Documentary About Akron’s Music Scene to Screen on Friday

Music News


When it comes to rock ’n’ roll, Akron has a long and storied history. The Rubber City has produced a great number of bands, including Devo, the Waitresses and the Black Keys. 
If You're Not Dead, Play!! documents the second wave of Akron "garage bands" that formed in the ‘80s and included bands such as Unit 5, Chi Pig and Hammer Damage.

The film includes interviews with the bands and with pundits such as Chuck Klosterman, a senior writer for Spin who was once the Akron Beacon Journal’s rock critic. Beacon Journal columnist David Giffels also talks about the city’s music scene. The film includes never-released audio recordings, newspaper articles and other memorabilia.

"What most surprised me as I created the documentary is that I've become an advocate for 'rock-as-art,'" says director Phil Hoffman in a press release. "The average person who considers rock 'n' roll only looks at the musical part. These bands were dedicated to it as performance art — as theater — and I have come to appreciate the full artistry of their work.”

The movie screens at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28, on the lawn next to Akron Digital Academy (the Akron Digital Academy is located in the former Temple Israel building at 133 Merriman Rd. in Akron). It’s free. For more information visit or email 

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