Off the beaten path of Highland Square’s bars, there exists a rich and vibrant music and art scene, bustling with activity. On roads like Kling, Exchange and Oakdale, a DIY scene long ago put down roots and is thriving in an environment rife with an audience seeking something that’s just off the map. Scores of people contribute to this burgeoning community: artists of all stripes, musicians and local music fans.
Among these many participants is a man named Adam Bonomo, who documents Akron’s underground musicians with a series of concerts called the Alternative Attic Showcase.
The next showcase will take place Friday, Feb. 8, at the recently resurrected Oakdale House, located at 247 Oakdale Ave., in Akron. This time around will be an acoustic affair, including the eclectic stylings of Dream States, and the high energy output of Curtains.
In keeping with the theme of unpredictability that permeates every aspect of Alternative Attic’s existence, the show also will include a vegan potluck. Admission is a suggested $5 dollar donation and all proceeds will be donated to Akron Snow Angels, a nonprofit organization that provides warm blankets, clothing, and food to the less fortunate.
To understand the origin of the Alternative Attic Showcase series is to trace events back to March of 2018. In those first months there was no “Showcase” at the end of the words “Alternative Attic.” It only existed as a platform dedicated to making music videos for musicians operating in or around the Akron area. Each video is created for free, and Bonomo and his two-man team of additional cameramen, Alex Nassos and Chris Seifert, are more than capable hands behind the camera and in the editing room.
Then, starting in July, Alternative Attic expanded its focus to include live music showcases, concentrated on a genre or style of music, although there are very often deviations from whatever guidelines the Facebook event seems to set. If it’s a hip-hop showcase, don’t expect it to be strictly hip-hop acts. Anything can get thrown into the mix at these shows and that’s what makes them so interesting.
The first unofficial show was held in a parking deck and was strictly an acoustic lineup with Tyler Brown of Ghost Slime and Nic Adkins of Good News, among others, playing stripped down versions of their songs. The second show, which was the first official Alternative Attic Showcase, took place at Hive Mind and featured the band Backtalk sharing the stage with rapper Mellow-Xzact and an electronic artist that goes by Zodiac. These kinds of lineups, wide-ranging and wonderfully varied, have become a calling card for Alternative Attic. Each subsequent concert has been just as diverse.
Four months later on Nov. 2, a fistful of Akron’s rock bands (and a couple solo acts) got together at the Rialto Theatre for the second showcase. On display were the talents of Mary Kekic, Biitchseat and City Cop. A little over a month after that, it was time for the third showcase at Kling Thing. That show put the raw power of Red Rose Panic in the same room as the more mellow stylings of Peachcurls, and mixed in rappers Mo Turk and G-Blakk for good measure.
Bonomo is a University of Akron alumnus, having graduated in 2016 with a major in Mass Media Studies and a minor in Advertisement Marketing. While he was at the university, he served as a producer for the campus-run television station, ZTV, and was the news director on the campus radio station, WZIP.
Alternative Attic is easy to keep up with online. The Facebook page is kept active, as is the Instagram account. Both are updated regularly with show announcements and the finished music videos using footage that are shot during the shows. Whether you’re an audience member, a musician, or occupy any spot on the spectrum of participants that makes up the whole of Akron’s music scene, Alternative Attic is a necessary resource. To learn more and keep up visit https://www.facebook.com/AlternativeAttic/ or check out @alternativeattic on Instagram.