After a layoff from the Los Angeles Times led Wayne Beck back to Akron, he recalled Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh's comparison of the city to Liverpool, England: a working class town with a strong music scene. Beck started the Akron Sound Museum to commemorate the city's musicians. "Seeing memorabilia from the past as well as new performers will show how dynamic of a city Akron has become," he says. While Beck is finding a permanent location for the museum, the Summit Artspace hosts a pop-up version May 19 through June 4. Here are three Rubber City acts that will help you get beyond Chrissie Hynde, Devo and the Black Keys.
The Fifth Wheel:
The band's pretty-boy looks and grungy sound drew a local following in the '90s. In March, the group re-emerged with its first album in 15 years. "Girls would scream over [frontman] Josh Stone," Beck says. Stone drew inspiration from Tin Huey and other locals. "It made him want to write music," says Beck.
Rubber City Rebels:
Part punk, part new wave, the '70s-era band's snappy riffs and angsty lyrics are reminiscent of the Sex Pistols. "If you tried to classify them, the band would deny it," says Beck. "They eventually left for LA, but they inspired the whole alternative genre that stays here."
Although the '70s psychedelic pop act went to Los Angeles — and later returned — it left a new generation of experimental groups. Members Harvey Gold and Chris Butler play together in Half Cleveland. "These guys were a weird mix of music," says Beck. "What new bands are doing now, a lot of it was done 40 years ago."