A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:
Led Zeppelin, Kennedy Center Honors. Jimmy Page beamed beatifically from the balcony while a full gospel choir and Heart's Ann Wilson did "Stairway to Heaven" and the Obamas did head bobs.
Used record bins. I found a 7-inch single -- used, in picture sleeve, no less -- of Paul Cebar and Claudia Schmidt doing "Baby It's Cold Outside."
"Nobody Lives Forever: The Existential Soul of Tim Maia." While all the media is going to the rediscovery of Rodriguez and the great, great, great collection of Twin Cities funk and soul on Secret Stash, I'm playing the beejeebers out of this album featuring the 1970s Brazilian R&B superstar. Yow!
BRANT SCHUESSLER, ELECTRIC FETUS, MINNEAPOLIS
To contribute: email@example.com
Black Simon & Garfunkel, "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon." With Roots guitarist Captain Kirk Douglas as Paul Simon and drummer Questlove as frizzy-haired Art Garfunkel, they did a Simon & Garfunkel-like treatment of Rihanna's "Diamonds," complete with "lie-la-lie" harmonies. Clever and artful.
"Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - the Musical," Orpheum. Imagine a mash-up of "Mama Mia" and "Rock of Ages" in drag -- featuring lots of classic 1970s music. Props to the Divas, the three women who sparkle on live vocals. Good, campy fun.
Dave Brubeck - A Celebration, Downbeat. The jazz magazine salutes the late, great piano giant, with a spread of classic photos (posed and performing), quotes from Brubeck's interviews with Downbeat and a detailed career retrospective. Writer John McDonough ends it by describing the final time he saw Brubeck in concert, in 2011, playing Brahms' "Lullaby" as a solo encore. "Like the best goodbyes, it was brief, to the point, and final."
JON BREAM, STAR TRIBUNE