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


Rufus Wainwright, the Fitzgerald. Another great performance by someone I’ve gone to see by myself three times. I will go to his shows until I finally hear my favorite song, “Pretty Things.”

Madeleine Hart, “Blue Companion.” This Twin Cities singer/songwriter’s third album is a collection of intimate stories brought to life by her rich voice and contributions from Lonnie Knight, Michael Johnson, Peter Ostroushko and Marc Anderson.

Depeche Mode, “Delta Machine.” Their 13th album is deemed too dark by some of my friends, but as lead singer Dave Gahan says, “It has both dark and lightness. I think that’s life.” I’ve been a fan for years, and their music touches me on a deep level.


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Trampled by Turtles, First Avenue. Appealing to the under-40 crowd, these Duluth-bred, groove-loving pickers played bluegrass/folk/country with an avant-punk attitude. The crowd listened to the smartly spun ballads, sang along to the covers (“Ooh La La,” “Mad World”) and pogoed to the speedy hoedowns, including “Wait So Long.” One of Minnesota’s best live bands. Ever.

Laura Mvula, “She.” What an arresting, lonely single, with this new British pop-soul thrush’s singular voice and spare accompaniment and then big choral passages of “uh-ohs.” Can’t wait to hear her debut album, “Sing to the Moon,” due May 14.

“Sweet Caroline” salute to Boston. Neil Diamond’s karaoke classic has been an eighth-inning tradition at Boston’s Fenway Park since 2002. In acknowledging the Boston Marathon bombings, several other major-league parks played “Sweet Caroline” last week, and Milwaukee’s Miller Park offered the “Cheers” theme.

Jon Bream, Star Tribune