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 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

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

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

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

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.
The Middle Distance
4:56 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

The Middle Distance 10.4.13: Freeze This Time

Walking the dog yesterday morning, I started calculating the For Sale signs in the neighborhood. They were not the fancy fixed-uppers with new granite counters placed on the market at the height of the season to snatch the highest prices. They were sturdy old survivors in this turn-of-the-last-century neighborhood, well kept and solemn in the flurry of this brilliant early autumn morning.

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The Big Something
1:28 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

RIP Elizabeth Wright Ingraham

We were saddened last week to learn of the death of famed local architect Elizabeth Wright Ingraham, who was 91. Her homes in the Pikes Region could very well have defined a regional style if design were valued as highly as affordability. To be inside her homes is to understand the way architecture can be both imminently practical and inspiring all at once, which is to say that a home is not merely the sum of its square footage and furnishings.

Here are three slide shows we produced about Wright Igraham homes in the Pikes Peak region.

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The Middle Distance
12:00 am
Fri September 27, 2013

The Middle Distance 9.27.13: Untethered

[Aspen Leaves] by Myron Wood, September 1976. Copyright PPLD. Image Number: 002-5859.

Yesterday, the air was so clear you could see the Wet Mountains and the Spanish Peaks from Colorado Springs. Not a distant blur, but a sharp blue line in a stark blue sky. I took the dogs to the park in the afternoon, and as we rounded a turn in the path of Monument Valley Park, where those huge, ragged old cottonwoods stand, a gust of wind rushed through and sent a spray of leaves falling. I froze in my tracks and the dogs froze, standing witness to something glorious we hadn’t experienced in a year, the chilling rush of pending autumn.

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The Big Something
4:35 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Prepping for Live Story Project: An Interview with Sharon Friedman

This Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. at Ivywild, KRCC and Smokebrush will present the first "dry run" of what we hope will be a monthly live storytelling event broadcast on KRCC. I spoke with Sharon Friedman last month about the evolution of the Story Project.

Click HERE for complete event details.

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The Big Something
4:29 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

City Auditorium Celebrates 90 Years: An Interview with Judith Rice-Jones

City Auditorium by Harry L. Standley, courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District.

This Sunday from Noon to 6 p.m., the City Auditorium in downtown Colorado Springs will celebrate its 90th anniversary. I spoke with Judith Rice-Jones, a historian, Geographer, Civic Ecologist and founding member of the Historic Preservation Alliance about the building’s significance to the community.

Click HERE for complete details on the FREE event.

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The Middle Distance
4:36 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

The Middle Distance 9.20.13: Stardust

A friend sent me a link to a beautiful video recently, illustrating the cosmic level at which we are all connected, atoms derived from vast explosions of stars. We are stardust, basically, just like Joni Mitchell said. Watching the video and listening to the brilliant astrophysicist narrating it, I felt at once connected and disconnected, amazed and confused. Astrophysics discussions send me right into a mental black hole of incomprehension. But call it God and I can begin to crawl out of my hole, see the light and begin to feel those atoms buzzing within and around me.

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The Big Something
2:31 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

His Heart is an Idiot: An Interview with Davy Rothbart

Davy Rothbart, the creator of FOUND Magazine and author of the new book of personal essays , My Heart is an Idiot, will perform tomorrow night at Ivywild School with local musicians The Changing Colours and Poet Idris Goodwin. I spoke with Rothbart about the connection between FOUND Magazine and his new book.

Click HERE for more info and tickets.

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The Big Something
4:56 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Baby, You Can Drive My Art Car: An Interview With Artocade Organizer Rodney Wood

"The Lizard King" by Rebecca Bass and her high school students

Beginning Friday, Trinidad Colorado will host the First Annual Artocade, a 3-day festival featuring a parade of Art Cars through the heart of town on Saturday.I spoke with organizer Rodney Wood about the event.

Click HERE for more information about Artocade.

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The Big Something
4:36 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Progressive Niche: An Interview with Theatre'dArt

Theatre'dArt will announce and launch its 7th season this Saturday with its annual fundraising gala. Off Topic’s Craig Richardson spoke with Board Members, Actors and Directors Benjamin Bonnenfant (BON-IN-FONT), Christian O’Shaugnessy and Michael Lee about the company’s niche in the community.

Find them on Facebook or click HERE for complete information about tomorrow night's Gala.

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The Middle Distance
5:39 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

The Middle Distance 9.6.13: The Inner Edge of Old Age

As I was driving across South Park this week, the massive open plain settled between mountain ranges in south central Colorado, a hot air balloon lifted off and climbed upward in a diagonal line between earth and sky. From the road I zoomed down at 65 miles per hour, it looked as though the massive rainbow-striped balloon was very near the peaks looming behind it. But the closer I got, I could see that the pilot had launched from the center of a huge pasture, well away from the threatening rock walls.

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