A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:
They Might Be Giants kids albums. It's so nice to have an album that my 3-year-old and I can listen to. Following the "Here Come the ABCs," the "123s" CD comes out Feb. 5. It's "Schoolhouse Rock" for a new generation, and I can't get the songs out of my head!
KBCO live acoustic sessions online. This wonderful radio station out of Boulder, Colo., decided to put all of its live in-studio performances online uncut for streaming, from 1993 until today, at www.kbco.com. It's great to hear reinterpretations of classics and new songs, along with in-depth interviews. Your turn, Cities 97!
Josh Kelley, "Special Company." The man known mostly for being Mr. Katherine Heigl just pre-released his new album on iTunes. The CD doesn't come out until February, but I'm already addicted to the melodic, funky soul-lite disc.
JOSH FORSYTHE, MANKATO
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Lupe Fiasco quote in Entertainment Weekly. Talking about retiring in his 20s, the rapper said, "My goals are low. I'm not on a $100 million hustle because I know what it takes to get $100 million in music. It's like they're paying you, but how much is your independence, your soul and your sanity worth?" Amen.
Danny Sigelman's remarks on "Musicheads" on 89.3 FM (the Current). When asked to comment on Oakley Hall's new CD during the weekly three-DJs-chat-about-music hour, Sigelman said: "I liked this record until I listened to it." Ah, the Current's notion of what is hip is shattered, which is a good thing. There is no right or wrong opinion.
The Bird and the Bee, Varsity Theater. This Cali duo was fun in a lo-fi, low-budget retro pop kinda way. Singer Inara George was irresistibly charming with her breathy, girlish voice, perky polka-dot dress and giddy smile. Loved the perfect cheesy encore of the Bee Gees' "How Deep Is Your Love."
JON BREAM, STAR TRIBUNE