Scott Browning of Minneapolis:
1 “Jay’s Longhorn.” Mark Engebretson’s documentary discusses the life and death of the downtown Minneapolis music club that was ground zero for the local 1970s new wave/punk scene. It’s a heartfelt and soulful film with many layers of emotions and behind-the-scenes stories.
2 Mott the Hoople ’74, First Avenue. Such a treat to spend an evening with the glam-rock pioneers, who hadn’t been here since 1971. The show reminded us of Ian Hunter’s great songs such as “All the Way From Memphis” and “Walking With a Mountain” and what an influence they had on the Clash and Sex Pistols.
3 Bob Mould, the Palace. The most moving moment came near the end when he sat on the drum riser and just soaked in the roar of the St. Paul crowd — enjoying a minute in the city where his musical career began 40 years ago.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Lil Nas X, “Old Town Road.” This chart-topping viral sensation has Nashville debating if this tune is country. Just because it’s a hip-hop artist doesn’t mean this song featuring banjo and a trap beat isn’t country. To add cred, Billy Ray Cyrus came to the rescue for a remix version.
2 ESPN’s report on Prince and basketball. Despite a dearth of historic visuals, ESPN managed to entertainingly explore Prince’s love of hoops by interviewing a coach and teammate from Central High, Sheila E, Micki Free and others who played basketball with him. This Final Four piece was enhanced by an artist’s sketches of Prince playing.
3 Zedd, the Armory. Opening for Katy Perry, he showed skill and good taste, mixing his hits (“The Middle,” “Stay”) with new and old faves (by Childish Gambino, Magic, Whitney Houston) and visual pizazz.