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

James, Fine Line. An emotional return that left vocalist Tim Booth near tears as the band exited. With so much love in the room, the crowd actually took over vocals at one point, singing as the band looked on in adoration.

A Place to Bury Strangers, Triple Rock. A sensual experience in the most aggressive of ways, the band filled the room with sound you could feel, and that's the point: stuttering guitars, fuzzy bass, machine-gun drums and rumbling vocals.

Congress passes Webcaster Settlement Act. This was an important hurdle in the battle to save Internet radio, allowing negotiations about royalties and fees to continue. Pandora was prepared to shut down had this not passed, and most Internet radio stations would have been hit with prohibitively expensive fees.



Sigur Ros, Orpheum Theatre. After a somewhat sleepy start, the increasingly affected Icelandic quartet turned on the mesmerizing intensity, peaking with the over-the-top, Flaming Lips-like "Gobbledigook," complete with confetti and four extra drummers.

Laura Marling, 400 Bar. The 18-year-old critics' darling from the U.K. is the real deal: a confident, questioning personality with an alluring voice who crafts hooky but unobvious pop songs about the nuances of love. She writes opening lines that grab listeners.

LaBelle, "Back to Now." The reunion album is bursting with hot beats and vocal fireworks. There's dance, funk, soulful ballads, social commentary and a diva turn on Cole Porter's "Miss Otis Regrets." These soul-stirring stalwarts, who started together in the 1960s, will make you forget about today's R&B sirens. Out Oct. 21.