Jake Brownell

News & Programming

A native of the Twin Cities, Jake landed in Colorado Springs by way of a philosophy degree at Colorado College. During his time at CC, he pursued an interest in radio as a DJ and then as manager at the school's student radio station, The SOCC.  After graduating in the Spring of 2012, Jake went on to intern with KRCC's The Big Something, where he began to hone his skills as an editor, interviewer, researcher and writer--skills which he put to use first as a producer of KRCC's Off Topic, and more recently as co-producer and host of The Big Something Radio Programme  and the award winning documentary series, Wish We Were Here. Jake now oversees production of our music program, Air Check, and reports on local issues and stories for the KRCC News Department. 

Jake is a firm believer that public radio is an oasis of journalistic and  intellectual integrity in today's hyper saturated media landscape, and he hopes to be a part of it for a long time to come. 

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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.

Jake Brownell / KRCC

A Denver-based law firm has filed a class action suit on behalf of residents in Security, Widefield, and Fountain over drinking water contamination.

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. 

Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press

There are few who understand the dynamics of modern presidential politics better than David Axelrod. As Chief Strategist for President Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012, Axelrod helped define presidential campaigning in the digital era. He also worked closely with President Obama as Senior Advisor in the White House from 2009 to 2011. He now runs the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago, and is a Senior Political Correspondent for CNN and host of the podcast, The Axe Files

 

Axelrod was in Colorado Springs this week to speak at Colorado College, and KRCC’s Jake Brownell interviewed him about his time in Washington and the legacy of the president he helped put into office.  

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

Jake Brownell / KRCC

A local group is suing the city of Colorado Springs to try and stop a controversial land exchange with the Broadmoor hotel. The deal, which was approved in May, would see the city trade a 189-acre section of Cheyenne Canyon known as Strawberry Fields for several parcels of land owned by the Broadmoor. 

Jake Brownell / KRCC

 

Thursday marks the 150th anniversary of the creation of the so-called Buffalo Soldier regiments of the U.S. Army. The segregated units, composed of African-American men, were formed just a year after the end of the Civil War, and played a role in the establishment of the American West. A local group has spent the last two years working to honor the soldiers and their contributions to American history.  

Associated Press / Stock Photo

Peterson Air Force base announced Thursday a contract for supplying bottled water to some Security, Widefield, and Fountain residents whose tap water contains Perfluorinated Compounds, or PFCs.

Associated Press / Stock Photo

It's been almost two months since residents of Security, Widefield, and Fountain first learned their drinking water contained potentially unsafe levels of chemicals called Perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs. And despite steps taken by local, state, and federal agencies to address the problem, many residents still wonder when they'll be able to feel confident their tap water is safe to drink. In the meantime, they're looking for alternatives.

New Philadelphia Times, OH, July 18th, 1963 via Newspapers.com

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.

Jake Brownell / KRCC

Hundreds of residents of Security, Widefield and Fountain attended a community meeting Thursday to learn more about potentially harmful chemicals recently detected in area drinking water.  The chemicals are called Perfluorinated Compounds, or PFCs, and have been linked to low infant birth weight and other health problems.

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.

millicentxo.com

Colorado Springs native Emily Knurr is bringing a new sound to the local music scene with her synth-pop project, Millicent. Formerly a singer-songwriter of the acoustic variety, Knurr turned her attention to dance beats and electronic production in 2013, and Millicent was born. In the years since, she's released several singles, a self-produced album and, most recently, the excellent EP, DeuxProduced in collaboration with Denver's Charlie FitzDeux has caught the attention of bloggers, music writers, and fans around the country with its catchy hooks, lush sonic textures, and impressive vocal performances from Knurr. 

Stoney Bertz has been making waves in the Colorado Springs music scene since 2011, when she released her first album Fades and Green Stuff on SoundCloud. She’s been on an upward trajectory ever since, creating a steady stream of excellent records and earning a reputation for her sharp lyricism and infectious flow. In 2015 she won Best Solo Hip-Hop Artist at the Colorado Springs Indy Music Awards.

On this episode of Air Check:

Colorado Springs hip hop artist Stoney Bertz tells us about about how high school debate camp influenced her approach to songwriting; Local synth-pop group Millicent joins us for an in-studio performance and interview; Our very own Iggy Igloo shares some music from a genre that’s very close to his heart; And, at the end of the show, we discuss the summer concert season at Red Rocks and tell you how you can win tickets to some amazing upcoming shows.

Noel Black

On this weekend’s special episode of Wish We Were Here, we take a close look at all sides of the proposed Broadmoor land swap deal and the way that open space defines Colorado Springs as a city.

At the heart of deal lies a 189 acre undeveloped piece of parkland at the southwestern corner of the city called Strawberry Fields. It’s been the subject of more than a dozen public meetings, myriad news stories, a widely circulated petition, and a fierce debate on social media.

UPDATE: Colorado Springs City Council has voted 6-3 to approve the land swap with the Broadmoor. Stay tuned to KRCC in the coming days for more. 

Jake Brownell / KRCC

The city of Colorado Springs released its appraisals of the properties at issue in a proposed land exchange with the Broadmoor Hotel yesterday. This comes amidst mounting criticism over what some have described as a lack of transparency in the process.

Amy Rawn

On a warm Saturday afternoon at their home in Pueblo Colorado, Fletcher and Olympia Holiday are preparing to rip out the one-by-ten foot section of wall adjacent to their front door.

By their side is Colorado Springs beekeeper Lazarus Fields. All three of them are outfitted in mesh head nets, gloves and full-body protective clothing. Behind the wall, there is a colony of honeybees numbering in the thousands. If you stand close enough, you can hear their persistent hum.

The membership drive is underway at KRCC right now, and for this episode Air Check we decided to take the opportunity to look back at some of our favorite artist interviews and in-studio performances that we've hosted at KRCC over the past few years. On this episode, we revisit a conversation with Shearwater frontman, Jonathan Meiburg, an in-studio performance from in/PLANES -- the new project of Haunted Windchimes members Desirae Garcia and Inaiah Lujan -- and an interview and in-studio performance from Neil Halstead of the legendary shoegaze band, Slowdive. All that plus a round-up of some of our favorite tracks from the last month and a remembrance of Prince, who died on April 21st. 

Screen Grab from THE RIDER AND THE WOLF by Grit and Thistle Film Company

UPDATE: On Monday, 4/25/16, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation officially confirmed that the remains found in January in Saguache County were those of Mike Rust. An investigation into Rust's death is ongoing. Stay tuned to KRCC for more information. 

On this special episode of Wish We Were Here: Tales and Investigations from the Shadows of America's Mountain, we worked with Nathan Ward at Grit and Thistle Film Company to produce an audio version of last year's documentary The Rider and the Wolf about the life and disappearance of Hall-of-Fame mountain biker Mike Rust. Rust went missing from his home in Colorado's remote San Luis Valley on March 31, 2009. On January 8, 2016, the remains of a body that may be Mike Rust's were discovered after a tip came in to the Saguache County Sheriff's Department.

Jake Brownell / KRCC

In January, the Colorado Springs Parks Department unveiled a plan to trade city land to the Broadmoor in exchange for several pieces of property owned by the hotel. Heralded by proponents as an opportunity to expand upon and enhance the city's park system, the plan has garnered criticism from residents who want the most significant parcel, known as Strawberry Hill, to remain in the public's hands.

Jake Brownell

Air Check is a new show from KRCC highlighting great music from the Pikes Peak region and beyond. 

If you’ve ever been to KRCC and seen the 20,000 CDs in our filing cabinets, and the 20,000 records in our vinyl vault, then you know that we are serious about music. Think of Air Check as a showcase for all the incredible music that lives at KRCC. We’ll introduce you to things you may have missed, take a closer look at genres and artists we think you’ll love, and invite local and touring musicians into the studio for exclusive interviews and in-studio performances. 

In this, the second episode of Air Check, we bring you an interview and in-studio performance with the Seattle-based indie folk group, Hey Marseilles; Our very own Dick Fairley, host of the Thursday Evening Jazz excursion, tells us about the history of women in jazz; We remember the life and work of George Martin, AKA the Fifth Beatle; and we review some of our favorite new releases from the last month.

Photo copyright Nancy Wood, used with permission from the Nancy Wood Literary Trust

A 12-year-old girl in blue jeans probably isn’t the first thing you picture when you hear the word paleontologist. But in 1979, young India Wood discovered a bone on a ranch in northwest Colorado that would change her life. For the next three years, Wood single-handedly excavated a site that would yield one of the finest Allosaurus fossils ever found. This is her story.

Jake Brownell

Air Check is a brand new show from KRCC highlighting great music from the Pikes Peak region and beyond. 

If you’ve ever been to KRCC and seen the 20,000 CDs in our filing cabinets, and the 20,000 records in our vinyl vault, then you know that we are serious about music. Think of Air Check as a showcase for all the incredible music that lives at KRCC. We’ll introduce you to things you may have missed, take a closer look at genres and artists we think you’ll love, and invite local and touring musicians into the studio for exclusive interviews and in-studio performances. 

Courtesy of Dan Crossey

Most people think of Pikes Peak as a tourist destination – the Fourteener with a highway and a donut shop on top. But for many local mountaineers, climbers and skiers, Pikes Peak is also a wilderness playground. For backcountry skiers Dan Crossey, Mike Houston, Bill Blair, and Nate Porter Pikes Peak was like their backyard. But on April 25, 1995, what should’ve been a routine day of Spring skiing on Pikes Peak quickly turned into a nightmare.

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