Ashley Dean
Ashley Dean

It's hard trying to focus on a column about music when it feels like Boulder is slowly submerging.

Don't worry, this isn't a twisted BuzzFeed-y list, like "12 '90s Hist to Crank While You Traverse Floodwaters." There will be no soundtrack to this mess.

Yet, when I'm not staring at videos and photos, my internal dialogue sounds something like this:

*Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" playing.*

Shhhh! Stop it.

*Cryin' won't help ya / Prayin' won't do ya no good...*

Ashley. You are an idiot.

Meanwhile, on Twitter: "@cubouldernews: SEEK HIGHER GROUND IMMEDIATELY: Wall of water coming down Boulder Canyon. Move away from Boulder Creek! #BoulderFlood"

I'm safe in Denver, at a pub one block from my apartment, which is playing a song about Denver I don't recognize. I guess that helps. (Usually, this very British joint is playing reggae, which is weird. Today they're playing a lot of classic dad rock.) And I'm just trying to focus on some music.

Music can be an excellent way to cope; it's a distraction, a comfort and a relief. When New Orleans was decimated in Hurricane Katrina, and when New York and New Jersey were underwater post-Sandy, benefit concerts served as enormous fundraisers. Last summer in Colorado, venues and musicians rallied to hold shows that benefitted the Red Cross, firefighters and other aid after wildfires.


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I'm willing to bet most people have music playing while this is happening. As I write this in the pub, an attractive drunk man has just commandeered the jukebox to play Vampire Weekend and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This is most certainly improving my spirits. From what I've heard, there's a solid amount of partying on the Hill, which surely involves music cranked to bad-thought-killing volumes.

Other reports indicate that where music normally thrives, it will be of no help today. Planet Bluegrass is experiencing devastating destruction. Lyons is in a horrible state. For them, a mid-disaster jam is not consoling, as it is for the rest of us. But for now, it's all we can really do, isn't it? It's a helpless feeling.

The pub is currently playing "Come On Eileen," which brings me back to Hurricane Irene on the East Coast a few years ago (people stretched a bit to make that song relevant). It turned out to be not so bad. New York City was fine, and my dad and I retreated to Maine, where we swam across a lake and back mid-storm. It reminds me that by the time this column is printed on Friday, things should be better. There will be destruction and loss to cope with, but the Front Range has what it takes to deal.

In the meantime, there's a lot of music out there to take your mind off the mess.

Contact music writer Ashley Dean at 303-473-1109. On Twitter: twitter.com/AshaleyJill.