by Floco Torres
The decade is the most significant hallmark celebrating a living and breathing body of work. In August of 2007, Jordan Welker, Kevin Friedman, and David Gottas started It’s a KLing Thing House just like every other DIY house. Jordan, who was touring in a band called Pswingset and already booking shows at a DIY space called Furnace House, provided a space for bands that helped his band at KLing Thing.
Customary to the tight knit intricacies that go into keeping DIY spaces safe and authentic, the reigns are usually passed over to friends of friends that share the same values of the space. Three years later in the summer of 2010, Andrew Wells, Corey Willis and Scott Moses moved in and followed suit of the previous residents: Bring bands back to Akron that Scott and Corey toured with through their band Annabel.
Another three years passed, and Tyler Brown (present-day booking resident and agent at KLing Thing) moved in with Michael Depaul as Corey and Andy moved out. In 2014, Scott handed the full booking duties over to Tyler before he moved out, and that brings us here today.
On the first Saturday in September of this year, KLing Thing celebrated their ten year anniversary of hosting shows at 403 Kling Street in Akron. The show featured bands that have toured through KLing over the years like The Reptilian, Joie De Vive, Annabel and Into Over It (who was performing when I stopped in for a brief glimpse of the historical night).
Besides the reason we were all there, the air felt the same as the one time I’d performed there and the few times I’d attended shows. The KLing house is cozy and feels like visiting a cousin. Familiar faces hugging and sharing memories, introductions of people that only know each other through Facebook, and of course the music, which was staged on the back patio rather than in the basement like normal. This striking feeling could be that Tyler has booked 103 shows since he took over, or that there’s been a rough total of 225+ touring acts that have played there with 150+ local acts and multiple international acts like Carb on Carb from New Zealand and Holy Pinto from the UK. If these walls could talk, you could probably write two novels and then you’d need a chloroform rag to shut them up.
The KLing Thing house represents more than just another DIY venue with bands you’ve never heard. This is a story of how simultaneously long and fleeting ten years can feel, while challenging what you can do in that time. Let’s all raise a glass to the KLing Thing house. Here’s to ten more awesome years.