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

Ron Thompson, Driftwood Char Bar. His supercharged solo show conjured images of Ry Cooder meeting Wilson Pickett at the crossroads of 44th and Nicollet at midnight.

Judy Collins, Dakota. America's foremost songstress enchanted with her sterling soprano, a cavalcade of songs, brilliant piano playing and a breathtaking version of "Suzanne." Add a flippant wit, her witness to and sense of history, and the fact she has a striking resemblance to Lauren Bacall, and here is your argument for 70 being the new 40.

Blues Jam, Shaws. This Nordeast gem of a juke joint hosts the best blues jam in Minneapolis every Monday night. The house band rivals any likewise outfit in Chicago or Memphis. It even let a tipsy neighborhood folkie play a few tunes.

PAUL METSA, MUSICIAN/SONGWRITER, MPLS.

To contribute: popmusic@startribune.com

"Life on Planet Wayne," Rolling Stone. Lil Wayne has landed on the cover of Rolling Stone, certifying that he is a rock star. The interview certifies that he's one of the craziest and most talented musicmakers on the planet.

Eminem, "We Made You" video. He spoofs TV, including reality shows (Kim Kardashian, Bret Michaels), oldies ("Star Trek," "Jailhouse Rock"), talk (Ellen DeGeneres), videos (Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears) and reality (Amy Winehouse). Some of it is crass, but much of it is over-the-top hilarious. I don't even remember the song.

Bobby Knight commercial for "Guitar Hero: Metallica." Four iconic college basketball coaches do a takeoff on the "Risky Business" "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll" underwear scene before James Hetfield orders: "Now you're going to have to put on some pants, Pops." Knight throws the drum kit. Priceless!

JON BREAM, STAR TRIBUNE