Pick Six is a half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view.
Henry Stein of Minneapolis:
1 Mumford & Sons, "CBS Sunday Morning." It would be easy to forget how distinctive a sound emanates from the banjos and guitars of Mumford & Sons. Playing their new single "Blind Leading the Blind" with some headache-inducing strobe lights and heavyweight drum solos, there is still some anger mixed in among their seemingly unending success.
2 Calming a crying baby with "Bernadette." My son alerted me that my first grandchild likes the soothing sounds of Motown, so I cranked up the Four Tops, and it worked magic with a fretting 5-month-old.
3 Lizzo, "Saturday Night Live." Her performance was the only thing that could upstage a remarkable comeback by Eddie Murphy as host. Doing the sparkling, holiday-inspired "Good as Hell" in full tux, she rocked it. With her six incredible dancers spinning around candy-cane stripper poles, Lizzo turned around and revealed the backside of her suit was sheer and adorned with sequins. Vintage Lizzo.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 New CEO challenges the Recording Academy. Now on administrative leave, Deborah Dugan is alleging conflicts of interest, financial and voting improprieties, and corrupt practices at the Grammys. Even if she's gone, she'll effect long-needed change.
2 Lizzo, Rolling Stone cover story. This overdue splash arrives just in time for Lizzo's crowning at the Grammys. The glam David LaChapelle photos are fabulous, but it's Brittany Spanos' probing profile that makes this the best Lizzo magazine story yet. Spanos tracks the ex-Minnesotan from flute-playing nerd, to class clown, to empowering superstar. She paints a full picture: "Her positivity isn't idyllic or saintly. She'll get angry or depressed, cruel or weepy. She's a bundle of feelings."
3 North Mississippi Allstars, the Fine Line. Luther Dickinson's guitar work dominated this bluesy jam band, but Cody Dickinson's electric washboard solo was a treat.