Issuu on Google+

contents Mission Statement KGNU is an independent, noncommercial community radio station licensed in Boulder and Denver and dedicated to serving its listeners. We seek to stimulate, educate and entertain our audience, to reflect the diversity of the local and world community,

4 7 8 9 10 12 14 20


22 24 26 28 30


and to provide a channel for individuals, groups, issues and music that have been overlooked, suppressed or under-represented by other media. The station seeks to expand the listening audience through the excellence of its


programming without compromising the principles stated here.

KGNU STAFF Rare Frequencies KGNU Radio Magazine Issue Date June 2013 Frequency of Publication Annual Authorized Publisher Boulder Community Broadcast Association, Inc. dba KGNU Volume 36, Issue 1 Editors Sam Fuqua, John Schaefer Design Amy Hayes | Origin Contributors Dave Ashton, Sam Fuqua, John Schaefer, Barry Gilbert, Lorraine Filomeno, Neil Smart Advertising Sales Wally Wallace, Printing Signature Offset

Station Manager: Sam Fuqua, Music Director: John Schaefer, News and Public Affairs Directors: Joel Edelstein, Maeve Conran, Operations Director: Evan Perkins, Membership Director: Nikki Kayser, Community Development Director: Shawna Sprowls, Denver Program Manager: Dave Ashton, Underwriting Sales: Boulder — Kenneth Flowe Denver — Wally Wallace, Boulder Trainer: Joel Davis, Engineers: Mike Pappas, Joey Kloss, Devin Schoub IT: David Hardy, In-House Counsel: Gregg Friedman

KGNU BOARD OF DIRECTORS Barry Gilbert, Chair Meredith Carson, Vice-Chair Chris O’Riley, Secretary Basit Mustafa, Treasurer Joy Barrett Ken Fricklas Sam Fuqua, Station Manager, [ex-officio, non-voting] Robin Van Norman Jon Walton

KGNU STUDIOS Boulder: 4700 Walnut St Boulder, CO 80301 office: 303.449.4885 | 800.737.3030 studio: 303.442.4242 or Denver: 700 Kalamath St Denver, CO 80204 office: 303.825.5468 studio: 303.825.0619 Comment Line: 303.447.9911


COMMUNITY FIRST FOUNDATION’S COLORADO GIVES DAY KGNU raised nearly $10,000 through Colorado Gives Day December 4, 2012. We truly appreciate everyone who donated through this program in the past year. Corporate partner FirstBank, seven media partners and over 1,000 local nonprofits joined together to ask Coloradans to “Give Where You Live.” The event is an initiative of Community First Foundation to increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. Launched in 2010, the third annual Colorado Gives Day exceeded expectations, with total donations through the website increasing by 32% over 2011.


Steve Strenge died in his sleep on Monday, November 26 , 2012. He was a member of KGNU’s Board of Directors, a host of our Friday night blues show Blues Legacy and a tireless outreach volunteer who shared his love of KGNU with one and all. A big guy with a deep voice—perfect for radio—Steve was a friendly, thoughtful presence at KGNU. Raised in Boulder by adopted parents, Steve was part of KGNU in its early days. After many years and some hard times, he came back to us about ten years ago. In addition to work on-air and on our board, Steve loved spreading the word about KGNU at music festivals, public events and the Denver March Powwow. Steve was proud of his Native American heritage and of the diversity on KGNU. We held a memorial service for him at our Boulder studio and it was clear that he touched many lives outside the station, too. Young people shared stories of Steve’s positive role in their lives as a mentor and cherished family friend. His colleagues from the Audio Information Network of Colorado recognized Steve as their longest-serving volunteer and praised his 20-year commitment to reading for the visually impaired.

Joanne Conte

died January 27, 2013. Although she was not active at KGNU in recent years due to poor health, Joanne made major contributions to our news and public affairs programming for ten years, from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s. She broke three major news stories on KGNU: > Migrant worker abuse at a large mushroom farm in the San Luis Valley > The Colorado Lottery’s use of a psychological profiling system (“Mindsort”) to target and hook people into buying more lottery tickets. > Poor conditions at a state facility for veterans. In addition to those stories, she also hosted many electoral debate programs and interviews with local activists. Joanne was a successful and committed grassroots activist in Arvada. She served one term on the Arvada City Council. A run for state representative was derailed when opponents made an issue of her sex reassigment surgery. She briefly hosted a talk radio program on KOA but quit because the station was using sensational and derogatory advertising about her sex change to promote her program. As Joseph Baione, Joanne served as a radio operator during the Korean War. She was buried with military honors at Ft. Logan cemetery.

4 | Rare Frequencies

KGNU recently added two new members to our board of directors: Jon Walton is one of the hosts of our Saturday afternoon reggae program, Reggae Bloodlines, and our Tuesday evening jazz show, The Heavy Set. He lives in Lafayette and works as a management consultant. He jumped right into board service by volunteering to coordinate the development of our strategic plan. Joy Barrett is a longtime off-air KGNU volunteer and co-chair of our nominating committee. She’s an environmental engineer specializing in water quality. She lives in Boulder and has been a member of KGNU since 1982. Welcome to the board Jon & Joy!

KGNU INTERN WINS AWARD In April, Hannah Leigh Myers was awarded first place in the student regional Society of Professional Journalist’s Mark of Excellence Awards. Her series, “Marijuana in Colorado” took first place in region 9 (including Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) in the category of in-depth radio reporting. Her five-part series was broadcast prior to the November 2012 elections, when Colorado voters approved Amendment 64 legalizing marijuana for industrial and adult recreational use. Hannah began interning at KGNU in 2011 while studying journalism at CU-Boulder. She graduated in 2012 and continues to volunteer at KGNU while developing her career as a freelance journalist. Congratulations Hannah!

many thanks to our underwriters 3RD STREET CHAI (303)442-5117






LEFT HAND COMMUNITY ACUPUNCTURE (720) 248-8626 LOCAL FOOD SHIFT (303) 494-1521 MARQUEE MAGAZINE (303) 442-2480 MAHLER FEST 2013 303-492-8970

REDSTONE REVIEW (303) 823-6367 REDWOOD LANDSCAPE (303) 543-7708 SAVE HOME HEAT CO (303) 443-9762 SAVORY SPICE SHOP 303) 444-0668




MILE HIGH WELCOME (303) 772-1674


EDIBLE FRONT RANGE (303) 669-3442

MOUNTAIN EAR (303) 258-7075

SWALLOW HILL (303) 777-1003

EIGHT DAYS A WEEK (303) 443-7671

MOUNTAIN SUN BREW PUB (303) 546-0886



NAROPA UNIVERSITY (303)-444-0202


NATURE’S OWN (303) 444-4020


NEXUS PUBLISHING (303) 442-6662

UNSEEN BEAN (303) 772-1154

OHCO (303) 674-2466


THE ONION (303) 399-8922

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO Museum of Natural History (303) 492-6892



URBAN SPECTRUM (303) 292-6446

PHARMACA PHARMACY (303) 867-3400

WALNUT BREWERY (303) 447-1345



RAS KASSA’S (303) 447-2919

YELLOW SCENE (303) 828-2700

KGNU Community Radio | 5

business thanks! Abo’s Pizza AEG Live Alfalfa’s Amaro Drinkery Italia Annie’s Café and Bar annies-café.com Arugula Ristorante Avery Brewing Company Axios Estiatorio Backcountry Pizza backcountrypizzaandtap Belemonti’s Pizzeria Boulder Independent Business Association Big City Burritos BJ’s Restaurant & Brew House Black and Read Bookstore Bluebird Theater Boulder Arts and Crafts Boulder Beer Boulder Outlook Boulder Theater Bourbon Grill 303-355-3821 Brock Media Bus to Show Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom Chef Bob Sampson Cheba Hut Subs Cheribundi City O’ City Community Shares of Colorado The Corner 720-398-8331

6 | Rare Frequencies

Cosmo’s Pizza Crimson Canary Daphne’s Greek Café Dizzy’s Donuts Dot’s Diner Einstein Brothers Bagels Fat Jack’s Supersubs Foolish Craig’s Café Fox Theater Georgia Boys’ BBQ Gold Hill Inn Gothic Theatre Greenbriar Inn Green Girl Recycling Half-Fast Subs on the Hill Hapa Sushi Heirloom Truck Hi Dive Highlands Pacific Restaurant Illegal Pete’s on the Hill Indian Peaks Springwater Julia’s Kitchen juliaskitchenboulder.wordpress. com Julien’s Cliffhouse Kombucha King Soopers KT’s Hick’ry Pit BBQ Larimer Lounge Larkburger Lawns of Boulder Liquor Mart Live Nation

Lucky’s Market Martini’s Bistro The Mercury Café Milo’s Pizza and Po’ Boys Modmarket Moe’s Original BBQ in Boulder Mountain Sun Brew Pub Noodles & Company Off Campus Restaurant Ogden Theater Old Louisville Inn Olive Garden Ondo’s Spanish Tapas Oskar Blues Liquids and Solids Ozo Coffee Palisades Bluegrass & Roots Festival Pica’s Mexican Taqueria Pizzeria Basta

Pizzeria Da Lupo Pizzeria Locale and Caffé Planet Bluegrass Poppy’s Café The Populist Proto’s Pizza Ptomaine Tommy Sound LLC Racine’s Restaurant Red Robin’s Burger Works Redstone Meadery Restaurant Runners Riff’s Urban Fare RollinGreens SALT Salvaggio’s Deli Serioz Pizza The Sink Restaurant & Bar Snarf’s Southside Walnut Café

Spruce Confections Sputnik Sugarbeet Restaurant Sushi Tora Swallow Hill Music Tahona Tequila Bistro Tangerine Ted’s Montana Grill Tiffin’s Turley’s Twist and Shout Via Toscana Walnut Café The Walnut Room Waterloo White Wave Wild Ginger Zamparelli’s Italian Bistro

THANK YOU, MEMBERS! KGNU thanks each and every person who contributed during our recent membership drives. None of what we do would be possible without the support of our listener-members. This is the model that has sustained our community station for 35 years: individuals giving what they can afford to give makes up the majority of KGNU’s budget. If you’ve never been a member—or if you forgot to renew your membership—please join KGNU today. Click on the “donate” button at or call our office Mon-Fri, 9:30 am-5:30 pm, at 303-449-4885.

We have many great thank you gifts, including new t-shirts and our 35th anniversary coffee mug.

Sam Fuqua Leaves staff ( ( ( Fuqua Transitions from KGNU Station Manager to Volunteer ) ) ) By Barry Gilbert (KGNU Board Chair) KGNU’s departing station manager, Sam Fuqua, is hard to pin down. Reading a list of his accomplishments, you’d swear you were reading about three or four different people. Radio news guy, father, bass player, community activist, musicologist. Ok, more than four. Prior to coming to Colorado in 1991, Sam was a community organizer and a reporter and volunteer at KFAI in Minneapolis. When he came to KGNU as our News Director, he had big shoes to fill (David Barsamian) and he filled them well. In his 16 years in that role, he transformed the news programming at KGNU. Sam was responsible for creating the KGNU Morning Magazine and worked with KGNU’s amazing volunteers to create How On Earth: The KGNU Science Show and Metro. When the station made the difficult decision to drop NPR, Sam oversaw the switch to other high quality syndicated shows like Democracy Now! and BBC Newshour. He elevated KGNU’s news programming from a very good local news outlet into one that is the envy of community radio stations across the country. During his time as News Director, Sam also created the Capitol Coverage project, a radio series that brought news of the Colorado legislature to community stations throughout Colorado. Capitol Coverage continues to this day and formed the basis of the Rocky Mountain Community Radio network, a collective of 14 stations throughout Colorado.

as station manager, Sam continued to improve KGNU’s programming, its financial position, and its engagement in the community. Under Sam’s leadership, KGNU’s FM signal increased from 1,300 to 4,000 watts, our debt was reduced from $3 million to $1.2 million, our budget has continued to stay in the black, and KGNU formed strong partnerships with many local schools, foundations, and non-profits. If you were to ask Sam about these accomplishments, his deep humility takes over. He credits our staff, volunteers, major donors and members for everything good that has happened, but we know that none of this would have happened without his steady and determined leadership. I’ve known Sam for 22 years and have had the privilege of working alongside him for the past several. He is truly my friend. I’ve learned a lot by watching Sam in action. He is humble and confident. He attacks issues with deep focus and yet maintains an amazing sense of humor. He is unflappable and relaxed in the midst of chaos. Sam’s dedication to community service is truly inspiring.

Outside KGNU’s walls, Sam is equally accomplished. Are you ready? > He plays bass in several local groups, including a local Ska band, The Mighty Twisters. > He drove the KGNU car in the Boulder County Fair’s demolition derby in 2005. Watch for him again in this year’s derby! > He is considered an expert in yodeling records, having hosted several yodeling shows with local poet/yodeler Jack Collum. > He is a member of the Boulder Valley Board of Education, chaired the Boulder Library Commission and served on Boulder’s Affordable Housing Task Force > His proudest accomplishment? Along with his wife Amy, he’s raised three wonderful kids: Ben, Rosie, and Otis.

Sam has been the principal steward of KGNU’s mission to serve and engage our local community and to provide a forum for underrepresented music and news. As he makes the transition from station manager to volunteer, we’re all eager to see what he’ll do next. Whatever it is, I’m certain it will be interesting and inspiring.

When Marty Durlin left the station manager position in 2007, the board of directors didn’t think twice in their decision to offer Sam the position. If Sam was nervous about these new responsibilities, it didn’t show. He confidently started putting his own stamp on this critical role. During his tenure

KGNU Community Radio | 7

a destination for everything that KGNU brings to the community in terms of music.” Schaefer continues, “We’re hoping to make it easier to discover the live recordings we’ve been broadcasting with local bands over the last three decades, as well as the live sessions we have with national artists like Calexico, Matmos, or the Budos Band.”

The beat never stops on KGNU’s new music channel “When you say ‘After’ and ‘FM’ together it sounds ominous doesn’t it?” KGNU Music Director, John Schaefer ponders the thought with a laugh. “Indeed! In the post-apocalyptic front range of the Rockies, the radio stations are all gone and the zombies are heading west… already halfway across Kansas!” Schaefer smiles, imagining the sci-fi landscape. “Actually it’s not like that at all. It’s way better… and a lot more useful.” AfterFM is a new all-music channel from KGNU. Accessible as an internet-only feed from, the station is a mix of the live music programming currently beaming out of the KGNU transmitters blended with new musical offerings that exist only online. “People will still be able to hear the one-of-akind mix of creative music and essential news that has, I think, endeared the station to radio fans for the last 35 years.” explains Schaefer, “The difference now is that if you only want music, we’ve created a space for you. I would encourage listeners to explore it all. Explore the wisdom of Alan Watts or the amazing information of Alternative Radio. But if you’re really just looking for music, we have a place for you too.” The initial launch is only the start of what AfterFM hopes to bring listeners. However, the extra space in the weekly programming schedule is already being occupied by some unique offerings from some familiar hosts.

8 | Rare Frequencies

Dr. Martin was a KGNU favorite on Honky Tonk Heroes before a hectic work schedule pulled him away from his beloved Saturday morning timeslot. AfterFM allows for his return to laptops and mobile gizmos across the globe with Dr. Martin’s Medicine Show – a weekly Americana music adventure that makes it’s way onto AfterFM Sunday mornings following Roots & Branches. Other homegrown favorites include Bayou Stomp – a look at classic Cajun & Zydeco music from host Dan Willging. The Skavenger teams up T Valladeres and Sam Fuqua of local band The Mighty Twisters for an exploration of the world of Ska. Many of the areas top club nights and musical collectives are joining in as well. The initial list of contributors reads like a who’s who of the Denver and Boulder music scene: the classic and Northern Soul collective The Mile High Soul Club, local Dubstep advocates Sub.Mission, the beats and crate-digging gems of DJs K-Nee, Low Key, and Big Styles of the So What! crew, the Boulder electronic institution that is Communikey, Afrobeat and global grooves from the Afroblu club night, the lost classics of The Denver Vintage Reggae Society. The list continues to grow each week. “AfterFM is for music lovers, there’s no doubt. We’re extremely excited about launching it. But I’m even more excited to see how it grows and expands. It’s a big opportunity to create

“But really, the exciting thing for us is exploring the new possibilities that these kinds of projects bring to re-invent community radio. This is a bold move from KGNU to explore what might be next on the broadcast horizon.”

Information about the latest member of the KGNU family can be found at, and with everything we do at KGNU we invite your feedback.

A Few Schedule Notes: TUESDAY 3:00p 4:00p

Communikey Sub.Mission Dubstep

WEDNESDAY 3:00p 4:00p 5:00p

Mile High Soul Club So What! Afroblu

THURSDAY 3:00p 4:00p

Denver Vintage Reggae Society The Skavenger

SUNDAY 11:00a Noon 1:00p

Dr. Martin’s Medicine Show Route 78 West Bayou Stomp

Program Schedule MONDAY




















10:00 11:00
























































2:00 3:00 4:00


5:00 KEY:



KGNU KGNU Community Community Radio Radio || 9


Whether it’s local, national, or international, KGNU covers the entire news spectrum and showcases communities that are underrepresented in mainstream media.

WEEKDAYS Al Jazeera Radio Mon-Fri 5:30-6:00am International news magazine with breaking news and features. The English version of the Arabic-language news network.

BBC Newshour Weekdays 6am-7am and 4:30 pm News from the premier International radio service.

Dot Org Mon-Fri 6:55 AM (just before Democracy Now) & Wednesdays at 5:25 PM Interviews with local non-profits.

Democracy Now Weekdays 7am-8am / rebroadcast at 3:30 pm Monday-Thursday Award winning news program hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez.

Morning Magazine Weekdays at 8am Following the BBC headlines at the top of the hour, you’ll hear state and local news headlines, daily reports from the Capitol, when in session, and wide coverage of local and regional public affairs.

Radio Nibbles Thursdays 8:25 AM Local food and drink feature with John Lehndorff.

How On Earth Tuesdays 8:35am Locally produced science show featuring long-form interviews, features, and news about science.

Connections Fridays 8:30am-9:30am Call-in program covering a wide range of topics.

Counterspin Mondays 9-9:30am A critique and analysis of recent news coverage from F.A.I.R. (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting)

Alan Watts Tuesdays 9am-9:30am Presentations from the late philosopher and author who specialized in presenting Eastern spirituality to western audiences.

10 | Rare Frequencies

Metro Mon-Thurs 3-3:30pm Metro Arts Fri 3-3:30 pm

Tributaries Sundays Noon-12:30pm

Locally produced news and public affairs call-in show that looks at issues effecting the community.

Interviews focused on healthy living.

Smiley and West Fridays 3:30PM-4:30PM Tavis Smiley and Cornel West will bring us politics, news, culture and commentary.

Free Speech Radio News Mon-Fri 5:30pm-6pm Progressive Daily News.

Labor Exchange Every other Monday 6pm-6:30pm alternating with La Lucha Sigue Locally produced interviews with local and national labor activists and workers.

La Lucha Sigue Every other Monday 6pm-6:30pm alternating with Labor Exchange Locally produced news about Latin America and the Caribbean.

Outsources Mondays 6:30pm-7pm Locally produced Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender news and interviews.

Hemispheres Tuesdays 6pm-7pm Interviews and occasional call-in focused on international and national issues.

Alternative Radio Wednesdays 6pm-7pm Talks by and interviews with dissident writers, academics, and activists such as Noam Chomsky, Vandana Shiva, and Michael Parenti.

It’s The Economy Thursdays 6pm-7pm Discussions on various aspects of the economy.

WEEKENDS BBC Newshour Sat and Sun 6pm-7pm News from the premier international radio service.

Radiolab Sat 7PM-8PM Unusual topics explored in thoughtful and captivating ways.

Living Dialogues Sundays 12:30-1pm View of the New Consciousness.

New Dimensions Sundays 1pm-2pm Uncommon wisdom for unconventional times.

Bioneers Sundays 2-2:30pm Environmental/spiritual news.

W.I.N.G.S. Sundays 2:30pm-3pm Women’s International News Gathering Service. News by and about women.

Indian Voices Sundays 3pm-4pm Explores Native American issues, music, and culture.

Latino USA Sundays 4pm-4:30pm Latin American music and culture from NPR.

Making Contact Sundays 4:30pm-5pm News on grassroots efforts for change.

Sprouts Sundays 5pm-5:30pm Magazine of alternative news.

Colorado Chinese Radio Network Sundays 5:30PM-6PM News and Information for Chinese Immigrants.


KGNU’s eclectic music format covers a wide range of styles and genres. Explore our airwaves and archives to find your favorites within our programming.

FREEFORM Morning Sound Alternative Weekdays 9:30am-Noon Diverse and eclectic sounds, on the mellow side. You’ll hear everything from Ambient Electronics to Reggae to Folk.

The Heavy Set Tuesdays 9pm-Midnight The art of improvisation and the shape of Jazz to come. The Heavy Set features cutting edge Jazz from the past and present.

Seolta Gael Wednesdays 7-8pm

Afternoon Sound Alternative Weekdays Noon-3pm

A weekly exploration of Celtic music.

Diverse and eclectic sounds on the more adventurous side. Tune in for everything from Free Jazz to Hip Hop to Cumbia.

Musica Mundi Wednesdays 8-10pm

Sound Lab Wednesdays 10pm-Midnight

Highway 322 Thursdays 7-8pm

Adventures in freeform from the late night lab.

Folk Music and Americana.

Sleepless Nights Daily 12-3am Combines the aesthetics of the Morning and Afternoon Sound Alternatives while leaving the door open for more extreme audio excursions.

Restless Mornings Daily 3-5:30am Anything can happen as new DJs get their chops behind the mixing board.

WEEKDAY SPECIALTY SHOWS Kabaret Mondays 7-8pm Local musicians and bands play live in KGNU’s performance studio. Kabaret has been a resource for Colorado’s music talent since 1978.

A Classic Monday Mondays 8-10pm Classical Music.

The Present Edge Mondays 10pm-Midnight Exploring the leading edge of contemporary Classical Music, Avant Garde, and experimental sounds.

¡Corriente! Tuesdays 7-9pm This show presents the music of Latin America, from traditional to modern.

“Music of the world,” traditional international music.

Ragtime America 1st, 2nd and 4th Thursdays 8-9pm

Old Grass Gnu Grass Saturdays 9am-Noon Bluegrass music from the traditional to the contemporary.

Terrasonic Saturdays Noon-1pm New traditions in international sound.

Reggae Bloodlines Saturdays 1-4pm Reggae and its roots: Ska, Rock Steady, Dub, Dance Hall and more. The second longest running Reggae show in the U.S.

African Roots Saturdays 4-6pm The only Colorado radio show focused on the music of Africa.

The Grateful Dead Hour Saturdays 8-9pm The only show on KGNU dedicated to a single artist, this show presents recordings of the band’s live concerts.

Ragtime Music.

Electronic Air Saturdays 9-11pm

Dixieland Marmalade 3rd Thursdays 8-9pm

House, IDM, Breakbeat, and more.

Non-stop Dixieland Recordings.

Under the Floorboards Saturdays 11pm-Midnight

Swing Shift Thursdays 9-10pm

Obscure personally produced music and audio art.

Music from the Big Band and Swing Era

Gospel Chime Sundays 7-9am

Jazz Lives Thursdays 10pm-Midnight

A weekly journey through the roots of Gospel music and its contemporary forms.

Jazz with a focus on Traditional, Swing, and Straight-Ahead Jazz.

Roots & Branches Sundays 9am-11am

Blues Legacy Fridays 6-9pm Blues from vintage and contemporary recordings.

Dusty Grooves Fridays 9-11pm

Highlighting the traditions of American Folk music and the new permutations of this genre as interpreted by modern artists.

E-Town Sundays 11am-Noon

Classic Funk & Soul.

Musical variety show, taped before a live audience.

Smash It Back! Fridays 11pm-Midnight

Eclipse Sundays 7-10pm

Classic Punk and other junk.

Colorado’s longest running Hip-Hop show. Old school sounds scratched with modern

WEEKEND SPECIALTY SHOWS Honky Tonk Heroes Saturdays 6-9am

Dub Palace Sundays 10pm-Midnight

Classic Country and new music steeped in that tradition.

An exploration into the past, present and future of Dub.

All shows are archived and accessible on

KGNU Community Radio | 11

!"#$%&'()*+,% "!%-./%012'3*% (4%563708% NOAM CHOMSKY is the internationally renowned Institute Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He practically invented modern linguistics. Chomsky has received honorary degrees from universities around the world, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Science. In addition to his pioneering work in linguistics, he has been a leading voice for peace and social justice for many decades. He’s the author of scores of books including his latest collaboration with David Barsamian, Power Systems, and the new release of four classics in one volume: How the World Works. Chomsky spoke to a full house of almost 900 people at Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Denver on May 7th. His talk & book signing celebrated the 35th anniversary of KGNU. The following is an excerpt from that talk. CD or DVD copies of the complete talk (including Q&A) are available for $12 from KGNU.

12 | Rare Frequencies

Let me… turn to another threat to survival and not immediate but imminent. And you’re all aware of it. It’s environmental catastrophe. Well the facts are familiar to anyone who bothers to read scientific journals. And each one is more alarming then the last one. Take a couple of very recent reports on April 29th. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gave its report, its latest report on ocean surface temperatures off the northeast US coast. They are the highest in 150 years. Drastic effects on ecosystems keep going up. Before that, Scientific Weekly reported — I will quote — a study that showed “even slightly warmer temperatures which are less then what are anticipated in the coming years could start melting permafrost in Siberia”. Which in turn will trigger the release of huge amounts of greenhouse gases, methane, much worse than carbon dioxide, that are trapped in the ice. And that will set off escalating nonlinear processes of destruction. Now geologists and archeologists are considering the establishment of a new geological era. History is broken up into geological eras. The new era they are discussing is the Anthropocene — starting with the industrial revolution, which is having huge effects on the Earth. The proceeding era, the Holocene, begins around eleven thousand years ago, about the time of the rise of agriculture. And the era before that, the Pleistocene, lasted two and a half million years. You can take a look at the acceleration and that gives an indication of the fate towards which we are careening. Meanwhile research papers and the Journal of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, a super respectable report I will

quote, “a hundred and nine countries have enacted some form of policy regarding renewable power, and a hundred and eighteen countries have set targets for renewable energy. In contrast one country, the United States, has not adopted any consistent and stable set of policies at the national level to foster the use of renewable energy”. Now that is not because of public opinion. Public opinion strongly supports measures to deal with the looming crisis. US public opinion is not very far from other parts of the world and that’s kind of interesting because as I’m sure you know there has been a massive corporate offensive here, for years, to convince the public that either there is no global warming at all or if there is we don’t have anything to do with it. No human contribution. Now that offensive is now escalating, accelerating, right now in interesting ways because of fears in the corporate sector that the public is just too infected by scientific rationality. And that’s as big a threat as a deterrent. An interesting program being initiated by a group you may know of: ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. It sounds innocuous. It’s a corporate-funded group that proposes legislation for state legislatures. You can imagine what they propose. And they’ve got plenty of clout given the wealth and power behind them, so a lot of these get accepted. There is a new one just getting started that’s for K to 12 — Kinder garden to 12th grade education programs. They’re trying to convince state legislatures that they should introduce what they call “balanced teaching” to develop critical thinking. That sounds good: what is balanced teaching? That means, along

with teaching what is called climate science, you should teach climate change denial to kindergarteners and all the way up, then they will have critical thinking and we will be better off. And there are a couple of states that have already adopted it and we can expect a lot more like this. Imagine what a future historian, assuming that there is one, and it’s not obvious that there will be, but suppose there is a future historian who looks back at what is happening right before our eyes. Looks back at the early 21st century. Well for the first time in history humans are facing significant prospects of severe calamity. Maybe the destruction of the possibility of decent survival as a result of their actions. And it’s not secret, the facts are before our eyes. And despite the efforts of the corporate sector to conceal them, most people see them. And there is a range of reactions around the world, at one extreme there are some who are trying to act decisively to prevent possible catastrophe. At the other extreme the policies are designed to enhance the threat while the most powerful domestic actors are undertaking major efforts to deny what’s happening, and to dumb down the population so they won’t interfere with short- term profits. Leading the effort to intensify the likely disaster is the richest and most powerful country in world history with incomparable advantages, along with Canada which in many ways is even worse. We are leading the effort. But leading the effort to preserve conditions in which our immediate descendents might have a decent life are the so-called primitive societies. First nations, tribal societies, indigenous societies, aboriginal societies, that’s going on all over the world. In the western hemisphere for example, the countries with large indigenous populations—Bolivia and Ecuador—are pursuing efforts to introduce what they call “rights of nature”. We have got to protect rights of nature. Ecuador has a big indigenous population and it’s a majority in Bolivia. Ecuador is an oil producer but they

are seeking aid, financial aid from the rich countries so that they can keep the oil underground where it is supposed to be. That’s the backward, primitive societies. Meanwhile, here we are racing with total enthusiasm toward quick disaster. Every time Obama or anyone else talks about the hundred years of energy independence as if it meant anything, what they are saying is, “let’s destroy the world as fast as we can.” So suppose we get every drop of hydrocarbons out by fracking or tar sands or anything else you can think of, what is the world going to look like? Well you know… Not our concern. That’s the concern of primitive backward people who

trying to save the planet. In capitalist ethics there is a different concept, it’s called the Tragedy of the Commons. That’s familiar: the thesis is that if the commons are left to the population, they will be destroyed. So you have to privatize them and put them into the hands of the Koch brothers and so on. Then they will be protected. That is capitalist ethics. Unless common possessions are privatized, they will be destroyed. And there is a principle behind it. The principle that Adam Smith described is what he called “The vile maxim of the masters of mankind. Everything for ourselves and nothing for anyone else.” That’s the concept that is drilled into people’s

9/::;%<.#-%.#==/!/>%-"%-./%&.#?-/?%"@%-./%4"?/A-% -.#-%9#A%#!%/BC#:%=#?-%"@%-./%)#D!#%&#?-#E% have these sentimental ideas about rights of nature. That is what a future historian will see, if there is one. Well let me just make a last comment about this. All of this, too, traces back to the Magna Carta. Eight hundred years ago. The Magna Carta had two components. One is the Charter of Liberties, the foundation of Angelo American laws that are now being torn to shreds before our eyes. The other part is called the Charter of Forests. That was dedicated to protection of the commons from the ravages of the power centers of the day. That record is preserved for us in things like the Robin Hood myths, that’s what they are about. What are the commons? The commons were not just the forests, they were the source of sustenance for the general population. The food, the fuel, the welfare. The classic image, which goes back to the Bible, of widows gleaning things from the commons for fuel and food. That’s what the commons were. They were very carefully nurtured and protected for centuries by people like these primitive backward people today who are

heads to make them total sociopaths. Reality of course is quite the opposite. Privatization leads to the destruction of commons in pursuit of the vile maxim. Well what happened to the Charter of the Forest that was an equal part of the Magna Carta? It was dismantled with the rise of Capitalism in England centuries ago by enclosures and other measures to privatize the commons and was followed centuries later by the United States. This central part of the Magna Carta has long been forgotten apart from the traditional societies that are trying to fend off the disaster that is approaching as we in our brilliance lead the way off the cliff like the proverbial lemmings.

KGNU Community Radio | 13

I do hope that I say something that unsettles you, something that unnerves you, maybe even for a moment, unhouses you. Because anytime I get a chance to talk about culture, to talk about education, to talk about democracy and humanity, I want to say something that shakes us up. Because no matter how awake we are, we still have elements of a sleep-walking quality. You remember that wonderful line in Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, What can I do “to wake my neighbors up” from their sleep-walking. I’m going to the pond. I’ve got to bear witness. I’ve got to exemplify what I am writing about.

Whitney Houston without Aretha, there is no Stephen Sondheim without Oscar Hammerstein II. There’s no Elizabeth Catlett—you know Elizabeth Catlett? One of great artists of our time. She just died in Mexico. She studied Picasso and so many others. So much of what I have to say is directed toward the young brothers and sisters of all colors, what I call the new, new school, because I’m old school. This wrestling with what it means to be human. By human I’m not talking about something abstract. This is not Heidegger on death; this is Vico on corpses. Something tangible. When you look inside your own soul and say what does it mean to be a featherless, two-legged, linguistically conscious creature born between


HOW TO BE HUMAN CORNEL WEST is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He is the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University. He has written 19 books and edited 13. He is best known for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and his new memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. He has made three spoken-word albums including Never Forget, collaborating with Prince, Jill Scott, Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, KRSOne and the late Gerald Levert. He is also co-host — with veteran journalist Tavis Smiley — of the radio show Smiley & West, now heard Friday afternoons at 3:30 PM on KGNU.

So I want to begin tonight on a Socratic note. On line 38A of Plato’s Apology, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” It sits at the very center of what the University of Colorado at Boulder at its best is about, what the Greeks call paideia, deep education, not cheap schooling. Deep education. Cultivation of self, community, society, the ways in which we make the world a better place. And the Greeks actually said, “The unexamined life is not a life for the human.” Our English world “human” derives from the Latin word humando. Humando in Latin means what? Burying. That’s where our word “humility” comes from and “humanity” comes from, humando. The fact that we are beings toward death.

urine and feces, that’s who we are. Unless your mama opted for a Caesarean section…

The following is an edited version of a talk Dr. West gave at the University of Colorado-Boulder in April 2012.

I always remind our professor of humanities, “Oh, you’re into the business of concourse with the dead, conversation with the dead, huh? Bouncing off the voices of the dead, huh?” And great artists, too. There is no

Each and every one of us in every generation has to wrestle with that question of what it means to be human and wrestle with the challenge of what kind of person you are going to choose to be and who you will ally with,

14 | Rare Frequencies

I have deep suspicions of deodorized discourses. It gets too sanitized and sterilized. I say, no, we need an injection of some funk here. History, wounds, bruises, scars, and resistance and resiliency—what the great Samuel Beckett called “the mess.” The move from mama’s womb to tomb, acknowledging one day very soon our bodies will be the culinary delight of terrestrial worms. That’s funky, too. We’re not here that long. The question becomes, what kind of human being will you choose to be in the short time you have from your mama’s womb to tomb?

what forms of organizing and mobilizing will you actually attempt to enact, and what kind of legacy will you leave when your body is in the coffin. Will the three dimensions of time be visible—past, present, and future—as opposed to very truncated conceptions of what it means to be human these days, obsessed

corn and all, and I’m waiting and I’m waiting. Money, money, money, Benjamin, Benjamin, Benjamin. Immature, insecure, male egos, women as objects of sexual conquest. The “b” word employed over and over and over again. I said, this is a form of spiritual malnutrition, so empty and vacuous. How many billion dollars

to stay in this class. I came to get an A so my record looks good. No, this is no cheap education site. This is a site of paideia. Plato says philosophy, the love of wisdom itself is a meditation on and preparation for death. And he’s not just talking about a physical event. You learn how to die when you examine a certain prejudice you have and you give it up. You come in homophobic, thinking your gay brothers and sisters and lesbian sisters and bisexuals and transgendered brothers and sisters somehow are less human than you. You need to learn how to die and give up certain kinds of prejudices vis-à-vis one’s status as being human. I begin with humanity and then try to engage in what Socrates called paresia, line 24A of Plato’s Apology. It was paresia the cause of

The first thing I say to my students is, “You come here to learn how to die.” And they look at each other—I don’t know if I want to stay in this class.

with very truncated conceptions of success? How is success defined these days? Material prosperity, trophy spouse. I’ll say that again. Trophy spouse. So narrow. Appearance, what things look like. And well adjusted to injustice, well adapted to indifference… I saw this movie, The Social Network. The New York Times said this is “a triumph of the human spirit.” I said, “I’ve got to check it out.” Oh, yes, I try to be as Socratic as I can. Anytime they tell me it’s a triumph of the human spirit, I’ve got to be in on that. I’m sitting in the front row, pop-

do you need to feel good about yourself? How many women do you have to conquer to feel a sense of power? Then I said, No it’s not just spiritual malnutrition. It’s also moral constipation. The folk on the screen, they had a sense of what was right. It was just stuck and it wouldn’t flow, because of too much greed getting in the way, avarice getting in the way, insecurity getting in the way. The first thing I say to my students, “You come here to learn how to die.” And they look at each other. I don’t know if I want

my unpopularity. That’s what Socrates told his fellow citizens. What is that? Plain speech, frank speech, fearless speech, unintimidated speech. Yes, it can get you in trouble, but it puts a smile on your face. Of course, I don’t believe any one of us has a monopoly on truth anyway, so we’re just speaking from our souls, like a blues man or a jazz woman. You’re speaking from your soul. And when you speak, you then learn and listen. That’s what call and response is. It’s not just giving, but it’s learning how to receive. You cultivate the art of receptivity. That’s what culture and education at its deepest level is all about. Do you have the courage not simply to think critically; do you have the courage to listen? Brother Malcolm used to talk about that all the time. You couldn’t hear a speech by the great Malcolm X. He began as a gangster called Malcolm Little, who was loved by Elijah Muhammad in such a way that he believed in himself and became Malcolm X. And, yes, it

KGNU Community Radio | 15

the last time we had a public conversation about poverty in this country? You’ve got to go back, all the way back. How could it be? What’s wrong with an economy that allows for 1% of the population to have such hyperwealth? Last year, 93% of the income growth went to the top 1%. How long can a democracy survive with that level of obscene and flagrant wealth inequality?


was true that his deep love got stuck on the chocolate side of town for a long time. He loved black people to death, but he thought white brothers and sisters were devils. Malcolm, don’t you think you’re pushing that, though, brother? You’ve got John Brown and today we’ve got Bruce Springsteen. We’ve got some white brothers and sisters who are doing some decent things, man. Come on, Malcolm. But the love that he had for black people spilled over to vanilla sides of town. So that he said, yes, as I grow and my love deepens and I criticize myself, I can embrace my white brothers and sisters. But when I do embrace it, it’s going to be a genuine embrace. And I will say, no, they are in no way devils, but oftentimes too many of them act in a devilish way. We’ve got evidence for that. But at least he’s able to sustain a much more humanist understanding. But if you understand where he’s coming from, you see the stages that he goes through. That’s learning how to die. He grows, he develops. There is no rebirth without death. In our education, in our culture, there’s no way you can grow and mature unless you critically give up certain assumptions and presuppositions and prejudices and prejudgments. Have courage to criticize myself. Courage to criticize others, not name-calling but accenting their worst and their best. Courage to criticize America. I can keep track of the best

16 | Rare Frequencies

of America. There goes a grand and precious democratic tradition of people of all colors, immigrants from around the world, including indigenous folk already here and black folk brought here involuntarily. Yes, there is a fantastic prophetic and democratic tradition. And yet at the same time there’s all of these structures of domination and oppression still at work. And it’s connected to what has taken place in the past. Thank God for the Occupy movement... The Occupy movement has been fundamental. Many of us have been talking about 1% of the population owning 42% of the wealth for the last 30 years. It couldn’t get traction. Here comes the Occupy movement, putting their bodies on the line, putting their hearts and souls on the line, and saying, This 1% we’re not going to demonize, but we hate this unfairness and this injustice. How can you have a society where the top 400 individuals have wealth equivalent to the bottom 150 million fellow citizens? That’s a key sweat movement. Something just ain’t right. There’s something morally pathological about that, something spiritually sick about that, when 22% of all our precious children are living in poverty in the richest nation in the history of the world, 40% of our precious red babies living in poverty, 38% of our precious brown babies living in poverty, 38% of our precious black babies living in poverty in the richest nation in the history of the world. When was

Our poor teachers’ union these days demonized day in and day out. All we need is for-profit private schools that are somehow going to gain access to that $500 billion pool that public education has. And yet when we turn to Finland, number one in the world in education, 95% of their teachers are unionized. So it couldn’t be the union standing in the way. Something is different. We’ve got a culture of choice and competition. They’ve got a culture of equity and shared responsibility. Our top graduates go and become investment bankers. Their top graduates become teachers. It’s very different, very different. And when their teachers walk into the room or the nightclub in Finland and they say “What do you do?” “I’m a teacher.” “Oh, my God, you are the caretaker of the precious young people who are the future of our nation. We salute you.” Teachers walk into the classroom, walk into a nightclub or walk into anywhere else in America, and what is it? “Praying for you. Burned out yet? How are you doing it? Oh, my God. I know you’re broke financially. Your pension is going to get cut.” We laugh, but we’ve got to laugh to keep from crying…

The poverty rates are the highest now since 1959. Disproportinately black, brown, and red, but it affects all of us. Brother Martin had a photographer who was with him from January 1956 until he died. We found out just a few months ago he was an FBI agent. He called the FBI every day. When Brother Malcolm was shot, one of the brothers giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation was an FBI agent. Go to the antiwar movement.

One out of four, FBI agents. COINTELPRO, “We’re going to crush the Black Panther Party. They trying to police the police.” No, no, no. “They’re declaring war.” No, they’re not declaring war at all. They tired of arbitrary policing. They tired of young folk getting shot down like dogs by police who are not engaged in fair policing. Trayvon Martin is just the peak of an iceberg. Do you know how many young brothers, black and brown, get shot every week by the powers that be? Do you know how many of them get shot by each other? Socially neglected, economically abandoned. Drugs flowing, guns available. Where do the drugs and guns come from? Not from the ‘hood. They come from the outside. Somebody is making big money. Who really cares for the weak and vulnerable peoples? That’s the question… We live in a post-racial America, they say. I say no, no, no, no, no. It’s less racist than the America of your grandmama. It’s not post-racial. It’s still deeply racist. But it was so deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply racist before. Oh, yes, the progress is real. Let’s acknowledge the progress. The progress is very real. I don’t want to deny the progress of having a black man in the White House built primarily by black slaves. As Brother Malcolm used to say, “You don’t stab folk in the back 9 inches, pull it out 6 inches, and just celebrate your progress.” The poverty rates are the highest now since 1959. Disproportionately black, brown, and red, but it affects all of us. The fastest growing group among the poor? The middle class, experiencing downward mobility, foreclosure, health care leading to bankruptcy, unemployment, underemployment. The statistics say 7.8. Don’t believe it, don’t believe it. If we were in Europe, it would be 15%, because they don’t count people who have given up looking for work, they don’t count part-time workers who want to work full-time. And in black and brown ‘hoods the levels have been depression-like for 40 years. For 40 years. When Brother Tavis Smiley and I began our poverty tour, my precondition was we’re going to begin on Indian reservations, with our indigenous brothers and sisters. One of the questions we raised, “What do you think about the recession?” “What recession? We’ve been dealing with depression for decades.”

Decades. But, oh, when it spills over to those who thought they were middle class, oftentimes just working class with a bourgeois identity, because when they lose their jobs, lose their health care, and lose their homes, they have nothing to fall back on. And they’re told what? “Sorry, capitalism is very tough. You have to deal with the consequences. You have to come to terms with your failures.” You say, “Oh, but you didn’t say that to the invest-

But we can make a difference, individually and collectively. Self-critically, not selfrighteously, acknowledging our own inadequacies, not being dogmatic but jazzlike— flexible, fluid, protean. ment banks, did you?” No. When they failed, they got trillions of dollars, if you include the interest-free loans. Wouldn’t that be nice for students if they had interest-free loans the way the investment bankers have? Anytime they need extra money, just go grab some money interest-free. The student debt now is more than credit-card debt. Yet young people, students, 100 percent of the future. What are we talking about? I started on a Socratic note. I want to end on a blue note because I want the young folks to be blues men and blues women. The wonderful thing about being a blues man and a blues woman is that you’re able to courageously, critically examine and have empathy for those who are wrestling with catastrophe. Catastrophe. And it goes beyond the American talk about problems. There has never been an Amerindian problem. There’s been catastrophe visited on Amerindians. There’s not a woman’s problem. There’s catastrophe visited on women in domestic violence and various kinds of vicious attacks, discrimination at the workplace. There has never been a Negro problem. There has been catastrophe visited on black people in America. Blues nation needs to learn something from a blues people or that nation loses

its democracy. Young people, how do you become long-distance runners in the struggle for justice with Socratic courage, prophetic witness, talking explicitly about love, empathy, and sensitivity to the suffering of others? But, no, you are passing the baton from one generation to the next, and you do all that you can in the short life that you have, individually and collectively. And then, like the blues man or woman, you look up and you say, “I’ve been down so long, down don’t worry me no more. That’s why I keep keeping on.” You’re not an optimist. Blue is not optimistic. Anybody I’ve run into who’s an optimist, I know they just talking about their individual project. They haven’t seen the collective condition of the species. They’re not talking about the catastrophe linked to climate change, they’re not talking about corporate catastrophe, they’re not talking about the various other kinds of catastrophe. This is the last thing. To a blues man or woman, the most important thing is what? The anthem of black people in America, which is what? Lift every voice. Lift every voice. Do you know what it takes to find your voice and not be an echo? Do you know what it really takes to find your voice and be original as opposed to being a copy, like so many popular culture figures are? Do you know what it takes to really find your voice and pursue your vocation as opposed to just your profession? Do you know what it takes to find your voice and have a life task that can never stop you, no matter whether you have a job or not? That’s the blues tradition. We’re not talking about entertainment; we’re talking about a tragicomic way of being in the world that puts compassion at the center of your response to catastrophe, using your mind and your heart and your soul. Do we have what it takes? Always an open question. But once you decide you’re going down swinging, like Ella Fitzgerald and Muhammad Ali, they ain’t nothing to stop you in the short life that you have. Thank you all so very much. Stay strong in what you’re doing.

Special thanks to Alternative Radio. Audio and transcripts available at

KGNU Community Radio | 17

Aspen Music Festival and School June 27â&#x20AC;&#x201C;August 18

Join us for more than 300 classical music events.

Robert Spano, Music Director Alan Fletcher, President and CEO


New Mexicoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 9th Annual Celebration of World Music and Culture


September 20 & 21

National Hispanic Cultural Center Albuquerque, New Mexico



Discover the World on 3 Stages over 2 Nights

International performers include: A Moving Sound (Taiwan) DakhaBrakha (Ukraine) Kardemimmit (Finland) SAVE NOW Rhythm of Rajasthan (India) Early Bird Tickets Christine Salem (La RĂŠunion) BEFORE JUNE 23! Solas (Ireland/U.S.A.) And many more to be announced! 505-232-9868

18 | Rare Frequencies

! !



! ! ! !

)"/"#,." 0-(*,#(,-$0-('&#%,/(%*%

,!!(#+(-1$*8&$(-8&#&-*$9"#*8 ,-.$.(1-(*:$"!$&'&#:$2&#%"-; )"++(*&.$*"$<0%*()&$&=0(*:$,-. )"+2,%%("-$(-$80+,-$#&/,*("-%3 !"#$%&#'()&$*(+&%$,-.$/"),*("-% "!$)"/"#,."$00$)"-1#&1,*("-% 2/&,%&$'(%(*$)"/"#,."003"#1


KGNU Community Radio | 19

these ways to sing the old duet stuff - the Monroe Brothers and the Louvin Brothers and the Blue Sky Boys. He had made a study of the harmonies and he taught them to me. So when Bill Monroe needed a band, I studied his music and I studied the way the harmonies were, and Joe really got me on track as far as how to phrase and sing it the bluegrass way. And Bill Monroe showed up and Bill Keith put a band together for him and played Doc Watson’s birthday party at Symphony Hall. and Bill was leading the band, and I was just like in heaven. Because we had all learned his music, we were like focused on him and his whole approach. and I sang a duet or two with him and he said I should come to Nashville. I went to Nashville and became a Bluegrass Boy.


Peter Rowan P ETER R OWA N is a living legend of Bluegrass music. Born on the the 4th of July in 1942, Peter’s musical career has led him far and wide on a genre-blurring journey. His latest release is called “The Old School” and is available on Compass Records. KGNU’s Neil Smart had a chance to chat with Peter Rowan on a sunny Friday morning.

KGNU: Tell us about your early years in the Boston area.

Rowan: You know, I started to play and I had a little rock and roll combo when I was 14 and we were playing the local record shops for kids our age and one night the drummer - who was 16 - drove us over to Harvard Square and I heard a guy playing tunes by Lead Belly. That’s when my discovery beyond what I was hearing on the radio began. I suddenly heard this guy singing Lead Belly. And I started learning Lead Belly tunes because I just thought they were the greatest and there were local bluegrass bands playing around.

20 | Rare Frequencies

In fact on the other side of town across the Charles River were the Lily Brothers and Don Stover from Clear Creek, West Virginia, they were playing fifteen years at the Hillbilly Ranch and Stover had just worked with Bill Monroe. So I started to pay attention to this bluegrass sound. I really liked it and most of the stuff that was being played around was Flatt and Scruggs and the Stanley Brothers. I got into the Stanley Brothers. Finally I heard a Bill Monroe record that let me into his approach to bluegrass. Songs like No Letter in the Mail and Florida Blues and Muleskinner Blues. There was this tune on there called In the Pines. I learned there were different folk singers around town singing these songs but it never clicked with me until I put that together with the idea that Lead belly had been singing this song like Black Girl, Black Girl, Where Did You Sleep Last Night? And In the Pines, In the Pines Where the Sun Never Shines and that kind of hooked me into the bluegrass thing and I learned that and the Muleskinner Blues. So I started playing with one of the local bluegrass bands, Bill Keith and Jim Rooney and also the Charles River Valley Boys and Joe Val, Joe Valiante the mandolin picker. He and I formed a duet and he taught me all

You know, one of the things about Bill is that people think that he was just somebody that got lucky with the people that were around at the time and they shaped his music. The whole thing is that he was a bandleader. Since the late 1930s and, yes, many people came and went in his band and he had accordion, and ragtime banjo, and yet every single band had that compelling Monroe drive. So, he wasn’t just picking up stuff. He knew what he wanted. He knew how he wanted those instrument’s voices, but he talked about it in a very mystical way. He talked about it as if these instruments were living creatures finding a place in the span of creation. He would talk about the fiddles — how they would rise up like the wind. Talking about the mandolin — how it would come up and support the fiddles and the guitar and the bass.

KGNU: We owe Bill Monroe a big debt here in Colorado. He was really the early driving force of the Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Festival, called Rocky Grass today. Rowan: That’s right and Telluride, too. He played Telluride many a time. KGNU: His fingerprints are everywhere in the music whether you’re in the DC area, where there’s a huge bluegrass scene, or you’re here in the West. Bill’s fingerprints are everywhere. You have really been on the forefront of exploring roots music. Not just in what we generally refer to as Country, and Bluegrass, and Blues and those kinds of things. But

you’ve explored roots music from a lot of different cultures.

Rowan: Yeah, that’s true. Right now I’m singing some stuff with a wonderful Tibetan singer because I find that rootsy mountain sound is worldwide. And then I’m thinking of Flaco Jimmenez as a great huge progenitor of the TexMex accordion style. His father, Santiago Senior, was the Bill Monroe of conjunto. He kind of pulled it together into a format that was crisp and definitive but, again, dance music. And the Cajun music, It’s all dance music, basically, and that’s why I’ve always liked that connection. But every music is derived from something else, and it’s been my joy to get back into what’s behind some of the sounds and working with Flaco led me to study Flamenco guitar.

KGNU: You’ve had some long musical partnerships and friendships throughout your career. I’m thinking of Richard Green, Charles Sawtelle, of course, Tony Rice and, going back with David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, and Vassar Clements with Old and in the Way. You have tended to hold onto people, it’s kind of a great thing. It seems like there have been gaps in times when you’ve been playing with certain people, and then you get back together and it’s like there was no time in between. Rowan: Yeah, it’s something I’m becoming more and more aware of, the motif in my life, and it’s happened with everyone I’ve ever worked with. But what Old and in the Way did was what Old and in the Way did and that material is what Old in the Way performs. It’s very hard to make a creative project out of stuff that’s already happened but it’s great to do a live performance of that stuff. It’s just that people move on. The thing about Old and in the Way, and David Grisman and I talked about this, yeah, it might have felt a little too loose at the time. But what the audience was getting from it was that joy that we were all taking in playing the music and especially what Jerry Garcia was enjoying. Because you could say Garcia’s loose but it’s an art form to be so deeply in the music that you can appear to be playing it loosely which gives people a nice feeling. I listen to Old and in the Way and I realize

that we weren’t kind of burning up all that much we were finding a groove that was very pleasing to us because they weren’t all about hammering down on the techniques of bluegrass. It was very song oriented. You know? Everything from Land of the Navajo to Catfish John. Old and in the Way only existed for about a year and a half and of that time it just seemed like it was years because we were hanging out so much but it only existed, the entity with Vassar was for a very short time. But there are undocumented appearances and things from when we first got together and John Hartford was playing fiddle with us. It’s just curious, you know, you can’t really

of peaked in our minds. And we went out on the stage, and the sound wasn’t quite right, and Garcia picked right up on it and he turned to us and very seriously said, “No thoughts”. In other words, clear your mind of any doubt and hesitation and let’s really just be here. He was very much like that. He was very outspoken about that. He was like a Zen master.

KGNU: Let’s talk about to the Old School, the new record. Amazing stuff, Peter. Such a great collection of songs. I’m personally drawn to Doc Watson’s Early Morning, and Keeping it Between the Lines kind of bookends this record. Rowan: Yeah, that’s the old school song and Bluegrass Boys love to reminisce and bluegrass players love to reminisce and then there’s the present moment and that’s not about reminiscing. It’s about bringing it right to the present moment.


go back in time but there are certain musical partnerships that endure.

KGNU: I think that makes that snapshot of time all the more valuable.

Rowan: It is perspective. I don’t mean to dwell on this but it is a phenomenon to go back and listen to that. At the time you didn’t think it was the best that you could do. But all it was is a moment in time, and Garcia was very much into that. He knew more than other people about that experience. It was just a moment. Don’t dwell on its imperfections or imagined imperfections. I remember this famous moment when Asleep at the Wheel was opening for us somewhere in Oregon and it was like they were very, very loud and they played for a long time. In those days a two hour set was the normal and it finally came time for Old and in the Way to come on and we had waited around too long and we already sort

I asked Vassar Clemments about working for Bill Monroe, because Vassar had such great memories of working with Bill, with Jimmy Martin, and Chubby Weiss… I asked him what was it like when you were with Bill, because our thing was this old bus that just shimmied down the road and broke down more often than not, and Vassar was such a poet - I asked what was it like to play with Bill? He said, “Oh you know, Pete, drive all night, shave in cold water, raise your hand up high and smile. That’s the rule of the old school.” Vassar said that to me and I just thought, that really is how it is. There was never any hot water on the bus. If you shaved at all you would just have to shave in cold water or in a hubcap you know, next to the broke down bus with a little mirror right under the tree. And the old school too is kinda like, in a way, people that have been through combat — which is fraught with so many different points of view and conflicts. But people who have stood up for each other and watched each other’s backs, that’s kind of the old school. A lot of bluegrass music was written around World War II. A lot of old country songs and bluegrass songs. All those themes in bluegrass music about leaving the old home, leaving the parents, leaving the sweethearts, they’re not only lo-

KGNU Community Radio | 21

calized things although we tend to think of bluegrass as being very localized initially. Really they were dealing with issues of life and death.

GNU mountain jam 2013 occasion: the Hamkickers (Rich Moore, John Magnie, Eric Thorin, Christian Teele), as well as all-female bluegrass group Giddy Up Kitty and Finnders and Youngberg.

When Vassar Clements says wave your hand up high and smile he’s basically saying that the job of the Bluegrass Boys was to show up in a community and wave your hand up high and smile. Just let everybody know you’re here. That you’re still here, because there are people going away that are not coming back, and people forget that. So, even though you shave in cold water, drive all night and you don’t feel like it, you still get up there in your white shirt and your good looking pants and your hat — if you’re wearing a hat — your little tie or whatever. But you get up there and you sparkle for the audience. You know you wave your hand up high and smile because it brings people to the present. And even if they’re missing someone or grieving, you let them know it’s alright. Wave your hand up high and smile. You’re there. You’re there for them.

22 | Rare Frequencies

Tickets are $15 for KGNU Join us Sunday, July 21st, for the 25th annual Charles Sawtelle Gnu Mountain Jam in the side yard of the Gold Hill Inn. As always, the great acoustic music will be accompanied by slow-cooked, Texas-style barbeque, side salads, homemade desserts and micro-brew beers. This is a family-friendly event for music fans that enjoy mountain air and great food in a spectacular setting. The festivities get started at 11:30 am and run until 4:30 pm and features music sets by Mollie O’Brien with a special band for this

members, $20 for non-members and will be available by calling KGNU at 303-449-4885 between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. weekdays starting Monday, June 11, or online at Children 12 and under are free. Food and beverages are available for purchase; they are not included in the price of admission. No pets or coolers, please.

KGNU Community Radio | 23

A Tribe Called Red is a trio of Canadian DJs from Ottawa. Since 2008 they have been creating their own electronic sub-genere, electric pow wow, and are quickly emerging as a musical and political force. KGNU caught up with the members of the group, Bear Witness, DJ NDN, and Canadian DMC champ, DJ Shub by phone from Bear’s home in Ottawa.

KGNU: We’d like to ask you about social media. You released your first album free online and there’s been a great deal of coordination of the Idle No More movement through the Internet. What has been the impact of social media for A Tribe Called Red and for aboriginal people?

wrote about Attawapiskat and its deplorable living conditions 2 years ago, and it caught like wildfire on facebook so CBC (The Canadian Broadcast Corporation) couldn’t deny it anymore, and it kind of took off from there. Yeah, so for First Nations people, it’s essential right now.

KGNU: Talk about the Electric Pow Wow club night at Babylon, and maybe you could describe that for folks who are unfamiliar, but also, you’re getting pretty well known. You’re the first electronic artists to perform at Jazz Fest, you’ve played in Europe, the US, and it seems like there’s a parallel to Fela Kuti and his famous performances at The Shrine in Lagos, Nigeria. As you have gone on to worldwide acclaim, how is the original club night holding up?

tweets about how inter-generational our music is. A 30 year old person who’s tweeting will talk about how their daughter is dancing to our music at the same time as their grandparents. So it’s reaching people and families across multiple generations in a positive way. From what I hear anyways.

KGNU: You’ve also talked about the importance of aboriginal people controlling their own image, because you’ve often been looked at through the lens of colonialism. You’ve certainly taken control of that in many ways like having pictures for you in publicity shots that show you laughing as a simple step. You’ve also taken control of that in your performances and your videos, juxtaposing times when you clearly were not in control of your own image, particularly with movie clips from Hollywood.

DJ NDN: For A Tribe Called Red alone it’s been essential, having internet access and being able to get our music out there for free, to push the music on Twitter. Our big break came from a producer named Diplo blogging about us. So that kind of goes to show the scale and the power of social media right now, and just the Internet in general. As far as being First Nations, the Internet kind of leveled the playing field for a lot of the civil rights movements that are happening right now. You know, where First Nations were put on reserves, especially out here on the east coast, specifically out of walking distance of any city scape. So, unlike the African American civil rights movement in the ‘60s in the United States, where there was constant friction happening in the streets in the cities, for us it was different because we were “out of sight, out of mind” on reserves. So, now we’re able to have these conversations and we’re able to have the arguments and have the friction that needs to happen to spark our civil rights movement on Twitter and on Facebook and that sort of thing. And with Idle No More being able to put together flash mob Round Dances within 40 minutes and have 3,000 people show up is very very powerful. That’s something we’ve never really had before. At the same time, we’re also able to publish our own views on what’s happening for real on reserve life. You know? Attawapiskat… that whole scandal came out of facebook where a tiny local newspaper


A tribe Called Red Bear Witness: The club night was essential to building A Tribe Called Red. We really grew out of the Electric Pow Wow party, and getting that kind of support from our community first was really important to us. We made this music and we created this night for the aboriginal community, but the big surprise was that everybody felt it and everybody loved it just the same. So very quickly we were able to move out beyond the aboriginal community and into just music in general.

KGNU: Ian, you’ve talked about growing up as a drummer and being a part of the Ojibwe community and how that has helped guide your knowledge of what songs are appropriate to work with in transformation to electronic tracks, avoiding honor songs or veteran songs, and focusing more on dance songs and jingle dress songs. So, you have that respect and that sensitivity, but what kind of reaction do you get from older generations?

DJ NDN: Fantastic! Everything has been really positive. We’ve had comments and

24 | Rare Frequencies

Bear Witness: It’s part of the same conversation we’ve been having. We’re coming into a time now where we can start breaking that cycle and, for the first time, have control of our own image. But for me, part of that process of taking control of our own image and creating something for ourselves within popular culture that does represent us – an important step in building that - is to look at all the stuff that’s happened in the past and all of these misrepresentations throughout the media. Let’s not just forget about them, let’s look at them and examine them, and look at ways that we can discuss these images now and not just forget about them and put them away and pretend that they never existed.

KGNU: The Pow Wow music and dance music combination seems obvious now that A Tribe Called Red is doing it… the original dance culture continues to evolve. Why, do you think, that this particular combination of sounds and culture didn’t happen sooner?

DJ NDN: There was a cultural ban up until the

DJ NDN: We’re able to spark conversations

60’s where First Nations weren’t allowed to practice their ceremonies, or their dances, or their cultures. So, it being like that recent where half a century ago we weren’t allowed to sing these songs and we weren’t allowed to dress in regalia, and stuff like that. It took awhile to be able to use those again in ways that weren’t traditional before. The idea of remixing these traditional songs is a brand new idea. It was never thought of to do that because it was something that was held so tightly because it was taken from us for so long that the idea of being able to do that is fairly recent. So, Idle No More and A Tribe Called Red, I think, are both really good examples of First Nation people, this is the first generation of people that didn’t have to go through the residential school system. So, it’s no coincidence that A Tribe Called Red and Idle No More are happening with the first generation that weren’t forced into residential schools.

now in a way that hasn’t really been afforded before. So with dance music and the videos that we’re sampling and using, there’s statements in there but their very subversive. They’re not the confrontation you would have by saying, “Yo! This is racist!” – people are deducing their idea and taking apart what we’re showing them and what they’re listening to and their able to link those up together for themselves. When we play “I’m an Indian Too” which is Irving Berlin from Annie Get Your Gun, we remix that song, and it’s extremely racist when this person is singing about how she’s an Indian too because she wears wampums and feathers, but we take it and remix it and now people are able to make that connection that these famous songs that have been played millions of times before are actually racist. And it just takes that second, it just takes that showing of it through a different lens, through the lens of the colonized instead of the colonizer.

KGNU: Yes, that makes sense. And A Tribe

KGNU: Musically your first album was made

Called Red is not only creating community space for First Nations people but also expanding and creating a space for people outside of that culture. You’ve said that the music is allowing us to talk to people because now there’s an interest. So, tell us more about how you’re steering that conversation now that there’s this opportunity to have people paying attention outside the culture?

up of a number of individual tracks created over a longer period of time. On your latest, Nation II Nation you had a new experience through your connection with Tribal Spirit Music. Can you tell us about that, and about the title of the new album?

DJ Shub: The comparison between the two albums is big because the first album was a compilation of everything we’d done from when we first met each other over about two

years. Compared to Nation II Nation, where we sat down and now we had a follow up album to do and we had this huge catalog from Tribal Spirit Music, a label out of Montreal, we had this amazing catalog to pull from which was a lot different from the first album.

Bear Witness: As for the title, like a lot of things we do it has a lot of layers to it. The idea of Nation II Nation, going from just within our group, and how Ian, he’s Ojibwe and Dan and myself are Cayuga. We’re from two very different nations, with very different culture, and even traditionally fought. But, now here we are together making music and realizing an understanding between us and by association between our nations. And you look at it about what’s going on in Canada right now with Idle No More and the discussions that the aboriginal nations of North America right now are trying to have with the settler nations and how that discussion really has to be done on a nation to nation level. But then it gets bigger and you look at the movements that are happening around the world with aboriginal nations from the world over and how we’re all connected and that we can now look at ourselves as one big nation. We have a tendency to feel very alone being a part of an aboriginal community in a settler nation but when you start to look at it on a larger and larger scale… you don’t feel so alone anymore.

KGNU Community Radio | 25

Local Gold

Exploring the amazing artists who call Colorado home

Esmé Patterson Since it’s inception in 1978, KGNU has been committed to providing access to the airwaves for our local musicians. Every week we feature a live band on our Kabaret program (Mondays at 7pm) and often it doesn’t stop there. Live performances ornament all aspects of our weekly schedule. Local Gold is a series highlighting some of the amazing artists who call Colorado home. This interview is taken from a live performance on KGNU’s Morning Sound Alternative. We were happy to host Esmé Patterson as she performed selections from her first solo release with her musical collaborator Ben Desoto.

KGNU: Esmé Patterson and Ben Desoto, thanks for getting up early to join us in the studio.

Esmé Patterson: Thanks so much for having us, we had some coffee… we’re wired for sound.

KGNU: Let’s talk about your first solo release, All Princes, I, on the Greater Than Collective record label. Most people, at least at this point, are probably most familiar with you from your work with your band Paper Bird. Has it been a lot different for you performing solo and kind of being out of the nest of comfortable collaborators?

Esmé Patterson: Good pun. Yeah, actually it’s pretty terrifying because I don’t play an instrument in Paper Bird, I just sing. So I get to dance around and be silly, and it’s a lot more terrifying to stand up and have to present all of the songs, playing and singing… it’s a good challenge.

KGNU: For you it seems, from what I’ve gathered, that the writing process is kind of a

26 | Rare Frequencies

constant thing. You went into the studio with nearly thirty songs? Is that right?

Esmé Patterson: Well, I went into the studio with a bunch of songs and as the recording process was underway I just started writing more and more songs. Because, I’d think the record needs a song that sounds like this or that. I think I drove the producer crazy. I’d say, “I just wrote this song! Can I put it on the record?” And he’d say, “Really?!? No. You can’t. We already have enough songs.” KGNU: And that producer was Roger Green, an outstanding artist in his own right and an amazing producer. When you went into the studio, did you have a concept of what you wanted to create? It sounds like maybe it was shaped slightly by songs that you wrote during that process. But did you have a general concept of what you wanted it to be?

Esmé Patterson: Well, there was one night that Ben and I were at a bar and forced the owner of the bar to put on Astral Weeks, the Van Morrison record, and we thought… we should make a record that sounds like this! Which is kind of impossible to do, but that was a big part of it. We just wanted it to have that spontaneity and that rawness to it. My favorite kind of music is Soul music and Gospel music and I love it when you can hear mistakes in it… when you hear somebody’s voice crack, or somebody plays a wrong note on the guitar, but then they do something really amazing. And, so, you know that it’s all happening within the room there and you feel like you’re there with it? I kind of wanted it to have that feeling. So, when we were combing through it and mixing, I had to tie my hands and try to leave a bunch of mistakes in there. Just to make it feel more human, you know?

KGNU: Was it hard to go through the material you came up with in the studio and have to whittle it down to what ended up being All Princes, I?

Esmé Patterson: No, it was pretty natural. I feel like all of the songs really have a quality that helps them all fit together in a way. KGNU: I would agree with that. I think it’s an amazing album. As a first solo release, you should be very proud of it. The album is made up of incredibly well crafted songs, in my opinion… as somebody who likes music.

Esmé Patterson: Thank you! KGNU: It’s hard enough to write one good song, and you seem to have an ability to make many.

Esmé Patterson: Thanks! KGNU: It seems like it’s an ongoing process for you, as it was for you in the studio when you were adding songs to what was already a wealth of material. How did that start for you? How did you start writing songs?

Esmé Patterson: That’s a good question. I don’t think anyone has asked me that. It’s kind of like a bolt of lightning. I’ll kind of get goose bumps and have to find a pen and a piece of paper. I don’t really understand how it works (laughs) I feel like I’m just kind of a lightning rod sometimes. Being in Paper Bird has been pretty amazing for seeing a collective songwriting process, which is really fun and I enjoy doing that also, but I’ve been having fun writing songs more recently. I give myself projects and assignments, and I’ve just started writing a new record that I was telling Ben about on the drive up here. I’m writing responses to songs that are just girls names. So, I wrote the Jolene song as Jolene, and Alison, the Elvis Costello song, as Alison. So, it’s just fun. I’m just having a good time.

KGNU: Do you remember the first time you

KGNU: At this point, I think people are familiar

wrote a song and what that was like?

with your work with Paper Bird, maybe less so with Harpoontang. Tell us about some of your musical projects outside of your solo effort.

Esmé Patterson: Oooh yeah. I do actually! My Mom gave me a guitar for my fifteenth birthday? Or maybe it was Christmas the year I turned fifteen… I just started in, I didn’t have any calluses on my fingers, so I just stayed up all night with a blanket over my head on my bed, trying not to make too much noise. I played, this is kind of gross, until my fingers started bleeding, and then I duct taped all of my fingers and just kept playing because I was like, “Oh there’s a song! I’m writing a song! Yeah! I can’t stop now!”

KGNU: Well, glad you didn’t! Going back to your recording, are there any songs that have surprised you? As you’ve seen them take shape and become a part of the album, are there songs that you might not have thought you’d like the most or…

Esmé Patterson: Oh yeah, definitely! That’s funny, there’s one song on the record that I kept trying to take off over and over. Roger Green would say, “No, no. We’re going to leave that song on there.” And I’d say, “Nah, come on, I hate it, it’s horrible, it’s such a stupid song!” — which is the song Sun Up 2 Sun Down — and it’s so funny, people keep saying, “That’s the song! That’s my jam!” and I say, “Really?!? I tried to take that off the album like fifteen times!” So, I’m just thinking, “I don’t get it! I don’t know if this one works.” But it’s the one that’s resonated with a lot of people. It’s so funny.

Esmé Patterson: I love to collaborate with other artists: musicians, and artists in other mediums as well. Paper Bird has been my main project for years, and we love each other like family. That band fills up my heart. Harpoontang is the all-female supergroup that includes Denver luminaries: Maria Kohler (Kitty Crimes), Laura Goldhamer, Genevieve Patterson and Sarah Anderson (the two other ladies in Paper Bird). Our tunes are kinda raunchy but are written and performed with total joy and relish for the weirder the better. It’s a cathartic experience! I also like to continue to challenge myself and evolve as a songwriter, and I have been participating in various co-operative and solitary songwriting experiments. My friend, the brilliant songwriter Nick Jaina based in Portland, Oregon, invited me to participate in something he calls the 20 song game this April, and it was a fascinating experience. There were 5 of us in different parts of the country, and we all had to try to write and record 20 songs in the

same 12 hour period. It was a terrifying and transcendent experience.

KGNU: Being on the tour with Paper Bird has given you the opportunity to visit a lot of the country. What are some lessons of the road?

Esmé Patterson: Eat oranges. Remember the sound guy’s name. Bring water-proof clothes and shoes, always. Keep a sense of wonder, we live in an inspiring, magical world. KGNU: I assume Colorado is your favorite place to play, but is there another part of the country that you generally look forward to performing for?

Esmé Patterson: I love playing on the West Coast, especially the Northwest. New York is always pretty magical, and Texas always treats us really well, but I’d have to say that New Orleans is my favorite city. KGNU: Thanks again for visiting with us. Esmé Patterson: Yes, well, thanks so much for having us! I love KGNU and support you and think you do an amazing job. I hope everybody in the world listens and supports you. I’m a big fan. The Reggae Bloodlines show is my favorite radio show on the planet.

KGNU: Hats off to Roger Green. Esmé Patterson: Well, yeah. I just realized that I should not have the last word on anything, probably.

KGNU: That’s what good producers are there for. You’ve mentioned that you write from your personal experiences, maybe to a fault. Is it a challenge to write autobiographically and still conceal the details of your life?

Esmé Patterson: What a good question. It is a challenge, certainly. It is a good exercise in having patience with tempestuous emotions and giving yourself grace, especially when you go through something intense and write about it, then you have to play that song at live shows for the foreseeable future. Writing All Princes, I was a way for me to work through a really difficult personal time, and I am glad to be on the other side of all of that, moving forward. KGNU Community Radio | 27

the top 30

The 30 most played albums on KGNU ( Jan – Apr 2013 )


Thao & The Get Down Stay Down We The Common Ribbon Music


Yo La Tengo Fade Matador


DeVotchKa Live With The Colorado Symphony Cicero Recordings


Various Artists Holy Spirit: Spiritual Soul & Gospel Funk Shreveport’s Jewel Records



Richard Thompson Electric New West Recods


Pop Levi Medicine Counter Records


Andrew Bird Hands of Glory Mom + Pop


Pere Ubu Lady from Shanghai Fire Records


The Hot 8 Brass Band The Life And Time Of... Tru Thoughts

Land Lines Land Lines Cash Cow


Kid Koala 12 Bit Blues Ninja Tune


Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell Old Yellow Moon Nonesuch Records


Sun Volt Honky Tonk Rounder Records


Various Artists Le Pop 7 Le Pop Musik



Foxygen We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic Jagjaguwar


Bo Diddley The Black Gladiator Future Days Recordings


Esme Patterson All Princes, I Greater Than Collective


Mi-Gu Choose The Light Chimera Music



Petra Haden Petra Goes To The Movies Anti



Menahan Street Band The Crossing Daptone Records


Various Artists Country Funk 1969-1975 Light in the Attic


Delicate Steve Positive Force Luaka Bop


Jim James Regions of Light and Sound of God ATO Records



The Black Angels Indigo Meadow Blue Horizon


Paper Bird Rooms Self Produced


Phosphorescent Muchacho Dead Oceans

28 | Rare Frequencies

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson Wreck and Ruin Sugar Hill Records

Various Artists Change The Beat - The Celluloid Records Story 1979-1987 Strut

Various Artists Songs for Desert Refugees (Aid for N. Malian Refugees) Gutterhouse Records

Various Artists Pop Yeh Yeh - Psychedelic Rock from Singapore and Malaysia 1964-1970 Sublime Frequencies

volunteer profiles Denver native Jose Silva’s life of activism was jump started by a tragedy — at age 14 his best friend was murdered standing next to him. His path of youth activism led him to work with non-profits addressing guns and violence, police brutality, and education. By the time he graduated from the University of Denver, Jose had served a 4 year term as Youth Mayor of Denver, serving under Wellington Webb and contributing to successful legislation. After school Jose moved to Washington DC to work for College Summit, a group that has now grown to send over 200,000 kids a year to college in 13 states.

jose silva

Jose is enthusiastic about politics, encouraging a mix between grassroots activism and electoral participation. He envisions Denver as an emerging “world class city” conditionally — our leaders and communities must improve public education, work to decrease gun violence, and expand services for mental health and the elderly. As host of Metro every other Wednesday on KGNU from Elzabieta Kosmicki is on a mission to strengthen protective factors and improve health in our families and communities. The Denver native began her life of activism young and in the streets, flexing techniques of wheat paste and ‘zine production. She has worked for over a decade with the group Sisters of Color as a Promatora, teaching community health education and advocacy. After extensive education and interning with several Doctors, Elza began practicing Body Energy Medicine in 2006. Her extensive education and numerous certifications include childbirth, massage, and addiction recovery therapy. She is considering pursuing a doctorate in Chinese Medicine.

Elzabieta Kosmicki

KGNU has provided much of the soundtrack for her journey- Elza is a “huge huge follower of the Sunday programs- Living Dialogues, New Dimensions, the Bioneers, and those shows really pushing the envelope as to how we evolve our sense of self and thought.” These programs offered commonality and kinship in the face of the isolation sometimes

3-3:30pm, he opens the platform for people to present ideas and stories highlighting work in these fields. He stresses that many of his guests do not have money to buy air time on other outlets. Summing up nearly 4 years of participation on-air, first as a political reporter for Metro, he surmises “KGNU is about collaboration. I’ve come to meet some great people through this format, great comments and feedback-thanks for telling this story, or connecting me to this person .” For young people beginning a life of activism, Jose encourages focus. “Be passionate about one issue or one idea. Don’t feel like you have to save the world. Find a couple issues or ideas that are near and dear to your heart, and become educated about the cause. Look to the elders, reach out, find resources and organizations. But learn about the history. There’s a lot of historical significance particular to Denver that we don’t talk about or think about.”

experienced by non-conventional thinkers. As host of Metro on KGNU every other Wednesday 3-3:30pm, her aim is to translate information that is pushing boundaries and forward thinking for everyday people, using stories of culture and creation as illustrations. Elza sums up her view: “Healing really happens within the story of the unique individual’s experience.” Yet her work is community centered, social justice driven. Her battle is against health disparities in marginalized communities, who suffer disproportionately poor health. Undaunted, she asserts that health care is a human right, and we can unlock tremendous healing potential within ourselves. Why does she care about your health? “The more healthy we are as individuals, the more healthy our families are. The more healthy our families are, the more healthy our communities are. The more healthy our communities are, the more healthy our systems are. The more healthy our systems are, the more healthy the planet is. And it’s all dynamically connected.”

KGNU KGNU Community Community Radio Radio || 29

Whenever Peju Alawosa is in the mix DJing KGNU’s African Roots Saturdays 4-6pm or Musica Mundi Wednesdays 8-10pm, she is broadcasting from approximately the center of the world. “I have friends that listen from London, Brazil, Amsterdam—weird times— Nigeria and Ghana. They will go Facebook me, some will Skype me, and I have my phone going on, I’m doing my I-pad. Where else can you reach community that way?” This semi-nomadic Nigerian- born New York transplant describes herself as a “world citizen”, and she is taking KGNU into the world with her.

Peju Alawosa

Peju’s infectious enthusiasm for KGNU and our unrivaled access for diverse communities is not limited to her on-air-time. She also has a green thumb approach to handing out KGNU’s program and pocket guides. “I love the fact that you can see KGNU’s reading materials everywhere. Whenever I go to the studio I grab a handful, and whenever I go to Aurora, I go to the African markets and drop them off. That’s how people get to

Jim Pullen remembers how he got hooked on KGNU in the early-2000s. It was a Tuesday. He was driving to work and Alan Watts came on the radio. “Though I’m pretty allergic to New Age-ist stuff in general,” Jim said, “That’s not what Alan Watts is about. He’s a very sensible philosopher. That’s what got me interested in KGNU.” A decade later, Jim is now one of the hosts and producers of KGNU’s weekly science program How On Earth, which precedes Alan Watts on Tuesday mornings. He’s a research engineer with many years experience in the aerospace industry.

jim pullen

“As a scientist, I enjoy the kind of order that science and mathematics imposes” he said. But the high degree of specialization required can be limiting. Jim appreciates the opportunity his work at KGNU offers to meet all different kinds of people and learn about new things. “I’m interested in everything.” And in his two years of volunteering Jim has done just about everything in the KGNU news department. In addition to his work

30 | Rare Frequencies

know about it- people like me handing out programs in different areas.” It is possible you have Peju’s designs on your bookshelf. With her Masters Degree in Communication Arts and Graphic Design, she worked for the publishing giants Simon and Schuster and Scholastic for years. She is now Director at her own firm- Bodega Design Lab. More than a Spanish name for an NYC corner store, “A Bodega is a one stop shop, right around the corner, that makes you feel good.” Peju specializes in print and web projects for non-profits, “especially those that have a community held focus.” A favorite client is Denver’s iconic Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, but she also helps smaller non-profits develop their marketing tools. Ever forward-thinking, Peju would like to see KGNU in the street even more, widening the door of access through pop-up events in underserved parts of the Metro Area. “Community, music and food go hand in hand. That’s something KGNU can do.”

with How On Earth, Jim has also produced and hosted the Morning Magazine and call-in programs, anchored newscasts, produced spot news & in-depth features, and reported live during fire coverage. He credits KGNU Co-News Director Maeve Conran with encouraging his broad interests in producing news and public affairs for KGNU. And he still recalls the enjoyment of his first feature for KGNU--recording people who were “foraging” for wild edibles in the woods near Lyons: “It made for a really fun, informative piece.” Looking ahead, Jim hopes to do more thematic investigative journalism for KGNU. He also wants the station to expand its influence. “I’d like it to reach more of the 2.5 million people under our signals,” he said. “I’d like KGNU to be a bigger part of the community it serves.”

volunteer list Gregory Abdur-Rasheed Puahau Aki Peju Alawusa Shareef Aleem Hussein Amery Christine Andresen Monica Arevalo Arleigh Carl Armon Ty Arthur Tica Ashton Ewket Assefa Dan Atkinson Charles Ballas Jim Banks Wendy Bannan Joe Barger Joy Barrett Shana Barrios Michele Barrone David Barsamian John Baxter Kim Baxter Chris Beaver Elijah Bent donnie betts Mike Bieszad Mike Bilos Andre Blackman Dave Blackwood Nathan Bloodsworth Ro Bolen Carol and John Bollinger Elizabeth Bowman Stephen Brackett Michael Bradshaw Graciela Breece-Rodriquez Melody Brinkley Jeannie Brisson Kate Brooks Daniel Brown Roz Brown Skip Brown Stephanie Brown Michael Buck Kellie Cannon Cory Campbell Duncan Campbell Ian Campbell Ann Cantelow Meredith Carson Jim Ciarlo Robin Claire Matt Clark Dark Cloud Mariah Coe Brian Cockrell Bjorn Coker Joanne Cole Brian Comerford Holly Conrad Lucila Contreras Jen Cornell Tom Cowing Claudia Cragg Joe Craighead Dennis Creese Steve Cser Dan Culberson Martin Dadisman Frank Dagnillo Gavin Dahl Kristen Daly Danny Daniloff Joel Davis Joe de Cordoba Nichole DeLorimier Marshall Demeranville III Ben Desoto Jonny DeStefano Joe Diamo Beth Dobos Helen Dohrman Phil Dougan

Mark Doyle Breanna Draxler Sharon Dryden James Duncan Sara Duniven Shay Dunne Marcus Dupree Chuck Edelstein Daniel Edwards Robin Edwards Karl Eggert Nichole Elmore Roy England Paul Epstein Elaine Erb Brett Ericson Guy Errickson Brian Eyster Judy Feland Astrid Felter George Figgs Eric Figueroa Mike Finn Mary Fingland Lorraine Filomeno Ron Forthofer Mary Forthofer Sandra Fish Kenneth Flowe Justin Forbes Briget Forsmark Craig Fournier Alicia Francis Glenn Francis Jennifer Frank Kathy Frazier John Fredericksmeyer Ken Fricklas Gregg Friedman Little Fyodor Luna Galassini John Galm Tony Gannaway Miguel Garcia Jeff Garrison Susan Gatschet-Reese Danielle Gauna Jean Gehring Barry Gilbert Kathy D. Gilbert Jamal Gilmore Peter Glenn Dave Gloss Roxie Goss Dennis Glowniak Thia Gonzales Chip Grandits Desiree Grandpre Rob Greene Leo Griep-Ruiz KC Groves Karen Gruber Christina Guo Matt Gushee Brandon Hagen Damon Haley Theresa Halsey Kenneth Hamblin III Erin Hamilton Karen Hammer Catherine Harley Justin Hartman Rebekah Hartman Jim Haynes Tim Helman Drew Henderson Laura Henning Leilani Rashida Henry Brian Hiatt Terry Hicks Holly Hirst Jeff Hlad Josh Hoelleb Emily Hogg

KGNU could not continue without the labor and love generously donated by over 300 volunteers. We thank each and every one listed here, and all others who dedicate their time to participate in independent radio.

Jeff Holland Sue Hollingshead Mike Hollingsworth Andrew Hogle Mateo Homan Dugar Hotala Len Houle Cathy Howell Dafe Hughes Josh Hukriede Sandra Hunter Terre Hurst Karen Ianson John Jackson Tyler Jacobson Karen Janson Jason Jeutheuser Jim Jobson Johnny Johnson Zach Johnson Adelyn Jones Joe Juhasz Remy Kachadourian Ross Kahn Angelica Kalika Tom Kamholz Ibrahim Kazerooni Richard Keifer Lisa Kelekolio Elena Klaver Alan Klaverstrom Evi Klett Cecilia Kluding-Rodriquez Marcia Klump Jim Knopf Diana Korte Gene Korte Elzabieta Kosmicki Nat Kramer Michael Kruger Karl Kumli Celeste Labadie Aaron Ladley Frank Lambrick Blair Landers Liz Lane Daria Laverne Raymone Lee John Lehndorff Jason Leutheuser Dave Lichtenberg Mahlia Lindquist Robert Littlepage Brett Littrell Elizabeth Lock Terri Loconsolo Tonja Loendorf Leslie Lomas Anne Marie Lombard Jessica Lovering Farrell Lowe Judy Lubow Jerry Maddock Lucila Maestas Bill Mahon Jacque Major Donovan Makha Ludmila Matrosova Brigitte Mars Marcella Marschell Christine Marsh Kathleen Martindale Matthew Martinez Mike Massa Neil McBurnett Lance McCarty Alex McCarthy-Hessel Tim McCarthy Pat McCullough Amy McKnight David McIntosh Dave McIntyre Heather McWilliams Scott Medina

Gerard Mercaro Eva Mesmer Neil Meston Kathy Metzger Hannah Leigh Meyers Pete Miesel Skip Miller Steve Miller Yukari Miyamae Chris Mohr Matthew Molina Tom Moore Susan Moran Nancy Munson Basit Mustafa Hannah Myers Ron Nadel Sonia Narang Chris Nathan Pat Naylis Jim Nelson Chip Nesser Jennifer O’Neill Chris O’Riley Tim O’Shea Danny Overby Jeff Palmer Annie Pautsch Barbara Paris Neil Parker Joel Parker Kathy Partridge Leah Peebles Wiliam Pepple Ginger Perry Joe Pezzillo Chris Pfiefer Tom Plant Kim Poletti Lucas Polglaze Jim Pullen Curtis Powells Steve Priem Stevyn Prothero Suzanne Real Terry Reardon Jane Reddy Skip Reeves Matt Rhoades Donna Rhodes Joe Richey Jacinto Rico Frosher Riox Barry Roark Erin Roberts Tom Roberts Tony Robinson Pat Rodgers Irene Rodriguez Morgan Rogers Rett Rogers Wendy Rochman Jeff Romain Jill Rosenbloom Brad Rosenzweig Leland Rucker Jack Rummel Jordan Rundle C. Russell Steve Rush Luz Saldano Sue Salinger Rachel Sapin Susan Savage Berndt Savig Steven S-Boemeker LeAnne Schamp Stefan Schardt Miriam Schiff Shelley Schlender Greg Schultz Michael Schmidt Steve Schoo Ursula Scribe

Selena Stephanie Sere Set Adrien Seybert Jon Shaw Jaime Shuey Katharine Shuler Michael Shuster Jose Silva Lamar Sims Kenny Skinner Sarah Slater Neil Smart Bob Smith Creighton Smith Kialah Smith Stephanie Smith Alan Sobel Elana Sobol Cherrelle Speight Elane Spivak-Rodriquez Steve Stalzle Eugene Stan Elle Steinfurth Laurie Stephenson Fergus Stone Scott Stovall Veronica Straight-Lingo Juliette Strauss Norman Strizek Miz Susan Mandy Sutyak Eve Szokolai Marge Taniwaki Nancy Taddiken Adam Taylor Deb Taylor Brad Thacker Tim Thomas Mike Tipton Vols Toadd Gretchen Troop Tony Tucker Dan Tulenko Sondra Tutela Jeremy Two Elk Richard Two Elk Doug Uhm T Valladeres Bonnie Vanduersen Robin Van Norman Steven Vey Garian Vigil Mark Vignali Mimi Virdi Ietef Vita Sally Voyle David Vorzimer Wally Wallace Brandon Walsh Jon Walton Carolyn Wegner Farrell Weil Jennette Weisskopt James Weise Blair Weigum Courtney Welsh Wendy Welsh Roger Wendell Joan L. Wernick Stephen Whitehead Dan Willging Julie Willging David Wilson Louis Wolfe Cary Wolfson Stephen Wright Moutiou Yessoufou Ricci Young Cheryl Zeeb Andrew Zicklin Dale Zigelsky Frank Zygmut

KGNU Community Radio | 31

GET INVOLVED WITH KGNU! KGNU depends on the time and talents of hundreds of volunteers. We have a variety of off-air and on-air volunteer opportunities. Whether you are interested in music, public affairs or working behind the scenes, KGNU welcomes you. KGNU hosts New Volunteer Orientations every other month at both our Boulder and Denver studios. Check our website, or call 303-449-4885 for details. We have a busy schedule of community outreach events. If you’d like to help us spread the word about KGNU, call 303-449-4885 and ask about outreach volunteer opportunities.

The station also has many committees that perform critical functions:

> Events Committee organizes KGNU benefit events

> KGNU Board of Directors is the licensee of the station. The board meets on the second Monday of the month at 6:00 PM. Meetings alternate between our Denver studio (even-numbered months) and our Boulder studio (odd-numbered months).

> Executive Committee prepares the board meeting agendas, serves as the station Personnel Committee

> Community Advisory Board (CAB) is a group of listeners who meet to discuss the station’s policies and programming goals. The CAB meets twice a year, once in Boulder and once in Denver. Meeting dates, times and locations are announced on our website and on-air. > Budget Committee monitors the station’s budget > Bylaws Committee reviews and suggests revisions to the station’s by-laws > Development Committee supports KGNU fundraising

Is Your Will Your Way?

> InfoTech Committee supports station computing needs and website > Infrastructure Committee helps maintain and improve KGNU facilities and signals > Nominating Committee recruits, interviews and recommends new board members > Program Committee reviews station on-air programs and proposed new programs

More information about KGNU committees is available at or by calling 303-449-4885.

The simplest way to leave a legacy for KGNU is to include the station as a beneficiary in your will. Planned gifts can be made with cash, but are often made by donating assets such as stocks, real estate, life insurance or business interests—anything with value. Planned gifts can provide valuable tax benefits and/or lifetime income for you and your spouse or other loved one.

> Make a larger charitable gift than you thought possible > Increase your current income > Plan for the financial needs of a spouse or loved one > Provide inheritances for your heirs at a reduced tax cost > Reduce your income tax and/or avoid capital gains tax > Diversify your investment portfolio > Receive income from your personal residence or farm > Plan for the transfer of your business > Leave a charitable legacy for future generations

What are Planned Gifts?

Why Should I Make a Planned Gift?

How Can I Make a Planned Gift?

Planned gifts are a variety of charitable giving methods that allow you to express your personal values by integrating your charitable, family and financial goals. Making a planned charitable gift should involve asking the advice of a qualified estate and/or tax professional.

Many people want to make charitable gifts but need to do so in a way that helps meet their other personal, family, or financial needs. Frequently we hear from members “I wish I could do more.” Planned gifts give you options for making your charitable gifts in ways that may allow you to:

By Sam Fuqua

I get a little nervous whenever there’s a letter from a law firm in with the day’s mail at KGNU. But the lawyer letter that arrived in May was a surprising and touching communication. We were notified that a long-time KGNU listener-member had passed away and included KGNU in her will. I wish I’d known her but I’m deeply appreciative of her generosity. She made a plan to help KGNU even after she was gone.

32 | Rare Frequencies

For information about how to make a planned gift to KGNU and ensure volunteer powered listener-supported community radio for future generations please contact Community Development Director Shawna Sprowls at shawna@, 303-449-4885 or by mail c/o KGNU, 4700 Walnut Street, Boulder, CO 80301.

KGNU is classified by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 c 3 charitable organization. Contributions and gifts are tax deductible as applicable by law.

Rare Frequencies / KGNU 2013