All this talk about the mid to late seventies Cleveland scene - and the great Pere Ubu in particular - on the inspiring Siblingshot on the Bleachers blog made me think of another Ohio scene: the Akron one. Known as the rubber capital of the world, Akron was famous for its local sphere of musical activity for a short while when the mighty Stiff label released a showcase called The Akron Compilation in 1978. The album cover featured a scratch & sniff rubber tyre in the right-hand corner, and believe it or not, three decades later my copy still smells faintly of rubber when I rub a fingernail over it.
None of the featured artists really managed to hit the big time later on, and as far as I know Akron never produced any band of note since. But The Akron Compilation still stands as a worthy testimony of what once was, and definitely deserves a cd release. Just check out the following gems by Rachel Sweet (a great singer), Tin Huey (Ubu-inspired weirdness), Jane Aire & The Belvederes (nice pop, complete with a searching-the-radio-waves intro) and the Waitresses (funky!) for proof.
Rachel Sweet - Truck Stop Queen MP3
Tin Huey - Chinese Circus MP3
Jane Aire & The Belvederes - When I Was Young MP3
The Waitresses - Slide MP3