A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:
Frank Turner, Coachella. The Eton College and London School of Economics grad’s show is a Billy Bragg/Old 97’s mix. Put him in the “just go see him” category.
Courtney Barnett, Coachella. This Australian singer-songwriter is the new Kasey Chambers with more rock and less twang. At age 26, she’s a fully mature performer.
The Replacements, Coachella. Only maybe 500 folks out of 75,000 came over to the outdoor stage to see the ’Mats. Confirmed my suspicions that most of my fellow festival attendees were making poor choices in more than just their fashion statements. A bit awkward, a bit sloppy, but as Paul Westerberg says, “Well, that was authentic.”
Rob Colbert, Minneapolis
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Harmony at the Rock Hall of Fame induction. Despite advance acrimony, the four original members of Kiss made up (without makeup, though) but didn’t perform, and Courtney Love was all hugs with the living Nirvana members after some rocky years. On the other hand, it took 85 minutes of speeches to induct the E Street Band.
Bob Dylan’s unfinished lyrics. He passed some leftovers from 1967 to producer T Bone Burnett, who hired an all-star band to finish them as songs. Said Marcus Mumford: “Dylan’s scraps are better than anyone else’s finished product.”
The Persuasions, the Cedar. Despite their long-winded patter and corny humor, these a cappella veterans — including two original members from the 1960s — were relentlessly soulful, covering everything from spirituals to the Grateful Dead. Loved the fan who sang a Persuasions song that he said one of his kids was conceived to.
Jon Bream, Star Tribune