Hard Labor

A rock-heavy new Akron/Kent music festival debuts.

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Blitz Cleveland Arts Festival at the corner of West 25th Street and Lorain Avenue Noon, September 4
Local popster Jackie, celebrating the launch of Holla - Records at Peabody's, August 28. - Walter  Novak
Local popster Jackie, celebrating the launch of Holla Records at Peabody's, August 28.
Tired of playing Cleveland's quiet little sister, the southern suburbs are getting in on the music-festival business. Over Labor Day weekend, five Akron and Kent clubs will host 120 bands in The Labor Incident.

"We have a really great music scene here, and there are very few cool clubs to play," says Kim Diamond, one of the show's organizers, who also books Kent's Club Khameleon. "We have a lot of well-kept secrets, bands like Facemaker, American Rockstar, Nemesis 13. When they go to Cleveland, they wind up playing bills with 14 bands. Here, at 99 percent of shows, bands play 45-minute sets, and we almost never have more than four or five bands on a bill."

Host venues are Annabell's (784 W. Market Street, Akron), Club Khameleon (626 N. Water Street, Kent), the Orange Street (951 N. Main Street, Akron), the Outpost (4962 State Route 43, Kent), and the Voodoo (153 E. Cuyahoga Falls Avenue, Cuyahoga Falls). Headlining acts on the rock-heavy bills include 2nd Half, Audiblethread, and Cyde. Guests include Pittsburgh's Smack Alice, Denver's Broken Image, and England's Trained Eye.

All shows are all ages. Admission at all clubs is $5 a day. Weekend passes are $25; that package includes a T-shirt, program guide, and laminated pass. Inspired by Fahrenheit 9/11 and the holiday spirit, the festival will also host MTV's Rock the Vote voter-registration booths and street teams from the Kerry-Edwards campaign.

"We haven't had an event like this for a long time," says Diamond, who hopes that it will take place annually. "And we're in it because we like what we do. All the bands were handpicked. We didn't let just any bands in. We like all the bands playing."

· Former Erase the Grey frontman Jon Sayre has a new band, Burning Vegas.

"We like to call our music 'un-metal,'" says Sayre. "It's fun and upbeat and aggressive at times, but as melodic as it comes."

The band's lineup includes former Nye bassist Ilyn Knapik and element guitarist Steve Simbeck. Burning Vegas is putting the finishing touches on its debut EP, with Cole Martinez (Forever Untouched) producing and Dry Kill Logic's Cliff Rigano executive-producing. The band made its Cleveland debut Wednesday, September 1, opening for neo-grunge Breaking Benjamin at Peabody's (2083 E. 21st Street).

· Thuggish, ruggish, and wanted: Henderson County has issued an arrest warrant for Krayzie Bone of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. The 31-year-old, known to the court as Anthony Henderson, is accused of owing over $30,000 in child support. He faces two felony counts of nonsupport of dependents.

· After practicing for a few months, the eccentric rock combo A Porno Holocaust is ready to make its presence felt. The group features Amentia's Donald Spak on guitar and Brian Fitzwater on bass. Mark Fletcher, formerly of the hard hitters Kung Fu Grip, sings.

"We're an eclectic mix," says Fletcher. "We dabble in every genre we can think of. Hard rock, jazz, folk, easy listening. We throw it in the mixing bowl and see what we come up with. We're not tongue-in-cheek, but we have fun with it. It all has attitude."

APH plays Lorain's Red Parrot (538 Broadway Avenue) with Disengage Friday, September 3.

· Small Stone Records has set November 16 as the release date for Red Giant's Devil Child Blues, the band's second album and the first part of a two-record deal with the Detroit stoner-rock label. The disc will include a cover of the Stooges' "Funhouse."

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