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

Late-night TV music performances. This is the best way to find out if an act coming to town soon can bring it live and is not just a studio creation. Thank Johnny Carson, who insisted on live performance and no lip-syncing.

Jessica Lee Wilkes coming to Lee's Liquor Lounge on Feb. 19. She is a wonderful Kentucky roots rocker with a killer band.

Parkway Theater. This new music venue in south Minneapolis has an old-school auditorium vibe with options to stand/dance down front or relax in seats; a friendly staff; the adjacent Pepito's restaurant, and none of the hassles of heading downtown.

Greg Burke, TC/Go 96.3 Club Crawl

To contribute: popmusic@startribune.com

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Chicago. Playing 1980's two-LP, two-hour "The River" album live brought a rekindled and joyous camaraderie between the Boss and Steven Van Zandt. Springsteen's slowed-down, drawling acoustic reading of "Take It Easy" by "Glenn Fray" [sic] was a touching treat.

Questlove vs. Prince. In this animated video, the Roots drummer tells about Prince inviting him to DJ a private party and then insisting on replacing the DJ with the movie "Finding Nemo." Funny stuff. youtube.com/watch?v=WfhoI6iX5ng

"Last Waltz" tribute, the Cabooze. Terry Walsh was terrific once again as Van Morrison, but newcomers Tom Aydan as a Hendrixian Muddy Waters and Demitri Rallis as Eric Clapton tore it up on guitar.

Jon Bream, Star Tribune