A half-dozen cool things in music, from two viewpoints:
Soundset, Shakopee. This hip-hop fest impresses more and more. The diversity of the crowd, the efficiency of the event, and the skills and content of the artists were remarkable.
"Sister Act," the Orpheum. The sendups of 1970s soul and disco will keep you laughing while the Broadway and Disney-styled tunes might make you cringe. But the performance of star Ta'Rea Campbell makes you shout "Whoopee!"
Dylan Days, Hibbing. The fervor of the faithful, both old and young, visiting Dylan sites and studying Daniel Kramer photos helped create a compelling sense of community.
Jon Bream, Star Tribune
"Rock 'n' Roll Radio Hour," 89.3 the Current. The station that's drowning me in sensitive singer-songwriters and mediocre local music finally takes us back to when music rocked. More of this, please.
Courtney Barnett, "A Sea of Split Peas." The song "Avant Gardener" had me from the get-go, but this entire double EP — with its healthy dose of psychedelic guitar and wry lyrics — is worth a listen.
Brian Eno, "Someday World." This collaboration with some guy from the Underworld is good enough, but it has the feeling of product, rather than art. But he's almost 70? So he's earned the right to mail it in.
tim mckenna, St. Paul
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