A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:

Savages, Triple Rock. With its dark, energized, driving sound, the London quartet proved at its sold-out Twin Cities debut that the buzz it has generated is deserved.

Sundazed.com. Wow, are there gems to be discovered at this website. Yes, the Trashmen had more than one great song. Check out the 50 songs available on “Bird Call” and maybe you’ll be yelling for “Church Key” or “Same Lines” at their next show.

Musicals at the Fringe Festival. The 176-show event, which runs through Aug. 11, has 19 shows this year billed as musicals.

Bill Hanzlik, Shorewood



Target Field for mini-stadium concerts. The inaugural Skyline Music Festival was the outdoor equivalent of the bowl-end of an arena concert — with an awesome skyline view and terrific giant-screen video. This setup isn’t perfect, but it’s a welcome amphitheater alternative.

Alabama Shakes, Cabooze plaza. Brittany Howard and the boys rocked with the same power and personality they showed last year at First Avenue — but not the same intimacy. The sound system and sightlines need to be reconsidered for this parking-lot setting. How ’bout adding a big-screen live video setup? That would cost about $4,000, according to one video company, or about $1 per customer.

Marshall Chapman, “Not Afraid to Die.” This gently powerful song from her impressively diverse “Blaze of Glory” album would have been perfect for Johnny Cash’s last album with Rick Rubin. The singer did “everything I could to die young/and leave behind a beautiful memory,” but discovers that “fate had other plans for me” and “the only thing that matters in the end/is the love you gave to those you love the best.” Maybe Willie or Merle should record it.

Jon Bream, Star Tribune