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


Prince, Myth. The icon from Minneapolis Central High School purple-reigned over his hometown faithful in a surprisingly heavy outing, showcasing his bombastic new trio, 3rd Eye Girl, and enjoying a Revolution reunion with drummer Bobby Z. Not as soulful as his recent Dakota gigs, but distinctly louder and harder.

Fall Out Boy, “Save Rock and Roll.” With newly recorded rock all but absent on commercial radio, these Chicago pop-punkers breathe some life into the genre with their new record. Guest appearances from Foxes and Big Sean work, even if the cuts with Courtney Love and Elton John seem clunky. The opening track, “The Phoenix,” makes you want to run through a brick wall.

Garbage, Mill City Nights. Supervixen Shirley Manson and her three talented buddies from Madison helped us party like it’s 1999. Fierce but with an edge of fun, Garbage and their hits still stand up, while making you want to get down. Don’t call it a comeback — Garbage has been here for years.


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Shutter to Think, Photos of Paul Natkin, Elmhurst (Ill.) Historical Museum. It’s a terrific exhibit of the work of Chicago’s premier music photographer of the past 40 years. His images take you on tour with the Stones, to Prince’s 1984 birthday party at Paisley Park and to the filming of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” video with Courteney Cox in St. Paul. He also provides back stories on interactive video. Natkin also has shot portraits of the likes of Buddy Guy, Keith Richards, Tammy Wynette and photographed every Farm Aid.

Connie Evingson to perform at Lincoln Center in New York. The Twin Cities jazz singer deserves to play in the Carnegie Hall of jazz. What an honor for someone who works in relative obscurity in the Midwest. How do you get to Lincoln Center? Take the A Train.

John Fogerty, “Wrote a Song for Everyone.” He redoes his Creedence hits (and offers two new tunes) with a host of invigorating guests, including the Foo Fighters, Miranda Lambert and Jennifer Hudson. With so many familiar songs sounding so spirited, this is easily the best highway driving album of 2013.

Jon Bream, Star Tribune