The Devil’s Dozen: Akron is Awesome in August!

by Brittany Nader


Stems, Punch Drunk Tagalongs, MA HOLOS

Friday, Aug. 5 at Thursday’s Lounge, 9 pm

Grab five bucks and get yourself over to Thursday’s on an “off night” to experience three of the most exciting bands that have emerged in the local scene. Punch Drunk Tagalongs — featured more in depth in this very issue — join moody rockers Stems and Cleveland’s psych/garage quartet Ma Holos for a night of loud, gritty tunes that embody the spirit of true rock ‘n’ roll.


EarthQuaker Day

Saturday, Aug. 6 at EarthQuaker Devices, 1 pm

Akron-based guitar pedal company, EarthQuaker Devices, has skyrocketed not only in our neck of the woods, but on a global scale as well. The company’s success comes from the innovative nature and high quality of its equipment, along with support of musicians local and beyond. Celebrate the company’s triumphs at its new location, 350 W. Bowery St., with a full day of shop tours, clinics, contests and, of course, live music. Bands performing from 3 pm into the evening are: Stems, Co_Conspirator, Emotional Support Pigs, Doom Christ, Actual Form, Lisa Bella Donna and Relaxer. Local vendors will be on site, along with the chance to win killer door prizes from businesses like Jilly’s Music Room, Akron Art Museum, Mr. Zub’s Deli and many more.


David J (of Love and Rockets, Bauhaus)

Saturday, Aug. 6 at Thursday’s Lounge, 8 pm

In the midst of all the hair metal and generic pop that was pushed to the mainstream via MTV the ‘80s, a few bands were broke the mold and ushered in a darker, more interesting and radical sound. Goth rockers Bauhaus brought in a new era we now refer to as post-punk, shifting away from the hurried aggression of traditional punk rock and introducing more experimental nuances in their music. Bass player David J was an original member of this foursome, and later he went on to co-found Love and Rockets, arguably one of the best underground rock bands of the ‘80s. He’s spent the last several years establishing himself as an accomplished film score composer and solo performer. David J will play a set at Thursday’s for just $15. Doors open at 6 pm


They Say the Wind Made Them Crazy, Actual Trains, solomonophonic, Douglas Fir

Sunday, Aug. 7 at Hive Mind, 7 pm

If you’re looking for tunes that stray from the ordinary, Hive Mind is the alternative, DIY oasis of your dreams. Texas romantic noirgaze group They Say The Wind Made Them Crazy makes a stop at the space, joined by three of Cleveland’s most experimental and inventive musical acts. Audiences can expect synths and screaming, paired with trippy visuals, from Actual Trains, along with funk, jazz, soul and psychedelic hip-hop fusion grooves from solomonophonic and haunting, acoustic ambient numbers from Douglas Fir. A $5 donation is suggested, but no one will be turned away from lack of funds.


Akron Songwriters Festival Presents Joe Vitale Jr., Chris Allen, Bob Robb

Thursday, Aug. 11 at Akron Civic Theatre, 8 pm

As part of the Akron Civic Theatre’s special four-day songwriting workshop, the venue will host local songwriters Joe Vitale Jr., Chris Allen and Bob Robb as both instructors and performers at a special evening event dubbed The Akron Songwriters Festival’s Local Songwriters in the Round cabaret. Vitale Jr. has been a fixture in the local classic and modern rock scenes for the past decade, while Robb has worked as an accomplished session musician and performer of original material. Allen is known as the frontman for Cleveland alt-rock band Rosavelt, whose four albums garnered much critical acclaim in the late ‘90s. Tickets for the performances cost $15 and are available at the Civic Theatre box office.


Akron Songwriters Festival Presents Steve Bogard, Danielle Howle, Jamie Floyd

Friday, Aug. 12 at Akron Civic Theatre, 8 pm

To further celebrate the skillful art of songwriting, the Civic Theatre welcomes three esteemed national musicians to the cabaret for an intimate evening of performances. Steve Bogard has crafted original tunes for country superstars like George Strait, Lee Greenwood and Reba McEntire. Jamie Floyd is a Grammy-nominated independent artist and Danielle Howle, creator of Swamp Sessions, has had original songs appear on television, including Lifetime network’s “Army Wives.” Attendees can see all three musicians perform live for $15 on the Civic Theatre stage.


Talons, Travelogue, We Be Brakes ‘n Sh!t

Saturday, Aug. 13 at Musica, 9 pm

To celebrate Square Records’ 13th year in business, they’re hosting a special night at Musica (on the 13th, naturally). With a rather robust catalog of recorded music, Akron’s own Talons has perfected its sound, rich with sweet, slow and sad folk tunes. Mike Tolan’s songwriting transcends time and space. Jon Sonnenberg’s Travelogue experiments with a blend of electronic, melodic music accented by inventive chord progressions and sometimes sullen vocals. Also on the bill is We Be Brakes n’ Sh!t, and by the name alone, we’re curious to see how the complement the other acts in the night’s lineup. Tickets cost $5 at the door or ahead of time at Square Records.


For Everest, Be Still, Cody

Monday, Aug. 15 at It’s a Kling Thing! House, 7 pm

Based in NYC, quintet For Everest kind of sounds like Paramore if they had evolved into a grittier, harder rocking sound that withstands the test of time. It’s a Kling Thing! serves as the perfect venue for this type of band, as they mix indie sensibilities with loud, raw passion and energy sure to ignite a room. Be Still, Cody, hailing from Virginia, carry an earnest passion through each song, with lyrics that sound like private journal pages and sweet guitar chords that evoke those moments alone in a room, experimenting and workshopping material without judgment or pressure. Admission is $5.


Ben Nichols: photo courtesy of Lucero management
Ben Nichols: photo courtesy of Lucero management

Ben Nichols (of Lucero)

Friday, Aug. 19 at Musica, 8 pm

Spanish for “bright star,” Memphis-based Lucero made a splash in the early 2000s for their unique blend of country and punk rock. The band’s singer and guitarist, Ben Nichols, has made a name for himself in the last few years as a solo artist with honest, passionate tunes that showcase his signature gravelly vocals and unabashedly forthright lyrics. Nichols’ solo debut, “The Last Pale Light in the West,” was released as a highly inspired concept album, with songs mirroring themes from Cormac McCarthy’s novel “Blood Meridian.” Hear songs from the album, and others, performed live on Aug. 19. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Urban Eats, Square Records or at TicketWeb for $15. Under 21 and day-of tickets pay extra.


The Juke Hounds: photo courtesy of Jill Bacon Madden
The Juke Hounds: photo courtesy of Jill Bacon Madden

The Juke Hounds, Diana Chittester

Saturday, Aug. 20 at Jilly’s Music Room, 5:30 pm

One of Northeast Ohio’s most active blues rock acts, The Juke Hounds, will hit the stage with a Jilly’s crowd favorite, Diana Chittester. While the heavy, rockin’ sounds of the Hounds may seem like an odd pairing with Chittester’s more stripped-down folk originals, once you see the two on stage, you’ll realize they share similar sensibilities. Chittester’s arsenal of guitars and powerful energy make her a standout in the local scene, while The Juke Hounds carry a thread of soulful elements through each song, stringing together a rich sound with surprising nuances. No cover.


Never Coming Down! Showcase, Presented by Now What Press, A$RL and Lousy Weather Media

Friday, Aug. 26 at Hive Mind, 7 pm

A major art, film and music collaborative event not to be missed — Never Coming Down! highlights some of the most exciting DIY efforts of Akron and Cleveland-area creatives. Now What Press, A$RL and Lousy Weather Media have curated the showcase, featuring artists Xing Bee, Trevor LePage and Bobert, accompanied by live performances from Kudzi, B Leezy C, Bobby Comparda, Bad News Benny & The Night Devers, All Star Rubber Life, DJ sets by Meezy and more. Filmmakers Disaster Mind and The Slow Mutants will have their visual work on display as well. As always, a $5 donation is suggested to attend the event at Hive Mind. BYOB.


Def Leppard: photo courtesy of Ross Halfin
Def Leppard: photo courtesy of Ross Halfin

Def Leppard

Monday, Aug. 29 at Blossom Music Center, 7 pm

Whether they’re a guilty pleasure or a nostalgic favorite, you can’t deny the powerful impact Def Leppard has had on fans across the world. As bombastic as they may seem, “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” “Hysteria,” “Photograph,” “Love Bites” and “Rock of Ages” are arguably some of the most memorable stadium anthems and power ballads to emerge from the ‘80s hair metal genre.  



Michael Black: photo courtesy of Sam Hileman Creative
Michael Black: photo courtesy of Sam Hileman Creative

Michael Black takes the stage for Live at Lock 4 on Thursday, August 18, joined by the Conway Brothers.








(Featured image courtesy of Blink-182)