A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:
Roger Waters' lost pig. At the Coachella fest last Sunday, the Pink Floyd guru lost a two-story inflatable pig he has used in concert since 1977. The reward: $10,000 and four lifetime passes to Coachella for bringing home the bacon.
Prince, "Tonight Show With Jay Leno." With a slightly revamped band featuring a Latin horn section from Texas and veteran backup singers including Ledisi, he returned to his racy ways on a funky new jam, "Turn Me Loose."
The Roots, "Rising Up." The final track on the stellar hip-hop band's new urgent, aggressively political CD, "Rising Down," sounds delightfully out of place. After all the heavy lifting, this is a hooky, lighthearted, uplifting workout with Chrisette Michele's sweet vocal and Wale's kinda corny rhymes.
JON BREAM, STAR TRIBUNE
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Kraftwerk, the Myth. The man-machines haven't missed a step after all this time. Even missing co-founder Florian Schneider, the quartet bleeped out the beats with shiny precision, rocking the crowd to the core.
The Black Keys, "Late Show With David Letterman." The über-nerd drummer filled out the spare sound by whaling in a way that would get him fired from most bands. The guitarist chunked out a tasty blues riff and surprised with a rather nice tenor singing voice. Lots of raw talent was on display.
Serge Gainsbourg, "Histoire de Melody Nelson." A relentless experimenter and master of many styles, he gives us Jimmy Hendrix and early King Crimson via the Velvet Underground, laced with a liberal serving of London Symphony Orchestra. This Japanese reissue of a 1971 album relays the eternally seedy story of an inappropriate love gone wrong.
ERIC TORNOE, RICHFIELD