A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:
The Wild Feathers, Cities 97 Studio C concert. It's rare to find a band with three legitimate lead singers. "The Ceiling" is perhaps the most elegantly crafted song of the year. Great guys, to boot.
Dada, the Cabooze. The creators of one of the '90s' best pop CDs ("Puzzle") still play and harmonize together with great balance.
The Suburbs, "Born Under a Good Sign." This track brings back memories of the Suburbs sound we loved — horns, dance groove and fun lyrics.
Gary Anger, Apple Valley
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Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood opening routine, CMA Awards. The comedy was sometimes a little forced (Paisley sexting Keith Urban?), but singing "Obamacare by Morning" to the tune of George Strait's "Amarillo by Morning" was a hit — as was the kicker: "Over six people served."
Raul Midon and Lizz Wright, the Ordway. These acoustic soul singers collaborated on each other's tunes, accompanied by his guitar, her percussion and a bassist. What a natural, organic union.
Rickie Lee Jones, the Dakota. She was in a good mood, which meant a generous, artful performance and indulgent but entertaining yakking.
Jon Bream, Star Tribune