Pick Six is a half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view.
Lane Christianson of Roseville:
1 The Rock Boat. Imagine sharing a Norwegian Cruise Ship (before COVID-19) with 32 bands on seven different stages. Add sunshine, libations and 2,400 (mostly returning) music fans, and it will change your life. This was my seventh time on the World’s Largest Floating Music Festival.
2 Vintage Trouble, the Amsterdam. Lead singer Ty Taylor is like James Brown on steroids, oozing classic soul with a dash of dirty rock ’n’ roll. After you experience their “live-wired, dirty mouthed, pelvis pushin’ juke music,” your fingers will be snapping and your toes will be tapping.
3 Andy Frasco and the U.N., 7th St. Entry. Frasco’s strength lies in getting the crowd involved, and you might find yourself in a conga line or holding him up as he surfs the crowd. The show was an entertaining mix of high energy, harmonic funk and jazz and total mayhem. A must see.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 “First Avenue: Closer to the Stars,” TPT. This hourlong documentary celebrating the legendary Minneapolis music club’s 50th anniversary is filled with historical tidbits, photos and footage as well as colorful characters, chiefly the incomparable, invaluable and ever-cranky Steve McClellan, who worked there for 30 years.
2 Fiona Apple profile, New Yorker. Pulitzer-winning TV critic Emily Nussbaum practically embedded with the complex Grammy-winning singer-songwriter on and off for a year or so and writes an epic piece in which she becomes therapist, friend and profiler of an intense, difficult and great artist who is about to deliver her first album in eight years.
3 reasonstobecheerful.world. Last fall, David Byrne started this website as “a self-help magazine for people who hate self-help magazines.” There are all kinds of articles, essays and ideas that are helpful and can make you cheerful in an un-Pollyannish way.