A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view.
Barry Rubin of Minneapolis:
1 RIP, Neil Peart. Another legend gone. He was rated the fourth-greatest drummer of all time by Rolling Stone. I saw him for the first time in 2015 at Xcel Energy Center. Simply amazing. An intellectual person, he died from brain cancer. Very sad.
2 Pink Floyd, “The Later Years.” This new boxed set is all post-Roger Waters material. Included are two rare concerts; one of them is the live album “Pulse.” It is an amazing show. YouTube is releasing a number of remastered singles from that performance. Watch and listen, simply spectacular.
3 RIP, Lexii Alijai. The Twin Cities and the music world lost a potential hip-hop superstar way too young. She will be missed by her followers and many in the industry. Her potential can only be imagined.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Billie Eilish will sing the theme for the new James Bond movie. Nothing says you’ve arrived like this golden opportunity. It happened to Adele and Sam Smith. Eilish, 18, the youngest to get this gig, calls it the “coolest film franchise ever.” Can’t wait to hear the moody drama she concocts for “No Time to Die.”
2 Paisley Park Cinema. Despite a very modest turnout to see the 1973 documentary “Wattstax” (featuring Isaac Hayes, Staple Singers, Richard Pryor et al.), this series is a smart idea. Music-themed movies on a big screen, fabulous sound system, casual/comfy atmosphere (you can bring cellphones and Instagram some Prince outfits) and popcorn. Next up is the Aretha Franklin documentary “Amazing Grace” on Jan. 18.
3 “Keith Richards’ Desert Island Disks” by Noah Baumbach. The New Yorker republished this 1999 humor piece by the hot Oscar-nominated screenwriter/director of “Marriage Story.” Baumbach fantasizes about the Rolling Stones guitarist marooned with 10 CDs, and Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti” gets stuck in his head. It turns up everywhere: Parrots sing it, conches echo it and Keith riffs to himself, “I got a gal named Patti, she almost drive me batty.” A witty rewind.