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Critical Karaoke

"Critical Karaoke" is a monthly show about music and the ideas it inspires. We also produce daily music history segments called "A Day in the Life." Both currently air on KRCC
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"A Day in the Life" is a 2-minute podcast about music, history, culture, and ideas.  We release at least one new episode every weekday on an incredible range of genres and artists.  We hope you enjoy these quick listens!

Mar 20, 2017

Today in 1982 the singer-songwriting duo Buckner & Garcia appeared on the television show American Bandstand to perform their hit single “Pac-Man Fever.” On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the musical side of early-80's video game culture.

Mar 1, 2017

Today in 1810, composer and pianist Frederic Chopin was born in Warsaw, Poland. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore Chopin's career as a composer from his first piano pieces at the age of seven onward to his most notable works.

Feb 28, 2017

It was on this day in 1935 that the Brazilian musician Chiquinha Gonzaga died at the age of 87. Gonzaga was a noted song composer and a significant presence in the musical theatre world of Brazil in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore Gonzaga's musical and political legacy.

Feb 28, 2017

It was on this day in 1995 that Denver International Airport opened. A replacement for the Stapleton Airport, DIA opened sixteen months behind schedule at a cost of 4.8 billion - two billion over budget. On today's "Day in the Life" we explore songs about Denver.

Feb 28, 2017

It was on this day in 1980 that The Recording Academy issued the first and last Grammy for Best Disco recording. On today's "A Day in the Life", we put a finger on the pulse of disco in its final days.

Feb 28, 2017

On this day in 1883, Oscar Hammerstein I was granted a patent for a cigar rolling machine. The profits from this invention provided him with the resources to realize his true ambition, and in 1889 he entered the entertainment business when he opened the Harlem Opera House. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore Hammerstein's contributions to grand opera in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Feb 24, 2017

It was on this day in 1901 that the composer Gustav Mahler, just over 40 years old, suffered a severe hemorrhage. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the frenetic pace of the day that nearly killed him.

Feb 22, 2017

Today in 1583, Laura Peverara married Count Annibale Turco of Ferrara.  Peverara was a virtuosa Italian singer and a founding member of the famous Concerto Delle Dame. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" learn more about the musical "consort of ladies" and their role in the court of the Duke of Ferrara.

Feb 21, 2017

It was on this day in 1972 that President Richard Nixon arrived in the People’s Republic of China - marking the start of a momentous Cold War visit that Nixon would later call “the week that changed the world.”  On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we consider the opera inspired by this momentous meeting, John Adams' "Nixon in China".

Feb 21, 2017

Today in 1958, Gibson Guitars shipped its first Flying Vs to the Chicago Musical Instruments headquarters, its parent company and distributor. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the history of the iconic guitar and survey the musical landscape of those musicians who made it famous.

Feb 20, 2017

It was on this day in 1981 that mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile was born. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we survey Thile's mandolin work from the eclectic bluegrass of Nickel Creek to his solo interpretations of the works of Bach.

Feb 20, 2017

It was on this day in 1992 that Boyz in the hood director John Singleton was nominated for a Best Director Academy Award. At age 24 he would be the youngest to ever receive such recognition and also the first African American. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the integration of the sounds and stories of rap music into the cinematic landscape.

Feb 13, 2017

It was on this day in 2000 that Lucy and Linus, Snoopy, and, of course, Charlie Brown made their final appearance. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the musical world of the Peanuts.

Feb 7, 2017

On this day in 1867, Laura Ingalls Wilder was born near Pepin, Wisconsin. She is best known for her "Little House" series of 9 children’s books based upon her memories as part of a pioneer family who moved around the Midwest in the late 19th Century. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we examine the role of music in the Ingalls household.

Feb 7, 2017

Today in 1964, The Beatles landed at JFK Airport which proved an auspicious backdrop for the official start of the so-called “British Invasion". On today's "A Day in the Life", we relive the moment that Beatlemania began in the United States.

Feb 6, 2017

Today in 1760 in Munich, Maria Antonia Walpurgis performed the lead role in the debut of her own opera Talestri, Regina delle Amazzoni - or, Talestri, Queen of the Amazon.  It was the second opera for which she composed both the music and the libretto. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the musical career of the daughter of Charles the VII, Holy Roman Emperor.

Feb 6, 2017

It was on this day in 1945 that international music Superstar Bob Marley was born in Kingston Jamaica. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore Marley's rise to international stardom.

Feb 1, 2017

Today in 1841, romantic-era composer Robert Schumann began his so-called Liederjahr--or “year of song.” On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we examine the period of the composer's vocal composition and its connection to Shakespeare.

Feb 1, 2017

On this day in 1891, Sir Arthur Sullivan’s opera Ivanhoe — that’s right, opera, not operetta — had its first performance. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore Sullivan's more serious side.

Jan 24, 2017

Today in 1782, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote to his father about a solution to a problem he had been facing: “I no longer charge for 12 lessons, but monthly. I learnt to my cost that my pupils often dropped out for weeks at a time; so now, whether they learn or not, each of them must pay me 6 ducats.” On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we consider the value of practicing.

Jan 23, 2017

It was on this day in 1914 that George W. Johnson, the first African-American recording star died in New York City.  On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore Johnson's career as a recording artist for the Edison Company.

Jan 18, 2017

Today in 1583, Maddalena Casulana performed at the Accademia Olimpica--a cultural and social organization in the northeastern Italian city of Vicenza, located between Verona and Venice. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the contributions of Casulana to Madrigal music.

Jan 17, 2017

On this day in 1706, Benjamin Franklin was born. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we examine the confluence of the founding father's inventiveness and the world of music.

Jan 17, 2017

It was on this day in 1994 that Danny Bonaduce stepped into the ring with Donny Osmond in Chicago, IL for a boxing match.  On today's "A Day in the Life", find out whose trash-talking led to the match and who came out on top.

Jan 16, 2017

Today in 1980, composer, actor, and hip-hop artist, Lin-Manuel Miranda was born in Manhattan, in Washington heights.  On today's "A Day in the Life" we track Manuel's career from his first musical "In the Heights" to the rise of "Hamilton".

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