Music Blog

Repeat Attender

R.E.M. Live

Summer concert season is in full swing and I'm feeling nostalgic thinking about my favorite concerts of summers past.

There is nothing like seeing your favorite bands outdoors during the summer. The pre-show tailgating. The crazy weather.  The beach balls being volleyed through the crowd. I don't catch many shows these days so join me as I reminisce about some of my favorite annual summer escapades.

Best Albums of 2011...So Far

Wye Oak

The year is halfway complete and the best albums of 2011 lists are starting to appear so I thought I'd add my two cents and highlight some from our fantastic music collection.

Knowing how fickle my tastes can be, it will be interesting to see how many of these will survive into my year end lists when December rolls around. Some of these have a lengthy request queue, but worth the wait in my opinion.
What are your favorites so far?

Cello Rock!

Ian Cooke

Who says the cello is just a classical music instrument? In recent years, a whole slew of cello rock bands have popped up, overturning old paradigms and revealing how surprisingly apt the instrument is to other music styles, not to mention spicing up the often guitar-dominated arena of rock genres. If you're curious, check out the music; two big names will even be coming to play concerts in a town near you this July!

Rasputina is arguably the reigning queen of cello rock; after they pioneered their way onto the scene in 1996 with their debut album Thanks For the Ether, garnering a cult following and performing with the likes of Nirvana, a whole bunch of other up and coming cellists have begun to share the limelight.

Skip to the head of the line

21 by adele

Tired of waiting on hold for Adele's latest, 21?

With over 500 people on hold it may seem as though you're never going to get your hands on that cd. So...jump the queue. Cut the line. How? By checking out Freegal.

Freegal is a collection of popular, drm-free (legally downloadable) music. With your Denver Public Library card you get to download three tracks each week. Did I mention these downloads are free? And legal?!

Harry and the Potters Concert at the Central Library

Harry and the Potters

Are you ready to rock? Join us on Thursday, June 30 at 4 p.m. in the Central Library, Level B2 Conference Center for a free concert with Harry and the Potters!

Imagine if Harry Potter quit the quidditch team and instead started using the power of rock and roll to fight evil. This is Harry and the Potters: the original wizard rock band! Join us as they return to the Denver Public Library on their first tour of libraries since they last visited us back in 2007. Paul and Joe DeGeorge started this band in 2002 when Joe was 15 and Paul was 23. They played their first show in a shed in their parent’s backyard.

The Big Man Will Be Missed

Big Man

The music world lost one of it's biggest and brightest when Clarence Clemons passed away this Saturday. The Big Man was a favorite of many E Street Band fans and thrilled all with his colorful and soulful saxophone playing.

Big Man: Real Life & Tall Tales by Clarence Clemons and Don Reo is a collection of stories from his life and a peek at his experiences and adventures.

Here are a few of the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band CDs available at Denver Public Library:

Westword Music Showcase Saturday June 18th!

Westword Music Showcase

Denver's biggest one-day music festival is happening this weekend in and around the Golden Triangle neighborhood!

In my mind, the Westword Music Showcase kicks off summer and the season for outdoor music events. This year it will feature over 100 local bands playing in various venues including Bar Standard (1037 Broadway), City Hall (1144 Broadway) and Curious Theater (1080 Acoma). In addition, there is the Main Stage located at 12th and Acoma that will house the exciting national acts slated to perform. Chromeo, Yo La Tengo (I can't wait to see them!), The Sword and Del the Funky Homosapien are just a few of the bands that will play to the over 10,000 people expected to attend.

Mercury Rising

Queen A Night at the Opera

No need to wait for June 21 to announce the arrival of summer.  The sound of Freddie Mercury's voice floating across area parks is the real indicator summer has arrived.

There are plenty of new music biographies but none more anticipated than Is This the Real Life? by Mark Blake.  The book delivers and makes you yearn for more Queen, more Freddie Mercury. While you put yourself on the hold list for the book, take a tour of the best of Queen.

Music of the Sahara

Ali Farka Toure

I've been recently enjoying the "desert blues" of Saharan Africa.  When you think about the harsh climate and political history that peoples of this region have faced, it seems only natural that powerful and soulful music would emerge similarly to American blues.

This music combines guitars with traditional African instruments such as flutes and harps and finds structure around percussive rhythms that stay with you long after you shut off the stereo.  Although you probably won't understand a word of the lyrics, you get the strange sense that you know what they're singing about purely through their emotive tones.

Colorado MahlerFest is NOW!

book cover The Mahler Symphonies

The 24th annual Colorado MahlerFest is happening now in Boulder through May 22 with performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 5 at Macky Auditorium on Saturday and Sunday.

My good friend Al wrote: "Conductor Herbert von Karajan said that when one hears Mahler's Fifth, 'you forget that time has passed. A great performance of the Fifth is a transforming experience. The fantastic finale almost forces you to hold your breath.' " As an amateur musician, I can say from my personal experience, that this was true for me. The Littleton Symphony Orchestra, of which I am a member, just recently performed this gargantuan symphony with 5 movements.

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