Noel Black

The Big Something, Producer

Noel Black is a Colorado Springs native. He has worked as a print journalist, blogger and radio producer everywhere from San Francisco and New York City, but has always considered the Pikes Peak region home.  Noel oversees a fleet of Colorado College interns overseeing the production of KRCC's The Big Something. He is also the author of many chapbooks and two full-length books of poems, including La Goon, (The New Heave-Ho Press, 2013), which you can read online for free HERE and Uselysses, (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2011), which you can read online for free HERE.

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The Middle Distance
5:03 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

The Middle Distance 2.21.14: On Your Marks...

Mary's Birthday by Stanley L. Payne, November 4, 1959. Courtesy of PPLD. Image Number: 004-10632.

 I will be 60 years old in just a little over a month. I have lied about my age for decades, pretending always to be a year older than I really am, to soften the blow of aging, to get used to the idea. But this year I am claiming 60 because it feels important, an urgent starting line.

On your mark: You have limited time left to get your life’s work done.

Get set: Be clear about what that work is. Don’t kid yourself and don’t let anyone talk you out of it.

Go.

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The Big Something
4:41 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Of Pen and Paper

Big Something intern Patrick Lofgren wanted to know if and why people still physically inscribed their thoughts in that old-time technology known as notebooks, so he we sent him to find out.

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The Middle Distance
5:02 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

The Middle Distance 2.14.14: Heart-Shaped Box

Larry Davidson was a country boy. He wore pressed jeans and a big belt buckle, scuffed cowboy boots, and plaid flannel shirts. We were twelve and in sixth grade at a brand new school on the edge of Nashville, Tennessee, set between half-built subdivisions of split-level houses and rolling farm meadows dotted with grazing horses and cows.

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The Middle Distance
7:25 am
Fri February 7, 2014

The Middle Distance 2.7.14: Untold

I have spent a month with my mother this winter, her 86th and my 60th, the coldest January she’s seen in years. Every morning at the breakfast table we flip through the flimsy pages of her small town’s local newspaper, sharing a lurid headline here, a recipe there, agreeing that if the paper gets any worse they might as well stop printing it.

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The Big Something
9:40 am
Fri January 31, 2014

The Middle Distance 1.31.14: A Place for All

This January morning, the Gulf of Mexico is dark blue beneath a blanket of fog peeling off to sea. The day begins with a rose sky and balmy air, a reprieve from last week’s wet and windy cold front and the one the weatherman predicts will arrive again by end of week. This morning the people of Galveston celebrate the weather by heading to the seawall.

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The Middle Distance
4:24 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

The Middle Distance 1.3.14: Stories of a Pioneer American Family

Apple Tree and Irises by Myron Wood, May 1980. Copyright PPLD. Image 002-9202.

When I arrive in Galveston on the next-to-last day of 2013, my mother has made a soup from the bones of the Christmas turkey. Just a few rags of meat on the bones, but the broth is rich and brown and fragrant. She has tossed in the last scraps of vegetables from her refrigerator and a handful of wild rice.

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The Middle Distance
5:43 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

The Middle Distance 12.13.13: Small Talk About Christmas

The snow has finally stopped falling after four days of constant icy drizzle, but sidewalks are still packed with a three-inch sheet of frozen, thawed and refrozen precipitation. Pedestrians tread carefully, especially along sidewalks that have gone un-shoveled or in shady corridors where the sun rarely reaches the ground. It’s Christmas time in the city.

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The Big Something
5:01 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Laugh Lines: An Interview with Poet Tony Hoagland

Poet Tony Hoagland, author of “Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty," will read tonight at 7 p.m. in the Gates Common Room in Palmer Hall on the Colorado College campus as part of the  Visiting Writers Series. The Big Something’s Noel Black sat down with Hoagland to talk about the disconnect between poetry, entertainment and comedy.

Click HERE for complete event information.

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The Big Something
4:05 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Disruptive Media: An Interview with Noel Maxam About the Future of Content

Tonight at 6 p.m. in the Richard F. Celeste Theatre at the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center here on the Colorado College campus, former Days of Our Lives executive co-producer and director Noel Maxam will discuss disruptive innovation in media from Network Television to Netflix. The Big Something’s Noel Black spoke with Maxam about soap operas ant the future of local media.

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The Middle Distance
10:04 am
Wed November 27, 2013

The Middle Distance 11.29.13: Season of Contradictions

"Tejon Street at Night" by James and Helen McCaffery, ca. 1950s. Courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District. Image Number: 266-10084.

(This column originally ran on December 3, 2010. Kathryn Eastburn will return next week.)

‘Tis the season of contradiction. Bare black tree limbs, frozen earth, and neighborhood houses lighted up like Vegas. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and a constant string of economic forecasts based on how much we might or might not spend on stuff we don’t need in this holiday season.

Meanwhile, 28 million jobless Americans lose their federally funded unemployment benefits, barely raising a peep.

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The Middle Distance
5:24 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

The Middle Distance 11.22.13: Switching It Up

This year, for the second time in my life I won’t be having Thanksgiving dinner at home. Many years I considered going out and letting some wonderful chef at a restaurant feed my crew, but that just never seemed right. What if they served oyster stuffing? What if there were no mashed potatoes? What if there was no pecan pie? Thanksgiving, after all, might be about the Pilgrims and a bountiful harvest and giving thanks for being alive and all that good stuff, but isn’t it really about doing it the way you’ve always done it? About being a kitchen Nazi?

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The Big Something
4:56 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

The International Experimental Cinema Exposition Returns to Colorado Springs

The 13th International Experimental Cinema Exposition comes to the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center beginning tonight and running through the weekend. I spoke spoke with Festival Director and Colorado Springs native Chris May about the history of this prestigious event.

Click HERE for complete details.

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The Big Something
5:15 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

The Middle Distance 11.15.13: In The Bedroom

The earliest bedroom is corner-mounted in a brand new post-World War II house built of native Kentucky limestone. Your mother has arranged a maze of chests of drawers and beds for her three little girls — so close in age they seem part of one big whole — to offer them equal amounts of relative privacy. The effect is of a nest, a tiny space barely big enough to turn around in, where you hide the things you don’t want to share. In winter, it is cozy and dark. In summer, a large and very loud electric fan fills the window frame, blowing hot air out by day and sucking cooler air in by night.

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The Middle Distance
5:50 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

The Middle Distance 11.8.13: Among the Ghouls and Goblins

Last week, amidst the long parade of trick-or-treaters and Halloween festivities, I consciously tried to invoke my beloved departed. Some friends and I even staged a Dumb Feast, the Celtic ritual of Samhain in which guests partake of a silent meal with an empty place set at the head of the table for the spirits of the dead. That night I was able for the first time to close my eyes and summon a vision of those I love who have died — my son, my nephew, my sister, my former spouse — and picture them well beyond suffering, released.

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10:36 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Photos of Rebuilding in Mountain Shadows at The Atlantic

Lead in text: 
We missed these photos of the rebuilding process in Mountain Shadows that appeared in The Atlantic Monthly this past August, but found the link while dredging through old emails. Thanks to Di for the tip!
A little more than a year ago, one of the most destructive wildfires in Colorado history claimed 346 homes and two lives (covered by In Focus here and here). The Waldo Canyon Fire swept through neighborhoods of Colorado Springs, taking out entire streets and leaving the landscape blackened.
9:48 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Talking Heads Speak Computer

Lead in text: 
Get your 8-bit Byrne on!
Uploaded by apmeehan on 2013-11-02.
The Middle Distance
4:47 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

The Middle Distance 11.1.13: Life-Giver

Eldonna Edwards, better known as Ellie, is a lively platinum blonde with streaks of pink dyed into her hair. Ellie radiates that other-worldly southern California vibe of feel-good health, laid-back lifestyle and liberal politics. She is a massage therapist with a functioning claw-foot bathtub in her back yard. Married and divorced several times, her kids all grown up, she has reached a point in life where she’s happy just living with herself.

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11:59 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Rock to the Greek

Lead in text: 
Ancient Greek music played with "100%" accuracy.
Musical rhythms were preserved in the patterns of words of ancient texts Instruments used are known from paintings and archaeological remains Ancient documents found on stone reveal how the pitch should have risen Dr D'Angour claims the 'magical' recordings are 100% accurate By Ellie Zolfagharifard PUBLISHED: 11:19 EST, 28 October 2013 | UPDATED: 11:22 EST, 28 October 2013 The beautiful texts of ancient Greece have captivated our imaginations for thousands of years.
The Big Something
3:17 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Catamount Institute Sustainability Conference

The Catamount Institute's Annual Colorado Sustainability Conference begins this Thursday and will cover topics ranging from fires and floods to urban farming. I spoke with Catamount board member Alicia Archibald and Marketing and Communications Director Chris Aaby about the conference.

Click HERE for complete conference details and more about Catamount Institute. 

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The Big Something
4:59 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Rocky Mountain Women's Film Fest Turns 26

The 26th Annual Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival begins Friday, November 1st and runs through the weekend. The Big Something’s Noel Black sat down with Executive Director Linda Broker and Board Chair Lisa Tessarowicz to talk about some changes in the festival and this year’s films.

Click HERE for tickets and complete details.

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The Middle Distance
2:34 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

The Middle Distance 10.25.13: What Can't Be Faked

Sharpen your pencils, charge up your computers and clear off your desk: November is National Novel Writing Month. Otherwise known to eager scribes across America as NaNoWriMo, a clever web-based arts nonprofit enterprise operating on the belief that within everyone lies at least one great story waiting to be written. And in typical American fashion, why not bang it out in a month? The web site (nanowrimo.org) offers word count gauges, opportunities to compare notes with other writers racing toward the finish line, and plenty of inspiration like this observation by author Neil Gaiman:

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The Big Something
11:47 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Farewell to the Bowed Piano Ensemble? An Interview with Stephen Scott

Colorado College Professor Stephen Scott’s Bowed Piano Ensemble is on its way to Jazz and Lincoln Center on October 26 in New York to play one of its final concerts before Scott retires. The Ensemble will play a preview of this concert this Tuesday night in Packard Hall on the CC Campus. I sat down with Scott to look back on his career as he prepares to retire from teaching.

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The Middle Distance
5:13 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

The Middle Distance 10.18.13: Recipe for a Cold Day

It has to be a cold day. Preferably the first really cold day of the season, when the wind has swept down from the north and left the yellow leaves dangling, threatening to fall all at once; when the still-green summer grass stands stiff and frosted. A gray mid-October day when staying at home is in order.

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The Big Something
4:34 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Vinylogue: Patrick McConnell's Stand-up Memoir Set to Music

Comedian and Storyteller Patrick McConnell will present his one man show “Vinylogue” beginning tonight and running through the weekend at the new Millibo Art Theatre at Ivywild. I spoke with McConnell about his autobiographical monologue set to music.

Click HERE for complete details about the show.

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Culture
2:48 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Idris Goodwin debuts "The Girl From Crete Falls": An Interview

Playwright, Poet and Colorado College Professor Idris Goodwin’s new play, “The Girl From Crete Falls, ” will premier tomorrow night and run through the weekend at the Edith Kinney Gaylord Arts Center. I spoke with Goodwin about his new work.

Tickets are $5 and you can get complete information HERE.

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The Big Something
10:59 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Ira Glass Tonight! Listen to Interview

Tickets are still available for This American Life creator and host Ira Glass's live performance at the Pikes Peak Center on Saturday, October 12.

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The Middle Distance
10:02 am
Fri October 11, 2013

The Middle Distance 10.11.13: Grandma?

"Married Fifty Years" by Stan Payne, August 20, 1959. Courtesy of PPLD. Image Number: 004-10554.

A few years back my friends started becoming grandparents. It was fun to watch from a distance, but it was not something I longed to be. It felt as though my youngest kids had just flown the nest and honestly, the last thing I could imagine enjoying was the care and feeding of a newborn or chasing a toddler around. I was ready for some middle-aged autonomy.

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The Big Something
4:41 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Palmer Land Trust Recognizes Conservation Champions: An Interview with Scott Campbell and Walt Hecox

Tomorrow night, October 9, 2010, the Palmer Land Trust will celebrate the 2013 Southern Colorado Conservation Awards.I spoke with Executive Director Scott Campbell Stuart P. Dodge Award Winner Walt Hecox about the importance of land trusts and Hecox’s efforts with The State of the Rockies Project.

If you'd like to make a reservation to attend the 2013 Southern Colorado Conservation Awards, call (719) 632-3236 x.2.

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The Big Something
4:48 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Rising Through the Recession: An Interview with Nathan Newbrough, ED of the Philharmonic

As the Colorado Springs Philharmonic begins its  90th season in Colorado Springs, I spoke with Executive Director Nathan Newbrough about the organization’s comeback from bankruptcy 10 years ago and its artistic and economic renaissance during the Recession.

Click HERE for more information about this weekend's performance of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" and more.

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10:23 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Wash Post says COS #1 Most Impacted City by Gov't Shutdown

Lead in text: 
For a town that's historically anti-goverment in its political leanings, we certainly depend on it.
The shutdown of the federal government has sent as many as 770,000 employees home, delayed the paychecks of another 1.3 million "essential" workers, and shuttered various government functions. That will put a crimp in the Washington D.C. area's economy - costing some $200 million per day. But it's not justD.C.

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