Local Akron Music Scene
Akron was once known as the "rubber capital of the world." The history of the Akron music scene includes Chrissie Hynde, James Ingram, Devo, The Black Keys and David Allen Coe. In the 2010 Census the metropolitan area had over 700,000 residents. A major campus in the area is University of Akron. The local music scene is covered by Akron Beacan Journal and West Side Reader.
9th Street Exit makes fun R&B/dance music. Created by Ken Redon, the project has over 3,000 fans on ReverbNation and in 2012 has made the site's top 5 R&B/soul artist chart. Ken began playing music in Cleveland in the 70s then started producing artists. His song "Popsicle" has an infectious groove and compares well with the best national hits.
Red Sun Rising is top 10 on ReverbNation's rock chart for Akron in 2012. Their track "Beautiful Suicide" showcases their listenable fresh approach to alternative/rock. The band is composed of four members, fronted by Mike Protich. They have played big shows and make it a point to be energetic. They have opened for national acts such as Shinedown, Seven Mary Three, Chevelle, Days of the New, Sevendust and Sponge.
Akron Music Acts
Dave Citrone * Unfortunitz * Neil Zazza * Postcard From Veronica * Renee Thomas * Red Sun Rising * Winslow * Alyssa Caples * 9th Street Exit * The Pusher *
Local Scene Highlights
The Summit 91.3 FM is a public radio station that devotes a streaming channel to local music, The330.net. In March 2017 the station aired tracks off local compilation sampler, The 330 Volume 2. The disc contains 21 tracks from native Akron acts such as The Pretenders, Mark Mothersbaugh, Anne E. DeChant, Cloud Nothings, Michael Stanley, Welshly Arms and Lindsay Cardy. The project was produced by Akron singer/songwriter Ryan Humbert and was mastered at Cauliflower Audio in Cleveland. In March 2017 discs were given to Summit members.
Chrissie Hynde's memoir Reckless: My Life As a Pretender has been published by Doubleday with a release date of September 8, 2015. The book chronicles the singer/songwriter's life growing up in Akron though her music career as the lead vocalist and guitarist for The Pretenders. Her story is about a girl who grew up in a conservative family in the mid to late sixties and escaped through music, sex and drugs. She had been a student at Kent State at the time the National Guard killed several young protesters there in 1970.
As the punk rock scene emerged Chrissie Hynde moved to London and became friends with the Sex Pistols. After a relationship with Ray Davies of The Kinks, she married Jim Kerr of Simple Minds until they were divorced. The story includes triumph and tragedy as two founding band members died from drug use shortly after the recording act achieved fame. Hyde explains that "drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, only cause suffering." Today she is a vegetarian and animal rights activist. In November 2007 she opened the Italian-Mediterranean vegan restaurant VegiTerranean in Akron, but it closed in October 2011 due to economic downturn, despite favorable reviews.
A 2005 PBS documentary film about the history of Akron's local music scene called If You're Not Dead, Play!! was shown free by Akron Outdoor Movies on August 28, 2015 on the lawn near Akron Digital Academy. The film highlights the garage bands of the 80s such as Unit 5, Chi Pig and Hammer Damage, along with band interviews. Spin Magazine writer Chuck Kloserman, the former rock critic for the Akron Beacon Journal, also appears in the film. The film was produced by Western Reserve Public Media for PBS and was directed by Phil Hoffman. It's a sequel to It's Everything, and Then It's Gone.
Independent record store Square Records celebrated its 10 year anniversary in August 2013. The store was launched by the husband and wife team of Dave and Juniper Ignizio in the midst of digital downloading that has since radically changed the music industry. Nevertheless, the store has remained in business and thrives on selling indie releases and classic obscure rock, soul and jazz. Part of the draw is the store sells a wide selection of vinyl records in an era in which there's been a resurgence of interest in vinyl, especially for indie music, due to the medium's fuller dynamic range compared with digital media. The couple have been guided and inspired by the independent music store Music Saves in Cleveland. The store celebrated its anniversary with the bands Houseguest, Trouble Books and Ultrasphinx. Square Records is located at 824 West Market Street in Akron. The event was written about in this article by Malcolm X Abram on 8/7/2013 in Ohio.com.
Construction has started on a $265 million project to build a 200,000 square foot music venue called Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park set to open in December 2013. The venue is located on state Route 8 next to the Northfield Park harness track. It will include a casino, comedy club, restaurant and a Hard Rock Cafe with a seating capacity of 1,900. The venue will also display rock memorabilia. Rocksino was written about in this article by Rick Armon on 8/11/2013 in the Akron Beacon Journal Online.
The Hobs - a high energy garage/punk band with keyboards based in Akron. Lead singer Ricky Miller, keyboardist Ryan Urbon, bassist Tiernan King and drummer Ian Cummins released their second album Psychosexual in 2013. The ten song self-released album mixes punk and classic rock influences. They were written about in this article by Malcolm X Abram on 8/9/2013 in the Akron Beacon Journal.
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