I grew up in Cherry Creek North in the '70s and '80s, and it's hard not to think about the days before the Cherry Creek Shopping Center replaced the old mall. To think about the very first record I bought: the twelve-inch single of the Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" at Budget Tapes & Records, which is now a Starbucks. Or eating grilled cheese sandwiches at Woolworth's, where the Container Store is now. Or Sunday brunch at Soren's or Lyle Alzado's. Or the Tattered Cover's original location, when it was just a single storefront on Second Avenue.
It seems like the only things left from those days are the post office on Columbine Street, which I hear is on its way out, and the Cherry Cricket, which I hope will be around for another few decades, even though it sticks out like a sore thumb among all the chic eateries and stores.
While I can hold on to my memories, I can't stop things from changing. Fortunately, some of the changes are good. The brand-new Q Blues and Jazz Lounge, for example, which shares space with Q Worldly Barbeque at 2817 East Third Avenue and is a hip spot that doesn't have the pretentious vibe of some other places in the Creek. I had a feeling that Q would be cool when I walked down the stairs and noticed the open space between the patio and the bar where a window used to be. Now you can sit at the outside counter, have a drink, and still hear whichever blues or jazz act is playing inside.
Q Blues and Jazz Lounge
On the Wednesday night I was there, bluesman Dan Treanor was playing slide on one of his "Afrosippi" tunes on this bizarre instrument that looked vaguely like a banjo, except the strings didn't lie flat on the neck; there were a few inches of space between the strings and neck. When he turned the thing over, I realized the body of the instrument was an African mask. Turns out that he actually makes these stringed instruments. Treanor, who's also a hell of a harmonica player, was sharing the stage with Jack Hadley, another talented local musician.
This weekend, Q will feature more local talent, including Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe on Friday, June 20, Mojambus on Saturday and the Adam Stern Trio on Sunday. The music runs from 8 p.m. to midnight on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturdays, and 6 to 10 p.m. on Sundays.
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Club scout: On Wednesday, June 25, Dazzle Restaurant & Lounge (930 Lincoln Street) will kick off the Speakeasy, a weekly night of jazz and open-mike spoken word. Bassist Jean-Luc Davis, drummer Josh Moore and rotating guest soloists will lay down the jazz improvisations for anyone wanting to get on the mike, whether it be poets, spoken-word performers or hip-hop artists. Host Dan Robinson ran a similar night in Columbia, Missouri, after seeing jazz trios collaborating with spoken-word artists in Boston, and the concept should work just fine here. The action starts at 9 p.m., and there's a $3 cover.
At 10 p.m. on Friday, June 20, Bender's Tavern, 314 East 13th Avenue, will throw another one of its Punk, Pabst & Porn parties with Reno Divorce, 29th St. Disciples, the Severs and One Skinny DJ providing the punk. There will be a porn swap (but no sticky pages), go-go dancers and a rock-and-roll rummage sale where you can buy, trade or sell pretty much anything. PBRs are a buck and shots of Evan Williams run $3; the cover is $12. Also on Friday, June 20, DJs Peter Black, Tyler Snow, Derek Russo and A-What? will be spinning some deep cosmic sounds from beyond at this month's installment of Analog Space at the Meadowlark (2701 Larimer Street).
After being open almost four years, Tryst Lounge (1512 Larimer Street) just got a bit of a facelift with new colors, furniture and a few more decor changes. The club recently started up Timeless Thursdays with DJ Funkygreenie spinning, $5 wells, $3 specialty beers and $100 bottles of Van Gogh vodka. Finally, Crave (1523 Market Street), which just closed on June 5, will reopen as the Alibi Dance Lounge on Saturday, June 21.