A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:
Crosby, Stills & Nash, Orpheum. They still believe they can change and rearrange the world. Two generous sets included lushly harmonized oldies ("Wooden Ships," "Marrakesh Express") and pointedly political new tunes that riled some in the house.
Monday's Jazz Implosion at Icehouse. The cutting edge of modern jazz in the Twin Cities has moved to Eat Street. Programmed by drummer J.T. Bates, this weekly gig is the Clown Lounge redux, drawing top area musicians to the stage and the audience.
Antony and the Johnsons, "Cut the World." On this live album, Antony Hegarty has the ideal canvas for his fluttery, emotive, voluptuous voice: the 60-piece Danish National Chamber Orchestra.
- PAMELA ESPELAND, MINNPOST.COM COLUMNISTRufus Wainwright and Adam Cohen, Minnesota Zoo. Sons of famous singer-songwriters, they were smart quipsters and even more impressive music-makers. Wainwright has too much depth and diversity musically to become the big star his talents suggest.
Tower of Power, Minnesota Zoo. After 44 years, they remain the funkiest R&B horn-band on the planet. Singer Larry Braggs was supple and seductive. And the tunes, though of a period, sounded as soulful as ever.
British pop and rock at Olympics Closing Ceremonies. Some things may have been of dubious taste, importance and combinations (Take That, One Direction, Jessie J with two members of Queen, etc.), but loved the cheeky humor of Eric Idle doing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" and the reunited Spice Girls arriving and singing atop taxis. Bloody brilliant!
- JON BREAM, STAR TRIBUNE