Talk is a rare commodity on talk radio these days; it's usually overshadowed by yelling, screaming, one-upmanship and random examples of verbal abuse. But talk still rules on Colorado Matters, which is heard twice daily on KCFR and other stations on the news-talk half of Colorado Public Radio's two-channel network. Dan Drayer, the program's overseer, lets newsmakers, legislators, entertainers and just plain folks speak their piece at a leisurely pace. The show can get a bit sleepy at times, but its drawbacks are balanced by intelligence and a disdain for sound and fury that signify nothing.


A veteran sports columnist at the Denver Post, Jim Armstrong alternates with fellow Post-er Mark Kiszla on The Press Box, a morning-drive show helmed by recent import Tim Neverett. Armstrong doesn't have a typical radio voice, but he's turned out to be an excellent communicator, presenting thoughtful, well-reasoned arguments with a minimum of pomposity or ego and a maximum of humor. A year ago, Armstrong briefly considered ditching sports for news, then reconsidered. His work on 560's morning shift demonstrates that he made the right choice.
A veteran sports columnist at the Denver Post, Jim Armstrong alternates with fellow Post-er Mark Kiszla on The Press Box, a morning-drive show helmed by recent import Tim Neverett. Armstrong doesn't have a typical radio voice, but he's turned out to be an excellent communicator, presenting thoughtful, well-reasoned arguments with a minimum of pomposity or ego and a maximum of humor. A year ago, Armstrong briefly considered ditching sports for news, then reconsidered. His work on 560's morning shift demonstrates that he made the right choice.


Greg Dobbs, who left KNRC earlier this year after an ultra-gross health scare, was a political progressive by Denver talk-radio standards, yet he wasn't a knee-jerk pinko. He was able to eloquently express his opinions even as he equitably refereed debates between people who disagreed with him and individuals supporting his point of view. In other words, he epitomized KNRC's promise to present both sides of issues -- a pledge that's looking awfully one-sided since Dobbs's departure.
Greg Dobbs, who left KNRC earlier this year after an ultra-gross health scare, was a political progressive by Denver talk-radio standards, yet he wasn't a knee-jerk pinko. He was able to eloquently express his opinions even as he equitably refereed debates between people who disagreed with him and individuals supporting his point of view. In other words, he epitomized KNRC's promise to present both sides of issues -- a pledge that's looking awfully one-sided since Dobbs's departure.


He looks like a combination of Santa Claus and Ed Asner, his real identity is kept a mystery, and his on-air shtick is lifted straight from the Wolfman Jack School of deejaying. We don't care: Da Boogieman's funny. He reigns over the airwaves from 7 p.m. to midnight, weeknights on KOOL -- singing along with songs from the oldies canon and cutting up like a kid at the controls. But it isn't just his "Barbara Ann" jokes that get us giggling. It's his voice -- a scratchy, nasal patois of undetermined origin. Is he supposed to sound like a Motor City madman? A rock-and-roll loving Southern boy? A billy goat? Who can say? All we know is that his show is one of the most unabashedly fun features on the dial.
He looks like a combination of Santa Claus and Ed Asner, his real identity is kept a mystery, and his on-air shtick is lifted straight from the Wolfman Jack School of deejaying. We don't care: Da Boogieman's funny. He reigns over the airwaves from 7 p.m. to midnight, weeknights on KOOL -- singing along with songs from the oldies canon and cutting up like a kid at the controls. But it isn't just his "Barbara Ann" jokes that get us giggling. It's his voice -- a scratchy, nasal patois of undetermined origin. Is he supposed to sound like a Motor City madman? A rock-and-roll loving Southern boy? A billy goat? Who can say? All we know is that his show is one of the most unabashedly fun features on the dial.
KCUV, which was launched late last year by the same folks who brought us KNRC, is doing a much better job of living up to its potential than is its sister station. The outlet features a wide range of music that fits under the Americana umbrella -- country, alternative country, blues and plenty of other genres that are too seldom heard on area airwaves. KCUV's nickname, Colorado's Underground Voice, is appropriate, because its minuscule advertising budget has forced staffers to don sandwich boards to spread their musical gospel. There's no telling if this word-of-mouth campaign will succeed, but it's got a chance -- because KCUV is worth talking about.
KCUV, which was launched late last year by the same folks who brought us KNRC, is doing a much better job of living up to its potential than is its sister station. The outlet features a wide range of music that fits under the Americana umbrella -- country, alternative country, blues and plenty of other genres that are too seldom heard on area airwaves. KCUV's nickname, Colorado's Underground Voice, is appropriate, because its minuscule advertising budget has forced staffers to don sandwich boards to spread their musical gospel. There's no telling if this word-of-mouth campaign will succeed, but it's got a chance -- because KCUV is worth talking about.


Many aspects of Radio 1190, a station affiliated with the University of Colorado, are deserving of praise: its commitment to promoting interesting concerts in Denver and Boulder; the presence of specialty shows such as a.side//b.side, which celebrates the art of the mix tape; and an unpolished but compelling style that's much more stimulating than the stuff pumped out by its corporate competitors. The main draw, though, is the music. Staffers are students of sound who seek out the best of contemporary indie rock, hip-hop and more, and they're not shy about sharing. At Radio 1190, learning is fun-damental.

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