Air Check

Air Check is a brand new show from KRCC highlighting great music from the Pikes Peak region and beyond. If you’ve ever been to KRCC and seen the 20,000 CDs in our filing cabinets, and the 20,000 records in our vinyl vault, then you know that we are serious about music.

Think of Air Check as a showcase for all the incredible music that lives at KRCC. We’ll introduce you to things you may have missed, take a closer look at genres and artists we think you’ll love, and invite local and touring musicians into the studio for exclusive interviews and in-studio performances.

The latest round of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions were announced today, and Whitney Houston is the only woman honored.

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A few of KRCC's volunteer dj staff have weighed in with a recap of their top five albums or songs for 2019.  That is saying something considering somewhere in the neighborhood of three hundred records were added this year, not counting  semi-new music waiting to join our library!

DR. T (YOUR MUSIC MASTER) - TUESDAY LATE NIGHT - 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.

1.  Jamilia Woods - Legacy! Legacy!                 

Matt Chmielarczyk

On this first episode of Air Check for the new year, the shows co-creator Jake Brownell gifts us with a return visit to the musical roundtable, singer/songwriter Miette Hope pays a visit home and to the KRCC studios for a performance of her new music, and violin maker Juan Pablo Mijares  opens the door of his workshop to KRCC's Mountain West reporter, Ali Budner.

Even though 2019 just ended, we're already looking ahead to the albums scheduled to come out in the first half of 2020. From Moses Sumney's upcoming double album to a folk supergroup starring two of the minds behind Hadestown and Fruit Bats, here are some albums we can't wait to hear in 2020.

In a culture infatuated with the idea of bending time, music lovers may not often consider that such miracles happen constantly in the course of everyday listening. Your life may not literally loop the way Nadia Vulvokov's did in Russian Doll, or toddle from past to present to future like Angela Abar's in Watchmen. But did you ever make a playlist that segues from Lizzo to Stevie Wonder?

In October, NPR Music and public radio music stations around the country launched a new internal site called Live Sessions From NPR Music Stations Across America. With a mix of in-studio performances, playlists, video interviews and live webcasts, Live Sessions features content that the public radio network is uniquely poised to deliver and reinforces public radio's role as an engine of music discovery. We asked our stations to choose their favorite videos of the year and here's what they picked.


This year, Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" turns 25. Her single-item wish list seems to have been the punctuation mark on half a century in which a new, original and secular holiday song became ubiquitous every few years.

The 25 Best Songs Of 2019

Dec 13, 2019

This list was made by writers, editors and producers at NPR Music operating under two rules: Songs had to be released during 2019 and no lead artist was allowed to appear on both this list and our list of the 25 Best Albums of 2019. You can find the rest of our picks for the best music of 2019 here.

The 15 Best Rock Albums Of 2019

Dec 11, 2019

After a decade of genre-blending, globalization and the growth of micro-niches, the definition of rock is very much up for debate. But for us — and for the purposes of this list — it means one thing: Guitars. Big, loud, fuzzy guitars. Sharon Van Etten put out one of our favorite albums of the year and there are some guitars on it. But not really rock and roll.

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On this seasonal episode of Air Check, Jeff and Vicky share some of their favorite holiday tunes, the kindergarten class at Manitou Springs Elementary sing a song about the darkest day of the year, (or is it the beginning of the brightest...?), and KRCC's community music hosts pick a favorite single from 2019.

Three years after his death in November of 2016, there's a new Leonard Cohen album. It's called Thanks for the Dance, and it was completed and produced by his son, singer-songwriter Adam Cohen. NPR's Don Gonyea speaks to Cohen about putting together this album, which he says he started with his father — with his father's full intention that his son would finish it after his death. Listen in the audio player above and read on for a transcript of their conversation.

For the fifth year running, All Things Considered's annual musical gratitude chat is back. This Thanksgiving, NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with four different artists, each guest having been named as a reason to be thankful by the previous artist.

"I think that Tom Waits is an artist who makes art for the sake of making art," singer Allison Moorer says.

What are your favorite songs of the past decade? These are tracks released between 2010 and 2019. We know there were a lot, but we'd like to know what songs stand out the most to you — the ones you've gone back to again and again. Using the form below, tell us you favorite song or songs from the 2010s. You can pick up to five.

Don't be fooled. Spooky season isn't just reserved for the weeks leading up to Halloween. As the season shifts into colder temps, cradling death is just part of the process.

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Angela Seals, Deputy Director of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region picks a favorite new tune for our musical roundtable discussion, and singer-songwriter Joe Johnson braves some wintry weather to talk with Vicky and play a couple songs in the 91.5 KRCC studios.

'Rhythm + Flow' Remixes The Rules For Reality TV

Oct 24, 2019

Though released in weekly installments, the full season of Rhythm + Flow is now available for streaming on Netflix. This review discusses the season in total, but does not reveal the ultimate winner.

Setting the tone, guest judge Snoop Dogg exclaimed, "This isn't The Voice, [plural expletive]!"

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Between Two Ferns, the Zach Galifianakis comedy series, is full of awkward celebrity encounters and interviews gone haywire.

This week, Big Thief will release its second album of the year. The double play alone doesn't capture just how prolific this band is, though. Two Hands is the third Big Thief release in the past year and six days, if you count lead songwriter Adrianne Lenker's solo record, abysskiss. Broaden the count from there, and it is the fifth Big Thief-related LP of the past year and a half, including solo outings from guitarist Buck Meek and drummer James Krivchenia. Big Thief is like a hydrant with its top knocked off. Music is pouring from Big Thief.

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Marc Benning owner of Lulu’s Downstairs Venue sits in on  our musical roundtable discussion, and Amy Helm sings a couple of songs and talks with Vicky about her musical influences and her many collaborations inside and outside of her family.

NPR Music's Top 20 Songs Of September

Oct 1, 2019

Stream this playlist via Spotify or Apple Music.

For its final installment in the Slingshot Scenes series from the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area (we call it "The Triangle"), WUNC Music invited Kym Register to write about the local LGBTQ+ scene. Register is a musician and owner of the Durham club The Pinhook, a focal point for the community and home to new and established artists.


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Warning: The opening cut on this week's show, by Fran got stuck in my head and kept me wide awake at four in the morning. But a song from Soccer Mommy about dealing with temptation and the devil, Ruby Duff's "rainbow of emotions," Chastity Belt's first new music since 2017 and (Sandy) Alex G's devastating song titled "Hope" will help when taken at a hefty volume.

There's a cinematic theme in the songs on this edition of All Songs Considered, including a new track from Thom Yorke called "Daily Battles" and an instrumental version of it from trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. These two songs were created for the Edward Norton film Motherless Brooklyn.

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On this epsiode of Air Check, Aisha Ahmad-Post, Artistic Director of the ENT Center for the Arts sits in on the music roundtable discussion, and we hear an encore performance from Hector Anchondo who played the 2019 Blues Under the Bridge Festival. 

I am Nina and Roberta
The one you love but ain't never heard of
Got my middle finger up
Like Pac after attempted murder
Failed to kill me
It's still me — from "Nina"

One year ago, Rapsody had an epiphany. She felt it so deep in her soul, as an artist and a black woman from the backwoods of North Carolina, that it was almost strange it hadn't revealed itself sooner. Sometimes, even the anointed among us need a word from on high to get the message.

NPR Music's Station Breaks is all about new discoveries, so if you're looking for a truly original set of music off the mainstream radio dial, you've found it. August's selection of tracks has something for everyone: ambient, funk, jazz, acoustic and more.

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On this episode of Air Check, Jeff and Vicky spend some time with  former Colorado College sound technician Lewis Keller to review some new earworms.  Lewis not only knows a thing or two about the recording studio, but has also had a career as working musician, playing bass for Sony recording artist/singer/songwriter Lissie.

NPR Music's Top 20 Songs Of July

Jul 31, 2019

Stream: Spotify, Apple.

NPR Music's Top 10 Albums Of July

Jul 31, 2019

Y'all, it was stupid hot in July, at least here at NPR Music HQ. And to some degree, the best albums of the month reflect that sweaty, heat-stricken mood. Cuco's Para Mí makes for a laid-back summer sway, Burna Boy's African Giant synthesizes a street party and J. Cole's Revenge of the Dreamers III gathers up all his best buds to make the ultimate hang mix.

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