Keith Harris of City Pages:
1 Blood Orange, "Negro Swan." He crafts subtle funk so sensual that only a closer listen reveals what an unsettling meditation on African-American pain he's soundtracking here.
2 Mitski on "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah." She shone on"Geyser" and proved herself a cool, canny interview.
3 "Homeplace: A Southern Town, a Country Legend, and the Last Days of a Mountaintop Honky-Tonk" by John Lingan. Lingan set out to Winchester, Va., to profile the DJ who jump-started Patsy Cline's career, but stayed to examine the complex forces that have shaped that town.
Jon Bream of Star Tribune:
1 Jonny Lang, Wayzata Beach Bash, and Gary Clark Jr., Surly Brewing. There were plenty of guitar heroics from these 30-something stars, with Lang's vocal passion and versatile dynamics also impressing.
2 Dessa interview, theCurrent.org. Andrea Swensson digs deep into rapper/memoirist Dessa's psyche, career and life in this thoughtful, revealing Q&A.
3 Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, the Dakota. Backed by Alvin's rockin' band, the Guilty Ones, these Americana aces teamed up for a lively, entertaining set of originals and classics by Lloyd Price and Woody Guthrie.