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Arkansas Music Poll: Local acts

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We just couldn't resist the chance to tally up another list. From the Towncraft era of the late-'80s to bands currently hoofing from venue to venue, here are 10 acts that give Little Rock the unexpected, notorious musical heritage it enjoys nationwide.

1. Ho-Hum     

Whodathunkit? Scene changed forever by OBU football hosses. Wickedly smart, tastefully experimental, infinitely catchy: Arkansas's Big Star and Guided by Voices, forever deserving of hyperbole. 

2. American Princes      

Living up to the name, Princes create intricate, passionate, beautifully crafted college rock. All releases and musicians are reliably stellar.

3. Trusty         

Four kids mixed hardcore energy with Beatles harmonies, ended up a cornerstone of Little Rock's "Towncraft Era," then signed to D.C. punk label Dischord. Wow.

4. Soophie Nun Squad           

Twisted and ambitious, Soophie's rotating cast juxtaposed hip-hop and Saturday morning cartoons, traded in punk rage for smiles and "cinderblocks." And the Dadaists were pleased.

5. Kevin Kerby/Mulehead    

LR's clever, smart-assed poet laureate dominated the locals poll: Mulehead landed at No. 5 while Kerby came in at No. 6. Both specialize in country-tinged ballads and make everyone look lazy by comparison.

6. Velvet Kente           

Unceasingly praised — and rightfully so — for its unhinged, ineffably cool rock/folk/funk/jazz alchemy. And respected for the skills of joshua, prophesying front man and songwriter extraordinaire.

7. 607             

The CNN-featured, Harvard-lecturing brainiac behind 34 (!) albums and the world's first palindrome rap, continues to prove, as he says, "your favorite rapper's stupid."

8. Chino Horde

The linchpin of LR's ambitious early '90s punk/DIY culture with a band full of future MVPs. Early emo punk doesn't get better than "Song No. 1."

9. Rwake       

Thick, tarry, unquestionably Southern sludge metal loved — and respected — the world (yep, the world) over. Smart and primal, the band set the new definition for doom.

10. The Big Cats           

Local punkers mellow, trade in anarchy for Americana and usher in a new era of local music. The defining Little Rock supergroup: still loved, studied.

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