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'The Akron Sound' finds a home
A new museum is collecting artifacts from Akron's music-and-arts scene during an event at Musica on Thursday night

Kabir Bhatia
'The Akron Sound' was defined by bands like the Bizarros and the Rubber City Rebels, both in music and appearance.
Courtesy of Clone Records
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A new museum profiling “The Akron Sound” has its soft launch on Thursday night at Musica, a night spot in downtown Akron. And as WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, the focus will be on more just the rock bands that sprang from the Rubber City in the late 1970s.
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The Akron Sound was once considered a slightly off-kilter New Wave and ironically humorous brand of music. Graphic artist Wayne Beck was among its fans.

“If you remember, back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, there were all kinds of bands coming out of Akron: Devo, Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders, The Bizarros, The Rubber City Rebels, Tin Huey. ... And so it became universally known as ‘The Akron Sound.’”

Now, the Akron native is working on non-profit status for “The Akron Sound” museum. Beck says the sound is more about rebirth and message than just a brief era in music, so it will also focus on spoken word and theater in the city.

“Rita Dove, the (former U.S.) poet laureate, is also an Akronite. Weathervane Playhouse, Actor’s Summit, Coach House Theater: We’re a small town of under-200,000 people and we have this incredible embarrassment of riches down here that we’re very proud of.”

Beck says the idea for the museum came to him during the last round of grants for Knight Arts Challenge Akron. The event at Musica is titled “Vinyl Is Finyl” and Beck has invited the public to donate memorabilia and artifacts for the museum. Donations will be collected and cataloged with the help of the Akron-Summit County Public Library.
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