Zach Freidhof wears many hats: artist, songwriter, community organizer, peace activist, sustainability champion. But all of these interests converge when it comes to helping to build peaceful communities. Zach visits Cody and Chris to talk about Akron Peace Month, a whole month’s worth of workshops, concerts, yoga summits, community art installations and more, culminating with the area’s first “Hands On Sustainability” conference. Along with being a well-known musician and songwriter, Zach is part of the Big Love Network and Akron City Repair, which work to empower neighborhood leaders to be a more active part of their communities. For more about his music, visit zachmusic.net. For a full schedule of Peace Month activities, visit www.akronpeace.love.
This week, Shane, Cody and Chris welcome Danny Volk, whose YouTube series puts a unique spin on the traditional interview scenario. During each episode of “Made-Up with Danny Volk” the artist applies makeup to Danny during the interview, offering his face as a canvas of sorts and helping to lower the artist’s inhibitions (and removing the usual personal space of two people talking). For his new season, “Made-Up with Danny Volk: The Akron Sessions,” Danny's returning to his hometown of Akron (from his current home in Chicago) to interview artists like Kate Budd, Elisa Gargarella and Kathryn Shinko, along with the current roster of Akron Soul Train artist fellows. This season also will weave a biofictional element into the web series. You can find the episodes at https://www.youtube.com/user/MUwDV, or on his website (http://www.madeupwithdannyvolk.com/), along with social media.
We can’t believe it’s been 100 episodes! To celebrate, we recorded our 100th episode live at Jilly’s Music Room, where we reminisce about some of our favorite past episodes, give a shout-out to former guests in the audience, along with featuring interviews and live performances from local singer-songwriter Shelby Olive and producer, songwriter and podcaster Eriq Troi. This episode is generously sponsored by Good Life - Body Piercing + Fine Jewelry in Highland Square. Be sure to check out highlights from the two performers at the end of the episode. And thanks again to Jilly's Music Room for hosting us.
While the Beyonderers don’t have a lead singer, the local surf punk trio more than makes up for it with its sonic musical palette, especially when led by Dave Rich’s finely honed guitar chops. But he freely admits that his journey with learning music has been more of a coping mechanism than a rock star dream. Dave talks with Shane, Cody and Chris about playing in a number of notable local projects, including his current spot in the Beyonderers, who is playing at this Saturday’s Highland Square Porch Rokr on the EarthQuaker Stage at 5 p.m. Dave talks about juggling family life and band life, along with what motivated him to pursue a career in nonprofits, along with a truly insightful perspective from working in social services. Dave's day job is with United Way of Summit County, helping to address the community’s current opioid crisis. Check out the Beyonderers at https://thebeyonderers.bandcamp.com/.
10,000 people. 135 bands. Dozens of food and craft vendors and artisans. Highland Square PorchRokr, which takes place Saturday, Aug. 19, is one of Akron’s premier events and a veritable buffet of cool local music. This week, we welcome Katie Carver Reed, a PorchRokr organizer and community champion, along with Jeri Sapronetti, the lead singer and guitarist of Akron band Time Cat, which will headline this year’s event. Katie shares some of the behind the scenes work that goes into PorchRokr (which involves about a month of recovery time for volunteers), and Jeri says PorchRokr is her favorite event, which she also affectionately refers to as “Rock and Roll Christmas.” Jeri and Shane feel inspired to bust out some Madonna tunes, with the possible plan of a Madonna karaoke in the future. Check out http://www.highlandsquareakron.org/porchrokr.aspx for more info about the event.
Akron is a symphony, and together each of us is contributing to this beautiful music, says Anoo Vyas, one of the founders of the PechaKucha Akron speaking series, which he describes as a Ted Talk with a more festive atmosphere. Anoo is a tireless supporter of all things Akron, which is apparent in his enthusiasm when talking with Shane and Chris about his recent name change (more like a name reboot), Akron’s “idiosyncratic charisma” and even Shane’s early fast food career. Another fun fact: Anoo and Shane share the same birthday. In fact, for their recent birthdays, they threw an epic Akron party and plan to do so again this year (and everyone’s invited, by the way). Anoo also talks about serving as co-director of the University of Akron’s EXL Center, which helps connect students with the community, along with his career as an attorney working in the area of social justice. PechaKucha Akron takes place Friday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Well CDC.
Chris Horne, publisher of The Devil Strip magazine, wants to celebrate all things Akron. That’s why this Saturday’s Signal Tree Festival will pack downtown Akron’s Lock 3 with the best in local bands, local food, family-friendly activities and more, like a Freeplay! event with the Akron Children’s Museum, OddMart, a jo-jo eating contest, parade of pizza, Soap Box Derby cars and human foosball table. Chris admits that he’s come a long way since his proposed bacon and kazoo festival in his native city of Macon, Ga., and he also does a mean Bane impression (a voice he says he uses to read stories to his daughter). Shane, Ryan and Chris speak with the Rubber City convert about his changing Southern accent, local publishing, the “Macon Migration” of some other cool folks from Chris’ hometown and the upcoming “Blimp City Guide.”
Without our history of canals and locks, Akron would not be the city it is today, says Don Gordon, executive director of the Cascade Locks Park Association and the Mustill Store Museum, who takes Ryan and Chris on a tour of the park and site of the former Schumacher Mill, which housed Akron’s “Oat King.” Don also talks about the Waterways Renewed project, which will help clean up our water system in Akron and eliminate sewer overflows. Free tours are available to check out the progress of this massive city effort, which includes a giant machine named "Rosie" that will tunnel underground. The Cascade Locks Park site also connects downtown Akron to the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath trail and has helped make the Northside District a destination.
For tours and other info, visit http://akronwaterwaysrenewed.com and http://cascadelocks.org.
Joey Arrietta considers her job a labor of love. The owner and general manager of the Akron Racers professional softball team talks with Cody and Chris about Akron's stake in this league that has now gained an international reach (one of the current National Pro Fastpitch teams is from China). The league will also most likely provide athletes for the 2020 Olympic Games. Attendees of Akron Racers games are treated to a family-friendly experience and an up-close look at the players, who Arrietta says play for the love of the game. She also discusses a recently completed documentary, "Burn the Ships," which profiles the highs and lows of the team and has helped bring more positive attention to the sport and to women athletes. Visit http://www.akronracers.org to order tickets or find out more about the team.
The Akron Art Museum is a cultural gem in our community. From groundbreaking exhibits, like the current “Serial Intent” show that features complete series collections from artists, to the Inside|Out program, which displays artwork throughout area neighborhoods, the Museum has just about anything for all types of people. Dominic Caruso and Jennifer Shipman talk to Shane and Ryan about the Museum’s many offerings, from the Downtown At Dusk free Thursday concert series to yoga and meditation in the Bud and Susie Rogers Garden for Wellness Wednesdays. Shane also shares a story about the sheer resiliency of the Museum’s Inside|Out pieces. Be sure to check out the Art Museum at www.akronartmuseum.org.