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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Critical Karaoke




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"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!

May 19, 2015

Pete Townshend was born on this day in 1945.  Today's "A Day in the Life" focuses on his The life and times up until he smashed his very first electric guitar--a moment that changed music history forever.

May 18, 2015

Today we welcome Professor Matthew Mugmon from the University of Arizona to the "Day in the Life" family.  He offers his take on Austrian composer and conductor Gustav Mahler, who passed away on this day in 1911.  Find out what you might need to perform his 6th Symphony and his connection to Sigmund Freud on this episode of "A Day in the Life."

May 15, 2015

Today in 2009, rapper Eminem released Relapse, his sixth studio album.  What was going on in his life leading up to the recording of this double-platinum album?  Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."    

May 14, 2015

Today in 1956, rock 'n' roller Buddy Holly got a prescription for contact lenses.  Find out why we rarely saw him without his glasses today on "A Day in the Life."

May 13, 2015

It is Stevie Wonder's Birthday!  Learn about his early life and career today on "A Day in the Life."



May 12, 2015

Today on "A Day in the Life": Find out who commissioned baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi to write 100 concerti on this day in 1716 and how such work relates to his life and musical output. 

May 11, 2015

Today in 1888, Irving Berlin was born in a small town in Siberia.  He would go on to be one of the most celebrated American songwriters of all time.  Learn why on today's "A Day in the Life."

May 9, 2015

Critical Karaoke Episode 3: Music and Place

Original broadcast date: May 8, 2015


Digable Planets "Borough Check" from Blowout Comb (1994)

Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under the Bridge" from Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)

The National: "England" from High Violet (2010)


Band name pop quiz, untold musical/historical/cultural tangents, a theory lesson on major 7th chords, and a guest visit from multi-instrumentalist and songsmith, Benjamin Lanz.

May 8, 2015

Today in 1970 The Beatles released their final studio album, Let it Be, in the United Kingdom.  Today on "A Day in the Life, " learn about the trials and tribulations that led to the eventual creation of this album, which almost never existed.

May 7, 2015

Today in 1718 the city known now as the "Big Easy" was founded by the French Mississippi Company.  Find out the origins of this famous incubator of music, culture, and food on today's "A Day in the Life."


May 6, 2015

Today in 1889, the World's Exposition opened in Paris.  Famous for bringing the Eiffel Tower into existence, it also had a significant impact on music.  Find out how it inspired the compositional output of Claude Debussy on today's "A Day in the Life."

May 5, 2015

On this day in 1891, the famous Carnegie Hall opened in New York City.  Find out which equally famous conductors and performers made appearances their during the initial years of operation on today's "A Day in the Life."

May 4, 2015

On this date in 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a group of Kent State University students.  Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young immortalized the event in "Ohio." But, what is the connection to the new-wave band Devo?  Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."


And when you are done: Check out "Critical Karaoke" episode 2.


May 1, 2015

Today on "A Day in the Life," we relive the first all hip-hop MTV Unplugged, which premiered on this day in 1991.  The broadcast exposed many musicians to a whole new audience and revived at least one artist's career--a comeback you might say, even if we aren't supposed to call it that.

Apr 30, 2015

Today in 1900, the famous train engineer Casey Jones made his final, infamous journey.  Learn how his tragic death became musical inspiration for countless musicians on today's "A Day in the Life."

Apr 29, 2015

On this day in 1982, American music journalist and rock critic Lester Bangs submitted his manuscript for a massive book to be titled "Rock Gomorrah."  It was never published.  Find out why on today's "A Day in the Life."

Apr 28, 2015

Today in 1990, A Chorus Line closed after a fifteen-year run on Broadway.  It was reality TV before there was such a thing.  Learn more on today's "A Day in the Life."


And when you are done: Listen to episode two of "Critical Karaoke" 

Apr 27, 2015

Today is the birthday of Pulitzer Prize winning dramatist August Wilson, whose plays exude music.  Learn about his inspiration and output on today's "A Day in the Life."

And when you are done: Listen to episode two of "Critical Karaoke" 

Apr 24, 2015

On this day in 1792, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle was inspired to write "La Marseillaise"--a little ditty that would become the national anthem of France and find its way into a variety of compositions over the course of time.

Apr 23, 2015

Today on 1564 William Shakespeare was born, or was he?  Regardless, his music has inspired countless composers over the course of time.  Learn more today on "A Day in the Life."


Apr 22, 2015

On this day in 1978 Bob Marley returned to the stage for the first time in more than a year for the "One Love Peace Concert" held in Kingston, Jamaica.

Apr 21, 2015

Today on "A Day in the Life": Dick Clark testifies before congress in 1960 about his involvement in the practice known as "payola."

Apr 20, 2015

It's 4/20!  And if you don't know what that means, then man, we aren't going to tell you.  Oh, wait: no.  We, know...  Just listen carefully. 

Apr 17, 2015

Today in 1960, rocker Eddie Cochran--the creative force behind songs such as "Summertime Blues"--died in a tragic car crash.  Learn more on todays "A Day in the Life."


Apr 16, 2015

Which innovating jazz saxophonist won the Pulitzer Prize on this day in 2007? Find out on today's "A Day in the Life."



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