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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: November, 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!

Nov 30, 2016

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 29, 2016

It was on this day in 1947 that Gustav Mahler’s monumental Third Symphony had its first performance in England, marking a significant moment in the canonization of Mahler’s works after World War II.  Learn more on today's "A Classical Day in the Life".

Nov 29, 2016

It was on this day in 2001 that English singer, songwriter, and lead guitarist of The Beatles, George Harrison died. On today's "A Day in the Life" learn about the rather unconventional audition that John Lennon imposed upon Harrison to become a member of The Beatles.

Nov 28, 2016

It was on this day in 1909 that Sergei Rachmaninoff presented the world premiere of his Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, with Walter Damroch leading the Symphony Society of New York as his backing band. How did Rachmaninoff handle the playing of this notoriously difficult piece? Find out on today's "A Classical Day in the Life".

Nov 28, 2016

Today is the day that Donald Trump urged his supporters to go out and vote when speaking at a rally in Panama City, FL on October 11, 2016 - notwithstanding the fact that the election was to be held on the first Tuesday of the month, November 8th.  On today's "A Day in the Life" we use Trump's mistake as an excuse to explore mistakes made in popular music.

Nov 25, 2016

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, 2016

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, 2016

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 24, 2016

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 23, 2016

It was on this day in 1954 that pop star and pianist extraordinaire Bruce Hornsby was born. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the classical music influences in Hornsby's work - from Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern to Elliott Carter.

Nov 23, 2016

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 22, 2016

It was on this day, almost at noon, while riding in a motorcade through downtown Dallas that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the musical references to that fateful day.

Nov 22, 2016

It was on this day in 1928 that Maurice Ravel’s Bolero had its premiere, at the Paris Opera. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we examine the composition and the various rates at which it has been performed in popular recordings.

Nov 21, 2016

Today in 1631, the Great Plague of Milan came to a ceremonial end. This particular outbreak of the centuries-old Bubonic Plague, an epidemic that began with the so-called Black Death in the mid-fourteenth century, claimed the lives of approximately 25% of northern Italy’s population.  On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore the Thanksgiving Mass Claudio Monteverdi composed for the occasion of the construction of the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute.

Nov 21, 2016

It was on this day in 1965 that the Icelandic singer, songwriter, and actress Björk Guðmundsdóttir was born. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the beginnings of her career as an eleven-year-old pop sensation and later with the Sugarcubes.

Nov 18, 2016

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, 2016

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, 2016

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 Classical Day in the Life."

Nov 17, 2016

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, 2016

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 16, 2016

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 15, 2016

Today in 1711, Soprano Catherine Rafter was was born in London, England to an Irish father and English mother.  Ultimately known by her stage name, Kitty Clive, she would become a well-known interpreter of the music of both Henry Purcell and George Frederic Handel. Learn more on today's "A Classical Day in the Life".

Nov 15, 2016

It was on this day in 1986 that the rap group the Beastie Boys debuted their first album, "License to Ill".  After playing in punk bands in the burgeoning Downtown Manhattan arts scene of the early 80's members Mike D, Ad Rock and MCA were quickly drawn to this growing style of music coming out of the Bronx called hip hop. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the early career of the Beastie Boys and their association with record producer Rick Rubin.

Nov 14, 2016

It was on this day in 1943 that a young conductor-in-training named Leonard Bernstein took the stage to conduct the New York Philharmonic for the first time.  On today's "A Day in the Life", learn the circumstances that led to Bernstein's unexpected debut and hear it for yourself.

Nov 11, 2016

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."

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