Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture coverage.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

C.J. Boyd is a man on the move.

For the last eight years, the bassist has been on permanent tour--living out of an old ambulance converted to run on veggie oil, playing night after night in coffee shops, bars, art spaces, punk houses, and just about every other imaginable venue. And that's just how he likes it.

Looking Up: Uranus

Oct 10, 2016

This week on Looking Up Hal tells us exactly where to look to get a peek at the planet Uranus.

Regular listeners to Looking Up might remember that we talked about the planet Uranus about a year ago. And we call it the planet Uranus, because we are not 12. And as we have swung around the Sun again, Uranus is once again perfectly positioned in our night sky for viewing, if you know where to look. 

Looking Up: Cross Poly-Nation

Oct 3, 2016

This week on Looking Up, guest host Bruce Bookout regales us with origin stories and legends about the constellation Cygnus which come from various cultures.

The autumn skies of Southern Colorado are signaled by avian migrations in our cool evenings this time of year.  If you go out after sunset and look directly above you can find the grand constellation Cygnus the Swan in its own migration to the south.

Jake Brownell / KRCC

On Episode 8 of Air Check, Jake Brownell meets a group of theater pipe organ enthusiasts working to keep the instrument alive, Jeff Bieri speaks with professor of musicology Ryan Banagale about the Billy Joel Conference at Colorado College, we visit with CJ Boyd who passed through Colorado Springs recently on his never-ending tour, and Vicky Gregor hosts the Fort Collins indie-folk group SHEL for an interview and  performance.

Brian Kwan Photography / Courtesy Wayne Wilkinson

Wayne Wilkinson has played jazz guitar everywhere from the White House to Carnegie Hall, and has even shared the stage with noted tenor saxophonist, former president Bill Clinton. He was a guitarist in the Air Force Falconaires and Airmen of Note bands, and now records and performs both as a soloist and with a wide array of collaborators. He lives in Colorado Springs, and is a fixture in the local jazz scene.

Looking Up: Nerd Star On The Left

Sep 26, 2016
Firkin / openclipart

This week on Looking Up we take a peak at the Atik. 

I know you won’t believe this, but every now and then astronomers can come off as a tiny bit nerdy. And today’s edition of Looking Up lets us delve into the truly nerdy, at a couple of levels.

Because today I want to talk to you about the very interesting star named Atik. 

We've got Guilty Pleasure Songs... Do You?

Sep 22, 2016

We've all got songs we blast in the privacy of our own homes but might not recommend to a friend, or even admit we like at all. Don't we?

In this piece from the latest episode of Air Check, we re-imagine our usual "musical roundtable" segment. Instead of sharing recent favorites, Vicky, Jake and Jeff each share a song that they'd rather you didn't know they enjoy...

BONUS: We're asking for you, the listener, to share your guilty pleasures with us. Leave a message on the Air Check voicemail, and tell us about song you love in private and why you feel guilty about it. Your message could be featured on an upcoming episode of Air Check! The number to call is 719-428-5722

Looking Up: Mercury - Retrograding On A Curve

Sep 19, 2016
photo from the Mercury Messenger satellite / NASA

This week on Looking Up Tristan tells us the current travel path of the planet Mercury.  

If you are an early riser, one of the most elusive planets in our solar system will be putting on a show this week. The planet Mercury, the innermost of all the planets, is remarkably hard to see. 

Jake Brownell / KRCC

It's no secret that record stores have struggled to survive in the digital age. In the last decade, we've seen music retail giants like Tower Records and Sam Goody file for bankruptcy and watched as the internet has rendered CDs virtually obsolete. For those running record stores, there has been a lot to adjust to. 

Looking Up: You've Tried The Rest, Now Triangulum

Sep 12, 2016
Photo by Linda Spadero /

This week on Looking Up Hal gives us the very latest hypote-news on a  constellation by the name of Triangulum.

We talked before about the interesting shapes of constellations in the night sky. Some look like their name, like Scorpio the scorpion. Others, like Ophiuchus, looked nothing like their namesake. But there is one small constellation in southern Colorado skies right now that you might recognize from both its shape and its name – Triangulum.

Associated Press / AP

Labor Day weekend has come and gone, and now it's back to work.

For everyone out there who's back at the office in body, but not in spirit, we bring you a selection of songs about work from the notoriously labor-averse genres of punk and new wave.

Looking Up: Waiting For A Full and Sincere Apogee

Sep 5, 2016
M. Procell

This week on LOOKING UP we learn about the true distance of the moon from the earth.

Take a look at the moon tonight. Does it seem a little smaller to you? Well, it should. Because the Moon is very near its apogee point for September. What does Apogee mean? It means it’s the farthest distance the Moon gets from Earth in its orbit.

Jake Brownell

On Episode 7 of Air Check, Portland band Ages and Ages drops by for an interview and in-studio performance, Bob Slade, host of KRCC’s Retro Fix, shares some of his favorite songs about work in honor of labor day, we discuss the ever-changing industry of music retail with Judy Negley and Shawn Mayo of Independent Records, Dick Fairley interviews local jazz guitarist, Wayne Wilkinson, and we cop to some guilty pleasure songs.

Looking Up: Bear Witness

Aug 29, 2016
VegaStar Carpentier / NASA

This week Bruce gives us different cultural perspectives on the constellation Ursa Major (the Big Dipper).

The skies of Southern Colorado were not always seen the same way as we do in modern times. If you take look at our evening skies this week to the northwest after sunset, you will see the familiar group of stars known as the Big Dipper.  The Big Dipper is an asterism contained in the constellation Ursa Major – the greater she-bear. 

Imagination Celebration

Imagination Celebrations hosts the What If Festival in Downtown Colorado Springs on Saturday September 10th, from 10am to 4pm. The event is an all-ages festival of discovery, learning, questioning and connecting. 

There will be a multitude of interactive experiences, as well as three stages with live music, including a 91.5 KRCC Stage in the Pioneer Museum Plaza with Vicky Gregor and I hosting music from local favorites and winners of the Indy Music Awards.

Three's Company

Aug 22, 2016

This week Hal lets us know about the conjunction of Mars and Saturn.

The summer of 2016 is a particularly good one for anyone interested in planets. All the naked eye planets are visible, and the nights are warm enough that we can stay outside without getting too uncomfortable. Even binoculars will let you see the red surface of Mars, the stripes on Jupiter, and the rings of Saturn. 

Bar/None Records

Local band Eros and the Eschaton are doing big things in the Colorado Springs music scene. Their brand of shoegazy indie rock has impressed fans, record label execs, and music writers around the country, and they've achieved a degree of critical and commercial success rarely seen by bands in the Pikes Peak Region. 

Jason Cipriani / Flickr / Creative Commons

It should come as no surprise to music fans in the Pikes Peak region to hear that Pueblo is home to some fantastic musicians. For evidence, one need look no further than the Haunted Windchimes -- one of southern Colorado's most beloved local groups -- and the various side projects of its members. But there's much more music to appreciate in the Steel City. 

Hercules Hunts The Zenith

Aug 15, 2016
Hubble / NASA

This week Hal labors over the details of the constellation Hercules.

Did you know that the strongest man who ever lived is looking at you right now? If you believe in ancient mythology, you know the one I'm talking about. The constellation Hercules is high in southern Colorado skies right now, and it’s filled with interesting things to look at. 

Meteorite Before Your Eyes

Aug 8, 2016

This week Hal gives us a heads up on the tail end of Comet Swift - Tuttle.

We all love to see shooting stars in the sky. These brilliant, brief, and bedazzling streaks of light are both beautiful and fascinating.

On average night, if you lie on your back and stare at the sky you’ll see 2 to 4 meteors streak overhead per hour. But when there’s a meteor shower, you can see many more, and the very best meteor shower happens in mid August – the Perseids.

On this episode of Air Check: 

Vicky, Jeff, and Jake share their favorite new releases of the last month; Local band Eros and the Eschaton preview some tracks from their new album, Weight of Matter; Pueblo Pulp music writer John Bueno shares some of his favorite bands from the Steel City; Musician Ed Parsons schools us on the history of Reggae; And electronic producer Tor talks sampling and songwriting. 

After The Dusk Settles

Aug 1, 2016

This week Hal tells us about a stellar planetary conjunction in our early evening sky.

August 2016 is shaping up to be a pretty interesting month for people who like looking up. A number of unusual and lovely things are happening up there, and the warm days and nights will hopefully cooperate in letting you go outside and take a peek. 

My Very Educated Mother Just Served

Jul 25, 2016
Eliot-Herman-Tucson-AZ /

This week Bruce enumerates on the planets currently visible in our night sky.  

As residents of Southern Colorado we are afforded a spectacular view  for the next several weeks of six naked eye planets in our evening skies. Starting shortly after sunset you can tour the original planets known to our ancient ancestors.

Cosmic Debris-fing

Jul 18, 2016
B. Balick (U. Washington) et al., WFPC2, HST, NASA

This week Hal sheds light on the Saturn Nebula.  

How many Saturn’s do you see in the night sky? Well, right now, the answer could be two!

We talked recently about the beautiful and awe-inspiring planet Saturn, now high in southern Colorado skies. In many people’s eyes, it’s the most beautiful of all the planets, Saturn’s gorgeous system of rings make it appear oblong in binoculars or small telescopes.

New Philadelphia Times, OH, July 18th, 1963 via

Fifty three years ago this week, a 21-year-old rock-and-roll musician named Ulysses Baxter made history in Colorado Springs. On hands and knees, with a wooden salad spoon affixed to his nose, he ascended Pikes Peak--pushing a peanut the entire way.

On this episode of Air Check:

Jake, Jeff and Vicky present their favorite new songs of the season, Vicky has a chat with legendary soul, rhythm and blues artist Booker T. Jones, Vintage Voltage host GT dissects four patriotic pop songs from the past, Rence Liam discusses his new Dear Rabbit album They're Not Like You, and Jake tells the story of Ulysses Baxter, a rock-and-roll musician who pushed a peanut up Pikes Peak--with his nose--in the summer of 1963.

Courtesy of the Pikes Peak Library District


In the mid-20th Century, a man named Robert LeFevre (pronounced Luh-FAVE) created a small mountain academy just north of Colorado Springs called The Freedom School. The school, and his teachings, played an important role in the popularization of libertarianism in America. They also helped shape the minds of some of the the most powerful men in American industry and politics, not the least of which were Charles and David Koch, aka The Koch Brothers--two of the wealthiest men in the world.

On this episode of Wish We Were Here we tell the nearly-forgotten story of LeFevre and his short-lived libertarian boot camp.

A Prairie Home Companion, now in its 41st season of production, will present the last live broadcast with Garrison Keillor as host from the Hollywood Bowl on KRCC Saturday, July 2nd at 6pm (final repeat Sunday, July 3rd at 1pm). 

KRCC is working hard to end our fiscal year in the black and we need your help. We have a goal of raising $35,000 by June 30th.

With your contribution between now and 11:59pm on June 30th, you will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win two VIP tickets to a live taping of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me in Chicago!

Even after leaving the church for a time, Colorado Springs-based author Anna Keating found herself drawn to the stories, rituals, and lore of  Catholicism. In her new book The Catholic Catalogue, Keating and her mother, Melissa Musick, set out to put down some of that lore in a book just as much for Catholics as it is for lay people interested in Catholicism's vivid culture.

In this interview Keating describes what drew her and her mother to write this book, which started out as a blog.