A Sad, Sad Day for Akron’s Music Scene

Where will acts like Guided By Voices -- not to mention drunks like C-Notes -- take refuge when the Spider shuts its doors?
The Lime Spider announced last week that it would close its doors in September . It's difficult to measure the degree to which this news sucks. For six years, the club has been a mainstay for Akron’s independent music scene. Its stage has played home to scores of local and national acts, including Guided By Voices, Houseguest, Machine Go Boom, the National, Calvin Johnson, the Black Angels, Gil Mantera’s Party Dream, Deerhoof, Jerry Casale of Devo, the Difficult, Tin Huey, the Black Keys, Beaten Awake, Party of Helicopters, Teeth of the Hydra, Pat Sweeney, Jonathan Richman, Mary Timony, and the Strange Division. The list goes on, and doesn’t even include the many more unmentionable drunks to whom the bar has kindly played host. Danny Basone, the bar’s owner, told Akron Beacon Journal’s Malcolm X Abram that the club had fallen on hard times. Basone says he’d been dealing with declining audiences, break-ins, and low bank funds for a while, and that it was finally time to move on:
‘‘Our whole thing is in the last year, the music scene has taking a (decline) in my opinion, and the small national bands we were getting are now just going directly to Cleveland," Basone said Thursday afternoon at the club, shortly after discovering the bar had been broken into again. ‘‘The last straw has basically been getting turned down for holds on shows or seeing that the Beachland got a show we were holding."
Before the Lime Spider opened, Akron had few venues fit for cutting-edge indie acts from around the globe. Thanks to Basone and his crew, the Akron music scene also had a proper place to foster its burgeoning bands. Which leaves everyone wondering where the scene will call home come September. The Matinee, located in Akron’s Highland Square, has been putting on shows every Wednesday in recent months, but they don’t have the sound system nor the capacity that the Spider boasts. Others are pointing to Anabelle’s, another Highland Square haunt, whose new owners are busy cleaning up its basement in hopes of becoming the new refuge for Akron acts. Meanwhile, the Lime Spider’s planning its last official show, scheduled for September 8, with a that bill includes Radar Secret Service. Until then, sweet Spider, we’re preparing for a long, emotional, SoCo-aided farewell. Needless to say, we will sorely miss your $1.75 Pabst Tall Boys, DJ Forrest on the patio, and members of Beaten Awake passed out in your stairwell. – Denise Grollmus
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