There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who don't care that the California-based Trader Joe's supermarket chain will finally open four stores in Colorado — including one with a liquor license at Eighth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard — and those who are obsessively counting down the days until Trader Joe's opens its hallowed doors here sometime this winter.
You won't have any trouble figuring out which category Julie Geller falls into — not after you've watched the music video for her song "I'm Camping Out at Trader Joe's."
Here's an excerpt from the lyrics:
I'm a Denver native, I was born and raised right here.
There's nothing like the Mile High City to fill you with good cheer.
But I've lived around the country, too, from the West Coast to the East.
And there's just one thing we're missing here, so let me say my piece.
We got Ikea, we got Cabela's. We got Peyton Manning and all those fellas.
We've got bike sharing and car sharing, too.
We'll never have the ocean, but there's nothing we can do.
But we still don't have folks selling food in Hawaiian shirts.
So I'm camping out at Trader Joe's.
Waiting for the day the stores will finally open because I love it so.
Can't wait no more. Let me in the door. Got some money in my pocket, gonna buy out all the chocolate waiting for me in this store.
Getting the picture?
Geller is a local folksinger/songwriter who says her mission is "to bring love and healing into the world" through her music. Most of her songs and videos, many of which can be found on YouTube or on her website, combine a "unique blend of original Hebrew and inspiring English music." Not "I'm Camping Out at Trader Joe's," though. Shot at twenty locations around Denver, including DIA, the City & County Building and the Denver Art Museum, the video is simply an ode to the store. The Colorado Boulevard spot is less than a mile from Geller's home.
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"I kept driving by the store and joking over social networking about how I needed to get in line," she tells Westword (you can read the full Q&A on the Cafe Society blog at westword.com). "And then one day it occurred to me that that was my next song. Denver is so funny, because it's a big city, but at heart it's really just a small town where tons of people can be focused on the same thing, like a sports team or Dunkin' Donuts. I remember when Ikea opened and it was all over the news, my husband said, 'Julie, without a doubt, we don't live in New York.'"
And although she doesn't really plan to camp on the sidewalk in front of the construction site (that would be illegal, after all), the video does show Geller setting up a tent and a camp chair and dancing with four construction workers (actually her husband and three friends).
Scene and herd: Last week, a giant pencil suddenly appeared on the downtown skyline, when a building facing the 16th Street Mall was transformed into a giant pencil holder. Was this several-story-high image an homage to the October 3 issue of Westword, which illustrated a cover story on the upcoming school-board elections with a row of No. 2 pencils? Or was it instead a promo for a very special contingent in the October 19 Zombie Crawl? Joining other members of the Undead this Saturday will be Denver Opt Out students and volunteers, who'll be exposing the testing epidemic that is infecting public education and also offer some antidotes. "Show your support and spread awareness by stabbing a yellow #2 pencil into your zombie costume," organizers advise. "Test zombies are coming for the children! Infection rates are high in DPS, but the epidemic is nationwide. The virus has mutated with the 'Race to the top' strain. Beware, take action..."