON PAGE 30
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BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
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BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
The Worst of Arkansas Activity Book Have Republican politicians got you down? How about a little levity to take the sting out of bad legislation, bad lawsuits and a birthday-cake-eating senator on the most wrong side of the right-wing? Now that you’ve enjoyed some of Arkansas’s bests, here are some worsts to have a little fun with!
Print this coloring sheet at arktimes.com/worstcoloring. Tag @arktimes when you post it to Instagram.
JULY 28, 2016
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
Thanks For Voting Us The Best! Naughty or Nice? At Cupids you can find something for every mood!
Lingerie Toys Games Party Supplies Adult DVDs
Conway Little Rock South 2585 Donaghey Ave 3920 W 65th St Conway, AR 72032 Little Rock, AR 72209 (501) 764-0404 (501) 565-2020 Open 24 Hours Little Rock West 9700 N Rodney Parham Rd Little Rock, AR 72227 (501) 227-8282 North Little Rock 5400 John F Kennedy Blvd N Little Rock, AR 72116 (501) 753-3353 Hot Springs 1910 Albert Pike Rd Hot Springs, AR 71913 (501) 623-1250 Jacksonville 6111 John Harden Drive Jacksonville, AR 72076 (501) 241-2777 Open 24 Hours
JULY 28, 2016
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
Thanks for naming us the
The Worst of Arkansas Activity Book
BEST COCKTAILS in Arkansas! And Runner-Up in Best Best Best Best Best
Place to See Someone Famous Place to Dance Place for Live Music Ribs Brunch
Unscramble the four jumbled words below to form four common place words. Then arrange the letters in circles to find the surprise answer, suggested by the cartoon.
DONBEL CARITS NAPYT
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BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
THANKS FOR VOTING FOR
E R D O S AT H O M E
FOR BEST FURNITURE STORE IN ARKANSAS FAYET TEVILLE | ROGERS | LIT TLE ROCK | ERDOSATHOME.COM arktimes.com
JULY 28, 2016
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
The Worst of Arkansas Activity Book
Furnish the Governor’s Mansion
$13 ,080 .65
LOUIS XVI GILTWOOD MIRRORS
$22,000 LOUIX XVI SOFAS (2)
$13,080.65 each TOILET
(we got you started already with the wallpaper)
$16,974 ANTIQUE IVORY-INLAID TABLE
$10,500 FRENCH BRASS AND CRYSTAL CHANDELIER
JULY 28, 2016
$13 ,080 .65
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
Cut out and place first lady Susan Hutchinson’s new purchases for the “People’s House” in the room. Don’t worry about crowding; all the old furniture has been moved into storage somewhere.
JULY 28, 2016
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016 Runners-up: Catholic High School for Boys,
Episcopal Collegiate, Miss Selma’s School, Mount
Runners-up: Small World Big Fun, Sue Smith Vacations, The Travel Shop, West Rock Travel
BANK PUBLIC SCHOOL
Central High School Runners-up: Forest Park Elementary School,
Runners-up: 21c Museum Hotel (Bentonville), The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa (Eureka Springs), DoubleTree Hotel, Little Rock Marriott
High School, Parkview Arts and Science Magnet
The Park at Riverdale
BEST COMPANY TO WORK FOR
charity noun | char ∞ i ∞ ty 1: benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity Our gratitude goes out to the readers of Arkansas Times for voting Heifer International “Best Charity” and “Best Place to Work” runner-up. It is our privilege to work together with caring supporters to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.
Find out more or get involved at Heifer.org.
JULY 28, 2016
Runners-up: First Security Bank, Bank of the Ozarks, Regions, Simmons Bank BARBER SHOP
Jerry’s Barber Shop
Runners-up: Brightwaters Apartments, Pleasant
Jefferson Elementary School, North Little Rock
APARTMENT COMPLEX PRIVATE SCHOOL
St. Mary Academy
Woods, The Pointe Brodie Creek, Rivercliff
Suite.102.Salon Runners-up: Fringe Benefits, Joels, Joey Edwards Salon, The Local Hair Shop, Red Beauty Lounge SPA
Rejuvenation Day Spa Runners-up: Ava Bella Day Spa, Caracalla Salon and Body Spa, Floating Lotus Yoga Studio and Day Spa, Indulgences
Runners-up: The Art of Men’s Cuts (Bryant), Hood’s Barber Shop, The Local Hair Shop, Sport Clips
DIET/WEIGHT LOSS CENTER
Natural State Health Center
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016 Runners-up: Baptist Health Weight Management, Bryant Weight Loss Center, Diet Center, Onyx Nutrition and Fitness
Runners-up: Apple Store, Carnes Audio Visual,
Steve Landers Toyota
Runners-up: Everett GMC, Steve Landers Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Parker Lexus
Runners-up: About Vase, Empty Vase, Floral
Local winner: Ozark Outdoor Supply
Fine Jewelers, Stanley Jewelers, Roberson’s Fine
Tipton & Hurst Express (Fayetteville), Frances Flower Shop
Academy Sports and Outdoors
Sissy’s Log Cabin Runners-up: Cecil’s Fine Jewelry, Kenneth Edwards
Runners-up: Bass Pro Shops, Gene Lockwood’s, Zimmerman’s Sports Center
Runners-up: Honda Accord, Honda Pilot, Lexus, Toyota Prius
Russell and LeMay Runners-up: Advantage Service Co., Don Houff Plumbing, Ray Lusk Plumbing, S&K Quality
Toys “R” Us
HOME ENTERTAINMENT STORE
Runners-up: Kroger, The Pharmacy at Wellington, Rhea Drug Store, Walgreens
Local winner: Box Turtle Kids
Local winner: Arkansas Record and CD Exchange
Runners-up: Learning Express, Target, The
Middleton Heat and Air
Toggery, The Toy Chest (Hot Springs)
CONTINUED ON PAGE 38
Proud Supporter of Symphony Designer House XXIII
1 5 0 0 R E B S A M E N PA R K R O A D • L I T T L E R O C K 501-376-6600 w w w. g A R R y M E R T I N S D E S I g N . C O M
Symphony Designer House XVIII Nancy Nolan Photography
Proud Supporter of Symphony Designer H o u s e X XBEST I I IDECORATOR
JOEY EDWARDS. SALON
5817 1/2 Kavanaugh Blvd • Little Rock, AR. www.joeyedwardssalon.com
N 15 T 00 E RRE BI S A OM E R N SPA R K R O A D • L I T T L E R O C K
501-376-6600 w w w. g A R R y M E R T I N S D E S I g N . C O M Proud Supporter of Symphony Designer House XXIII
JULY 28, 2016
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
JULY 28, 2016
BEST CAR IN THE STATE
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
Thank you To our patients and families...for allowing us to serve, care and heal. To our donors and volunteers....for your gracious gifts, time and talent. To our team members....for being champions for children, making them better today and healthier tomorrow. We thank you for voting Arkansas Childrenâ€™s Hospital Best Place to Work! archildrens.org | #iloveach
Thanks again to Arkansas Times readers for your continued support and for recognizing Brave New Restaurant among the best in Arkansas year after year.
LITTLE ROCK'S ORIGINAL FARM TO TABLE, FINE DINING RESTAURANT. BEST OVERALL BEST CHEF, PETER BRAVE BEST BUSINESS LUNCH BEST OUT DOOR DINING MOST ROMANTIC
BEST BUSINESS LUNCH BEST OUT DOOR DINING
Farm to Table
Founded in 1991
JULY 28, 2016
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
FOR SNEAKERHEADS: Shoes hang from a wall made of gymnasium flooring at OHCS.
The sneaker king of Arkansas Corey Bacon, owner of Old Heights Corner Store and Rock City Kicks, presides over a mini shoe empire. BY TOM COULTER
orey Bacon, owner of Little Rock’s Old Heights Corner Store and its West Little Rock counterpart Rock City Kicks, describes OHCS as a “grumpy old man shoe store” — a place that sells a lot of throwback shoes and offers none of its products online, where devoted sneakerheads do much of their buying and selling these days. “I wanted to return to the idea we had when we first started, and have an environment and offerings and methods that are conducive to what I find most attractive about buying sneakers,” 34
JULY 28, 2016
he said, explaining his motivation for opening OHCS. Some of the store’s merchandise, which includes hats, socks and koozies, can’t be found anywhere else in Arkansas, save for Rock City Kicks, Arkansas Times’ readers’ pick for best shoe store. Lines of buyers interested in OHCS’ biggest releases have snaked around the corner outside. Inside the store, sneakers ranging from Converse High Tops to seersucker ASICS line the walls, which are paneled with wood flooring from the old basketball court at Clinton High
School. The store offers two kinds of sneakers: the latest releases and established classics. Rock City Kicks offers basketball and running shoes, but Bacon wanted to keep things simple at OHCS. “We basically offer those standards that guys, girls, whoever that are my age  or even older remember having those shoes, they’re still drawn to those shoes and still have an interest there,” he said. Glancing around the store, shoppers can easily see how brands like Nike, Adidas and ASICS have changed their styles over the years. Old Heights Corner Store, which opened in April, is a return to Rock City Kicks’ original intimate setting. RCK first opened in a small shop on Beechwood Street across the street from Kroger in Hillcrest in 2008, but due to space limitations, the store moved out to Bowman Road in West Little Rock in 2010. In 2011, Bacon opened a store in Fayetteville that he’s since franchised. Another store in Conway opened around the same time; it has since closed. As the Rock City Kicks brand spread through word of mouth and social media, its online sales skyrocketed, but Bacon grew tired of how impersonal the transactions had become. “If it wasn’t
for [online sales], we wouldn’t be able to have a place like this, but now that things are a bit more comfortable, I can return to what I feel is the real way I wanted to handle business,” he said. The staff has tried to make OHCS a social hub. Shoppers were invited to hang out and watch the Copa America and EURO soccer tournaments earlier this summer. A foosball table sits in one corner of the store alongside a wall of memorabilia that features a picture of John Daly, a Sports Illustrated cover of Corliss Williamson and scarves from European soccer clubs. If you’re lucky, you may run into Babe, a bluenose pit bull puppy that occasionally roams the store looking for tug-of-war challengers and has his own Instagram account. The store’s atmosphere reflects the laid-back attitude of Bacon, media consultant Matt Rowe and the rest of the staff. They jokingly toss around ideas for merchandise, many of which they follow through on. A few hats include phrases like “Heights Hustlers” and “Dad Hats Are Back Again” embroidered across the front. (“Sometimes it’s fun just to do. I don’t care if it sells or not,” Bacon said dryly). Their hats and shirts patterned with the Arkansas Travelers’ old “LR” logo have been a hit throughout the city. “You can have [state Rep.] Clarke Tucker [D-Little Rock] in the Capitol building some day with [a hat] on, and you could pull up a YouTube rapper wearing the same hat,” Rowe said. Bacon also created Arkansocks, a separate business that offers socks patterned with the same LR logo. The store will release an expanded line of Arkansocks this fall that will include additional patterns and logos. Caleb Prichett, a tattoo artist and printmaker whose work graces Lost Forty Brewing’s beer cans, designed the new line of Arkansocks. It took Bacon a while to get his foot in the door with shoe companies. “It’s easily assumed that we’re in the armpit of America. They’re like, ‘You want a boutique store in Little Rock … ? OK, buddy,’ ” he said of their initial reactions. However, his persistence paid off when Adidas gave Rock City Kicks its first shoe account. After that agreement, it became easier for Bacon to set up accounts with other reputable brands. Now, Old Heights Corner Store and Rock City Kicks are the go-to places for shoe collectors throughout the state. Old Heights Corner Store is located at 5919 Kavanaugh Blvd. It’s open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
best happy hour WINNER
& best fries Thank you Arkansas Times Readers
Thank you Arkansas Times Readers
FINE SALAD & WOOD-OVEN PIZZA CO.
to NLRHS For being named one of the best public schools in Arkansas!
BEST PUBLIC SCHOOL
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JULY 28, 2016
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
HEALTHY HOOPING: At Arkansas Circus Arts (from left to right): Camille Rule, Amanda Evans, Samuel Pettit and Rachel Mercer.
UNDER THE BIG TOP
Arkansas Circus Arts helps keep the three-ring arts alive for a new generation. BY DAVID KOON
hough circuses have become enough of a rarity these days that there probably aren’t many kids who dream of chucking it all and running away with one, circus arts —
stilt-walking, trapeze gymnastics, fire play, hula hooping, tumbling, propbalancing and the like — have seen a resurgence in recent years, actively pursued by troupes and schools coast
to coast as people seek both a physical art form and a way to get fit that doesn’t include spending hours doing repetitive motions at the gym. Little Rock’s Arkansas Circus Arts, a runner-up this year for Performing Arts Group, has been in operation for three years. A troupe of around 20 based at the ACA studio at 1101 Cumberland St. performs at public and private events all over the state and teaches classes to help usher a new generation of daring young men and women into a three-ring life. Camille Rule is the founder and coowner of Arkansas Circus Arts. Coming from a background of dance and ballet, Rule said that she discovered the activity — which fans call simply “circus” — through hoop dance, a more acrobatic take on the hula hoops you might have played with as a kid. From there, she started doing yoga, fire dancing, acrobatics and “aerial arts” — using suspended hoops or strips of fabric attached to the ceiling. “Circus is a great way to get exercise, but it also builds your mental and emotional confidence,” Rule said. “The benefits have not only been physical, but I’d say that it definitely improves self-esteem in children and adults. It gives you goals that you can work on. It pushes you to try to meet those goals and grow as a person.” Rule said that the circus community in Central Arkansas is growing and welcomes newbies at all levels. The Arkansas Circus Arts studio came about, she said, because the community needed a safe, dedicated space to teach and practice. “We get hired for a lot of corporate events, everything from nightclubs to corporate fundraisers to 5Ks [and] pri-
Thank You Central Arkansas! We know you like working with the best! Two Great Locations Conway 1300 Oak St. 501-327-5646 Little Rock 5813 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-664-5646
BEST REAL ESTATE AGENCY 36
JULY 28, 2016
vate parties,” Rule said. The troupe stages its own productions, including a fire-centered performance called “Enchanted Flame,” which was held at Little Rock’s Wildwood Park for the Arts in June. The troupe’s circus arts classes at the studio cost from $10 to $25, or $60 for a private lesson. Rule said that many of those who try a circus class at the studio are tired of their normal workouts. “A lot of the common denominator is people who are bored with a regular gym, or they’re just not motivated with going to 10 Fitness,” she said. “They would rather come in and kind of hang around and do playful things where they are still getting a really good workout and working on their flexibility. There’s more of a community supportive environment.” One of those who found her way to classes at ACA is Sarah Haley, 23. Haley got into circus in Fayetteville, and was excited to find a large and supportive community of practitioners at ACA when she moved to Little Rock a year and a half ago. She is passionate about aerial silks and the lyra, which is a large metal hoop that hangs from the ceiling and is used for suspended acrobatics. Never having been a fan of going to the gym, Haley said she has seen her core and upper body strength grow tremendously since starting classes at ACA. “I’m much stronger,” Haley said. “I had zero upper body strength when I started. I couldn’t climb the silks, which is one of the first, basic things you learn. I couldn’t do that my first time. Now, it seems like second nature. So you’ll get really strong doing it.” While some might worry about the danger of learning to perform circus tricks, Haley said keeping things as safe as possible is always a priority at ACA. “Anything you do can be dangerous,” Haley said, “but Camille is really good about spotting. ... You learn moves close to the ground and there are always mats out. If you do happen to fall, you’re going to land on a mat. You learn the moves when you’re closer to the ground, and when you’re comfortable you can go higher and try them.” Haley recently participated in her first stage performance, something she might not have even thought about before taking classes at ACA. “It’s a little nerve-racking, but it’s also really exciting,” she said. “It’s really fun to share your passion with other people.”
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
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10800 Financial Centre Pkwy Suite 270 Little Rock, AR 72211 501-455-5786
Thanks for voting us the BEST! BEST ANTIQUES
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501.223.3600 • midtownantiquemall.com arktimes.com
JULY 28, 2016
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016 Music Co. BOOKSTORE
Barnes & Noble Local winner: WordsWorth Books & Co.
Roller Funeral Homes Runners-up: Ruebel Funeral Home, Olmstead Funeral Home, North Little Rock Funeral Home, Smith Funeral Home
Runners-up: Dickson Street Bookshop (Fayetteville), Nightbird Books (Fayetteville), River Market Books and Gifts PAWN SHOP
Braswell and Sons Pawnbrokers
Nyla, Clubhaus, Little Rock Athletic Club
Arkansas, You Are Beautiful!
BEST HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Brady DeClerk Runners-up: Beverly Foster, John Vincent, Elite
Runners-up: Fox Ridge Assisted Living, Good Shepherd Community, Presbyterian Village, Woodland Heights
Runners-up: A-1 Gun and Pawn Inc., iPawn, USA Loans, Sue’s Pawn Shop (Benton)
Runners-up: Arkansas Yoga Collective, Blue Yoga
Chiropractic, Rebecca Slayton TATTOO
Robert Barry (7th Street Tattoo & Piercing) Runners-up: Adrian Berry (7th Street Tattoo &
PLACE TO TAKE A YOGA CLASS
Piercing), Scott Diffee (The Parlor), Rick Medina (Tried & True Tattoo), Katie McGowan (Black
CONTINUED ON PAGE 42
Arkansas’ Largest Vinyl Store 4212 MacArthur Dr., North Little Rock 501-753-7877 • arcd.com
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JULY 28, 2016
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
The Staff And Families Of Harbor Thank You For Letting Us Serve You And Your Family Since 1955 On The Shores Of Lake Ouachita!
Thanks for voting us!
BEST RESORT BEST PLACE TO SWIM LAKE OUACHITA
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JULY 28, 2016
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• online refills • Immunizations • Compounding • Home Delivery • Devoted Customer Service
for letting Our family serve Your family! Cornerstone Pharmacy 4220 N. Rodney Parham, Suite 101 | Little Rock (501) 223-2224
Cornerstone Pharmacy JFK 5328 JFK Boulevard | North Little Rock (501) 246-5035
Cornerstone Pharmacy at Greers Ferry Cornerstone Pharmacy Lakewood 2609 McCain Boulevard | North Little Rock 8470 Edgemont Road | Greers Ferry (501) 825-6265 (501) 353-1984 Cornerstone Pharmacy at Chenal 16115 St. Vincent Way, Suite 120 | Little Rock (501) 821-2300
Cornerstone Pharmacy Main 1701 Main St. | Little Rock (501) 246-5451 Cornerstone Pharmacy Rose City 4307 E. Broadway St. | North Little Rock (501) 945-3264
Cornerstone Pharmacy Otter Creek 10320 Stagecoach Rd. | Little Rock (501) 455-1900 Find us on Facebook Badge
Cornerstone Pharmacy of Bella Vista 1 Mercy Way, Suite 50 | Bella Vista (479) 876-6200
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Cornerstone Pharmacy Conway 815 Hogan Lane, Suite 10 | Conway (501) 328-3282
JULY 28, 2016
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
BEST GAY CLUB: The audience at Sway during a memorial for victims of the Pulse shooting in Orlando, Florida.
Cobra) INVESTMENT ADVISER
Kelly Ross Journey (Edward Jones) Runners-up: Barry Burch (Crews), Barry Corkern, Heath Harper (Morgan Stanley), Mike Jared (Edward Jones)
Mountain Harbor Runners-up: DeGray Lake Resort, Red Apple Inn, Gaston’s White River Resort, The Lodge at Mount Magazine GOLF COURSE
Rebsamen Park Golf Course Runners-up: Pleasant Valley Country Club, Chenal
COMPANY TO WORK FOR
Arkansas Children’s Hospital Runners-up: Heifer International, Museum of Discovery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Youth Home
Country Club, Country Club of Little Rock, War Memorial Golf Course ATHLETIC CLUB
Little Rock Athletic Club Runners-up: 10 Fitness, Clubhaus, LA Fitness,
Recreation PLACE TO SWIM
Lake Ouachita Runners-up: Jim Dailey Fitness Center, Brady
North Little Rock Athletic Club, Omnis Crossfit HIKING TRAIL
Pinnacle Mountain State Park Runners-up: Allsopp Park, Devil’s Den State Park, Petit Jean Mountain, Two Rivers Park
Mountain Resort, Greers Ferry Lake, Little Rock Racquet Club, Magic Springs (Hot Springs)
PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE
Camp Robinson PARK
Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Runners-up: Allsopp Park, Burns Park, Pinnacle Mountain, Slaughter Pen (Bentonville)
Runners-up: Allsopp Park, Burns Park, Two Rivers Park, Murray Park
Thanks For Voting Us
ONE OF THE BEST! BEST APARTMENT COMPLEX
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Movies in the Park Runners-up: Arkansas Travelers, Big Dam Bridge,
Heber Springs Marina (Greers Ferry Lake) Runners-up: Mountain Harbor (Lake Ouachita), Jolly Roger’s Marina (Lake Maumelle), Brady
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Mountain Marina (Lake Ouachita), Peter’s Sugar
(Bentonville), 2nd Friday Art Walk
Loaf Marina (Greers Feer Lake)
Runners-up: Eureka Springs, Mount Magazine,
LOCAL CHARITY EVENT
Bentonville, Petit Jean State Park RESORT
Eggshibition (Youth Home) Runners-up: Opus Ball (Arkansas Symphony
CONTINUED ON PAGE 45 42
JULY 28, 2016
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
JOIN THE HERD! LET US HELP YOU MAKE YOUR HOBBY MORE FUN! • Beer, wine, cider and mead making supplies • Cheese making supplies • Pickling supplies • Hydroponic, indoor, organic and aquaponic gardening supplies
Thanks For Voting Us Best Salon!
• New and used items
COMING SOON ! BEER ON TAP, GROWLERS, PINTS & KEGS 7 DAYS A WEEK
BEST HOBBY SHOP
501-725-5296 • Fax : 501 - 725 - 5 298 • w w w .t hewat e r b u f fa l o . c o m 10 6 S R o d ney Par ham R d ., L i t t le R o ck, A R 72 2 0 5
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BEST LIQUOR STORE
JULY 28, 2016
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
Retirement living at its liveliest.
BEST RETIREMENT COMMUNITY
Parkway Village redefines retirement with care-free amenities, active social life, a pet-friendly environment and 24-hour resident support staff. Ask about our multiple payment plans, including our NO ENTRANCE FEE option.
For a tour, call Mark Hamby at 501.202.1626 or visit online at ParkwayVillageAR.com.
Thank you for choosing Sissy’s Log Cabin as Arkansas’s best jeweler for the 7th time.
BEST JEWELER 1825 North Grant Street Little Rock, AR 72207 | (501) 663-0066 | 10am – 5:30pm Mon-Sat | SissysLogCabin.com 44
JULY 28, 2016
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
Photo courtesy of NRHA
BEST HARDWARE HOME IMPROVEMENT
THANK YOU ARKANSAS FOR MAKING US #1!
BEST BICYCLE STORE: Chainwheel
Orchestra); Race for the Cure (Komen
Runners-up: Cornbread Festival, Chili Fights in the
Foundation); Red Jacket Ball (City Year); Starry,
Heights, Main Street Food Truck Festival, Patio
Starry Night (ACCESS)
in Park Hill
MUSICIAN OR BAND
Rodney Block and the Real Music Lovers Runners-up: Amasa Hines, Chris DeClerk, Kevin
Visit our 6 locations in central Arkansas! 5915 R Street 916-9677
9815 West Markham 227-4440
900 South Main 604-7575
7311 Baseline Rd. 562-2345
14710 Cantrell Rd. 868-8080
9728 Maumelle Blvd. 771-9229
Midtown Billiards Runners-up: Discovery, Ciao Baci, Electric Cowboy,
THANKS FOR VOTING US THE BEST!
White Water Tavern
Kerby, Tragikly White GAY BAR DJ
Sway Nightclub Runners-up: Chaps, Discovery, 610 Center, Triniti
BEST COMMERCIAL REALTY
Runners-up: DJ Ike, Seth Baldy, Mike Poe, Wolf E Wolf
Twin Peaks PLACE FOR LIVE MUSIC
White Water Tavern
Runners-up: Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar, Dugan’s Pub, Gusano’s, The Tavern Sports Grill
Runners-up: South on Main, Stickyz Rock ’N’ Roll Chicken Shack, Revolution Music Room, Vino’s
Riverdale 10 PLACE TO DANCE
Runners-up: Breckenridge, Colonel Glenn 18 and XD, Dickinson Chenal, Ron Robinson Theater
Runners-up: Club Level, Discovery, South on Main, Sway LIVE MUSIC FESTIVAL
Runners-up: Highberry Music Festival (Mulberry Mountain), King Biscuit Blues Festival (Helena-
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Bentonville) Runners-up: Museum of Discovery, Arkansas Arts Center, Clinton Presidential Center, Historic Arkansas Museum
West Helena), Hot Springs Jazz Festival, Toad Suck Daze (Conway)
PERFORMING ARTS GROUP
Arkansas Repertory Theatre
LITTLE ROCK 501-376-6555 200 RIVER MARKET AVE. SUITE 501
FAYETTEVILLE 479-582-0000 745 EAST JOYCE BLVD. SUITE 220
Runners-up: Arkansas Circus Arts, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Arkansas, Red
CONTINUED ON PAGE 46 arktimes.com
JULY 28, 2016
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
BOOKSHOP Buying and selling used and out of print books since 1978
4 79 . 4 4 2 . 8 18 2 325 W Dickson St • Fayetteville www.dicksonstreetbooks.com
BEST TRAVEL AGENCY
Connecting customers with books for over 30 years!
Voted Best Travel Agency since 1995
Thanks, now please go away! www.poetravel.com
BEST PLACE FOR LIVE MUSIC: Luella and the Sun perform live at the White Water Tavern in Little Rock, AR.
Runners-up: Cache Restaurant, Ciao Baci, Samantha’s Taproom, Zin Urban Wine and Beer
PLACE TO GAMBLE
Oaklawn Racing and Gaming ARKANSAS-BREWED BEER
Runners-up: Tunica, Southland Park, Choctaw Casino (Oklahoma), Cherokee Casino (Oklahoma)
Thank you to our loyal customers and Arkansas Times readers for loving Five Guys award-winning fries
FIVE YEARS AND COUNTING.
Runners-up: Diamond Bear, Flyway Brewing, PLACE TO SEE SOMEONE FAMOUS
Ozark Brewing Co., Stone’s Throw
Runners-up: River Market district, Clinton Presidential Center, South on Main, Verizon Arena
Big Orange Bar Louie Runners-up: Boulevard Bistro, Local Lime, Reno’s Argenta Cafe, Samantha’s Taproom
Food and Drink
Colonial Wines and Spirits
Greek Food Festival
BEST FRENCH FRIES
Runners-up: Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival, Jewish Food Festival, Main Street Food Truck
Runners-up: Sullivant’s Liquor Store, 107 Liquor (Sherwood), Heights Fine Wines and Spirits, Legacy Wine and Spirits, O’Looney’s Wine and Liquor
Festival, Cornbread Festival
2923 Lakewood Village Drive • North Little Rock (501) 246-5295 13000 Chenal Parkway • Little Rock (501) 225-1100 www.FIVEGUYS.com
SUSHI FRENCH FRIES
Big Orange Runners-up: Buffalo Grill, David’s Burgers, Five
Thanks For Voting Us Best Caterer!
Gifts · Gourmet · Take-Out · Catering
ZAZA Fine Salad and WoodOven Pizza Co.
Runners-up: Sonic, Bash Burger Co., Cheddars,
Runners-up: U.S. Pizza Co., Samantha’s Taproom,
JULY 28, 2016
Trio’s Restaurant, The Root Cafe
Capital Bar and Grill
Runners-up: El Porton, Local Lime, Loca Luna,
Runners-up: Brave New Restaurant, Forty Two, Samantha’s Taproom, Trio’s Restaurant
Whole Hog Cafe
Red Door Restaurant
Runners-up: Sims Bar-B-Que, Corky’s Ribs and
Runners-up: Lost Forty, YaYa’s Euro Bistro, The
BBQ, McClard’s Bar-B-Q, South on Main
501-664-4RED 1923 N. University Ave redbeautylounge.com
Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro
Don’t forget that we also have great gifts!
Runners-up: Kemuri, Hanaroo, Mt. Fuji, Sky
Guys Burgers and Fries, Maddie’s Place ONION RINGS
Thank you for recognizing Red as one of your favorites!
Root Cafe, South on Main
Best Caterer Hours: 9-6 Mon-Fri • 10-5 Sat · 8121 Cantrell Rd. Across from Pavilion in the Park · 501-614-9030
Crush Wine Bar
South on Main
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
THANKS FOR VOTING US ONE OF THE BEST IN ARKANSAS!
DRIVE-THRU • DELIVERY FULL SERVICE CATERING PRIVATE PARTY ROOMS FULL BAR
BEST HVAC REPAIR
CALL US TODAY! Little Rock • 501-954-7427 N. Little Rock • 501-753-3737
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HELPING YOU MAKE YOUR DAYS
AT THE LAKE
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MARINA ON BEAUTIFUL GREERS FERRY LAKE Marina Store • Boat Rentals Daily/Annual Slip Rentals • Scuba Air
Hwy 110 West & Park Rd. at the Heber Springs Recreation Park
(501) 362-8838 arktimes.com
JULY 28, 2016
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016 Runners-up: 109 & Co., Cache Restaurant, Capital Bar and Grill, Heights Taco & Tamale Co.
Runners-up: Bill Clinton, Joey Lauren Adams, Kari Faux, Justin Moore PHOTOGRAPHER
Runners-up: Big Orange, Loblolly Creamery, Sonic,
Runners-up: Joshua Asante, Brian Chilson, Rita
Van, Youth Home
Shake’s Frozen Custard
Heifer International Runners-up: Arkansas Foodbank, Our House, The
Henry, Steven Veach
The Root Cafe
God’s Kingdom preschool, Little Rock trolley,
Buckner, Ned Perme TV SPORTS
MISUSE OF TAXPAYER FUNDS
Runners-up: Anti-abortion legislation, Growing VEGETARIAN
Runners-up: Barry Brandt, Tom Brannon, Ed
Runners-up: D.J. Williams, Aaron Peters, Mary Dunleavy
redecorating the Governor’s Mansion NEWSPAPER WRITER
Runners-up: Big Orange, Boulevard Bread Co.,
Runners-up: Joyce Elliott, Clarke
Greenhouse Grille (Fayetteville), Three Fold
Tucker, Asa Hutchinson, Kathy
Runners-up: John Brummett, Ernest Dumas, Benjamin Hardy, Wally Hall
Boulevard Bread Co. Runners-up: Arkansas Fresh, Old Mill Bread and Flour Co., Community Bakery, Mylo Coffee Co.
Alice-FM, KLAL 107.7
Runners-up: PHOTO BY R
Runners-up: Alex Collins, Dusty
Catering to You
Bobby Portis LIBERAL
Cajun’s Wharf Runners-up: Brave New Restaurant, Damgoode Pies River Market, La Terraza Rum & Lounge, U.S.
Max Brantley Runners-up: Matt Campbell,
AUTHOR CHARLES PORTIS
Joyce Elliott, Warwick Sabin, Kathy Webb
Pizza Hillcrest CONSERVATIVE
People and Politics
Runners-up: Nate Bell, Davy Carter, Tom Cotton, John Thurston
Kevin Kresse Runners-up: V.L. Cox, John Kushmaul, Matt McLeod, Katherine Strause
Tom Cotton and Jason Rapert (tie) Runners-up: Josh Duggar, Mike Maggio, Dennis
Milligan, Leslie Rutledge
Heather and Poolboy
Runners-up: Justin Acri, Corey Dietz, Tommy Smith, Lisa Fisher
KATV, Channel 7 Runners-up: KARK, Channel 4; KLRT, Fox 16; KTHV, Channell 11; AETN
BEST MILKSHAKE SINCE 1997
BEST ONION RINGS
Thanks to our guests and the Arkansas Times Readers for voting Purple Cow’s Milkshake the Best Milkshake 19 years running!
Nelson’s Southern Fried WEBSITE
arktimes.com Runners-up: bluehogreport.com, fayettevilleflyer. com, rockcitytimes.com, talkbusiness.net TWITTER FEED
@arkansasblog Runners-up: @jessicaxan, @johnbrummett, @
@tnorman23 Runners-up: @bangupbetty, @hannahacarpenter, @lrfoodcast
TV NEWS PERSON
Runners-up: Bob Clausen, Alyson Courtney, Beth
Runners-up: Blue Hog Report, Eat Arkansas, Rex
Hunt, Donna Terrell
The Buzz-FM KABZ (Fayetteville)
Simply the Best, Trio’s Restaurant
KUAR-FM 89.1, 103.7, KUAF-FM
Runners-up: Boulevard Bread Co., Dinner’s Ready,
Charles Portis Runners-up: Kevin Brockmeier, Garrard Conley, John Grisham, Mara Leveritt
GROW grow LOCAL ARKANSAS TIMES
JULY 28, 2016
BEST OF ARKANSAS - 2016
Thank you for voting us BEST LOCAL GROCERY STORE
Ms. Teresa and her salad bar
Ryan, Evette, Joyce & Suzi
Harrison, Bert, Ryan, Cleo & Davin
Davin at The Butcher Shop
Come meet the meat people. Where you are always #1 Central Arkansas Locations 7525 Baseline Road, LR • 10320 Stage Coach, LR 7507 Cantrell Road, LR • 2203 North Reynolds Rd., Bryant www.edwardsfoodgiant.com arktimes.com
JULY 28, 2016
HOT SPRINGS HAPPENINGS AUGUST
Hot Tickets in Hot Springs For a complete calendar of events, visit hotsprings.org. THE INSIDE TRACK GRILL & SPORTS LOUNGE located in the newly renovated Hotel Hot Springs and Spa is a destination for locals and hotel guests alike. The Inside Track will WOW you with 40 Television screens, 20 Draft Beer Selection, a Craft Specialty Drink list and a unique take on sports bar food. Open Daily 11 a.m.-12 a.m. Happy Hour Mon-Fri 4-7 p.m. Check out the Lobby Bar offering locals and guests an elegant atmosphere to unwind in after a busy day. The Lobby Bar has a great wine list along with craft and specialty martinis and manhattans. www. hotelhotsprings.org THE ARLINGTON RESORT HOTEL & SPA is the largest hotel in Arkansas and has been hosting guests as one of the South’s premiere resorts since 1875. Their grand hotel lobby and famous bar features live music Thursday-Saturday. The Arlington has everything you would want in a historic hotel with their top-rated Hot Springs Spa and Salon and Thermal Bathhouse where you will bathe in the famous mineral waters of the “hot springs’. www.arlingtonhotel.com THE MAGIC SPRINGS CONCERT SERIES continues this
Vince Gill takes the stage at Oaklawn’s Finish Line Theater Thursday, August 18. One of the most popular singers in modern country music, Vince Gill is famous for his top-notch songwriting, world-class guitar playing and warm, soaring tenor, all wrapped up in a quick and easy wit. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the performance time set for 7 p.m. on August 18. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, August 2 at 9 a.m. Visit www.Oaklawn.com or call 1-800-OAKLAWN for tickets.
Original live music every weekend. Burlesque shows once a month.
Check out our website for more details. Mon - Thur 3pm to 3am. • Fri 12pm to 3am. Sat 12pm to 2am. • Sun 12pm to 12am. Located at 700 Central Ave. Hot Springs National Park, AR 71901
50 JULY 28, 2016 50 JULY 28, 2016
ARKANSAS TIMES ARKANSAS TIMES
month with Candlebox and Blues Traveler, August 6th and 13th. CANDLEBOX is an American rock band from Seattle, Washington. Since its formation the group has released five studio albums along with numerous charted singles. Candlebox was the first successful act on Madonna’s Maverick Records, which went on to sign Alanis Morissette, Deftones and The Prodigy. They found immediate success with the release of their self-titled debut album in July 1993. BLUES TRAVELER is an American rock band, formed in Princeton, New Jersey in 1987. While Blues Traveler is best known among fans for their improvisational live shows, the general public is most familiar with the group from their Top 40 singles“Run-Around” and “Hook”.
HOT SPRINGS CONCERT BAND FREE SUMMER CONCERT SERIES, August 8th and 22nd. Music fans gather on summer evenings outdoors where they are entertained by the Hot Springs Concert Band. Attendees bring their lawn chairs and spread out picnics under the shade of magnolia trees. The August 8th Concert’s theme is Disney Magic!
And August 22nd concert’s theme is American March Music. www.hotspringsband.org
BARRETT BABER & ZACH SEABAUGH in Concert at the
Lake Hamilton Wolf Arena. August 20th. Kamo’s Kids and HEROS present a special night with Barrett Baber & Zach Seabaugh! This concert is open to the public. Ticket sales benefit the kids of Garland County. Tickets are available at eventbright.com.
STARDUST BIG BAND TEA DANCE at the Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa, Crystal Ballroom. Admission is $10 and free for students 19 and younger. We encourage the young student to attend and learn some ball room dance steps by participating with the instructors who have brought their students. This powerhouse 17 piece big band, organized in 1982, is the only big band consistently performing in Arkansas. These dancers come from as far away as Memphis, Texarkana, Waco, Dallas and Little Rock accompanied by their students and guaranteeing the evening’s entertainment promises as much for viewing as there is for dancing. For information call: 501.767.5482 or www.stardustband.net. HOT SPRINGS FUN CITY CHORUS presents “Boys of
Baseball” at the Hot Springs Convention Center August 27th. Come join us for a musical show featuring songs, stories, and characters of Spring Training in Hot Springs. www.funcity chorus.org. $25 Reserved seating. $10 General admission.
SPA CITY SUMMER FEST – Will kick off with the 25th Annual Hot springs Jazz Fest August 31st combining this year with the 20th Annual Hot Springs Blues Fest. THE 25TH ANNUAL HOT SPRINGS JAZZ FEST (Aug 31Sept 4) Go to www.HSJazzSociety.org or call 501.627.2425 for venues and musical line-up.
THE 20TH ANNUAL HOT SPRINGS BLUES FEST (September 3-4) www.spacityblues.org is Labor Day Weekend and will serve up some steamin’ hot blues music in Hill Wheatley Plaza in downtown Hot Springs. The partial line-up for the festival includes a bevy of local acts and some up-and-coming national acts.
THE MAGIC SPRINGS CONCERT SERIES
presents BLUES TRAVELER, August 13th at Timberwood Amphitheatre. Best known among fans for their improvisational live shows, the general public is most familiar with their Top 40 singles “Run-Around” and “Hook”.
Oaklawn is proud to partner with Bath Planet® on Sunday, September 4 to give you a chance to win a $16,000 bathroom makeover! Start earning entries today for the Labor Day weekend drawing where three lucky winners will
Larry Womack & Jackie Beaumont @ The Arlington Resort Hotel Lobby & Bar, 7-11
Susan Erwin Pop’s Lounge @ Oaklawn, 5-9 Moxie Silk’s Bar & Grill @ Oaklawn, 10-2 The Uh Huhs/Canterlouper @ Maxine’s Live John Calvin Brewer Band @ The Big Chill Willie Davis & Company @ Arlington Resort Hotel Lobby & Bar, 8:30-12:30
Susan Erwin Pop’s Lounge @ Oaklawn, 5-9 Moxie Silk’s Bar & Grill @ Oaklawn, 10-2 Trey Johnson & Dave Almond @ The Big Chill Dwight Yoakam- Timberwood Amphitheatre @ Magic Springs Willie Davis & Company @ Arlington Resort Hotel Lobby & Bar, 8:30-12:30
Spa City Blues Society Blues Jam @ The Big Chill
walk away with a $16,000 bathroom makeover from Bath Planet®! Visit www.Oaklawn.com for more details.
Oaklawn’s popular $1.99 Steak Night has moved
Earl & Them @ The Big Chill Willie Davis & Company @ Arlington Resort Hotel Lobby & Bar, 8:30-12:30
www.ArlingtonHotel.com For Reservations: (800) 643-1502 239 Central Ave. | Hot Springs, AR 71901
The Hotel Hot Springs & Spa
Pink Slip Silk’s Bar & Grill @ Oaklawn, 10-2 Ghost Bones/Muuy Biien @ Maxine’s Live Candlebox - Timberwood Amphitheatre @ Magic Springs Earl & Them @ The Big Chill Willie Davis & Company @ Arlington Resort Hotel Lobby & Bar, 8:30-12:30
Kay Oddyssey @ Maxine’s Live Larry Womack & Jackie Beaumont @ Arlington Resort Hotel Lobby & Bar, 7-11
Jocko Pop’s Lounge @ Oaklawn, 5-8 John Calvin Brewer Band Silk’s Bar & Grill @ Oaklawn, 10-2 The Federalis/Josh Powell and The Great Train Robbery/Sea Manners @ Maxine’s Live Mister Lucky @ The Big Chill
Louisianna Appleseed/Brian Martin @ Maxine’s Live
$215 plus tax for two people $280 plus tax for three people $345 plus tax for four people Available May 27 – September 4, 2016 Advance reservations required. Limited availability.
Jeff Hartzell Pop’s Lounge @ Oaklawn, 5-8
Willie Davis & Company @ Arlington Resort Hotel Lobby & Bar, 8:30-12:30
Pink Slip Silk’s Bar & Grill @ Oaklawn, 10-2
Our Magic Springs package includes one night in a Standard Room, Breakfast in the Dining Room and admission tickets to Magic Springs and Crystal Falls.
Larry Womack & Jackie Beaumont @ Arlington Resort Hotel Lobby & Bar, 7-11 Jacob Flores Pop’s Lounge @ Oaklawn, 5-9
to Thursday nights, from 5–10 p.m.! Come out and enjoy Hot Springs’ finest steaks, hand-cut from USDA Choice Beef. This fantastic meal is yours for only $1.99 when you earn 70 points on your Winners Circle card the previous Thursday through Wednesday!
Stay at the Arlington and play at Magic Springs & Crystal Falls, a family fun park with thrill rides, children’s rides, concerts and a terriﬁc water park all in one place!
Jocko Pop’s Lounge @ Oaklawn, 5-8 John Calvin Brewer Band Silk’s Bar & Grill @ Oaklawn, 10-2 ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT www.arktimes.com JULY 28, 2016 51 arktimes.com JULY 28, 2016 51
RODNEY BLOCK COLLECTIVE will be the featured performers at the 25th Hot Springs JazzFest’s Opening Night in “Rodney’s Block Party” at Hotel Hot Springs on Wednesday, August 31st.
BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY
Rodney Block performing at the free outdoor concert, Jazz in the Streets, during the 24th Hot Springs JazzFest in 2015.
That’s the kind of history made in Hot Springs every day.
Foul Play Cabaret Presents – The Circus Variety Show/Frontier Circus @ Maxine’s Live Blues Traveler – Timberwood Amphitheatre @ Magic Springs Mister Lucky @ The Big Chill Willie Davis & Company @ Arlington Resort Hotel Lobby & Bar, 8:30-12:30
Spa City Blues Society Blues Jam @ The Big Chill August 18 Vince Gill – Finish Line Theater @ Oaklawn, 7 p.m. Larry Womack & Jackie Beaumont @ Arlington Resort Hotel Lobby & Bar, 7-11
Moxie with Tara & Brent @ The Big Chill Willie Davis & Company @ Arlington Resort Hotel Lobby & Bar, 8:30-12:30
Larry Womack & Jackie Beaumont @ Arlington Resort Hotel Lobby & Bar, 7-11
AUGUST 26 Jacob Flores Pop’s Lounge @ Oaklawn, 5-8 Sensory 2 Silk’s Bar & Grill @ Oaklawn, 10-2 Willie Davis & Company @ Arlington Resort Hotel Lobby & Bar, 8:30-12:30
Christine DeMeo Pop’s Lounge @ Oaklawn, 5-8
Randy Magness Pop’s Lounge @ Oaklawn, 5-8 The Big Dam Horns Silk’s Bar & Grill @ Oaklawn, 10-2 Iron Tongue/Adam Faucett and The Tall Grass @ Maxine’s Live Moxie with Tara & Brent @ The Big Chill Willie Davis & Company @ Arlington Resort Hotel Lobby & Bar, 8:30-12:30
Sensory 2 Silk’s Bar & Grill @ Oaklawn, 10-2 Foul Play Cabaret Burlesque Show @ Maxine’s Live Trey Johnson & Dave Almond & Jason Willmon @ The Big Chill Willie Davis & Company @ Arlington Resort Hotel Lobby & Bar, 8:30-12:30
AUGUST 31-SEPTEMBER 4
Spa City Summer Fest (Jazz & Blues Festivals)
25th Annual Hot Springs Jazz Festival. www. hsjazzsociety.org . (August 31-September 4)
The Big Dam Horns Silk’s Bar & Grill @ Oaklawn, 10-2
20th Annual Hot Springs Blues Festival @ Hill Wheatley Plaza. www.spacityblues.org. (September 3-4)
Jeff Hartzell Pop’s Lounge @ Oaklawn, 5-8
Underground Sounds Hip Hop Night @ Maxine’s Live
TO ADVERTISE IN THE ARKANSAS TIMES HOT SPRINGS SECTION, CONTACT LEEMAJOR@ARKTIMES.COM OR CALL 501-492-3972
Than nk you fo for vot vo ottin ng fo for the Hot Ho ot Sp Sprrin ngs Ja azz zzFe Fes est st! HotSprings.org • 1-888-SPA-CITY BEST LIVE MUSIC FESTIVAL 52 JULY 28, 2016 ARKANSAS TIMES ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT 52 JULY 28, 2016 ARKANSAS TIMES
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PLACE TO PLAY @OAKLAWNRACING Gambling problem? Call 1-800-522-4700. arktimes.com
JULY 28, 2016
LITTLE ROCK CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU
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JULY 28, 2016
Arts Entertainment AND
JULY 28, 2016
The return of Ben Dickey The Little Rock native comes to White Water behind his excellent solo debut. BY LINDSEY MILLAR
e’s not widely known, but to a small but fervent group of followers, Ben Dickey is one of Arkansas’s great musical exports. He was a vocalist and guitarist in Shake Ray Turbine, a beloved post-hardcore band that had its heyday in the late ’90s, in the last days of Little Rock’s Towncraft era. A decade later, in Philadelphia, he co-starred in Blood Feathers, a rock ’n’ roll band with a vintage sound and a knack for melody that released three albums and always seemed on the verge of breaking out, but never did. Now, he’s returning to Little Rock to celebrate the release of his debut solo album, “Sexy Birds & Salt Water Classics” (Max Recordings), with a show at the White Water Tavern on Friday, July 29. It’s an album that deserves a wide audience. As former Arkansas Times arts and entertainment editor Robert Bell wrote on Facebook, “If y’all dig impeccable rock ’n’ roll born of a lifetime of careful listening and decades in the rock trenches, which effortlessly melds Dylan/Petty singer/songwriter tunes and a touch of T. Rex-y sheen with a peppering of country blues guitar picking of the first order, then you should listen to this.” Dickey recorded the album every Monday over the course of about 10 months in Philadelphia. In the wake of the dissolution of Blood Feathers, he was working long hours as a chef and Monday was his day off. “I was trying to make a record against the odds of working 70 hours a week and trying to maybe repair my band, which I’d just broken up,” he said. He recruited Matt Barrick of The Walkmen to play drums and Robbie Bennett from War on Drugs to play keyboard. Local musician Quentin Stoltzfus produced and played bass and provided some backing vocals. There are glimpses of darkness throughout “Sexy Birds,” but an amiable Southern swing dominates; it’s country-drive music, the soundtrack to sitting on a porch at sundown. But Dickey said the days were dark during recording. “The job was tough. A friend of mine who I worked with died in a really tragic way. I think I was kind of
BACK IN TOWN: Onetime local punk rocker Ben Dickey returns to White Water with a mellower brand of rock ’n’ roll.
having a meltdown.” He’d been longing to leave Philadelphia for some time. So he took a friend up on an offer of a different kind of life. Since late 2014, Dickey and his girlfriend have lived on a 5,500-acre cotton and corn farm in Caddo Parish, La., not far from the Arkansas and Texas
borders. Dickey’s friend owns the farm and had a spare house. There’s a pond and bayous and the Red River cuts through the property. Dickey has always been the guy with guitar, constantly writing songs in his head. “That’s the thing that I know that I can do,” he said. “[Songs] just
come and I feel better about everything in the universe.” At the farm, there’s space for him to record demos and for his girlfriend to make art. “Mostly all we do is work in studios. Gear our lives to get ready to keep doing that. This is what we were hoping it would look like. … It’s isolated, but it works,” he said. Aside from the White Water show, Dickey doesn’t have other dates scheduled. “Booking in Louisiana is an uphill battle,” he said. “Everything is slow and low, which I can’t really complain about, but sometimes it’s hard to get people to snap out of it. It’s kind of charming sometimes. There’s not a lot of faith in the internet.” Dickey doesn’t have much of a web presence himself. “I’m not the best in the computer world, but I’m all right. I can do some emails,” he said, laughing. But he does have two music videos online, both directed by the actor Ethan Hawke, who’s a friend. Hawke’s daughter with Uma Thurman, Maya Thurman-Hawke, stars in one for the song “Down the Shore” that was filmed in New York. Hawke and Dickey filmed one for the song “Nasty Girls” in Louisiana. It includes drone footage of Dickey trying to escape a hedge maze, a scene of him on the porch of a plantation mansion that looks a lot like the one in Beyonce’s “Lemonade” and many shots of a dog exploring the wilds of Louisiana. Earlier this week, the latest activity on the video’s Vimeo page was a like from his mom. In Vimeo, it read “Robyn Dickey ‘hearts’ ‘Nasty Girls.’ ” “She’s a devoted mom,” Dickey said, laughing, when I told him. During President Clinton’s years in the White House, his mom worked as director of special projects and visitor needs (his dad is former Arkansas Razorback football star David Dickey). Does that mean she was devoted enough to book him to play some state dinners? “She failed me there,” he said. “But you never know, if Hillary wins in November … .” The Libras open for Ben Dickey at White Water Tavern at 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 29, $5.
Check out the Times’ A&E blog arktimes.com
A&E NEWS POET AND PROFESSOR Sandy Longhorn joins the ranks of 30 writers — including Donald Harington, Roy Reed, Mara Leveritt and Kevin Brockmeier — to be awarded the prestigious Porter Fund Literary Prize. Eligibility requires an Arkansas connection and “a substantial and impressive body of work that merits enhanced recognition,” according to spokesperson Werner Trieschmann. Longhorn is professor of creative writing at the University of Central Arkansas, author of “The Alchemy of My Mortal Form,” “The Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths” and “Blood Almanac,” and will head up the C.D. Wright Women Writers Conference in November 2017, its inaugural year. “Having lived in Arkansas since 1999, I have studied with, read, and admired previous Porter Prize winners,” Longhorn said of the announcement. “I have sat in awe of the worlds they created, been transported by their gifts of storytelling, and I’ve had my heart cracked wide open by their words. Knowing these writers and their works, I am proud to be named among them.” She’ll be bestowed with the $2,000 Porter Prize in a ceremony at the CALS Main Library Darragh Center the evening of Oct. 27, when the Booker Worthen Literary Prize will also be awarded. The ceremony is free and open to the public.
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LITTLE ROCK FILM SOCIETY’S Kaleidoscope Film Festival scored another notable guest of honor this week for its screening of “Major!” the festival’s closer: Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a civil rights and trans activist who was at Stonewall the evening of the infamous raid, a survivor of the 1971 riots at Attica prison, a chief organizer of medical care and funerals for Bay Area victims of the AIDS epidemic and longtime advocate for trans women of color, and for women of color who have been victims of police violence. MARK COLLIE, WHO plays the role of Frankie Gray on ABC’s “Nashville,” plays a concert at The Delta School in the former company town of Wilson (Mississippi County), as part of the Wilson Music Series. Before Collie appeared on shows like “Walker, Texas Ranger” and movies like “The Punisher,” “Jericho” and “I Still Miss Someone” (in which he played Johnny Cash), he was writing songs for Martina McBride, Randy Travis and Hot Springs native Billy Bob Thornton. Collie’s own songs “Born to Love You” and “Even the Man in the Moon is Cryin’ ” made the top-ten on the early ’90s country charts.
JULY 28, 2016
BY STEPHANIE SMITTLE
SUMOKEM, PRIMITIVE MAN, COLOUR DESIGN 9 p.m. Vino’s. $7.
Founded in 2013 by Jacob Sawrie, Drew Skarda and the late Josh Ingram, Sumokem’s already evoked comparisons to Little Rock’s champions of doom-guitar layering, Pallbearer. It’s a fair comparison, sure, but Sumokem’s blend is more “Sorrow and Extinction” than “Foundations of Burden.” It’s darker, smokier and, judging by the heavy noise that characterizes the band’s debut EP, “The Madness of Lu Shen Ti: Vol. 1,” tends a bit more toward ripping guitar solos than the harmonic duos for which their fellow hometown doom rockers
are known. Sumokem started with no bass at all, then incorporated Alan Wells (Shitfire, Napalm Christ) into the brew for a time; now Dustin Weddle holds down the low end, with Tyler Weaver on lead guitar. Their solid sound inspired Diamond Bear’s Zac Thompson to create a “Sumokem Saison.” Joining Sumokem on the bill are the self-described “funeral punk” of Denver’s Primitive Man and self-described “shoegaze post-hardcore” quintet Colour Design. Come early and catch the Vino’s Brewpub Cinema screening of the hallowed 1984 Rob Reiner mockumentary that reportedly made Tom Waits cry, “This Is Spinal Tap,” 7 p.m., free.
ANIMATION SHOW OF SHOWS
7 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. $5.
If the idea of driving to a movie theater and gambling on a feature film leaves you disenchanted, here’s a safe bet. Ron Diamond, the curator and producer of this collection of 11 short animated films, started Acme Filmworks in the ’90s with the idea that “a brilliant animated short film makes the world a better place,” as he said on the Kickstarter campaign page that funded this particular tour. The same set of films will be shown each night, interspersed with threeminute documentaries on the filmmakers, seven of whom are women. They include two Oscar-nominated shorts, Don Hertzfeldt’s “World of Tomorrow” and Konstantin Bronzit’s “We Can’t Live Without Cosmos,” as well as musician Amanda Palmer’s “Behind the Trees.” Palmer, who told Brain Pickings she “regu-
larly amuses herself by engaging halfasleep Neil [Gaiman, her husband] in semi-sensical conversation, plunging into this unguarded rabbit hole into the surreal wonderland of his mind,” documented one such rumination in a voice memo on her phone, discovered it a year later and, with the help of animator Avi Ofer, turned it into this short film, complete with her own original soundtrack. Now a nonprofit, Diamond has taken the collection to Spain, South Africa, Canada, Australia and the U.S. in hopes of introducing audiences “to the wonders of great animated short films that otherwise would never get seen,” as he told Animation World Network. Although I probably should have watched it on a screen bigger than my laptop’s, I was utterly charmed by the whimsy and depth of this 97-minute mix Diamond is rescuing from underexposure; ditch the multiplex and pencil in one of these dates.
THURSDAY 7/28-SATURDAY 7/30
TANGLED: Brent Best (Slobberbone) brings songs from "Your Dog, Champ," an album five years in the making, to The Undercroft Friday night, 8 p.m., $10.
8 p.m. The Undercroft, Christ Episcopal Church. $10.
One of Little Rock’s most atmospheric venues is in the basement of a 175-year-old church, and it’s been home to intimate shows from Adam Faucett, The Salty Dogs, Mandy McBryde, Kevin Kerby, Fret and Worry, Nedelle Torrisi and a host of others. This week, it’ll be filled with the sounds of Brent Best, the frontman for Denton, Texas, alt-coun-
try heroes Slobberbone, whose songs have been name-dropped by the likes of Rachel Maddow and Stephen King. Best released his first solo album last year, “Your Dog, Champ,” with the help of Last Chance Records’ Travis Hill, some well-timed inspiration from a song he wrote with Kevin Kerby as a teenager, and from all the fans who donated to make the record happen.
PASSING OF THE KEY: A FUNDRAISER FOR LUCIE’S PLACE 8 p.m. Revolution. Donations accepted.
Aaron Reddin and his crew at The Van have done it again. Last Thursday, 58
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the crew at The One, Inc., a local group that provides Central Arkansas’s homeless population with clothing and personal hygiene supplies and helps them find housing and steady income, signed over the deed to a house in midtown Little Rock to Lucie’s Place for homeless LGBTQ young adults. In 2015, Luc-
ie’s Place opened an office and drop-in center on Spring Street, but it’s been a long-term goal for the organization to purchase a home in which to launch its transitional living program. The house will become home to four LGBTQ young adults and, to get the place in working order (the house needs a heat-
ing and air unit and a few other repairs, Reddin says), Lucie’s Place is holding a fundraiser with musicians Bonnie Earlywine, Buh Jones and Ryan Viser; DJ Chat Room Bears; a silent auction; the official “passing of the key,” and other special guests to be announced. Drop in and give what you can.
THURSDAY 7/28 Rodney Block hosts a summer “Block Party” at South on Main, the (rescheduled) tribute to neo-soul singer Maxwell, 9 p.m., $15. Ben Creed brings his comedy to the Loony Bin through Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Thu., 7:30 and 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., $8-$12. Club Sway hosts “A Moment in HerStory,” a watch party for the Democratic National Convention hosted by state Rep. Clarke Tucker and Democratic state Senate candidate Will Bond, 7:30 p.m., free. The Lacs blend Southern rock with Southern rap at Revolution, 9 p.m., $15-$18. Standup comics Mary Beth Poppins and Richard Douglas Jones join the band deFrance at The Joint as part of the “Lyrics and Laughs” series, 8:30 p.m., $7. Austin’s Adam Carroll takes the stage at the White Water Tavern with Chris Carroll, 9 p.m.
BLOCK ON ROCK 3RD BIRTHDAY BASH
4 p.m. Stone’s Throw Brewing, adjacent streets. $3-$5.
When the homebrewing endeavors of Stone’s Throw Brewing founders Shawn Tobin, Brad McLaurin, Ian Beard and Theron Cash took a turn for the serious, the quartet opened a craft nanobrewery at the corner of Ninth and Rock streets — a mere one block away from where
Papa Geyer’s, a biergarten that served as the gathering place for the German immigrant community that developed around the arsenal in the MacArthur Park neighborhood after the Civil War, once stood. Saturday, they celebrate three years of organized beerhood with a block party featuring brews from home team Stone’s Throw, as well as Lost 40, Blue Canoe Brewing Co., Bubba Brew’s Brewing Co., Damgoode Brews and Diamond Bear Brewing Co. Plus, there will
be spirits from Rock Town Distillery and food from Black Hound Bar B Q, Fork in the Road, Hot Rod Wieners, Katmandu Momo, Loblolly Creamery, Luncheria Mexicana Alicia, Roxy’s Twisted Sandwiches, Slader’s Alaskan Dumpling Co., Solfood Kitchen Coop and The Southern Gourmasian. The Big Dam Horns and my group, The Smittle Band, hold down the live music, and for the third year in a row, a portion of the revenue from the event will go to Preserve Arkansas.
JASON FRANK ROTHENBERG
TO PORTIS: Songwriter Tift Merritt joins Roy Blount, Jr., Fred Newman, Jay Jennings and Harrison Scott Key for Oxford American's celebration of the work of novelist Charles Portis at South on Main, 6 p.m., $40-$60.
SATURDAY 7/30-SUNDAY 7/31
CHARLES PORTIS WEEKEND, TIFT MERRITT
6:30 p.m. Sat., Capital Hotel; 7 p.m. Sun., South on Main. $40-$150.
To those who know his work best, it might feel a little odd spending a weekend heaping attention and adoration on a man who, as New York Times’ Charles McGrath says, “shuns photographs with the ardor of a fugitive in the witness protection program.” We must, though, right? Or rather, if we, his neighbors (well, at least geographically, if not exactly socially) don’t, who will? A Coen Brothers revival of “True Grit” notwithstanding, Portis’ status is still cultish; impossibly, he’s still a literary underdog, and maybe that’s exactly
what compels such stubborn fervor among Arkansas’s Portisheads. He’s our underdog, dammit. Maybe that’s why Roy Blount Jr., who will participate in the celebration, described “Norwood” as “the text reread most often by Portis devotees, who say things like ‘The way I decided whether to marry my wife: I gave her “Norwood” and waited. And then I heard her laughing upstairs.’ ” Oxford American, a nonprofit literary magazine that’s made stewardship of Southern writing its chief responsibility for almost as long as “Gringos” has been out and to which Portis has contributed, hosts a 75-minute variety show celebrating the 50th anniversary of “Norwood.” Doors open at 6
p.m. for food inspired by what Ed Park called Norwood’s “decidedly humble (call it American)” menu, and at 7 p.m., there will be performances and readings from Blount, Fred Newman (the radio sound-effects whiz from “A Prairie Home Companion”), songwriter Tift Merritt and writers Jay Jennings and Harrison Scott Key. The night before at 6:30 p.m., there’s a fancy “Southern supper” at the Capital Hotel with Blount, Key and Jennings in attendance. Merritt, who Emmylou Harris once said “stood out like a diamond in a coal patch,” sticks around for a show on Monday evening. For tickets to any of those three events, call 800293-5949.
The Peacemaker Music & Arts Fest at Fort Smith’s Riverfront Park features performances from The Old 97s, American Aquarium, The Ben Miller Band and Turnpike Troubadours, Fri.-Sat., $19-$199. Country music’s Kevin Fowler, who took a dig at the country industry this year with single “Sellout Song,” plays the Electric Cowboy, 9 p.m., $10. Acoustic string band National Park Radio comes home to Harrison for a show at North Arkansas College’s Durand Center, 7 p.m., $10. The Main Thing continues its run of “Forever Hold Your Peace” at The Joint, Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m., $22. Verizon Arena hosts an “I Love the 90s” showcase, featuring Salt n’ Pepa, Vanilla Ice, Kid n’ Play, Tone Loc and Young MC, 7:30 p.m., $55-$68. The Big Dam Horns play Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m., $5.
SATURDAY 7/30 Arkansas State Archives hosts “Heroes of Arkansas Folk Music” symposium at 1 Capitol Mall (Big Mac), 9 a.m., free, 682-6900 for details. Dwight Yoakam caps off Magic Springs’ “Down on the Farm” day with a concert at 8 p.m., preceded by Arkansongs’ Stephen Koch at 6:30 p.m.; starting at 10 a.m., families can enjoy a Little Mr. and Mrs. Farmer contest, square dance performances, 4-H science activities and a “large farm equipment” display, $55-$65. Former U.S. Rep. Ed Bethune signs his book, “A Pearl for Kizzy” at WordsWorth Books, 1 p.m., free. Alyssa Edwards headlines a drag show at Club Sway ahead of her appearance on television’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 2,” 9 p.m., $25-$45. Tennessee Stiffs play the back room at Vino’s with Fried Pies and Jeremiah James Baker, 9 p.m., $6. arktimes.com
JULY 28, 2016
AFTER DARK All events are in the Greater Little Rock area unless otherwise noted. To place an event in the Arkansas Times calendar, please email the listing and all pertinent information, including date, time, location, price and contact information, to email@example.com.
THURSDAY, JULY 28
Adam Carroll. With Chris Carroll. White Water Tavern, 9 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. www. whitewatertavern.com. Chris Stapleton. Walmart AMP, 7:30 p.m., $36$56. 5079 W. Northgate Road, Rogers. 479-4435600. waltonartscenter.org. Deana Carter. Clear Channel Metroplex, 7:30 p.m., $25. 10800 Col. Glenn Road. 501-217-5113. metroplexlive.com. Drageoke. Hosted by Queen Anthony James Gerard: a drag show followed by karaoke. Sway, 8 p.m. 412 Louisiana. clubsway.com. Glen & Blaine. Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 p.m., free. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. cajunswharf.com. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. www.sonnywilliamssteakroom.com. The Lacs. Revolution, 9 p.m., $15-$18. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom. com. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Lyrics and Laughs. Featuring Stand-Up comics Mary Beth Poppins, Richard Douglas Jones and live music by DeFrance. The Joint, 8:30 p.m., $7. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointargenta.com. Open Jam. Thirst n’ Howl, 8 p.m. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. www.thirst-n-howl.com. Open jam with The Port Arthur Band. Parrot Beach Cafe, 9 p.m. 9611 MacArthur Drive, NLR. 771-2994. “Rhythms of Our Land.” A performance from Bi-Okoto African Drum and Dance Theatre. Faulkner County Library, 10 a.m., free. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. fcl.org. RockUsaurus. Casa Mexicana, 7 p.m. 7111 JFK Blvd., NLR. 501-835-7876. Rodney Block’s Summer Party. South on Main, 9 p.m., $15. 1304 Main St. 501-244-9660. southonmain.com. Sumokem, Primitive Man, Colour Design. Vino’s, 9 p.m., $7. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. vinosbrewpub.com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 8 p.m., free. 111 W. Markham St. 501-370-7013. www. capitalbarandgrill.com/.
MUSCLE THEORY: Grammy and Handy awards-winning country blues and R&B pioneer Alvin Youngblood Hart, who Taj Mahal once said had “thunder in his hands,” comes to White Water Tavern Saturday night, 9 p.m., $7.
p.m. 402 E. 9th St. 501-244-9154. A Moment in Herstory. A watch party for the Democratic National Convention hosted by state Rep. Clarke Tucker and state Senate candidate Will Bond. Sway, 7:30 p.m., free. 412 Louisiana. clubsway.com.
Animation Show of Shows. Ron Robinson Theater, 7 p.m., $5. 1 Pulaski Way. 501-320-5703. ronrobinsontheater.org. “This Is Spinal Tap.” A Vino’s Brewpub Cinema screening. Vino’s, 7 p.m., free. 923 W. 7th St.
Garden Club. A project of the Faulkner County Urban Farm Project. Ages 7 and up or with supervision. Faulkner County Library, 3:30 p.m., free. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. www. fcl.org.
FRIDAY, JULY 29
All In Fridays. Envy. 7200 Colonel Glenn Road.
Ben Creed. The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m., $8. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. loonybincomedy.com.
Bi-Okoto African Drum and Dance Theatre. Faulkner County Library, 10 a.m., free. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. fcl.org.
ArkiePub Trivia. Stone’s Throw, 6:30 p.m., free. 402 E. 9th St. 501-244-9154. stonesthrowbeer. com. #ArkiePubTrivia. Stone’s Throw Brewing, 6:30 60
JULY 28, 2016
July 29 - Joey Farr and the Fuggins Wheat Band • 30 - The Creek Rocks August 5 - DeFrance • 6 - Chapter: Soul• 12 - CosmOcean 13 - Low Society Blues Band • 19 - Dirtfoot Open until 2am every night! 415 Main St North Little Rock • (501) 313-4704 • fourquarterbar.com
501-562-3317. Ben Dickey Record Release Show. With The Libras. White Water Tavern, 8 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. whitewatertavern.com. Big Dam Horns. Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m., $5. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. cajunswharf.com. Brent Best (of Slobberbone). A concert in Christ Episcopal’s Undercroft. Christ Episcopal Church, 8 p.m., $10. 509 Scott St. 501-375-2342. christchurchlr.org. Buh Jones Band. Markham Street Grill and Pub, 8:30 p.m., free. 11321 W. Markham St. 501-2242010. markhamstreetpub.com. Goldy Locks. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, July 29-30, 10 p.m., $7. 215 N. Shackleford. 501224-7665. westendsmokehouse.net. “I Love the 90s.” Featuring Vanilla Ice, Salt-NPepa with Spinderella, Kid ‘n Play, Rob Base, Tone Loc & Young MC. Verizon Arena, 7:30 p.m., $55-$68. 1 Alltel Arena Way, NLR. 501-975-9001. verizonarena.com. Jennifer Hall. With Tate Smith. Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m., $5. 1020 Front St., No.102, Conway. kingslivemusic.com. Kevin Fowler. Electric Cowboy, 9 p.m., $10. 9515 Interstate 30. 501-562-6000. electriccowboy.com. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. moxie. Silk’s Bar and Grill, July 29, 10 p.m.; July 30, 10 p.m., free. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 5016234411. oaklawn.com. National Park Radio. North Arkansas College, 7 p.m., $10. 1515 Pioneer Drive, Harrison. 870391-3367. nationalparkradio.com. Ol’ Puddin’head & Carey Griffin. Hibernia Irish Tavern, 8 p.m., free. 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-246-4340. hiberniairishtavern.com. Old 97’s, Turnpike Troubadours. Fort Smith River Park, 6 p.m., $19-$199. 121 Clayton Expressway, Fort Smith. 479-784-2368. peacemakerfest.com. Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 9 p.m., $8-$10. 107 River Market Ave. 501-372-7707. stickyz.com. The Shakebacks, Pagoda Mambo. Smoke and Barrel Tavern, 10 p.m., free. 324 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-521-6880. smokeandbarrel.com. Some Guy Named Robb. Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 p.m., free. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. cajunswharf.com. Susan Erwin. Pop’s Lounge, July 29, 5 p.m.; July 30, 5 p.m., free. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. oaklawn.com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 8 p.m., free. 111 W. Markham St. 501-370-7013. www. capitalbarandgrill.com/. Tragikly White. Revolution, 9:30 p.m., $10. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom. com. The Uh Huhs, Canterlouper. Maxine’s. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. maxineslive.com. Upscale Friday. IV Corners, 7 p.m. 824 W. Capitol Ave.
4th Annual “Really Awful Terrible Night of Comedy.” Hosted by Corey and Patrick from 100.3 FM “The Edge.” Clear Channel Metroplex, 7 p.m., $10. 10800 Col. Glenn Road. 501-2175113. metroplexlive.com. Ben Creed. The Loony Bin, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $12. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. loonybincomedy.com. “Forever Hold Your Peace.” By comedy trio The Main Thing. The Joint, through Sept. 2: 8 p.m.,
Dan O’Brien. A talk from the Olympic gold medalist. Clinton School of Public Service, noon, free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239. clintonfoundation.org.
SATURDAY, JULY 30
Alvin Youngblood Hart. White Water Tavern, 9 p.m. 2500 W. 7th St. 501-375-8400. whitewatertavern.com. Alyssa Edwards. A performance in anticipation of Edwards’ appearance on “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 2. Also featuring Queen Anthony James Gerard, Rhiannon Cortez, Symone Ebony Enchantress, Chloe Jacobs and Lady Boi aka Peyton Kross. Sway, 9 p.m., $20-$40. 412 Louisiana. clubsway.com. Block on Rock Birthday Bash. Featuring music from The Big Dam Horns and The Smittle Band. Stone’s Throw Brewing, 4 p.m., free. 402 E. 9th St. 501-244-9154. stonesthrowbeer.com. Butterfly & Irie Soul. Next Bistro and Bar, 9 p.m., $10. 2611 Kavanaugh Blvd. 501-663. www.facebook.com/LRnextbar/timeline. Chris DeClerk. Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 p.m., free. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. cajunswharf. com. Dwight Yoakam. Magic Springs’ Timberwood Amphitheater, 8 p.m., $55-$65. 1701 E. Grand Ave., Hot Springs. magicsprings.com. Faulkner Chamber Music Festival: Faculty Recital. Andrius Žlabys-piano, Alex Fortesviolin, and Mihai Marica-cello performing works by Barrière, Franck, and Brahms. UALR, Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall, 3 p.m., free. 2801 S. University Ave. 501-569-8977. Foul Play Cabaret Burlesque Show. Maxine’s. 700 Central Ave., Hot Springs. maxineslive.com. Funk Factory. George’s Majestic Lounge, 8:30 p.m., $7. 519 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479442-4226. georgesmajesticlounge.com. Goldy Locks. West End Smokehouse and Tavern, 10 p.m., $7. 215 N. Shackleford. 501-224-7665. westendsmokehouse.net. Huskey Burnette. With Edward Briggler. Kings Live Music, 8:30 p.m., $5. 1020 Front St. No. 102, Conway. kingslivemusic.com. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-
Ben Creed. The Loony Bin, 7:30 and 10 p.m., $12. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-228-5555. loonybincomedy.com. “Forever Hold Your Peace.” By comedy trio The Main Thing. The Joint, 8 p.m., $22. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointargenta.com.
Down on the Farm. Agricultural-themed activities with a live performance from Arkansongs host Stephen Koch. Magic Springs, $55. 1701 E. Grand Ave., Hot Springs. 501-624-0100. magicsprings.com. Falun Gong meditation. Allsopp Park, 9 a.m., free. Cantrell and Cedar Hill Roads. Heroes of Arkansas Folk Music. A symposium and concert presented by the Arkansas State Archives, with presentations from George West, Charley Sandage, and State Archives staff member Jeff Lewellen, to be held at 4a-400, 1 Capitol Mall. Arkansas State Capitol, 9 a.m., free. 5th and Woodlane. 501-682-6900. Hillcrest Farmers Market. Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd. Historic Neighborhoods Tour. Bike tour of historic neighborhoods includes bike, guide, helmets and maps. Bobby’s Bike Hike, 9 a.m., $8-$28. 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-613-7001. Little Rock Farmers’ Market. River Market pavilions, 7 a.m. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. www.rivermarket.info. Pork & Bourbon Tour. Bike tour includes bicycle, guide, helmets and maps. Bobby’s Bike Hike, 11:30 a.m., $35-$45. 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-613-7001.
Animation Show of Shows. Ron Robinson Theater, 7 p.m., $5. 1 Pulaski Way. 501-320-5703. ronrobinsontheater.org.
MUSIC & FOOD TRUC TR UCKSS & UC BEERR! BEE
benefits preserve arkansas!
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Animation Show of Shows. Ron Robinson Theater, through July 30, 7 p.m., $5. 1 Pulaski Way. 501-320-5703. ronrobinsontheater.org.
Pub: Arkansas Times
LGBTQ/SGL weekly meeting. 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 501-244-9690 or search “DYSC” on Facebook. First Presbyterian Church, 6:30 p.m. 800 Scott St.
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Contra dance. Park Hill Presbyterian Church, 7:30 p.m., $5. 3520 JFK Blvd., NLR. arkansascountrydance.org. Salsa Dancing. Clear Channel Metroplex, 9 p.m., $5-$10. 10800 Col. Glenn Road. 501-217-5113. www.littlerocksalsa.com.
4782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. MercyMe. With Jeremy Camp. Walmart AMP, 7:30 p.m., $31-$56. 5079 W. Northgate Road, Rogers. 479-443-5600. arkansasmusicpavilion. com. Mojo Duo. Markham Street Grill and Pub, 8:30 p.m., free. 11321 W. Markham St. 501-224-2010. markhamstreetpub.com. Moxie. Silk’s Bar and Grill, 10 p.m., free. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 5016234411. oaklawn.com. Pickin’ Porch. Bring your instrument. All ages welcome. Faulkner County Library, 9:30 a.m. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. www.fcl.org. Shannon Boshears. Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m., $5. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. cajunswharf. com. Shawn James and the Shapeshifters. Smoke and Barrel Tavern, 10 p.m., $7. 324 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville. 479-521-6880. smokeandbarrel.com. Susan Erwin. Pop’s Lounge, 5 p.m., free. 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-623-4411. oaklawn.com. Ted Ludwig Trio. Capital Bar and Grill, 8 p.m., free. 111 W. Markham St. 501-370-7013. www. capitalbarandgrill.com. Tennessee Stiffs. With Jeremiah James Baker. Vino’s, 9 p.m., $6. 923 W. 7th St. 501-375-8466. vinosbrewpub.com.
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AFTER DARK, CONT.
“Norwood:” A Southern Supper. Featuring Roy Blount, Jr. and Harrison Scott Key, as part of Oxford American’s Charles Portis Weekend. Capital Hotel, 6:30 p.m., $150. 111 W. Markham St. 501-374-7474. oxfordamerican.org. “A Pearl for Kizzy.” A book-signing by former U.S. Rep. Ed Bethune. WordsWorth Books & Co., 1 p.m., free. 5920 R St. 501-663-9198. wordsworthar.com.
THE NEW GUARD: Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy and Leslie Jonese avert a supernatural apocalypse in “Ghostbusters.”
To hell with the haters ‘Ghostbusters’ is more than an exercise of affirmative action. BY GUY LANCASTER
checked and rechecked all the local movie listings several times before finally giving my wife the bad news: “I’m afraid that the ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ movie isn’t coming here its opening weekend.” “Awww,” she groaned. “I really wanted to watch a group of independent women wreak havoc on a major metropolitan area. What are we going to do instead?” Well, if you just pretend that everyone has an English accent, then “Ghostbusters” will serve as a good AbFab substitute in a pinch. Kristen Wiig plays Dr. Erin Gilbert, the Saffron character of the bunch — intelligent, responsible, but easily sucked into chaos. As a physicist up for tenure at Columbia University, she is horrified to discover that an old friend has brought back into print a book on paranormal happenings they co-wrote long ago (and which Dr. Gilbert now disavows in her quest for respectability). So she goes to confront said friend, Dr. Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy, our movie’s equivalent of Edina) and her colleague Dr. Jillian Holtzman (Kate McKinnon, an agent of chaos along the lines of AbFab’s Patsy). They drag Erin along to investigate an old mansion, where she is puked upon by the specter of an old murderess, 62
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because no one ever tires of references to “The Exorcist.” After being filmed talking about ghosts, Erin loses her tenure-track position, and so our trio takes the smallbusiness route and sets up a ghost-busting enterprise above a Chinese takeout restaurant. They hire beefcake Kevin Beckman (Chris Hemsworth) as their secretary and are soon joined by Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), a transit worker with an invaluably encyclopedic knowledge of the geography and history of New York City. (While it’s still disappointing that the one black character is also the one nonscientist, Jones’ Patty is much more well-rounded than the trailer had implied.) Together, the four women uncover a plot by quiet loner Rowan North (Neil Casey) to enact his revenge upon the world by opening a portal between our reality and the “other side,” thus causing the apocalypse. By this point, any parallels with “Absolutely Fabulous” have rather crumbled, though the men are alternately ogled and defeated, while our heroines escape relatively unscathed. In 1428, the Roman Catholic Church, in a typically petty act, ordered the corpse of John Wycliffe exhumed and burned for heresy, his crime in life having been the translation of the Bible into
Super Summer Saturday. Sporting and Olympicthemed programming for kids. 10 a.m. Saturdays through June 25. William J. Clinton Presidential Library, free. 1200 Clinton Avenue. 501-374-4242. clintonfoundation.org. Track and Field Day with Dan O’Brien. Sprinting, jumping and throwing with Olympic gold medalist Dan O’Brien. Clinton School of Public Service, 9 a.m., free. 1200 President Clinton Ave. 501-683-5239. clintonfoundation.org.
SUNDAY, JULY 31 English. In similar vein, there has been a contingent of men who believe that the precious, holy “original” 1984 movie about men who hunt ghosts with laser guns must remain forever inviolate, never to be updated for modern audiences, especially not with the genders of the main characters changed up in any way. Those people have famously taken to various online forums to espouse their own retrograde views, even temporarily driving actress Leslie Jones from Twitter with a tirade of racist abuse. To hell with those guys. When we exited the theater, my wife was literally dancing about, inspired by a movie that centered upon women without making them princesses or damsels — which is a cogent argument for the value of including diverse people and perspectives in the media we consume. But this movie is more than an exercise of affirmative action — despite how the haters might feel, this updated, gender-reversed “Ghostbusters” manages to meet headon the burden of three decades’ worth of expectations and mythologizing. It’s a silly story, yes, but so was the original. Moreover, the cast, as a whole, exhibits a perfect sense of comedic timing, from Melissa McCarthy’s excoriations of her Chinese takeout delivery guy to Leslie Jones’ public service shtick as she deals with one particular crazy subway rider. And Chris Hemsworth so thoroughly embodies the male equivalent of the blonde bimbo that just seeing him pop into frame is enough to produce giggles of anticipation. “Ghostbusters” is a fun summer film, but the experience of seeing it with a loved one who relished these images of powerful, competent women at the center of their own stories — well, that was absolutely fabulous.
Irish Traditional Music Session. Hibernia Irish Tavern, 2:30 p.m. 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-246-4340. www.hiberniairishtavern.com. Joe Lombardi and Friends. Part of Faulkner County Library’s Summer Music Series. Faulkner County Library, 2 p.m., free. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501-327-7482. fcl.org. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. The Wiz. Revolution, 5 and 8:30 p.m., $5-$20. Revolution, 5:30 and 8 p.m., $5-$20. 300 President Clinton Ave. 501-823-0090. revroom. com.
Artists for Recovery. A secular recovery group for people with addictions, open to the public, in the church’s parlor. Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church, 10 a.m. 1601 S. Louisiana. Bernice Garden Farmer’s Market. Bernice Garden, 10 a.m. 1401 S. Main St. www.thebernicegarden.org. Charles Portis’ “Norwood” at 50. With guests Roy Blount Jr., Harrison Scott Key, Tift Merritt, Jay Jennings, Fred Newman (“A Prairie Home Companion”). South on Main, 7 p.m., $40-$60. 1304 Main St. 501-244-9660. southonmain.com. Soul Food Sundays. Free buffet with $10 bar purchase, and live music from DJ Paul of KOKY. Se7en Social Lounge, 4 p.m. 824 W. Capitol St. 501-803-8519.
MONDAY, AUG. 1
Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Open Mic. The Lobby Bar. Studio Theatre, 8 p.m. 320 W. 7th St. Richie Johnson. Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www.cajunswharf. com. Tift Merritt. South on Main, 7 p.m., $20-$25. 1304 Main St. 501-244-9660. southonmain.com.
TUESDAY, AUG. 2
Brian and Nick. Cajun’s Wharf, 5:30 p.m. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. www.cajunswharf.
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JULY 28, 2016
Hey, do this!
OXFORD AMERICAN AND SOUTH ON MAIN present these excellent shows in July
AUGUST 25, 2016
AMY HELM & THE HANDSOME STRANGERS [AMERICANA SERIES] 8:00 PM—The Oxford American magazine is excited to welcome Amy Helm & the Handsome Strangers to the South on Main stage! This event kicks off our 2016-2017 Concert Series and is the first show of our Americana Sub-Series. Doors open at 6:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time
AUGUST AUG 1
Stone’s Throw Brewing hosts its third annual BLOCK ON ROCK BIRTHDAY BASH from 4-10 p.m. The street festival is a celebration of the brewery taproom’s opening in 2013 and includes local food trucks, beer and live music on the 9th and Rock Street block.
Singer songwriter JIM MIZE performs at the Ron Robinson Theater as part of the Arkansas Sounds summer concert series. General admission is $10. For tickets, visit www. arkansassounds.org.
THROUGH AUGUST 27 Murry’s Dinner Playhouse presents SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS. “Goin’ courting” has never been as much fun as in this hilarious stage version of the popular MGM movie that takes place in the 1850s Oregon wilderness. For tickets and show times, visit www. murrysdp.com.
Comedian RAY STEVENS performs live at CenterStage at Choctow Casino in Pocola, OK, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $49 and are available through Ticketmaster online at www. ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800745-3000.
Comedian LESLIE JONES brings her stand-up show to Choctaw Casino in Pocola, OK, at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $59 and are available through Ticketmaster online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-7453000.
Tickets are on sale now for the 2016-2017 season at Reynolds Performance Hall on the campus of UCA in Conway. Events include NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND (Sept. 22), ONCE, THE MUSICAL (Oct. 3), RONNIE MILSAP (Oct. 20), THE ALUMINUM BAND (Oct. 8), GEORGE TAKEI (Oct. 27), VOCES 8 (Nov. 10), FAME, THE MUSICAL (Nov. 12) and RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER (Nov. 22). For tickets and show times, visit www.uca.edu/publicappearances.
The legendary JOURNEY co-headlines with the DOOBIE BROTHERS for an unforgettable night of classic rock. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $53.50-$119 and available through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com. For more info, visit www.verizonarena. com. ■ “MOVIES AT MACARTHUR” presents a free screening of the film Here in Germany from 6:30-9:30 p.m. The event includes free popcorn and drinks at MacArthur Military Museum.
The Arkansas Repertory Theatre prepares for its next production, MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT. The Broadway smash musical opens on September 2 and runs through October 2. For more info, visit www. therep.org.
More than 80 lawyers, judges and legal professionals will once again take the MainStage at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre with their production of GRIDIRON 2016: BAKE AMERICA’S CAKE AGAIN, the biennial spoof on local and national politics and people. Tuesday’s opening night includes a reception with light bites and complimentary wine and beer before the 8 p.m. curtain. For tickets, visit www.therep.org.
Food, Music, Entertainment and everything else that’s
FUN! AUG 4
MAYDAY BY MIDNIGHT will be at Cajun’s Wharf on Thursday night. They’ll also play West End on August 19.
THROUGH AUGUST 5
TRADITIONAL ARTS OF THE BEDOUIN, curated by Dr. Amber Clifford-Napoleone, runs through August 5 at the UALR Gallery I. The Bedouin were nomads occupying the deserts of the Middle East and were skilled craftspeople. Their artifacts including jewelry, bowls and weavings will be on display. Summer gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
OUTCRY: SUMMER 2016 TOUR will be at Verizon Arena Friday, August 19 at 6:30 p.m. The lineup includes Hillsong Worship, Kari Jobe, Rend Collective, Housefires, Urban Rescue and Chad Veach. The tour will highlight the creativity, heart and mission of the local church. Tickets are $29.95$99.95 and available through Ticketmaster at www. ticketmaster.com. ■ Kent Walker Artisan Cheese hosts Words & Curds, an open mic singer-songwriter night at 6:30 p.m. Come check it out while sampling gourmet handmade cheeses and local craft beer. Kent Walker is located at 323 S. Cross Street.
O’Looney’s celebrates the SUMMER OF ROSE with 15% off all rose all summer long. The liquor store on Rahling Road also welcomes you to choose them for your summer wedding or gathering with a full special events staff on hand for wine pairings, custom cocktails and more. For more info, visit www. olooneys.com.
CHECK OUT WHAT’S HOT IN HOT SPRINGS ON OUR HOT SPRINGS HAPPENINGS CALENDAR.
MORE SUMMER FUN
RIVERDALE 10 offers summer movies for everyone. Settle into your big comfy recliner seats and enjoy a glass of wine or beer at the only theater in town where you can do so. Visit www.riverdale10.com for a list of movies now showing.
day with 15% off almost all wines; and “three for Thursday” gets you 15% off your purchase of three or more bottle spirits. To keep up with tastings and other fun events at the store, follow @colonelwines on Instagram or like Colonial Wine & Spirits on Facebook.
REBEL KETTLE BREWING CO. is a fun lunch, dinner or happy hour spot. Daily specials like shrimp and grits or a fried green tomato burger hit the spot especially when paired with a cold blonde ale or peach wheat – perfect for summertime. Like Rebel Kettle Brewing Co. to keep up with the latest specials and selections.
VINO’S has some of the best deals in town on craft beer and homemade pizza. And for decades it’s been the spot for the best live music with a full calendar of rock, punk and metal bands you won’t likely see anywhere else. For upcoming shows, visit www.vinosbrewpub.com.
Now open, EAT MY CATFISH is Little Rock’s newest catfish hole. Located in Breckenridge Village, the restaurant serves fresh (never frozen) seafood daily. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Check out their Facebook page for specials. COLONIAL WINE AND SPIRITS hosts speicals each week: Tuesday Brewsday with 10% off craft, microbrews and imports; Wednesday is wine 64
JULY 28, 2016
MIDTOWN BILLIARDS hosts Hot for Preacher Replay Night on Monday and celebrates the start of kickball season with half-price food and drink specials when you show up in your uniform. It’s a favorite dive bar with the best burger in town. FOUR QUARTER BAR serves up great food and live music at 415 Main Street in Argenta and another spot known for its late-night burger.
The one and only DOLLY PARTON performs live at Verizon Arena at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $66-$120.50 and available now through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com. For more info, visit www.verizonarena.com.
AFTER DARK, CONT.
com. Gil Franklin & Friends. Holiday Inn, North Little Rock, first Tuesday, Wednesday of every month. 120 W. Pershing Blvd., NLR. Jeff Ling. Khalil’s Pub, 6 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford Road. 501-224-0224. www.khalilspub.com. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. www.sonnywilliamssteakroom.com. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Meghan Trainor. With Hailee Steinfeld and Common Kings. Walmart AMP, 7 p.m. 5079 W. Northgate Road, Rogers. 479-443-5600. waltonartscenter.org. Tinderbox Circus Sideshow. Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 8:30 p.m., $5-$10. 107 River Market Ave. 501-372-7707. stickyz.com. Wheatley Matthews. Bear’s Den Pizza, 10 p.m., free. 235 Farris Road, Conway. 501-328-5556. bearsdenpizza.net.
Stand-Up Tuesday. Hosted by Brett Ihler. The Joint, 8 p.m., $5. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointinlittlerock.com.
Little Rock Farmers’ Market. River Market pavilions, 7 a.m. 400 President Clinton Ave. 375-2552. www.rivermarket.info. Muzikal Fashion Show. Fashion show on the rooftop of the Bank of America Building. Bank of America Plaza, 7 p.m., $20-$40. 200 W. Capitol. 501378-1267. mfs2016.eventbrite.com/. Trivia Bowl. Flying Saucer, 8:30 p.m. 323 President Clinton Ave. 501-372-8032. www.beerknurd. com/stores/littlerock.
Garden Sketch Hour. Through August, Faulkner County Library, free. 1900 Tyler St., Conway. 501327-7482. fcurbanfarmproject.org.
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 3
Gil Franklin & Friends. Holiday Inn, North Little Rock, first Tuesday, Wednesday of every month. 120 W. Pershing Blvd., NLR. Jim Dickerson. Sonny Williams’ Steak Room, 7 p.m. 500 President Clinton Ave. 501-324-2999. www.sonnywilliamssteakroom.com. Jonathan Fritzen. Part of the “A Work of Art” jazz series honoring the late Art Porter Sr. and Art Porter Jr. Cajun’s Wharf, 7 and 9 p.m., $35-$50. 2400 Cantrell Road. 501-375-5351. artporter.org. Live music. No cover charge Sun.-Tue. and Thu. Ernie Biggs. 307 President Clinton Ave. 501-3724782. littlerock.erniebiggs.com. Open Mic Nite with Deuce. Thirst n’ Howl, 7:30 p.m., free. 14710 Cantrell Road. 501-379-8189. www.thirst-n-howl.com. RockUsaurus. Senor Tequila, 7 p.m. 10300 N. Rodney Parham Road. 501-224-5505.
The Joint Venture. Improv comedy group. The Joint, 8 p.m., $8. 301 Main St. No. 102, NLR. 501-372-0205. thejointinlittlerock.com.
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 and Cleveland streets. 501-350-4712. www.littlerockbopclub.
Wednesday Night Poetry. 21-and-older show. Kollective Coffee & Tea, 7 p.m., free. 110 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-321-0909. maxineslive. com/shows.html.
100th Anniversary Gridiron Opening Night Gala. Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Tue., Aug. 2, 6 p.m., $60-$65. 601 Main St. 501-378-0405. therep.org. “The Drowsy Chaperone.” A Tony Awardwinning “musical within a comedy.” The Weekend Theater, through July 30, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., July 31, 2:30 p.m., $16-$20. 1001 W. 7th St. 501-374-3761. weekendtheater.org. Legacies and Lunch: History of The Gridiron Show. Hosted by Dent Gitchel and Judge Mary McGowan. Main Library, Wed., Aug. 3, noon, free. 100 S. Rock St. www.cals.lib.ar.us. “La Cage aux Folles.” Argenta Community Theater, through July 30, $30-$50. 405 Main St., NLR. 501-353-1443. argentacommunitytheater.com.
NEW IN THE GALLERIES
L&L BECK ART GALLERY, 5705 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “Impersonating the Impressionists,” paintings by Louis Beck, through August, drawing for free giclee 7 p.m. Aug. 18. 10 a.m.6 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 660-4006. M2 GALLERY, 11525 Cantrell Road: Tim West, drawings and paintings, through Aug. 12; Diana Hausam, photographs, through Aug. 12; Nathan Beatty, paintings 2005-2012. 2256257.
Show july 30, 2016 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. free admission
For more information, go to ArkMilitaryHeritage.com
Join us on the museum’s front lawn to see Jeeps and other vehicles from the Arkansas Military Vehicle Preservation Association and the West Tennessee Military Vehicle Collectors Club. 503 E. Ninth St., Little Rock • 501-376-4602
MOUNTAIN HOME ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY-MOUNTAIN HOME, 1600 S. College St.: Equine-themed drawings and paintings by Samantha Sherry, Aug. 4-31, Vada Sheid Community Development Center, reception 4-7 p.m. Aug. 4. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 870-508-6109.
NEW IN THE MUSEUMS
MacARTHUR MUSEUM OF ARKANSAS MILITARY HISTORY, 503 E. 9th St. (MacArthur Park): Fourth annual exhibition of vintage military vehicles, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. July 30, with vendors; “Waging Modern Warfare”; “Gen. Wesley Clark”; “Vietnam, America’s Conflict”; “Undaunted Courage, Proven Loyalty: Japanese American Soldiers in World War II. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-4 p.m. Sun. 376-4602.
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The Thea Foundation has opened registration for students, teachers, families and community groups wishing to take part in Thea Paves the Way, the annual sidewalk chalk event at the Clinton Presidential Center. This year’s event will run from 8 a.m. to noon Sept. 10; school groups may compete for art supply gift certificates. Participants will get to visit the presidential library free of charge. To register, go to theafoundation.org. The Conway Alliance for the Arts is seeking entries for an exhibition at City Hall during ArtsFest, Sept. 15-Oct. 15. Twelve artworks will be chosen and there will be prizes in youth, adult and fan favorite categories. (Voting takes place Aug. 5-15 on facebook/conwayartsfest.) Deadline is Aug. 1. To enter, send images to firstname.lastname@example.org. Theme for the exhibition is “Conway marks the spot.” For
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AFTER DARK, CONT. more information contact Beth Wilson Norwood at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Arkansas Arts Council is accepting nominations for the 2017 Governor’s Arts Awards recognizing artists, patrons and corporations. Deadline to nominate is Aug. 5. For more information, contact Cheri Leffew at 324-9767 or email@example.com.
ONGOING GALLERY EXHIBITS
ARGENTA GALLERY/ROCK CITY WERKS, 413 Main St., NLR: Pottery by Logan Hunter and Hannah May. 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 258-8991. ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER, MacArthur Park: 58th annual “Delta Exhibition,” through Aug. 28; Renoir’s “Madame Henriot,” loan from the Columbus Museum of Art, through Sept. 11; William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s “Admiration,” loan from the San Antonio Museum of Art. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 372-4000. BOSWELL MOUROT FINE ART, 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd.: New large pastels by Cynthia Kresse, blown glass buckets by Kyle Boswell. 664-0030. BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES, Arkansas Studies Institute, 401 President Clinton Ave.: “Arkansas League of Artists,” juried show, through Oct. 22; “From the Vault,” work from the Central Arkansas Library’s permanent collection, including works by Win Bruhl, Evan Lindquist, Shep Miers, Gene Hatfield, Ray Khoo and Jerry Phillips, through Oct. 22; “School’s Out: An Exhibition of Student Work,” organized by Arkansas Art Educators, through Aug. 27; “Culture Shock: Shine Your Rubies, Hide Your Diamonds,” work by women’s artist collective, including Melissa Cowper-Smith, Melissa Gill, Tammy Harrington, Dawn Holder, Jessie Hornbrook, Holly Laws, Sandra Luckett, Morgan Page and Rachel Trusty, through Aug. 27, Concordia Hall. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 320-5790. CANTRELL GALLERY, 8206 Cantrell Road: “Stop the Presses!” painting, photography, graphic work and ceramics by staff of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, including John Deering, Cary Jenkins, Benjamin Krain, John Sykes Jr., Celia Storey, Ron Wolfe, Nikki Dawes and Kirk Montgomery, through Sept. 3. 11 a.m.5 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 224-1335. CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 509 Scott St.: “Last Glimpses of Authentic Polaroid Art,” photography by Brandon Markin, Darrell Adams, Lynn Frost, Rachel Worthen and Rita Henry, through Sept. 30. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 9 a.m.-noon Fri., 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun. CHROMA GALLERY, 5707 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Work by Robert Reep and other Arkansas artists. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. 664-0880. COX CREATIVE CENTER, 120 River Market Ave.: “The Medium is the Message,” mixed media by Laura Fanning, through July. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-4 p.m. Sun. 918-3093. DRAWL SOUTHERN CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY, 5208 Kavanaugh Blvd.: Drawings, paintings, photographs by regional artists. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 680-1871. GALLERY 221, 221 W. 2nd St.: “Drawing on the Edge,” work by advanced art students at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, through Aug 30. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.Sat. 801-0211. GALLERY 26, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd.: “In Memoriam,” collages by Amy Edgington, hand-colored photographs by David Rackley, through Sept. 10. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 6648996. GALLERY 360, 900 S. Rodney Parham Road: “Chicana Goddess in the Bosque: Walking with the Ancestors,” art quilts and mixed media by Sabrina Zarco, through Aug. 20. 663-2222. GINO HOLLANDER GALLERY, 211 Center St.: Paintings and works on paper by Gino Hollander. 801-0211.
GREG THOMPSON FINE ART, 429 Main St., NLR: “Glennray Tutor — Solo Exhibition,” magical realism paintings, through Aug. 13. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 6642787. HEARNE FINE ART, 1001 Wright Ave.: “AfriCOBRA NOW: Works on Paper” featuring Akili Ron Anderson, Kevin Cole, Adger Cowans, Michael D. Harris, Napoleon Jones-Henderson, Moyo Okediji, James Phillips, Frank Smith and Nelson Stevens, through Sept. 3, artists reception 5:30-8 p.m. Sept. 9, tours and discussion 3-5 p.m. Sept. 10. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. 372-6822. HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM GALLERIES, 200 E. 3rd St. “A Diamond in the Rough; 75 Years of Historic Arkansas Museum,” through February 2017; “Sally Nixon,” illustrations, through Sept. 4; “Fucoid Arrangements” by Robert Lemming and abstract drawings by Louis Watts, through Aug. 7; “Hugo and Gayne Preller’s House of Light,” historic photographs, through October. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun. 324-9351. LAMAN LIBRARY ARGENTA BRANCH, 420 Main St., NLR: “Family Portrait,” paintings by Kesha Stovall. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat. 687-1061. M2 GALLERY, 11525 Cantrell Road: “Unwrapped,” paintings by Robin Trevor Tucker; “Dressed,” new works by Lisa Krannichfeld; also new works by Bryan Frazier, John Sadowski and Charles James. 225-6721. MATT MCLEOD FINE ART GALLERY, 108 W. 6th St.: “Art • Craft • Art,” jewelry, tapestries, felt, ceramic, glass, paper, metal and mixed media sculpture by James Hayes, David Clemons, Sage Holland, Tom Holland, Lucas Strack, Beau Anderson, Louise Halsey, Barbara Cade, McLees Baldwin, David Scott Smith, Susan Campbell, Leandra Spangler and Carrie Crocker. 725-8508. MATTHEWS FINE ART GALLERY, 909 North St.: Paintings by Pat and Tracee Matthews, glass by James Hayes, jewelry by Christie Young, knives by Tom Gwenn, kinetic sculpture by Mark White. Noon-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 8316200. MUGS CAFE, 515 Main St., NLR: “Morning Stroll Surprise,” photographs by Carey Roberson, through mid-September. 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 379-9101. RED DOOR GALLERY, 3715 JFK, NLR: Work by Jeff McKay, C.J. Ellis, TWIN, Amy Hill-Imler, Ellen Hobgood; new glass by James Hayes and ceramics by Kelly Edwards. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 753-5227. ST. JAMES UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 321 Pleasant Valley Drive: Susie Henley, paintings, through Sept. 5. UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK: “Traditional Arts of the Bedouin,” ExhibitsUSA/Mid American Arts exhibition, through Aug. 5. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
NOW PRE-LEASING OPENING SUMMER 2016 Contact Rachael Scott • (501) 376-6555 • firstname.lastname@example.org •
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BENTON DIANNE ROBERTS ART STUDIO AND GALLERY, 110 N. Market St.: Work by Dianne Roberts, classes. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. 860-7467. BENTONVILLE BOTTLE ROCKET GALLERY NORTH, 207 NE 2nd St.: “Video — Future Art,” works by Mike Abb, Kat Wilson, Dillon Dooms, Corey Johnson, Sara Segerlin, Danny Baskin and Joel Vedros, closing reception 6-10 p.m. Aug. 5. CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, One Museum Way: “American Made: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum,” 115 objects including quilts, carvings, signs, samplers, weathervanes and more, through Sept. 19; American masterworks spanning four centuries in the permanent collection. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon., Thu.; 11 a.m.9 p.m. Wed., Fri.; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.-Sun., closed Tue. 479-418-5700.
JULY 20th through JULY 30th, 2016 Director: Raphael Castanera Producer: Vincent Insalaco
405 Main Street, North Little Rock arktimes.com
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Dining WHAT’S COOKIN’ JOHN MUNDAY, THE chef at Samantha’s Tap Room & Wood Grill, is headed to the land of the crawfish and oysters to compete in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off. Munday and nine other competitors will prepare a dish that uses domestic seafood in front of a live audience at the Ernest Morial Convention Center on Aug. 6. Six judges will judge the dishes on presentation, creativity, composition, craftsmanship and flavor. Munday was chosen by Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin to represent Arkansas; if he wins, he’ll be declared King of American Seafood 2016. Maybe he’ll work up variations of his seafood dishes at Samantha’s, like the Crab Trois Frois (crab three ways) or the chicken andouille and seafood gumbo. A LOOK AT RECENT approved plumbing permits tells us that Taziki’s, the fast-food Mediterranean restaurant with locations on Cantrell Road, Chenal Parkway and in Conway, will open an eatery at the Grove Plaza in the Gateway Town Center at Interstate 30 and I-430, next to the Bass Pro Shops and Outlets of Little Rock. Also, Tacos 4 Life, the altruistic taqueria that donates to the nonprofit Christian organization Feed My Starving Children the cost of a meal for every meal sold in the restaurant, will open its first Little Rock location at Shackleford Crossing. There are two Tacos 4 Life in Conway and a third in Fayetteville. JJ’S GRILL WILL OPEN its first Little Rock location in mid-August in the Rock Creek Square Plaza shopping center at Bowman Road and West Markham Street. JJ’s, which has locations in Rogers, Fayetteville, Conway, Beaver Lake, Bella Vista and Fort Smith, is a good-time kind of place with a pool table, arcade games and a full bar. Food is served from 11 a.m. to midnight and “dranks until we’re closed,” that is the bar can stay open until 2 a.m. if the place is rocking. JJ’s bar boasts bar food made from scratch; the Philly cheese steak is a popular item on the American chow menu. There are 32 beers on tap. Happy hour is 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and domestic beers go for a dollar during “happy minutes” from 3 to 3:20 p.m., 4:20 to 4:40 p.m. and 5:40 until 6 p.m. To apply for a job, go to jjsgrill.com/ employment. 68
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More meat, less dough Taco Beer Burrito shows promise, but needs to be tweaked.
making beer and wine we gently called BS on her. We knew we loved the pinot gris ($8, or $6 between 4-6 p.m.), but we also knew it wasn’t made in Little Rock. Turns out it’s from the renowned J Vineyards and Winery in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. We also tried two margaritas ($6.50 with the exorbitant Arkansas liquor tax added on later, one of our major
n December 2014, three beer-making, beer-loving friends (two of them married) opened Blue Canoe on Third Street, adding another “nanobrewery” to the rapidly growing craft beer scene. Eighteen months later — on Cinco de Mayo, 2016, to be exact — the same trio opened Taco Beer Burrito next to Blue Canoe in the old Brown Sugar Bake Shop space. Besides owners, the two establishments share a kitchen, so patrons on either side of the wall can dig into salsa, queso, guacamole and slow-cooked meats (chicken, pork and beef) served atop tortillas as street tacos, wrapped in a larger tortilla as a burrito, atop nachos or griddled up with cheese as quesadillas. What the two spots can’t share is booze — so at Taco Beer Burrito there are margaritas, wine, four Blue Canoe drafts and a selection of Mexican bottled beer, while across the wall only the brewery’s own beers are offered. Besides a broader selection of beverages, TBB has a cooler vibe than Blue Canoe. It’s still small, though not that small, but its design is bright, chic and industrial. It feels more open with its brick walls, polished concrete floor, reclaimed basketball court tables and eight-seat bar with shiny aluminum toekick flashing. A long church pew along the south wall provides seating for a trio of four-top tables. A metal-letter TBB (reminiscent of the King’s TCB) adorns the east wall. The whole place seats about 40, and our favorite perch is the window-view bar top along the north window, perfect for people watching along that busy stretch of Third Street. We started with queso and guacamole, each $6.95 and each served with mediocre tortilla chips. The queso has a nice cumin kick and overall is tasty. But it’s too thin. The guac is some of the best in town, chunky with avocado and
PLEASE SIR, CAN WE HAVE SOME MORE? The tacos and burritos are tasty, but the fillings we The guacomole is some of the best in town.
tomato, bright with a heavy squeeze of lime and dosed liberally with cilantro, though the menu doesn’t mention that ingredient. Our dining companion doesn’t like beer or tequila, so she was glad TBB serves two wines, a pinot gris and a “light red,” our waitress Jackie told us. She also told us the wines were made in house, but knowing the differences in the equipment and know-how between
pet peeves; just tell us how much the damn drink is going to cost us, OK?). We enjoyed the classic lime, which was crisp but not overly tart, and the coconut-pineapple, which tastes like a tequila-based pina colada. We noticed the bartender was pouring Juarez blanco tequila (a fifth costs about $13 in a liquor store), so while tasty these clearly aren’t “top shelf.” TBB features four salsas at $5.95
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apiece, and we heard the patrons at the next table complimenting the mango variety. But growing up on free — if sometimes inferior — salsa in Mexican restaurants, we didn’t pull the trigger. And that leads us to the primary takeaway from two visits to Taco Beer Burrito: It’s too damn expensive! $4.95 would have been a fairer price for the queso and guacamole. And $4.50 for a
Taco Beer Burrito @ Blue Canoe Brewing Company 419 E. Third St. 503-1821 bluecanoebrewco.com QUICK BITE TBB also serves brunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Added to the regular menu are Belgian waffles served with a sunny-side-up fried egg on top ($7.95); waffle baskets filled with either beef, fruit or yogurt and granola made from the spent grain used in the brewing process ($9.95 for beef, $7.95 for the other two); and brunch burritos with beef, scrambled eggs and shredded cheese ($9.95 or $6.95 without beef).
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fillings were a little on the slim side for the price.
single taco is insane (you can get three, with rice and beans, for $10.95). Even Local Lime, the area leader — along with Cantina Laredo — in high Mexican restaurant prices, sells its for $3.95. And we can only imagine the rent in the TufNut complex doesn’t compare to what the Promenade at Chenal charges per square foot. The tacos and burritos (under the catchy heading “Tacos/Burritos …
What’s That In Yo Speedo?”) are served on flour tortillas, but corn is also available, and we prefer it. We chose the shredded pork butt, slow-cooked in Blue Canoe’s milk stout, for our taco, and found it tender and flavorful. But the portion of meat was too small. If there was more than 1.5 ounces of meat on it, we’d be shocked. We also tried the burrito with shredded chuck beef. Again, tasty and tender, and we liked the smoky taste of the beef more than the pork, but the meat quantity was disappointing, leaving the rice, beans, queso, cheese and veggies as the prominent tastes. Not a bargain at $10.95. Ditto the nachos, which essentially are the burrito deconstructed, minus the rice, served on the same ho-hum tortilla chips that come with the queso. To be worth close to $9.95 it needs a lot more meat. We chased our nachos with a 4 x 4 American Pale Ale ($6). It is described as “nicely balanced,” and that’s apropos. It’s not too hoppy and doesn’t have the off-putting tastes some beers with 7.5 percent alcohol by volume do. Taco Beer Burrito is a cool place to hang out, and we’ll be back by for some guacamole, a beer and some more J pinot gris. But the primary menu items, while tasty, are a bit skimpy, and the prices are out of whack. arktimes.com
JULY 28, 2016
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The Arkansas Times is launching its third annual Women Entrepreneurs issue in October, and we want to know who you think we should feature. Here is what to keep in mind: • Your nominee must be a woman who started her own business or took over a business and is still the owner/operator. • She must be an Arkansan. • She must be in business currently and have at least one year in business by the time of your nomination. • We welcome nominees who are LGBTQ. • She must fit in one of these industry categories: food, professions (teachers, doctors, attorneys, financial advisors, etc.), nontraditional, retail and design, and two new categories - trailblazers (women who do not have their own business but have led their profession to success – pastors, teachers, CEOs, writers, etc.), and those women entrepreneurs outside of Pulaski County.
NOMINEES WILL BE ACCEPTED UNTIL SEPTEMBER 2, 2016. Submit your nominee and her contact info to Kelly Lyles, firstname.lastname@example.org and we will announce those selected in September. A panel of judges will determine the finalists and they will be announced by industries in the following issues:
OCT 6, 13, 20 AND 27 WOMEN ENTREPRENEUR CLASS OF 2015
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A luncheon hosted by First Security Bank is planned.
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The Best of Arkansas - The results of our annual survey, including Editors Picks, the shoe king, a new old-school guitar shop, circus exerci...
Published on Jul 27, 2016
The Best of Arkansas - The results of our annual survey, including Editors Picks, the shoe king, a new old-school guitar shop, circus exerci...