Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived
Afterthought: The long-time home for jazz in Little Rock also hosts acts that specialize in blues, soul and roots-rock, 8 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 9 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Arkansas Jazz Heritage Foundation presents local, regional and national jazz acts, including, notably, New Orleans' contemporary masters Astral Project, 8 p.m. Mon. Cover varies. 21 and up. No smoking. 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd., 663-1196, www.vieuxcarrecafe.com.
Cajun's Wharf: A sprawling restaurant and bar, where local and regional rock, blues, cover and funk acts converge. Free happy hour entertainment, often on Cajun's massive deck overlooking the Arkansas River, begins at 5:30 p.m. Wed.-Fri. Headliners 9 p.m. Thu.-Sat. with $5 cover after 8:30 p.m. 21 and up for bar (not restaurant). No smoking inside. 2400 Cantrell Road, 375-5351, www.cajunswharf.com.
Capital Bar and Grill: Arguably the state's best jazz ensemble, the Ted Ludwig Jazz Trio, is the house band at this swank hotel bar. 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Wed.-Thu., 8 p.m.-midnight Fri.-Sat. 111 W. Markham, 374-7474, www.capitalhotel.com/CBG.
Cornerstone Pub: Argenta's most active music venue hosts local and occasionally regional and national acts of all genres, usually Thu.-Sat. Times and cover charges vary. Smoking is allowed, which means only those 21 and up can enter. 314 Main St., NLR, 374-1782, www.cstonepub.com.
Discovery: The venerable (or notorious?) Riverdale nightclub expanded its dance floor in 2010. Now the large theater, previously the exclusive home of drag shows, hosts a "mainstream" dance crowd, the lobby area caters to a hip-hop audience and the compact "disco" room continues to offer house music. Open 9 p.m.-5 a.m. Sat. only. Adjoins Triniti, a gay dance club and bar open 9 p.m.-5 a.m. Fri. only. Private club. 1021 Jessie Road, 664-4784, www.latenightdisco.com (Discovery); 664-2744, www.trinitilr.com (Backstreet).
Downtown Music: An ownership change in 2010 meant that the traditionally metal-oriented club broadened its booking scope, but more often than not you're still likely to hear something with a heavy edge here from local, regional and national acts. Also, the home of popular monthly dance party Cool Shoes. Times, cover charge varies. Concerts and events — save Cool Shoes which is 18 and above — are open to all ages. 211 W. Capitol Ave., 376-1819. www.downtownmusichall.com
Electric Cowboy: Dance music of all genres and occasional live acts Wed.-Sun. Open 7:30 p.m. until 5 a.m. Fri.-Sat., at least 2 a.m. Wed., Thu. and Sun. 21 and up. Smoking allowed. Private club. 9515 Interstate 30, 562-6000, www.electriccowboy.com/littlerock.
Ernie Biggs' Chicago Style Piano Bar: A dueling piano bar with an upstairs lounge, usually manned by a DJ, and occasional special events. 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m. daily. 307 President Clinton Ave., 372-4782, www.erniebiggs.com.
Flying Saucer Draught Emporium: A popular River Market hangout thanks to its 75 beers on tap, where you can watch sports, play group trivia competition at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tue. and listen to local musicians, usually 9 p.m. Fri.-Sat, with around a $3 cover. 21 and up. 323 President Clinton Ave., 372-7468, www.beerknurd.com.
Fox and Hound: Sports pub and private club that hosts local and regional acts 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., open mic 10 p.m. Sun and karaoke 9 p.m. Tue. 21 and up. Smoking allowed. Lakewood Village Shopping Center, NLR, 753-8300, www.foxandhound.com.
Gusano's: Local and regional rock mostly on weekends. Cover and times vary. 21 and up. No smoking. 313 President Clinton Ave., 374-1441.
Juanita's Cantina Ballroom: Under new ownership in 2010, the venue turned its focus to "mainstream" acts. That still encompasses most genres, but there's an emphasis on hard rock, pop and country. Age limit, cover and times vary. No smoking. 614 President Clinton Ave., 372-1228 (restaurant and bar), 374-3660 (concert info), www.juanitas.com.
Khalil's This West Little Rock restaurant hosts local folk and rock acts in its lounge, where smoking is allowed. Also, the Arkansas Celtic Music Society hosts jam sessions on the second and fourth Monday of the month, 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. 110 S. Shackleford, 224-0224. www.khalilspub.com
Loony Bin Comedy Club: National touring comedians Wed.-Sat. Food and drinks available. Show times vary. Cover charge $6-$9. 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road, 228-5555, www.loonybincomedy.co.
Midtown Billiards: This all-night club — the only one in downtown Little Rock — is the end of a funnel of nights spent out all over town. It hosts blues, rock and jam band music at 12:30 a.m. Fri.-Sat., plus occasional midnight shows midweek. $5 cover charge above private-club membership fee when there's music. Open daily at 3 p.m. for pool and other games, plus bar and grill. 21 and up. Smoking allowed. 1316 S. Main St., 372-9990, www.midtownar.com.
Peabody Hotel: Hosts special New Year's Eve and Halloween events. Except for holidays, usually at 9 p.m. Fri. 21 and up. Smoking allowed outside. 3 Statehouse Plaza, 399-8059, www.peabodylittlerock.com.
Pizza D'Action: A Stifft Station dive bar and pizza restaurant, where you'll find occasional local and regional rock concerts. Cover and times vary. 21 and up. Smoking allowed. 2919 W. Markham St., 666-5403.
Revolution: The bigger sister venue to Stickyz, this 550-person capacity room is the largest in the River Market — and one of the largest in town. It hosts an incredibly diverse array of local, regional and national acts. Times and prices vary. All ages. No smoking. 300 President Clinton Ave., 823-0090, www.rumbarevolution.com.
Sonny Williams' Steak Room: Piano music 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Tue.-Sat. All ages. No smoking. 500 President Clinton Ave., 324-2999, www.sonnywilliamssteakroom.com.
Stickyz Rock 'n' Roll Chicken Shack: A trademark battle stripped this venue and chicken joint stripped of its former name — Sticky Fingerz. No worries; regulars have long called the bar Stickyz for short. As the Rolling Stones reference in the old name suggests, you'll find rock 'n' roll here as well as just about every other genre. Times and cover vary. 107 S. Commerce St., 372-7707, www.stickyfingerz.com.
Sway: A swank dance club that occasionally hosts live music, Thu.-Sat. 412 Louisiana St., 907-2582.
Thirst N' Howl: Hosts free folk and rock most Thu.-Sat. nights. Times vary. All ages. No smoking. 14710 Cantrell Road, 379-8189, www.thirst-n-howl.com.
Town Pump: A popular Riverdale hangout that hosts local, regional and occasional national acts, mostly rock. Cover charge, showtimes vary. No smoking, except on the patio. 1321 Rebsamen Park Road, 663-9802.
Vino's Brewpub: A pizza joint and brewery connected to concert space that's long been the city's preeminent always all ages venue. A move, in 2010, away from teen-targeted pop-punk, meant an unpredictable concert calendar. Recent calendar additions include a spoken-word night on Sundays, The 7th Street Peep Show open mic event on Mondays and a free movie night on Tuesdays. Cover and times vary. All ages. No smoking. 923 W. Seventh St., 375-8466, www.vinosbrewpub.com.
West End Smokehouse and Tavern: More than 50 TVs, a massive bar, pool tables and local and regional acts usually Fri.-Sat. Membership required. Music starts at 10 p.m., usually $5 cover. 21 and up. Smoking allowed. 215 N. Shackleford, 224-7665, www.westendsmokehouse.net.
White Water Tavern: Colorful dive bar with a strong following. With local, regional and national acts of all types, but especially blues, country/bluegrass and rock. Cover usually no more than $5. Tuesday, the door charge is typically donations only. Times vary. 21 and up. No smoking. Seventh and Thayer Sts., 375-8400, www.whitewatertavern.com
Willy D's: River Market dueling piano bar and restaurant with dinner service. Music at 7 p.m. Tue.-Sat. Beneath the bar is Deep, a lounge that features DJ music Wed.-Sat. Attached through a passageway is Prost, a restaurant/bar that hosts live music on weekends. One cover charge affords access to all three bars. Smoking in Prost and Willy D's, no smoking in Deep. 21 and up. 322 President Clinton Ave., 244-9550, www.willydspianobar.com.