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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 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.

Nov 3, 2016

Today in 1995 Bob Dylan and Hootie and the Blowfish reached an out-of-court settlement regarding copyright infringement.  But that isn't the end of the story.  Find out about the ongoing and unexpected collisions between Hootie frontman Darius Rucker and Bob Dylan on today's "A Day in the Life."

Nov 2, 2016

It was on this day in 1973 that Billy Joel released the song, "The Piano Man".  On today's "A Day in the Life" you'll learn about the heavy metal band Joel was in prior to this release and much more.

Nov 2, 2016

Although not in the same year, Warren G. Harding was both born and elected president of the United States on this day. His surprising life in music and the surprising music inspired by his life are the subject of today's "A Day in the Life."

Nov 1, 2016

On this day in 1800, President John Adams moved into the newly-built White House in Washington, DC. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the occasion through the lens of Leonard Bernstein's 1976 musical, "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue". 

Nov 1, 2016

It was on this day in 1894 that the first issue of Billboard Magazine was published. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the history of the magazine and the ways in which it has chronicled popular music.

Oct 31, 2016

Today is All Hallow’s Eve--or Halloween for short.  In terms of Christianity, this is the day in the liturgical calendar, that begins a three-day remembrance of the dead--a duration of time known as Allhallowtide. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore the spooky side of classical music.

Oct 31, 2016

Today is Halloween! On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the history of Halloween and the music associated with the holiday from the Monster Mash to Werewolves of London.

Oct 28, 2016

Today is the birthday of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who found himself in the midst of a musical hoax in 2015.  How much did Gates reportedly offer to pay hip hop artist Young Thug to never again make music?  And how did Young Thug respond?  Find out on today's episode of "A Day in the Life." 

Oct 28, 2016

Today in 1925, the Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress witnessed its inaugural concert. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" learn more about the woman who made the venue possible, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge - a pianist, composer, and ardent promoter of chamber music.

Oct 27, 2016

It was on this day in 2013 that American musician Lou Reed died. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the path that Reed took to become one of the 20th century's most iconic figures in music.

Oct 27, 2016

Today in 1917, violinist Jascha Heifetz had his Carnegie Hall Debut--he was only 16 years old at the time.  What made his playing so dynamically engaging?  And what Bing Crosby song did he compose?  Find out on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."

Oct 26, 2016

Today in 1973, jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock released the album Head Hunters, featuring a funky updated version of his song "Watermelon Man."  The tune would go on to be recorded, covered, and sampled by hundreds of future musicians.  Find out more on today's "A Day in the Life."

Oct 25, 2016

It was on this day in 1975 that novelist Zadie Smith was born in London, England. On today's "A Day in the Life" learn how Smith compares the act of reading literature to an amateur pianist playing a piece of unfamiliar music.

Oct 24, 2016

Today, in 1969 the Paul Newman and Robert Redford film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was released in the United States. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore Burt Bacharach's Academy Award winning soundtrack to the film.

Oct 24, 2016

Today in 2006, a sixteen-year-old Taylor Swift released her self-titled, debut album. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the beginnings of the rise of Swift.

Oct 21, 2016

It was on this day in 1992 that the fastest selling coffee table book of all time - "Sex" by Madonna, was published. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the shocking aspects of the book and Madonna's album "Erotica" that was released a day later.

Oct 21, 2016

Today is the birthday of conductor Georg Solti, born in Hungary in 1912.  In addition to his work as a conductor with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, today's Classical Day in the Life explores his work as an accompanist as well as a commissioner of modern music.  

Oct 20, 2016

It was on this day in 1955 that Sam Phillips of Sun Records began negotiations with Colonel Tom Parker to sell the contract of an up and coming singer named Elvis Presley.  On today's "A Day in the Life", we learn the details of the transaction.

Oct 20, 2016

Toady in 1955, film composer Thomas Newman was born.  Part of an illustrious family of movie music, his contemplative, continually unfolding music appears in "Scent of a Woman," "American Beauty," "Wall-E" and perhaps most memorably, "The Shawshank Redemption."  Find out more on today's "A Day in the Life."

Oct 19, 2016

Today in 1845, the soprano Johanna Wagner debuted the part of Elisabeth in Richard Wagner’s Tannhauser in Dresden. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the successful career of Richard Wagner's niece.

Oct 19, 2016

It was on this day in 2015 that citizens of Canada elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, son of former Canadian PM Pierre Trudeau. Today's "A Day in the Life" celebrates the Canadian music used for American and Canadian political campaigns, past and present.  

Oct 18, 2016

Today in 1883, American musician Amy Beach made her concert debut in Boston’s Music Hall. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore Beach's career as a composer.

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