Thankful for the Weekend
Next week, everyone is going to be leaving Fayetteville behind to go home for Thanksgiving. Fayetteville, for its part, isn’t letting go without a fight. Live local music and basketball games are just some of the choices. The Las Vegas Invitational kicks off in Fayetteville Sunday, with the Razorbacks hosting Virginia’s Longwood University. Saturday night, Smoke and Barrel Tavern hosts not one, but two fantastic local bands. If you’re in a penny-pinching mood, George’s Majestic Lounge has a free show on Sunday night.
Smoke & Barrel: Damn Arkansan and the Great Scotts
Saturday night, Smoke and Barrel Tavern will have two excellent Fayetteville bands: Damn Arkansan and The Great Scotts. Damn Arkansan, which released an EP titled “Brave Mistakes,” has that all-important folky goodness. “Broke,” off of “Brave Mistakes,” has a cool organ part and a catchy refrain. “Coming Over” is another solid song from the band.
“Brave Mistakes” followed the band’s eponymous 2011 debut. The album is all over the place in types of songs. “Lafayette” is fun and upbeat, and has a Dylan-esque harmonica part. “Santa Fe” is softer, while “Saloon,” the opener, has a honky-tonk feel at times. The band’s two releases are available on Spotify or iTunes and are worth the time to check them out.
Following Damn Arkansan is The Great Scotts. 2010’s “Highnoon Saloon” has songs ranging from the harder rocking (“Ice Storm” or “Into the Future”) to the Phish-like “Quick Fix.” The band’s jam-band vibe means the Great Scotts should be a lot of fun live. Both bands on the same night at the same place promises to be a good time.
George’s Majestic Lounge: Corey Smith, Bear Colony, Carrie Nation and Foley’s Van
Thursday night, country singer Corey Smith will be at George’s. Tickets are $20. Smith’s 2011 release, “The Broken Record,” is definitely country, and his Georgia roots come through strong. According to his website bio, Smith quit his job as a high school teacher in 2005 to focus full-time on music.
Saturday night, electronic group Bear Colony will have a CD release party. 2012’s “Soft Eyes” is everything good electro-pop music should be: fun, light and sunny. Highlights from the CD include “We Don’t Know Harm I,” “A Ladder to the Clouds” and “Monster.” Bear Colony sounds more like Brooklyn than Fayetteville, and it’s music that is rare around here. George’s on Saturday night is definitely worth your time.
Sunday, Carrie Nation and Foley’s Van will be playing at George’s. For free. Carrie Nation, named for Hatchet Carrie Nelson, the prohibition advocate, is somewhere between a bluegrass band and a jazz group. The banjo and trumpet work strangely well together.
Foley’s Van, named for Chris Farley’s beloved SNL character, is a more traditional bluegrass band. Foley’s Van channels groups like Old Crow Medicine Show, and the group has only been in existence since June, according to the band’s website. The band’s cover of bluegrass staple “Worried Man Blues” can be found on their ReverbNation site.
Comedy and Movies
UARK Bowl continues their fall standup series with JR Brow. Tickets are only $7 with a student ID. JR Brow will perform a set on Thursday night and Friday night. According to Brow’s website, he has shared the stage with the likes of Wanda Sykes and Ray Romano, and has traveled to war zones to perform for troops. While he’s no Louis CK, Brow’s set should get more than a few chuckles out of most people. On Saturday night, UARK Bowl will host local improv group Phunbags.
If you’re feeling exceptionally American before Thanksgiving, Daniel Day-Lewis’s biopic “Lincoln” opens in theaters this weekend. You also must be willing to brave the army of 13-year-olds who will be at theaters for the final Twilight premier. “Lincoln” has already received some Oscar buzz, and it will most likely be more historically accurate than “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer.”
For those feeling culturally aware, Fiesta Square has two Indian movies playing. Romance “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” is the story of an ex-army officer who is forced to choose between two women, according to IMDb. Comedy “Son of Saardar” tells the story of a man who moves back to Punjab and is caught up in a family feud, according to the movie’s IMDb page.
Before Fayetteville empties out for Thanksgiving, make sure to take advantage of one more weekend before heading home. As finals draw ever nearer, Fayetteville offers plenty of opportunities to leave school behind, if only for a few hours. So, go do something.