A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:
Zach Sobiech. Faced with terminal cancer from the age of 14, this Stillwater student exemplified positivity and inspired many with the way he led his life and the simple heartfelt music he created. He died on Monday at 18.
Prince and 3rdEyeGirl, Las Vegas. His shows rocked with a new "youthful" energy (and $114 tickets). Can I say "guitar rock god"?
Ike Reilly. From Libertyville, Ill., he considers the Twin Cities his second home, at least musically. He treated his loyal followers — they sing his lyrics in unison — to a three-month Saturday "residency," which ended this weekend at the 7th Street Entry.
Heidi Vader, Minneapolis
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Kanye West, "Saturday Night Live." He showed a new level of intensity on the menacingly industrial "Black Skinhead" and the mesmerizingly minimalist "New Slaves," a commentary on desires of black people. Potent stuff. Can't wait for the new album, "Yeezus," on June 18.
The Lone Bellow, "Tonight Show With Jay Leno." This two-men-and-a-woman trio of acoustic strummers from Brooklyn (augmented by a rhythm section and pianist) offered their Americana tune "Bleeding Out," which suggested Mumford & Sons (complete with faux British accent) with more fierceness.
Ryan Carr performs "Hallelujah" at Tim Carr's funeral. To honor his uncle, the 13-year-old played a lovely, richly melodic piano version of the Leonard Cohen tune and, as a nod to the late arts impresario's affinity for the edgy, the pianist turned the last chorus into a frenetic freak-out.
Jon Bream, Star Tribune