Pick Six is a half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view.
Tim Brausen of St. Louis Park:
1 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on "Saturday Night Live." Great to see the Boss and band still able to crank it up, especially on "Ghosts." I'm anxious to see them on the road again.
2 Curtiss A's John Lennon Tribute. I was very happy that First Avenue streamed this annual event, giving us a chance to support the venue and the musicians. But it just wasn't the same as being in the Main Room with a beer in hand, singing along with a roomful of friends. Can't wait till 2021.
3 First Love Project for First Avenue. Great to see acts that I enjoy share their music on this BandCamp.com download, to support a venue we all love and miss. Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, the Drive-by Truckers, Fugazi, Dessa, Trampled by Turtles, Thurston Moore, the Hold Steady, Semisonic, Atmosphere, Soul Asylum, the Jayhawks and others.
Jon Bream, Star Tribune critic:
1 Congress passes Save Our Stages bill. Finally, we have this pandemic relief package of $15 billion to support independent music venues, movie houses and theaters. Props to cosponsor Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and First Avenue owner Dayna Frank, who became a passionate, articulate and impactful lobbyist as president of the National Independent Venue Association. Loved Klobuchar's quote about monitoring the situation "so that Ticketmaster or some law firm or whatever won't try to home in on it."
2 Iggy Pop, "Dirty Little Virus." Featuring Iggy's harrowing voice, this new sludgy rock-blues tune has obvious but ominous lyrics about COVID-19. Best line: "She's only 19 but she can kill ya."
3 MN Spin. Hennepin County Library has announced its fourth collection of albums by Minnesota artists. Among the 300-plus selections are works by Maurice Jacox, Joyann Parker, Nur-D, Gao Hong, Barb Ryman, Atlantis Quartet and Dred I Dread. Check them out.