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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: June, 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!

Jun 30, 2016

Today in 1886, Arturo Toscanini conducted his first opera in Rio de Janeiro. This unstoppable force of the classical music world would go on to be one of the most famous music directors of all time.  What were the roles of Giuseppe Verdi and Samuel Barber in his career? Find out on this brief episode of "A Classical Day in the Life."

Jun 30, 2016

What's the link between arch duke Franz Ferdinand, a race horse of the same name and some Scottish rockers? All will be revealed on this brief episode of "A Day in the Life.

Jun 29, 2016

Toady in 1911, film composer Bernard Herrmann was born in New York City.  His best-known work was with Alfred Hitchcock, including the Psycho shower scene.  What did this famous sequence originally sound like? And who were some of the other Hollywood directors to benefit from his musical talents? Find out on this brief episode of "A Day in the Life."

Jun 28, 2016

Today in 1905 Pomp and Circumstance--the so-called "graduation march"--was performed for the first time at a commencement ceremony.  Where does its title come from?  And why was it performed on this day at Yale University?  Find out with a quick listen to this episode of "A Day in the Life."

Jun 28, 2016

Today in 1969, Neil Diamond released the song "Sweet Caroline."  Its cloudy origins and ongoing life at Fenway Park (Bap, bap, bahhhhh!) are explored on this brief episode of "A Day in the Life."  

Jun 27, 2016

On this day in 1985, the United States government decommissioned Route 66 — America's main street — after almost 60 years in service connecting Chicago and Los Angeles. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we take in the sonic landscape of Route 66.

Jun 27, 2016

Today in 1988 Mike Tyson defeated Michael Spinks in just 91 seconds at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City.  What music accompanied their brief bout?  Take quick listen to this episode of "A Day in the Life."  Bonus points if you can identify the final audio clip.

Jun 24, 2016

Today in 1880, “O Canada” was born in Quebec, Canada.  What are its international roots and circumstances of its first performance?  When did it get its English lyrics?  And what does it all have to do with hockey?  All this and more on this installment of “A Day in the Life.”

Jun 23, 2016

It is June Carter Cash’s birthday, born today in 1929.  Learn about her musical pedigree and her accomplishments prior to and with eventual husband Johnny Cash on this installment of “A Day in the Life.”    

Jun 23, 2016

Today in 1943, Harold Spivacke, then Chief of the Music Division at the Library of Congress, wrote a letter to American composer, Samuel Barber about a recent performance of his String Quartet--Opus 11 in B minor.  Find out what the letter contains and hear more about the work itself on this installment of "A Day in the Life."

Jun 22, 2016

Today in 2009 the Eastman Kodak Company announced the end of the production of its Kodachrome color film stock.  What are its musical origins, connections, and inspirations?  Find out on this quick episode of "A Day in the Life."

Jun 21, 2016

Today in 1973, Brian Eno left the popular UK band Roxy Music. He would eventually go on to be a central and celebrated figure within the experimental rock and ambient music scenes, to say nothing of his work as a producer of albums by the likes of Talking Heads, U2, and Coldplay.  Find out why he left and the first song he wrote on this edition of "A Day in the Life."

Jun 21, 2016

Today in 1954 witnessed the final broadcast of the radio program, “The Railroad Hour.”  It featured abridged takes on classics of musical theatre, such as Carousel or The Merry Widow.  Who were the instrumental (pun intended) figures in creating this successful show?  And what do railroads have to do with all of this?  Find out on this episode of “A Day in the Life.”

Jun 20, 2016

On this day in 1901, Edward Elgar conducted the world premiere of his orchestral overture Cockaigne, or "in London Town," at Queens Hall in London. Just what is this Cockaigne and what does it have to do with London? Find out on today's "A Classical Day in the Life".

Jun 20, 2016

Today in 1967, Dan Tyminski was born in Rutland, Vermont.  This episode of "A Day in the Life" explores this prolific and respected bluegrass musician, including his work with Alison Kraus, the Cohen Brothers, and Electronic Dance Music producer Avicii. 

Jun 17, 2016

Today is composer Igor Stravinsky’s birthday, born in Russia on this day in 1882.  Why did his ballet Rite of Spring send listeners into a frenzy?  How did he come to influence nearly every twentieth-century composer through his musical output.  Find out on this episode of “A Day in the Life.”

Jun 17, 2016

Today in 1965, the first-and-only New York Folk Festival took place in Carnegie Hall.  Johnny Cash and June Carter performed.  Son House and Muddy Waters reunited for the first time in 20 years.  What else emerged from the four-day event?  Find out with a quick listen to this episode of "A Day in the Life."

Jun 16, 2016

Today in 1893 Theodore Thomas conducted the music of Bach at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago.  This episode of "A Classical Day in the Life" explores the performance of western classical and popular music at the fair as well as moments of musical appropriation within the "exotic" exhibits that lined the streets of the so-called White City.

Jun 16, 2016

Rapper Tupac Shakur was born on this day in 1971.  Today's "A Day in the Life" explores his early influences and rise to stardom, including his original rap name and time with Digital Underground--plus lots of great tracks!

Jun 15, 2016

Today in 1882, Eric Satie was expelled from the Paris Conservatory.  Why did this happen and what did he accomplish as a result? Find out these answers--as well as what else happened to him on this day in 1908--on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."

Jun 15, 2016

On this day in 1989, grunge band Nirvana released its debut album titled Bleach.  Find out how lead singer/songwriter Kurt Cobain was influenced by The Beatles while creating this music for this album on today’s “A Day in the Life.”

Jun 14, 2016

Today in 1909, Burl Ives was born in Jasper County, Illinois.  Folk singer and actor, he popularized songs such as "The Blue Tail Fly" and "Big Rock Candy Mountain."  How might his political views have found their way into a popular holiday television program?  Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."

Jun 13, 2016

Today in 1986 witnessed the debut of Short Ride in a Fast Machine by American composer John Adams.  On this episode of "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore the this rhythmic gauntlet and the origins of its inspiration.  Hint: it was a car.  What type?  Have a listen!

Jun 13, 2016

Today in 1988, Paula Abdul--then a little-known choreographer and former LA Laker Girl turned pop singer--released her debut album titled Forever Your Girl.  Today's "A Day in the Life" explores the hits from this album and why Milli Vanilli was to blame for Abdul only earning four number one singles off of this album.

Jun 10, 2016

Today in 2005, Paul Anka was awarded the 'Order of Canada.'  What inspired his 1957 hit "Diana"?  What song did he write for Buddy Holly?  What did he contribute to The Tonight Show?  And how many songs has he written?  All this and more on today's episode of "A Day in the Life."

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