Update: Voting has ended. Meet the Rock 'n' Vote winners.

Forgive our indifference to the Mario Vazquez scandal on "American Idol." It's real musicians that get us excited, which is why we've scouted out Chicago's top talent for our second annual Rock 'n' Vote contest.

Hundreds of bands entered. We picked our 10 favorites. The rest is up to you.

Check out the artists below, listen to their mp3s and vote for your favorite. The top four bands will headline a free concert April 20 at Metro. Better hurry. The polls close at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

Flatfoot 56
Celtic rock has always been dripping with Catholic guilt, though usually in the form of regretful binges and lamented behavior. Flatfoot 56, a Celtic punk band, has a much more literal Christian message in its lyrics. "We write about our lives and the Christian walk we face," says 22-year-old Tobin Bawinkel, who grew up in the Midway neighborhood and was home schooled with his brothers Justin, 20, and Kyle, 17, the band's bassist and drummer. The brothers had already formed a band when they met Josh Robieson, 20, in a home-school basketball league and invited him to play bagpipes, mandolin and guitar with the band. Oh, and the name? The Bawinkels' youngest brother is flat-footed, and the number on his baseball jersey was 56.
Listen: "This Town" from the band's third CD, "Knuckles Up"

Wonderful Smith
Drawing equally from the New Pornographers' swirling pop and Rilo Kiley's country leanings, Wonderful Smith is a giddy blast of rock. Singer Holly Senchak and bassist Ben Hilt, who found moderate success with their Purdue University band Zambow, relocated to Chicago after graduation, recruited singer/guitarist Nick Estes and drummer Marshall Custer, and recorded the band's debut album with prickly engineer Steve Albini. ("I don't understand where he gets that reputation," says Senchak. "He was a really nice guy.") "Hello, It's Wonderful" has been getting considerable college radio play, which the band plans to capitalize on with a spring tour.
Listen: "My Little House" from the band's debut CD, "Hello, It's Wonderful"

My Left Arm
Singer/guitarist Marty Canniff had a handful of songs but no band until a friend referred him to bassist Chris Schuler and drummer Jim Gifford in early 2002. Demos were recorded, shows were played. And a year later the alt-rock trio headed into the studio with Brian Deck, the Chicago producer the band admired for his work on Modest Mouse's "The Moon and Antarctica." "Departure," the band's self-released CD, came out in December.
Listen: from the band's debut

Descarga
If "the Ramones met Nirvana and played at a cantina," you'd have the sound of Descarga, says singer Hector Ivan Garcia. We agree, though he might be underplaying his band's nods to pop-punks Blink-182 and Green Day. Formed in 2000 on Chicago's South Side, the rock en espanol quartet is made up entirely of first-generation Mexican-Americans. The band regularly gigs throughout the city, having landed shows at Little Village's rock epicenter La Justicia and the Old Town School of Folk Music. With a handful of demos under its belt, Descarga is in the process of recording its first full-length album.
Listen: "El Regalo," one of the band's many demos

Linc
Oh, how we wish we could have been there for Sean Mirzabegian's rap debut. We suspect a few jaws at Barrington Elementary School's variety show hit the floor when the 5th grader did his rendition of Naughty By Nature's "Hip-hop Hooray." As you might imagine, he's come a long way since then. Mirzabegian goes by the name Linc these days, performs at clubs like Subterranean and Elbo Room, and the 23-year-old rapper is getting ready to graduate from UIC with a business degree. He plans to put his education to use by promoting his just-released debut CD, "The Legend of Linc," through his music promotion company, La-DA-Da Music.
Listen: "One Rhyme (On the Grind)" from "The Legend of Linc"