A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:
Dillinger Four, Turf Club. An essential punk-rock fixture in the Twin Cities for nearly two decades, D4 proved on New Year's Eve that it still is one of the most dynamic, loudest and pre-eminent live acts in town.
Passion Pit, "Gossamer." The Massachusetts quintet's second full-length was one of my favorite albums of 2012, with plenty of groovy dance beats, dizzy guitar hooks and intricate lyrics.
"Beware of Mr. Baker." The best rock documentary since "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" follows former Cream and Blind Faith wild-man drummer Ginger Baker. This often hilarious and profoundly sad film finds him opening up about drugs, family, women, band mates and his love for polo ponies.
JIM BRUNZELL III, ST. PAUL
Daniel Kim, "Pop Danthology 2012." Using videos and mixing vocals and instrumentals, he summarizes pop radio in 2012 in seven minutes and 48 seconds. He's clever and expert, using the vocals to "Call Me Maybe," "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" and "Wild One" over the instrumental of "Domino."
Jeanne Arland Peterson, Hopkins Center for the Arts. Scheduled to play only a couple of piano pieces, the Twin Cities jazz matriarch, 92, ended up performing several songs -- solo and with various Petersons. She even jammed on the old R&B hit "What You Won't Do for Love" with some funky improvised piano. What a classy and musically satisfying swan song.
Brandi Carlile, Varsity. She was looser than at her Minnesota Zoo tour opener in June. Loved the rollicking encore of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues."
JON BREAM, STAR TRIBUNE