Shuffle: Plan Your PorchRokr With These Picks
The eighth annual PorchRokr festival is Saturday in Akron's Highland Square neighborhood. This year 170 artists and bands will perform on porches and stages. The free festival rotates each year among four sections of Highland Square. The music begins at 11 a.m. and concludes with headliners Nathan-Paul & The Admirables at 8 p.m. followed by a silent disco at the Mustard Seed Market and Cafe.
WKSU's Amanda Rabinowitz and contributor Brittany Nader help you plan the day with these picks and check out our Spotify playlist:
Brittany: Madison Cummins - Porch #5, 45 Marshall Ave.
A songbird with strong influences that include Carole King and Norah Jones, Cummins has graced stages across Akron, Cleveland and Akron with her folky, wistful and charming acoustic originals.
Amanda: Rubber City Ukes - Porch: #11, 67 Hawthorne Ave.
This community ukulele band formed in 2016 and features players of all skill levels.
Brittany: Information - Porch #6, 72 Kruder Ave
Combining elements of math rock, post rock and slowcore, drummer Max Adams (who also plays guitar in screamo/pop punk outfit CityCop), bassist John Kuder and guitarist Jack Johnson create a dynamic instrumental sound as a three-piece act.
Amanda: DreamStates - Porch #1, 611 W Market St (Main Stage)
Shuffle alums Natalie Grace Martin and Madeline Eckhart create pop music that's infused with ukulele and piano. As transgender women, they use their music to advocate for the LGBTQ community. This year they released their fourth album, "Sad Bad Happy Good".
Brittany: Forager - Porch #21, 672 Weber Ave.
Cleveland’s Raye Hart, James Thain and Alec Schumann have made a splash as openers for indie darlings Best Coast, The Beths and Screaming Females and are forging their own path with infectious melodies layered into jangly twee-meets-surf pop.
Amanda: Zach & The Bright Lights - Porch #5, 45 Marshall Ave.
Another Shuffle alum, Zach Freidhof released his 20th album, "Shaila", back in March. He calls it his "most powerful and vulnerable work." Amanda also recommends Ben Gage (Porch #33, 81 Mt. View Ave.)
Brittany: Church of Starry Wisdom - Porch #1, 611 W Market St (Main Stage)
Attending a CoSW live performance is truly a spiritual experience, with powerhouse vocals that elevate the crowd to new heights—It’s difficult to pinpoint a specific genre the ensemble fits into, but their sound is so mythical, soulful, diverse and bombastic that they’d likely shatter the foundation of any one specific box, anyway. Brittany also recommends Coby and the Prisoners (Porch #30, 56 Hurlburt Ave.).
Amanda: Diamond Kites - Porch #36, 46 Kuder Ave.
Diamond Kites is popular Akron musician Jeff Klemm's newest venture. The pop rock band has an upbeat, polished sound. They've released four singles, including their catchy debut "All Mine". Amanda also recommends CityCop (Porch #2, 102 Merriman Ave.) and Guy Randall (Porch #24, 40 Mt. View Ave.).
Brittany: Kodachrome Babies - Porch #13, 38 Hawthorne Ave.
Dover/New Philadelphia-based Sisters Hannah Hubbard and Mallory Gerstacker bring back the bubbly sound of ‘50s girl groups with a ukulele and guitar in tow, covering classics like The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and crafting original tunes, like the holiday-themed “Turkey First!”
Amanda: Time Cat - Porch #23, Sherwood Ave. (Beer Garden)
Akron-based rock band Time Cat performs frequently througout Northeast Ohio, but no two shows are the same. Singer/guitarist Jeri Sapronetti commands a stage through her intricate and soulful guitar solos. She's been performing with drummer Sam Caler since 2011. They're currently working on their third album while releasing tracks over the summer from a previously unreleased EP. Amanda also recommends LuvAbstract (Porch #25, 583 Weber Ave.) and Shelby Olive (Porch #29, 28 Mt. View Ave.).
Brittany: Runaway Lucy - Porch #1, 611 W. Market St. (Main Stage)
Mixing their distinct blend of funk, rock and R&B into each classic hit song they cover, members of Runaway Lucy can frequently be seen bringing the party to events across Akron and beyond.
Amanda: Thieves of Joy - Porch #4, 209 Merriman Ave.
Songwriting duo Bethany Joy and Daniel Socha were on WKSU's Shuffle in 2018. Since then they've added bassist Dan DeSantis and drummer Eran Karanouh-Schuler to create a more complex, haunting and harmonious sound. Amanda also recommends Penny Arcade (Porch #2, 102 Merriman Ave.) and Westown Bend (Porch #36, 46 Kuder Ave.).
Brittany: Indre - Porch #5, 45 Marshall Ave.
Maddie Indre, an up-and-coming singer-songwriter, left school to pursue her musical dreams and never looked back. The solo artist recently performed for a crowd of 1,200 at 330 Day and is sure to draw in Highland Square listeners with her powerful voice and lyrical content.
Amanda: Acid Cats - Porch #17, 189 Pasedena Ave.
If you’re a fan of jazz, Acid Cats are not to be missed. The self-described “original acidic jazz rock” features a lineup of some of the area’s best musicians – Cameron Bickley, Tommy Lehman, Justin Tibbs, Mike Vincent, Max Weiner and Andru Dennis. Last month they released their third album, “Curiosity”. Amanda also recommends Jul Big Green (Poirch #9, 97 Hawthorne Ave.) and Relaxer (Porch #23, Sherwood Ave. Beer Garden)
Brittany: The Honeytones - Porch #4, 209 Merriman Ave.
In addition to a successful career as the founder and operator of Akron Honey Company, Wesley Bright brings heart and soul of Motown and doo-wop to the 21st Century as front man of the Honeytones, which consists of local jazz performers Jonathan Fields, Matthew Derubertis, Jimmy Parsons, Nathan-Paul Davis, Matt Garrett and Max Brady.
Amanda: The Beyonderers - Porch #1, 611 W. Market St. (Main Stage)
Get your blood pumping on the main stage with these Akron-based surf thrash rockers. The instrumental trio of Dave Rich, Andrew Rich and Anne Lillis just released their third album, "Disclosure".
Brittany: Biitchseat - Porch #7, 66 Kuder Ave.
Rocking across Cleveland, best friends Biitchseat bring the most boisterous, loud and commanding elements of riot grrrl, fused with a fiery stage presence, surf-rock guitars and tongue-in-cheek lyrics that make for a memorable performance every time.
Amanda: Take Off Charlie - Porch #29, 28 Mt. View Ave.
After a five-year hiatus, this alternative/indie rock band released its sophomore album, "I Was Born to Float" earlier this year. It was worth the wait. The lyrics are honest and heartfelt and the music is both intense and upbeat. These musicians take you on a journey through their music that's sure to come through during their PorchRokr performance. Amanda also recommends White Buffalo Woman (Porch #5, 45 Marshall Ave.) Alomar (Porch #19, 695 Weber Ave.) and Hey Monea (Beer Garden, Sherwood Dr.).