Six cool things in music this week, from two points of view:
Ryan Johnson of Plymouth:
Durand Jones and the Indications, "Witchoo." This song from the new album "Private Space" has one of the best bass lines I have heard in a while. The interplay between lead singer Durand Jones and drummer Aaron Frazer evokes classic soul and funk from the '70s that will getyour head bumpin'.
Michigander, "Let Down." Jason Singer of Michigander, who looks like one of us, remains optimistic despite the climate of COVID. We all have had to be extra patient and realize that the future holds good things if we continue to believe.
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit's tribute to Charlie Watts. Their versions of the Rolling Stones' "Moonlight Mile" and "Can't You Hear Me Knockin'" on YouTube showcase this incredible band and Isbell's excellent guitar playing. They put their unique twist on each cover, making the songs sound more like originals.
Jon Bream, Star Tribune critic:
"Frozen," Orpheum Theatre. This touring Broadway musical has some magical special effects, but what's truly special is the performance of homegirl Caroline Innerbichler as Anna. With her vibrant voice, comedic chops and Minnesota panache, she steals the show from Caroline Bowman as icy older sister Elsa, who belts "Let It Go" with Broadway bravado.
Tony Bennett on "60 Minutes." Anderson Cooper and crew chronicle the marvelous 95-year-old crooner as he, despite advancing Alzheimer's, prepares for his final concerts, with Lady Gaga at Radio City Music Hall. It's sad, touching and ultimately miraculous as he performs with his usual grace, nuance and heart in concert. Says Gaga: "Things can change, and you can still be magnificent."
Jake Shimabukuro, Fitzgerald Theater. In a highly entertaining concert of instrumental covers of classic rock (Beatles, Queen) and original pieces, the showy Hawaiian ukulele ace was the perfect combination of virtuosity, imagination, technology, showmanship and personality. Highlight: "Let's Dance," a fiery Latin-flavored original inspired by Carlos Montoya.
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