Pick Six is a half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view.
Greg Schaefer of Golden Valley:
1 Twin Cities Jazz Fest Live. A series of intimate Thursday evening performances from the homes of national jazz artists. It’s really fun to hear the performers respond in real time to audience questions. The series is sponsored by Twin Cities Jazz Festival and hosted by No. 1 jazz fan Steve Heckler. facebook.com/TCJazzFestival
2 Virtual Vinyl Happy Hour. Hosted at Down in the Valley on Friday afternoons, this is a clever and fun way to sell used records while the store is closed. Even if you don’t want to buy vinyl, it’s an endearing real life version of Wayne’s World in all the right ways. Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner sat in one week. facebook.com/downinthevalleymn
3 Richard Thompson livestream. As expected, they are riveting performances by a true master. He draws from his vast catalog of great songs with his trademark expressive vocals and dazzling guitar work. His often humorous between-song banter feels like he’s having a casual direct conversation with his virtual audience. facebook.com/RichardThompsonMusic/
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Lucinda Williams, “Good Souls Better Angels.” The Americana queen has never sounded so snarling, raging and rocking. The lacerating “Man Without a Soul” is about an unnamed greedy, shameless liar. Not her most poetic album but still very potent.
2 Brittany Howard profile, the New Yorker. Writer Amanda Petrusich follows the singer behind one of 2019’s best albums (“Jaime”) to her modest Alabama hometown, current Nashville home and a big-time Los Angeles concert. The piece oozes Howard’s populist and soulful charm.
3 Christine Baranski, Audra McDonald and Meryl Streep, “The Ladies Who Lunch.” On the televised 90th birthday celebration for Stephen Sondheim, these three divas donned bathrobes with drinks in hand and delightfully rollicked their way through this tune from his Broadway musical “Company.”