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FREE 17 Akron's 'novel' TV star turn 20 'Run with It': Red's story, pt. 2 27 Comics get glazed and confused 32 If you think local, drink local

table of contents AGENDA

The Devil Strip


The Devil’s Dozen


The stories Akron loved most from 2016


In memoriam of Akronites we loved



12 E. Exchange Street 2nd Floor Akron, Ohio 44308


Inside Ace’s Studio


Q&A with James Renner: local author

Publisher: Chris “no carny-handed mango man” Horne

Managing Editor:

M. Sophie “Has Many Names, Wears Many Hats” Franchi Email:



How he ran with it:

24 29

Part 2 of Red’s recovery story

Visuals Editor: Svetla “The Balkan Comrade” Morrison Director of Sales & Distribution:


whose first novel is becoming a show on Fox

Email: Phone: 330-555-GHOSTBUSTERS

Art Director: Alesa “doesn’t sleep” Upholzer



Our best photos from 2016

TJ "is in fact a Newsie, hat and all" Masterson Email:


The Editorial Team

THE ARTS Lead Editor.......................................Bronlynn “Space Kitty” Thurman Asst. Editor............................Megan “Oxford comma slayer” Combs Literary Arts Editor.................Noor "Nervous Poodle Poet" Hindi FOOD & DRINK Lead Editor ....................................................................... Lia Pietrolungo COMMUNITY & CULTURE Lead Editor ...............Katie “Miss Jackson if You’re Nasty” Jackson Asst. Editor..........................................Jessica “Spreadsheets!” Cherok Asst. Editor...............Ilenia “Our Short, Tired Garbanzo Bean Eatin',

WTF Video Girl Writer” Pezzaniti

MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT Music ............................................ Brittany “Sass Master Flash” Nader Entertainment .............. Andrew “Has a Mighty Fine Beard” Leask


Lessons were learned


What’s the Promethean Forecast for 2017?


Make it rain donuts.


In case you were wondering about that

19 33

Fat Bob’s sign in Highland Square... 32

LBD makes a New Beer’s Resolution

Staff Writers, Columnists & The A/V Club:

Kristina “Urban Explorer” Aiad-Toss; Emily “Lady Beer Drinker” Anderson; Melanie “newbie for now” Anderson; Rick “Small Business Chronicler” Bohan; Holly “The Wanderer” Brown; Christina “no paddles, flow downstream” Dearing; Sam "Buzzkilling Feminist" DePaul; Michelle “The Camera Nerd” DeShon; Emily “Potty Perfectionist” Dressler and Marissa Marangoni, Bathroom Culture Enthusiast; Brian “Wemlo Twinge” Dunphy; Grace “Always Running Away” Ebner; Lois “Beautyscandal” Elswick; Kait "rice cake enthusiast" Erdman; Gabe “Softballin’” Gott; Dan “The Akron Knight” Gorman; Paul “I don’t write but I can draw” Hoffman; Jacob Luther, the Towny Townie Toonist; Hillary "Gets Lost in Her Own World but Reappears if There is Dancing Involved" Martter; TJ “Don’t Call Me Shirley” Masterson; Krissy "Someone make me a real fish taco before I go insane" O'Connor; Atticus “Wreckage” Pamer the absolutely real and totally non-fictional Georgio Pelogrande; Roger Riddle, Wears the Purple Pants; Amanda "That Crazy Cat Lady" Sedlak-Hevener; Lenny “Where’s Squiggy?” Spengler; Nicole “likes the way Akron sounds” Stempak; Steve “is not a zombie” Van Auken; Patrick “Pattycakes” Worden; and The Shane Wynn Supremacy; Scott "The Swiss Army Intern" Piepho; Ted "Super No Bueno" Lehr; "Awesome" Dawson Steeber ———————————————————— CONTACT US: Office ....................................................................(330) 842-6606 General Info Advertising .......................................... Distribution .................................... Website ................................................. Facebook Twitter ......................................................... @akrondevilstrip Instagram ........................................................ @thedevilstrip ————————————————————

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 of The Devil Strip are copyright 2016 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.




A look back at the bands we thought you should know


Akron made sweet, sweet music


Bar Crawler’s Top 5... reasons to drink in 2016



Adoptable Pets Meet Harper! She is a friendly girl who is hoping to make her way into a forever home soon! Harper has beautiful long hair which she enjoys having brushed and groomed! She loves to be pet and curl up in a comfy lap! Harper often greets people with a friendly meow asking to be taken out of her cage and pet! Harper seems to enjoy playing with little stuffed mice toys and may be happiest as the only feline family member. If you're interested in getting to know Harper better, please stop by our shelter and ask to meet her today! Vicky is about 7 years old and weighs about 60 pounds. Don't let her age fool you! She is an outgoing and feisty lady who loves to play. She gets along well with other dogs but prefers them to be as laid back as she is. She knows sit, down, shake and speak and is eager to learn more. Meet Vicky today!

PAWSibilities Humane Society of Greater Akron 7996 Darrow Rd., Twinsburg, OH 44087 | 1.888.588.8436 | 330.487.0333 | |

JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1 /

THE Devil Strip |


pub notes

Pub Notes >> “The newspaper of the future will have to rethink its relationship to all the institutions that nourish public life ...The newspaper must see that its own health is dependent on the health of dozens of other agencies which pull people out of their private worlds.” John Dewey “The Public and Its Problems” (1927)

It's the End of the Year as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

private school on campus while 200 positions were being cut, and how university officials tried to buy out ITT Tech. We have the same mindset

Dear Akron,

with our stories about the opioid epidemic. We know how much can change if the narrative of hopelessness about addiction changes first. In

Over the past year, we've been constantly reminded that this is exactly where we want to invest our time, energy, talents and resources. We've

pursuit of those stories, we’ve gotten to know some genuinely amazing people who are either in recovery or aiding others in theirs.

met, profiled and spotlighted dozens of our neighbors — incredible people with lots of passion, huge ideas and even bigger hearts. I’m

Along the way, you’ve helped us have fun “off-the-page” too. You’ve

deeply grateful for the Akronites who’ve given us so much to publish, as well as all our contributors who seek out opportunities to share glimpses of the Akron we know, a city that’s full of life, collaborative in spirit,

rocked out with local music during Live at Lock 4 and made friends at our Drink Tank happy hour events. You sold out the WellRed Comedy show featuring Trae Crowder (aka The Liberal Redneck) and correspondents

progressive and progressing. Obviously, this is the Akron you know too, because if you weren’t reading these stories, sharing them and talking

from The Daily Show. As awesome as they were, my favorite part was local comic Sarah Jones’s opening set. There’s just something sweeter

about them we’d have stopped a long time ago. This publication only exists to serve Akron and its people.

about watching our local creatives do their thing, which is what our favorite groups here make possible: Wandering Aesthetics, Big Love,

Some of these bright lights are our own: the writers, photographers,

ArtsNow, Torchbearers, the Summit Artspace, the Akron Art Museum, the libraries, Young Black Professionals Coalition, United Way, International

illustrators and editors who share their gifts with the city they love through this publication. Like our readers, supporters and the people

Institute, South Street Ministries, Crafty Mart, Knight, GAR, the Akron Community Foundation, Launch League, the University, etc., etc., etc.

we cover, these creatives are among Akron’s most active, engaged and enthusiastic. The Devil Strip isn’t their only outlet. They’ve taken the stage at events like PechaKucha, they’ve launched their own projects, assumed

Each of these, and many more I failed to mention, not only support our local culture but bring more people into it, showing folks that being an Akronite means more than just being a resident.

positions in some of the finest organizations in the area, and continued practicing their art like

Thanks to these groups, our contributors, readers and advertisers, we've

it matters. Because it does.

been able to do a whole lot of good work with just one full-time paid editorial staff person, a few freelancers, many volunteers and some

The stories we tell ourselves about ourselves matter. That's as true for cities as it is for individuals. Not only do our stories inform us; they guide us. Knowing who we are shapes who we become. I care, like you, about what we become. That’s why I say we’re “nakedly pro-Akron”. Everything we do comes back to this question: Is this good for our city? For us, it means balancing the good and great stuff with honest efforts to address our troubles.

all-nighters. Having shown what we can do with duct tape, band-aids, chewing gum, a little gumption and lots of love, I’m eager for 2017 because we’re making plans to hire staff. If you’ve enjoyed what you've seen from The Devil Strip so far, get excited.

Though these topics aren’t pleasant or fun, we always come at this work from a place of hope. We know how much the University of Akron means to this area so we were hopeful for change. That’s why we worked hard to expose how unqualified “success coach” companies were hired, that plans like the “Grand Entrance” lent hidden motivations to eliminating UA’s historic baseball team, how there were plans to start a

Until then, thank you. Doing something like this can get difficult from time to time but you’ve made this a constant joy. May your 2017 be at least half as good as our 2016 has been. Yours,


About the Cover — I don't remember when or how I found it, but I was fascinated the moment I came across Gary Dean's Instagram. His work has a flair for drama and daring. Maybe it's because I'm terrified of heights but I can feel my pulse quicken when I'm looking at his photography. He was gracious enough to shoot photos of the Keepers of the Art's concert, and now my favorite of Gary's photos graces our cover. It's gray like Akron this time of year, but I don't think it's gloomy. In fact, I'm smitten with how triumphant that young woman looks facing the future atop one of this city's greatest icons. Gary was born in Akron and grew up in the Doylestown/Barberton area but he started making skateboarding expeditions to downtown Akron with his friends when he was 14. Between that and exploring the different rooftops and abandoned buildings over the years, he's mapped out almost all of Akron's nooks and crannies. Right now, he's splitting time between Akron and Chicago, freelancing and available for hire. You can learn more about him and his photography -- even purchase prints -- by visiting You can also follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat at @garykdean.


| THE Devil Strip / JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1




Chili Cookoff January 8, 2017 EarthQuaker Devices Headquarters

é î







The Devil’s Dozen (accepting submissions) You know those awesome iPhone photos of Akron that you took while out and adventuring in our beloved city all year? How would you like to have one featured in an art showcase? The Mustard Seed is presenting a unique showcase from February 26 until May 21, at both the Highland Square and Montrose locations, and they’re asking Akron to participate. “Through Akron’s Eyes” is a community-focused photography show

Gilly, author of "Mic Ronson, The Spider with the Platinum Hair." Admission is only $10. Visit for more details.

ç Winterland Part II: A Collaborative Mural 22 High Street Gallery at Uncorked Wine Bar, 22 N High St., 5-10pm // Remember the beginning of last year, when 22 High Street Gallery brought a bunch of artists together to create a collaborative mural project painted


Our picks for the 12 best choices you can make this month

Now through January 13 ‹ Mustard Seed Community Art Showcase


per ticket or 6 tickets for $5. All proceeds will benefit the Akron Snow Angels. They’ll also be collecting donations of clothing and toiletries for men, women and children. For a full list of items to donate, visit donate.

An Alien Among Us Jilly’s Music Room, 111 N Main St., 7:30-10:30pm // It’s not often that a life

Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge and City of Akron Mayor, Daniel M. Horrigan. This breakfast is an opportunity for all residents of Summit County to come together and share in Dr. King’s vision of a more just and equitable union. The theme of this year’s breakfast is ‘Overcoming in the 21st Century’. Dr. King demonstrated how to overcome in his lifetime and inspired us to continue no matter the odds. The keynote speaker will be bestselling author, director, screenwriter and poet, Antwone Fisher. Fisher is the author of the bestselling memoir

Wednesday, Jan. 11

è Dr. Sketchy’s Presents Eliza Sidecar,

based only on your best mobile device shots

directly onto the gallery walls? They’re doing

drawing class includes a model from outer

"Finding Fish" and his poetry collection, "Who

of Akron. You can participate by choosing up to three of your favorite quality cell phone photos you’ve taken of Akron, and submit them by email for review to be considered for

it again, and it’s destined to be just as cool as last year’s project. The new lineup features Ben Brosius, Mary Clark, Mori Clark, Maggie Duff, Mike Gable, Jeff Schleis, Jamie Suvak, and Kristi

space. But here in Akron, we like to do things out of the ordinary. Bring your dry art supplies and join the extraterrestrial fun, as Eliza Sidecar provides three hours of inspiration and poses

Will Cry for the Little Boy?" Rev. Ronald J. Fowler will also be honored with a inaugural lifetime achievement award. Fowler is the Pastor Laureate of Arlington Church of God

the show. Artists will be informed by January

Wall. The artists began working December 19

for your drinking and drawing pleasure.

in Akron, Ohio. For more information, visit

26 if their photo has been selected for the show. Artists chosen will be asked to print and frame their photos in 5×7 or 8×10 size.

and will continue the install until the opening on January 7. Until then, you can witness the work in progress. Stop into Uncorked, have

Admission is $10.

Friday, Jan 13

Tuesday, Jan. 17

NOTE: No nudity, singular portraits or pets please. Submit at

a glass of red and watch as the walls come to life. Winterland Part II will open January 7

ê Global Soul Takes Over Lifesource Yoga ë There Is a Place for You at Our Table:


from 5 - 10 pm for the first Akron Art Walk of 2017. The temporary installation will run

7:30pm // Kick off the new year with a celebration of dance, music, food and fun. Join

Ms. Julie’s Kitchen, 1809 S Main St., 6-9pm // As The Big Love Network grows and expands

Saturday, Jan 7

from January 7 through January 28. facebook. com/22HighStreetGallery

Elianae Stone for a bellydance mini-lesson and performance. Henna artist Nivi will be there and

its projects, they are looking for more Akronites who would like to get involved. In 2017, they

Musica, 51 E Market St., Doors at 7:30 pm, show at 8 pm // We lost one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time this year. To honor

Sunday, Jan 8

é EarthQuaker Devices Chili Cookoff

there will be other special surprises for guests. Tickets are $15 at or at the studio’s boutique. Pre-registration is highly

are starting a monthly networking and small working group meeting. The meetings will take place in a different location each month to

him, The Summit FM 91.3 and Square Records

EarthQuaker Devices Headquarters,

recommended. For more info email owner

encourage the network’s exploration of Akron.

present an epic night of music, videos, singing and giveaways to honor the genius of David Bowie, featuring live performances of Bowie

350 W Bowery St., 1-4pm // What’s more Diane Boenker at or delicious than chili? Chili with a purpose. go to EarthQuaker Devices is hosting a chili cookoff to

songs by The Beyonderers, Brian Lisik, Frigid Touch, Michael McFarland, Missile Toe, Marc

benefit Akron Snow Angels, a local non-profit providing basic essentials to people in need.

Monday, Jan. 16

µ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

current projects: Akron City Repair Project, Zero Waste and Akron Sustainability Conference,

Lee Shannon, Shut Up Dad, Vanity Crash, Jakob Ward and Nick Wilkinson. There will also be a multimedia presentation of the life of Bowie by

The chili cookoff will include DJs, celebrity chef judges, a raffle to win a Transmisser pedal and EQD Merch, a demo station where you can

Day Celebration Akron Urban League, 440 Vernon Odom Blvd 7:30-9am // Celebrate the life and legacy

Holistic Health, and Storytelling and Marketing. Then from 7:30 - 9 pm, it’s time to chill and get to know one another.

CoolCleveland’s Thomas Mulready, free raffle Bowie merchandise giveaways, David Bowie

try out EQD equipment, and B-stock sales. Hot cocoa and cornbread included. “Tasting

of the Reverand Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the Akron Urban League at this annual


Karaoke, and a book signing and reading by

Tickets” can be purchased at the door for $1

celebration. This year’s honorary co-chairs are

å Bowieoke


Lifesource Yoga, 300 N Cleveland-Massillon Rd., Big Love Monthly Meeting

The first meeting will take place at Ms. Julie’s Kitchen. From 6 - 7:30, participants will work in small groups around The Big Love Network’s

JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1 /

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THE Devil Strip |



There's Nothing to Do in Akron The Devil Strip’s comprehensive, monthly argument that there’s plenty of fun to be had in Akron

Dressed, with Allen Cruz & The Galaxy, Reddy


Freddy?, and Of Heart and Mind. $8 advance tickets or $10 day of show; $3 surcharge if

BMe Community Leader Awards Accepting applications and nominations now through February 21 BMe wants to reward unsung "Black Men's

under 21.

Saturday, Jan. 7

Genius" in Akron. Black men who share their remarkable stories of creating opportunities

Army of Athens w/ Special Guests

for others will have a chance to become BMe Leaders. The BMe Leader Awards come with

The Empire Concert Club & Bar, 1305 E Tallmadge Ave // 7 pm

national recognition, a $10,000 grant, and travel to Washington DC for induction into a lifelong fellowship of their peers. BMe scores candidates on the remarkableness of their stories, authenticity, willingness to work with others, community engagement, and diversity of age and fields. BMe is especially interested in those who work to improve health, wealth, know-how and community. Apply or nominate someone at

Planet X Promotions presents a night of metal with Army of Athens, Decemator, Fit For a Funeral, Blight vs Blight, Amniote, and One Hundred Thousand. $6 cover

Stretchin’ with Gretchen Apotheclaire, 70 E Mill St 8 - 9 am every Tuesday Join certified yoga teacher, Gretchen Horinger (RYT 200) every Tuesday at 8am for a little

Dollar Days at The Akron Zoo Every weekend in January The Akron Zoo will be hosting a brand new event to start the new year. Dollar Days will take place every Saturday and Sunday in January. Each weekend will feature a special at the zoo for only $1. The $1 specials may include food, experiences at the zoo or even admission. People can find out the discounts on the Wednesday before each weekend on the zoo’s website and social media accounts.

Friday, Jan. 6

stretch & refresh all-levels yoga sesh hosted by

See Creatures/Andy Powder/Relaxer

Apotheclaire. Stay after class to enjoy exclusive attendee-only deals on braids, quick-dos, bang/ beard/neck trims & master stylist consultations. Class size is limited to first come first serve.

Annabell’s Bar & Lounge 784 W Market St // 9 pm Awesome local music in the basement. No cover.

Please register through eventbrite link to guarantee your space.

Daniel Rylander and Friends The Empire Concert Club & Bar, 1305 E Tallmadge Ave // Doors at 7 pm; show at 8 pm Debut show for Daniel Rylander & The Best

Bowieoke Musica, 51 E Market St Doors at 7:30 pm, show at 8 pm See Devil’s Dozen. Winterland Part II: A Collaborative Mural 22 High Street Gallery at Uncorked Wine Bar, 22 N High St // 5 - 10 pm See Devil’s Dozen

Sunday, Jan. 8 EarthQuaker Devices Chili Cookoff EarthQuaker Devices Headquarters, 350 W Bowery St // 1 - 4 pm See Devil’s Dozen.

Monday, Jan. 9 Power of Possibility Workshop Birchwood Supply Co. 21 Merriman Rd // 6 - 9 pm Gretchen Horringer will lead a 60-min all-levels yoga class rooted in the principles of possibility; then grab a post-flow brew (or two) while you hear how BWS founder, Jason, turned his passion into his profession & how YOU can create your ideal life by actively embracing the power of possibility in 2017. $25 includes yoga, journal and drinks. Register at Eventbrite.

Tuesday, Jan. 10 Unite Our Hearts The House of the Lord 1650 Diagonal Road // 7 pm After a polarizing national election has revealed

Plaguewielder, Nullum, Hellespont, and Burial Oath Annabell’s Bar & Lounge 784 W Market St // 9:30 pm

the deep divisions in our nation, straining relationships between family, friends, and even those in the faith community, The Love Akron Network, a broad coalition of professional

Burial Oath’s debut show. 21+. No cover.

clergy and Christian leaders in both the public

and private sectors, will hold a post-election and pre-inauguration prayer service for the community. Free and open to the public. For more information contact Lori Porter at • 330.835.9945 6

| THE Devil Strip / JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1


AGENDA 330-384-8124 or

Thor Platter, Paul Kovac and Paul Lewis Old 97 Cafe, 1503 Kenmore Blvd // 8 pm

Wednesday, Jan. 11

Teenage Halloween, David F Bello, City Cop, and Ride or Die

Saturday, Jan. 14

Hive Mind, 373 W Exchange St Doors at 7 pm, show at 8 pm

Human Trafficking Awareness Month Annual Event

Suggested donation of $3-5 for touring bands. BYOB. Hive Mind is a safe space and asks that you leave any bigotry or violence at home.

Akron-Summit County Public Library 60 S High St // 10 am - 2 pm The event will include survivor speakers, a panel,

and an opportunity to view the movie Chosen. If you would like to help with the event, please

Dr. Sketchy’s Presents Eliza Sidecar, An Alien Among Us

contact Susan Baker Ross at

Jilly’s Music Room, 111 N Main St 7:30 - 10:30 pm See Devil’s Dozen.

Thursday, Jan. 12 Last Look Tour of “Intersections: Artists Master Line and Space” Akron Art Museum 1 S High St // 6:30 pm “Intersections” showcases new and recent work by Mark Fox, Anne Lindberg, Nathalie Miebach, John Newman, Judy Pfaff and Ursula von Rydingsvard—contemporary sculptors whose engagement with paper is also an important part of their practice. The exhibition is on view through Jan 15. The tour is free, but space is limited and registration via Eventbrite is requested.

Friday, Jan. 13

Experience Peace: Voice in the Wilderness Event The Rialto Theatre 1000 Kenmore Blvd // 7 - 10 pm Zach, Akron Peace Project and Rooted Akron present a healing space celebrating Zach's new album release. $5 cover. Post Nothing, New Neighbors, Social Hostages, PunPun, King Buu Fool Mansion, Akron Doors at 7 pm, show at 8pm $5 suggested donation foolmansion Stoner Rock Night

Matt Miller and m coy Opening Reception

Annabell’s Bar & Lounge

The BOX Gallery 140 E Market St, 3rd Floor // 5 - 8 pm The opening reception of Matt Miller "Earth

784 W Market St // 9 pm Pistol Whip, Empire’s Child and Vanishing Apollo play the basement stage. 21+. No cover.

Magic" and m coy "m" will kick off this exhibition, which will be on view through

February 18.

Sunday, Jan. 15

Coolshark, more TBA It’s a Kling Thing! House, 403 Kling St

Yoga + Brunch Sweet Mary’s Bakery

Doors at 7 pm, show at 8 pm $5 donation at the door.

76 E Mill St // 10 am - noon Join Gretchen for an easy-like-Sunday-morning all levels vinyasa flow followed by breakfast made by Mary. Breakfast is veg or meat quiche

Global Soul Takes Over Lifesource Yoga Lifesource Yoga 300 N Cleveland-Massillon Rd // 7:30 pm

served with fresh fruit and your choice of coffee, tea or water. Space is limited to 10 yogis so registration is required. $18 includes yoga

See Devil’s Dozen.

and breakfast.

Harper and Midwest Kind Jilly’s Music Room, 111 N Main St // 8 pm MLK Celebration Concert Harper and Midwest Kind bring blues & roots all BLU Jazz+, 47 E Market St // 6 - 9 pm the way from Australia. No cover.

Renowned smooth & soul jazz group Hubbs Groove returns with special early evening (continued on page 8)


Annette Bening astonishes – January 20th 20th Century Women.




agenda (continued from page 7) concert to celebrate the life & legacy of Civil

$5 suggested donation at the door. BYOB. Hive Mind is a safe space and does not tolerate any

Monday, Jan. 23

Rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. with a musical tribute to Stevie Wonder & Donny

forms of bigotry or violence.

Progressive Wine Dinner Nuevo Modern Mexican and Tequila Bar,

Hathaway. Featuring Jonathan Jones, Tony Watson Jr, George Granville, Robert Hubbard Jr & special guest—American Idol finalist, vocalist Stephen Fowler. Tickets are $20.

Monday, Jan. 16 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration

Friday, Jan. 20

54 E Mill St & Crave, 57 E Market St Dinner starts at Nuevo at 6:30 pm

Scotch Tasting

Two restaurants collaborate to host a unique wine & food pairing experience. Reserve seats

Old 97 Cafe, 1503 Kenmore Blvd // 7 - 10 pm This Annual Scotch Tasting features 4 premium Scotches and food pairing with each. It is a

via phone at (330) 762-8000. $85 per person. Shuttle between restaurants provided. and

Prepaid event at $50 per person. Reserve in person or over the phone at 330-745-5493.

Friday, Jan. 27 Chely Wright with Gretchen Pleuss Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S Main St // 8 pm See Devil’s Dozen.

Thursday, Jan. 26

Akron Urban League 440 Vernon Odom Blvd // 7:30 - 9 am

See Devil’s Dozen.

Copali Mustard Seed Market & Cafe Highland Square,

Harris Stanton Gallery 2301 W Market St. // 5:30 - 8 pm

Tuesday, Jan. 17

867 W Market St // 9 pm See Devil’s Dozen.

See the Devil’s Dozen.

Weather Band and The Brothers Band Musica, 51 E Market St. // 9 pm Based in Kent, John Patrick & The Outside Voices are a five-piece rock ‘n’ roll outfit fronted by singer-songwriter John Patrick Halling.

“New Directions” Opening Reception John Patrick & The Outside Voices, Ohio

There Is a Place for You at Our Table: Big Love Monthly Meeting Ms. Julie’s Kitchen, 1809 S Main St // 6 - 9 pm

Saturday, Jan. 21

20th Anniversary Red & White on Thursday Night Quaker Station

See the Devil’s Dozen

Seance, Everyone But Me, The Southside Choir Boys

135 S Broadway St // 5:30 - 9 pm The Arthritis Foundation is pleased to announce

The band will release its new album, “Hound Dogs,” the same night it hits the Musica stage.

Annabell’s Bar & Lounge 784 W Market St // 9 pm

the 20th Anniversary Red & White on Thursday Night presented by Cleveland Clinic Akron

Akron’s Ohio Weather Band and The Brothers Band complete the local lineup. Tickets are

Thursday, Jan. 19

Just Outside Akron

Show in the basement. No cover. Comedy! Krish Mohan, Dan Myron Handleman and Mandi Leigh Hive Mind, 373 W Exchange St // 6:30 - 10 pm

General, featuring wines from around the world $8 in advance. Attendees under 21 pay an and cuisine from Akron’s best restaurants, additional $2 at the door. raffles, a silent and live auction and an exclusive VIP Lounge.

Saturday, Jan. 28

Friday, Jan. 13 Voices in the Valley: Emily Keener CD Release Party G.A.R. Hall, 1785 Main St (Route 303), Peninsula Doors at 7:30 pm; show at 8 pm Ohio’s own Emily Keener is releasing her new LP, “Breakfast.” Tickets are $20 presale or $25 the day of the show.

The Mighty Soul Night Uncorked Wine Bar, 22 N High St // 8 pm See Devil’s Dozen themightysoulnight

Sunday, Jan. 29

Emotional Support Pigs, DD MOTO, bwak dwagon, Kill The Hippies

The University of Akron Steel Drum Band Akron Civic Theatre 182 S Main St. // 2:30 - 3:30 pm Enjoy the warm sounds of the Caribbean with

Michel’s, 1157 W Main St Kent, OH9 pm - 2:30 am // Akron’s own Robert

The University of Akron’s Steel Drum Band,

Ledyard III, Joe Dennis, Jason Willis and Ian Cummins make up Emotional Support Pigs, distinguished by witty lyrics and lo-fi, punk-meet-surf rock instrumentation. Joining the foursome in Stone Tavern’s new location for live music, Michel’s, are Kent’s DD MOTO, Cleveland’s bwak dwagon and Kill The

comprised of undergraduate and graduate percussion students. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 3-12 years old and free for children 2 years old or younger.

Hippies from Lakewood. Free

Saturday, Jan. 14

Tuesday, Jan. 24 Towpath Chamber of Commerce Networking Event Hooley House, 145 Montrose West Ave, Copley // 5:30 - 7:30 pm Appetizers and cash bar available.

Thursday, Jan. 26

Friday, Jan. 27

Friday, Jan. 20

í Copali

Harris Stanton Gallery, 2301 W Market St., 5:30-8pm // The Akron gallery will be

Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S Main St., 8pm // Chely Wright is one badass country singer.

Mustard Seed Market & Cafe Highland Square,

celebrating the beginning of the New Year

Chely is back in the spotlight after more than

867 W Market St., 9pm // Copali is back at the Seed, with new music and new members! With Calvin Miller on drums and Anthony

with New Directions, an exhibition featuring emerging young artists that have received training from local art schools. This annual

five years away. In 2010, after publishing her memoir, Chely became one of the first country music performers to publicly come out as a

ï The Mighty Soul Night

Calascibetta on tenor saxophone, Copali is set to play a great show from 9 pm to midnight

exhibition will feature up and coming artists: Nathan Prebonick of the University of Akron,

lesbian. Since then, she has become an activist in the LGBTQ community, and has founded her

shake your booty. DJs El Prezidente, Ben Crazy and Forrest Getem Gump will be spinning

in the cafe upstairs at Mustard Seed Highland Square. No cover. All ages. Listen to the album for free at, and

Natalie Petrosky of Kent State University, and Rachel Shelton of the Cleveland Institute of Art. Exhibition runs through Feb 25.

own charity, The Like Me Organization, which provides assistance, resources and education to LGBTQ individuals and their family and friends,

deep soul, funky jazz, hard disco, afro beat from the Motherland, fiery Latin sounds, and everything else that will make you move. No

then come out and show your support for local music.

and also works to prevent LGBTQ bullying and teen suicide. Akron’s own Gretchen Pleuss will

cover for this monthly event. themightysoulnight

(continued from page 5)

ì “New Directions” Opening Reception

î Chely Wright with Gretchen Pleuss

limited and cabaret-style, with the performance and audience on the stage together. Tickets are $25.

Saturday, Jan. 28

Uncorked Wine Bar, 22 N High St., 8pm // Get your dancing shoes on and get ready to

join Chely for this intimate show. Seating is


| THE Devil Strip / JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1


Our 20 Most Popular Web Stories of 2016 20. ‘Akron’ the film comes to Akron 19. Put the Shovel Down: Red’s story, pt. 1


Sound Off

What our readers have to say about our stories 18. Together & Alone: Nine years since I kicked my heroin addiction - 17. Dinner with Danny & the Fam: In the mayor’s kitchen -

“Finally picked up the most recent

“I love the positive stories, creative pieces, and

16. The Big Idea | Akron Public Market

@akrondevilstrip. Great stuff! Loved the article about Red. Looking forward to Part II

intelligent commentary brought to our area by the awesome staff. Kudos to The Devil Strip for

15. Art, Snot, Nasty Winters and Public Irreverence -

in January.”

keeping it real!!” - Gretchen G.

- @CoachBoarman re: “Put the Shovel Down”

14. From olive jars to layoffs and secret deals: A year in the life of UA President

[Thank you, Coach! The second part of Red’s story

“I think you guys should do a special on mental health, it would be amazing to see locals share

begins on page 19. - Chris]

their stories.” - Alyssa T.

President - 11. Why ‘The Liberal Redneck’ is coming to

“Just reading this inspired me. I have lived in Akron for just over a year, but the pride in this

“You forgot the Akron Art Museum!” (link to

Akron on the eve of the RNC - TraeCinterview

community is astounding. I love it here! And he sounds like an amazing person.”

cool AAM shirt at on “T-Shirts of Akron” post in the Local Shopping Guide

Scarborough 13. Akron’s Faded Flower: The Mayflower Hotel’s future remains in limbo - akronmayflower 12. Who’s The Man? Picking UAkron’s Next

10. Emails reveal a political Who's Who supported Scarborough's ITT Tech plan 9. Why Wesley said 'no' to Cleveland 8. UA’s new 'financial problem' could be $20.5M and climbing - 7. Mr. Zub’s builds his dream house 6. The UA layoffs you haven’t heard about ...yet - 5. "They let you do it..." | an op-ed by State Rep. Greta Johnson - 4. Recovery is what ‘the other side’ of addiction really looks like

The University of Akron likes us! (...on Twitter at least)

- Kelly R. on Eric Fletcher’s

“Alright Ish and the @KOTA team! @akrondevilstrip does it again, capturing AKR grit and those on their grind.”

#TheAkronWeKnow feature

- @tracijoybuckner on Ismail Al-Amin’s feature in

her #TheAkronWeKnow shoot with Ilenia

#TheAkronWeKnow series

Pezzaniti (photo by Ilenia Pezzaniti)

“@akrondevilstrip Thanks for the great gift ideas and for the reminder of how awesome Akron is!”

“ICYMI: The Devil Strip did a wonderful profile with our very own Madhu Sharma earlier this month. A beautiful photo of this beautiful person! We are so lucky to have her working on behalf of the foreign born here in Akron and beyond!”

- @loveakron on our local shopping guide

“This is amazing and heartbreaking. Amazing to see @akrondevilstrip keep growing into writing like this.”

Pictured Above: Madhu Sharma laughs during

- The International Institute sharing Madhu Sharma’s #TheAkronWeKnow feature

“It’s been a while since this site has posted anything on UofA. I’m hoping

3. Success Coach threatens to pull

“Brilliant! We should all love our home for

for more. As one of the “walking wounded”

UA students out of class 2. LeBron is changing the story of Akron but probably not the way you think -

what it is, AND what it isn't.”

staff still here, the latest is talk of financially incentivizing those of or close to retirement to leave. There have been town hall meetings with (now permanent – good call) President 1. UA president quietly negotiating deal with embattled for-profit ITT Tech Pictured right: ‘The Liberal Redneck’ Trae Crowder at Musica in July 2016 (photo by Svetla Morrison)

- @browningeric about “Put the Shovel Down”

- Greg P. on Natalie Martin’s #TheAkronWeKnow feature

“Yoly is a joy to follow. If it's happening in

Wilson that are a mix of hopium and hard fiscal

Akron, Yoly supports it, attends it and lets others know about it. Her love and zeal for our city is an inspiration. Thank you for

realities. The hardest being paying for that albatross of a stadium.” - ASmith on “Better Now Than Never: A view from campus on the dawning of

"highlighting" her in your article!”

the post-Scarborough era”

- Allen S. on Yoly Miller’s #TheAkronWeKnow feature


Collectibles Antiques Nostalgia

intage ault

1900 W. Market St. Akron, Oh. 44313

216-513-0918 Open 7 days a week 10-5 Located in the Pat Catan's parking lot AKRON MUSIC, ART & CULTURE

JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1 /

THE Devil Strip |


In Memoriam both WONE-FM and 91.3 The Summit trying to make sense of it, I felt an even stronger wave of sadness envelop me. Had I known him only as a listener and a fan, that grief would have proven to be catastrophic in and of itself.

Wherever… You Are

Remembering Jim Chenot by Matt Sedmock

And on a Fall evening in 1992, I was just that. I was a fan and I was a listener. I was also a radio disc-jockey who had waited years to be able to join the air staff at WONE. That night, I would fill in for J. D. Kunes, the evening air-

game, that tale of a sheepish, wide-eyed newbie meeting his broadcasting idol for the

eulogy mirrored the same sentiments that I first time usually ignited the same loud, volcanic heard from several of the old WONE/WAKR staffers who were there. The same common howl, punctuated with that ever-present threads that I’d witnessed as his friend for the baritone rumble. past 25 years. We shared some similar interests. We were both Jim Chenot was humble. He was a fan of his from Canton. We’re both products of Catholic craft and a fan of the music. He was a very upbringing. Our favorite bands were British. spiritual person, and he often practiced and And we both loved the Cleveland Indians. The difference is that, aside from a brief stint at a station in Alabama, Jim stayed in northeast Ohio. I, on the other hand, traveled to several

he didn’t know. Ticket-takers at the ballpark, servers at a coffee shop or restaurant, or a parking-lot attendant…they all received the

But wherever we ended up, Jim Chenot always

same genuine, amiable greeting, followed, many times, by Jim inquiring about how their

stayed in touch. Always.

the northeast Ohio radio luminary whom I had admired

He had a prodigious sense of humor. It revolved around classic comedy shows and movie quotes. Since Jim was a Beatles fanatic,

“Coming up at 8, it’s the very affable Matt Anthony, filling in tonight for JD….” “Hey, man….” It was his customary conversation-starter for phone calls and voicemails. I’ve been listening to it for over 25 years. Those two words were not so much enunciated as they were propelled, like a missile, into the phone or the answering machine. There was no more powerful or recognizable baritone in Akron rock radio than the one possessed by my idol and my friend, Jim Chenot.

Over the past 25 years, I shared that story with Jim Chenot on several occasions, my story of driving over to the Bernard Building on South Hawkins, nervously shaking his hand, and then shaking for the next couple of hours afterwards in realization that I was speaking into the same microphone as the one used by Jim Chenot. And, years later, whether On Thursday, December 1, I was informed of his it was during lunch at death. Like many of the people I spoke with at China Garden, waiting his life-celebration a week later, the concept of for The Kinks to come ‘Jim Chenot’ and ‘died’ appearing in the same on at Nautica Stage, or sentence seemed surreal and unbelievable. But eating all-beef kosher as I stood in a corner at the funeral home and

hot dogs at Progressive

watched family, friends, cohorts, and fans of

Field during an Indians

Akron Loses a Great Teacher and a Super Lady

day was going. All done with that mellifluous, resonant cadence. Most importantly, Jim was a father, who adored his son, Evan.

some of those phone calls made to me in Washington, DC or Knoxville, Tennessee or

Sure, we all cope with grief in different ways.

Pittsburgh or St. Louis generally revolved around dialogue from “A Hard Day’s Night.”

The death of someone close to us usually kindles, or re-kindles, a ‘what’s-important-in-

He could recite from it like most people reel off their Social Security numbers. After an air-shift, I’d return to my office and routinely see the red light blinking on the phone. That unmistakable voice would puncture through the voice-mail: “Hey, man…..are you a mod or a rocker? Um, no…I’m a mocker!” Click.

life’ flame. It’s common, I suppose. Many will remember Jim Chenot for his uber-popular and epic sign-off: “Peace…love….rock ’n roll…..and good night…” So will I, naturally.

Pictured left: Jim’s desk at WAPS/91.3 The Summit, as he left it in November, 2016. Used with permission from WAPS-FM/91.3 The Summit

Jim’s broadcasting career was essentially split into two chapters: 97.5 WONE and 91.3 The Summit. WAPS General

But in addition to remembering, I feel a huge sense of gratitude, as well. Because for the past two-and-a-half decades, I’ve had the enormous privilege to know the late, great Jim Chenot, my idol-turned-friend. Right now, in this grieving process, I can think of nothing more eloquent to say other than, “Hey, man…. we miss you.” // Matthew A. Sedmock (aka ‘Matt Anthony’) is a broadcaster, writer, photographer, and content-creator. He’s also a blogger, and you can read a more in-depth account of his friendship with Jim Chenot in his blog, ‘Piper Court’:

I was lucky enough to have Elender as my high

decades of her presence and influence in our

school choir teacher and musical director of the


productions I performed in at Hoban High. She was one of those teachers that pulled the best out of you, stretched your understanding of the

After her death, I had the bittersweet pleasure of reconnecting with old friends across the

topic (and the world in general), encouraged you to dive deeper into an appreciation of art,

country and tearfully sharing our favorite memories of the woman who was a teacher,

and made you braver in exploring your own capabilities.

friend, and mother to us. She was just that kind of person.

Elender Meinecke was one of those woman in the world

As Jared, my friend and fellow student of hers,

Her published obituary paid homage to her work

that, if you called her a "force of nature" in describing her, everyone who knew her would

wrote the day after she passed away, "She was the best. I learned more from her than all of my other teachers combined. What a super lady!!"

within the community in addition to teaching. She and her husband Eberhard always financially supported local non-profit organizations,

Elender Meinecke by Karen Starr

nod their head in grateful appreciation of the fitting description.


talked about meditation. He was also gracious and abundantly friendly, especially to people

locales across the country, always, seemingly, in search of a few thousand dollars more.

talent, which meant I would take over the controls from

since the station’s inception.

Manager Tommy Bruno’s stunning, emotional

especially the arts-based organizations, and In fact, in writing this, I looked back on Facebook posts about Elender over the past couple of years, and there was always someone

in the case of Tuesday Musical Association, Children's Concert Society, and Magical Theater Company, she helped build them strong during

She was, simply put, an extraordinary woman and

saying some version of: "I had her as a teacher too! She was a huge influence on my life!"

her time working with them.

friend—and since she passed last month, she is missed by many people within

And then there was the side of Elender that a few of us got to enjoy after high school.

the music, teaching, and philanthropy worlds of Akron.

She was like a second mother to those of us, and we were blessed to have a continued

and such a positive teacher in our community.

relationship with her that spanned almost three

Raise a glass to her, my friends! To Elender!

| THE Devil Strip / JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1

Thank you to TDS for allowing me to have a wider audience to celebrate the woman who was my mentor, my major musical influence,


In Memoriam headlines said that a University of Akron

From his early days at The University of Akron, Duncan was active and visible. He became

Christian. In both faith traditions doing good works to honor those who have passed on

student had been stabbed by his

president of South Residence Hall and joined Phi Delta Theta social fraternity. As he moved

benefits those who are lost and comforts those left behind.

roommate and died. Duncan was killed in his

into his major in sales management he became active and an officer in both the sales

Nearly 1,000 people attended the Celebration

own apartment. One year prior, the headlines

professional fraternity, Pi Sigma Epsilon and the student chapter of the American Marketing

of Life for Duncan that was held at Swasey Chapel of Denison University, near his family’s

had been about Zak Husein, a student who was shot and killed in a

Association. Throughout these years he worked on and organized events and fundraisers for charity, including packing meals to honor his

home and the church they attended. Family and friends heard stories of him reaching out to others, being the standout in class and on

robbery while working in his brother’s pizza

friend Zak.

the team, being the kid in class to challenge the science teacher’s patience – but all the more

shop. Most of us read these articles and feel

Zak was also outgoing and interactive with peers and professors alike. Everyone knew him

loved for having done so. People were drawn to Duncan and drawn to each other because

bad for a life cut short and move on, never

as the guy asking and answering questions, often with just a twinkle of a joke. As students

of him, because of the “inescapable gravity of his personality.” He was about to accept an

knowing much more of the story. Duncan

in the College of Business Administration at UA, internship that would lead to an early career it’s not surprising that he and Duncan met and job and was scheduled to graduate from UA

Remembering Duncan Unternaher

and Zak were friends. They both had large, outgoing personalities.

became friends.

by Douglas "Dr. Doug" Hausknecht

kind of story.

When Our Akron Family Has a Loss

How their lives intertwine is an Akron

in May 2017. His degree will be awarded posthumously.

Pictured right: Miranda and Duncan's family.

We never know the effect we have on others.

After Zak was killed, students

Duncan and Zak knew that they had many friends

Duncan. Photos courtesy of

From an early age, Duncan inherited his “Hi, I’m Duncan.” father’s ability to reach Hundreds of conversations and dozens of out to and attract others. He was the kid who friendships in and around The University of met all of the other kids in class. Teachers in Akron started this way during the last four his native Newark, Ohio and professors here years. Duncan Unternaher began his career all knew him as the standout student who at the university in 2012 as the guy who met participated in class, talked—sometimes out of everyone from all walks of life. He was on his turn—and always let you know he was there. way to a successful career, having found a niche Whether little league or high school sports, for his personality in sales. Duncan could be counted on for both his skill and his spirit. He could get the team and the But that didn’t happen as planned. The coaches involved.

organized a charitable food packing event with Stop Hunger Now in April 2016. Thirty thousand dried meals were packed and packaged and shipped to destinations in Swaziland. Duncan was there as a leader of his business fraternity and as Zak’s friend. It was an event that brought together over 500 people from a broad cross-section of the university and the greater Akron communities to bring some good out of tragedy. Zak was Muslim, Duncan was

and were well liked. They don’t know the depth of love felt by those friends nor the ripple effects their lives had on their communities. Their friends and the university look to reprise the “good coming from tragedy” in the future. Let’s hope that works out. // Douglas “Dr. Doug” Hausknecht is Associate Professor of Marketing at The University of Akron.

Countryside Conservancy mourns the loss of Founder and Director

Emeritus Darwin Kelsey

On December 11, 2016, Countryside Conservancy's Executive Director Emeritus, Darwin Kelsey passed away

"Darwin made an enormous contribution to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, helping bring farms to life to

after complications from an illness. Darwin leaves behind his wonderful wife Chris van Huysse, five children and

preserve the rural landscape. His work has been very important locally, but also has been a model for the

seven grandchildren.

National Park Service across the country," said Craig Kenkel, Cuyahoga Valley National Park Superintendent.

Darwin's death is a loss for Ohio's local farm and food community. He has been a leader and innovator in the

Darwin continued as Executive Director of the

community since moving to Ohio in 1989 to become Director of Lake Farmpark. In 1999, he became Founding Director of the Countryside Conservancy. In this role, he

Countryside Conservancy until September 2016, when he then became Director Emeritus. Some of his accomplishments include three thriving farmers' markets;

worked with Cuyahoga Valley National Park to start the

education programs for farmers, home cooks, and the

Countryside Initiative to preserve the rural landscape of the valley through working farms. This program is the first of its kind in a national park. Darwin

general public; and a community technical assistance program that helps build strong communities around access to healthy food. His efforts have generated

also started the first farmers' market in a national park, now one of the top 50 farmers’ markets in the United States.

millions of dollars in economic impact and helped hundreds of beginning farmers and food entrepreneurs.

Pictured left: Photo of Darwin in front of

He inspired parks, communities, and landowners by helping them replicate the farm-lease model used in the Countryside Initiative. He was a thinker and a doer with a

barn by Sara Graca. Photos courtesy of

long list of lifetime achievements.

Countryside Conservancy.


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t s s e B oto h 6 Pf 01 o 2

Trouble with Old People What’s the Plan? by Steve Van Auken There are a few things that do go well when young people and old people try to do something together. Eating chocolate-chip cookies comes to mind. But often things do not go well. Joint activities between my cohort and the young and productive members of society become derailed by unexpected difficulties. Things fall apart. The reason is planning. The

Gary Dean, the photographer whose work adorns this month’s cover, came home for a visit and swung through Musica for the Keepers of the Art’s concert featuring Grandmaster Flash, Gza and O.C., and the moments he caught were amazing.

nature of social planning has changed and we seniors haven't kept up.

(photo by Gary Dean)

This explains why there are so many old people idling their cars in movie theater parking lots, looking baffled. Inside these cars are older people who imagined that they had a date to meet their young friends to see a movie. They agreed to meet at a certain time. Then they turned their cell phones off. Or (trigger warning: this may be horrifying to younger readers) they might even have left their phone at home. After all, you can't use one in a movie. What could go wrong?

One of my favorite projects this year was our “SelfPortraits of Akron” at a Rubberducks game in Canal Park where professional photographer Shane Wynn set up a photo booth to let regular ol’ Akronites shoot their own selfies with pro lighting and a fancy camera. There were

As a person who is not old, you immediately recognize the tragic error here. These deluded elderly have completely cut themselves off from the most critical part of the event planning process: the last-minute adjustments. They are not able to receive the call one hour before

so many good ones but I’m keeping myself to two: Silvia

show time to let them know that one of their

Reed, who looks like she’s being shushed by Aaliya and Isabella, and this one of Conor Fleming and his friends, which is my favorite photo that didn’t appear in print because there was another we chose for them.

guests now thinks she might have already seen the movie. She is not sure. Maybe it was just the trailer. She has to do some internet research to find out. She will text back. They also missed the call from their other young friend to inform them that other friends of his might be driving in from Connecticut. Maybe. No one knows if they have seen the movie or not. He will text back. But the old people have cut themselves off from all of this critical pre-gathering processing. They sit there, oblivious, naively assuming that there is a plan in place. And there is. It is a fluid plan. The problem with a fluid plan — defined as one that involves anywhere from two to two hundred people on cell phones with each other while simultaneously doing something else — is that it conflicts with an important need that old people have. This is the need to put things in the "Done" file. And have them stay there.

Ilenia comes from an Italian family herself with roots in North Hill so she was the natural choice to bring along

Early last year, McKenzie Beynon, a photographer who graduated from the University of Akron, transformed the space at Uncorked into 22 High St. Gallery with the goal to showcase both established and student artists.

Instead of having them keep popping up, undone, like zombies.

for this profile of Akron’s new mayor, Dan Horrigan, (“Dinner with Danny & the Fam”) in the March 2016

She told Andrew Leask, “Eventually, they’re going to graduate, and they’re going to become the new established artists in Akron anyways.”

In case you have an older person in your life who has been known to get cranky from time

issue, which marked our first full year in print.

(photo by McKenzie Beynon)

| THE Devil Strip / JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1






L A w b



D c w m

(continued on page 37)

(photo by Ilenia Pezzaniti)





Wim Delvoye, Cement Truck (detail), 2010, laser-cut stainless steel, 32 x 78 x 17 in., Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Perrotin © Studio Wim Delvoye

TURN THE PAGE: THE FIRST TEN YEARS OF HI-FRUCTOSE Opening Party: Friday, February 10, 2017 • 6:30 – 9:30 pm Members Preview: 6:30 pm • FREE and open to all: 7:30 pm Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose brings together works by 51 living artists from around the world, each with different perspectives and approaches to art-making, and expressing distinctive voices and visions. Each has been featured in the popular art magazine Hi-Fructose, a San Francisco-based publication that covers and promotes artists and artworks within a recognizable but not easily defined aesthetic. Richly layered narrative imagery, renderings in vivid color or brooding gray tones, stylized figures and imagined creatures are just some of the recurring elements in the magazine and in this exhibition celebrating its 10-year anniversary. Turn the Page offers the opportunity to view these lush original works of art beyond the flat worlds of paper and digital screens, where they are most often seen. Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose is organized by the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. Generous funding is provided by the City of Virginia Beach, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Tourism Corporation, as well as other MOCA supporters. Its presentation in Akron is supported by Ohio Arts Council and the Calhoun Charitable Trust. Media sponsorship is provided by Western Reserve PBS and 91.3 The Summit.


Tara McPherson, Wandering Luminations, 2013, oil on linen on panel, 48 x 36 in., Collection of John Brusger


Wiggle, Giggle, Jiggle Jello Prints

Thursday, January 12 • 6:30 pm

Thursday, January 19 • 6:30 pm

Get a last look at the extraordinary work of Intersections artists Mark Fox, Nathalie Miebach, John Newman, Judy Pfaff & Ursula von Rydingsvard with Chief Curator Janice Driesbach.

Art making doesn’t have to be serious! Wiggle, giggle and jiggle your way through printing with jello. Create your own no-fail gelatin monoprints with local artist Claire Marks.

Second Saturday Curator Gallery Talks

Wiggle, Giggle, Jiggle Improv with Wandering Aesthetics

Saturday, January 14 • 2:00 pm

Thursday, January 26 • 6:30 pm

Learn the story behind Colombia-based artist Doris Salcedo’s Atrabiliarios (Defiant), an installation commemorating victims of civil war and drug trade violence during this close look and discussion led by Associate Curator Theresa Bembnister.

Theater experts Wandering Aesthetics will lead a group of interactive exercises using Jimmy Kuehnle’s Wiggle, Giggle, Jiggle sculpture that will build listening and communication skills, heighten awareness and teach you how to be more playful, spontaneous and flexible.

Family Days: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration

Register for programs at AkronArtMuseum/eventregistration

Monday, January 16 • 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy inspires transformation through creativity. Celebrate Dr. King’s vision by recharging your imagination with hands-on art activities, games and storytelling as well as live music and tours of the museum’s contemporary collection.

One South High | Akron, OH 44308 | 330.376.9185 |



| THE Devil Strip / JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1




JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1 /

THE Devil Strip |



like melodic philosophy. Born in Cleveland and

again. Rap, Ace muses, is so literal. He found that poetic symbolism he heard at the poetry reading in rock music, “like Jim Morrison’s ‘Ride

raised in Akron, Ace calls Akron home.

the snake,’” Ace says, but if he were to do that in rap, it wouldn’t fit. With spoken word, he can combine these things.

“I am a born creator,” Ace says. “I make stuff for people to enjoy.” This fact is seen clearly in all of Ace’s

Inside the Artist’s Studio Ace Epps: Bootleg Philosopher By C. Birch

a “bootleg philosopher,” expressing his values and thoughts through his spoken word.

are doing incredible things to represent B.Me nationally. I met Ace at one of his other many

But Ace has not forgotten music. His latest project, “The Opposite of What’s Hot Now,”

creations: the SAC in Cuyahoga Falls, which is a shared workspace where he rents desks

is “nothing but an experience of words with music,” he says. This will be sold only on vinyl,

and meeting space to social entrepreneurs (“people who give a damn” according to Ace), especially African Americans. There are sleek modern desks and, of course, a turn table. The SAC, Ace jokes, can stand for Start-ups and Co-working Space or Self Advancement Center or maybe Sustaining Akron Communities. This man loves words and is very fluid with them.

and he imagines it being played at listening parties. Maybe there will be a listening party around Akron in the near future. “There are movers and shakers here,” Ace says. “Akron feels like a place you can call home.”

So Where in Akron could you find Ace? Perhaps at the Akron Art Museum right in front of the “To me, words are nothing but sounds to which painting “Linda,” but definitely performing we give meaning,” he says, and sound is crucial some spoken word events featured on to Ace’s life of creation. He has struggled with depression a number of times and found that // C. Birch is not an Akron native but has fallen in line music saved his life.

Spoken word is “an oral art that focuses on

Ace’s musical preferences have a wide range.

inside the mind and space of a very different

the aesthetics of word play and intonation

From KISS to hip-hop and even grunge, he

kind of artist. Ace Epps is a spoken word artist. He creates orations that interact with the audience, his voice and each word like a ballet or a masterful painting.

and voice inflection.” Spoken word is a blast to listen to. It draws you in, it pulls you along, asks you to travel with it, follow it, and think through the words and phrases. In essence, it is

doesn’t limit himself. A number of years ago, a professor took Ace to his first poetry reading and it changed his ear. Rap, his music of choice at that time, never sounded the same

| THE Devil Strip / JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1

the practice of the Romans, the philosophy and the oral tradition found there. Ace calls himself

endeavors. Ace is the B.Me representative for Northeast Ohio, creating community through networks and nominating black men who

This month’s Inside the Artist’s Studio goes


He took this and ran with it. He studied oral discourse through history, and fell in love with

with the natives. When not on the search for Akron area artists, Birch is a lover of the outdoors (especially birch trees), people who make things, and ice cream. So, if you make ice cream outside, please contact C. Birch immediately. // Photos of studio courtesy of Ace Epps


the arts

Top 10 Films of 2016 Indie cinema’s executive director picks the movies that moved him most.

#1 The Fits This debut feature by Ana Rose Holmer is almost too haunting and beautiful to describe, but it tracks a mysterious illness as it works its way through a Cincinnati-based

#6 Miles Ahead I'll never forget working with Akron-based pianist Theron Brown (aka Herbie Hancock to put on a screening/concert of this Don Cheadle-helmed biopic about the

high school dance crew, all while illustrating

mercurial jazz (no, "social music" trumpeter,

the metaphysical side of a young black girl's adolescence.

Miles Davis. The film was brilliant in its fluid, interpretive approach to biography.

#2 Moonlight This movie takes so much care

#7 Wiener-Dog Todd Solondz can packs more

to highlight tenderness and affection between

characterization per ounce of cinema than

black men. Let that simple notion sink in and ask yourself if you've ever seen that on screen. If not, why not?

most. I saw both this and Sausage Party this year, and I laughed so much more at this.

#3 Embrace of the Serpent 2015's best

#8 Hunt for the Wilderpeople The longawaited next feature by the Kiwi director of

foreign picture contender from Columbia was an unexpected 2016 favorite, featuring

2015 favorite, “What We Do in the Shadows,” Taika Waititi. We only play a handful of "family-

(I believe subtle allusions to Akron and the violent legacy of our mother industry: rubber.

friendly" movies every year (– not our fault, the market for family-friendly indies is truly

Also, it has one of the most interesting hallucinogen-induced sequences I've ever seen.

underserved and it's always exciting when we do. #9 Christine Hudson-native Christine

#4 The VVitch Within minutes, this movie had

Chubbuck rattled the emerging if-it-bleeds-it-

me asking if I was seeing what I really thought I was seeing. (I was. Graceful and disturbing, this movie explores the origins of evil with

leads TV news world with her on-air suicide in 1974. This film broke me all the way apart. If only her act had done the same for TV news.

immense insight. #10 The Birth of a Nation This is a

by Kurtiss Hare, special to The Devil Strip

#5 The Lobster It's hard to describe the measure of pride I feel when Akron turns out in droves to see a dark, challenging movie by a foreign

controversial pick, to be sure. I have no sanctioning words for the film's director, but the film itself is a battle cry for emancipation

Some folks go to the movies just to be entertained. Most Nightlight-goers set their sights a bit higher, and some of us actually expect movies to change our lives. Of all those The Nightlight ran

director. This movie scalds with both humor and pain, and it still manages to formulate a salve for

that says as many interesting, complicated things about religion as it does about race.

in 2016, here are the movies that had the biggest impact on me.

the wounds of modern love.


JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1 /

THE Devil Strip |


the arts

5 Questions with

James Renner

The local author’s first novel is getting a timeslot on Fox. by Megan Combs When you’re James Renner and something is meant to be, there are clear signs (trust me). That’s how he ended up in the Fox Mulder Room at Fox Studios in Los Angeles. The local author is getting a TV show based off of his 2012 debut novel “The Man From Primrose Lane.” The murder mystery largely

takes place in Akron and the surrounding areas, and Renner is pushing for local scenes to be filmed here. The 10-episode series will air on Fox in 2017, backed by production company Working Title. Primrose was first optioned as a movie for Bradley Cooper at Warner Brothers, and

they had 18 months to turn it into

trippy. It’ll be like John Malkovich going into his

a feature film. When that didn’t happen and the option came back to Renner, he wrote a television

own head. Is there anything that makes you nervous

pilot that his agents decided to ship around. He flew out to LA and had

about filming? Season 2.

meetings with dozens of networks, with Working Title and his pilot

Why? I want there to be one.

director Alexandre Aja in tow. After returning from LA, he got a call

Who would play you in a movie about yourself? David Duchovny.

that one more network wanted to hear his show pitch: Fox.

What song has to be on the soundtrack

“When we got there, the meeting room was called the Fox Mulder Room,”

to your show? “My City Was Gone,” by the Pretenders. But I’d also like to to have lots of local music from bands like The Black Keys,

Renner smiled. “No one knew how big of a geek I am for the X-Files. I was gushing. It was

Chrissie Hynde, Michael Stanley and Bethesda.


Bonus Question: What advice would you give someone who is trying to follow in

What was your reaction when you found out you were getting a show? I got a call

your footsteps? My advice to get in the room with these people (networks) is to get a good

from my agency and they told me there were about 10 people on the line. That can either be really bad or really good. I could hear

agent to open that door for you. You need to have a unique idea that no one else has come up with. For me, it was that I wrote Primrose

them talking excitedly in the background, and someone came on the line and said, “It’s a

out of frustration for not being able to solve the Amy Mihaljevic murder case.

done deal. You sold a show to Fox.” My reaction was, “Holy shit.” What excites you most about shooting the show? Walking on set when we do scenes that take place at the alternative weekly magazine where David Neff works because it’s based off where I used to work. It’ll be so

James Renner has also penned “The Great Forgetting,” and more recently “True Crime Addict.” Visit his website at // In a non-stalker way, Megan thinks it’s pretty cool she has Renner’s number in her phone. // Photos provided by James Renner.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture Sunday, January 15, 2017 • 2 p.m. Main Library • 60 S. High Street, Akron Wil Haygood

Pulitzer Nominee, Award winning Reporter, and NYT bestselling author of The Butler

“A Legal Giant, a Butler, and a King” Wil Haygood was an associate producer on the film adaptation of his book, The Butler, which was sparked from his Washington Post story about Eugene Allen, the White House butler who served U.S. presidents from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan. Haygood’s newest book Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination that Changed America, a sweeping epic about the real-life events surrounding the heated appointment of Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court justice.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture is sponsored by the Akron-Summit County Public Library and the Eta Tau Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. The event is free and open to the public.


| THE Devil Strip / JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1


culture club COMMUNITY & CULTURE

Part 2:

Run With It

What Red Birchfield did with his last chance Red takes a moment away from our interview to cuddle his daughter Cadence. (Photo by Ilenia Pezzaniti)

written by Chris Horne; photography by Ilenia Pezzaniti


t’s the day after Christmas and the Birchfield household hums with people having a good time. There’s crosstalk and laughter and random bursts of activity whenever one of the kids comes to the kitchen needing something. David, the oldest, walks in and Red nods in his direction, pointing at the newspaper clipping on the fridge of a high school football team’s perfect season. He says, “That’s my son.” The youngest, 4-year-old Cadence, shows grandma her new kiddie kitchen, then pivots quickly with a Rolo in her open hand, offering it to anyone in need of a treat. Evangelina, the middle child, peers into the viewfinder of a digital camera, squaring up the funny faces her parents make. As family gatherings do, this one turns to storytelling about their shared past. Cady, on one of her visits to the table, brings a tiny photo of Red fished from a box of memories. When Red’s mom, Chris, sees it, she notes she also saved an old picture of him. (continued on page 20)

United Way of Summit County

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great things happen when we LIVE UNITED! United Way of Summit County UwsUMMIT.OrG


JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1 /

THE Devil Strip |


community & culture Pictured left: The man Red was

President?' And I come here and I'm watching him lay on the floor. There was nothing. You

This was on a Tuesday in May 2015. It was his mom’s birthday.

At the hospital, he was stapled up and taken to get x-rays,

are hopeless, helpless. 'Is he going to die? Is he going to be here tomorrow?'"

“I wanted to run,” Red says. “That’s what I’ve

which is when they uncuffed him for the first time. That’s

Melissa says she had reached the end of her

always done.” Instead, he called his sponsor and asked for advice.

when he ran again, just as soon as the x-ray tech stepped

rope when Red was charged with possession and ordered to detox by a judge. Even then, she He was about four months into his recovery

behind the protective wall. It was winter. In Chicago. All he had to keep him warm was a

wasn’t sure what she should do. They'd been together for three years and up until this point, he hadn't been that bad. In fact, unlike addicts

at this point. He had just turned his cell phone on again. The guys in his program told him to surrender it to his wife to avoid the temptation

hospital gown. He was so cold he wanted to surrender but

they’d known, Chris and Melissa say Red didn't take money from his family. He kept a job even

of his old life.

the police had moved on by the time he came out. He was

when he was using. Whatever money he needed for his addiction, he obtained other ways,

"I thought I was living life to the fullest by getting high and partying every day,” he says.

re-arrested trying to step into a either "trying to hustle" as his mom says, or cab his mother called. as is insinuated, through potentially extralegal

“I thought I was making up for the all the time I'd lost from the time I was 13 to 30.”

means. Regardless, something had changed.

v Red’s mom, the Chris whose name appears tattooed on his forearm, has been in recovery

that would be it. He would end up in a ditch somewhere."

for six years. For a while, she was here every day following

Pictured right:

“Oh, yeah?"

her grandbaby’s birth. That’s because Melissa was afraid to leave Cady with Red when she went to work. His condition strengthened Chris’s resolve to stay sober, but it was too much for her to keep witnessing.

"All the blood," she says, trying to coax his recollection as casually as a mom might otherwise note that green sweater you always wore in 2nd grade. Nothing still, so she adds, "The police had beat you up."

“I'd gotten to the point where I was coming here, watching the kids, watching Cady, and I told her, I can't do this anymore. It was killing me. I was here alone with him during the day. Lots of times, he was —”

It clicks. “Oh!” Red chuckles. His wife Melissa (pictured below) lets loose a short peel of laughter.

He finishes her thought: "High as fuck."

This was, as he describes it, when he and his

watching his other two kids, and I'm watching

mom were “running amok” in Chicago. He’d been pulled over by a cop, who figured out Red was a parolee-at-large from California. He was arrested and his mom bailed him out but he

his wife, and we were all drowning,” Chris says. When she starts to cry, Melissa does too. For the first time, it’s obvious their wounds have barely scabbed over. Red doesn't try to defend

didn’t intend to show up for his court date. The

himself. The look on his face suggests he knows

day he was due in court, he was pulled over again and assumed they had a warrant already.

he can't. He listens instead.

(continued from page 19) "It was the one from Illinois," she clarifies.

On January 11, 2015, he agreed to listen after "He'd gotten a lot worse,” Melissa says. “He was so bad when he went to detox that I honestly thought if I kicked him out,

"It totally broke me to watch him do what he was doing. And I'm holding his baby and I'm

Chris pauses occasionally to wipe her eyes and

“an old-timer” named Ralph told him, "Your rock bottom isn't going to be an incident. Your

Grandma and Cady She had heard his promises before. She had seen him detox before. How would this be different than before? “He told me, I think, for the very first time I'd ever even heard him use the word, because he hates it — but he told me he was a junkie. He just seemed very sincere about all of it and said was going to try as hard as he did to score every day, he had to try that hard to stay clean.” After Red had been to a few meetings, at least one every day after he was released, he says Melissa asked if he’d need to do that a lot.

bottom is a decision. The bottom is when you make a choice that no matter what you're going to do whatever it takes to never pick up again.”

“I said, ‘If you remember, I got high every day, at least once a day’ — and I was miserable if I From that moment on, he’s done what he’s only did it once — ‘So that means I've got to go been told. He says, “For the first time, I submit-

"The police pulled us over and he says, 'When he starts walking to our car, I'm going to

catch her breath as she continues, "All I could say to him was, 'Look! Look at what you've

take off.' And I'm like, 'What?!'," Chris says, offering a resigned snicker. "You know, we're

got. You've been through so

blasted out of our minds. So we get out and he asks which way to run, and I say, 'Left.' Well,

much but look at what you

Melissa was at

mercy. He didn’t want out of the charges but if they gave him until Friday, he could clock a full

there was a barbed wire fence there."

have. Can't you find happiness in that?' You'd

home when the police came to their door looking

work week, which would help because Melissa didn’t have a job at that time. They agreed. Red told his boss and the guys at his meetings.

On cue, Red says, "I ran right into it."

to at least one meeting every day.’”

ted. When they told me to do stuff, I did it."


Those same people were now telling Red to turn himself in. He called the police to ask for

come here and

for Red. He was

Unlike other times, he didn’t smuggle any dope

That’s what he’s always done. He’s run. And that’s how it’s always ended for him. Badly. Tangled up in the barbed wire, Red says the

it was just like you'd be sucked into a black hole.

wanted for a first-degree felony, which could

inside or get high one last time. Even facing a long stretch, he was committed to recovery.

cop started laughing, so he spit at the officer, who then, Red alleges, grabbed his club and

This is the person I love more than

put him away for upwards of 10

“I've always wanted to be successful. So, I surrounded myself with guys who had what I

“mollywhopped” him. “My scalp sort of flopped over and then there’s

anybody. This is my first-born, you know? When

years. Chris tipped wanted and were willing to show me how to him off so he get there,” he says. "I went out and found the went to her house guys who had 2, 3, 5, 20 years (of sobriety),

another altercation after that,” Red says. “I can't say I didn't assault the officer because I

he was born, it was like, 'What

after work, in case his place was

sure tried to but they got me pretty good.”

can you be? The

being watched.


| THE Devil Strip / JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1

that were successful in business, life, marriage — that were successful in everything they did.”


community & Culture Pictured right: Red with his Family These are the people who spoke up for him in court and wrote letters to the judge, which may be why he isn’t behind bars today. However, that wouldn’t matter if Red wasn’t willing to do whatever it takes to stay in recovery. “I went in front of the judge, and I said, ‘Look, I take accountability for this. I've never gotten a chance in my life. Y'all have been throwing the key away for years, and honestly, I don't blame you because I didn't deserve a chance. I'm not saying I deserve one now, but I think that if you were to give me a chance right now, this would probably be the best opportunity in my whole life because I think I can run with it.’” He pleaded to a lesser charge and was sentenced to a year of intensive probation and four years of general probation on the condition he complete a treatment program, submit to random drug testing and maintain a full-time job. Failure means four years in prison. His boss at Spectrum Diversified, a model for how employers can help people in recovery, took him back immediately. Melissa also works at Spectrum but she’s in a different department than her husband, who supervises a crew of 11 workers — 10 of whom are ex-offenders. As Red sees it, having a job means having an opportunity, not just for himself but his guys too.

“I want people to see it's possible. The biggest reason I didn't get clean before is I literally didn't have any hope,” Red says. “It's not like hope just bursts into a huge flame in your soul one day. It starts out like a little ember and you've got to nurture that ember. Sometimes shit happens and that flame goes out, and

you've got to start all over again. But you've got He says, “What do you think?” to have hope." // You can read more about William “Red” Is it worth it—all the struggle, the challenges? Birchfield in “Put the shovel down when you hit rock bottom,” originally published in the Red smiles and looks around at the kids, at his December 2016 issue of The Devil Strip and wife and mom there with him. available online at

A benefit for the Arthritis Foundation.

January 26, 2017 5:30 to 9:00 p.m.

For more information, contact the Arthritis Foundation at 216.285.2822 or email


050708hfaprobRWTN_DevilStripHorz_9_5x6_25.indd AKRON MUSIC, ART & CULTURE


JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1 /

12/22/16 | 11:38 THE Devil Strip 21AM

community & culture

t s s e o B ot h Pf 016 o 2 Jennifer Sullivan’s recovery story is one of the toughest and most beautiful we’ve published. This photo of one of her twin girls and their dog is striking, in part because it’s just so normal, which you forget is true for people in addiction when all you read are headlines. (photo by Ilenia Pezzaniti)

The sold-out crowd was in hysterics on a hot summer evening when ‘The Liberal Redneck’ Trae Crowder, Corey Ryan Forrester, Drew Morgan, Roy Wood Jr., Ronny Chieng and Akronite Sarah Jones took the stage at Musica.

This photo of Diamond Alexander was taken during a protest by black students, staff and faculty about unaddressed issues at the University of Akron. Originally, these images were going to run in the June issue

(photo by Svetla Morrison)

but Scott Scarborough resigned as we were going to print so we had to hold this piece to cover that late breaking news. We used those images when addressing the next CDO in November. (photo by Shane Wynn)

The only time Andy Bixenstine gets to ride bikes anymore is when they're testing them out before putting them out for sale, but that’s part of what makes this photo one of my favorites: Andy just looks so damn happy, even moving that bike a few feet around the parking lot. Ilenia also wrote this story and did a good job capturing how Blimp City Bike & Hike got started. (photo by Ilenia Pezzaniti)

After the Cavs packed a million people into Cleveland, it was time for that Kid from Akron to return home, the conquering king. Shane Wynn came back with some killer photos while Ilenia Pezzaniti shot a beautiful video that captured the excitement we all shared for the Cavs championship run. (photo by Shane Wynn)


| THE Devil Strip / JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1


Community & Culture


Memorable Moments 2016

Through Feb. 20th

$3 skate rental. Daniel Horrigan, Mayor

Craft Beer Cottage Crawl

Looking back at some of our favorite quotes, moments and stories from 2016

JAN 14th 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.

College Nights

JAN 21st & FEB 18th 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.

11th Annual Chili Challenge

“Akron has a lot of cool stuff happening internally, and it’s not as apparent on the

people who know all about hope and loss. They believed, too, that one would ultimately

outside that stuff is happening. I want this to be conquer. For Akronites, it’s hope that conquers. a vibrant scene externally to attract people and But it’s loss that taught us to endure, to lean make them want to stay. I want everyone to feel uplifted and inspired by all the art.” - Kristi Wall told Megan Combs about her

on one another, to draw strength from a sense of community — a sense that has become so deeply ingrained, that Akron is completely

Knight Art Challenge winning plan for public art domination (June 2016)

inseparable from who we are.” - Claire Meneer, an Akron ex-pat working in Washington, DC at

JAN 20th 11 a.m. till chili runs out Proceeds benefit Akron Childrens Hospital Burn Unit

Princess & Super Hero Weekend

JAN 28th & 29th 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

2nd Annual Fiesta for First Tee Akron FEB 4th 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Paw Puppies Weekend with Chase & Marshall

Unlimited All-Day Pass



and visits from other 4-legged friends.

FEB 11th & 12th 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

West Wing Writers (July 2016) “But for Akron, like the rest of the country, it was a peculiar time. Akron’s rubber mills were moving jobs south, an unpopular war was pulling young men into Indochinese jungles and the Watergate scandal had wounded the nation’s psyche. ...This was the backdrop against which Akron’s punk scene took shape. It came up from basements and out of garages across the city—Firestone Park, Ellet, Goodyear Heights, Garfield and Central Akron—shaping groups whose sounds were as vivid and unique as their names: Rubber City Rebels, Bizarros, Tin Huey and Hammer Damage.” - from “Art, snot, nasty winters and public irreverence: Exploring Akron’s Early Punk Scene” by Jenny Conn (Jan. 2016)

NEWLY EXPANDED! Located at Lock 3 “Art Minson was a man who dedicated his life to helping the east Akron area thrive. For more than 50 years, Minson volunteered his time and gave as much as he could to Akron. Having worked at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. for 40 years, he helped create a credit union for African Americans to help them get home loans after being turned away and became president of the United Rubber Workers. He would often take trips to D.C. to lobby for civil rights and was a lifelong member of the NAACP.” - Bronlynn Thurman, from “Mr. East Akron,” telling the story behind a mural of Art Minson. CHECK WEBSITE FOR HOURS AND INFORMATION

Want to give your business a boost in 2017?

(Aug. 2016) [photo by Bronlynn Thurman]

“West Hill is a mishmash of the kinds of weird, quirky, and incongruous things that people like us (yes, I’m dragging you in as a co-conspirator) cannot get enough of: Old churches and synagogues, old gothic cemeteries, insanely steep brick streets, LeBron James, ancient looking stone steps that go seemingly nowhere, one of the best bike trails in the U.S., Thomas Edison, a gargantuan freeway that carries no

“We literally bomb a place that was not expecting it, has not asked for it, and we call them up and say, ‘How would you like to have

traffic, an apartment building with a swastika

your business overtaken with awesomeness?’”

on it and devil strips (whatever the hell those are).” - Jason Segedy, an excerpt we ran from his blog, “Exploring Akron’s Wonderfully

- Elisa Gargarella, Art Bomb Brigade director and UA arts education professor in Michelle DeShon’s story, “Clean & Bright” (Aug. 2016)

Historic and Weird West Hill Neighborhood” (March 2016) [photo courtesy of Jason Segedy]

“I am also sure that, in the future, more books

“Many of us who are born and raised in Akron come from families that either immigrated to

about the history of Akron and Summit County will be written. Let me say without a doubt, there are people you know—friends, neighbors,

the area in search for the ‘American dream’, worked long hours in the rubber factories,

co-workers, fellow artists and activists, including some of the people you read about here in The

or owned a small family business – these are

(continued on page 25)


Find out how to reach Akron's most loyal customers by contacting TJ at 330-329-5757 or Ads start at as little as $150 a month.

Biz Lauren Ward, NOTO Boutique

Courteny Gras

West Hill Hardware

Bootstrapping >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

What we learned about local business in 2016


ou learn some lessons the hard way,

especially if you’re a business owner. That’s why we started this section. But even before we had an official place to write about entrepreneurship and small business ownership, we were telling those stories. Here are a few of the things we learned along the way. Akron is for entrepreneurs… “We stayed in Akron. We didn’t jump ship and hightail it for the coast. ...It’s affordable for us to be here. We have access to the talent we need, and we have a great network of people who know us and support us. Also, the world is more more virtual these days — we can get access to mentors and companies out-of-state

come here because they are avoiding the

was built in the ‘50’s, that’s a new one in this

Remember word-of-mouth is the

franchise store.” - Scott Emerman, owner of Pilgrim Square Barber Shop, featured in “Small Business Chronicles” by Rick Bohan, June 2016

neighborhood.” - West Hill Hardware owner Richard Tschantz to Rick Bohan (May 2016)

best marketing… “It’s true that getting the word out can be a challenge, but we’ve found that word of mouth works well for us. Also, being involved in the community brings new customers in.” - Sand Run Pharmacy owner (and pharmacist) Tom Lamb in September 2016’s “Small Business Chronicles” by Rick Bohan.

Choose meaning… “It’s all about women learning their intrinsic value. After coming here and talking to other women, some leave toxic relationships, not because we asked them to, but because they realize their own worth.” - Lindsay Bye, director of Not Wasted, said to Megan Combs about what drives this nonprofit program, which teaches job skills by making and selling cool handcrafted, upcycled products. (Feb. 2016)

quite easily while enjoying the low cost of living

Tap into something bigger than yourself… “Akron has a lot of potential and it’s a little painful to see how slow progress moves in this area but at the same time, my enthusiasm for bikes, my enthusiasm for skiing—I have the same enthusiasm for the potential this area has. After living in a resort city like Vail, an area that’s pretty walkable, you come back here and, you know, we’re very auto-centric. We’re behind the times on that kind of stuff. My passion for Akron is to see it grow.” - Andy Bixenstine quoted in Ilenia Pezzaniti’s

Find your people and stay open to opportunity… “At The Devil Strip release party in March of 2015, Cristina and Richelle were chatting with Kaley Foster of Urban Buzz, who encouraged them to start selling the hot sauce. With the help of the Akron community and Better Block,

“How Blimp City Bike and Hike Bike Shop was

Cristina and Richelle began marketing the sauce

born” (May 2016)

Get your mind right…

How to find and serve your niche... “Our market niche is made up of the owners and residents of all these old houses in the area. Some of the homes are a century old and

Don’t be afraid to look outside your industry...

as “salsa,” since in the Spanish word refers to both hot sauce and what we Americans know as salsa.” - M. Sophie Franchi from “Origin Story”

“I don’t really think of myself as competing

more. They need hardware that’s not easy to

“Managing bands taught me about clear,

about how Cristina González Alcalá and her

with the franchises, though. The men who come here aren’t really choosing between me and the franchise store. If anything, they

find at other stores. So they come here. Lowe’s has any part you might need so long as your house was built after 1970 or so. If your house

simple and concise messaging along with relentless targeted promotions. I also learned from some of the best marketers

wife Richelle Wardell started Not Yo’ Daddy’s Hot Sauce.

in entertainment (Polydor, Maverick, A&M, Universal) how to grow a musician and brand.

Don’t just ‘give back’ to the community, build one instead…

I also got to see the creative process first hand — in this case music, which I’d say is more

“When hiring baristas, [Michael Litt] looks less at technical proficiency or experience in roasting

complex than the most complicated software creation!”

and brewing coffee, and more at whether a candidate has a genuine interest in connecting

- Akron-based serial product and software entrepreneur Blake Squires, in a November 2016 interview with The Devil Strip

with customers. As a result, a community has sprung up around Nervous Dog that built the business figuratively and literally. For example,

in Northeast Ohio.” - Courtney Gras in the Nov. 2016 issue

the pergola and patio at the Akron shop were Be ready to struggle... “I wish I would have known that it’s not as easy as people think it is. It’s easier said than done

built by customers.” - Scott Piepho on Michael Litt’s business philosophy, featured in “Nervous Dog

and it really is the day-to-day grind that people don’t expect.”

Celebrates 10 Years”

- Lauren Ward, owner of NOTO Boutique, also telling Michelle DeShon it took eight years to feel confident in running a small business.

//The Devil Strip’s small business and entrepreneur

(July 2016)

Foundation. You can learn more about being an Akron

section is possible thanks to the support of The Fund for Our Economic Future and the Burton D. Morgan entrepreneur by visiting


| THE Devil Strip / JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1


community & Culture (continued from page 23) Devil Strip—who will be in those books. Look

stripper pole where he sometimes practices his exotic dances.” - TJ Masterson, from “Shooting

around our community. We have Entrepreneurs. hoops with E-Z in the Tinfoil Palace” (Oct. Artists. Creators. Software Coders. Poets and 2016) [photo courtesy of Tim Fitzwater] writers. Community leaders. Above all, we have the thing we need most of all, and that is

exuberance seems to match his own.” - from “Never count the cost” about Brian Harrell’s

- from Svetla Morrison’s story, “Martenitsa, a Bulgarian spring tradition” (Feb. 2016)

rollercoaster life and how tragedy changed him. (Sept. 2016)

“Everywhere I went, Bowie was playing, and everyone wanted to talk about Bowie. Everyone was collectively mourning. I remember my

“The Romans celebrated the pagan Feast

dreamers.” - Mark Schweitzer, adapted from his of Lupercalia each February 13-15. And by PechaKucha talk, “The Next Akron” (Dec. 2016) ‘celebrated’ I mean that they got drunk and

editor telling me, ‘You have a Bowie chapter in every book you write. Whether the book has

naked, sacrificed a goat and a dog and then whipped women in the streets with the hides of the slain animals. That’s right. And women

anything to do with Bowie or not, you always find a way to sneak in a Bowie chapter.’” - Rob Sheffield in Brittany Nader’s story, “Mixtapes,

actually lined up to receive this treatment, believing it increased their chances of fertility.

“The journey of finding herself and her voice

How romantic.” - from Katie Jackson’s “The Kinky Origins of Valentine’s Day” (Feb. 2016)

quite literally saved her from driving her van off of a bridge. At that time, Martin was living a

Bowie, Karaoke and the Beatles: Rob Sheffield talks about the Power of Fandom” (Sept. 2016)

double life — one as Chris, the name she was given when assigned male at birth, and one as “To be able to show the kids, be able to show our community that you can do other things

Natalie, the woman she knew she had been all along.” - Brittany Nader, from “Natalie Grace

besides get in trouble - you can do positive things to help your community out - that’s a real big thing to me. I’m a hometown guy. I love

Martin’s Evolutionary Debut” (Feb. 2016) [photo by Ilenia Pezzaniti]

Akron.” - Austin Clopton, owner of Developing Student Athletes Academy, from Grace Ebner’s

“And so, people used to get together during the long dark hours of winter to create their

“After a recent community meal, trouble started to escalate in a group of mostly teenage

“Better Together: Akron BMe Community Celebrates Black Men” (July 2016) [photo by

“Rich, but buoyant; airy, but profound, Aimée’s voice lilts along to the rhythm of her four-piece

white and red spring promises to their close ones for the first day of March. ...The white

boys who had gathered near the street mural intersection. A couple of punches connected.

Svetla Morrison]

backing band in a way that makes you just want to get into the groove, man. Before you know it, your head is bobbing and your fingers are snapping along to the music. It helps that Aimée’s attitude, like her music, is infectious. It’s cute, but not cloyingly so — a difficult needle to thread, but she does it with ease.” - Andrew Leask, from “Vive le Jazz!” about French singer Cyrille Aimée’s encore performance at Blu Jazz+ [photo by Svelta Morrison]

color symbolizes purity and honesty, and the red one – life and passion. From its very origins, the gift of Martenitsa was used as a reminder of the constant cycle between life and death, which today has translated as a wish for good health for its recipient. The balance of the red and white colors are also associated with the male and female beginnings and the need for balance.”

Leonardi waded into the crowd, persuading groups of boys to go separate ways. The incident demonstrated the virtue of Leonardi’s choice. By becoming part of the neighborhood and forging real relationships, she had the moral authority to defuse what could have been an ugly situation.” from Scott Piepho’s story, “How to Repair a Neighborhood” (Nov. 2016)

“Given the turmoil, the former Summit Co. Clerk of Courts is a sensible candidate, one who can promise to calm the waters. But he’s passionate about the city and its potential. As such, he doesn’t plan on being anyone’s bridge mayor, simply to right the ship and sail away.” - from “Dinner with Dan & the Fam”, a profile of Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, by Chris Horne (March 2016)

330.434.4722 “I thought it was a moral problem. I thought, ‘I am just a shitty person. How could you possibly stick a needle in your arm when you’re carrying twins?’” - Jennifer Sullivan, quoted in M. Sophie Franchi’s story, “Recovery is what ‘the other side’ of addiction really looks like” (Nov. 2016) “I tell people I’m stoned on happiness,” Don

“Dad wanted to know why I was in such a bad

Matis says, sporting a yellow, red and blue

mood all the time, why I was never home, and

jester hat. “We’re all flawed. We’re all sinners. That’s why we have to help each other, bring joy to one another.” - from Denise Henry’s

I was going to have to tell him the truth. Abe told me I should, that it would make me feel better. My dad, he said, loved me no matter

“Beard Art and a Bar Ministry” (Feb. 2016)

what, and there was no reason to be afraid. I wanted to believe him, but I didn’t want to explain to my dad how I had become so weak, how I had been lying to him for five years. I wanted compassion where I assumed there would be none. ...Dad thought I was moving back to Ohio to escape depression. I let him believe that. Really, though, I wanted to come back for two reasons: I didn’t know anyone here who sold heroin, and I knew a lot of

“He told me to meet him at his private club — no friends and no photographer, ‘Just you and your cellphone, man.’ I have to admit I

people in Akron who cared about me.” - M. Sophie Franchi, from “Together and Alone” about kicking her heroin addiction

was nervous as I entered what other people have called ‘The Tinfoil Palace’. The music was

nine years ago. (Sept. 2016) [photo courtesy of Sophie Franchi]

loud and I was struck by the glare of Mylar, mirrors and string lights that covered most of the interior, so I didn’t catch the welcome he

“‘That was another life,’ he says. One far from being the ‘Mr. Harrell’ his students at UA

offered when I walked inside. E-Z sat in a high back, wicker chair in his full regalia. He looked

would come to know, the bald head and a semi-permanent big smile — the kind of guy

like a king on his throne. A throne near the

who makes a bowtie work because its cheerful

AKRON MUSIC, ART & CULTURE • 18 N High St, Akron customized T-Shirts & Hoodies • glasses & mugs • Keychains & Gifts JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1 /

THE Devil Strip |



How will 2017 treat local businesses?

Akron’s Promethean Research takes a look ahead by Nick Petroski (photos by Shane Wynn/



At our last check, Downtown Akron’s small and

We have developed two indices which track the performance of large, publicly traded

medium businesses appear to be in a period of solid growth. 2Q16 was healthier than

companies in Northeast Ohio. These indices serve two main purposes: (1) the economic

normal from a demand perspective. Capital projects and the number of physical locations

health of the companies in the area and (2) wealth of employees since many employees

were mixed and overall remained unchanged compared to the prior three-month period.

receive company stock through retirement plans. First, the economic health of the companies is largely reflected in the company’s

Employment and wages were flat to slightly up overall, although varied dependent on position. Pricing and costs were relatively unchanged

stock price. If the stock appreciates in value, we believe the company is making decisions

from the prior quarter period.

that will improve long term performance of the company, which will potentially lead to

Akron’s small and medium businesses appear to be optimistic about the next 12 months

increased investment in the region. Secondly, employees at the respective companies are

with many businesses investing now to capture potential upside. Capital projects and

likely seeing retirement balances increase due to company stock appreciation, leading to

employment are expected to grow significantly in the coming months. While not complete,

increased feeling of wealth. The NEO based large company index gained 8.1% y/y to finish 3Q, up significantly from -1.9% y/y at the

our early checks into 2H16 and 2017 plans are mixed. Prior to the election, we saw firms reign in spending as uncertainty grew. We expected

end of 2Q. The NEO employment based index increased 5.4% y/y at the end of 3Q, up from

this to ease after the election but it appears that the level of uncertainty among business leaders

-1.4%. We believe this feeling of increased wealth lead to improved consumer spending

has remained high. This could be a headwind to 2017 business spending but it is still too early in

trends this holiday season and could continue into 2017.

our reporting to tell.

RECESSION FEARS We have developed a proprietary economic model that forecasts recessions to help with business planning, especially for small and midsize businesses that are usually impacted more severely by recessions. Our model We compile a research report on Akron’s small indicates that the U.S. economy slowing to and medium businesses every six months. the point of a recession during the coming Our Business Condition Interview report is months is unlikely. We do expect a slight dip an industry agnostic survey that covers both in our barometer due to several component small (<50 employees) and medium (50-200 indicators reaching warning levels, but while employees) sized firms. The focus of this report we’re continuing to monitor them, they have is on the key drivers of local demand and how it not reached the level required to cause concern. affects expansion or contraction projects. It also This, in addition to the Federal Reserve Open SMALL BUSINESS CHECKS The latest one showed optimism; we will have another coming out in early 2017 for a better gauge on small businesses in Akron.

We expect to see continued subtle strength in the NEO economy in 2017. The vast majority of

provides insight into local employment, wages,

Market Committee raising the Fed funds rate

our indicators point towards growth but we are watching a few key areas of concern, mainly the uncertainty surrounding the actual plans of the incoming administration and their effects on the NEO economy. Look for our full 2017 outlook which will be published in early 2017 as our end of 2016 checks come in and are analyzed.

price pressures, and costs. This report provides clarity into the local economy over the past three months and pulls together a collective outlook for the area over the next 12 months.

by 25 basis points, gives us confidence that the U.S. will avoid a recessionary environment in the near term. (continued on page 37)


| THE Devil Strip / JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1


Food & Drink

Photography by Ilenia Pezzaniti


SUSHI KATSU SPECIALS "Tradition meets Innovation" Sushi and Ramen Party Trays, Catering, Gift Certificates

Monday All handrolls


Tuesday All spicy handrolls California rolls

$3.60 $4.25

Wednesday Large Sushi Combo


Thursday Katsu dinner


Friday Sunomonos Eel donbouri

$3.25 $14.50

Saturday Large sashimi combo


Mon.-Thurs. 5-9pm, Fri.-Sat. 5-10pm 1446 N. Portage Path • Akron 44313 (located behind the Getaway Pub in Merriman Valley)

NORTHEAST OHIO'S FINEST SUSHI We ate at every donut shop in the city of Akron in one morning. It was our first and last time.

because it’s all they accept, but you’re also going to want a fistful of quarters for the BIG CHOICE claw machine tucked away in the southwest corner of the shop. It’s only 25 cents per play. I will be back for you, purple dragon.


Serving Authentic Italian Cuisine for 86 years!

Instead of five BIG CHOICE plays, you can get a chocolate kreme stick. Why? Because—unlike five quarters—they are fluffy, soft, and sweet (but not too sweet). This place will also make you a giant donut the size of a donut spare 9:21am: Crest Bakery, 880 N Main St

in case you need to get on an eight-year-old’s

It may not be the first thing you notice when you first walk in, but once you take note of the 15-inch-tall, automated Santa shimmying his

good side. BONUS: They also sell five-gallon buckets and won’t ask you what you need them for.

hips to a continuous loop of “Jingle Bell Rock,” you will be distracted for the remainder of your

Think Of Us For Your Next Event

555 E. Cuyahoga Falls Ave. Party Room Available Up To 35 People Call and Reserve Today Akron, Ohio 44310


stay. It is a haunting soundtrack of our slow descent into madness. We avoid madness by


Holiday Gift Cards • Party Trays • Office Party Family Party • Homemade Christmas Cookies

following the lead of the kind ladies working behind the counter (Hi, Barb!). They are the kind purveyors of the North Hill Crestnut. For $1.25 you can enjoy this delightful local version of the Cronut, a New York fusion pastry that had Manhattanites waiting in lines a couple years back. No lines here, though!

10:15am: Jubilee Donuts, 2126 S Main St We enter at the end of a heartfelt monologue from the young woman behind the cash register pining about how inhumane it is to keep iguanas in small enclosures. A retirementaged man walks past us on his way out. “Have a rotten day,” he cheerfully says to the regulars at the counter. “You have a rotten day,” comes

9:49am: North Hill Donuts, 662 E Tallmadge Ave Bring cash to North Hill Donuts. This isn’t just


the rejoinder. This place seems fun! (Photo courtesy of Jubilee Donuts website)

(continued on page 28)

1375 N.Portage Path • 330-864-7500 Under new ownership Try our new menu items

food & Drink

AKRON PIZZA TASK FORCE Mark & Philly's by Stephanie Baker, Kevin Wirth and Justin Lyons (@akronpizzatf)

January 2017

menu: WRAPS

Vietnamese Pork Noodle fresh spinach, vermicelli rice noodles, ground pork, soy & cilantro dressing, carrot and green onion Thai Chicken Salad Creamy curry chicken salad with mildly spicy peanut dressing, fresh spinach, peanuts & crunchy noodles

Mark and Philly’s Pizzeria is our kind of place:

Sauce was on the light side and we noticed

quality ingredients, single location and adored by their community. Since opening in 1988,

right from the start that it seemed to have onion in it. The crust was crispy and a slice

Mark and Philly’s has created a loyal customer base. Their reviews are filled with fans of their

could stand on end.

craft from all over the country. People seem to really like the Sicilian pizza they offer and their

The first thing we noticed on the garlic cheese was that it looked like someone had a hard

takes on other items they list on their menu.

time cutting it. This pizza was a little more greasy but the oil based sauce contributed to that. The cheese was thick and had great flavor.

We ordered a plain cheese, garlic cheese and a hefty Sicilian pizza. The plain cheese was a little greasy but not bad and the top was cooked well done.

Falafel Homemade falafels wrapped with fresh spinach, tomato, red onion, black olives, cucumber and tzatziki

The garlic sauce wasn’t overpowering and played great with the cheese.

cheese. The cheese was gooey and browned to perfection. This pizza tasted good but it is dense and you will feel full quickly after.

The Sicilian pizza was quite a spectacle. This

Mark & Philly's

is not a pizza for the weak of heart. The construction of this pizza is crust, then sauce, then another layer of crust and topped with

3156 Bailey Rd, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221 Open 4–9:30PM // Akron Pizza Task Force - pizza makes us strong.

Pictured left: Mark & Philly's Cheese Pizza. Pictured above: Mark & Philly's Sicilian Pizza … So

We want to hear from you!

many layers! Pictured right: Mark & Philly's Garlic

Tweet us @akronpizzatf Where should the Akron Pizza Task Force go next?

Cheese Pizza (All photo courtesy of Kevin Wirth)

GRILLED PANINI SANDWICHES Pear & Brie Fresh sliced pear, double cream brie, red onion, arugula, walnuts and honey Breakfast Bear Fried eggs, sausage, cream cheese, cheddar, hot sauce & maple syrup Sesame Chicken & Mushroom Grilled chicken, Asian plum glaze, toasted sesame, sautéed mushrooms, green onion and mozzarella


(continued from page 27) The manager suggests we have the peanut butter crème stick, knowing full well that we just had the competitor’s “kreme” stick. The manager knows what she’s talking about. In our opinion, this is the superior k/crème stick.

in for a little VIP treatment. There’s no internal dining area, just a pick-up area of about five by ten feet. There is, however, a drive-thru so you can score a quick dozen on your way to the strip club. Make it rain donuts.

Maybe that’s why it got to keep the correct

Nothing about this place is trying to be normal.

spelling. The peanut butter adds to the depth of flavors. This stick is less sweet than North Hill Donuts’ and has a savory element from the peanut. We’re also going to assume that the

Including the toppings. We go with a Fruity Pebbles donut, although we could have gotten one with bacon and a maple glaze. Why didn’t we get the maple bacon donut? This

peanut butter adds some protein or something.

entire excursion was a terrible idea. Of course individual pieces will be bad.

Sweet Corn Pesto Pie Pureed sweet corn blended with pesto, layered w fresh jalapeño, tomato, red onion & cheddar Mexican Black bean hummus, banana peppers, black olives, cheddar and mozzarella topped after baking with fresh pico de gallo El Cubano In-house slow roasted pork, ham, pickles, Swiss and spicy brown mustard. It's a Cuban... PIZZA! *Soups and desserts posted daily on @urbaneatsakron and *Full coffee & espresso bar with locally roasted beans from Pearl Coffee Co.

Winter hours M-F 9am-4pm 51 E. Market St. next to Musica


Kreme donut that tastes like home,” says Sarah as she bites into a donut that presumably tastes of drywall and hardwood floors. We finish our donuts and move on to the final stop.

The donuts are a reasonable size—half that of a “normal” donut—and less likely to induce guilt. Unlike other shops, they’re customizable. Pick 11:35am: Dunkin Donuts, 1712 W Market your toppings as you would for a pizza. Also pick toppings for your pizza.

St, Across from the of West Point Market Dunkin Donuts is spacious and clean—the

10:46am: Sugar and Spice, 625 Grant St

perfect location for a First Communion celebration for your third and least favorite

Driving south on Grant Street, one is offered a variety of hedonistic diversions: Student housing, Aqueduct and Thirsty Dog Breweries,

child. There’s free WiFi, but pornographic websites are blocked. Conversely, competitors’ websites are accessible. At the suggestion of

Bottoms Up Gentlemen’s Club, The US Post

the donut attendant behind the counter, we go

Office (currently 2.1/5 stars on Google Maps). But you may have missed this jewel. Sugar & Spice makes both pizza and donuts in a

with Butternut donut: three dollars’ worth of sugar conveniently condensed into a 99-cent donut. “Whoo! It smells so sweet,” exclaims

creative attempt to corner the Akron market on unhealthy circular foodstuffs. They do not yet

11:11am: Krispy Kreme, 354 Maple St

Sarah as Thomas looks on in muted horror. Best washed down with in-house iced coffee or a

make pizza donuts, but we better get credit if that item ends up on the menu.

It’s not even noon and we’re already starting to Bloody Mary from The Eye Opener a few doors get worn out. Seeking a simple, safe alternative, down. A Bloody Mary does sound good. We we go with the traditional glazed standard. It should have done a sampling of those around

Probably due to a sugar rush, we’re running ahead of schedule. Sugar & Spice doesn’t open

will set you back a buck-o-nine. Probably. Adult- Akron. Next time, maybe. onset diabetes is beginning to affect the group’s

until eleven. But general manager Ron lets us

vision. “There’s something about a Krispy



food & drink

The Wanderer STAYING IN WITH FAT BOB words and photos by Holly Brown

I have a very intense love/hate relationship with winter. It’s hard to deny that nothing quite beats the first snowfall of the season, how

if you decide you’re craving a burger, good luck, because there are twenty-seven different kinds of burgers on their menu. I’m not kidding. This

everything looks soft and more inviting coated in white. And yet. And. Yet. I absolutely hate


being cold. Being cold is high up on my list of least favorite things to be (almost as bad as

While I’ve ordered my fair share of food from

hungry). Rather than lament these frigid winter days, I have decided to fully embrace the satisfaction of hibernation, to appreciate coming in out of a harsh December wind and slowly thawing out. I love snuggling up with my electric blanket, my old man kitty, a nice cup of tea and a movie. In these trying times of hibernation, there is nothing more satisfying than ordering delivery. Yet even delivery has its flaws. Sometimes it feels like there’s only so many options. Pizza, Chinese, perhaps wings or a salad.

the Fat Bob Grill, the evening in question was a Friday in December. It was cold. My street was frozen over. I had spent the entire day in malls and shops with trusty Maya attempting to get all of our Christmas shopping done in one day (spoiler alert: we got pretty darn close) and literally all I wanted was to sit on my couch, watch Just Friends, and have food brought to me. Lucky for me, The Fat Bob Grill is not only pick-up and delivery, it was the only thing I wanted. Pictured left: Expertly Crafted Chicken Bacon Swiss Melt


Monday, Jan. 23 at 6 pm • $85 per person Starts at Nuevo, shuttle to Crave

Cue me looking at the

And don’t get me wrong,

menu. Between Ryan,

I love all of those things. But it’s a long winter and if I’m going to be staying in, I need some diversity.

Maya, and myself, we had two computers with the menu open. No one wants to be the last one to decide. The pressure builds

I’ve discussed my inability to settle on an order before. However, nothing, absolutely nothing, competes with the length

as one person makes their decision. In this case, it was Ryan: The Steak & Bacon Wrap (bacon, cheddar cheese, onion

of time it takes me to decide on an order from the Fat Bob Grill. It has become a joke amongst

straws, A1 sauce).

my friends: Well, Holly, you better start looking at the menu as soon as we get home so you’re

I turn back to the menu with more urgency. I know I want something with mushrooms, but

ready to place the order in two hours.

what? A burger? A sandwich? I move away from wraps because I know I want something

With Fat Bob you can be in the mood for one thing and by the time you look through the menu, there will be at least four other items

warm. The clock ticks. Maya settles on the chicken parm sub (as opposed to the pasta dish which you can also order). I make my decision.

you’re going to want as well (here is the

We place the call.

moment where I advocate for ordering with multiple people who enjoy

Around forty minutes later, cue the knock on the door and jump off the couch excitement.

NUEVO MENU GORETTI GRECHETTO Crudo Tostone | Plantain | Scallop | Pickled Radish | Pomegranate | Salmon Caviar VISION CELLARS 2012 BLANC GRIS Hildago | Foie Gras | Peach Chutney | Smoked Hazelnuts | Chipotle Gastrique VISION CELLARS 2013 PINOT NOIR Atun | Cumin Crusted Tuna | Champorrado | Polenta | Ancho Espresso Jus


sharing their food). Even

No matter who delivers the food, they are exceptionally nice. I have had zero bad

Pictured right: Steak & Bacon

experiences. The white styrofoam boxes take up the whole table. Mine is still warm. I open the box and unearth a perfectly crafted sandwich: a


Wrap (notice

bacon mushroom swiss melt.

54 East Mill St. Akron 44308 • (330) 762-8000 1000 E. 9th St. Cleveland 44114 • (216) 737-1000 Hours: M-Th 11-10, F 11-11, Sat 3-11

hulking pickle spear on the side)


(continued on page 37)

food & drink

s e s t i w

t s e


e B r dB n a

Where we wandered and what we loved

Brickoven Brewpub

owner, in Front of the House/Back of the House

here I am, 15 years later, still learning every day.

“While oxygen and water are critical to sustaining human life, pizza and beer might be

(Aug. 2016)

One sour cream cup at a time.” - Ernest Cornelius, chef de cuisine for

Pictured above (left to right): Elizabeth Tyran and Jason Scala are playful partners in and out of the business at Urban Eats in downtown Akron; DBA Chef Ernest Cornelius holds a plate of butter poached shrimp, heirloom carrots, sweet curry and ginger (photos by Ilenia Pezzaniti)

considered to be more compliant, easily dancing The Front Porch Cafe to the beat of their own respective drummers, “When I moved to Akron, alone, almost two choosing to merge at will or go home alone. years ago, the time when I was the most lonely

Your Pizza Shop (Highland Square)

...My beer-snob tentacles are tingling, though. Yes, whatever is lodged inside that wood-fire

was when I cooked dinner. For me, food is connective tissue, it brings together families,

“The cheese pizza was browned and shimmering. After opening the box we were

took to get from my aunt's recipe to me plus experiment recipe-forming process — a

oven does smell heavenly, but I’m really here for the beer.” - Matthew Sedmock (Jan. 2016)

cultures, countries, and in the case of the Front Porch: Akron, comprised of so many amazing

ready to demolish this pizza. The cheese itself had an amount of grease that was to be

lot of trial and error.” - Brian Meeker to Lia Pietrolungo (Aug. 2016)

people, the place I have been seamlessly welcomed into, the community I have grown to love and call my own. From the moment I walked into The Front Porch, I felt welcome.” - Holly Brown, The Wanderer (May 2016)

expected. The sauce was simple and didn’t overpower the flavor of the cheese. The crust was golden brown, crisp on the outside, but a little dry on the inside. If this cheese pizza were to fight The Meatless Gourmet, it would be over in minutes.” - The Akron Pizza Task Force (April 2016)

Rubber City Brew Fest

The Tasting Room at Hoppin’ Frog

“A lot of drinkers here seemed to be on a mission, and I soon found out why. Not only was all the free merchandise disappearing quickly, some beers were too. ...My favorite thing about the RCBF is that all the breweries in attendance are located in Ohio. I’m a big

“The stuffed peppers literally tasted like pizza without the crust. With spicy peppers stuffed to almost the point of explosion with sausage, beef and bacon, it was all the makings of a great meat lovers. When topped with the spicy marinara and parmesan sauce, it stuck the landing.” - Holly Brown, The Wanderer (March 2016)

D.B.A. & Speakeasy

Odes to Chip-Chop Ham “Skyway has a chip chop ham sandwich. They fry it up in BBQ sauce and serve it on a bun that has been toasted and buttered. Pretty frakin’ good when I was a kid.” - Becca Leidy “I thought it was disgusting but my parents loved it. When they moved to Texas in the 80's, my mom tried to get some from the butcher at their local grocery and was shocked to discover it was a real regional thing. The term "chipchop" is the food equivalent of Devil Strip." - Kriss Pip Kovach

Angel Falls

“My husband just said 'chip what??', LMAO.

advocate of supporting local businesses,

D.B.A. & Speakeasy

We've been married 11 years and I have never

especially when it involves catching a buzz.” - Emily Anderson, Lady Beer Drinker (April 2016)

“I actually still remember the first food related job I had in the kitchen. ...I was asked to portion sour cream. 2-oz portioning spoon, plastic ramekin and a lid. Seems simple right? I

spoken of that dark part of my childhood.” - Amanda Fretz Sterling

Urban Eats

“The original recipe came from my aunt Kathy. I

“It's an Akron delicacy. Prepared correctly, the

“There’s an ultimate satisfaction when someone think I got more sour cream on the prep table

loved her nut bread as a kid, so I got her recipe.

fat in the ham melts, and it becomes more

really appreciates and wants more of what you’ve created, it’s reaffirming to say the least. We have such awesome customers, many of

than in the cups, but over the course of two 5-pound containers, I had effectively found a method that worked better, and by the last 30

I can be incredibly nontraditional, especially when making food. [I’m] not sure how long it blowing it up to what it is now with the

tender than the best pulled pork. We serve it in two different styles at the Snakron Cottage at Lock 3, along with many other nostalgic Akron

them are friends now.” - Elizabeth Tyran, co-

or so cups I was running very efficiently. ...Now

chocolate chips and spices — maybe a 10-year-

Foods.” - Charly Murphy, owner of Stray Dog

Running the Pass >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> words by Liz Reinart

HiHo Brewing Co. opens up in Cuyahoga Falls

West Point Market is back!

We watched for months on Facebook as they renovated a huge space

After nearly a year of being closed, West Point Market is opening up

at 1707 Front St. in Cuyahoga Falls, but now the time to really enjoy — ahem, go have a beer in — the newest local brewery is upon us. That’s because HiHo Brewing Co. is officially opening its doors on Friday, Jan.

again. A new market has been constructed just down the street from its original location off of West Market Street in Fairlawn. The new building is considerably smaller than the previous but customers are

6 at 3 pm with at least six craft brews on tap. You can learn more about the company at

assured it will house only the best of West Point. Phase 1, “Taste of the Holiday Season,” consists of the holiday selections that will sell while

Pictured left: HiHo Brewing Co. opens up in Cuyahoga Falls

supplies last. Phase 2 is under construction and will open early into the new year. During the month of December, the market will be open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm,

(Photo courtesy of HiHo/Facebook)

and closed on Monday. There is also an in-house wine bar open until 11 pm on Saturdays. Hours and a list of products can be found on their website:


| THE Devil Strip / JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1


food & drink


776 N. Main St. Akron Ohio 44310

words and photos by Krissy O’Connor

FOH Bob Mileti Owner Hometown: Barberton How long have you been at Primo’s? 38 years If you could have dinner with any one person, alive or has passed, who would

Primo’s Deli 1707 Vernon Odom Blvd., Akron OH 44320 Hours: TUES - SAT 10am - 8pm; Closed Sunday & Monday

BOH Lesley Moughler Cook & Server Hometown: Akron How long have you been at Primo’s? 20 years

especially. When I am done with working, I like to be home. I like to be alone and having hours of no talking. What do you recommend that we order here at Primo’s? We do what we can handson and house made here. Our Italian Sub is award-winning so definitely that, or the Rueben. Our beer selection is great here too. What do you do on your day off here in Akron? If it is a nice day, I golf. My go-to course is Spring Hill in New Franklin Township.

it be? My Father-in-Law who passed away in April. The coolest guy in the world. He was a

They have a great staff and it is BYOB.

part of my life for 50 years.

Something that you would like to see happen in Akron’s future: I would love to see

When you go out to eat what do you expect from your server? I never go out. I just don’t do restaurants. I am always shocked how expensive eating out is compared to us

Rolling Acres develop into something viable. It is a shame. Not necessarily another mall, just something.

grew up in Barberton and remember visiting a meat market there. The smells of the sausage was incredible - it even seemed to be absorbed into the wooden floors. I still recall that smell.

New Era Restaurant. I do also love DBA’s Tuna Tartare, it is heaven.

Tavern for the Night • Burgers • • Salads • • Sandwiches • • Steaks • • Cocktails • • Desserts • • Appetizers • • Pasta •

We can satisfy your appetite

Something you would like to see in Akron’s future: I hate to say it because they are making What is your best kitchen skill? It is not really leaps and bounds, but I would love to see one food related but, keeping the peace (or stirring more music venue. I love that we have The it up depending on the situation). I am kind of Civic and The Goodyear Theater but would like a counselor back here. love to see another venue to handle the larger name bands. What should we order here at Primo’s?

What is your first food memory? I am Slovenian and grew up with relatives that were non-english speaking. We really held onto the Slovenian culture and that included food such

The New York Pastrami.

as goulash, blood sausages and paprikash. I

in town I will go there. My favorite right now is

Compiled by Lia Pietrolungo

Fondue, anything and everything dipped in hot, gooey cheese. What do you like to do in Akron on a day off? I go out to eat. If there is a new restaurant

We can satisfy your appetite

{The Dish}

// Krissy’s favorite holiday tradition is Christmas Eve

Jonny Trowbridge

Megan Mitcheltree

Favorite place to eat: Ohio Brewing Company

Favorite place to eat: Angel Falls Go-to dish: Their matcha latte

Go-to dish: The beer cheese fries with crispy bacon bits and crisp scallions would

and any flaky pastry that speaks to the void inside of me.

be my guilty pleasure if I ever felt guilty for eating them.

Jeni Patton

Charles Von McNeal

Favorite place to eat: Fred’s Diner

Brianne Bucks

Favorite place to eat: Luigi's Go-to dish: Their tomato and

Go-to dish: Country fried steak

Favorite place to eat: The

cheese pizza. It's heaven sent.

Tyler Bucks

Highland Square Mustard Seed Go-to dish: I love having good, clean, healthy food within walking distance of

Emery Thoenen

Favorite place to eat: Frank’s Place

my house. My favorite dish is the pesto chicken Caesar salad!

Favorite place to eat: Pammie’s on Copley Road

Go-to dish: Their buffalo dip. The atmosphere of Frank's paired with the shareability of their buffalo dip makes for

Go-to dish: Half chicken BBQ sandwich with Mac and Cheese.

Lizzie Milhoan

everything I imagined bar life would be as a young, impressionable youth.

Favorite place to eat: Akron Family Restaurant

Cafe for the Day • Soups • • Salads • • Sandwiches • • Coffee • • Espresso • • Desserts • • Breakfast • • Wraps • 75 South Main St. Akron, Ohio 44236 Attached to the Akron Main Library

Go-to dish: Club sandwich


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food & drink

arnie’s public house

Elegantly Casual Dining featuring Modern Twists on Your Favorite Comfort Foods and Classic Cocktails 1682 W. Market St at Westgate Plaza in Akron 330-867-0154 Open 7 days a week 11:00am-2:30am


LADY BEER DRINKER New Beer's Resolution: Drink Local 2017 by Emily Anderson


ots of people make New Year’s resolutions in January. If you decided you’re going to stop drinking beer, good luck and skip this article. If you’re going to continue buying beer, why not consider changing some old shopping habits to help the local economy? You’ll be drinking better beer, often made with locally sourced ingredients and without chemicals or preservatives, and you won’t have to get too adventurous or break the bank. While Ohio has a healthy, growing craft brewing industry, the majority of beer drinkers

Drinks of the Month Words and Photos by Sam DePaul

Akron’s Home of the All Day Breakfast featuring a Bloody Mary Menu, Mimosas and much more... 1688 W. Market St at Westgate Plaza in Akron 330-867-1114 Open 7 days a week 6:30am-3:00pm Sundays 8:00am-3:00pm

still choose to buy mass-produced brands. Light lager is the #1 selling style in the US. Brands like Budweiser, Coors, Miller, Corona, and Michelob dominate the industry. I get why people drink these beers. They’re cheap, easy to find, have very little flavor, and are heavily advertised.

Pictured above: Friends enjoy Hoppin' Frog beer at the brewery's Akron taproom in a still image from the video "7 Awesome Things to Do in Akron During Winter" produced by Mario Micale/Narrative Digital Media, which you can watch online at

What people might not know is that all most popular brands in the US and across the world are owned by the same corporation – Anheuser Busch InBev. AB inBev has been acquiring breweries for decades, and now dominates the

global beer market. In the US, they own and profit from Budweiser, Coors, Miller, Busch, Corona, Stella Artois, Rolling Rock, Shocktop, Blue Moon, Beck’s, Leffe, Hoegaarden, Strongbow, Peroni, Goose Island, Leinenkugel, and Elysian, just to name a few. (continued on page 37)

for the cold months when I want something

What you need: a muddler, cocktail shaker,

darker. Their barleywine, which they also call the big red imperial IPA, certainly hit the spot. While it’s over 100 IBU’s (the number that measures hops) and 9.3% alcohol, it has a

strawberries, blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, bourbon of choice, soda water.

surprising sweetness that cuts through the

equal parts sugar and water and stir until

hops and malt. It’s dry hopped with Centennial, Cascade and Simcoe. If you suffer from wanderlust as I do and happen to make your

thickened. Muddle a strawberry and 5-6 blueberries in the juice from a lemon (which will give you that pink color you want) and dump it

way to this brewery, I’d also recommend their coffee IPA and Rainy Delay IPA.

all into your shaker with ice. Drop your bourbon in there with about and ounce and a half of the

JAFB’s “Old Tyme Barleywine”

Boil your simple syrup like I’ve taught you:

cooled syrup. Shake it and pour it over fresh ice, top it with a dash of soda water.

I recently

“Pretty in Pink”

ventured out to JAFB (Just Another Fuckin’

I’ve often questioned my status as a bartender who has studied

Brewery) in

literature and creative

Garnish it with some fresh berries and make it look pretty. Cheers. Pictured left: Pretty in Pink bourbon cocktail. Photo courtesy of Sam DePaul

Wooster. From what I gathered, their name stems from some small

writing. Especially on the nights when I get a shitty tip or some old

talk exchanged back when they were simply called “Wooster Brewery” – a name which now

guy tells me to smile. I notice when I tell customers what my degree is in,

appears only on their coffee cups. I’ve tried and failed many times to get into stouts and porters, so barleywines are a solid alternative

they don’t quite know what to say. So I cope by intertwining my crafts while I can. This month, we’re making a cocktail named after one of my

Pictured above: Barleywine pint at JAFB Brewing.

favorite female characters. It’s a dainty looking drink that packs a punch, just like most of Molly // Sam DePaul recently called a woman “Sir.”

Photo courtesy of Sam DePaul

Ringwald’s characters do.

JAFB Wooster Brewery 120 Beall Ave. Wooster, OH 44691 Hours: Mon & Tues 2-10pm Wed & Thurs 2-11pm Fi & Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12-8pm

She doesn’t want to talk about it.


Music & Entertainment THE AKRON SCENE

ST ANDING ROOM å ...looking back on 2016

We thought you should know these bands. We still think that. In most issues, we like to include our “Standing Room” feature, which we hope encourages our readers to get out there and listen to some local music. Here are some of the bands we highlighted in 2016.

ç é

å Relaxer “Guitar driven band Relaxer’s easy-going tunes

‘80s post-punk to ‘60s grooves.” — April 2016 issue

are perfect for night-driving. The psychedelic tunes are complex and unique. Lead singer Joe

ë Husbands & Wives

Scott has a chilling voice. Scott, alongside Jamie Stillman, Steve Clements and Brad Thorla bring the psychedelic rock genre to life.” — January 2016 issue (NOTE: Sadly, Steve Clements is no longer playing keyboard/synthesizer with Relaxer. However, they have picked up bassist Corey Haren.)

ç Devilstrip

è ê

“If you’re into the hard rock and the heavy metal genre, the Devilstrip band is where you need to be. Band members Marc Wasmund, Jimmy Gray, and Craig Lindgren work to provide listeners with a distinct combination of soul and alternative rock.” — January 2016 issue


í Royalties

é Copali

“My friends in Akron always talk about how amazing it was to see The Black Keys live before they got huge. I’m telling you, go out and see the Royalties before they do the same. Royalties were created from a collaboration between Cleveland-based bands Inhale Exhale and Strangers to Wolves. With members Ryland Raus

“Copali’s original tunes combine fusion,

(vox / guitars), Cameron Perry (bass), Tyler Bucks

funk and jazz into a unique sound. All of the band members come from diverse musical backgrounds making for an eclectic and fun mix of instruments. The songs intertwine the

(guitars) and Max Rivera (drums), they have a fantastic alternative rock presence.” — Clay Chabola, May 2016 issue

saxophone, clarinet, guitar, and bass for a bizarre

ì LuvAbstract

yet wonderful sound that surprises you with each note.” — January 2016 issue

“Mark Anderson, known in the local rap scene as LuvAbstract, writes theatrical rhymes that accomplish more than simply making the listener

è Rebekah Jean


“With solid pop hooks, dynamic instrumentation and guitar-driven melodies, Husbands & Wives’ sound is nothing short of addictive. Think the Britpop revival meets mid-2000s garage rock with catchy Replacements/Big Star-inspired melodies tossed in for good measure.” — May 2016 issue

“Her style is a result of growing up listening to

bob his or her head or hit the dance floor. These are deep, heavy words that deliver a sucker

her dad’s rock ‘n’ roll and the classic country of her mom’s Appalachian heritage, and can

punch right to the soul. Hip hop has undergone quite the evolution in the last decade, taking the

aptly be described as Americana. Her debut was produced by Grammy-nominated producer

artform to a higher level with albums serving as sonic novellas that communicate truths across

David Mayfield (brother of Jessica Lea Mayfield) and engineered by Dan Auerbach mentor Bob Cesare.” — Brittany Nader and Gabe Gott,

a backdrop of film-score-type music. Rap as we know it has taken on new meaning, and artists like LuvAbstract are changing the game in

March 2016 issue

inventive, interesting ways.” — Brittany Nader,

ê Stems

July 2016 issue

“Making their rounds across the Northeast Ohio

î Neon Tetra

region over the past few years, indie rockers Justin Seeker, Joshua Weiss, Michael Voris and

“Some may know Kristi Wall as a highly visible, prolific Akron-based artist. Others recognize her

Joel McAdams have matured and polished their sound, and — lucky for us — memorialized it on their stellar new five-song EP, “Identity Believer.”

as the owner of Land Of Plenty, the Highland Square hub of vintage goodies, terrariums, crystals and other metaphysical artifacts. Wall’s

Together, the musicians are Stems, producing pure rock ‘n’ roll made distinct by pleasant

creative inclinations run deep in this city, and Neon Tetra serves as her outlet for producing

layered vocals and clear influences ranging from

(continued on page 38)


The Dreemers, “Is, Is”

Duncan worked together on all aspects of the album—lyrics, instrumentals and production.”

“A listener can pick out a variety

— Sophie Franchi in the September 2016 issue

of influences from garage soul and surf



music & entertainment

“The follow-up to

la The Talking Heads), with a healthy dose

2012’s ‘Modern Gypsies,’ his

of the Akron Sound thrown in the mix. .

sophomore effort is an 11-song jaunt that

. Patrick has a soulfulness to his voice and can howl out lyrics with the best of them. Keith has unique sounding vocals that pair well Patrick’s singing, but his bass playing is really the

only runs 37 minutes. It feels especially quick because you’re

glue that holds it all together. Grieshammer’s drumming is tight and steady, and there is just enough of a flair that it

cycling through the ups and downs

keeps it interesting.” — Gabe Gott in the May 2016 issue

Time Cat, “Time Cat”

MUSIC SCENE It’s no secret that Akron’s music scene is thriving. And with a city full of musicians and music lovers alike, it’s no wonder there were so many local new albums for us to review in 2016. Here were some of our favorites.

of a relationship between friends that gets strained by one’s addiction. Timely though it is, it would have been sooooooo easy for this to devolve into the maudlin. The minor miracle here isn’t how Hoseff handles the heavy stuff, but how he takes



Hoseff, “Heart Hunter”

to the more new wave side of punk (à

“This is an album simultaneously winsome and worried. Every track genuflects and rises up. These songs, ranging from the predictable to the unmooring, are sassy and romantic, folky and wild. This is a band at ease with its identity and though, at first listen, I heard toe-stubbing detours and superfluous tangents, I couldn’t resist the sonic blend of psych, blues, folk and jazz in the variety of guitar solos.” — Dawson Steeber in the September 2016 issue

the topic seriously enough without taking himself so seriously that he can’t make you smile from time to time. Otherwise, the heartbreaking turns wouldn’t hurt enough.” — Whit Mumbley in the October 2016 issue

The Beyonderers, “Estimate of the Situation”

“Even to new audiences, the local musician feels like

Kudzi, “Pieces” “Kudzi is a poet, but

“Big, dark and rhythmic, these songs harken journeys along the coast highway at night and dark shorebreak images dimly lit from automobile lights. . . Throughout every burly instrumental guitars roar impressively, while the drums hold down the backbeat with vicious drum thunder in a manner that honors their inspirations but drops a

an artist one has

most of the lyrics

big-block engine into the frame at the same time. This album

listened to for years. Pleuss is known for her recent takeover on Searchlight

for this album were either freestyled or a group effort. ‘The three of us would

rocks hard without the taint of nostalgia, and it's good and greasy fun from front to back. It’s like listening to a dominatrix whip a gremmie out on Muscle Beach…it screams!” — Dawson Steeber in the November 2016 Issue

Gretchen Pleuss, “From Birth, to Breath, to Bone”

Songwriting Competition and as a finalist in The Great

go in there and start

American Song Contest with her song, ‘Foreign Car.’ . . . With two EPs and three full albums out, Pleuss is building her reputation as a musician of the ages. Her recent release,

rifling,’ says Kudzi. ‘It’s nice because three freestyle artists

‘From Birth, to Breath, to Bone’ features light melodies and whimsical vocals.”

are in the studio working together. It’s like a super team.’ In fact, the entirety

— MacKenzie Mehrl in the April 2016 issue

of the album was a group effort in every way: Kudzi, Alex and

Want to give your business a boost in 2017? Find out how to reach Akron's most loyal customers by contacting TJ at 330-329-5757 or Ads start at as little as $150 a month.


| THE Devil Strip / JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1


MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT something I have to try. I love a Belgian tripel or heavy stout. Pictured left: Josh Brandreth at the Mustard Seed. Photo courtesy of Sam DePaul

Have you ever gotten an excessive tip? Oh definitely. Big excess always came at parties I've worked or around the holidays. I’ve been lucky with that though, every place I've worked I had my people and made friends. They all treat me well! What is the strangest drink order you've ever received? I'm particular about cocktails so when people have a special request I'm usually happy to make them the perfect drink but it makes me scratch my head when someone changes the base of a drink. Like a margarita but with vodka? What?! What is the strangest or funniest or most offensive conversation you've ever overheard? That's tough. You hear everything as a bartender. When I worked at Adams Street there was a huge crowd of regulars that were always hilarious to watch and listen to. People already share a lot with bartenders...But people forget that you can hear them even when they're not talking to you. The best stuff is when they stop paying attention or they're just drunk. You get everything... boring day-to-day stuff, bad days, friend drama. You hear who's a bitch and who is a bigger one. Business meetings and family stuff. First dates and sometimes drunken last ones too. Even stuff you wouldn't tell just anyone. We hear you. Be nice to your bartenders people.

Behind the Bar

What "busy work" task do you hate most? Do you have one you enjoy? All busy and side work is boring for the most

by Sam DePaul

Joshua Brandreth

part.. I guess I'd have to say dishes would the

The Mustard Seed, Highland Square

cool because we had a brewery in place of a banquet room so I learned some about beer in


addition to cocktails. Over the last seven years

Cuyahoga Falls

What was your first night behind the bar like? How long have you been tending?

I've worked a bunch of very different bartending jobs learning new stuff along the way.

My first night behind the bar was the day after I turned twenty one. I was working at a

What's your poison when on the other side?

steakhouse in Medina and was hungover so it wasn't the wildest day. Working there was

Gin or tequila shots or bourbon. The beer selection at Mustard Seed is amazing. I always find


decor, go with the obvious. You are surrounded by old landmarks that ooze nostalgia. All the antique

by Leslie Shirley Nielsen

stores around here are loaded with

The Pad Lounge Address: 1849 Triplett Blvd

these themes. You do the math. Next, I would specialize in delicious Carpaccio. Nobody else has

Believe it or not, the old Pad Lounge sits

cornered the market on raw meat in Akron, and you don't have to

in a prime location. It's easy to get to and is within view of The Rubber Bowl, Airport and Airdock. My serving suggestion for this

cook anything. Easy-peasy. Couple that with some fancy drinks and sophisticates living nearby will

place? I would build a sweet patio out front so the customers can enjoy the sites. For the

make a line out your door. You're welcome!


best. They're pretty easy and I'm usually quick at them until I'm polishing the fiftieth wine glass of the night. I hate cutting fruit and prepping olives. Prepping mixers and batched drinks is up there too. //BIO: Sam DePaul recently called a woman “Sir.” She

Highland Square


LINEUP Friday, 1/6 • 9pm – Midnight Acid Cats – Soul Funk Jazz Fusion Saturday, 1/7 • 9pm – Midnight Zander One – Deep House Sunday, 1/8 • 12 – 3pm Operations – Soul, Jazz, & Reggae Friday, 1/13 • 9pm – Midnight Duchess – Classic Country Saturday, 1/14 • 8:30 – 11:30pm Phil Anderson Trio – R&B and Soul Sunday, 1/15 • 12 – 3pm Little Steve O Blues Duo – Blues Friday, 1/20 • 9pm – Midnight Copali – Original Instrumental Funk Fusion Saturday, 1/21 • 9pm – Midnight DJ Ben Fulkman – Spinning Funky Soul-Filled Vinyl Sunday, 1/22 • 12 – 3pm Art & Tom – Acoustic Favorites & Originals

doesn’t want to talk about it.

Friday, 1/27 • 9pm – Midnight The Jen Maurer Project – Original Roots Saturday, 1/28 • 9pm – Midnight Dave Sterner Quartet – Jazz Traditional, Latin, Blues Sunday, 1/29 • 12 – 3pm Anthony Papaleo – Blues, Jazz, & Old-Time

*NO COVER CHARGE HIGHLAND SQUARE: 867 West Market Street Akron, Ohio, 44303 • 330-434-7333

music & entertainment


ometimes, you wake up, read the news

was 20 years older. It occurred to me when he

championship earlier in the year or this would

won, I was in shock. I thought I would break

and are thrown for a loop. By beer:30 after a long day’s work, you say to

died that he was the one that made it OK for us have been gut-wrenching. I think 2017 is their to be ourselves. With his androgynous ways and year for sure!

down, but I didn't. I decided to not attend all of the parades and gatherings. It had been a

yourself, "Prince died? This sucks! I'm going to the freaking bar!" I can't remember any year

crazy attire, he made it cool to be different. It's really all I cared about growing up: not being

ç The Presidential Race. Not since the Civil

lonely, personal journey for me much of the time and it made sense for me to follow suit.

that threw more curveballs from left field. 2016 was a reason to drink. Period.

normal, but being cool. He paved the way for countless misfits to just be themselves and

War has our country been so divided. The words “embarrassing,” “disgusted,” and

I decided to watch the parade by myself on TV that afternoon, much like I had watched

How many Icons can we possibly lose in one

enjoy it, and he did this by just being himself with no greater intention. An underrated actor

“unpatriotic” all swam through my head for months. How could one watch the Presidential

many of the games over the years. It was then when I saw 1.4 million people line the streets

year? People that we grew up watching, idolizing and learning from. 2016 took way too many of them. Everyone from Muhammad Ali

and musical innovator. His album Diamond Debates without hiding behind a pillow and Dogs has been on my playlist since I was a child. slamming shots every time a boldface lie was He had the class and grace of a prince, all while told? “Divide-and-conquer” should never be

of Cleveland that it finally sank in. Decades of heartbreak turned into tears of joy. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever

to Gene Wilder—countless household names that changed the world.

being a total Rebel Rebel. I'm just glad I can say I walked the planet at the same time. Rest in

applied to your own country. It really made me sick to my stomach and still does. Canada

witnessed, and witnesses we all finally were.

peace, Ziggy Stardust.

should be the ones building the wall.

The Cavs and Indians will be back in form in 2017 for sure, but let's hope we never see the

å The Cavs’ improbable NBA Championship

likes of a year like 2016 again. 2016, I bid you adieu. 2017, I am so glad to see you!

What are the odds that not one, but two Cleveland sports teams made it to the big game é The Cleveland Indians’ unbelievable run to in one year? Astronomical! The World Series. Losing our 2nd and 3rd best starting pitchers and our best catcher somehow If you stayed sober during the Presidential didn't stop us. Terry Francona's masterful election process or debates, you are a saint or job got us all the way to extra innings in the already in A.A.. 7th game against the Cubs. If Harry Caray's tears didn't fall from the heavens and disrupt Even on a local level with the loss of Russ Pry our momentum late in that game, I think and the turmoil at Akron U that lead to the we would have won. It was a nerve-racking ousting Scott Scarborough—2016 hit us from journey that was best watched from behind a almost every angle. beer or twelve. Thank God Cleveland won a Me, personally? Here are my top five reasons for drinking in 2016.

Cocktails 2.0

33 W Mapledale Ave 330-376-2625

ê I'm probably an army of one on this one,

win after being down 3-1. Anyone that knows me knows that I bleed wine and gold. I was born the same year as The Cavaliers and have always wished I was related to Joe Tait. Even in the dark days when Ricky Davis was our best player, I paid attention to every game. It's something that I had hoped and prayed for my whole life. When a lot of you weren't on the bandwagon, I was still there, wincing season after disappointing season. When we finally


Dive Bar Pick

730 E Archwood Ave 330-724-7007

Archwood Bar

but it was Kobe Bryant’s final NBA game. I'm

752 E Archwood Ave 234-208-9952

I encourage you to disclose your top five reasons for drinking in 2016 at TheBarCrawlerAkronOhio.

Cheers and enjoy responsibly, Leslie Shirley Nielson "The Bar Crawler"

Corky's Thomastown Cafe

Cougarz Sports Bar

1131 S Arlington St 330-724-3338

2468 S Arlington St 330-644-1893

a rabid NBA fan and this was pure basketball porn. What was supposed to be a nice farewell with all the bells and whistles, turned into the greatest Swan Song I have ever seen in sports. Some seats for the game were going for $10,000 a piece. They just may have gotten their money’s worth. After their worst season in franchise history, a torn Achilles tendon the season before, a ravaged rotator cuff, 1346 games over 20 years and a season where he would have had a hard time throwing it the ocean.....Kobe scored 60! I was never a big Kobe Bryant fan until this moment. I watched the game at Frank's Place on Market until the morning hours, yelling and jumping out of my seat with every amazing shot he made. I didn't care that I was the only one watching or the funny looks I was receiving from other patrons. To watch a the fiercest competitor do this with his broken body and bring his team from behind to beat the Utah Jazz 101-96 was simply amazing. A moment to celebrate for sure and one I will never forget.


Firestone Park

Firestone Park

Firestone Park

Firestone Park

South Akron














Bud Light / Absolut

Miller Light / Fireball

Bud / Ciroc

Bud / Crown Apple

Bud Light / Crown Apple


Drag Shows / Pool / Dancing Darts

Pool / Darts

Bands / Pool

Karaoke / Pool / Darts


Bar Menu

Bar Menu

Bar Menu

No Food

Full Menu


Firestone Park Hideaway / VFW

ABC Dry Cleaners

Has always been (we think)

Thomastown Cafe

Sir Dudley’s / Pleasentview Inn


John Waters meets Madonna

Kristen Wiig meets Frankie Valli

Jack Black meets Red Foxx

Michael Stanley meets Judd Nelson

Suzanne Somers meets Jack Ritter

A nice south side hangout for the LGBT community.

Ever walk into a old neighborhood bar for the first time? Ever feel like everybody there knows each other and you are the only exception? Yep!

People get drunk here and have been for years. Trust me on this one.

I remember when the smoking ban went into effect and this was the one place that put up a bitter fight against it. Drinking and smoking will always go together. Mad props guys!

I felt like I walked into the Regal Beagle from the TV show Threes Company. Sadly, Don Knotts was not there.

è The unexpected loss of David Bowie. Never has the loss of a celebrity affected me more. I didn't even realize he was my childhood hero until he died. Why? I thought he was immortal.


He would someway outlive me, even though he


| THE Devil Strip / JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1


misc. (continued from page 29)

Pictured left: Chicken Parm

Two pieces of crispy Texas toast nestle a full chicken breast, multiple strips of


crunchy bacon, a bed of saucy mushrooms, and

many a side from Fat Bob, this one remains my favorite.

a sheet of melted swiss cheese. I take a bite and

Small golden nuggets, fried to the perfect consistency, hiding

find heaven in my own living room.

sweet creamed corn, even whole kernels.

nuggets. Though I’ve had

If there is something else I can tell you about

In the words of my idol, Liz Lemon, “Yes to

Fat Bob Grill, it is that they don’t skimp on their portions or the quality of their meals. The chicken breast is large and juicy. The bacon

love! Yes to life! Yes to staying in more!” Treat yourself this winter to a night (or two, or ten) in. Don’t forget to invite Fat Bob. You won’t

is oh so present (one of my least favorite things on a sandwich is weak bacon) and

be disappointed with anything you order, but make sure you do me a solid and get the corn

adds the perfect salty fat accompaniment to the earthy heartiness of the mushrooms I so


desperately desired on this cold winter’s night. This sandwich is rich and fat. It is not soggy or falling apart. The level of care the Fat Bob Grill takes in their food becomes more apparent with every order I make.

Pickup & Delivery Only • 783 W Market Street (located in the back of the American Legion) Mon-Thurs: 9am-10pm, Fri: 9am-11pm, Sat

(continued from page 26)

continues to post solid gains. Akron and


Cleveland home values increased 5.3% Y/Y in November, which has drove Zillow’s Price to

Because no meal is complete without a side to

9am-3pm (full menu brunch), Closed Sunday 330-926-7919 or 330-926-7966

Nonfarm Payrolls (a representation of the total number of paid workers) have grown steadily

Rent ratio to its highest level in the past three years.

share, we also requested a small box of corn (continued from page 32) Shopping for independently brewed beer in Ohio is really easy. For those of you who go for a light lager because you like the “flavor,” try a Labrador Lager from Thirsty Dog or a Turntable Pils from Great Lakes Brewery. They’re both light, refreshing lagers with very mild flavor. If you don’t really like beer, but you buy Summer Shandy or Beer-ma-ritas, try a cider from Rhinegeist, or mead from Crafted Artisan Meadery. If you like different kinds of beers, but buy

over the last year for Akron, Canton, and Cleveland, while Youngstown saw Y/Y declines If you’re really in a jam at a tiny gas station or almost each month of 2016. We expect to see bar and don’t see anything local, go with a these trends continue into the coming year with Samuel Adams. They’ve been independent from some possible continued growth in the Canton AB inBev since they started brewing in 1984, and Youngstown areas resulting from potential and they have a brewery in Cincinnati. growth in the energy sector there. Buying beers from AB inBev doesn’t make you a bad person, but it also doesn’t help local economy like buying locally produced products. Sure, there is an Anheuser-Busch brewery in Columbus, but the operation is still run by a global corporation. 2017 is going to be a year of responsible spending and supporting the

UNEMPLOYMENT Unemployment levels have remained steady for 2016 at between five and seven percent. We believe that these levels have remained steady, in the face of increasing payroll numbers, due to additional individuals returning to the workforce. We would expect to see unemployment rates to fall slightly as they

PROMETHEAN BEIGE BOOK INDEX We’ve been in what we describe as a modest expansionary environment since 2H14 and while there have been a few minor dips towards stagnation they appear to be temporary and not indicative of any downward trend. Our proprietary NEO index weighs Beige Book results based on our area’s output so we believe it gives us a clearer picture of the NEO region than just taking the results at face value. // Nicholas Petroski, Chief Executive Officer at Promethean Research, is an ex-equity analyst who, after spending two years at a Wall St. firm, turned his focus to his passions: startups, tech and Akron. He has founded 5 startups, worked as a financial analyst at a commercial construction firm, and advised hedge and pension funds on equity strategies. Nicholas also cofounded and is the current Chairman of the Board of a nonprofit named Launch League with the goal of boosting startup activity in the city of Akron.

light lagers because they’re cheap, just get something with a little more alcohol! Bud Light is only 4.3% Alcohol by Volume. Try something

local economy, and there is no reason we can’t extend this philosophy to beer.

like Head Hunter IPA from Fat Head’s in Solon.

// The Lady Beer Drinker changed her

At 7.5% ABV, you spend a little more, but you (should) drink less beer.

handle, it’s @ladybeerdrinker

HOUSING PRICES The region’s residential real estate market

(continued from page 12)

years later, the groom's family would parade into town, safe in their assumption that they would be welcomed with a feast prepared by

the concept of the fluid plan. Did you think that because they sold you a ticket to take an airplane from here to there at a certain time,

want to keep reprocessing everything endlessly. We want some old-fashioned certainty.

the bride's family. No problem.

that meant there was a seat on that plane with your name on it? No. They reserve the right

Even so, I have to confess to some doubt. Were earlier generations really so different?

to cancel that seating. Or that flight. Or your quaint notion that they have to provide you

Is it possible that a trapper, relying on himself for months at a time in the lonely mountains,

with a good reason for any of this.

might have used a cell phone if he had one? Would he have used it to call Clem, "Listen, I'm

The assumption among all cell-phone-bearing

We seniors are the outraged ones. We line up at the gate to take turns snarling at the ground crew, who of course have no idea why

a little backed-up here at work... yeah, these beavers are trickier than I thought... so I'll meet you on the headwaters of the Yellowstone two

young people today is that all plans are

their higher-ups made the change. Meanwhile,

days after the first full moon when the aspens

to time, it is probably because he can't get things to stay in his Done file anymore.

individuals returning to the workforce. Twitter

It wasn't always this way. Once, when Our Land was Young, plans were made and they

Being able to place the tricky matter of stayed made. Fur trappers just like the one marriage in the Done file was very useful. It played by Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Revenant" allowed family members to move on to other (except with less make-up) would split-up in pressing matters, like how to get enough food the spring to go trap separately. They would for tomorrow. say, "I'll see you at the first geyser from the left in Yellowstone in the fall. Unless I'm dead." Now that was a plan. It was something a fellow could count on. And it wasn't just in America. Other countries knew how to make fixed plans, too. At a multivillage party, two sets of parents might notice that an eight year old boy and girl were playing together nicely. Between talk about the effect of the rain on the crops and how best to train a water buffalo, they would agree that the two youngsters would marry as soon as they reached their majority. On the appointed day,


could see upward pressure from additional

tentative. The modern workplace can be quite young people - - who had the sense to show demanding. So in their off-hours, young people up for the flight in their sweat suits — get like to make things up as they go along. Clinical comfortable on the floor of the terminal and

have gone gold, or maybe not. Whatever. Yeah, text you later."

studies that I have imagined clearly show that young people don't have a strong need for

plug in their lap-tops.

For my older colleagues waiting in their cars in theater parking lots, keep your chin up. And

a Done file. They are happy with a Sort-of-Done file.

For us old ones it is harder. We still like to decide things once. We like to have things stay in the Done file so we can use our declining

don't buy the tickets till you see the glow of their iPhones.

In case the older person in your life is having trouble grasping this brave new world, remind

powers to focus on other things, like trying to remember the names of the neighbors who

him about air travel. The airlines have mastered

moved in next door twenty years ago. We don't

JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1 /

THE Devil Strip |


back of the book

Urine Luck:

Taco ‘bout Bathrooms Bomba’s Bath(rum)


a feature. When my son’s diaper was as soggy as it could be

Despite this downside, the tacos at Bomba are creative and tasty, and more important, the

well water very quickly ruins the clean feeling of a white toilet. I used to think there was nothing

by Marissa Marangoni

before this Urine Luck writer was about to have Ur-on-the-

bathrooms are some of the most interesting ones in Akron. No other bathroom I’ve seen

I liked better than the feeling of a crisp, white bathroom, but now I think the black bathroom

Bomba is the hottest taco and rum spot in West

floor, his behind got a diaper change on a chair at our table.

features black toilets. They aren’t a thing in everyman toilet culture, but they should be.

might take the (urinal) cake. I’ve looked into this investment before, but the cost of such a

Akron. Perhaps this is because it is the only taco

When installed in a space with the proper coordinating decor and atmosphere, the black

creation just isn’t in the budget.

Proper restaurant etiquette?

spot in West Akron--of course, this is only if you

I doubt it. But if you’re going to have high chairs and be

toilet adds a touch of class and sophistication that is both unexpected and pleasing. And,

Luckily, tacos are always in the budget, so the moody bathroom aesthetics I like so much can

don’t count Taco Bell. If you do, well, then, it’s the second taco place, but

kid-friendly, you probably ought to be fully kid-friendly to mothers like me who

allow me to mention the obvious: the black be mine, if only for a little while. Next time, I’ll toilet allows its users to avoid appetite-reducing remember the changing pad. The bathrooms in visuals. This is a big win for the public bathroom Bomba Tacos & Rum get 4 out of 5 toilets.

still most likely the highest rated (and for good reason).

forget their changing mats and would rather not, no

world, methinks. Why there aren’t more of these is a mystery. Maybe Bomba paid more for

Sadly, though, I have to

matter how clean-seeming an establishment is, put their

the toilets and sacrificed the diaper changing stations.

Bomba Tacos & Rum 3900 Medina Rd, Akron, OH 44333

I dream of the day when my husband and I can add a black toilet to our own bathroom. Having

Phone: (234) 466-7180 Sunday - Thursday: 11am – 11pm Friday & Saturday: 11am – midnight

hand it to the Bell: they have diaper changing stations in their dumpers. Bomba is, very unfortunately, without

kid and/or their coat on the floor in a public bathroom. Or go out to the car when it is 12 degrees outside.

El Gato Taqueria

wrestler on the wall (meant to indicate the women’s room) as the source of confusion. This is not the source of confusion, but it does Shortlist of things I love: The color orange, tacos not help. For someone who (oddly enough) and salsa. El Gato has these things that I love. likes logic and categories, when I see a sign But like most things I love, there was a bit of labeling one room as a men’s room and there confusion last time I was here. is not another sign labeling the other room So I go down a little hallway where restaurant as a women’s room, I do not assume that the bathrooms are usually tucked away. There’s unlabeled door is a women’s room. Thank god a sign on the right side down another tiny for people like me, right. hallway for the men’s room, but there are

you’re in five different bathrooms at once. A dream is a wish your heart makes. This is a lovely space that is somehow posh and comfortable.

no other signs. I ask the superhumanly nice

After my confusion/annoyance, I was pleasantly

kid into a street taco/

human working at the counter for help, and she directed me to an unmarked door. She even said something nice like “Oh, it’s confusing, don’t worry!”

surprised by the El Gato women’s room. The walls are a nice gray and the floors look like hardwood. In the corner diagonal from the toilet, there is a 70s type bench and two

bar place, but whatever. My kid likes tacos and we like downtown Akron and it’s just nice to find common ground with your toddler. But

El Gato Tacqueria 209 S. Main Street (King James Way?)

mirrors. The two mirrors probably create an

she’s nearly potty-trained, so changing tables

Akron, OH 44308

infinity toilet effect or could make you feel like

are Marissa’s problem now!

Open 11am - 10pm Tuesday through Saturday

by Emily Dressler

But she pointed to a large mural of a female


Changing table? Nope, but you could use that bench. Maybe you’re not supposed to bring your

(continued from page 33) textures of aural beats and party grooves. Wall perches behind her

‘Slime Time Live’ – make up ‘90s guitar rock outfit GHOST SLIME. Resurrected via ouija board by Grand Shredmaster Sensei Hamato

laptop, mixer and digital turntables to release a mixture of art house, techno and nu-disco, serving as the perfect backdrop to make her visual

Yoshi, they learned the ways of rock and of roll. Commonly considered ‘Akron's Spookiest Band,’ these ghouls created Slimerock: a mixture of

expressions a complete sensory experience.” — Brittany Nader, July 2016 issue

‘90s guitar rock, à la Built To Spill and Dinosaur Jr., with the emotional intensity of twinkle daddy bands like Algernon Cadwallader and

ï Birthday Noose

Glocca Morra. Born and raised in Akron's DIY basement scene, they aim to bring good vibes and high energy to every show they play.” — Dawson Steeber, October 2016 issue

“Birthday Noose is Akron’s psychedelic, ‘fuzzed-out, reverb-soaked

ï 11 38

My favorite part here is the soap dispenser, which says “Companions” and “Everything in its place” in nice script. Yes, El Gato bathroom, we will get along just fine. This women’s room earns a rare high score of 4.5 toilets from me.

drone punk’ white elephant – a three-piece garage/psych band comprised of Kevin Braun, Eric Blankenhorn and Chrissy Spangler. The band’s sound is for fans of loud, distorted garage rock à la The Cramps, The Stooges, The Gories and Thee Oh Sees. . . The band’s

12 John Patrick & The Outside Voices

“Halling's writing is both evocative and hook-filled, winding through a

music is free and always will be. They record the music themselves, design and make their own shirts, burn their own CDs and create their

sea of 70s inspired guitar riffs and delivered with a taste of vintage flare. John Patrick & The Outside Voices careen through a catalog of cleverly

own videos with the help of various local artists.” — Dawson Steeber, October 2016 issue

crafted songs and charismatic performances.” — Dawson Steeber, November 2016 issue


Ghost Slime

“Tyler Brown, Reid Silva, Josh Jones and Ben Selvey – all of whom disappeared after a toxic waste event on the set of Nickelodeon's

| THE Devil Strip / JANUARY 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #1


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WKSU, an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, is committed to attaining excellence through the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce. 16-UR-00310-126

A collision of the arts at the Cashmere Cricket in Cuyahoga Falls, featuring spoken word, live music, visual art and community conversations supported by Collide and ArtsNow. You don't have to miss the next one! Find out what's happening in your #CreativeSummit community on

Meet the Summit County creatives who use and collaborated to make this photograph possible.

Ace Epps is a local poet and Akron community manager for BMe Community, which works to change the narrative about black men. Visit for more about the organization.

Tim Fitzwater is a commercial photographer who specializes in shooting events, products, people and places on location or in his studio space. Learn more about Tim at

Jan. 2017 | Vol. 3, Issue #1  

In this issue, we take a look back at our favorite stories, quotes and moments from 2016, plus we follow-up with Red Birchfield's powerful s...

Jan. 2017 | Vol. 3, Issue #1  

In this issue, we take a look back at our favorite stories, quotes and moments from 2016, plus we follow-up with Red Birchfield's powerful s...