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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: March, 2016

"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 31, 2016

It was on this day in 1969 that Led Zeppelin's first album was released in the United Kingdom. On today's "A Day in the Life" we visit upon the final days of the Yardbirds and the beginnings of Led Zeppelin.

Mar 31, 2016

Today in 1928, at the Mogador Theater in Paris, duo-pianists Jean Wiéner and Clémont Doucet undertook a performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the history of the duo-pianists and we learn a little something about "Le Boeuf sur le Toit".

Mar 30, 2016

It was on this day in 1978 that Paul Simonon and Topper Headon, two members of the UK punk group, The Clash, were arrested for shooting pigeons with an air rifle from the roof of the group's rehearsal studio. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the incident and the music that may, or may not, have been inspired by the incident.

Mar 30, 2016

Today in 1839, German composer and pianist Robert Schumann received a letter informing him that his brother Eduard was deathly ill.  At the time he was at work on a set of piano pieces that he had tentatively titled “Corpse Fantasia.” Under the advice of his wife Clara, he changed the name to Nachtstüke, or “Night Pieces.”  On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we illuminate the work, movement by movement.

Mar 29, 2016

It was on this day in 1943 that English actor, comedian, and singer-songwriter, Eric Idle was born. Idle is most well-known for his work as a member of the British surreal comedy group, Monty Python. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the music of Eric Idle.

Mar 28, 2016

Today in 1958, the so-called “Father of the Blues”—W. C. Handy—passed away in New York City at the age of 84. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the music and legacy of Handy, from "St. Louis Blues" to "Muscle Shoals Blues" and beyond.

Mar 25, 2016

It was on this day in 1942 that the American singer and musician, Aretha Franklin, was born in Memphis, TN. On today's "A Day in the Life", we follow her career from singing gospel songs in her father's church to becoming an internationally acclaimed superstar.

Mar 25, 2016

Today in 1436, the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flowers was consecrated in Florence, Italy. Did Renaissance composer Guilaume Dufay utilize a series of ratios that mirror the architectural proportions of the cathedral's dome in a motet he wrote for the cathedral's dedication ceremony?  Find out on today's "A Classical Day in the Life".

Mar 24, 2016

This exemplar of the Baroque languished in obscurity for nearly a century after its composition… And in 1977 it was shot into space!  Find out how, exactly, Bach ended up voyaging through space on today's "A Classical Day in the Life".

Mar 24, 2016

Today in 1956, Billboard debuted its weekly “Best Selling Popular Albums” chart. On today's "A Day in the Life", we take a look at some fun facts associated with the chart from the The Kingston Trio to the Beatles and even some Paula Abdul.

Mar 23, 2016

It was on this day in 1953 that American singer-songwriter Chaka Khan was born in Chicago.  On today's "A Day in the Life" we follow the trajectory of Khan's career and explore her association with Stevie Wonder and Prince.

Mar 23, 2016

On this day in 2001, the Russian Space Station Mir - or whatever pieces were left of it after it re-entered the atmosphere - fell into the Pacific Ocean. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we take a Mir-eyed view of the music and culture of our planet.

 

Mar 22, 2016

It was on this day in 1920 that Fanny Waterman, founder of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, was born. Waterman, an accomplished pianist and teacher, was inspired by the many great pianists that performed in her home town of Leeds during her childhood. Learn more on today's "A Classical Day in the Life".

Mar 22, 2016

It was on this day in 1956 that the musical "Mr. Wonderful" opened on Broadway starring Sammy Davis Jr. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the early career of Sammy Davis Jr. 

Mar 21, 2016

Today in 1948 American jazz critic and historian Gary Giddins was born in Brooklyn, New York. On today's "A Day in the Life", we take a listen to a little-known 1956 composition that Giddins sited as an example of why he is inspired to write about jazz.

Mar 18, 2016

Today in 1967, composer Philip Glass attended a concert at the Park Place Gallery in New York City featuring the works of fellow composer, Steve Reich.  Both together and separate, these men would become two of the most influential creators of new music in the second half of the 20th century. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we go all in, in a minimalist sort of way.

Mar 18, 2016

It was on this day in 1997 that the post-punk pop trio, Ben Folds Five released their second album, titled "Whatever and Ever Amen". On today's "A Day in the Life" we listen to the hits and track the rise and fall of the band.

Mar 17, 2016

On this day in 1733, Handel's opera "Deborah" made its debut at the King's Theatre in London. On today's "A Classical day in the Life", we learn about Handel's upbringing and the opera that very nearly ruined him.

Mar 17, 2016

It was on this day in 461 that St. Patrick is thought to have died. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the life of the Saint and the music of Shamrock.

Mar 16, 2016

 

 

On this day in 1928, Christa Ludwig, the great German mezzo-soprano, was born. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", listen to Ludwig perform everything from Bach to Mahler and Beethoven to Brahms.

 

 

Mar 16, 2016

It was on this day in 1959 that William Jonathan Drayton Jr., better known as Flavor Flav, was born in Roosevelt, New York. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the career of the hip hop hype man.

Mar 15, 2016

Today in 1900, composer and ethnomusicologist Colin McPhee was born in Montreal, Canada. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore McPhee's pioneering work on the music of Bali, a culture with which he first came into contact through recordings of the Balinese gamelan in the late 1920s. 

Mar 15, 2016

It was on this day in 1929 that the piano player Clarence Smith, better known as Pine Top Smith, died in Chicago from a bullet wound. On today's "A Day in the Life", learn more about the influential Boogie Woogie blues pianist.

Mar 14, 2016

It was on this day in 1885 that Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera "The Mikado" made its debut at the Savoy Theatre in London. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the genesis of the play, replete with lozenges and a certain "short, sharp, shock."

Mar 11, 2016

It was on this day in 1966 that James Brown and the Famous Flames made an appearance on the UK variety show, "Ready, Steady, Go!" On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the history of the program and its first host, Dusty Springfield.

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