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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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Now displaying: 2015

"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!

Dec 10, 2015

On this day in 1854, the oratorio L’Enfance du Christ, or the Childhood of Christ, by the French composer Hector Berlioz, had its first performance in Paris. Find out why Berlioz's countrymen liked the fake alter ego he created more than him in today's "A Classical Day in the Life."

Dec 10, 2015

It was on this day in 1969 that folk singer James Taylor was in a Los Angeles recording studio creating his second album, Sweet Baby James. Journey with us as we learn more, won't you? For example, which member of the Eagles played on the album? Also, what was the budget to make the album, in US dollars? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."

Dec 9, 2015

Today in 2002, United Airlines filed for bankruptcy.  This "A Day in the Life" explores the company's long-standing musical relationship with George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.

Dec 8, 2015

Today in 1967, Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors, turned 24 years old. The next day he became the first ever rock singer to be arrested on stage. Transport yourself back to that night in New Haven on today's "A Day in the Life."

Dec 8, 2015

It was on this day in 1865 that Finnish composer Jean Sibelius was born. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" find out what Sibelius' Seventh Symphony has in common with Samuel Barber’s First Symphony and the Doctor Atomic Symphony by John Adams.

Dec 7, 2015

As FDR declared in 1941, December 7th is a day that will live in infamy.  Today's "A Day in the Life" explores some of the musical responses to the attack on Pearl Harbor, including some of its more infamous popular songs.

Dec 4, 2015

It was on this day in 1983 that Nena's 99 Luftballons entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart. On today's "A Day in the Life" discover the origins of the song and what, exactly, is going on with the lyrics. 

Dec 4, 2015

When 1875's version of December 4th occurred, Bohemian-Austrian poet Ranier Maria Rilke was born unto this world. Known for works such as Duino Elegies, Letters to a Young Poet, and The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, he also had something to say about music. Find out which composer Rilke was especially interested in on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."

Dec 3, 2015

It was on this day in 1991 that pioneering rock and roll DJ, Alan Freed, posthumously received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Freed has become well-known as a result of his involvement in the Payola Scandal, but on today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the contributions he made to the genre he named.

Dec 3, 2015

It was on this day in 1883 that Austrian composer Anton Webern was born. Webern was a member of the so-called Second Viennese School: a group of composers known for their forays into atonality. Learn more on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."

Dec 2, 2015

It was on this day in 1983 that Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video debuted on MTV. Get the play-by-play commentary on today's "A Day in the Life."

Dec 2, 2015

Today in 1804, at Notre Dame in Paris, Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned emperor of the French. Come along with us on a musical voyage of discovery as we visit the likes of Jean Francois Lesueur, Ludwig van Beethoven and, of course, ABBA.

Dec 1, 2015

It was on this day in 1997 that everyone's favorite saxophonist, Kenny G was officially recognized by the folks at Guinness World Records for doing something notable. But what exactly was it? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."

Dec 1, 2015

Today in 1944, the Hungarian composer Béla Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra had its first performance with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. How do Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony and an operetta loved by Adolf Hitler figure into Bartok's concerto? Find out on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."

Nov 30, 2015

Today in 1949, Charlie "Bird" Parker recorded the album Charlie Parker With Strings.  What jazz standards did he perform and which pre-fame cult figure was also in the studio?  Find out on this "A Day in the Life."

Nov 26, 2015

It was on this day in 1942 that American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter Jimi Hendrix was born. On today's "Day in the Life," we explore the devilish connection between Hendrix and such artists David Bowie, Metallica, and even Leonard Bernstein!

Nov 26, 2015

Today in 1915, American piano virtuoso Earl Wild was born.  A renowned interpreter of Rhapsody in Blue, he also pioneered live broadcasting--both on television and online.  Find out more on today's "A Day in the Life."

Nov 26, 2015

'Twas on this day in 1976 that the Sex Pistols' debut single, Anarchy in the UK, was released. Find out why it almost didn't happen on today's "A Day in the Life."

Nov 25, 2015

It was on this day in 1984 that Band Aid, a supergroup made up of anyone who was anyone in the early 1980's Brit Pop scene, recorded "Do they Know it's Christmas." Find out who was behind it and why on today's "A Day in the Life."

Nov 25, 2015

It was on this day in 1882 that Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera Iolanthe debuted in London and New York. Was it merely a tale of fairy love or was it a political satire? Find out on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."

Nov 24, 2015

On this day, in 1960, American bassist and composer, Edgar Meyer was born. His work ranges from bluegrass to jazz and brings forth the often overlooked soloistic capacity of the double bass. What do renowned artists Béla Fleck, Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, and Jerry Douglas have in common? Find out on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."

Nov 24, 2015

On this day in 1974, Elton John and John Lennon rehearsed for an upcoming Thanksgiving Day concert at Madison Square Garden. Why did John Lennon agree to do a special appearance at an Elton John show and which Paul McCartney tune did Lennon cover at the end of the concert? All will be revealed on today's "A Day in the Life."

Nov 23, 2015

On this day in 2004, Nova Scotia native and sometime Broken Social Scene member,  Feist released her single, "Mushaboom."  What does the name reference and what are the origins of the word?  Find out all this and more on today's "A Day in the Life."   

Nov 20, 2015

Today in 1889 witnessed the premiere of Gustav Mahler's first symphony.  The sonic combination of birdsong, peasant dances, arresting melodies, and distant fanfares set the stage for all future works by this late-Romantic composer.  Today's "A Classical Day in the Life" explores all of this as well as Mahler's unsettling incorporation of Frère Jacques.

Nov 20, 2015

Today in 1936 American novelist and essayist Don DeLillo was born in the Bronx.  Hear an excerpt from his novel Great Jones Street, possibly modeled on Bob Dylan, and find out which indie rock band borrowed its name from the novel White Noise on today's "A Day in the Life."

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