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

Southwire. On Tuesday, this Duluth quartet will release one of my favorite records of 2013 so far. Southwire combines gospel, folk and blues with snippets of gravelly spoken word, and has been my soundtrack to mentally willing this winter to end.

Wolf Lords' CD-release party, 7th Street Entry. Is it hyperbole to say that I had tears in my eyes for most of this show? I've long regarded Aby Wolf as one of the most gifted vocalists in our music scene, and her new Wolf Lords collaboration with Grant Cutler takes her abilities to a whole other level.

The Clams playing "Folsom Prison Blues" at the Stillwater Prison, circa 1985. I came across this gem on YouTube while researching my all-female "Local Show" (6 p.m. Sunday on 89.3 the Current), and was totally blown away by this trail-blazing group.

Andrea Swensson, the Current (89.3 FM) blogger, Twin Cities

To contribute: popmusic@startribune.com

Billie Joe Armstrong interview, Rolling Stone. He opens up about his addiction, screw-ups, treatment, family, bandmates, writing songs about his personal issues and Green Day's impact. Gifted, tormented and candid.

Carly Rae Jepsen pulls out of Boy Scouts' Jamboree gig. Because the organization bans gays, the pop star canceled her scheduled summer performance. No maybes here. She's for equality for all, she tweeted.

Neon Trees, Xcel Energy Center. Opening for Maroon 5, these Utah rockers seemed enamored with 1980s MTV (they looked like a Billy Idol tribute band and even covered Human League). But frontman Tyler Glenn (sporting an Annie Lennox hairdo) showed an arena-rock voice and rock-star presence and moves.

Jon Bream, Star Tribune