Tim McKenna of St. Paul:
1 Grateful Dead, “5/8/77 Cornell U.” Believe the hype! Best Dead show I’ve heard. Tight, up-tempo jams with “not awful” vocals. Many best ever versions of Dead classics.
2 Moon Duo, “Occult Architecture Vol 2.” Minimalistic spacey drones with surprisingly subtle hooks to keep you from getting bored.
3 Brian Jonestown Massacre, “Don’t Get Lost.” Multilayered psychedelic drones that use every string instrument under the sun. Leader Anton Newcombe’s tracks could be soundtrack material, but he’s too nuts, even for Hollywood.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Adam Sandler’s songs, Treasure Island Casino. He did a Springsteen parody about having sex in a car’s back seat, and he updated “The Chanukah Song” to include Zygi Wilf and “Kirby Puckett’s fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Lowenstein.”
2 Sonny Knight interview, by Andrea Swensson, thecurrent.org. The full version of this 2015 Q&A was a fitting and informative tribute to the late St. Paul soul man.
3 Semisonic, First Avenue. Not only did the band play its first album, “Great Divide,” but two curious new songs, two cool covers and the wonderful “Singing in My Sleep.”