Sing loud, punk: The Karaoke Underground comes to Fayetteville

February 27th, 2015 at 12:31 pm

Karaoke UndergroundWEB

As a rule, I don’t write about karaoke on this blog.

There are too many opportunities, and it rarely differs from place to place — you can sing the same 3,000 pop, classic rock and country songs at any of them.

This one, however, is different.

The now decade-old Karaoke Underground comes to The Lightbulb Club on Saturday (Feb. 28), and when it does, it brings along a list of almost 900 punk and indie songs available to sing. There’s also live music as an opening act, courtesy of Dave Norwood of The Gary.

Karaoke Underground has a recurring Saturday night gig at Nomad Bar in Austin, and Karaoke Underground co-founder Kaleb Asplund credits those sessions with boosting the popularity of his company. And, of course, the song list bears some credit too. It includes songs from acts such as Bikini Kill, Pavement, Guided by Voices, The Hold Steady, Bad Religion and hundreds more. Seriously, check the list.

I spoke with Asplund about the idea and that one time he got invited to offer songs at the Matador Records 21st anniversary party. You can read my story online or find it in today’s What’s Up! section, which is available in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Music starts at 10 p.m. Karaoke starts about 10:45 p.m. There’s a $5 cover charge.

The weekend in live music, with The Australian Bee Gees and more

February 27th, 2015 at 5:03 am

The Australian Bee Gees Show

The Australian Bee Gees Show

Once again, it’s cold, rainy and potentially snowy or icy this weekend.

Do your best to “Stay Alive” the next few days.

That’s all I’ve got for a lead-in this week, but it’s a good one (hey, give me the benefit of the doubt) because a world-renown Bee Gees tribute band comes to town this weekend.

The Australian Bee Gees Show visits the Walton Arts Center at 8 p.m. tonight (Feb. 27). My colleague Allison Carter recently chatted with the group, which has been performing for about 20 year, including at their Las Vegas residency. You can read her story in today’s What’s Up! section, available on newsstands via the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette or online. Tickets, by the way, are $22-$52 and are available online.

My colleague Becca Martin-Brown also wrote about music taking place this weekend. She previews the upcoming Eureka House Concerts series, which this weekend includes a Sunday evening (March 1) performance by Sam Baker. Catch Becca’s story online, too.

Elsewhere this weekend, there’s a NWA Rape Crisis benefit show at Mojo’s tonight, with The Black Dirt, Mojo Trio and Big Bad Gina performing.

Salsa band Calle Soul has the floor on Saturday night (Feb. 28) at Teatro Scarpino. That show starts at 10 p.m.

What’s on your live music agenda for the weekend?

Soon in tunes: Paper Diamond, Feb. 26 at George’s

February 25th, 2015 at 9:53 am

Paper Diamond

Paper Diamond

Update: This concert is now sold out.

A frequent opening act for performers such as Bassnectar, Skrillex, Zeds Dead and Pretty Lights is coming to George’s Majestic Lounge on a solo tour. Colorado-born electronica producer Paper Diamond brings his “Rain Drops” tour to the Fayetteville venue on Thursday (Feb. 26). The light effect-heavy show also focuses on the forthcoming “Rain Drops” EP. Admission to the 9 p.m. performance is $17.

Soon in tunes: Rhonda Vincent, Feb. 26 at the Walton Arts Center

February 24th, 2015 at 9:53 am

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage

On Feb. 8, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage cleaned house at the annual Society of the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America ceremony, an annual awards event that honors traditional bluegrass acts. The group took home Female Vocalist of the Year (Contemporary), Bluegrass Band of the Year and Entertainer of the Year. On Thursday Feb. 26), the band comes to the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville for a 7 p.m. show. Admission ranges from $17 to $37, and tickets are available by calling 443-5600 or via

A Dividing Line: New music from Smokey & The Mirror

February 23rd, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Smokey and the Mirror photo courtesy Meredith Mashburn Photography.

Smokey and the Mirror photo courtesy Meredith Mashburn Photography.

Bryan Hembree still fields questions about 3 Penny Acre. Fans haven’t heard anything from them in a while, so they want to know what became of the roots band.

The short answer: Smokey and the Mirror is what became of 3 Penny Acre.

The longer answer: After Bayard Blain left the group to focus on his guitar making, turning the trio into a duo, remaining members Bernice and Bryan Hembree looked for a new direction.

They found it on the road, cutting a live album along the way. At the end of their first tour as Smokey and the Mirror, they also cut a studio album. The result, “Thin Black Line,” will be released April 15.

As a Tuesday night (Feb. 24) concert at George’s Majestic Lounge with Tony Furtado looms, Bryan Hembree chatted with me about the new sounds, the new songs and finding ways to work those songs for both duo and larger band arrangements.

You can read my story online.

Admission to the Tony Furtado and Smokey and the Mirror show is $10. The event begins at 8:30 p.m.

The weekend in live music, with Jeff Austin and more

February 20th, 2015 at 5:03 am

Jeff Austin photo by Rex-a-Vision Photography

Jeff Austin photo by Rex-a-Vision Photography

This batch of live music recommendations comes with a disclaimer.

As this post goes live, it likely does so as freezing rain arrives in the area. Unless that’s not true, and the forecasters were wrong.

And even if they were right, and some freezing rain does arrive, it might not be enough to halt traffic and progress and live music this weekend. I don’t know what that means for your travel plans or favorite show.

This is a general disclaimer about these listings — I publish what I receive, but as you might suspect, the details change with some frequency. Bands cancel. Prices go up on the day of the show (and I’m not always told that will happen). Start times get pushed back or forward.

You know the drill. It’s a good idea to check with the venues. And you may need to do that today.

Anyway, here’s what I recommend for the weekend.

Mandolin player and vocalist Jeff Austin left Yonder Mountain String Band last year to start a solo career. He just released his new album, “The Simple Truth,” on Feb. 10. His newly formed project comes to Fayetteville tonight (Feb. 20) for a show at George’s Majestic Lounge. The Jeff Austin Band takes the stage following an 8:30 p.m. performance by guests The Old Salt Union. Tickets are $15 and are available through

Elsewhere, country musician Aaron Tippin plays a free show on Saturday night at Cherokee Casino in West Siloam Springs. He recorded several country hits in the mid-1990s and early 2000s, including “There Ain’t Nothing Wrong with the Radio” and “You’ve Got to Stand for Something.” His set begins at 9 p.m.

Austin, Texas-based electro-pop rockers Sphynx return to The Lightbulb Club for a show tonight. And speaking of returns, Bizar performs Saturday at Smoke & Barrel. The DJ performed regularly in the area before moving to the Pacific Northwest several years ago.

What’s on your radar?

Soon in tunes: Mike Adams at His Honest Weight, Feb. 19 at The Lightbulb Club

February 18th, 2015 at 1:29 pm

Mike Adams

Mike Adams

A combination of touring musician and local talk show host, Mike Adams blends pop sensibilities with a bit of wackiness. The Indiana-based songwriter touring with a full band called Mike Adams at His Honest Weight will perform on Thursday night (Feb. 19) at The Lightbulb Club with local band Lo-Res in support of his well-received 2014 album, “The Best of Boiler Room Classics.” The show begins at 9 p.m., and admission is $5.

Soon in tunes: The Wood Brothers, Feb. 17 at George’s

February 16th, 2015 at 9:49 am

The Wood Brothers

The Wood Brothers

Returning to Fayetteville after a two-night run of acclaimed shows during the Fayetteville Roots Festival last August are The Wood Brothers, a trio producing songs with elements of the blues, folk, classical and bluegrass. The group this time has a headlining show on Tuesday (Feb. 17) at George’s Majestic Lounge in support of its 2013 album, “The Muse.” Kristina Train serves as opening act. The show begins at 9 p.m.; tickets are $20.

Get some homemade jam(s)

February 13th, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Josh Jennings Band

Josh Jennings Band

The idea of the Midwinter Hometown Jam in Eureka Springs is pretty simple. Take many of the acts that play in the various restaurants and clubs of that town, put them together on a big stage and turn them loose.

That’s what happens tonight at The Auditorium for the fourth annual event, which begins at 7 p.m. The Ariels, Josh Jennings Band and Sarah Hughes are among those scheduled to perform.

I spoke with organizer Mike Bishop about the concert. You can read my story here, if you’re a subscriber to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s digital products.

Admission to the show is $12.

The weekend in live music, with In The Whale and more

February 13th, 2015 at 5:03 am

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In The Whale performs the song “Girlfriend” at Red Rocks in Colorado. A fitting title for this weekend, I think. In the Whale performs Saturday in Fayetteville.

I’m going to give you the same advice, whether you’re in a relationship with someone or not on this Valentine’s weekend.

If you’ve got a loved one, take them to a live music show. It’s an event, and it’s something you can share memories of together.

And if you don’t, go to a live music show anyway. Because any potential partner you might meet at a live show will be someone you know shares a common interest in music.

What are those options for this weekend?

Smoke and Barrel hosts a pair of rock bands this weekend. A group called In The Whale pitched me on Twitter, writing the following:

Not bad for 140 characters worth. That show takes place after 9 p.m. on Valentine’s Day.

George’s Majestic Lounge has a couple of good shows, too, but you had to get in on them early. Both Todd Snider (Feb. 13) and the Turnpike Troubadours (Feb. 14) are sold out.

Elsewhere, the Midwinter Jam in Eureka Springs takes place Saturday as well. More on it in a minute.

What do your Valentine’s weekend plans look like?