"First Avenue seems like it's on fire."
Rich Horton, Rift magazine editor
"The Current giving everyone a voice and a voice to everything. Hearing the Melismatics back to back with Common and Hank Williams can only be a good thing."
Jim Walsh, City Pages and WalshFiles.com.
"Renovated and reopened dive bars and theaters are becoming hip, happening music venues (Varsity Theater, Nomad World Pub, 331 Club). The great lighting at the Varsity deserves its own vote."
David de Young, editor of HowWastheShow.com.
"No smoking in Minneapolis clubs."
Jon Bream, Star Tribune
"Even if the bloody punk-rock heart of our city has been stolen by a bunch of prohibitionist jagoffs who are prepared to make a citizen's arrest if they catch you sneaking a cigarette, nobody has actually opened fire on a bass player having a puff onstage. Yet."
Steve Marsh, Minneapolis St. Paul magazine associate editor
"The durability of the underground jazz scene to find new outlets and hideouts (French Press, Acadia Cafe) despite numerous breakdowns and setbacks (Brilliant Corners, Clown Lounge)."
Jim Meyer, freelancer
"Hearing the sheer amount of local music aired on the Current alongside at least four other radio stations in town that also play homegrown bands."
Ross Raihala, Pioneer Press music critic
"I could go to more than one local concert every day and still miss out on some good local shows."
Andrea Myers, howwastheshow.com
"One notable trend I noticed this year is what I call 'carnie-core' -- category-defying bands that include carnival-esque elements of gypsy punk, East Euro folk, funk, twang, experimental percussion and more played theatrically and causing people to dance like crazy (e.g., Fort Wilson Riot, Thunder in the Valley, Mike Gunther and His Restless Souls, and the Knotwells)."
Cyn Collins, freelance writer