Bump & Grind 

"Anti-profit" Akron bar saves space for indie bands.

Indie rock clashes with garage punk tonight, when four Ohio and Pennsylvania bands split stage time at the Earthworm in Akron's Highland Square district. The mix of musical types isn't unusual for the BYOB-only club, which opened in June to showcase grind, thrash, ska, and prog-metal concerts. "Rather than pigeonhole different genres, we wanted to keep it open-ended," says Richard Bump, the club's co-owner. "It's taken a while with a new venture to get a little history under our belt. But as time has gone on, it's become successful."Tonight's show starts with Kent drum-and-bass duo Lord Backwash. Two Akron bands — acoustic duo A Scarlet Carson and punkers Neon Wiener & the Vast Delicatessen — take up the next two slots. Pennsylvania's Boy Girl Sleepover then headlines with a set of original rock tunes. And the best part is that the venue doesn't slap its patrons with a cover charge. "Sometimes, kids might chip in a few bucks to pay the bands a little bit of gas money to get to their next gig," says Bump, who also owns a hair salon and day spa in Rhode Island. "It's all about supporting the independent, do-it-yourself music scene in Akron as opposed to being a big, flashy venue with guarantees for the bands." The neighborhood is starting to take notice. Along with the concerts, the club cordons off space for a makeshift art gallery, doubles as a café every afternoon, and pairs up with Food Not Bombs' Akron chapter to plate up free lunches on Fridays. "We want to keep Highland Square from looking like every Main Street with a Starbucks on every other corner," says Bump. "We're just a bunch of kids with a lot of energy and ambition." The jams start at 8 tonight at the Earthworm, 16 South Highland Avenue in Akron. Admission is by donation. Call 508-821-0279 or visit www.akronearthworm.org.
Thu., Dec. 27, 8 p.m., 2007

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