Give Umbrellas to Hundreds of People with Good Timing and Here’s What Happens.

OK Go, the alt rock band hailing from Chicago who became famous for their visually stunning videos, has wowed the world again. Just like the treadmill-dancing “Here It Goes Again” music video and their optical illusion-laden “The Writing’s on the Wall,” their new release is a showstopper. The video for “I Won’t Let You Down” involved lots of people, umbrellas and good timing. Keeping up their reputation for tight choreography and crazy, large-scale sets, this video features a huge cast of umbrella-wielding backup dancers and aerial shots. It also features the Honda UNI-CUB, described as a “personal mobility device” that operates basically like a scooter without handlebars. 


We’re not sure how well the UNI-CUB will catch on, but it works great in the video.

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When Waves Crash Upon This Boardwalk, Something Absolutely Magical Happens

Traveling to the Adriatic Sea and walking along its beautiful waters is already a majestic experience on its own. The blissful scenery makes for a perfect stroll. However, of all the coasts you can enjoy the view from, we suggest this one in Zadar, Croatia, where you’ll be in for an even more magical treat.

A series of small holes and tubes in the boardwalk create a gorgeous melody with each ebb and flow of the waves. It’s a truly unique tourist experience.


It’s amazing how you’ll never hear the same tune twice. All the more reason to visit more than once!

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Tune up for Highlands Swallow Hill music classes

WEST HIGHLAND — This summer, tune up your guitar, ukulele, mandolin or fiddle and enroll in a class at Swallow Hill Music’s satellite school. Classes for all ages are held at Highlands United Methodist Church, 3131 Osceola St. The eight-week summer session kicks off June 26, and now is a good time to sign up. […]
North Denver Tribune

Beloved music can renew lives lost to dementia

BERKELEY — More than 300 years ago, British playwright William Congreve said, “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast” (from “The Mourning Bride,” 1697). While one might speculate that music has always maintained the property to alter emotions, many residents with dementia receive the life-enhancing benefit of music everyday at The Argyle, a non-profit assisted living facility at 4115 W 38th Ave.

Celeste Richardson, director of The Argyle’s Music & Memory program, said, “Music brings folks alive; it sparks happiness. Residents may have dementia or short-term memory issues—they may not even know why they’re living here, but the music taps into their older memories, like when they’d go to dances at Elitch’s Trocadero Ballroom when they were teenagers. A song they might not have heard for 50 years helps trigger memories of who they danced with and how they got there.”

Richardson sees the benefits of the program in folks with paranoia or anxiety and how music changes their mood. “We have a resident who will be crying and very worried about her daughter, but she comes alive when the music starts; she’ll smile and dance or sing. She has a really fun dance move.

“One resident started doing the exact dance steps of swing and the Lindy Hop, but she otherwise didn’t know where she was. A man with dementia tapped his fingers on the table the whole time his music played. One resident seldom left his room, but with his music on, he’d walk the halls.”

A compelling example of the immediate effect of music is portrayed in the 2012 video ( of a man named Henry, who “had suffered from dementia for a decade, was very withdrawn, and spent most of his time alone in his wheelchair, unable to communicate…Until he was given an iPod loaded with music from his era. Suddenly, the man who barely spoke was able to sing his favorite Cab Calloway songs.”

In that video, neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks (author of “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain” and “Awakenings”) says that when Henry listens to his music, he is “in some sense restored to himself. He has remembered who he is, and he has reacquired his identity for a while through the power of music.”

Supported by the whole staff of The Argyle, Music & Memory specialists Richardson and Angela Moore facilitate the program. “We have about 55-60 people on the program,” Moore said. “Most residents come to The Argyle after living on their own or with a spouse or children. They come from all over the country, not just Denver.” About 200 residents live at The Argyle.

The Argyle began its Music & Memory program in June 2015. With a master’s degree in social work, Richardson had been volunteering at The Argyle when she became part of the Music & Memory training staff. Soon after, management realized the true scope of administering the program and asked Richardson to implement it.

Richardson said her main focus is to interview residents to determine who would enjoy being in the program. “It takes one to one-and-a-half hours to discover what music people like or used to like in high school or in their early 20s,” she said.

Dan Cohen, who utilized his background in high-tech training, vocational rehabilitation and social work, created the Music & Memory program in Greater New York in 2006. According to his bio on, Cohen said if someday he were to end up in a nursing home, he would want to be able to listen to his favorite 1960s music. He’d heard a news report about how iPods had grown in popularity and thought why not bring them into nursing homes to provide personalized music for residents?

As of October, there are more than 3,000 certified Music & Memory organizations in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe. The Argyle is one of a growing number of communities in Colorado committed to enhancing the quality of life for their residents by becoming Music & Memory certified facilities.

Residents use an iPod Shuffle, which stores hundreds of songs and can be set to play songs in the order of programming or in a random mode. Some residents know how to operate the iPod and are able to recharge it; others need help turning it on and off.

iPods are the property of The Argyle, as are the songs programmed onto them. People donate CDs or music is purchased from the iTunes store. Residents can keep their headphones if they need to move to a different facility, but they are not allowed to take their Shuffles with them.

The goal of the Certified program is to get music to residents at least three times a week.

The amount of time residents listen to music in a given day varies. Moore says that most people leave it on for two or three hours. “We have a woman with severe anxiety and once she puts on her headphones, she’ll leave the music on for six hours.

“The program also creates friendships between residents, and they often share music,” Moore said. “Songs can trigger other music they’d like to have added.”

“We are an assisted living facility,” said Richardson. “Some of our folks might have physical limitations, but mentally they’re completely aware and ‘with it.’ They choose when they want to listen. They might listen just before bedtime because it relaxes them. Some might listen right after lunch, or first thing in the morning.

“Sometimes, though, the music can make some folks agitated and confused, and I did not see that coming [as an outcome of the program]. Those people are not in the program.”

The palliative affect can be dramatic. Richardson related that one person listened before a doctor appointment, to alleviate anxiety. Another resident took his music with him prior to back surgery. “Music for folks with chronic pain and anxiety is as good as it is for folks with dementia,” she said. “It really distracts them from the pain or worries they may be having. It gets their mind focused on something that makes them happy.

“We had a man here who had been at Woodstock. It was fun putting his playlist together. But he had a fall and went to a facility with a higher level of care. When he left, he did not want to give up his iPod.” Richardson provided him with a listing of all his music that he was able to implement at his new care-giving facility.

The Music & Memory website——provides information to help families set up in-home programs. “It’s a way to unite families,” said Richardson.

A resident listening to his music in the hallway, who otherwise wasn’t very talkative, said his favorite music is rock and roll. “Elvis Presley was the king,” he said. “People tell me I have a voice just like Elvis Presley’s when I sing. My favorite group is The Beach Boys and then Buddy Holly. My favorite country and western singer is Johnny Cash.” He wanted to add two “Frankies” to his playlist—Frankie Avalon and Frankie Valli—and Richardson told him she would take care of that.

To make a financial contribution to The Argyle Foundation, or to donate CDs or new iPod Shuffles, call 303-455-9513 or visit

The post Beloved music can renew lives lost to dementia appeared first on North Denver Tribune.

North Denver Tribune

Mariachi music bridges cultures, generations

SUNNYSIDE — Auraria Campus—Mariachi—that exuberant celebration that is Mexico’s national music—is alive and well in Denver.

Bryant-Webster dual language school at 36th and Quivas offers mariachi lessons and performing ensembles for between 45 and 60 third- to eighth-graders each year. North High School is starting a mariachi program this fall to allow Bryant-Webster students to continue playing in high school. Some will continue playing in college in Metropolitan State University’s Mariachi program.

“We want kids to feel something to be proud of—to have a talent to share with the world,” says Pamela Liñan, principal of Bryant-Webster, who started the mariachi program in 2002. “About half of our students are native Spanish speakers, and 95 percent are Hispanic. Mariachi bridges the generations between students and older family members. It helps them remember where they came from.”

Musicology professor Lorenzo Trujillo leads Metro State’s 10-member Mariachi Los Correcaminos de MSU (Correcaminos means “roadrunner,” Metro’s mascot) and classes in mariachi. The group started as an after-school club four years ago and became a for-credit class in the music department in 2014. “For Latinos, mariachi is about their community and families,” said Trujillo, a violinist, and attorney, specializing in nonprofits, who spent his early childhood in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of NW Denver. “For the Anglos in the group, it promotes cross-cultural understanding through a common interest that ties the cultures beyond language.”

El Mariachi Juvenile de Bryant Webster has performed at the mayor’s mansion, at Little Man Ice Cream Plaza and the Corky Gonzales Library grand opening. They also perform at music conferences, including the Colorado Music Educators Conference in Colorado Springs. The 14-year old program costs between $ 15,000 and $ 30,000 each year and is self-sufficient, garnering support from fundraisers like their annual Mariachi Extravaganza at North High School that features professional mariachi performers. “We get help from the district to buy the instruments,” said Liñan. “Members of Mariachi Sol de mi Tierra [a professional Denver mariachi group] teach vihuela and trumpet and help with our outfits, which are made in Guadalajara.”

Mariachi Los Correcaminos de MSU performed last month at the El latir de México concert at Boettcher Concert Hall, sharing the stage with the Colorado Symphony for a celebration of Mexican culture. The group performed at Civic Center for this year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Trujillo said mariachi as we know it dates to the early 1900s when gatherings like weddings, baptisms, funerals and fiestas would be accompanied by mariachi music. It made its way into churches, onto movie screens and into restaurants as it pervaded popular culture.

Precursors of mariachi music began in rural Western Mexico with ensembles of rattles, drums, reed and clay flutes, and conch-shell horns. After Cortés conquered Mexico in the 16th Century, musicians adopted European instruments including violins, trumpets, guitars and harps. The Mexicans added the vihuela, a round-backed guitar that gives mariachi its distinctive rhythms; the deep-voiced guitarrón that serves as the bass of the ensemble; and a Mexican folk harp, which usually doubles the bass line. “The harp is used mostly in Texas mariachi, as is the accordion,” says Trujillo.

Mariachi songs are about love, betrayal, death and politics. “The songs express the cultural values encoding society—they are universally true for all: family, community and sharing,” said Trujillo. “The songs transcend the pettiness of life.”

Traditionally, mariachi music was passed from generation to generation and learned by ear. Now it’s written down. “Musicians learned songs by rote and kept them in their heads,” said Liñan. “Some of the music was getting lost. Now arrangements for groups are available, especially in the Southwest. They are more abundant in Texas and California, where they have more groups.”

In addition to its instrumentation, mariachi is defined by its rhythms and performance styles. “Students of mariachi learn an appreciation for its complexity,” said Trujillo. “It may sound simple, but it can be as complex as symphonic music.”

Mariachi’s rhythms come from many musical styles, including waltzes and polkas. The 6/8 rhythm of son, a folk musical style, is often heard. Ranchera is a polka rhythm with a “two” beat. Rhythms like the huapango might mix duple and triple meters to reflect the intricate steps of a dance.

“Our general music program exposes kids to many languages, cultures and styles,” said Liñan. “Along with American pop music, they get Mexican, Hebrew and African music. Our instrumental program is mariachi.”

Parents are involved at Bryant-Webster through the parents’ dance group, new last year. “Many of them have danced before, so they are excited to be part of the celebration of mariachi culture,” Liñan said. “We’ll have an assembly during Hispanic Heritage Month.”

Trujillo said some of his students have what it takes to go professional. He said there are about 14 professional mariachi groups in Colorado, including his own Lorenzo A. Trujillo and the Southwest Musicians. “The kids can get work and earn money if they’re good,” he said. “Mariachi is versatile because it’s not limited to the concert hall and groups are small, about seven to 12 players instead of 60 or 80. Mariachi bands with various skill sets play for weddings and quinceañeras, or churches, or restaurants. Some groups tour.”

About half of Trujillo’s students are music education majors who plan to teach after they graduate. Four students volunteer as mariachi teachers at Denver schools; two of them are at Bryant-Webster. “We are short of teachers in Denver who can teach mariachi,” Trujillo said. “Only about five schools here offer it. It’s important because mariachi helps keep kids in school and achieving better. It gives them a connection between school and their interests.”

“Programs have started that didn’t last,” said Liñan. “Mariachi is hard to teach if you don’t understand it.”

Trujillo hopes to grow the Metro program. “About 40 colleges nationwide teach mariachi, but degree programs are rare. I’d like to provide more teachers to advance the understanding across cultures.”

El Mariachi Juvenile de Bryant Webster will perform at the Highland Haunt, 32nd and Clay Streets, Oct. 29. For more information see Mariachi Los Correcaminos de MSU will give a concert on Dec. 3 at the King Center on the Auraria campus. For more information see their Facebook page.

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North Denver Tribune

Lu’Ann Reeder retires from State but not from music


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WEST HIGHLAND — Lu’Ann Reeder, founder of the music band G.I.N. (Girls in the Neighborhood), likes to joke, “We’re pretty good for girls.” This might seem like a politically incorrect or demeaning thing to say were it not for the reality that the “girls”—singer and guitarist Reeder, drummer Shannon Spencer and bassist Pam Osburn—all are deeply experienced and talented performers.

Last month, listeners on the patio of The Cork—32nd and Meade in West Highland—were treated to several hours of music by these women. Many of G.I.N.’s songs are from the 60s and 70s, with an occasional nod to the 50s, perhaps Buddy Holly’s “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore.” Reeder goes out of her way to play songs people like.

“If people tell me in advance of a song they love, I’ll try to work it into my show,” said Reeder.

“Young people might not know the songs,” said Spencer, “but Lu’Ann does a show to please everybody.”

The Cork performance was a special night for Reeder, celebrating her retirement from Colorado’s 1st Judicial Probation Office after 15 years as a mental health specialist/probation officer. At retirement, she was given a state flag, and in its presentation box was a letter that said “This state flag flew over the Capitol on August 1, 2016, in honor of Lu’Ann Reeder’s service.”

“I was shocked to have received that honor,” she said. “15 years ago, mental health and probation didn’t go together.”

Reeder earned a B.A. from Texas Tech University in English and History; a B.S. in Management at Regis University, while working for Coors and playing music in Central City; and a Masters in Psychology at Naropa University in Boulder. “I’m over-educated and know nothing,” she says.

Coming on the heels of a part-time professional solo singing career dating back to the early 1970s, Reeder decided in 2010 to form G.I.N. with Spencer (another Berkeley resident) and Pam Johnson. Spencer is an accomplished drummer and plays in styles ranging from classic rock and country to blues and jazz, which is her favorite type of music. Singer-songwriter Pam Osburn stepped in to play bass and provide vocal harmonies for G.I.N. after Johnson’s unexpected death in 2012.

It’s normal for Reeder to play straight through a performance that might last three hours or more. “Playing a whole night without a break is a powerful thing,” said Spencer. “When bands take a break they can lose the audience.”  Reeder said she’s just getting warmed up after the first set and learning what songs folks want to hear.

Reeder is drawn to songs that carry universal meaning. “Most of the songs I perform have a message. My favorite songwriter was John Stewart, who was the banjo player for The Kingston Trio [Stewart replaced original member Dave Guard in 1961]. I don’t necessarily know what the criteria is for songs that tug at the heart, but his were among those.”

Reeder grew up in Midland, Texas, and was raised around family music. She sang in church choirs as a youth and young adult. “There was no negotiating with that,” she said. “My mother was an incredible musician—the unpaid church organist and pianist. I grew up hearing music in the house all the time.”

At the age of eleven, Reeder decided she wanted to play the guitar, but she was forced to take piano lessons. “I dreaded every moment of it,” she said. “I saved $ 18 to get my first guitar.” According to her website,, she thought it would take an eternity to get that much money. She managed the challenge by earning 25 or 50 cents for mowing the family lawn—and “tried to mow it every other day.”

“My mother fully expected I’d be playing church music, but I sang ‘Teen Angel’ in the car, over and over and over. I said, ‘Mother the song is called “Teen Angel”—it’s got the word angel in it.’”

Reeder spent every summer at their family cabin near Durango, and from the day school let out until the day before it started, she practiced her guitar. She learned to play by listening to Judy Collins, Joan Baez, and The Mamas and the Papas; later on, Bonnie Raitt and Christine McVie became primary influences.

Speaking about music of the 60s and 70s, Reeder said, “Some of that music fits perfectly today. If you listen to the words of Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are A-changin’’ they still apply: ‘Come senators and congressmen, please heed the call; don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall.’ I consider much of that music timeless.”

Spencer said, “The 1960s were an intense time. Music was reflective of what was happening in the world, in politics.  All of our songs still do that; that’s what music does.”

Reeder reflected on the growth of the 1960s singer-songwriter trend that grew out of a previous time when singers recorded songs composed by other writers.

“People were drawn to that music because singer-songwriters began telling stories of their own experiences. I immediately think of young Carole King who had a big hit with her ‘Tapestry’ album in the 70s. She had attached herself to [lyricist] Gerry Goffin in the early 60s and they wrote songs for other artists [the pair wrote songs for The Shirelles, The Drifters, Bobby Vee, Aretha Franklin and others]. But now she was performing her own music, not just being the creator.”

“What I like about singer-songwriters is you don’t have to have a gorgeous voice and a lot of stage presence. Today, I think a lot of people want that stimulation.”

On an early summer day in 1973, Reeder turned a bad situation into a lucky break when her car broke down in West Glenwood Springs. Across the road stood the Holiday Inn, so with guitar in hand she ventured to ask the desk manager if they needed any entertainment. He pointed out an easel with the photo of a woman pianist who played the dinner hour, 7-9 p.m., but then told her to wait while he got the inn’s owner.

Reeder said, “The innkeeper asked me if I knew any John Denver songs. I opened my guitar case and said, ‘Which one do you want to hear?’ He hired me on the spot and fired the piano player. I started that night and played for the next three months.”

Reeder plans to “retire” to her family’s cabin on Vallecito Lake, about 22 miles northeast of Durango. When not trekking between Durango and Denver to play with G.I.N., she says her “game plan is to volunteer with the forest service, specifically as a rail ranger, riding the train back and forth between Durango and Silverton. You have to know everything from ‘Is that a beaver over there or a marmot or a tree stump,’ and be able to handle questions like ‘When do deer grow into elk?’”

To contact and find out where Lu’Ann Reeder and G.I.N. will be playing next, go to

The post Lu’Ann Reeder retires from State but not from music appeared first on North Denver Tribune.

North Denver Tribune

Kanye West Lyrics Perfectly Describe The Story Of Julius Caesar And Cleopatra

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1. Julius Caesar on meeting Cleopatra for the first time:

Jean-Léon Gérôme / Via

2. Caesar restores Cleopatra to the throne:

Pietro da Cortona / Via

3. Cleopatra gives birth to Ptolemy Caesar:

John William Waterhouse / Via

Close enough. Ptolemy was around 17 when he died.

4. Caesar refuses to name Ptolemy as his heir:

Amadscientist / Via

5. Cleopatra arrives in Rome and it’s a huge scandal:

J. Gordon Edwards / Via

6. And Caesar declares:

Lionel Royer / Via

7. Caesar is murdered by the senate on The Ides of March. “Et, tu Brute?”:

Vincenzo Camuccini / Via

8. Cleopatra meets Marc Antony:

Lawrence Alma-Tadema / Via

9. Octavian talking shit about the whole affair:

National Museum of Rome / Via

10. And problems ensue:

Lawrence Alma Tadema / Via

11. Antony when Cleopatra turns her ships around and ditches him after Octavian sends a Roman fleet to conquer Egypt:

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo / Via

12. Cleopatra ends it all after Octavian successfully invades Egypt:

Jean-Baptiste Regnault / Via

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Denver Music Scene On The Summer Season

The summer in the city and county of Denver includes free musical entertainment for both residents and visitors alike. These free summer concerts starts off with the Five Points Jazz Festival. This yearly music event takes place every May of the years at Welton Street. The historical neighborhood of Five Points has been very important to the African-American community in Denver. The festivity draws the limelight towards some of the best jazz artists and bands in Denver. They will be performing their best pieces to celebrate their musical heritage and culture.

The main stage of the festival will also highlight a performance by the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. Other activities feature anecdotes on jazz music and traditions, as well as art exhibitions, bazaars, and other sights and sounds.

Memorial Day will have a highlight on music through the Denver Day of Rock that is held on May. People in Denver will be rocking all day long with more than twenty bands shake the four stages of this free rock music festival. Everyone can listen to some of the most popular bands in Denver and even discover budding groups. Denver Day of Rock also promotes awareness of children-centered community groups.

From June to August, Sunday nights are lit up by the lights of the al fresco jazz club at City Park Bandstand and Pavilion. The Denver summer concert club will feature Latin music of the Manuel Lopez Trio, the soulful melodies of blues and jazz by Hazel Miller, and the songs of Tuxedo Junction.

Fridays during summer also brings free lunchtime Denver summer concert at the Skyline Park which is just a walk away from the 16th Street Mall. You could set up a lawn blanket and have a lunchtime picnic while listening to the tunes of Bonnie and the Clydes, Coles Whalen, The Epilogues, etc. These lunchtime concerts are held in July and August.

The Colorado Symphony Orchestra also puts on a free classical Denver summer concert. This highlights the celebration of Independence Eve on the third of July at the Civic Center. The orchestra will play some of the favorite patriotic songs in the United States, to be accompanied by a dazzling fireworks display.

For More Information, please visit our website at

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