Pick Six is a half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view.
Jeff Taube, Mid-America Talent agent:
1 Neil Young, "Timeless Orpheum." This new film documenting his solo acoustic Polar Vortex Tour in 2019 includes excellent footage from his Minneapolis Orpheum gig, interspersed with live footage of Crazy Horse, Promise of the Real and CSNY. This is the most entertaining (and coherent) film Young has made since "Rust Never Sleeps."
2 David Bowie, "Tryin' to Get to Heaven"/"Mother." To celebrate what would have been Bowie's 74th birthday, his estate released these two gems. Covers of Dylan's "Tryin' to Get to Heaven" and Lennon's "Mother" remind us again (as if we needed reminding) why we miss Bowie so much.
3 "The Beatles: Get Back" – A Sneak Peek From Peter Jackson. A stunning preview of the highly anticipated film directed by Jackson chronicling the making of the Fab Four's final album, "Let It Be," and their legendary rooftop concert. For sessions that have long been rumored to be acrimonious, they sure look like they're having fun to me.
Jon Bream, Star Tribune critic:
1 Carm featuring Sufjan Stevens, "Song of Trouble." CJ Camerieri of yMusic has crafted a graceful, poetic song for these times. He encourages us to "focus on the evidence" and "rise above your consequence," asking "Why can't you put an end to this?" With lyrics by Stevens, this hushed slice of soul-searching can be viewed as personal or political. Either way, it's essential.
2 "Cory Wong and the Wongnotes" web series. The Grammy-nominated Minnesota guitarist offers interviews, sketch comedy and music with various players. The first episode premiered this week on YouTube. Like its star, it's funny and unstoppably funky.
3 The New Standards, the Dakota. This pre-New Year's Eve livestream gave me the belated New Standards holiday fix I needed, especially when they did "Snow Days" and "Christmastime Next Year," though it was just a trio without the usual holiday guests.