Ripple Effect of 9/11 on families
Sep 2017

The Ripple Effect of 9/11

Around this time 16 years ago, Bryan and I had just decided we wanted to try to have a baby. This is a big decision for anyone, but even bigger for us, who spent a decade swearing we didn’t want children.

Then 9/11 happened.

It made us question everything, especially the idea of bringing a child into our crazy world.

Ultimately, we decided that to give into fear was not how we wanted to live and Dex arrived prematurely just two days after the first anniversary of 9/11.

Of course, this memory of that day pales in comparison to all those who were there, and most especially to those who we lost.

But sometimes, I feel like – just 16 years later – we are already forgetting what a huge ripple effect that day had one everyone. It, sadly, *really* changed the world.

And yet, this week, we celebrate by son’s 15th birthday and remember that, yes, the good stuff stays the same.

The Suffers - Concert Photos from Levitt Denver
Sep 2017

The Suffers + Other Black at Levitt Pavilion

“What’s our name?!” THE SUFFERS. “Where are we from?” HOUSTON.

It’s a shout-out that lead singer Kam Franklin repeats all through their show, to make sure we know what is going down on stage.

This band’s love for their hometown definitely took on a sense of poignancy given the destruction of Hurricane Harvey last week. Kam spoke on Twitter about how hard it can be to evacuate and her personal experiences from Hurricane Rita.

When The Suffers played here in Denver at Levitt Pavilion, Harvey was nowhere on the horizon and the night was all about fun. They were great the last time I saw them, even more so this summer. If you have never seen this band live, it’s definitely hard to stay in your seats – or on the grass, in the case at Levitt.

Denver band (and close friends) Other Black opened the show with their unique blend of R&B, funk, rock, jazz and whatever else Wes Watkins feels like putting into the mix for the night. Continue reading…

Together Pangea
Sep 2017

Interview with Together Pangea’s Danny: Growing Up But Still Having Fun

The band Together Pangea recently released their fourth LP, Bulls and Roosters, and for those paying attention – it sounds a bit different. Perhaps a little less punk and maybe more straight-up rock and roll? I chatted with bassist Danny Bengston about their evolution and all the venues they have played in Denver.

Where does the name come from? Pangea, like the continent?

Yeah, we were originally called just that. But when we were signed, the label made us change the name because there were so many trademarks on just that word. At the time, we had created a MySpace page called “togetherPANGEA” for the same reason – so many pangeas. But that’s what we went with for the name change.

You have been together for almost a decade, how have you changed over the years?

We didn’t used to use tuners, so we always played out of tune (laughs). No, honestly, in the past all we wanted to do is have fun and party. We liked to play but didn’t care how we sounded. But other people started to care, which forced us to care. It’s been about growing up and taking it more seriously. I do feel lucky that I still get do something I love with my friends, though. Continue reading…

UB40 - Denver Levitt Pavilion - Concert Photos 2017
Sep 2017

Welcome to Levitt Denver: UB40 Featuring Ali, Astro + Mickey

I went to college in northeast Florida and we drove hours to see UB40 when they played at the home of the Gators. It was worth the trek, and I saw them several more times in the late 80s and early 90s.

Which is why I was thrilled to see Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue – the true heart of UB40 – were the first ticketed event at Denver’s new venue, Levitt Pavilion. If you haven’t been there, it’s an outdoor stage settled at the bottom of a natural bowl in Ruby Hill Park. Denver is the 7th Levitt Pavilion in the United States, after continuing commitment from the Levitt Foundation to create public/private partnerships that promote music. The City of Denver provides the land, Levitt national provides support, and our local foundation raises the rest to provide 50 free concerts per year.

Levitt Denver also offers ticketed events … partly to supplement their fundraising efforts, and partly to take advantage of this awesome new venue.

Translation? UB40 played in Denver and made a lot of people happy.

The band continues their tour throughout the Fall – including finishing up the US in Florida, which makes me very, very happy.

UB40 Concert Photos – Denver 2017

UB40 Concert Photos - Levitt Pavilion Denver 2017 Continue reading…

Montreal Festival - Quebec Canada Travel
Aug 2017

A Festival a Day to Celebrate Montréal’s 375th Anniversary

Note: Tourisme Quebec provided this trip, however, all words and photos are mine (unless noted).

Last year I attended 97 concerts, and in that tally – music festivals were counted as just one. When Tourisme Quebec asked me to join them in Montréal for a “festival a day” over one long weekend, I knew I could do it – but that I would be sad not to have more time at each one. That suspicion proved to be correct as we trekked all over the city at breakneck speed.

Verdict: I can’t wait to go back and spend more time in Montréal!

While Canada turned 150 this year, Montréal stretches back 375 years with a culture that combines First Nation, French and English history. Locals speak French first and foremost but easily switch to English when they realize the only words you may know are “bonjour” and “merci.”

But even above and beyond affinity for French, Montréal has a passion for the arts. It’s apparent everywhere, and most especially in how they chose to celebrate their birthday. I was in town during the world-famous International Jazz Festival, and my lovely hotel was within walking distance – so I did get to that particular festival more than once.

But there are hundreds of events going on all year, every year, so check out Alive 375 and the Montréal Tourism site for things to do every day.

Montreal International Jazz Festival - Photo by Jean-François Leblanc

Photo by Jean-François Leblanc

Here are the festivals we attended over our four days.
Take a deep breath… it’s a lot!
Continue reading…