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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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"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 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."

Nov 10, 2016

On this day in 1994, the Second Symphony of American composer Stephen Albert had its world premiere - almost two years after Albert’s death in a car accident on Cape Cod, at age 51.  On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the music of Albert and learn how his unfinished Second Symphony came to life following his untimely death.

Nov 10, 2016

Children's television program Sesame Street debuted on PBS on this day in 1969.  Today's "Day in the Life" considers musical Muppets from the past as well as the pop-song inspiration for the Sesame Street theme song.

Nov 9, 2016

Today in 1901, the second piano concerto by Russian pianist, conductor, and composer Sergei Rachmaninoff had its premiere. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore Rachmaninoff's career and triumph over depression.

Nov 9, 2016

The first issue of Rolling Stone was published on this day in 1967 in San Francisco.  Today's "A Day in the Life" explores the musical origins of the publication's title and shares fun facts such as who was on that first cover and how much it cost.

Nov 8, 2016

It was on this day in 1994 that Sonny Bono was elected to Congress as the representative of California's 44th Congressional District.  On today's "A Day in the Life" we search the political landscape around the world for musicians who have been bitten by the bug of politics.

Nov 8, 2016

On this day in 1602, Oxford University’s Bodleian Library opened. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" join us as we explore the library's music collection.

Nov 7, 2016

On this date in 1943, the International Sweethearts of Rhythm were in the midst of a week-long engagement at the Paradise Theater in Detroit. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the history of all-female jazz bands during World War II.

Nov 7, 2016

Today in 1988, the American boy band New Kids on the Block released “You Got it (The Right Stuff)” a song that would finally propel them into the national spotlight. On today's "A Day in the Life" we take a look back at the group's beginnings and that time that Mark Wahlberg left the group and was replaced by a 12-year-old Joey McIntyre.

Nov 4, 2016

Today in 1889 Sigmund Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams--it was a publishing flop.  This episode of "A Day in the Life" explores the music of dreams from Mendelssohn to Belle and Sebastian and questions why Freud was so averse to music in the first place

Nov 3, 2016

On this day in 1973, the space probe Mariner 10 was launched, sent on its way to the planets Venus and Mercury.  On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we consider the ways in which Mercury has been dealt with in the musical sphere.

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