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Civic Benefit 

Slain Cop's Band Plays Fund-raiser For Family

On Saturday, September 13, the Akron Civic Center (182 S. Main St.) will host A Very Barium Tribute to Josh Miktarian. The concert will raise funds for the family of Miktarian, the Barium guitarist and Twinsburg K-9 police officer who was shot to death during a routine traffic stop on July 13.

"Josh's death touched and outraged many different people from all cultures," says show promoter Gerard Dominick, a longtime fixture on the Akron and Cleveland scenes that Barium played. "Our police officers transcend race and religion, and he had so many different aspects of his own life."

Barium and friends will headline the show. Barium recorded its only album, 2004's Periodicals, with producer Matt Cleary. Cleary's bands Skin and Cyde - two popular modern-rock outfits with overlapping lineups - will both play. Barium will perform a set of favorites and newer material, with Cleary filling in on guitar. Other acts on the bill will include a reunited Lower G.I. (Miktarian's previous group) and cover band Seattle. The Akron & District Pipe Band will open the concert.

The show may include a new song, "Thea's Empty Hands," a tribute written by Barium frontman Jonathan Williams. If the song isn't ready, Williams says he'd still like to record it, in addition to the material the band wrote since recording the album. The group plans to continue but will retire the Barium name.

Miktarian kept order onstage and off. The guitarist was the player his band looked to when a song went off the rails. Nicknamed "Captain Justice," he was known for stepping into the crowd and defusing fights between sets. Miktarian was a heavy-metal devotee - one of his prized possessions was a polka-dot Randy Rhoads Flying V guitar - and his growling vocals gave his modern-rock group its harder edge.

"It's a celebration of his life outside being a police officer," says Williams of the show. "He was a cop, and he loved to tear it up onstage, and he was a father with a beautiful kid he loved."

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. All proceeds go to Miktarian's widow and four-month-old daughter, through the Twinsburg Police Association. Donations can be sent to Rock for Josh Committee, 1787 Clearbrook Dr., Stow, Ohio 44224.

¥ Chimaira is holed up in town, writing material for its fifth album. Bassist Jim LaMarca says the embryonic songs are "probably the best shit we've ever done. More advanced, the next level from [2007's] Resurrection. It's probably the catchiest stuff we've done since [2003's] The Impossibility of Reason."

The group may track drums here in Cleveland, but it plans to record the album at Florida's Audio Hammer Studios in October with producer Jason Suecof, who came highly recommended via their friends in Trivium. The band plans to be back home for its Chimaira Christmas 9 concert.

¥ Sensual rawk duo Mr. Gnome has released its first official video for the trippy "Night of the Crickets." Drummer Sam Meister directed. If These Trees Could Talk's Zack Kelly shot the dreamy clip, which follows a steampunk character on his quest to rescue Meister and singer-guitarist Nicole Barille. Visit to watch.

¥ Ringworm, Cellbound,Ê Soulless, Mechanics of Things, Forged in Flame and Scalera will cover Metallica songs at a listening/release party for Metallica's new Death Magnetic album on Thursday, September 11, at the Jigsaw (5324 State Rd., Parma). The club will have Metallica giveaways and free food. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is free.

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