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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!

Oct 21, 2015

Today is the birthday of conductor Georg Solti, born in Hungary in 1912.  In addition to his work as a conductor with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, today's DITL explores his work as an accompanist as well as a commissioner of modern music.  

 

 

Oct 20, 2015

Toady in 1955, film composer Thomas Newman was born.  Part of an illustrious family of movie music, his contemplative, continually unfolding music appears in "Scent of a Woman," "American Beauty," "Wall-E" and perhaps most memorably, "The Shawshank Redemption."  Find out more on today's "A Day in the Life."

Oct 19, 2015

It's Election Day...in Canada!  As our neighbors to the north head to the polls, today's "A Day in the Life" celebrates the Canadian music used for American and Canadian political campaigns, past and present.  

Oct 16, 2015

Music history's favorite double-murderer killed his wife and her lover on this day in 1590.  Prince Carlo Gesualdo would go on to become one of the best-known composers of the Renaissance.  How does his music relate to his actions?  Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."

Oct 15, 2015

On this day in 1844, the German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche was born.  He left his mark on music in several ways: his writings on Richard Wagner, his novel Thus Spake Zarathustra, and his own musical compositions.  Today's "A Day in the Life" includes highly expressive music by Wagner, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, and Nietzsche himself.

Oct 14, 2015

Whose chopper is this?  Today in 1994 the film Pulp Fiction was released in the United States.  It revived acting careers and musical genres alike, including "surf rock."  Today's "A Day in the Life" features music by The Tornadoes, The Lively Ones, and Dick Dale. 

Oct 13, 2015

Today is the birthday of Margaret Thatcher, born in 1925, who would become the longest serving British Prime Minster of the 20th Century.  Today we explore how this “Iron Lady,” for better or worse, gave her constituents something to sing about, including Pink Floyd, Morrissey, and Elvis Costello.

 

Oct 12, 2015

What's the Buzz?  Tell me what's happening!  Today in 1971 Jesus Christ Superstar made its debut on the Broadway stage.  Today's "A Day in the Life" introduces the music for this well-known narrative, with just a touch of musicological inquiry into Andrew Lloyd Webber's time signature choices.

Oct 11, 2015

Episode 7--THE SHIFT--features special guest host Katey Sleeveless of the band Eros and the Eschaton! We discuss the line between music and noise, those moments when a new sound entered the landscape and shook things up.  From Bob Dylan at Newport to Grandmaster Flash introducing the cross fader to the madrigals of 17th century, there is something for everyone in this episode of Critical Karaoke.

Oct 9, 2015

Today in 1835 Camille Saint-Saëns was born in Paris.  A mere two and a half years later he began his musical exploration of the piano.  Known as a piano virtuoso in his day, he is best known in the present for his orchestral masterworks.  Learn more on today's "A Day in the Life." 

Oct 8, 2015

Peter Gene Hernandez was born on this day in 1985.  He would get his start as a performer as "Little Elvis" but would become known to the world as Bruno Mars.  His skyrocket to fame is the focus of today's "A Day in the Life." 

Oct 7, 2015

Today in 1849 American poet and Edgar Allan Poe died under mysterious circumstances. Destined for Philadelphia, he never arrived—found in Baltimore instead. Was the cause of death suicide, murder, cholera, rabies, syphilis, or influenza? And what does his cat have to do with all of this? Find out on today’s “A Day in the Life.”

Oct 6, 2015

Today in 1871, the Fisk Jubilee Singers began their first tour of the United States, bringing black spiritual music to a broad audience.  Why did the group form and how did their performances influence the course of American music?  Find out today on "A Day in the Life."

Oct 5, 2015

Today in 1938 Sir Henry Wood conducted the world premiere of the Serenade to Music by Ralph Vaughn Williams--a piece of music almost to gorgeous for words.  How does this connect to the world-famous BBC Proms?  Find out on this episode of "A Day in the Life."  

Oct 2, 2015

This day in 1951 witnessed the birth of Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, also known as Sting.  Today "A Day in the Life" celebrates the early career of Sting and his first album with The Police titled Outlandos d'Amour (1978), which features the perennial favorite, "Roxanne." 

Oct 1, 2015

Today in 1982 EPCOT center opened in Florida as the first-ever expansion of Walt Disney World.  Today on "A Day in the Life": Hear the theme park's original futuristic soundtrack and the ways the music affected guest's experience across a wide range of EPCOT attractions.

Sep 30, 2015

Today in 1863 composer Georges Bizet's opera The Pearl Fishers had its debut at the Lyric Theatre in Paris.  This precursor to Carmen shows off Bizet's early ability to author memorable music and to depict exotic subjects.  How did this opera secure its position in the canon of classical music?  Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."   

Sep 29, 2015

Today in 1980, rapper Kurtis Blow released his self-titled debut album on the Mercury label--the first rapper to sign a major-label record deal. Today we breakdown his early career, his rise to stardom, and the impact of his music on the trajectory of hip-hip history.

Sep 28, 2015

Today in 1964 Arthur "Harpo" Marx passed away at the age of 75.  Today's "A Day in the Life" explores how this otherwise silent Marx Brother communicated through music, particularly the harp--an instrument that he played completely by ear. 

Sep 25, 2015

Today in 1683 Jean-Philippe Rameau was born in Dijon, France.  Known primarily for his treatise on music harmony he was also a composer of French opera, sparking a heated cultural debate about contemporary approaches to genre.  Find out more on today's "A Day in the Life."

Sep 24, 2015

Today is the birthday of F. Scott Fitzgerald, born in 1896.  In addition to authoring such classic tales as The Great Gatsby, he coined the phrase "The Jazz Age."  Find out more about his life and times and music on today's "A Day in the Life."

Sep 23, 2015

Tonight in 1962 The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts opened.  That first concert featured music by Copland and Mahler--but this was just the start.  Learn about the long-history of artistic creativity and innovation on today's "A Day in the Life."

Sep 22, 2015

Today in 2004 the television series Lost made its debut.  Composer Michael Giacchino created more than thirty minutes of original music for each weekly episode over the course of the show's six-year run, sustained by a series of musical themes.  Learn more on today's "A Day in the Life." 

Sep 21, 2015

Earth, Wind, and Fire released the song "September" in 1978, which begins with the following question: "Do you remember, the 21st of September?"  What are the origins of this song and why did they choose that date in particular?  Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."

Sep 18, 2015

Construction on the oldest known surviving harpsichord began on this day in 1515, an instrument constructed for the Pope.  What are the origins and uses of this keyboard instrument and its uses from the Baroque to the present?  Find out on today’s “A Day in the Life.”

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