Pick Six is a half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view.
Dave Ness of Minneapolis:
1 Reina del Cid, "Rocky Raccoon." The ex-Twin Cities band offers a fun arrangement, effectively presented from a motel room in Austin, Texas. Bass player Toni Lindgren's big smile during the final "doo-doo-doo" section suggests a splendid time was had by all.
2 Playing For Change, "The Weight." Musicians from all over the world were brilliantly assembled into a wonderful video celebrating the 50th anniversary of this song. Ringo Starr supplies the groove.
3 Andy Williams with Simon & Garfunkel, "Scarborough Fair/Canticle." An amazing performance from "The Andy Williams Show" in 1968 — just the trio around one mic. Apparently Williams had more class than I gave him credit for.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Curtiss A, "I Don't Wanna Be President," St. Paul yard concert. Getting on his soapbox, the local rocker explained he wrote this still-relevant tune in 1979 when Ronald Reagan was running for President. Then, accompanied by guitarist Terry Isaacson, he delivered a howling and haunting reading of the song — the night before Halloween and five days before the presidential election.
2 CL, "HWA" video. After catching her on James Corden's show, I checked out the K-pop queen's new video, with its brilliantly fashionable visuals, infectious beats and bilingual lyrics: "Haters gon' hate, I never change my attitude ... Envy and jealousy are the shadow of success/C to the L, the mother of Korean culture." BTS won't be the only K-pop act to make big noise in the States.
3 Don't Rock the Inbox newsletter. Journalists Marissa R. Moss and Natalie Weiner provide thoughtful and personalized analysis of country music. In the first issue, they tout new tunes and remember Justin Townes Earle, profile comeback Black singer Miko Marks, and discuss politics and country music. Great line about Billy Joe Shaver: "Your favorite outlaws weren't really outlaws — they were poets in denim shirts."