But after this past trip home to Akron for Passover, I have to admit - there was so much to discover. Not only did I find a wad of cash (14 single dollar bills!) in the pocket of a raincoat at the Village Discount Outlet in Cuyahoga Falls...I discovered a most amazing experimental music label/distributor/designer at Square Records, where I stop in every time I'm back for some or other holiday, birthday celebration, family gathering.
At the far end of the cds were two bins of beautifully packaged, delicately designed objects, and a small handwritten (important!) cardboard sign explaining the label responsible for them - Experimedia - is OH-based, and specializes in ambient, minimalist, noise, folk, americana, phonography...you get the idea. All the good stuff. After I was done barely believing my eyes, I bought a couple cds (Small Color / Minamo (the cover's up there on the left) - both on the 12k label) that I enjoyed all the way back to Chicago (and still do) and will be exploring much more of Experimedia's site/catalog in due time.
So Experimedia is full of radiant, striking, independent music - reason enough to be thrilled with the project. But it's also from Akron, which seems nearly impossible and makes this discovery nothing short of a miracle. Experimedia has been around for nearly ten years and while I'm a little perplexed / disappointed I'd never heard of it until now, it was a perfect universe to stumble into almost by accident, while actually in Akron. For Passover, no less. Perfect.
So now I'll think twice about rolling my eyes every time I cross the border from Indiana into my home state, and read that silly phrase (with much underlined, and a weak exclamation point at the end.) But I'm also more convinced, than ever, that Ohio IS the heart of it all.