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Pick six: A half-dozen cool things in music

  • November 22, 2013 - 3:27 PM

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

“Sound City.” Dave Grohl’s engrossing documentary about buying the original Neve sound board from Sound City music studio in Van Nuys, Calif. This board dates back to Buckingham/Nicks before Fleetwood Mac, and recorded many hit albums including Nirvana’s masterpiece, “Nevermind.” That album is credited with basically saving Sound City from bankruptcy. Great music and interviews throughout, highly entertaining.

Fountains of Wayne, First Avenue. Power pop from three guys who look just like schlubby surbuban dads blissfully paired with a lead guitarist who fits every stereotype of the rock star look to the point you think he’s just jamming with FOW until Aerosmith’s jet picks him up. “Closer Radiation Vibe” was a criminally underappreciated blast.

“Back to Forever,” Lissie. I grew up across the Big Muddy from this Rock Island, Ill., woman. Kicked out of her high school, she bailed for California and her rise is looking meteoric now. Her voice channels Stevie Nicks, and live Lissie has always mentioned that Minneapolis is one of her favorite towns to play. She performs Saturday at the Skyway Theatre.

Jason Wirtz, St. Paul

To contribute: popmusic@startribune.com

 

Gary Clark Jr., First Avenue. Offering several shades of blues, rock, pop and soul, he asserted himself as a true guitar hero in his 110-minute Twin Cities debut. Not only is he a fierce guitarist but he’s an underrated vocalist with grit and range.

Bob Dylan, “Like a Rolling Stone” video. Some 48 years after its release, this Dylan classic has received an inspired video treatment featuring montages from 16 different channels of simulated TV programming, starring, among others, rapper Danny Brown, comic Marc Naron, the guys from TV’s “Pawn Stars” and Dylan himself mouthing the lyrics. So just about every time you watch it at bobdylan.com, you see a different version. How does it feel to watch it over and over?

Garland Jeffreys and Jake Clemons, the Cedar. The quintessential New York rocker, Jeffreys found the right tone — whether rocking with his band (featuring ace guitarist Mark Bosch), singing about racism and urban reality, and talking about his pal since their days at Syracuse University, Lou Reed. Opener Clemons was a little Bono, a little Bruce and a little Big Man — a rocker with personality and potential.

Jon Bream, Star Tribune

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