Pick Six is a half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view.
Janet Monson of Deephaven:
1 Midland, State Fair. Those who showed up late to only see Tim McGraw missed hearing one of the most original country acts in a long time: provocative lyrics, great rhythms and striking vocals that leave one in awe.
2 Charlie Watts. His death brought memories of a June 9, 1975, concert at the St. Paul Civic Center, where the Stones gave a blistering performance, with Watts keeping the beat steady and strong.
3 Lisa Ekdahl with Peter Nordahl Trio, "When Did You Leave Heaven?" Ekdahl's soft, delicate voice is widely known in Sweden, but not so much stateside. The sound of this peaceful jazz collaboration is a perfect way to decompress after a busy week.
Jon Bream, Star Tribune critic:
1 Lizzo, Treasure Island Casino. In her first concert in nearly two years, she was very emotional about her Minnesota homecoming. In addition to her usual empowering words, Lizzo gave shout-outs to Uptown, Market Bar-B-Que and her birthday-celebrating mom, who was there.
2 VMAs and Met Gala. On consecutive nights in New York, these events gave rock stars of all genres license to indulge in over-the-topness. VMAs host Doja Cat donned a worm suit and later a chair as a hat. At the Met, Lil Nas X outdid his VMAs' lavender lushness by wearing three different outfits of glittering golden opulence. Solo performance art on a big budget.
3 Bob Dylan, "Springtime in New York: The Bootleg Series Vol. 16 1980-1985." While this wasn't his strongest period, there are still tracks worth hearing in this five-disc boxed set, including the alternate take of "Jokerman" with the prominent guitars of Mark Knopfler and Mick Taylor, a fast version of "When the Night Comes Falling From the Sky" and the epic "New Danville Girl" (later reworked into "Brownsville Girl"). Curiosities include covers of "Sweet Caroline," "Cold, Cold Heart," "Let It Be Me," "Fever," "I Wish It Would Rain" and "Abraham, Martin and John."