Our picks for music events in May
Andrew Leask & Brittany Nader
Friday, May 6 at Musica, 8 p.m.
For more than a decade, EarthQuaker Devices has produced guitar pedals for some of the most exciting and legendary artists of our time. The local biz presents a special event downtown, introducing locals to Algerian desert rock band, Imarhan, who are making Akron their initial stop in their first-ever U.S. tour. Also on the bill are Northeast Ohio favorites Relaxer, Obnox and Original Soundtrack, who bring an eclectic range of rock ‘n’ roll to the Rubber City. Admission costs $10, which also includes a raffle ticket for a chance to win your very own EQD pedal.
Tall Tales of Akron
Friday, May 6 at Uncorked Wine Bar, 8 p.m.
Unwind at Uncorked with a glass of wine and the rock-tinged folk harmonies of Tall Tales of Akron. Lean back and let your shoulders sway. It’s as relaxing an end to your workweek as you’re ever going to find. The group may even introduce a few surprises, including a new lead guitarist and just-inked songs sure to move you. Admission is free.
Friday, May 6 at Hive Mind, 8 p.m.
Where else will you find a guerilla marching band, bebop, ska, performance art and a magic circus bunny band all in one place? Expect a vivacious evening full of horns, eclectic improvisation and plenty of boogying from musicians based out of Chicago, Detroit and Northeast Ohio. Suggested admission is $5 at the door.
Mike Lenz Band
Thursday, May 12 at The Tasting Room at Hoppin’ Frog, 8 p.m.
Knock back a few beers at one of Ohio’s best breweries while listening to the stripped-down sound of blues multi-instrumentalist Mike Lenz. Lenz performs his own original compositions, as well as classics of American roots, blues and country. Admission is free.
Friday, May 13 at Jilly’s Music Room, 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Celebrate the release of Akron rock ‘n’ roll band The Dreemers’ new EP (reviewed in this issue; see pg. 43) at Jilly’s Music Room. Cleveland husband and wife indie-pop duo By Light We Loom will perform at 6:30, followed by The Dreemers and a special guest at 9 p.m. $5 cover for those under 21.
David Mayfield, Mo’ Mojo
Saturday, May 14 at Jilly’s Music Room, 5:30 p.m.
Originally hailing from Kent, David Mayfield has established himself as one of the most original Americana performers on the scene. Now residing in Nashville, Mayfield has spent the last several years performing with the likes of The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, and dozens of celebrated musicians at Bonnaroo. Joining Mayfield on the bill is female-fronted zydeco group Mo’ Mojo, who have been a standout for their big-band sound and reggae, Cajun and funk influences. Admission is free.
Sports, Harbor, GHOST SLIME, From Borealis
Monday, May 15 at It’s a Kling Thing! House, 7 p.m.
If you dig the post/math rock sound of local trio From Borealis, you won’t want to miss this cohesive lineup of dreamy alternative soundscapes. Sports, residing in Boston, and Chantanooga, Tenn. players Harbor join From Borealis and GHOST SLIME for a basement party at your favorite venue for house shows. Suggested admission is $5.
CityCop, Gillian Carter, Wallcreeper, Sorry
Wednesday, May 18 at Fool Mansion, 7 p.m.
Midway through the band’s spring tour, Gillian Carter swings by Akron to rattle the walls with attention-grabbing screamo and loud, fast beats. Local hardcore punk outfits CityCop and Wallcreeper keep the energy going, while Drew Baker, under the moniker sorry., brings things down a notch with his unique blend of lo-fi sadpop. Suggested admission is $5.
Friday, May 20 & Saturday, May 21 at The Tangier, 8:30, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.
Mint Condition had their first success with 1991’s “Breakin My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)” and have been churning out R&B hits ever since, working with music legends like Toni Braxton along the way. Tickets cost $55 and up and can be purchased in advance at TheTangier.com.
District 97, Axon-Neuron, Titles, Figurehead
Friday, May 20 at Musica, 8 p.m.
If you’re in the mood for some complex, theatrical, highly skilled prog rock playing, Musica is the place to be. Chicago’s District 97 is making a stop in Akron as part of their European/Eastern U.S. tour in support of their new album, “In Vaults.” Local musicians Axon-Neuron will also be performing tracks off of their latest release, “Metamorphosis,” an exciting double-disc album featuring a 21-piece orchestra. The lineup continues with Akron’s Figurehead and Titles from Detroit. Tickets cost $10 or $12 for attendees under 21.
Rubber City Beatlefest
Saturday, May 21 at Akron Civic Theatre, 6:30 p.m.
This year’s tribute to the greatest band of all time features an exhibit of the work of rock photographer George Shuba and performances by The Liverpool Lads, The ReBeats and Hard Day’s Night.
Tickets are available at AkronCivic.com for $25.
Benefit concert for CANAPI, feat. Tatsuya Nagashima
Tuesday, May 24 at Pub Bricco, 6:30 p.m.
Pub Bricco hosts its annual fundraiser for the Community AIDS Network/Akron Pride Initiative featuring a performance by Tatsuya Nagashima. A renowned classical pianist, Nagashima has performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City, as well as throughout the world. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased over the phone or in person at Pub Bricco.
Live & Local
Saturday, May 21 at 9 PM, Musica
Akron-born, Akron-lovin’ brothers Ben and Zach, of the eponymous Gage Brothers, are coming home, fresh off a Cleveland gig (and a TV appearance on Fox 8) with the Speedbumps. This time, the quartet (two brothers, two others — Chris Volpe and Brendan O’Malley) headlines Musica with their face-melting original Americana stylings. They’re joined by the Devil Strip-reviewed-and-approved local Gretchen Pleuss, as well as Veseria, an indie rock band from Indy, Indianapolis. This is an all-ages show that’ll only set you back a Hamilton, unless you’re under 21 in which case you pay $2 extra. For details, visit the damn show. Seriously, go have a good time so you can be the person who gives your friends the details when they start asking questions about your new obsession with the Gage Brothers.