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


Dan Deacon, Rock the Garden. There was a scary thunderstorm, so we all had to go into the garage where it was safe, and Deacon was there. He had us stand in a circle, and we played games, and when it was time to go, we lined up and held hands and played London Bridge. Deacon is the most awesome kindergarten teacher ever!

Chvrches’ interview on the Current. So let me get this straight —some veteran rockers started a new pop project, and they teamed up with a quirky young Scottish girl to be their lead singer? Is this Chvrches or is it Garbage?

Space Cats, “Felt Brand New.” While I was at the 331 Club for Art-a-Whirl, a woman handed me a CD-R, crudely illustrated in marker with pictures of cartoon ghosts and labeled “Space Cats Felt Brand New.” I finally got around to listening to it and I can tell it is indeed some jamming, spaced-out space-rock.
Jeb Hagan, Minneapolis


Tedeschi Trucks Band, the Fitzgerald. Previewing five new numbers from their August release, this 11-piece rock-soul-jazz ensemble is clearly getting heavier. Vocally, Susan Tedeschi is sounding more and more like early Bonnie Raitt (that’s a good thing) and Derek Trucks, the world’s most unassuming guitar god, continues to expand his vocabulary and listeners’ admiration for him. An embarrassment of musical riches.

Richard Thompson Electric Trio, Minnesota Zoo. Thompson is a terrific combination of expressive guitarist, gifted songwriter and passionate singer. And he’s got a wonderful sense of humor. With his power trio, he pulled out “White Room” by Cream — plus tunes from his rockin’ new “Electric” album as well as such old favorites as “Shoot Out the Lights” and “Tear Stained Letter.” Nice range, nice show, as always with Thompson.

John C. Reilly & Friends, Woman’s Club. The movie actor can sing, and he put together a versatile, talented cast with strong voices, good humor and sweet harmonies to explore vintage country, spirituals, folk, bluegrass and old-time music. This charming acoustic show felt more like the Grand Ole Opry than “A Prairie Home Companion.”
Jon Bream, Star Tribune