Interesting Bits|

Rob Drabkin with Anne Drabkin Schade at The Bluebird Theater. “The moment your sister goes to hug you, but forgets that you’re a sweaty musician.” (Kit Chalberg Photography)

COMBO Board Member Alex Teitz alerted us to these relevant stories this past week. If you haven’t read them yet, click on the links and check out the ideas presented!

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Exclusive: Rob Drabkin Drops the Sweetest Pandemic Video Yet

By Kyle Harris, Westword | No doubt, 2020 has been a rough year for many kids, who spent nearly half of it isolated from their peers, attending school at home. With the mix of emotions that comes at the end of every term hitting students harder that ever — plus the strangeness that is an education in an era of social distancing — Denver musician Rob Drabkin decided to give one group at Ute Meadows Elementary a special present: a music video for a song of his that children love called “It’s a Beautiful Day.”

Drabkin is a joyful musician, walking in the footsteps of Michael Franti, combining upbeat pop music and activism. “It’s a Beautiful Day” has been making its way around the world, and with his new album, Two Left Feet, ready to drop soon, his career is only headed up.

With momentum and a desire to make the world a better place, Drabkin turned the music video project into a fundraiser, splitting proceeds between Conscious Alliance, a group addressing hunger nationally, and the Jeffco Schools Foundation, which addresses the issue locally.

We caught up with Drabkin, who is premiering the video below with Westword, to find out more about how this ridiculously charming collaboration between an up-and-coming musician and a bunch of schoolkids came to be.

Westword: How did this project come about?

Rob Drabkin: Mr. [Joel] Anderson, an art teacher at Ute Meadows Elementary, heard “It’s a Beautiful Day” on the radio. He played the song to his classes, and it spread around their school. About a month ago, after schools had closed down, the PTA reached out to me on Instagram. They told me how much their kids loved the song, and asked if I’d be up for doing anything for the students who were at home. At first I thought an acoustic performance would be fun. Then I had the idea to make a surprise music video starring all of the students.

Families of the kids submitted videos of them playing instruments, dancing, being goofballs and making heart signs at home. They had no idea it was for a music video until it premiered at the school’s Virtual Evening of the Arts. I had sent the PTA group a private link intended for the art show. Then I noticed the families sharing it on Facebook that night. Ute Meadows Elementary had even tweeted it! I am hoping it spreads some joy and we can use it to raise money for a good cause.

Go here to read the full article:

Find out more about the new album, Two Left Feet, at Rob Drabkin’s website.

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Up in Smoke: Jay Bianchi’s Be on Key Psychedelic Ripple Catches Fire

By Jon Solomon, Westword | Grateful Dead entrepreneur Jay Bianchi is having a rough few weeks.

First, a month ago, his bar Sancho’s Broken Arrow was closed indefinitely for violating the City and County of Denver’s stay-at-home order. Last week, Be on Key Psychedelic Ripple was closed because customers were eating and drinking on site, also violating city policies. And then early this morning, May 27, as 9News first reported, Be on Key went up in flames, and more than fifty firefighters showed up to put out the blaze.

“It probably started in the green room,” Bianchi told Westword. “Some crackheads probably broke into the green room and were sleeping there. They probably woke up after doing their crack, and they saw a fire and then they left.”

Bianchi says he got a call about the fire at 6 a.m. this morning and then went over to survey the damage. There was some smoke and water damage to the green room, but Bianchi says none of the venue’s Grateful Dead posters in the main room were harmed.

Go here to read the whole article:

Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he’s been the Clubs Editor since 2006.

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Warner Music Kicks Off $1.8 billion Nasdaq IPO

By Joshua Franklin & Noor Zainab Hussain for Reuters | Warner Music Group said on Tuesday it is aiming to sell up to $1.82 billion in stock in its U.S. initial public offering, potentially the largest New York IPO so far in 2020 as the market for new stocks rebounds after the COVID-19 pandemic put many debuts on hold.

Warner Music, the world’s third-largest recording label and home to artists including Cardi B, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars, set a price target of $23-$26 per share for 70 million Class A shares, the company said in a regulatory filing. At the top end of the range, the IPO would value Warner Music at $13.26 billion.

Warner Music, majority owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, is not selling any shares in the listing, with the offering made up entirely of existing shareholders selling stock, a rarity in IPOs.

Go here to read the full article:

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Nick Zieminski

[Thank you to Alex Teitz, http://www.femmusic.com, for contributing these articles.]

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