Though they're separated by only some 40 miles, the Cleveland and Akron punk scenes tend to keep their distance from one another, like Rick Santorum and fans of the Pet Shop Boys. But what better way to unite the two than with the Dirty Filthy Punkfest, a weekend of rough 'n' randy rock and roll that features some of the biggest badasses from both towns?
"When I started putting shows together, a lot of the bands in Cleveland had no contact with the punk bands in Akron," says C.W. DeGidio, frontman for vintage Cleveland punks the Chrome Kickers, who organized the fest. "I had a great opportunity, because here I am, from Akron, playing in a band in Cleveland. We do a lot of show-swapping now, and it's been nice to see the bands in both cities start to pull together.
"It's all punk rock, but it's everybody's version of punk rock," DeGidio says of Dirty Filthy's 12-band lineup. "I made sure every band on the bill carried its own little unique sound." The fest kicks off Friday with Cleveland dirtbags du jour Amps II Eleven, hot-and-bothered porno punks Femsickliver, Akron's hardcore stalwarts Don Austin, the Chrome Kickers, and others. Saturday highlights include Akron oi throwbacks Labor Force, melodic upstarts Waiting for Evangeline, and the Standing 69s, Cleveland's answer to Black Flag. It all goes down in Akron's gritty whiskey haunt Annabell's, a bar DeGidio says "totally reeks of rock and roll." Perfect.