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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!

Nov 19, 2015

Today in 1990 pop superstar duo Milli Vanilli was stripped of their Grammy Award for Best New Artist.  How might their fate have been different had they come along a decade later after the advent of Auto-Tune?  Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."

Nov 18, 2015

Today's "A Classical Day in the Life" explores the sprawling musical world of author Margaret Atwood, born on this day in 1939.  We journey from high school musicals, to Elvis, to her "Letter to America," to the operatic stage.

 

Nov 18, 2015

Today in 2005 the Hollywood biopic Walk the Line about the life and career of Johnny Cash premiered in the United States.  Mainstream films about country music are rare and it took more than ten years to make this one, find out why on today's "A Day in the Life."

Nov 17, 2015

Today in 1558, Queen Elizabeth I ascended the throne of England.  Nicknamed Oriana, the queen created a fostering environment for music during her 44-year reign.  Who were the leading figures of this so-called Elizabethan era?  Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."

Nov 17, 2015

Today in 1938, Canadian singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot was born in Toronto.  He made his debut in 4th grade over the school's PA system and would go on to author the classic song "Early Morning Rain."  What else should you know about Lightfoot?  Find out on today's "A Day in the Life." 

Nov 16, 2015

Ray Charles held the #1 spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 today in 1960, with a song titled "Georgia On My Mind."  Where does the song come from, why did Charles record this cover, and who else has recorded it?  Find out today on "A Day in the Life."

Nov 16, 2015

Today in 1900 Philadelphia Orchestra performed its first concert at the Academy of Music.  Today's "A Day in the Life" explores the music of this debut performance--including works by Goldmark, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky--and considers how the ensemble eventually found its signature "Philadelphia Sound."

Nov 15, 2015

What do you listen to and talk about when you have limitless access to music?  

These days we can fire up our computers, or our portable devices, or our phones and have access to basically any song or composition we want--access to the whole archive of recorded sound.

Joining us this episode for a discussion about the “infinite playlist” is music critic, essayist, novelist, and all around pop-culture guru, Chuck Klosterman.

We journey from Beirut to Ryan Adams, T Swift to Fetty Wap, Billy Joel to Radiohead--and many places in between.  All that and a special "infinite" band name pop quiz on this episode of Critical Karaoke!

Nov 12, 2015

Walt Disney’s animated musical offering Fantasia premiered in New York City on this day in 1940. How was the film audiences encountered then differ from the one we know today? Find out on today’s “A Day in the Life.”

Nov 12, 2015

Today in 1980, Voyager I made its closest approach to Saturn, using the planet's gravity to slingshot its way towards interstellar space--offering the perfect opportunity to consider the music of Gustav Holst and Sun Ra on today's "A Day in the Life."

Nov 11, 2015

Author Kurt Vonnegut was born on this day in 1922.  He once remarked "Music is to me, proof of the existence of God."  What genre of music was his favorite?  Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."

Nov 10, 2015

Children's television program Sesame Street debuted on PBS on this day in 1969.  Today's "Day in the Life" considers musical Muppets from the past as well as the pop-song inspiration for the Sesame Street theme song.

Nov 9, 2015

The first issue of Rolling Stone was published on this day in 1967 in San Francisco.  Today's "A Day in the Life" explores the musical origins of the publication's title and shares fun facts such as who was on that first cover and how much it cost.

Nov 6, 2015

Sonic Space Voyager Edgar Varese passed away on this day in 1965.  Matthew Mugmon explores just what this means and why Frank Zappa was such a fan in today's "A Day in the Life.”

Nov 5, 2015

Today is the birthday of singer/songwriters Bryan Adams and Ryan Adams.  Today's "A Day in the Life" explores the musical collisions of these two men with the same occupation and nearly the identical name.

Nov 4, 2015

Today in 1889 Sigmund Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams--it was a publishing flop.  This episode of "A Day in the Life" explores the music of dreams from Mendelssohn to Belle and Sebastian and questions why Freud was so averse to music in the first place.

Nov 3, 2015

Today in 1995 Bob Dylan and Hootie and the Blowfish reached an out-of-court settlement regarding copyright infringement.  But that isn't the end of the story.  Find out about the ongoing and unexpected collisions between Hootie frontman Darius Rucker and Bob Dylan on today's "A Day in the Life."

Nov 2, 2015

Although not in the same year, Warren G. Harding was both born and elected president of the United States on this day. His surprising life in music and the surprising music inspired by his life are the subject of today's "A Day in the Life."

Oct 30, 2015

Today in 1938, Orson Welles and his radio drama "War of the Worlds" caused widespread panic when listeners became convinced that an alien invasion was really taking place.  Find out how he used music to make this broadcast a terrifying and memorable success.

Oct 29, 2015

German composer (and forefather of western swing?!?), Robert Volkmann died on this day in 1833.  Today's “A Day in the Life” explores how his music for music for orchestra, chamber ensembles, and piano rivals that of better-known composers of his generation such as Brahms, Chopin, and Schumann.

Oct 28, 2015

Today is the birthday of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who found himself in the midst of a musical hoax in 2015.  How much did Gates reportedly offer to pay hiphop artist Young Thug to never again make music?  And how did Young Thug respond?  Find out on today's episode of "A Day in the Life." 

Oct 27, 2015

Today in 1917, violinist Jascha Heifetz had his Carnegie Hall Debut--he was only 16 years old at the time.  What made his playing so dynamically engaging?  And what Bing Crosby song did he compose?  Find out on today's "Day in the Life."

Oct 26, 2015

Today in 1973, jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock released the album Head Hunters, featuring a funky updated version of his song "Watermelon Man."  The tune would go on to be recorded, covered, and sampled by hundreds of future musicians.  Find out more on today's "A Day in the Life."

Oct 23, 2015

Today in 2005 Lou Rawls gave his final live performance as part of game two of the World Series.  Learn about his life and times today on "A Day in the Life," including his ongoing performance of the "Star Spangled Banner."  

Oct 22, 2015

Today in 1973, the song "Sunshine on my Shoulders" was released as a single by John Denver.  Today's "A Day in the Life" reflects on the music and lyrics, with particular focus on the Bolero-like orchestral arrangement, provided by Lenny Neihaus.

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