A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:

Josh Forsythe of Shakopee:

1 Katie Pruitt, Amsterdam Bar & Grill. Touring behind her latest (great) album, "Mantras," Pruitt rocked the downtown St. Paul club with a huge voice, locked-in band and killer songwriting. She's meant to be heard live, and is back in town in September. "Self Sabotage" and "White Lies, White Jesus and You" were highlights.

2 "Stereophonic," New York City. This Broadway "play with music" takes place in a recording studio where a band is making its second album while navigating relationships and conflict. The acting is top-notch, the play at the Golden Theatre has 13 Tony nominations, and the songs (written by Arcade Fire's Will Butler) seem firmly set and fully formed in the 1970s.

3 Patreon. When done right, Patreon can create a community between artist and fan, while allowing artists to develop a reliable source of income. The best creators post frequent updates, release live or unreleased music, give early access to concert tickets, and even create vinyl or CDs just for their patrons.

Jon Bream, Star Tribune critic:

1 U.S. Department of Justice sues Live Nation and Ticketmaster. Will this antitrust lawsuit break up the alleged monopoly or certainly the hegemony of these uber-powerful companies? Will concert ticket fees decrease? Will ticket prices increase? At the very least, the public will get an inside look at how these synergistic corporations operate and control the live music industry. Hopefully, the suit will be a win for music lovers.

2 "How Kid Rock Went From America's Favorite Hard-Partying Rock Star to a MAGA Mouthpiece," Rolling Stone. In a fascinating and revealing piece, David Peisner spends hours in the usually press-shy Kid Rock's world, revealing that the son of a well-off Detroit car dealer is pretty much a calculated provocateur with savvy survival and promotional instincts. At one point, Kid Rock lets down his veil and "seems to lament becoming such a reviled figure among so many music fans." He says no one is ever going to dis Prince. "Prince is known for 'Purple Rain.' I'm known for shooting up Bud Light cans!"

3 Ghost-Note and Don Was & the Pan-Detroit Ensemble, the Dakota. These two groups performed generous two-hour sets on different nights. Dallas' Ghost-Note triumphed with jazzy funk and salutes to Sly Stone and James Brown (shoutout to saxophonist Jonathan Mones) while Was' brand-new combo, in its first gig ever, triumphed with funky jazz, offering compelling interpretations of Yusef Lateef, Hank Williams and Grateful Dead tunes (highlight: the Dead's "Shakedown Street" all Detroit funked up).

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