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

Shaun NewKirk of Woodbury:

1 Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Mystic Lake Amphitheater. A perfect Minnesota summer evening outdoors with two legends and an amazing backing band. The 10-plus minutes of "When the Levee Breaks" was the highlight for me, but there were many excellent renditions of Americana music staples.

2 Electric Fetus' 56th anniversary celebration. This event was a great reminder of the importance of local vinyl record stores, and the importance of vinyl in the music industry today. Also it was a great opportunity to pick up some additions to the collection at a great price. I can remember when vinyl was the only choice, not the cool responsible one!

3 Justice Department sues Live Nation and Ticketmaster. I'm not sure the government getting involved in anything is a recipe for success, but a long overdue effort to break up the music industry monopoly might be an exception. Hopefully there is some relief for fans, artists, venues and the rest of those negatively impacted by the companies' stranglehold on live events.

Jon Bream, Star Tribune critic:

1 Lucinda Williams and Dessa, Hilde Performance Center. What a terrific mini-Lilith Fair ⁦(also featuring Kiss the Tiger and Chastity Brown) put together by Sue McLean & Associates. Rapper/singer Dessa was beguiling, funny, spontaneous, animated, joyful and brilliant. Wearing a Bonnie Raitt T-shirt and playing with two new sidemen for the first time, Williams, the beloved Americana force rebounding from a stroke, was tentative at first but found her groove, getting fiery on "Joy," " Essence" and "Are You Down." She ended with an impassioned speech about peaceful protest and civil disobedience and supporting trans kids.

⁩2 Donny Osmond, Orpheum Theatre. This was the most showbizzy show in an old-school sense. Singing, dancing, schmoozing, reminiscing, rapping and answering requests to sing fans' choices for tunes from any of his 65 albums. There were plenty of sequins, sparkles and lit-up beach balls to make it feel like Vegas came to Minneapolis. Sure, it was a little bit cheesy and a little bit schmaltzy, but it was infinitely entertaining punctuated with a toothpaste smile.

3 Jacob Collier, the Armory. The 29-year-old Grammy-winning British arranger/multi-instrumentalist came across as a precocious musical mad scientist showing off with technological gimmickry. His true gift was apparent on a solo piano version of ⁦Prince's "Purple Rain," with a long passage where he conducted fans in wordless four-part harmony. He did the same on an encore of Queen's "Somebody to Love," which was something to love.

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