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The Devil Strip AUGUST 2015 • VOL 1 • ISSUE #11 • THEDEVILSTRIP.COM

e r u t l u C & t r A , ic s u M Akron


! d e t i c x e o s e r ' e W AND BREW S D N A B , S T I B , S E BURGERS, BIK

As the National Hamburger Festival prepares to kick off its 10th year in Akron, we take a look back at some of the fun from last year's weekend of burgers and bands.

This year's festivities kick off in Lock 3 Park on Saturday, August 8 and include the all-new Craft Beer and Indie Band Showcase on Sunday, August 9. For more info, flip through this issue or visit (All photos by Bruce Ford, courtesy of the National Hamburger Festival.)

in this issue

The Devil Strip lture

Akron Music, Art & Cu

Publisher >> Chris Horne //

Art Director >> Alesa Upholzer, Talented and Patient

Copy Editor >> Jessica “My name is not Jecca” Cherok

Staff writers, photogs & cartoonists >> Holly “The Wanderer” Brown Jenny Conn, Real O.G. Storyteller Brit Charek, Craftiest Staff Writer/Maker of Empires Jessica Conti, Says She’s Not That Clever But Must Be Lying Katelyn Gainer, Something Something Awesome or Badass M. Sophie Hamad, Poet Mom Staff Writer Noor Hindi, Will Get Back to Chris about That Paul “I don’t write” Hoffman Isaac Kelley, Nerd-In-Chief Chris “the Film Freak” Kessinger Jacob Luther, the Towny Townie Toonist Greg Milo, the Workin’ Class Vegan Man Christopher with K “not to be confused with Chris H” Morrison Svetla Morrison, The Balkan Comrade

The Questions... by Chris Horne

You have no idea how much I’d rather have spent my free time over the last week prepping for the upcoming fantasy football season. Not only is mock drafting more fun than pouring over dozens and dozens of pages of RFP responses, state LLC filings, etc., I’d just really rather 161 people still had their jobs at the University of Akron. And failing that, I’d just rather the cuts and the process were clearer, the sacrifice shared equally or at least fairly, and part of a plan that had been made public so that the answers to the basic questions were already there.

Scarborough has said, the process involved input from faculty members, what was the nature of that input? Thing is, it seems very likely that the entire reason Scarborough was brought in as president was to do what he’s doing now. Probably more of the “balance the budget, make tough cuts” stuff and less of the “drop almost $600 on an olive jar, whatever that is” but still. He has a track record.

Roger Riddle, Wears the Purple Pants Sarah Stubbs, Tall Intern Bronlynn Thurman, Culture writer in eggplant purple Natalie Warren, a Life in Red Lipstick Katie “Um, can you repeat the question?” Wheeler Joanna Wilson, Director of the Dept. of Tattoos & Morrissey The Shane Wynn Supremacy

Contributors >> Dominic Caruso, Swiss Artsy Knife; Megan “social cat” Combs, former loser/hoser and now poser; Susan Covey; Emily Dressler; Katie Jackson, Miss Scarlet in the Conservatory with a candlestick; Marissa Marangoni, Bathroom Culture Enthusiast; Eric Morris, Was Abducted By Jojo Pizzaface’; Scott Piepho; Elizabeth “Only in Akron” Tyran

Interns >> Madison Cummins, Sarah Stubbs, Audrey Quinn

No matter where you come down on this, I’d hope most, if not all, of our readers realize it’s a big deal. You, like the ABJ editorial board, might think it’s a big deal in a good way. That’s better than thinking it doesn’t matter at all. It’s easy to think of the campus like it’s surrounded by a bubble, that what happens there stays there and has no impact on Akron itself. But there is no logical way to imagine a healthy, thriving city if you suddenly remove the university’s 25,000 students, its nearly 5,000 fulland part-time employees, and its $478.5 million in expenses.

But we’re downwind from the state of Denmark and something up there stinks. Akron goes as UA goes, so as someone who loves this place, as the spouse of an untenured professor, and as the possessor of a platform, albeit a small one, I feel obliged to speak up. The University of Akron brought us here and I am in debt to it for that blessing. I intend to pay that debt by trying to get the answers to questions that trouble me. Nothing would make me happier than to find out in the end that I was wrong, that I had no reason to worry in the first place. However, the deeper we dig, the worse it seems to look.

Let’s end on a positive note… At the end of a long, strange week, my faith in and love of Akron was reaffirmed and strengthened by two people—Liz Tyran and Jason Scala of Urban Eats—who helped bring several of our favorite

Maddy and Liz

Brittany Nader, Sass Master Flash Ilenia Pezzaniti, Our Short, Tired Garbanzo Bean Eatin', WTF Video Girl Writer

All that’s significant without worrying about the TrustNavigator deal, the home renovations, Proenza’s half-million dollar sabbatical, the contract with Academic Partnerships, whether the 515 people enrolled in the touted reduced cost ($50/ credit hour) GenEd courses is considered a success or not, why the university needs a Corps of Cadets, etc., etc.

(Photo: Daddy Mermaid von Braun Horne) Facing a $60 million shortfall, the ax was going to fall somewhere, somehow. I think the on-campus community and the broader Akron community can understand that, even embrace it—if we could understand what was happening and why. Not the “why” we’ve been given (aka – Hey, we’ve got a $60 million shortfall!) but why *this* way? Why *these* cuts and not others? Was there another way? Did they ever consider dipping into the $211 million endowment, which is more than double the national average, to keep (a reduced version of) EJ Thomas Hall, UA Press and the baseball team afloat while giving the community a chance to respond with its support? How did they decide this was the better path? How do they justify eliminating 53 jobs in the Division of Student Success, which includes everything from the Akron Experience and admissions to offcampus housing, service learning and intramural sports, but only one position from the $8 million a year football program? If, as President Scott

We, the community, could have and should have anticipated this. Okay, yeah, no one should have anticipated he’d demonstrate the hubris to demand $950,000 in renovations on his house, valued at $733,000 and bought for only $850,000, or that the justification would be “we got private donations,” which makes you wonder what he could have gotten private donations to cover on campus. Anyway… Only some of the blame belongs to Scarborough, if this is the case. A deficit that large doesn’t happen overnight so look to who is supposed to provide oversight: The Board of Trustees. Were they just rubber-stamping everything former UA President Luis Proenza wanted? Why aren’t they owning up to it now? Go another step further. Why did state legislators in Columbus keep cutting aid to higher education (and cities)—and why did we allow it?

people together. Liz and Jason were among the first people to encourage me to put this magazine together. When my daughter Maddy fell in love with them—and Maya and Maxaroni n’ Cheese—I wasn’t surprised. But when Liz offered to host an art show of Maddy’s work, I was. Then, on August 1, they opened up their shop for the Downtown Artwalk, cleared the walls of Jason’s awesome work, hung Maddy’s art, chalked up two signs and decorated with balloons. It convinced me the only mistake we’ve made was not moving here sooner. Because of them and all the people who came out to make my kid’s day, I am convinced that the defining characteristic of an Akronite is generosity. Thank you to Liz, Jason and everyone who has embraced our family. Because of you, I just can't imagine being anywhere else.

Thank y’all, Chris


CONTACT US: Office ................................................. (330) 842-6606 General Info ........................... Advertising .............................. Distribution

About the Little Artist

Website .................................. Facebook Twitter .............................................. @akrondevilstrip Instagram ............................................. @thedevilstrip

Born: December 6, 2010 in Maocn, Georgia Maddy's Favorite... Color ................. Pink (and all colors) Things to draw... Flowers (come of her drawings take up to 20-30 minutes to finish) Food.................. Applesause Maddy would like to build houses when she grows up One of her favorite things about living in Akron is the parks Maddy says mommy draws better than Daddy so now we know where she gets her talent from ;0

The Devil Strip is published bi-monthly by Random Family, LLC. Akron Distribution: The Devil Strip is available free of charge, limited to one copy per reader. Copyright: The entire contents ofThe Devil Strip are copyright 2015 by Random Family, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Publisher does not assume any liability for unsolicited manuscripts, materials, or other content. Any submission must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All editorial, advertising, and business correspondence should be mailed to the address listed above.


Madeline Horne

AUGUST 2015 • VOL 1 • ISSUE #11 /

THE Devil Strip |


the agenda


News n’ stuff, in case you missed it

The Lead : Money ain’t everything, but while we’re talking about it For instance, when the administration "abolished" 213 positions, the job responsibilities for those positions have to either be shifted elsewhere in the university or eliminated altogether. The standard answer from the university has been that they are still trying to figure out what happens next. UA Press? “Working on it.” The Multicultural Center? “Working on it.” Division of Student Success? “Working on it.” A spokesman for the university said the administration was cautious about planning the transition period because they didn't want to arouse suspicion or concern on campus involving the people in those positions being "abolished." However, whole departments, including UA Press and baseball, were missing from the budget put before the Board of Trustees.

A Tale of Two Presidents’ Salaries For his efforts, the Trustees have awarded UA President Scott Scarborough a contract worth $450,000 a year, plus free housing (7000 sq. ft. with $950,000 in renovations); free tuition for his kids at any of Ohio’s four-year universities; $1500 a month for a vehicle; family membership at three country clubs (one each in Akron, Cleveland and Columbus); deferred compensation contribution of $80,000 a year, and an annual maximum bonus worth $80,000.

Akron’s 161 layoffs is atop the list. But that’s only in the world of nonprofit universities. In a striking demonstration that the for-profit higher education business model has failed, Kaplan University laid off 200 in Florida and the University of Phoenix laid off 900 employees while closing 100 campuses.

The editorial board writes, "The shame would be losing sight of the opportunity, the view clouded by the errors, in communications and otherwise..." but the opportunity really belongs to Akron's daily paper, which could certainly ask tougher questions and demand evidence that the powersthat-be know what they're doing. Likewise, the shame belongs to the daily, too, in their seeming reluctance to wonder what, if anything, is in the Emperor's wardrobe. What successes have Scarborough and members of his administration had at other universities that validate the confidence the community is supposed to have? The results so far in this first year don’t seem so golden. The financial and cultural health of the University of Akron matters to this community. So does the rigor and fortitude of the daily paper, which readers expect to be a watchdog, not a lapdog.

The editorial board writes, "The realistic expectation is that the changes of the past week would include mistakes." But that ignores the varying magnitudes of mistakes that can be made.

Is it a mistake or a symptom of something more that Theresa Beyerle, who refused repeated RE: Definition requests for an interview, was among the 161 laid off? She ran the university’s innovative "Pay The Akron Beacon Journal editorial board tried to It Forward" service learning program, which has throw water on the fire at the University of Akron, served almost 1500 students and 60 nonprofits but instead it was like using laundry detergent in over the last five years. It's been supported by However, the opulence Scarborough appears to the dishwasher by trying to defend UA’s “plan” private donors and United Way funding. Ohio enjoy doesn’t reflect how all university presidents without providing details about it. Which puts them State officials recently came to Akron to study live. In Youngstown, former OSC head football in good company with the university itself. it in action. It was an anchor in the university's coach/former UA vice president of student successful effort to get re-certified under the success Jim Tressel was offered an annual salary To be clear, the word "plan" means "a detailed Carnegie Foundation's coveted community of $375,000 but accepted at $300,000. That’s proposal for doing or achieving something." It does engagement classification, which only 157 according to the Columbus Dispatch, which also not mean, “you recognize you have a problem and universities—out of nearly 3,000 in the US— reports that YSU has budget problems that will lead that there is a solution in that general direction can claim. to “layoffs of 15 nonteaching employees and the over there.” In other words, you can’t call what elimination of 43 vacant positions announced,” President Scott Scarborough and company are For this, her total compensation was listed at leaving $7 million still to cover. doing a plan just because they realize financial $88,610. On the same day the Board of Trustees stability relies on A) cutting expenses and B) voted to eliminate Theresa Beyerle's position along increasing revenue. with 160 other filled positions, head football coach Terry Bowden received $91,000 in bonuses Are the layoffs at the University of Addressing the polytechnic rebranding that from them. While the Division of Student Success Akron the largest since 2009? Scarborough has been pushing, the editorial board sacrificed 53 positions and baseball was cut entirely, the football team’s only apparent off-the-field loss It certainly seems that way as digging back through writes, "The idea is, the university would become something more distinctive, better serving its came from the elimination of the assistant director news reports yields no other nonprofit university core mission — education — and attracting more of football operations position (worth $54,500 in layoffs larger than the 100 at Yale in 2010 and students." But marketing is about APPEARING, not total compensation). 100 at Southern Methodist University earlier this BECOMING. It takes a plan to go from appearing to year. Harvard laid off 275 in 2009, and other becoming. upper echelon universities had sizeable cuts: 84 Top right: EJ THomas Hall; at Howard University, 60 at Brown and 46 at Bottom right: The Buchtel Statue on the If there is a plan—and we hope there is—it would George Washington. The University of Kentucky University of Akron campus. be difficult to assess it in any positive way from its laid off 140 in 2012 and Eastern Michigan 38 outward appearance. the year before. So far, it seems the University of


| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2015 • VOL 1 • ISSUE #11


Aliens 11:30 pm at The Nightlight Cinema ($8.50) 30 N High St, Akron Ellen Ripley returns to LV-426, this time with a unit of marines to eliminate the Alien threat once and for all. Considered one of the greatest movies of all time - it has an astounding 98% on Rotten Tomatoes - don’t miss your chance to see this classic on the big screen! Also showing Saturday at 11:30 pm.

PERSEID METEOR SHOWER ‘STAR PARTY WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12 - FRIDAY, AUGUST 14 9 pm at F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm 1828 Smith Rd, Akron Fifty years ago this month, a local astronomy club partnered with the park district to offer a “star party” at F.A. Seiberling

Nature Realm. On August 12, witness the Perseid meteor shower at the Nature Realm with a Summit Metro Parks naturalist in a program starting at 9 pm on only one of these three nights, pending clear skies: August 12, August 13 or August 14. Call 330-865-8060 after 4 pm to learn if a program is taking place that night. Bring a flashlight and chairs or blankets to the program.

e r u t l u C Arts &

s g n i t s i Event L


World Golf ChampionshipsBridgestone Invitational August 6 - 9, Firestone Country Club ($40 and up) 452 E Warner Rd, Akron Golf’s greatest players come to Akron for the weekend for the Bridgestone Invitational! In addition to watching the golf, don’t miss the Music After Party with The Clarks on Saturday night, plus a beer garden, the Swenson’s Food Truck and more!

Dustin Diamond 8 pm at Funny Stop Comedy Club ($7) 1757 State Rd, Cuyahoga Falls Dustin Diamond is best known for his role as Screech on Saved by the Bell. For the past 17 years, Dustin has toured the world as a stand-up comedian. His act is suitable for the now grownup fans of Saved by the Bell. It is adult-oriented,


hilarious... and definitely not the same squeakyclean, Saturday morning comedy that he spent 10 years doing as Screech. Dustin is performing at Funny Stop through August 8!


Summer Safari 7 pm at Akron Zoo ($85 for YPs; $100 for general admission) 500 Edgewood Ave, Akron Spend an elegant evening at the zoo and help raise funds for the care of the animals. Guests will enjoy live animal encounters, live music, drinks and fine food provided by several area restaurants and caterers. The evening will also include a silent auction and raffle. Where else can you bid on unique art pieces created by zoo animals like our own snow leopard?

Growing Up Akron 6 pm at Thirsty Dog Brewing Co ($50) 529 Grant St, Akron Come enjoy some of Akron’s most iconic food, including Retro Dog, Mustard Seed Market, Swenson's, Skyway, Nuevo Modern Mexican, Gino's Pizza, Mary Coyle and more. Plus, there will be plenty of Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. ale, brewed on location to wash it down. Party with friends new and old under the rockin' sounds of Roxxymoron!

What’s your best idea for the arts? We want to hear it! This summer, the Knight Arts Challenge is offering a share of $1 million to the best arts ideas for Akron. Get ready: the challenge opens Aug. 10, and it’s open to everyone. Learn more at

Photo courtesy of Downtown Akron Partnership


The Agenda

Aliens 11:30 pm at The Nightlight Cinema ($8.50) 30 N High St, Akron Ellen Ripley returns to LV-426, this time with a unit of marines to eliminate the Alien threat once and for all. Considered one of the greatest movies of all time - it has an astounding 98% on Rotten Tomatoes - don’t miss your chance to see this classic on the big screen! Also showing Saturday at 11:30 pm.

AUGUST 2015 • VOL 1 • ISSUE #11 /

THE Devil Strip |


The Agenda


Benjamin Rexroad’s One Line Lesson

Make your own opportunities and never let anyone tell you no by Katelyn Gainer Benjamin Rexroad has always been interested in theater and has always been willing to cut his own path. At Coventry High School, Rexroad says they “didn’t really have a drama program,” so he and three other students lobbied for programming. As a student at the University of Akron, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Theater, Rexroad says, “College also offered a lot of DIY, student-led opportunities. In both places, it was definitely a ‘you get out what you put in’ kind of education.” But he’s not complaining. In fact, he says these self-made theater opportunities “…taught me about the value of hard work and how to be a champion for my own dreams. I learned not to take ‘no’ for an answer. I learned not to sit around and wait for anyone else to create opportunities for me. In essence, I learned how to create the world that I envision.” Rexroad was given his first job in theater by Janis Harcar at Weathervane Playhouse back in 2006. “Working for Jan was amazing. It taught me a lot, particularly about the importance of marketing. I was also able to learn the

ins-and-outs of running such a large theatre. Simultaneously, I was also hired to be a ‘sub’ for the run crew at Carousel Dinner Theatre. I got to see the inner-workings of an eight-shows-aweek, Broadway-style equity theatre,” he says. After Weathervane, Rexroad moved over to Porthouse Theater as an Assistant Stage Manager.

hike the Appalachian Trail. This long trip gave Rexroad and Jozsa was when they “dreamed up Wandering Aesthetics,” which is where Rexroad now works as Managing Artistic Director. Through Wandering Aesthetics, Rexroad and Jozsa offer a number of events and programming for the community including The Electric Pressure Cooker Open Mic Cabaret, Full Circle Storytelling,

“Though the experience was great, it taught me that I didn’t want to be a stage manager and I The Boiling Point: Akron’s Alternative Play didn’t want to work in ‘mainstream’ theatre. So, Reading Series and The Open Door: Akron’s I quit and began to manage a band—I was even Performance Exchange. less successful at that,” Rexroad says. To stay in the loop and learn more about However, it was because he was managing that the work Benjamin, Kyle and the Wandering band he would meet Kyle Jozsa, his partner in Aesthetics crew are doing, visit life and at Wandering Aesthetics. They started WATheatre Heads Up Productions together. //BIO: Katelyn Gainer is the arts columnist for “Heads Up was an experimental, ensemble The Devil Strip and is the Communications & theatre. There was a group of seven to nine Public Outreach for a small arts nonprofit where actors who always worked together,” he says. she gets to promote Northeast Ohio’s thriving arts community. You can find her on Twitter at Rexroad says others in the group went off to do @katelyngainer their own thing, leaving he and Jozsa “alone.” They used the break as an opportunity to

5th Anniversary Open House Hazel Tree Interiors | 5-8 pm on Saturday, August 8 Having opened in 2010, Hazel Tree Interiors will celebrate their important milestone with an opening reception of the newest gallery show, “My World of Color.” The show features the work of Ed Cebula, the artist who christened the gallery space five years ago when Karen Starr and her husband Jon Haidet first opened the doors at Hazel Tree. Cebula's current works, which will be on display throughout the celebration, include pastels and monotype prints with Cubist and Primitive art influences. Though known for their the dedication to the local arts community, Hazel Tree Interiors is—as the name sort of indicates—actually an award-winning interior design studio and custom picture framing shop that also sells locally-made home furnishings. So get the full experience at their five year anniversary open house, enjoying some refreshments while you bob your head to live music by Mike Lenz, John Gouskos and members of Roxxymoron.


| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2015 • VOL 1 • ISSUE #11


National Hamburger Festival August 8 and 9 at Lock 3 ($5) 200 S Main St, Akron Celebrate the birthplace of the hamburger! In addition to eating a LOT of hamburgers, enjoy a hamburger eating festival, dunking for hamburgers, craft beer tastings, beauty pageants and more! And maybe run the Rubber Ducks 5K on Sunday morning to make up for all those hamburgers. Pop Up Crafty Mart at the Countryside Farmers’ Market 9 am at Howe Meadows (FREE) 4040 Riverview Rd, Peninsula Crafty Mart is crashing the Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow! Vendors include Neighbors Apparel, the Tea Dude, The Social Dept, and more. Civil War Reenactment 10:30 am at Hale Farm & Village ($10) 2686 Oak Hill Rd, Bath Thousands of visitors and reenactors flock to Hale Farm & Village annually for this popular summertime event—one of the largest Civil War reenactments in Ohio. Meet soldiers, cavalry and civilians. Hear the sounds of battle and smell the gunpowder. Shake hands with President Lincoln or shop for a hoopskirt. Don’t miss the excitement! Reenactments also take place Saturday at 2:30 pm at Sunday at 2 pm. Proof of the Wild: Free Tour 4 pm at Akron Art Museum (FREE) 1 S High St, Akron In celebration of The Wild Ones exhibition at the neighboring Summit Artspace, The Akron Art Museum is presenting a special tour of their own Wild Ones: the skeletons in the closet, the black sheep in the family, the rebels without a cause. Take a tour of the galleries, highlighting the groundbreaking and controversial artists, subjects, and themes that make art so exciting. Dancing with the Stars: Live! 8 pm at EJ Thomas Hall ($37.50) 198 Hill St, Akron Kicking off this summer, Dancing with the Stars: Live! unleashes its dancers in this action-packed live show, treating audiences to exciting and romantic performances, from choreography never before seen on the show, to some of the most memorable numbers from all ten years of Dancing with the Stars.


Jim Gaffigan 5 pm and 8 pm at Akron Civic Theatre ($39.75) 182 S Main St, Akron Jim Gaffigan is a Grammy nominated Comedian, New York Times Best Selling author, top touring performer, and multi-platinum selling father of five. Don’t miss your chance to see this renowned comic in Akron!


Creative Cog Akron 7:30 am at Musica (FREE to attend; $10 for breakfast) 51 E Market St, Akron Creative Cog Akron is a new series of breakfast talks bringing together like-minded people once a (continued on page 8)


the agenda


$3 million for the arts

could change everything in Akron for the better

The Knight Arts Challenge opens August 10 If you’ve lost track of the ways the Knight Foundation is funding change in Akron, you’re forgiven. Just after giving $3 million to Akron’s anchor arts institutions—and on the heels of their Cities Challenge, which awarded Chris Horne’s Unbox Akron project and Better Block’s Akron Air BNB hostel in North Hill—Knight is launching the Arts Challenge here with a $3 million pledge spread out over three years. On August 10, Akron joins Miami, Philadelphia, Miami and St. Paul as the only Knight cities with an arts challenge. There will be three public, community Q&A sessions to help you get a better grasp, but why wait for the basics when we can help you now?

The Akron Arts Challenge runs through September 14 and follows three basic rules: #1) It’s an idea about the arts. #2) It’s an idea that takes place in or benefits Akron. #3) You can match the amount you get from Knight with funding from somewhere else. In other words, it’s a matching grant for arts projects in Akron. Pretty simple stuff. You don’t have to be an artist. You don’t have to be a nonprofit. You don’t even have to live in Akron, as

long as your project does and you can get it done from afar.

to the next round, they’ll ask for a more detailed proposal. Winners will be announced in 2016.

So what’s your idea going to be? Have you noticed there’s a gap in the local arts scene that you think you can fill? Maybe you’ve got the arts equivalent of the better mousetrap. You know how to give a neighborhood a facelift or use the arts to answer a big social problem. The idea you submit can be as big or as small as you like.

Seriously now, if Chris Horne can get his idea funded, so can you. You’re wayyyy smarter and cooler than that guy so get on it!

The Knight Foundation wants “the best and most innovative ideas out of local organizations and individuals seeking to engage and enrich the community through the arts.” So get creative. Join a team. Brainstorm with your buddies. If your project is funded, you’ll have about a year to get matching funds. That means, if they give you $5000, you have to find another $5000 inside of a year. That could be a grant from another foundation, sponsorship by a business, a Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, or one helluva bake sale. Here’s how you submit your idea: Respond to their 150-word application between August 10 and September 14. This step only has to give the readers a sense of what you’d do and how you’d do it. Don’t sweat lots of details. If you make it

Akron Arts Challenge community town hall events

Akron Urban League 440 Vernon Odom Blvd., Akron Aug. 24 at 5:30 pm Mustard Seed Café 867 W. Market St., Akron Aug. 25 at 5:30 pm Akron Art Museum 1 S. High St., Akron Aug. 26 at 5:30 pm

Spark your imagination

with these previous Arts Challenge winners Center City Jazz Festival..........................$15,000 PHILADELPHIA >> To increase audiences for jazz by expanding the Center City Jazz Festival to include additional events and venues.


Hamilton Ink Spot....................................$50,000 ST. PAUL >> To expand this cooperative that provides daily classes and a mentorship program for the hand printing of original artwork. Hot Topics Artist Series............................$20,000 MIAMI >> To share the work of dynamic, national visual artists by hosting "Hot Topic," an ongoing lecture series.

A Host of People......................................$20,000 DETROIT >> To celebrate the do-it-yourself movement in both food and the arts by creating a site-responsive theater piece performed in community gardens around the city.

A Collective Exhibition............................$13,000 PHILADELPHIA >> To promote visual arts collaboration and capture the energy of the city's arts district by enabling many collectives to produce a multivenue, one-month exhibit.

Animated Architecture............................$20,000 PHILADELPHIA >> To support an innovative form of 3D storytelling by creating a series of outdoor video art events screened on local buildings.

Creative Incubator.................................$120,000 PHILADELPHIA >> To promote economic stability for the city's cultural community by offering support New Works Fund....................................$300,000 to emerging creative businesses with pre-seed MIAMI >> To contribute to ballet's future by funding, mentorships programs and workshops. commissioning and presenting creations from the finest established and new artists.

Artist-Designed Bike Racks......................$50,000 PHILADELPHIA >> To create more public art and enliven city streets by hosting a competition for artists to design new bike racks. Beyond Sustenance..................................$50,000 PHILADELPHIA >> To support 'Beyond Sustenance' - a series of exhibits, programs and workshops exploring connections within African American culture and culinary arts. Broadside Press........................................$20,000 DETROIT >> To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Broadside Press, a Detroit-based publisher for many leading African-American writers, by helping digitize its works.


MOCAD Teen Council.............................$120,000 DETROIT >> To give teens a stake in the arts by creating a teen council at MOCAD that will produce programs, events and materials for their peers and adults.

Nuestro Pueblo San Pablo Productions...$50,000 ST. PAUL >> To showcase Latino East Siders through a fictional radio novela/variety show, broadcast on the new Dayton's Bluff FM station.

Detroit Children's Book Fair ($750,000) DETROIT >> To use the arts to foster an interest in reading by weaving interactive cultural experiences throughout the museum’s Children’s Book Fair. In Progress................................................$50,000 ST. PAUL >> To build understanding of the long invisible, yet vibrant North End community through digital storytelling by local youth and adults.

Springboard for the Arts.......................$500,000 ST. PAUL >> To establish the Springboard Fund, to support the creation of a series of toolkits that

will enable communities to support artists and to develop a network of artist-supportive programs across Knight's resident communities. Sweat Records........................................$150,000 MIAMI >> To strengthen a local resource by expanding community programming and creating an online site exclusively for buying local music and art. The Department of Making + Doing: A Civic Prototyping Lab.........................$100,000 PHILADELPHIA >> To bring the city’s art and tech communities together through a new alliance and facility that will provide hands-on programming, plus a civic prototyping lab addressing community issues. WorkHorse Coffee Bar...............................$5,000 ST. PAUL >> To engage the commuting public through an intimate streetscape gallery in a vintage fire-hose cabinet near the new Green Line.

Write A House........................................$100,000 DETROIT >> To bring new vitality to the literary arts in Detroit by expanding 'Write a House,' which awards renovated homes to writers based on the quality of their work.

AUGUST 2015 • VOL 1 • ISSUE #11 /

THE Devil Strip |


The Most Interesting People We Know

built by human beans AKRON’S



he next time you check out a show in the area, take a closer look at the gear edging the stage. There’s a good chance you’ll see EarthQuaker Devices guitar pedals at the feet of many a musician making noise in Akron. This isn’t just a local trend, either—EarthQuaker’s hand-built boutique pedals are becoming standard equipment for world-touring artists like Wilco, Modest Mouse, Pearl Jam, Steely Dan and some guys named The Black Keys. The little Akron brand has grown up into a force to be reckoned with, quenching the thirst of instrumentalists perfecting their craft far and wide. Owned and operated by local musician Jamie Stillman and his team of loyal tinkerers, EarthQuaker Devices evolved from a basement operation on Merriman Road to a small shop on

(continued from page 6) month. Each month there will be a different theme and an individual from Akron’s creative community that will present a lesson they’ve learned while pursuing their creative endeavors. The inaugural breakfast features none other than The Devil Strip’s own publisher, Chris Horne!


Flair Fest Akron August 14 and 15 in Downtown Akron (FREE) S Main St, Akron Flair Fest is an LGBT Festival that promotes a welcoming, inclusive and accepting environment and was started as part of last year’s Gay Games 9. This year’s festivities include shows at Lock 3, artists and food vendors, a juried art show and a 10K Bike Ride. For more information, check out Akron Flair Fest on facebook. Growing Up Akron 6 pm at Thirsty Dog Brewing Co ($50) 529 Grant St, Akron Come enjoy some of Akron’s most iconic food, including Retro Dog, Mustard Seed Market, Swenson's, Skyway, Nuevo Modern Mexican, Gino's Pizza, Mary Coyle and more. Plus, there will be plenty of Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. ale, brewed on location to wash it down. Party with friends new and old under the rockin' sounds of Roxxymoron!


Rubber City Race Series: Burn Rubber Half Marathon and 10K 6:30 am at Goodyear World Headquarters ($75 for half, $55 for 10K) 200 Innovation Way, Akron Goodyear's World Headquarters will serve as the setting for the start and finish of the inaugural


Goodyear Half Marathon & 10k. The course will take runners on a tour of East Akron, covering Lockheed Martin's Airdock, Akron-Fulton International Airport and Derby Downs for a customized Akron experience. Runners will even get to pound the pavement on Goodyear's Akron Proving Grounds with a lap around this exclusive track. Finishers of the Goodyear Half Marathon & 10k will celebrate with an Akron's Best Food Festival with offerings of the city's most iconic food. Summit for Kids 10 am at John S. Knight Center (FREE) 77 E Mill St, Akron Summit for Kids is an annual family expo. Parents and children are invited to the John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron to enjoy fun and educational activities, free back-to-school items and more!

DEVO Art Installation 11 am at Akron Civic Theatre (FREE) 182 S Main St, Akron Come see the unveiling of the iconic DEVO Chili Dog Mac photo, adjacent to the entrance to the Akron Civic Theatre! DEVO band member Gerald Castle will make an appearance, and the Civic will have free hot dogs and tacos for everyone in attendance. Canal Park Movie Night: Frozen and The Princess Bride 6 pm at Canal Park ($5) | 300 S Main St, Akron Enjoy a movie under the stars and sit in the outfield

| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2015 • VOL 1 • ISSUE #11

Bishop Street with a crew of more than 30 employees. As demand for the unique pedals soared in the last few years, Stillman realized he had quickly outgrown the space and needed to expand. A diamond in the rough was spotted downtown – an old building formerly housing everything from a meat grinder repair business to an automotive paint supplier – allowing the team to operate in a larger, more expansive location and pump out the in-demand devices to the masses. “The new space is massive, about 15,000 square feet, and it will hopefully allow us to stay put and spread out,” Stillman says. “[It’s] the perfect spot. I can’t imagine finding a better place. We couldn’t do what we do without all of our employees, and everyone lives here in Akron.” >>>>>

as Canal Park shows the movies "Frozen" and "The Princess Bride" on their HD video board! Tickets are just $5 with proceeds benefiting Akron Children's Hospital. The Electric Pressure Cooker Open Mic Cabaret XVIII: The Summer of ‘69 8 pm at None Too Fragile Theater (FREE) 1841 Merriman Rd, Akron This free “anything goes” open mic cabaret is brought to you by Wandering Aesthetics, Rubber City Theater Company and None Too Fragile Theater. Anyone who wants to perform - from reading from a play to experimental art to dancing to poetry - is welcome!


Community Day at Stan Hywet 10 am at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens (FREE) 714 N Portage Path, Akron The Estate is free and open to the public today as Stan Hywet’s gift to the community, including you. It's fun for the whole family, and a day packed with activities, including self-guided tours of the Manor, a Vintage Base Ball game at 1 pm, family games, and much more!



Rock photographer Janet Macoska talk 6:30 pm at Akron Art Museum One South High, Akron Know the “Chili Dog Mac” photo of Devo that’s being unveiled on August 15 as a permanent installation downtown? Well, meet the woman responsible for it, Janet Macoska. She’ll be telling stories about her time shooting rock n’ roll icons during a free talk at the Akron Art Museum, which hosts six of her photographs in its collection, including “a striking portrait of David Bowie.” Macoska, who has worked for Rolling Stone, People and The New York Times, and whose work is also in the permanent collection of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and The National Portrait Gallery in London, has photographed Led Zeppelin, AC/ DC, The Clash and The Kinks, among many others, and her archive often appears in TV and film productions.


Akron History Hike: Historic Matthews Hotel 8:30 pm at Towpath Trail - Beech Street Trailhead (FREE) 40 Beech St, Akron Join Summit Metro Parks and the Summit County Historical Society for a tour of this eclectic area, from the Beech Street steam plant to the landmark Matthews Hotel. This tour will recall the jazz heritage of Akron. Call 330.865.8065 to register.

Milk My Brain A young man finds himself lost and running from a masked figure. In the meantime an anonymous, gas masked man wanders from thrift store couples dancing and delivering milk to smashing computer appliances and perusing around a TV studio. Prepare to get your brain milked in this surreal visual by avant-garde director, Edward Allerton, that will leave you with more questions than answers.


The Most Interesting People We Know <<<<< continued from page 8 EarthQuaker Devices is undoubtedly experiencing a stellar year full of growth, recognition and widespread acclaim. Beyond moving to its larger location full of expansive offices and plenty of space for production, another big change Stillman and his team experienced this year is bringing its enclosure operations in house, allowing them to keep all facets of the company under one roof. The small, local company made its mark most recently at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show, the world’s largest trade event for the music products industry. EarthQuaker Devices was named Best in Show, legitimizing the products Stillman first started devising in a scant spare bedroom on Westwood. “It’s kind of mind-blowing to me — I never think of us as a brand that the bigger industry pays attention to,” Stillman says. “It’s nice to know that these weird ideas have a larger appeal than I could have ever hoped for.” Almost a decade ago, Stillman was working as a road manager for The Black Keys. Tinkering with pedals was merely a hobby then, something he was fitting in along with freelance graphic design work and his parenting duties. He spent many sleepless nights learning the ins and outs of creating the pedals – something he says was a natural progression from working as a designer and playing music of his own. Stillman wanted to learn how to make new sounds and figure out how to develop a product he could use himself and share with others. “The science of electronics is not really what I am interested in. I really only learned enough to get by,” he says. “I kind of like to learn the basics of anything I’m interested in and just wing it from there. Making tons of mistakes and not getting too technical is what keeps it exciting for me.” Soon, direct orders started pouring in. He hired his first employee, Jeff France, to help manage some of the responsibilities that quickly began flowing in as EQD grew from a hobby to a legitimate business. Fusing the creative elements from his life in the design and music worlds allowed Stillman to naturally come up with eye-catching graphics and unique names that set his pedals apart. Ghost Echo, Dream Crusher, Cloven Hoof and Zap Machine are just a few varieties of the delay, boost, fuzz, modulation and compression pedals EQD creates to this day. Stillman’s wife, Julie, has come up with several names as well, and local comic book artist Matt Horak has lent a hand with some of the distinctive design elements, making the production a true creative team effort. From a technical standpoint, Stillman says he isn’t looking to fill any “holes” in the effects market or get his own versions of traditional device out there. Instead, he and his crew prefer to develop sometimes odd, borderline unusable sounds that add a whole new dimension to the musical landscape. He says old recordings are highly influential in the creation of his pedals, and perfect tone isn’t so much a priority.

the Afterneath, described as an “otherworldly” reverberation machine that helps musicians craft wild, scattered sounds that bend, stretch, swell, and create beautiful sonic messes that transfix and bewitch listeners. Stillman says customer requests have influenced the creation of a few new pedals, including The Dunes, which is a simplified version of The Palisades — named after the street in Akron — Stillman’s creative take on the popular tube screamer overdrive pedal. EQD is also debuting the Interstellar Orbiter, a dual resonant filter designed specifically for Canadian DJ Kid Koala to use on his Satellite concert tour. The pedal allows for a unique, interactive experience where audience members — even those who aren’t necessarily musically inclined — can individually alter the sounds they hear. It is an intricate process that involves interwoven aural delights crafted by a laboratory of amateur sonic scientists. “Each audience member will be seated at one of 60 mini turntable stations that will include a small crate of color coded custom vinyl,” Stillman explains. “Each record contains a drone that is designed to harmonize with key moments in the show being performed on stage by Kid Koala. Each record player will be run through an Interstellar Orbiter and allow the audience to individually manipulate the sounds. Very excited about this one.”

EarthQuaker Devices wears its love of our city all over its website, capping every product description with a different and unique take on Akron. — hummingbirdv3 —

“The Hummingbird is all analog, true bypass and handmade one at a time on a gilded cloud in Akron, Ohio.”

— palisades —

“Each Palisades is hand made one at a time in the tiny tree house community of Akron, Ohio.”

— blackeyeboost —

“The Black Eye is true bypass and built one at a time by human beans on the shore front of Akron, Ohio.”

— fuzzmastergeneral —

“Each Fuzz Master General is made by human hands in mostly tropical Akron, Ohio.”

With the help of illustrious local musician Joe Golden, EQD has also designed a new amp, the Sound Projector 25, which the team debuted at NAMM this summer. This particular device is unique because it can accept any octal power tube, Stillman says, and installing different tubes completely changes the sound and feel. The amp will go into production in the fall. In the meantime, Stillman and the team will be developing new ideas for bigger, louder amps in addition to their highly revered pedal offerings. With a new location and a dedicated team working tirelessly to cook up new devices for the local and global music communities, there’s no doubt EarthQuaker Devices will leave its mark on the industry in a big, bad way.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> EarthQuaker Devices can be found online at and at the following local shops: The Guitar Department, Replay Music, Woodsy’s Music, Fairlawn’s Guitar Center, Guitar Riot, Sam Ash and Guitar Center in Cleveland. EQD has also teamed up with She Shreds magazine to put on concerts in the Northeast Ohio area. The next show will take place at the Outpost in Kent August 15, featuring Weedeater, Lo-Pan, Fuck You Pay Me and Stillman’s band, Relaxer, among many others.

To date, EQD’s most popular pedals are the Dispatch Master, known as one of the most versatile delay/reverb pedals on the market, and


AUGUST 2015 • VOL 1 • ISSUE #11 /

THE Devil Strip |



PHOTO: Svetla Morrison

PHOTO: Svetla Morrison


Dominic Falcione’s hands are dirty, but it’s not because he’s been playing in the mud. Rather Falcione, the face behind Rubber City Fab (RCF), has been hard at work shaping and welding metal into beautiful, useful sculptures.

or people just looking for a meeting space that has a business-like atmosphere. He hopes the ground level will become an artist workspace where someone can rent a machine for an hour or a day, or metalsmithers could share equipment.

Falcione, a former employee of the University of Akron’s Myers School of Art, made RCF his full-time work about three months ago, but he has been creating metal fixtures and furnishings for quite some time.

“The name comes from Akron being the Rubber City and Fab as in ‘fabrication’ or also ‘fabulous,” Falcione smiles. “But I don’t see this as a name that’s tied to me. I envision this as a place where people can come and do this kind of work whenever they want. Rubber City Fab would be more of a building name.” Falcione wants to make greater use of the RCF building by offering space to budding graphic design firms, fashion houses, other metal sculptors

But besides creating beautiful, functional public art, Falcione also accepts work on residential items, such as chairs, fixtures, simple metal sculptures and more. “I would love to do more signage and more work with light,” Falcione says. “It’s a great marriage of what I like to do: electrical design and metal sculpting.” But sometimes the work gets lonely, Falcione says. So what keeps him going, and what inspires his designs?

“I needed to find a place to grow, and this area of town is growing,” Falcione says. “I just needed to do something different and new after 10 years at the university.” The building RCF now calls home, at 380 Water Street, was once the corporate headquarters for B.W. Rogers Co., a long-time Akron manufacturer of hydraulic pumps. When he first moved into the Water Street building, RCF was called Harmonix, but Falcione changed the name about two years ago.

trees outside of Bricco on Main Street—those are his work, too.

“I get inspiration from architecture, city life and nature,” Falcione says. “And I love the challenges that come with designing something new. You have to make sure it’ll last through all weather, find the best lighting, lay it out perfectly. I like all that. It’s the perfect stew for me.” “My vision is to have a space for workshops or skillshops,” Falcione says. “It would be a little bit like Summit Artspace, but dirtier. The missing component at Summit Artspace is a workshop where people can build even small things. RCF could enable people to get creative and do it.”

To see more of Dominic’s work, check out his website or his Facebook page // Megan Combs, an amateur artist at best, prefers when her hands are covered with paint.

Know it or not, you’ve probably seen Falcione’s sculptures around town. Are you familiar with Interested in helping RCF Angel Falls’ Highland Square coffee house? That become a place where artists new, colorful metal sign is his. So are the bright green tree surrounds out front that can be used can collaborate? as a bike rack, dog tie, chair or impromptu jungle Contact Dominic at gym. He created the giant Lite Brite for the Akron Art Museum for First Night last year. The little green All other photos are courtesy of Rubber City Fab


akron history


Akronites have always been supportive of the underdog. This is true whether the underdog is one of our own or even someone passing through. Evidence of this truth lies in the long-standing pride we have that social and political thinker/lecturer Sojourner Truth once spoke here. Truth was an outstanding nineteenth-century women’s rights advocate and abolitionist. Born into slavery, she renamed herself Sojourner Truth to embody “a traveler preaching truth to all she met.” Already a noted lecturer, Truth came to Akron to attend a women’s suffrage convention on May 28-29, 1851 at the Universalist Stone Church in downtown. According to reports, a group of local ministers occupied much of the gathering with criticisms about women wasting their time worrying about their right to vote. Hearing enough of this malarkey, Truth stood up and extemporaneously but eloquently pleaded for human freedom. In what has since been titled the “Ain’t I a Woman” speech, Truth demanded to be considered the equal of anyone, despite gender or race. Her ideas and words were well-received amongst the progressive-thinking crowd in Akron that day. Those unmoved by her words included a local newspaper writer for The Summit Beacon, who

dismissively reported that Truth “also spoke.” However, the convention participants were inspired by Truth’s fiery passion and eventually the speech was written down and published. Although women’s suffrage would continue the struggle nearly 40 years after Truth’s death in 1883, the “Ain’t I a Woman” speech grew in popularity through the following decade—the Civil War years— calling for racial equality. An Ohio Historical Marker identifies the spot where Sojourner Truth delivered her famous speech in Akron. Anyone can easily visit the location where the Universalist Stone Church once stood. The marker is on the wall of what is now named the Sojourner Truth Building, of The Summit County Department of Job and Family Services, on N. High Street between Perkins and E. Market Street.

Sojourner Truth: “Ain't I a Woman?” May 28-29, 1851 | Universalist Stone Church Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women of the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about? That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I could have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man—when I could get it—and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I

| Akron, Ohio

have borne 13 children, and seen them most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman? Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [Intellect, somebody whispers] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negro's rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure-full? Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him. If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them. Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.

Sojourner Truth Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-119343

// Joanna Wilson enjoys writing and researching Akron history, quoting Morrissey lyrics and collecting tattoos.



the Controversial Origins of the Hamburger (Like Mad Libs but better because it’s about Akron.) Fill in the blanks here and plug them into the paragraph below. 1. Noun _________________________________________

The exact origin of the (1)_________________ may never be known with any certainty. All claims for invention

2. Past tense verb _________________________________

occur between 1885 and 1904, making it probable that the hamburger was (2) _________________________

3. Adjective ______________________________________

sometime in these two decades. Records from that time are (3) ________________, however. Despite varieties,

4. Plural noun ____________________________________ 5. Adjective ______________________________________

there are common elements in all of the (4) __________________, most notably that the hamburger was born as a food associated with major events such as (5) __________________ parks, fairs, conferences and festivals.

6. Plural noun ____________________________________ All the hypotheses also share the presence of street (6) __________________________. The brothers Frank and 7. Food __________________________________________ 8. Type of event __________________________________ 9. City name _____________________________________

Charles Menches of Akron claimed to have sold a (7) ________________________ sandwich at the Erie Co. (8) __________________. They said the name of the hamburger derived from the town (9) ________________,

10. Adverb ________________________________________

the first place in which it had been sold. This statement has been (10) ______________________ documented,

11. Noun _________________________________________

and in the case of an oral (11) ____________________________, it is not without its contradictions. Its famous

12. Food __________________________________________

description of the secret ingredients used in the recipes, such as (12) _________________________, is suspect.


AUGUST 2015 • VOL 1 • ISSUE #11 /

THE Devil Strip |



Humans of U


No matter how necessary the budget cuts at the University of Akron may be, we shouldn’t forget that there are people with full lives behind the numbers being reported. Some of the people who were laid off had been with the university for up to 33 years or more. The Devil Strip wants to give you the chance to get to know them a little in their own words.

Job code: 80900 Position number: 0031 Title: Student Services Counselor Name: Deb Casey Time at UA: 27 years Hometown: Akron Current city: Akron

“I began working at UA in the Undergraduate Admissions on 8-8-88. I began as a Stenographer II working with transfer students. In 2000, I was changed to a Student a Services Counselor and began processing new freshmen. I also admitted guest students, adults and the College Credit Plus students. I also worked closely with our (age) 60+ program. I also worked with the NEOMED program admissions.” “I had been working in the Registrar's Office since March. We were told Monday morning that six of us would be let go in the afternoon. We knew it was coming but it was still a shock. First, ‘Hey, ok, my friend, Scott.’ Then Wendy. Then me. Then the other Wendi. Then Maria. The tears were flowing freely. Each meeting took minutes. We each left on our own. I think that was the worst thing. No send off. No retirement cake, just leaving campus with two shopping bags trying to put on a brave face.”

Photo Credit: Shane


“I have a 37-year-old son, Ben, who lives with me. He has autism and the uncertainty of this week has been very hard on him. If I am not called back, I am hoping to get a position at

one of the other local schools. I consider myself lucky because I have enough time in that I can retire.” “I came to work at UA because I was married to a man getting his Ph.D., and I had two sons needing tuition. Purely economic. But I found that I loved working with students. I also found that I love the classroom. I got an AAS in Business Management in 1994, my BS in Technical Education, my MS in Higher Education Administration in 2008. Currently, I am taking classes on Addiction Counseling. I just love to learn.” “I worked closely with high school counselors getting their students processed, took phone calls from both students and their parents and held all of the hands that needed held. I especially liked helping first generation college students. Their parents need a special hand-holding. I would tell them how to buy their books online, about our campus patrol program and answer whatever questions they have. …I cannot imagine how the staff that is left will be able to help all of the students. There is just too much work.”

Business, Bit and Small The Bit Factory Akron’s Startup Incubator by Brit Charek

I have to admit that one of that one of my favorite things that I’ve done this summer was binge-watching HBO’s “Silicon Valley”. So when I was invited to take a tour of the Bit Factory, a tech startup incubator run by the Akron Global Business Accelerator, I was halfway expecting an environment akin to Erlich’s house, complete with a group of socially-challenged developers and coders awkwardly coping with the existential dilemmas of startup life where the line between work and home life is blurry if not completely nonexistent, all for my viewing pleasure. Let’s just say that The Bit Factory is a few notches up from Erlich’s house. Thanks to a grant from the Burton T. Morgan Foundation and the talents of designer Dominic Falcione of Rubber City Fab, the space is beautifully designed around a collaborative philosophy where


startup companies work closely together. In addition to providing members with space, the Bit Factory has a plethora of resources it provides its startups, including a mentorship program. And of course, the Bit Factory is available to its tenants 24/7. “The fact that there’s an Internet startup accelerator in Akron is just one reason why Northeast Ohio has arrived as a startup community,” says Annal Vyas, Program Director for the Bit Factory. Vyas teaches full-time at the University of Akron School of Law, but is loaned to the Akron Accelerator one day a week to assist with various initiatives, with the Bit Factory being one. “Before, people thought they had to move to the coasts to work on sophisticated technology

| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2015 • VOL 1 • ISSUE #11

startups,” Vyas says. “Now, they’re realizing that there’s so much activity and energy in their own backyard, and that this region is a great place to start a company.” Vyas hopes to expand the Bit Factory’s programming to host evening events that will generate a culture of innovation, not just in the tech scene but also the art scene here in Akron. On Thursday, August 6, the Bit Factory is hosting a brainstorming sessions for artists and businesspeople interested in sketching out ideas for the upcoming Knight Arts Challenge. To learn more about it, search for “Dream Team: Knight Arts Challenge” on Facebook.

a makers’ space that will provide entrepreneurs access to technology and equipment that will continue to fuel creativity and innovation in Akron. To learn more about the Bit Factory, or to keep up with future events, visit

In 2017, The Bit Factory will launch Bits and Atoms,


the wanderer

Swensons vs. Skyway

Walking the line that divides even the closest Akronites by Holly Brown There are certain preferences that define you. Cats or dogs? Coke or Pepsi? Deep Dish or New York Style? What I find funny about these decisions is that I don’t ever exactly remember making one of them consciously and that each one says a little something (however small) about an aspect of your personality. It’s almost as if these things are part of the fabric of our character and I have heard (as well as been a part of) more than a few debates surrounding these (what I can call nothing other than) rivalries. Akronites have one of these questions unique to us: Swensons or Skyway? I learned about Swensons and Skyway together, as I imagine most newbies getting oriented to Akron must. First, I was met with incredulity when I had no idea what anyone was talking about. “You haven’t been to either?” As I didn’t exactly know what Swensons and Skyway were, I most certainly hadn’t eaten there. These are the kinds of places where the name says it all. It’s not that they’re hard to explain, Akronties just aren’t used to having to explain them to people because they are such an ingrained part of the food culture. I pressed forward “…but what do they have there?” Everyone looked at me awkwardly because no one had thought to explain it. “Drive in burger places,” said one of my fellow teaching assistants in our shared office, “when (note: it was definitely when, not if) you go to Swensons, make sure you get potato teezers, they’re incredible.” Life is not the same in a post-teezers world. Now that I am fully aware of the rivalry, I can understand the request I have gotten multiple times from various readers: “When are you going to write the Swensons vs. Skyway article?” Well, dear readers, the time is now. So here’s the sitch. In one night, I went to both Skyway and Swensons. I felt that for a piece this delicate, I needed to eliminate the threat of variables such as hunger level, time of day, location, mood, temperature, etc. I love this job. Ryan and I packed ourselves in the car and drove first to Skyway, as it is further from my apartment and serious consideration was given to maintaining temperature of sides and burgers in terms of travel


time. Though I do highly recommend actually eating in either parking lot with that badass tray they hook to the window, I figured it may be frowned upon to eat food from the rival establishment in either parking lot. At Skyway, we ordered a Sky Hi, French fries, and sauerkraut balls. At Swensons, we ordered a Galley Boy, potato teezers, and fried zucchini. Luckily for both of our arteries, we conceded to share the burgers rather than each eat two. I imagine almost all of you have been to Swensons and Skyway so you know what I’m saying when I say the food is truly to die for. I feel like drive-ins not only have the best deep fry technique but also permission to deep fry whatever they want. The sauerkraut balls, teezers, and zucchini were ever crunchy, never soggy. The fries were thick, as Ryan noted: they were crispy on the outside but still somehow retained softness. Now, the main event: burgers. I can’t lie, both were incredible and though they certainly share a style I could easily tell the difference between them. The Sky Hi covered slightly more area, though the bun of the Swensons burger was definitely denser. The meat was moist and flavorful for both. The most notable characteristics for each are as follows: The Sky Hi had some sort of cole slaw on top of the patty which made for tangy flavor as well as a very pleasant textural experience, and the Swensons sweet brown sauce made for a completely distinct flavor that melted in perfectly with the tang of the other special sauce. Once I had eaten both, something really dawned on me. Thank God I inadvertently ended up in a city where there are enough drive-in burger joints to warrant a rivalry. In a world of ever-growing fast food chains, it’s reassuring to see that places like Skyway and Swensons still exist. Quick, greasy burgers with history and heart to boot. (This is the perfect place to reiterate my point in issue 1 about young men running across parking lots to bring me food…mainly, the fact that that’s amazing.)

Music Festival Checklist üBring Guitar üPack Camper Van üBring AAA Card

Hit the Road

So, am I a Swensons girl or a Skyway girl? Ask me in person. Here, I’m going to maintain some air of mystery and leave that up for you to work out on your own.


& Rock on

food & Culture

Quick n' Dirty Guide to the

2015 National Hamburger Festival Hard to believe it’s been 10 years already. Where has the time gone? How many tons of hamburgers have we devoured? All that melty cheese, the fries… Hmmmm. There’s a rebellion going on around the country, pushback against the factory line fast food burger. Just as we’ve tuned in as a nation to small batch liquor, gourmet cupcakes and coffee, candied bacon and microbrew beer, we want the same attention, love and craft to go into each delicious bite—whether your patty is beef or vegan, your buns tradition or artisan. Boring won’t do and it’s become the craze for hamburgers. Wild toppings. Specialty and custom blends of meat. Chef-inspired recipes. That spirit—the one gripping America now— was alive and well in Akron, Ohio in 2005 when Drew Cerza, at Coondog’s urging and with the city of Akron’s help (led by, of course, Dave Lieberth), launched the National Hamburger Festival here, the (disputed) birthplace of the beloved burger. Use our “Quick n’ Dirty” guide to help you navigate the tastiest weekend of the year. Make sure you check out the preview of their first annual Craft Beer & Indie Band Showcase (Sunday, August 9) on page 22 of this issue. – Chris Horne

THE BASICS WHAT? 10th Annual National Hamburger Festival WHEN? August 8-9, 2015 WHERE? Lock 3 Park (200 South Main St., Akron) WHO? Drew Cerza & Just Wing It Productions WEB: HOW MUCH? Kids (8 and under) are FREE but it’s $5 for everyone else. Food tickets are $1 each and must be purchased at the festival. FUN FOR THE KIDS FREE inflatables and an obstacle course for kids inside Lock 3 Park, including: Bungee Trampoline – Moon Walk – Obstacle Course – Caterpillar Fun House

Don't Miss these Contests

Bobbing for Burgers............................................................................................................. Saturday at 3:30 pm It’s just you, your mouth, a baby pool filled with ketchup and a handful of combative competitors, trying to out-do you for the title of Burger Bobbing Champ.

Amateur Hamburger Eating Contest................................................................................... Saturday at 6:30 pm Contestants are challenged to eat as many hamburgers as they can in 10 minutes. If you think you can stomach this challenge—see what we did there?—go online to register for a spot.

National Hamburger Festival Queen Pageant......................................................................... Saturday at 5 pm Single women between 15-27 years old compete in their formal attire for the prized tiara and sash then immediately get busy with their duties: Officiating the Baby Burger Contest.

The Baby Burger Contest.......................................................................................................Sunday at 12:30 pm Open to boys and girls, this contest is all about the cute. Contestants don their Sunday best or semi-formal attire, vying for a medal, the sash and a prize pack.

PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS Beachcomber’s Betty’s Bomb A Burgers Blue Rock Cafe Bob’s Hamburg Cupcakes & More French Fries & More

Fire Truck Pizza Company The Game Grill + Bar Honey Gourmet Ice Cream Legends Sports Pub Li’l Grandpa’s Kettle Corn Martini Brothers

Max & Erma’s Menches Brothers Midway OH Boy Out of the Box The Pierogi Lady Quaker Corp

Real Fruit LLC Retro Dog Sammie’s Bar and Grill Smoke, the Burger Joint Spinelli’s The Stray Dog Cart

Can 2014’s NHB Festival Winners repeat in 2015? >>>> Page 25 WWW.THEDEVILSTRIP.COM

food & Culture

Working Class Vegan Man


Following college, I jumped into my car and drove to Nashville for a promising career in minor league baseball. I sold ticket packages and stadium signage, but most of the time, I either dressed in an Ozzie the Cougar mascot costume or sweated at the stadium grill. While at the grill, I cooked hotdogs, hamburgers, pork chops, chicken wings, and bratwursts–hundreds of each during a homestand. It didn’t take long before I became the head of the Grillbillies–a hard-working lot of stadium cooks. Preparing tons of meat for a crowd of hungry fans can be a disgusting experience–a story for another time. Being around so many grilled munchies was too tempting, and I usually washed down a few dogs and burgers with a few sodas. Yummy dinner. It didn’t take long to become a chubby Grillbilly. In one year, I had become an excellent grill master. I mean, my grilling tasted good. I had also put on 30 pounds and felt slow and tired, which I made up for by drinking more soda. After two years of destroying myself, I sat back and thought about what I wanted to feel and look like and what I would have to do to accomplish that. The excessive meat and sodas had to go. Flash forward 10 years and I still grill. I’m still good at it, but I’ve dropped the hamburgers for other

tasty choices, and I make the patties myself. I know what’s in my delicious burgers. (I remember finding out for the first time what was in the all-meat dogs I was serving at the stadium. Now, I don’t know now why eating eyeballs is any different from eating ground chuck, but at the time, it shocked me. Nah, none of that carnage makes it onto my bun.) I know that the bean burger I make includes nonGMO, organic ingredients that actually energize me instead of slowing me down. The whole foods in my burgers include nutrients my body can use, instead of empty calories that just add fat and make me tired, craving a soda. Try making your own patty. Put whatever you want in it. The spices that go into flavoring those hamburgers are what make your burger taste good–not so much the charred muscle. You can make your vegan burger taste just as good by adding the spices and ingredients you want, and your body will thank you for it by staying energized and lean.


For a vegan organic edamame burger recipe from Ms. Julie’s Kitchen, tune in to Akronist TV with Blue Green at how-to-make-vegan-organic-edamameburgers-akronist-tv

Vegan Burger Recipes for the Grill BLACK BEAN, BLACK RICE & EGGPLANT BURGER adapted from Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes

Prep: 1 hour, 10 mins Cook: 8-10 mins Serves: 8 INGREDIENTS 2 cups canned black beans ½ cup black rice ½ large eggplant 1 tbsp mirin 1 tbsp rice vinegar 2 tbsp chili garlic sauce 2 tbsp tamari (use soy sauce by all means) ½ cup brown rice flour Oil or oil spray for cooking


INSTRUCTIONS Cook black beans in boiling water then let simmer for an hour or until tender. (Pressure cooker works faster.) Cook black rice in 1 cup of boiling water for 25-30 minutes, until water has been absorbed—let stand for 10 minutes. Roast eggplant in a preheated oven at 350F for 30 minutes, or until really tender—let it cool then peel off the charred skin. Scoop eggplant flesh, black rice and black beans into a food processor bowl, add remaining ingredients and pulse 5-10 times until evenly mixed but with texture (not paste-like). Remove to a bowl, mix in the rice flour and shape into eight flat patties. Cook about four minutes on each side on nonstick or cast iron griddle. NUTRITION INFORMATION Calories: 152; Fiber: 4.7 grams; Protein: 6.6 grams

What this PlaCe neeDs is healthy fooD for eVeryone. United Way is a champion for healthy food for all in Summit County. We believe that nutritious food should be available to everyone, regardless of income. So we partner with many nonprofit organizations to promote equal access to healthy, high-quality food.

Join us at the table. Volunteer. If you have a passion for healthy food education, access and policy, connect with the United Way Volunteer Center to find ways to get involved with amazing programs and people in your community. Whether you have just one evening to help out a community garden, want to volunteer weekly at a farmers’ market or can spend some time in an office supporting a program, you can become a part of the solution.

Current volunteer opportunities: 1. Help with planting, weeding, watering and harvesting at an urban farm or community garden 2. Lend support to a weekly farmer’s market 3. Organize a healthy food drive 4. Deliver meals to seniors in their homes 5. Mentor kids on nutrition and exercise Many more projects are available! Contact the United Way Volunteer Center at or 330.643.5512 for a complete list of opportunities or search our online volunteer project database at Under ‘Take Action,’ click the Volunteer link, and then the link for food-related opportunities. Nonprofits – contact the Volunteer Center to add your project.

beCause Great thinGs haPPen When We liVe uniteD. United Way of Summit County uWsuMMit.orG

food & Culture




So… why are is the National Hamburger Festival in Akron? That’s because burgers are in our inventive bloodline. Though area natives—the Menches Brothers—lay claim to the title, there is competition. Since no one has offered definitive evidence, the jury is still out. So tell us what you think. Who invented the hamburger?

Our claim to the hamburger::

sandwiches meatballs at the 1885 Seymour Fair, an innovation intended to make it easier for customers to walk and eat. He’s also credited with calling it a hamburger because local German immigrants were familiar with the Hamburg steak.

Fletcher Davis, late 1880s

This Texan didn’t take his burger to the St. Louis World’s Fair until 1904, but historian Frank X. Tolbert says Fletcher Davis was honing his craft at his café in Athens, Texas way back in the late 1880s.

Frank and Charles Menches


"My first visit to Nuevo was AMAZING!! I was blown away with our very knowledgeable and attentive bartender. Going into this dinner I would never order tequila (except in a margarita), I was glancing at the tequila list when Eric (our great bartender) stopped by to walk us through aging, and tasting notes on some of his favorite tequilas. He was so passionate about these tequilas I agreed to try some. He poured a couple tasters of his favorite tequilas for my friends and I, and I couldn't believe how delicious they were... ...Now it was time to order dinner and again we went with his favs. I got scallops while my friends got tacos with shrimp, and a burrito with chorizo and pears! Everything was right on. This is not your typical Mexican restaurant (not that there's anything wrong with them) but the food here definitely had a lot of time and thought put into it. All in all everything was great! I will be back!" - Danielle S. in Akron, OH on July 15, 2015

The Menches Brothes claimed they invented the hamburger way back in 1885 at the Erie County Fair when they ran out of sausage for sandwiches and rolled with it, buying five pounds of meat, grilling ‘em up in patties and calling them hamburgs in honor of the town where they put it altogether: Hamburg, NY, which was itself named for Hamburg, Germany.

What is a hamburger without the bun? As the legend goes, until Oscar Bilby of Tulsa, Oklahoma came along, burgers were squished between plain ol’ slices of bread. That changed when he served his patties on his wife’s homemade buns—stop it—on July 4, 1891.

Louis' Lunch 1895

The competition:

Charlie Nagreen, 1885

54 East Mill St. Akron 44308 (330) 762-8000 Hours: M-Th 11-10, F 11-11, Sat 3-11

Oscar Bilby, 1891

Known as "Hamburger Charlie,” Seymour, Wisconsin’s Charlie Nagreen, reportedly invented the hamburger when he was just 15 after making

The Library of Congress says Louis Lassen, a Danish immigrant, first served hamburger and steak sandwiches from his small lunch wagon in New Haven, Connecticut, Louis' Lunch, in 1895. But what does Congress know? Bet they never even use their fancypants library. (continued on page 25)


film and feast

Coming up for air

Diamond Deli is known for its sandwiches, which are delicious and interestingly named. Here are a few of our favorites from their menu. Keep in mind this a family outfit, so inside jokes and playful rivalries clearly fuel the name game below.


Josh’s “I Made the Dean’s List!” (Hot corned beef, turkey, Swiss cheese, cole slaw, 1000 island dressing on grilled rye) FILM: Oxygen (1999) STARS: Maura Tierney, Adrian Brody In this high stakes crime thriller, Madeline Foster (Tierney) is a no-nonsense New York police officer who suffers from her own demons outside of the job. Her day is about to get a lot worse however, as she finds herself assigned to an unusual kidnapping. The wife of a prosperous businessman has been buried alive by a mysterious maniacal madman named Harry Houdini (Brody). It soon becomes clear that Harry knows who Madeline is, and for him this isn't an ordinary kidnapping but an elaborate psychological game. What works about writer/director Richard Shepard's script is the suspense our characters deal with while working against a clock that is constantly ticking. As the movie races on, you feel the real sense of desperation to save this woman's life, but with each new branch to the characters’ backstories, the mission becomes tougher and tougher. I thoroughly enjoyed Oxygen for its refreshingly original ideas on a genre that is very overdone in today's world of TV. Today, it's common to find a CSI (fill in the blank for city) on every hour of the day, but a film like Shepard's was ahead of its time for creating real human responses and building suspense of Shakespearean proportions. The film's score is impactful, the camera shots capture the claustrophobia of being buried alive from the woman's point of view, and the movie's pacing is constantly moving at a brief 87 minute run time. It all makes for a chess-move finale that will have you inching on the edge of your seats in breathtaking anticipation. The film’s brilliance is highlighted when you see the behind-the-scenes notes. The on-screen chemistry between the film's two protagonists is remarkable considering they only spent three days together during filming. The brilliance of a method actor is also present in Brody's

performance, as he had real braces put on his teeth for his role as Harry, rather than get fake ones put on every day.

Sue’s “I’m not like my mom” (Ham, Colby cheese, tomato, red onion, fresh herbal butter on grilled Italian)

Chuck’s Working Hard, Lynda Isn’t FEAST: The Diamond Deli As a worker and patron of downtown Akron, there is only one place that makes me fantasize about it: The Diamond Deli. Opened in 1997 by brother and sister Chad and Lynda Magilavy during a time when the Main Street landscape was changing for the better, the restaurant has gained a reputation for one of Akron's most dependable eateries for their wide variety in menu options, as well as their dedicated hospitality. The building breathes history, as a lot of the locals frequent it daily with stories of happenings in and around the Rubber City. The restaurant offers any kind of sandwich that you can think of, from juicy meats like their famous Reubens, to their Chicken Salad with Swiss cheese sandwich called "Zach's Yeah Right Dad". I certainly love a good story behind every sandwich name, and this deli is second to none in originality. They are all based off of family members with their own humorous stories. Being less than a mile from The Nightlight, it's the perfect tag team for culture and cuisine. Film Freak Suggestion: It's hard to pick just one in a place I frequent so often. The best experience I have had so far is the "Manny's B-17", with smoked turkey, ham, honey mustard, tomato and scallion cream cheese on rye bread. If you're a turkey sandwich fanatic like me, you will find each bite irresistible. If turkey isn't your thing, take a look at the "Here's The Beef", which has roast beef, beef brisket and Colby cheese, topped with cole slaw, Thousand Island dressing on grilled rye bread. For a compliment to the nourishing sandwich, I recommend a cup of the Diamond favorite "Matzo Ball Soup", made fresh daily. If you crave something sweet after the meal is complete, enjoy a nice piece of cheesecake. You will be raving to your friends and family about a dining experience that can only be found in such a city known for its delicacy in culinary tastes. Diamond Deli 378 South Main St Akron, Ohio 44308

(Corned beef, roast beef, Swiss cheese, 1000 island, cole slaw on grilled rye)

Amy’s Sound of Music (Smoked turkey, Muenster, honey mustard on grilled challah)

Zach’s “Yeah, Right Dad” (Chicken salad, Swiss cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato with honey mustard on rye)

Robyn’s “On the Road Again” (Tuna salad, Muenster, red onion, tomato, Dijon mustard on grilled challah)

Rick’s “What Do You Mean – Interest?” (Hot beef brisket, Swiss cheese, cole slaw, 1000 island dressing on grilled rye)

“Mom, Come Get Me – I’m Sick” (Smoked turkey, bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, Mayo, Dijon mustard on grilled rye)

FREE Workshop Series Mobile Storytelling/Journalism This workshop is a MUST for artists, musicians, vendors or anyone who wants to learn to better promote their work via social media. Presented by The Akronist, Highland Square Library Tuesday July 14, Thursday July 23 and Tuesday July 28.

Performer's Tool Box Performers of all experience levels can enhance their onstage presence, work through stage fright, practice in front of an audience, and perform with the group at the PorchRokr Festival. Presented by The Wandering Aesthetics, None Too Fragile Theater August 1 - 22

Guitar Orchestra Play in The PorchRokr Guitar Orchestra! All ages are welcome. All you need is an acoustic guitar. Levels range from basic strumming and plucking for the novice to cool riffs for the experienced player. Presented By James Marron, Rockynol July 20 - August 29

Details and registration information at // You can find film reviews from The Film Freak at


AUGUST 2015 • VOL 1 • ISSUE #11 /

THE Devil Strip |



Party on two wheels A look at Akron Bike Party by Zoë Dong

If you’re just minding your own business around town on any given third Friday of the month, you might be surprised to see a horde of cyclists rolling through the streets. This is Akron Bike Party, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: a party on wheels, a group of cyclists that ride through the city just for the fun of it. “It’s about putting your phones away, embracing the community and meeting people,” says Dave Massary. “[it’s also about] wellness. Wellness, happiness, community.” Massary, the “behind the scenes organizer” of the rides, explains what Bike Party is all about. He says he was first introduced to Bike Party after participating in a ride in San Jose, Calif., and he was impressed by the fun, community-friendly atmosphere of the party. “There were 2,000-plus bike riders of all ages, demographics. It was just exhilarating to ride through [San Jose] with so many people. What a feeling, what a feeling. I loved it.”


After lots of pushing from cyclist friends, Akron Bike Party was formed: with its first ride this past March. The first ride had around 55 cyclists, and the second ride had 100. The last ride in June, despite hard rain, brought in around 50 riders. Bike Party is run entirely by volunteers, and anyone is welcome to ride along. Bike Party routes attempt to hit Akron staples, such as the Towpath Trail and Highland Square. A past ride even stopped off at the West Akron Swenson’s. Courses will change each ride. The ride always starts at the Bike Kitchen, run by the nonprofit Summit Cycling BikeParty_2548eastaveCenter, located at Lock 3. Headlamps for bikes are available for bikers, made possible by a grant from the Department of Transportation. Bike Party riders typically pedal a casual 10 miles. The ride is about health and wellness, but the emphasis is really placed on community strengthening. “The San Jose [bike party] model is ‘building community through cycling’—it’s perfect,” says Massary. “It is

| THE Devil Strip / AUGUST 2015 • VOL 1 • ISSUE #11

about fun, it’s no contest, we go slow and we yell ‘bike party’. We’re going to yell ‘bike party’ and hopefully people yell it back.” The next Bike Party ride will take place July 18th. The schedule is as follows:

This ride’s theme is “The Patriot Ride.” According to Bike Party organizers: “Lights, Music, Costumes, and Bubble machines are encouraged.” Bike Party can be found on Facebook. // originally published by The Akronist on July 13, 2014 at /party-two-wheels-look-bike-party-akron

6:30 p.m.

Get (free) lights from Bike Kitchen at Lock 3

7:30 p.m.

Gather for ride at Bike Kitchen

8:00 p.m.

Ride begins


Post ride party

Bike Party is run entirely by volunteers, and anyone is welcome to ride along. Bike Party routes attempt to hit Akron staples, such as the Towpath Trail and Highland Square. (All photos: Dale Dong)





Jim Gaffigan

The ol' pub is still crankin' out cold beer and cocktails all summer. Grab a bottle of Sam Adams, just $2.50 each this month, and catch the Tribe on the tube. Stop by during Porch Rokr for an authentic Highland Square experience. 816 W. MARKET STREET | AKRON

by… Lotsa writers who don’t work here.

.................... What? Jim Gaffigan has two shows to perform in Akron at the Civic Theatre, both on Sunday, August 9—you don’t think he has time to field calls from the likes of us, right? No. Or maybe. I don’t know. We didn’t call. Don’t have his number. That’s okay. We found a few pros who asked him questions and, as we did with Morrissey, we figured this is as close as we’d get to an interview with a guy of his cultural stature. So enjoy. And for more information on his shows, visit Enjoy. – Chris Horne



Robert Buscemi (, Jan 18, 2010) How has the Midwest shaped you? There’s just something about being from Chicago and northwest Indiana. When I started 19 years ago, white-bread as I am, New Yorkers had me driving to school on a tractor, hanging out with John Boy. I’ve joked about it—even Chicagoans think my part of Indiana’s just the road to Michigan. But the region has influenced me. I’m closer to Bob Newhart than Rodney Dangerfield. Or even someone like Jonathan Winters—there’s a civility and sweetness there.


Will Harris (, March 27, 2009) Do you remember the exact moment at which you decided to embrace your paleness? Yeah, that’s a really good question, because…I mean, it’s ironic, because I kind of resented it most of my childhood. I guess it was around “Pale Force”


when I was, like, “Oh, my God, I can’t believe it: this paleness is actually a benefit!” You know? I mean, I’d kind of named it “Beyond the Pale,” I’d given that name to the special and the DVD to kind of, like, say, “I’m done with all of these pale jokes.” And then “Pale Force” kind of took on some steam, and it just ended up where the pale thing continued on, and it kind of connected with pale people. So I was just, “Alright, well…”

Gates open at 6 pm | Concerts start at 7 pm ROCK THE LOCK


A Tribute to Early Van Halen with


10th Annual National Hamburger Festival in Downtown Akron AUG 8th – 9th Sat. Noon - 11 pm & Sun. Noon - 7 pm

The region’s top eateries serving more than 50 different style burgers with live music all weekend. Admission $5

AUG 8th Changes in Latitude A Tribute to Jimmy Buffet with Cats on Holiday AUG 9th UA Steel Drum Band 12–3 pm Rock Radio Band 3:30 pm–6:30 pm Ohio Craft Beer Tasting and Indie Band Showcase 1–6 pm ONE-TIME MEMBER OF THE CLASSIC SOUL BAND TOWER OF POWER SAXOPHONIST


FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, 2015 7 PM at The Akron Civic Theatre

General Admission $15 Reserved Seating $25 & $30

AUG 14th – 15th Flair Fest on Main Street Celebrate downtown Akron with a juried art show, fabulous food and entertainment. 11:30 am – 11 pm. Admission is FREE!


Samantha Abernethy (Chicagoist. com, May 10, 2013) Now your standup is always squeaky clean, is that on purpose, or is that just the kind of guy you are? You know, I've been doing standup for 150 years at this point, but as I go on in standup, I keep being described as cleaner and cleaner as I do each hour, they're like, 'It's unbelievable how clean,' 'He's

LOCK3 Concerts for FlairFest

Gates Open at 6 pm. Concerts begins at 7 pm. No presale tickets.

AUG 14th Four Swedes A Tribute to ABBA with Mystic Taxi FREE ADMISSION AUG 15th Taylor Dane, Alex Newell with Rachel Roberts & The Ruthless $10 ADMISSION

AUG 18th


US Navy Band National Concert Tour

Free Admission. Concert 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

AUG 5 Wallace Coleman Band AUG 12 Dan Wilson

Concerts start at 7 pm

Visit our Peroni Beer Garden for drinks & snacks or STRAY DOG food cart. Lock 4 is located offof Bowery St., behind the Civic Theatre, next to Lock 3. Park free at Cascade Parking deck. Admission is free. Bring your lawn chair.

(continued on page 25) Tramonte Distributing Co.


spotlight >>> Square Records’ 12th Anniversary Show

Watsky with A-1

August 7th The Mostly Blue Band 7pm August 9th Krisitne Jackson, Rachel Brown & Becky Boyd accompanied by Emma Shook 7pm

Thursday, August 6 at 8 pm Musica ($15) // 51 E Market St, Akron George Watsky is a slam poet star turned hip-hop MC whose versatile lyrics switch effortlessly between silly and serious, technically complex and simply heartfelt. The winner of more poetry slams than you knew existed, he’s been featured on Def Poetry Jam and appeared in Epic Rap Battles videos as William Shakespeare, Doctor Who and Edgar Allan Poe. You may remember him from the viral YouTube video “Pale kid raps fast” but dive deeper and you’ll find a wealth of musical treasures. This could be one of those Can’tbelieve-I-saw-them-in-Akron shows.

August 13th The New Soft Shoe 8pm

August 21st The Numbers Band 7pm

August 28th Red Tail Ring 7pm August 29th Run Boy Run 8pm August 30th Mandolin Orange 7pm September 4th The Stumpy Basin Volunteers September 5th 10 String Symphony September 26th The Speedbumps Tickets at

Friday, August 9 at 6:30 pm Jilly’s Music Room (FREE) // 111 N Main St, Akron Boudreaux’s Back Porch is Cleveland-based Americana that plays a foot-stomping, flapjack rockin’ boogie. Juke in the Box plays an eclectic list of blues and soul numbers, blending both originals and standards. With a tight, groove-oriented rhythm section, and rich, powerful melodies coupled with their passionate, soulful vocals, this is a stand-out night of swampy boogie, blues and soul for folks who like to move with the music.

Music & COncerts

August 14th Sarah Clanton 7pm

August 22nd Roger Hoover 8pm

Juke in the Box with Boudreaux’s Back Porch

Feat. Beaten Awake, Faith Mountain and Dan Melchior Musica // 51 E Market St, Akron Hard to believe this Highland Square staple has been holding it down for 12 years. When you shake off the disbelief, head over to Musica for a show featuring Kent’s Beaten Awake, who started touring in the 90s and released a couple records on Fat Possum with a lineup that’s a who’s who of beloved and long lost local indie bands, like The Party of Helicopters and The Man I Fell In Love With, both of which are just fun to say out loud. They’re joined by Akron’s Faith Mountain, a emo outfit with a penchant for sarcasm and lower case letters. The star of the show may well be London-born Dan Melchior, a insanely prolific musician who has lived and performed all over the world with The Broke Revue, collaborated with Billy Childish and Holly Golightly, and carries on as Dan Melchior und Das Menace, squeezing out painting in between.

Wednesday, August 5 Music in the Meadow: Shivering Timbers 5:30pm at Howe Meadow (FREE) 4040 Riverview Rd, Peninsula This captivating trio enthralls audiences with a combination of indie rock energy, blues/punk passion, and country/gospel reflection. Enjoy these local favorites in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park! Music and a Movie: Rebekah Jean and Walk the Line 7 pm at Jilly’s Music Room (FREE) 111 N Main St, Akron Influenced by her Appalachian mother’s West Virginia coal country and her father’s Cleveland-based rock, Rebekah Jean’s music is a unique blend of conflicting influences, but it’s her sharp and haunting voice that will really draw you in. Don’t miss this show, followed by ‘Walk the Line’, a chronicle of Johnny Cash’s life.

Thursday, August 6 Swing Dance Party with Red Light Roxy and Get Hep Swing Dancers 7 pm at BLU Jazz+ ($12) 47 E Market St, Akron Bring your dancing shoes for this special night of swing music and dance! At 7 pm, get a swing dance lesson, then put it to use when the show starts at 8. Red Light Roxy hails from Cleveland

and plays an upbeat mix of jazz standards, jump blues, swing, boogie-woogie and a dash of old-school R&B. Kurt Reed 7:30 pm at Nuevo (FREE) Enjoy the classical guitar and instrumental stylings of Mr. Kurt Reed, a long-time professional musician who also owns the Fairlawn and Hudson Schools of Music. Watsky with A-1 8 pm at Musica ($15) 51 E Market St, Akron A rapper and poet, George Watsky is a versatile lyricist who switches between silly and serious, technically complex and simply heartfelt. Winner of multiple poetry slam competitions, Watsky’s unique hip hop is sure to please fans in Akron.

Friday, August 7 Juke in the Box with Boudreaux’s Back Porch 6:30 pm at Jilly’s Music Room (FREE) 111 N Main St, Akron Boudreaux’s Back Porch is an Americana, foot-stopming, swamp boogie, flapjack rockin’ band. Juke in the Box plays an eclectic list of blues and Soul numbers, blending both originals and standards. With a tight, groove oriented rhythm section, rich, powerful melodies and passionate, soulful vocals, this blues/

Soul band stands above the rest. This is sure to be a great night of soul and blues at Jilly’s! The Mostly Blues Band 7 pm at GAR Hall ($7) 1785 Main St, Peninsula Playing a mix of blues, a little jazz and a little rockn-roll, the Mostly Blues Band began shaking it up in the Akron area years ago, but now play together only a few times a year. Headed by Mike Lenz’s guitar and Peggy Coyle’s vocals, this band will have you dancing and singing to some of your favorites! Phish 7 pm at Blossom Music Center ($45) 1145 W Steels Corner Rd, Cuyahoga Falls Legendary psychedelic jam band Phish are coming to rock the Blossom Music Center! With their their mind-blowing performances and out of this world visuals, they’ve developed a incredibly dedicated fan base. They are now back on their first headlining tour since 1999... so do not miss this opportunity to catch them live! Full Wave Rectifier Reunion with Go Go Hero 8 pm at Musica ($8) 51 E Market St, Akron Five years after frontman Jer Herring moved to North Carolina and Full Wave Rectifier played their last show at Musica, the band is reuniting and playing


Entertainment with Herring’s current project, Go Go Hero. Both bands have a diverse range of influences, from the Pixies and Minutemen to the Beastie Boys. This is a show local music fans do not want to miss!

Saturday, August 8 Sabbatozz & BILL 7:30 pm at Empire Concert Club ($6) 1305 Tallmadge Ave., Akron Have you ever wanted to see an Ozzy Osbourne tribute band AND a Metallica tribute band on the same night without leaving the building? Well, for $6, Empire has what you need. Changes in Latitudes 8:30 pm in Lock 3 Downtown Akron Have you ever wanted to hear a Jimmy Buffet tribute band perform “Cheeseburger in Paradise” while you’re eating a cheeseburger at the National Hamburger Festival? Well, for $5… Colin Dussault's Blues Project 8 pm at Jilly’s Music Room (FREE) 111 N Main St, Akron This “award-winning harmonica driven, bluesbased, roots, rock and soul music” band from Cleveland has been performing since 1989. Lead singer, songwriter, harmonica player Colin Dussault leads their takeover of Jilly’s with guitarist Jim Feeney, bassist Fred Tobey, Pianist Gregg Hurd and drummer Steve Zavesky.

Sunday, August 9 University of Akron Steel Drum Band with Rock Radio Band 3:30 pm at Lock 3 ($5) 200 S Main St, Akron The University of Akron’s Steel Drum Band was founded in 1980, making it one of the first collegiate steel drum bands in the country. Since then, the band has grown to include more than two dozen student musicians and is a favorite in Akron! This show is part of the Hamburger Festival and will be fun for the whole family. Toby Keith with Eli Young Band 7 pm at Blossom Music Center ($27) 1145 W Steels Corner Rd, Cuyahoga Falls America's favorite country star Toby Keith brings his charismatic, engaging show to Blossom! The larger than life entertainer, who can boast a no. 1 country single for every year of the past two decades, will share the stage with Grammy nominated small town foursome the Eli Young Band. So, strap on those cowboy boots, 'cause you can bet you'll be dancing all night! Creedence Clearwater Revisited 7:30 pm at Hard Rock Live ($43.50)


10777 Northside Rd, Northside CCR founding members Stu Cook and Doug “Cosmo” Clifford launched the Creedence Clearwater Revisted project in 1995 to once again perform their hit songs live in concert and have been touring ever since. Don’t miss your chance to see these classic rockers live!j

one of the top trombonists, composers and producers in jazz. Since age 17, Marsalis has produced over 100 recordings for major artists including Harry Connick, Jr, Marcus Roberts, and Spike Lee. Don’t miss this night of swingin’ New Orleans jazz at BLU!

Monday, August 10

Richard Elliot & Paul Brown 7 pm at Akron Civic Theatre ($15) 182 S Main St, Akron Saxophonist Richard Elliot celebrates more than 30 years of blowing audiences away with his soulfully robust playing. What does a red-blooded Scottish sax man raised in Los Angeles – now with a wife and five children – do for a 30-year encore? Well, this one-time member of the classic soul band Tower of Power proves he’s “not a young man” and drops the most overtly sensual, romantic and intimate album of his career in collaboration with contemporary jazz production/guitar giant Paul Brown.

Dinosaur Jr with Cobra Verde 8 pm at Musica ($25) 51 E Market St, Akron One of the most significant rock bands of the ‘80s, Dinosaur Jr continues to make music worthy of cranking it up to 11. Featuring soaring and distorted guitar, unshakable hooks, honey-rich melodies - songs that get into your head and, bouncing around happily, stay there.

Wednesday, August 12

One Sound Wednesday, August 12 6:30 pm at Pub Bricco’s None Too Fragile Theatre 1841 Merriman Rd., Akron This young Akron quartet—featuring Kofi Boakye on keys, Ashton Blake on saxophone and Jai Latimore on drums—make their debut in one of the city’s most unique performance spaces. Free admission. Bobby Long 8 pm at Musica ($15) 51 E Market St, Akron Though he was born in England, Bobby Long’s music is redolent with Americana influences, from Hank Williams to Woody Guthrie to Elliott Smith. (In fact, Long used one of Smith’s guitars when recording his sophomore album, graciously lent to him by Smith’s long time producer.) Long is constantly reinventing himself, but is always featuring his hard-driving guitar, deft lyrics and Americana soul.

Thursday, August 13 Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet 7 pm at BLU Jazz+ ($25) 47 E Market St, Akron Member of the legendary Marsalis family (father Ellis and brothers Branford, Wynton, and Jason), Delfeayo was destined to a life of music and is now

Sunday, August 16

Friday, August 14

Joe Bonamassa 8 pm at Blossom Music Center ($87) 1145 W Steels Corner Rd, Cuyahoga Falls Virtuoso guitarist Joe Bonamassa has his roots deep in the belly of blues music. A child prodigy, he started his path as a guitarist at the tender age of 4. By age 12 he was asked to open 20 shows for blues legend BB King, and by the time he reached adulthood, he had already shared a stage with many of his heroes and musical influences. All 5 of his solo studio albums reached the top 10 on the Billboard Blues Chart, and 3 of them made No. 1. This is sure to be a night of heart-wrenching, spine-tingling blues!

Saturday, August 15 Nicki Parrott & Rossano Sportiello 7 pm at BLU Jazz+ ($25) 47 E Market St, Akron Internationally-acclaimed piano & bass duo from New York City swing into the intimate setting of BLU for an evening of straight-ahead jazz & Great American Songbook classics! Nicki Parrott, an Australian-born bassist, moved to NYC and joined the Les Paul Trio, working side-by-side with guitar greats from Paul McCartney to Slash. Rossano has performed with many of the world’s finest jazz luminaries. Join two of the Big Apple’s most sought-after musicians in an intimate duo performance of hard-swingin’ live jazz! Square Records Anniversary Show 9 pm at Musica ($5) 51 E Market St, Akron Help Square Records celebrate 12 years! Featuring local favorites Beaten Awake, Dan Melchior and Faith Mountain.

Smokin’ Fez Monkeys Sunday Summer Concert: 5:30 pm at F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm (FREE) 1828 Smith Rd, Akron Bring a blanket or chair and enjoy the eclectic music of the Smokin’ Fez Monkeys. Loaded with old favorites and originals, and armed with a batch of low tech whizbangs that can barely be classified as instruments, The Smokin Fez Monkeys are a special ops unit in the war against seriousness.

Tuesday, August 18 Babies in Black 7:30 pm at Nuevo 54 E Mill St, Akron Rachel Roberts and Beth Hiser provide a side dish of pop classics while you enjoy Nuevo’s beautiful outdoor patio.

Wednesday, August 19 Music in the Meadow: The New Barleycorn 5:30 pm at Howe Meadow (FREE) 4040 Riverview Rd, Peninsula Grab a blanket and a picnic dinner and bring your family to hear FREE music in your national park! Festivities start at 5:30 p.m. with family games and activities. Music starts at 6:30 p.m. The New Barleycorn is John Delaney and Alex DeGabriele. Raised in Ireland, this duo performs contemporary folk and traditional Celtic songs with vitality, passion, and a touch of humor. Peggy Coyle Trio Wednesday, August 19 6:30 pm at Pub Bricco’s None Too Fragile Theatre 1841 Merriman Rd., Akron Catch Peggy on vocals with an upright bass and guitar in one of Akron’s best, most intimate and most overlooked music rooms while enjoying a bite of Pub Bricco and having a drink. Peggy blends standard, modern and bluesy jazz into her sets. Free admission. Chicago 7:30 pm at Hard Rock Live ($56) 10777 Northfield Rd, Northfield Second only to The Beach Boys in Billboard singles and album chart success, Chicago is one of the world’s most successful rock groups of all time. Don’t miss your chance to see them here in Northeast Ohio!

AUGUST 2015 • VOL 1 • ISSUE #11 /

THE Devil Strip |


on stage

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appetite for making and sharing music is never satisfied. After leading indie-folk band Bethesda for the better part of a decade, Shanna and Eric armed themselves with loop technology to create mysterious pop with a new and unique sound that engages the listener and beckons you to sing along.

The Gage Brothers Ben and Zach, the oldest boys of seven children, formed The Gage Brothers in early 2014. You’ll find Zach playing guitar, banjo, mandolin or anything he can slap strings onto, while Ben is a percussionist who picked up some harmonicas that he honks on now and then. Together, they create a unique folk experience that pulls from traditional influences as well as new age folk and blues.

The Hamburger Festival hosts its first indie band showcase After a decade in downtown Akron, the National Hamburger Festival is proving it still has a few tricks up its sleeves. This year, organizers are introducing an indie band showcase— featuring five local, all-original acts—to perform alongside a mini-craft beer fest on Sunday, August 9 from 1 pm to 6 pm in Lock 3. Akron’s own Thirsty Dog will be joined by Lagerheads of Medina, Buckeye Brewing from Cleveland, Canton Brewing Company, Cincy’s Christian Moerlein and Mt. Carmel, also from the Queen City. It’s just $5 to hear the bands and roam Hamburger Alley, but beer samples will cost you a wee bit extra. Visit for details.

Indie Music Showcase at the National Hamburger Festival Goodnight Tonight has already won multiple awards for their alternative rock, including Best Teen Band 2013 from Indie Music Channel. The band is led by Emily Gambone, whose powerful vocals draw comparisons to Paramore and Heart. They’ve opened for national acts including Staind and Twenty-One Pilots - don’t miss your chance to see them at Lock 3!

The Brothers Band Roots rock band from Akron, OH playing original songs penned by four friends that happen to share a dwelling. Born out of a merger of two projects, Esau's Brother and Fritz Pollard, The Brothers' Band is a call to a time when creating a complex, layered, fun, rock and roll show meant calling all of your friends to join in.

Acid Cats

Sponsored by The Devil Strip

Sunday, August 9 at Lock 3 ($5) 200 S Main St, Akron 1 pm................................................................................. The Gage Brothers 2 pm................................................................................ The Brothers’ Band 3 pm..................................................................................By Light We Loom 4 pm................................................................................ Goodnight Tonight 5 pm...............................................................................................Acid Cats


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Goodnight Tonight

By Light We Loom Acid Cats is a local quintet that’s been generating buzz since they stepped on the Northeast Ohio music scene. They describe themselves as “original acidic jazz rock” - noisy, soulful funk and jazz that sets intricate melodies against heavy but agile groove. By Light We Loom is a husband and wife team whose



SLIDE THE CITY Sunday, August 2, Akronites zipped through downtown on a 1000-ft long slide as part of the sold-out Slide the City event. A portion of the proceeds benefited United Way of Summit County so it wasn't just fun but good for the community too. Special thanks to Paul Hoffman for sharing these awesome photographs!

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Misc. like, say, seafood, which is a big one right now, it’s like there are different kinds of tangents I can go on to build a larger chunk.


Buzzfeed, May 28, 2015: A very important question for you, Jim: Hot Pockets or Bacon? Bacon. Because it’s the most beautiful food that could ever be made. I mean, there are people that are vegetarians that love bacon. So that seals the deal.

(continued from page 19) the cleanest person in the world.' And then I'll do shows and people will be like, 'You're supposed to be so clean, but you're talking about cancer.' So I don't curse in my act, but I think some of that is I don't really curse around strangers either. If I know someone, and I kind of feel a connection, I'll curse, but I don't know. When I did curse in my act, you know 10 years ago, it usually indicated that I wasn't done writing the joke. I think comedians get too much credit or too much criticism for the style of comedy they do, and they generally do the style of comedy that works for them. In other words, look, I love Daniel Tosh. Daniel Tosh does the type of standup that he should do. Same with Lewis Black. Same with Chris Rock. There's no kind of shrewd calculation going into the type of standup we all do. It's like David Cross is supposed to be doing the David Cross' type of standup.


Andy Seifert (AV Club, Jan 28, 2010) What is it about food and laziness that keeps you coming back for material? It’s interesting because I didn’t set out to do food and laziness material. Comedians kind of write what comes to them. You can give yourself little assignments, but it’s what inspires you. So I feel like with food, it is a passion of mine. It’s where my sensibility rests. I love topics that are universal, and I love stuff that doesn’t alienate people. The laziness I feel is kind of a romance that everyone has of doing nothing. I feel like that’s something shared by even the most motivated person. They have feelings of feeling really lazy and regrets about a day when they’re like, “What was I doing watching Growing Pains?” I love to eat, but it’s not like I went to cooking school or anything. I’ve been doing stand-up for so long, I think 19 years, that I love topics I can also expand on. Once I identify a topic

(continued from page 16)

Did you know?


Will Harris (, March 27, 2009) What’s your favorite project that you’ve worked on that didn’t get the love you deserved? Well, I think “The Great and Wonderful” was a great movie. There are a couple of movies that I was fortunate enough to be in. I thought “Stephanie Daley” was great. We went to Sundance, we (continued from page 14)

>> “Cheeseburger” was also trademarked, awarded in 1935 to Denver’s Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In.

>> The first fast food restaurant opened in 1921 and sold burgers for just a nickel each.

>> Sonya Thomas (aka “The Black Widow), who only weighs 100 pounds, won the hamburger eating contest in Akron after chowing down on 16 quarter-pound burger and buns in just 10 minutes time, putting away all the men in the contest.


Josh Ozersky (Esquire, Oct 22, 2014) We’re talking a lot about meat. How do you feel about vegetables? It depends. The avocado is so good that I think it should be classified as a cheese. There are some vegetables I really hate. If they find that kale cures cancer I would still go into chemo.

>> The 9,982-calorie “Quadruple Bypass Burger” from Las Vegas’s Heart Attack Grill may be the deadliest ever made, racking up the bad-for-yourbody goodness with four half-pound hamburgers, three tablespoons of lard, 20 slices of bacon, eight slices of American cheese, 20 slices of lard-baked onion, eight tomato slices, mayo, ketchup, mustard and a bun.

Can 2014’s NHB Festival Winners repeat in 2015? BEST TRADITIONAL 1. Sammie’s (Sammie’s Sliders) 2. Max and Erma’s (Great American) 3. Legend’s (Bulldog Burger) BEST CHEESEBURGER 1. Eat’n Park (Southern BBQ Burger) 2. Martini’s (Perfect Burger) 3. Sammie’s (Heart Attack Burger)

had a screening, and we all thought, “Wow, this is good!” But it never went anywhere. But Amber Tamblyn was amazing in it. Some of it is…there’s momentum to certain movies. And luck. Particularly with the smaller ones. I don’t know, I feel like this Sam Mendes movie [Away We Go] might get some traction, but we’ll see.


Scott Simon (NPR, May 2, 2013) You, in this book [Dad is Fat], you refer to trying to get five children to bed at night is negotiating with terrorists. Yeah, it is like dealing with terrorists… Well, it's ambitious getting any group to leave. I'm not really sure how Moses did it. You know, I'm sure he was, like, I wanted to leave for the Promised Land two weeks ago but I can't get everyone to put their sandals on. So, if you're taking your kids even some place where they would want to go - you could say, let's get ice cream, and they still will just sit there as if they're unsure what ice cream is. You have to dress them and then there's always a shoe that's missing, and then when you're about to leave, of course that's when you have to change a diaper. And if it's during the winter, you might as well just not do it, because the gloves and mittens, you know, it'll be spring anyway. So, just hang tight.

BEST CREATIVE BURGER 1. Martini’s (Johnny Applewood) 2. Smoke, The Burger Joint (Georgia Cobb Salad Burger) 3. Stray Dog (Barnyard Burger) BEST CREATIVE TOPPINGS 1. Smoke, The Burger Joint (Dirty Vegas) 2. Martini’s (Maui Wowwi) 3. Eat’n Park (Teriyaki Hula Turkey) BEST HEALTHY BURGER 1. Max and Erma’s (Chipotle Black Bean Burger) 2. Smoke, The Burger Joint (Greenwich Village White Bean Burger) 3. Stray Dog (Veggie Burger) FESTIVAL FAVORITE Smoke, The Burger Joint FESTIVAL SPIRIT AWARD Max & Erma’s

>> Hamburgers are named after Hamburg, Germany so, during World War II, anti-German sentiment led some to call them "liberty steaks” instead. Someone say Freedom Fries? >> Line up all the hamburgers we eat in the US and it could circle the globe more than 32 times. >> The National Hamburger Festival has always given back a portion of its proceeds to local nonprofit charities, partnering with one of our favorites, the Akron Children’s Hospital.


>> White Castle, which invented tiny hamburgers and helped popularize them nationally, holds the trademark on the word "slyders."

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Bathrooms and Books

Urine Luck

Fairlawn-Bath Branch Library and Annabell’s Lounge Bathroom Review by Marissa Marangoni and Emily Dressler

This issue, we’re introducing a new series of unique reviews of places we all use but seldom discuss in public. Let’s change that. “Urine Luck”—get it?!—debuts with two restrooms that probably aren't on your list of go-to establishments when nature calls but maybe should be.

Bathrooms and books

Bathrooms and Beers

by Marissa Marangoni

by Emily Dressler

Let’s be honest: most people go to the library for the free Internet. There’s always a line for the computers while thousands of books long for the brush of fingertips against their stiff pages. I am primarily at the library for the books, but, occasionally, I’m also there for the bathroom. The Fairlawn-Bath Branch Library of the AkronSummit County Public Library system is one of my favorite places. It has books, knowledgeable librarians and a bathroom that is conveniently located just one exit and two turns off of I-77 South. I hate public bathrooms, but FBL diminishes this hate because its bathroom is consistently functional, clean and *drumroll* empty. The one time a toilet was not flushing, a kind librarian warned me before I even opened the door marked “Women.” The FBL also boasts a men’s bathroom and a family bathroom. Positioned to the side of the check-out desk, this library bathroom is off the beaten path but

easily found. It has a simple design: two stalls (one is handicapped accessible), one sink, one soap dispenser and an ample supply of paper towels. Toilet paper and running water are never hard to come by in this location, which I sincerely appreciate after a recent adventure in a public “bathroom” in Europe. As for aesthetics, the Fairlawn-Bath Library bathroom leaves a bit to be desired. It’s clean but bare. If it’s entertainment you’re after, the building is full of it. Yes, there are books to read--just not while you’re on the can. This bathroom is one of necessity and should be treated as such: get in, do your thing, get out. If you’re going to make use of the library’s toilet services, you should probably make use of their other services, too. Check out a book or two to read in the privacy of your own home (BUT DEFINITELY NOT IN YOUR BATHROOM). // Marissa Marangoni writes for a living and for fun and

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you leave it unattended, someone might slip it some pills), you’ll have to hold it while you go because there’s no purse hook. You could set it on the floor, but that’s too gross, even for me. Oh, and seriously, don’t leave your drink unattended either.

Annabell’s provides the basics: doors with locks and toilet paper. If the dispenser is empty, there is usually When you sit down (or squat, if you’re that kind of a roll the size of a small tractor wheel behind person) to let loose a full bladder of beer and your the toilet. eyes start to water — well that’s a certain kind of paradise, and those black walls are calming Dim lighting adds a dreary tone, but in a good, and grounding. poetic way. Also: my skin looks better in dim light and I end up hating myself and feeling sorry when I If I’m being honest, sometimes at Annabell’s I run drink, so the lighting is a bonus. warm water over my hands and skip the pink soap. The hand dryer here is fairly useless and you might The black stalls, coupled with the mood lighting, are as well blow tiny, fairy puffs of air on your hands. oddly welcoming. The black paint makes it difficult Just wipe them on your pants and bump the door to write on the walls, unless you always carry a silver open with your hip or elbow. Sharpie. When women have been drinking, they graffiti the walls with heartwarming affirmations or There is a men’s restroom here, but it’s basically just misspelled death threats. And sometimes they just a trough and a stall. call each other goddesses and hallelujah their periods. // Emily Dressler writes for a living and loves many different

eats popcorn every single day — sometimes while she’s writing, and sometimes while she’s watching trashy TV.


Maybe I have a high tolerance, but I don’t think the women’s restroom at Annabell’s in Highland Square is that bad. If your feet stick to the floor, don’t lick your shoes.

things so much.

If you have your purse (and you should, because if




It was another great weekend at the, world famous Derby Downs as young racers from all over descended upon Akron to chase their gravity-powered glory. If you missed it, here's a taste of the main event. (Photo Credit: Paul Hoffman)

A K RO N A RT M U S EU M T H RO U G H OCTO B E R 25, 2015

Photographs from the Collection

Upper: Barbara Probst, Exposure #106: N.Y.C., Broome & Crosby Streets, 04.17.13, 2:29 p.m., 2013 Lower L-R: Walker Evans, Southeast, 1936; Richard Misrach, Flooded House Foundation, Salton Sea, 1984 (printed 2001); Helen Levitt, New York, c. 1940 (printed later); Joel Meyerowitz, Porch, 1981. All works Collection of the Akron Art Museum. One South High | Akron, OH 44308 | 330.376.9185 |

The Devil Strip, Issue 11 - Burgers, bikes, bits, bands and brew  
The Devil Strip, Issue 11 - Burgers, bikes, bits, bands and brew  

Did you know The Devil Strip​ is an arts, culture & entertainment alt-weekly specifically focused on Akron? We strayed a little these last c...