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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: 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!

Oct 11, 2016

It was on this day in 1988 that American R&B singer-songwriter Bobby Brown released his hit song, "My Prerogative".  On today's "A Day in the Life", we revisit Brown's beginnings in New Edition and explore how the following of his prerogative led to a troubled personal life.

Oct 10, 2016

It was on this day in 1917 that pianist, composer, and jazz visionary Thelonious Monk was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. On today's "A Day in the Life" explore Monk's career and his central role in the creation of a style of jazz called bebop. 

Oct 7, 2016

Today in 1982, Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical Cats opened its Broadway run in the Winter Garden Theater in New York City.  What do Mr. Mistoffelees, The Rum Tum Tugger, and Skimbleshanks, The Railway Cat have to do with T.S. Eliot? Find out on today's installment of "A Classical Day in the Life". You'll love it, it'll be much better than "Cats", you'll want to listen again and again...

Oct 7, 2016

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, 2016

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, 2016

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 5, 2016

It was on this day in 1962 that the James Bond film, Dr. No, opened in movie theaters across the world. On today's "A Day in the Life", we revisit the first James Bond film and explore its iconic theme song.

Oct 4, 2016

On this day in 1989, Secretariat — perhaps the greatest racehorse in history — died at the age of 19. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we remember Secretariat's glory while exploring equine themes in the compositions of Rossini, Berlioz, and Beethoven.

Oct 4, 2016

It was on this day in 1970 that American singer Janis Joplin died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27 in Los Angeles, California.  On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore Joplin's life in music and take a listen to the audio birthday card she recorded for John Lennon just three days before her death.

Oct 3, 2016

Today in 1936, American composer Steve Reich was born in New York City.  He is closely associate with the minimalist school of composition and is known for works that manipulate recorded sounds--or what we might now call “samples.” On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" learn more of Reich's utilization of phase shifting techniques in his works.

Oct 3, 2016

It was on this day in 1992, during her debut performance on Saturday Night Live, that Sinead O'Connor tore up a photograph of Pope John Paul II.  On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore O'Connor's motives and relive the backlash her actions garnered.

Sep 30, 2016

It was on this day in 1983 that Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" reached the top spot on Billboard's Hot 100. On today's "A Day in the Life" find out who songwriter Jim Steinman originally wrote the song for.

Sep 30, 2016

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, 2016

For several countries around the world, today is National Coffee Day--a day to celebrate the consumption and culture of this caffeinated beverage. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we trace the history of Coffee and its influence on such luminaries as Bach and Strauss.

Sep 29, 2016

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, 2016

Today in 1829, composer Fanny Mendelssohn wrote her first piece for organ, a prelude in F-major to be played at her wedding just six days later. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we learn about the surprisingly prolific "other Mendelssohn".

Sep 28, 2016

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 27, 2016

On this day in 1982, only two days after he turned 50, the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould suffered a stroke. It turned out to be fatal; the musician died the following week. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we learn why Gould preferred the recording studio to the concert hall.

Sep 27, 2016

Today in 1994 Under the Table and Dreaming, the first studio album released by The Dave Matthews Band had its debut. On today's "A Day in the Life", we dive into the album and learn what John Popper of Blues Traveler lent to one track while Dave Matthews took a bathroom break.

Sep 26, 2016

Today in 1957, the musical West Side Story had its Broadway premiere running for 732 performances--an impressive run, but one that does not crack the list of top 100-longest running Broadway shows.   On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the cultural context into which the play emerged.

Sep 21, 2016

Today in 1949, Bruce Springsteen was "Born in the U.S.A."  Today's "A Day in the Life" explores the youthful musical encounters of the soon-to-be "boss," including the first song he ever learned.

Sep 21, 2016

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 21, 2016

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, 2016

Today in 1968, African-American mezzo-soprano Shirley Verrett made her Metropolitan Opera Company debut performing the title role in Bizet’s Carmen.  This episode of "A Classical Day in the Life" explores her long career and the turbulent paths navigated by black artists such as Verrett during the twentieth century.

Sep 21, 2016

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."

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