by Robert Bell
Many Rock Candy readers are likely already familiar with artist, musician and North Little Rock native Nate Powell, whose 2008 graphic novel "Swallow Me Whole" won a boatload of awards.
Powell was one of the founders of Soophie Nun Squad, the long-running, sugar-fueled, arts-inspired punk band that began in the early '90s and continued well into the next decade, even as the band members moved all over the country.
From 1994 to 2010, Powell also ran a record label, Harlan Records, which released tons of music from Soophie Nun Squad, Red Forty, The Stranger Steals (all-time greatest Little Rock band, IMO), Rainy Day Regatta, Tem Eyos Ki and many others.
Last month, Powell started an archival blog offering downloads of the Harlan discography, starting with the earliest Soophie demos and progressing chronologically. It's a treasure trove of underground Arkansas music, and if you hung out in Little Rock in the '90s and early '00s, it's a great trip down recollection boulevard, with lots of pictures, pressing info, notes and other tidbits.
It's interesting to note how many of the folks involved in these bands have gone on to bigger stages and wider renown, with bands like Lucero, The Body, Callers, !!!, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Bloodfeathers and probably several more.