Jake Brownell

Producer--Off Topic

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 currently puts to use as a producer of KRCC's Off Topic. Jake is a firm believer that public radio is an oasis of journalistic and  intellectual integrity in today's hypersaturated media landscape, and he hopes to be a part of it for a long time to come. 

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The Middle Distance
2:24 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

The Middle Distance 7.25.14: A Happy Tune

Yul Brynner and Gertrude Lawrence in "The King and I"
Credit Wikipedia

Ours was a show tunes kind of house, at the height of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s great musicals. And though we lived in a small Kentucky town where the idea of seeing a musical theater production onstage wasn’t even a distant dream, from the year I was born until I turned 11, films were made of Oklahoma, Carousel, The King and I, Flower Drum Song and The Sound of Music, and on television we saw the musical Cinderella. Between these and soundtrack releases on LP, we learned the melody and lyrics to most every song in every show.

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The Middle Distance
4:36 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

The Middle Distance 7.18.14: Our Houses, Ourselves

 

I’ve moved recently and have survived to tell the tale. Here are a few moving tips that might make your transition from old home to new home a little less difficult. 

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Culture
4:34 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Opera Theatre of The Rockies Tackles a Broadway Classic

Opera Theatre of the Rockies will present three performances of the acclaimed Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The King and I, July 25th-27th at Armstrong Theater. Complete with sets and costumes from the Broadway/Asia tour, a 25-piece orchestra from the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and a cast full of Front Range talent, it is sure to be both a world-class production and an impressive display of regional culture.

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The Middle Distance
3:58 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

The Middle Distance 7.11.14: Jump In

Credit PPLD Image Number 001-5524

 

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Wish We Were Here
11:21 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Wish We Were Here -- Pilot: "I is An Other"

Storme Aerison
Credit Courtesy of Ernie Ferguson

In this pilot episode of Wish We Were Here, we critically examine the career one of the 20th century's most infamous con-artists, Storme Aerison. It's a story you may think you've heard before--a story of fraud, deception, and and the slipperiness of identity--but no matter your familiarity with Storme's history, there's more to it than you know.

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Wish We Were Here
3:15 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Wish We Were Here -- Program Trailer

"Wish We Were Here"  - Enjoy this introductory teaser for the pilot episode, I is An Other, which  unpacks the story of Storme Aerison (aka Charles Daugherty, Storme Ireland, etc.,) the cheerleader at Coronado High School in 1990 who, as the story goes, “turned out to be a grown man.”

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The Big Something
3:59 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

PPLD Looks Beyond the Book with New Library 21C

Credit ppld.com

The Pikes Peak Library District will unveil it's brand new, state-of-the-art library at a grand opening ceremony and celebration tomorrow. The new facility, which is called Library 21C, has been heralded as new kind of community space, designed to meet the ever-changing, 21st century needs of PPLD patrons. The Big Something's Noel Black sat down with PPLD Executive Director Paula Miller and Media Relations Specialist Travis Duncan to talk about the project. 

For more information about the library and the grand opening, click HERE.

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The Middle Distance
4:49 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

The Middle Distance 5.30.14: The Best Kind of Cowboy

Kirk Hanna and Geronimo, by Myron Wood, May 1962. Courtesy of PPLD Special Collections. Image Number: 002-6082.

My heroes haven’t always been cowboys, but after moving to Colorado and getting to know a choice few, that changed. I was lucky as a journalist to spend time with Duke Phillips of Chico Basin Ranch, south of Colorado Springs, and witness his dedication to responsible land management and conservation. And I was privileged as a reporter back in the 1990s to hear Kirk Hanna explain to a room full of environmentalists how ranchers like him could help them achieve their goals if they’d just put aside their stereotypes and prejudices.

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The Middle Distance
5:37 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

The Middle Distance 5.9.14: Good Fences

Credit PPLD Image 023-162

 

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The Middle Distance
6:44 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

The Middle Distance 5.2.2014: The Family Cat Skull

 

Wherever I live there are two requirements. There must be a kitchen window over the sink, to gaze out when washing dishes. And on the windowsill, there must be the family’s cat skull.

This has been the scenario in every kitchen I’ve had — five of them — over the last 20 years.

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Culture
1:31 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Off the Page: An Interview with Performance Poet Joshua Bennett

Joshua Bennett

Award winning poet, Joshua Bennett is in town this evening to give a performance at Armstrong Hall. Currently a doctoral candidate at Princeton University, Bennett has performed his original works at venues around the country including the NAACP Image Awards, the Sundance Film Festival, and President Obama's Evening of Poetry and Music at the White House.  KRCC's Emilia Whitmer sat down to talk with him about his work.

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The Middle Distance
4:06 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

The Middle Distance, 4.25.14: Pushing Through the Dirt

Credit "Scarecrow, Florence, CO." by Myron Wood, May 1976. Copyright Pikes Peak Library District. Image Number: 002-2990.

 

The soil is really not warm enough yet, but who knows when it will be? It’s the nature of late spring/early summer here in Colorado that whatever progress is made by the sun’s warming rays during the day will be negated by chilly nights. There may or may not be a monsoon. Could it snow yet one more time?

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The Middle Distance
6:00 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

The Middle Distance 3.14.14: Beyond the Sure Certainty of Home

Credit PPLD Image 001-5291

In 1987 I had two best friends, both named Julie. They were new acquaintances who had no connection to my past or my family or to each other, only to me. I’ve been thinking about them during these early spring days when the snow is falling and a particular kind of quiet loneliness envelops the house. Remembering the two Julies makes me think about friendship and what it means at different stages of life. I remember them with the gratitude of a lost traveler coming across a friendly local who’s happy to give directions. I remember them the way a tree’s roots remember water.

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Culture
4:50 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Remembering Women's Liberation: A Conversation with Jennifer Lee

Filmmaker Jennifer Lee will be showing her award-winning documentary, Feminist: Stories from Women’s Liberation, tonight at 7pm in the Cornerstone Arts Center. The film focuses on the experiences of women who played key roles in the women’s liberation movement during the 1960s. KRCC’s Jake Brownell spoke with Lee about the film. For more information about the screening, click HERE.

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Culture
3:15 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Holders of the Light: A Conversation with Lane Hall and Lisa Moline

Overpass Light Brigade

Lisa Moline and Lane Hall, co-founders of the Overpass Light Brigade, will be speaking tonight at UCCS. Moline and Hall, both of whom are artists based in Milwaukee Wisconsin, began displaying illuminated protest messages on highway overpasses and in public spaces during the campaign to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in 2011. In the years since, the tactic has been employed in support of various causes around the country and around the world. The Big Something’s Noel Black spoke with the duo about their work.

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The Middle Distance
6:05 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

The Middle Distance 2.28.14: The Line Leads Away From Home

If you drew a line straight up through the middle of a map of the United States, across the fruited plain, that line would come within 100 miles of the shooting locales of two American films currently contending for Oscars in multiple categories: Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, filmed in and outside a number of the state’s eastern plains towns; and August: Osage County, filmed largely in a big old house in Osage County on the border of Oklahoma and Kansas.

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Culture
4:59 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Katherine Boo on Poverty and Possibilty

Detail of the cover of "Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity"

Veteran Journalist Katherine Boo will be speaking tonight at Shove Chapel on the Colorado College campus. A staff writer for The New Yorker, and former reporter and editor at the Washington Post, she’s received numerous awards for her work, including a Pulitzer prize for Public Service and a MacArthur Genius grant.

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Culture
4:49 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

A Conversation with Novelist Zadie Smith

Credit Stephen Sartori

Celebrated novelist Zadie Smith will speak tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. in Armstrong Hall. Winner of numerous awards, Smith is the author of the novels “White Teeth,” “The Autograph Man,” “On Beauty,” and, most recently, “NW.” This event is part of the 2014 MacLean Symposium on Globalization, Culture, and Literature. Colorado College Professor Heidi Lewis spoke with Smith by phone.

For more information, click HERE.

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Culture
4:58 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Spend Money to Make Money: Mark Blyth on the Dangers of Austerity

In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, countries around the world have moved to slash government spending and reduce national debt. Dr. Mark Blyth, professor of International Political Economy at Brown University, argues that this is exactly the wrong way to approach the problem of slow economic growth. Dr. Blyth is in town to speak at Colorado College, and he sat down with The Big Something’s Noel Black to discuss his latest book, “Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea”.

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Culture
4:46 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Power to the Peaceful: Dr. Erica Chenoweth on Nonviolent Resistance

Tahrir Square, Eqypt, after the resignation of Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Credit Jonathan Rashad: Wikimedia Commons

 

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Culture
4:06 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

The Message Reflects: An Interview with Big Samir of The ReMINDers

Credit http://www.theremindersmusic.com

The ReMINDers are a hip hop duo from Colorado Springs. The group consists of Aja Black and Big Samir, a married couple who have gained recognition over the past few years with their records ReCollect (2008) and Born Champions (2012). They’ve toured the country and shared the stage with legendary hip hop acts like Big Boi, Nas, KRS-One, and Mos Def. Mercedes Whitman, intern at the Big Something, talked to Samir about the group’s career, as well about why they’ve chosen to maintain their roots in Colorado Springs. 

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Culture
4:44 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Strange and Beautiful: An Interview with Folk Art Collectors Willem and Diane Volkersz

Credit Arthur Frenchy, Chair with Plastic Bird, early 1960s, painted chicken bones & collage, 14 ½ x 13 ¼ x 8 From the collection of Willem and Diane Volkersz

Tomorrow marks the opening of a new exhibition at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, entitled Strange and Beautiful: American Folk Art from the Willem Volkersz Collection. The show features paintings, drawings, sculptures, and other, less-easily classified, art objects created by self-taught artists from around the country, and collected by Willem Volkersz and his wife Diane. KRCC’s Jake Brownell spoke with the pair about their collection and the broader tradition of folk art in America.

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Culture
4:58 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

How to Make a Film with a 340 Ton Rock: An Interview with Doug Pray

 

Doug Pray is the award-winning director of numerous documentaries, including “Hype”, “Surfwise", “Scratch”, and “Art and Copy”. As a director, he is known for his keen ability to capture the spirit of cultural and artistic movements, as well as his abiding interest in the relationship between people and their passions. KRCC’s Jake Brownell spoke with Pray, who is in town for the screening of his newest film, Levitated Mass.

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Culture
3:48 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Lost and Found: Stories from the Flood

Much was lost during last summer's flooding in Manitou, including many personal items. This past October, the interns at The Big Something--Colorado College students Mercedes Whitman, Patrick Lofgren, and Sarah Stockdale--went to Fountain Creek to rescue what they could from the banks. In November, the recovered items were displayed in a pop-up show at the Manitou Art Center, and those affected by the floods were invited to claim their belongings and share their stories.

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Culture
4:59 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

The Specter of the Megadrought: An Interview with Dr. Michael W. Kerwin

With record wildfires and flooding impacting communities across the state over the past few years, residents of Colorado have gained a unique appreciation for the power of precipitation. But according to Dr. Michael Kerwin, Professor of Geography director of the Environmental Science and Geology Programs at Denver University, the precipitation-related challenges that we’ve recently faced here may pale in comparison to those posed by the decades-long, global-warming enhanced, “Megadrought” that may strike the Front Range during this century. KRCC’s Jake Brownell spoke with Dr.

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The Big Something
5:45 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

An Interview With Art Spiegelman and Phillip Johnston

Legendary underground comix author and artist Art Spiegelman will present “Wordless,” a slide lecture accompanied by live music on Wednesday, January 22 as part of Cornerstone Arts Week at Colorado College. The Big Something’s Noel Black spoke with Spiegelman and musician Phillip Johnston about the event.

Tickets for the Event are sold out, but hopeful attendees may want to wait outside the Richard F. Celeste Theater in the Cornerstone Arts Building to see if seats become available.

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The Big Something
6:09 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

An Interview with Children of Men Screenwriter Tim Sexton

Tim Sexton is an Oscar nominated screenwriter, best known for his work with director Alfonso Cuaron on the dystopian sci-fi drama, Children of Men, released in 2006. Sexton's screenplays--which also include the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic "Boycott" and a forthcoming film about labor activist Cesar Chavez--often explore the complicated, human side of heroism. The Big Something's Noel Black spoke with Sexton about his work.

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Culture
5:19 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

The Middle Distance 1.17.14: With the Phone Unplugged

Half a month into the new year and I have lost all sense of time passing. Moving deeply southward across the continent in the dead of winter will do that. It is disorienting to see a rose in bloom in January, but here on the Gulf coast of Texas on the trellis of my mother’s front porch, the yellow climbing rose is loaded with buds.

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Culture
6:03 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

The Middle Distance 1.10.14: Still Time

PPLD Digital Photo Archive, Image Number 195-4258.jpg

My son-in-law arrives tired and hungry for his annual holiday visit. Winter storm Hercules, followed closely by a record-setting Arctic vortex of extreme cold, has left thousands stranded in New York City but he managed to get out and fly to Houston following a harrowing day in an airport filled with desperate traveling strangers. 

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