Pick Six is a half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view.
Tommy Woodward of Sartell, Minn.:
1 Raul Malo, "Quarantunes." He has been providing great music during the pandemic via YouTube. His "Quarantunes" — often from his home studio — are at 30 and counting.
2 Dave Grohl and Nandi Bushell. The Foo Fighters/Nirvana star admits to the 10-year-old British drummer that she got the best of him in their YouTube drum battle. He followed up with a song celebrating her prowess.
3 Delbert McClinton turns 80. It took two YouTube clips for friends of McClinton to send greetings on his recent special day. Love, admiration and appreciation are abundant.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Saving the CMA Awards. The script was flat, the co-hosts were stiff, emotions were held in check as the CMA promised "no drama." Then, in the final hour, Maren Morris and Eric Church spoke with passion about the global moment. Triple winner Morris acknowledged Black women country singers by name who've made the "genre so, so beautiful ... We see you." And when a surprised Church received entertainer of the year, he talked about all the losses in 2020 and concluded: "It's going to be music that brings us out of this ... Politicians are about division. Music is about unity."
2 Network, "Ivankkka Is a Nazi." Resurrecting their masked and anonymous side project Network for the first time in 15 years, Green Day dropped this snotty, proudly punkish slam of the president and his older daughter.
3 Connie Evingson and Mary Louise Knutson, St. Paul yard concert. It was the 20th and final gig at the "Lincoln Center of the Block" outdoor series during the pandemic. With masked, distanced listeners celebrating a new presidential declaration on a lovely fall afternoon, vocalist Evingson delighted with her varied repertoire supported by Knutson's smart piano stylings. Highlights: Dixieland-meets-klezmer version of "When I'm 64" and Bob Dylan's gospel bluesy "To Be Alone With You."