A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:
Thurston Moore and John Moloney, "Full Bleed." Since the dissolution of Sonic Youth, Moore has been putting out collaborative LPs with many avant-weirdos, but this remarkably heavy tune might be the crowning, feedback-spewing, post-Sonic Youth jewel.
Crescent Moon and Andrew Broder, "Ritual." This single is a brooding, industrial number from two Twin Cities veterans. Rapper Crescent Moon lets off a hypnotic stream-of-consciousness verse coated in hardboiled black-and-white imagery, while Broder's skeletal beat thuds with spare synths, ghostly samples and skittering high hats.
"The Best Show's Top 10 Music Moments," Pitchfork. Bravo for shining a little light on comedian Tom Scharpling's long-running, lovably anarchic call-in radio show. Pitchfork put together this excellent list of his most hilarious musical bits.
sam segal, Minneapolis
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Morgan James, the Dakota. Trying to jump from Broadway to soul singer, she enunciates with Broadway diction and not church-reared soul. But she has a special voice, songwriting skills (with co-writer/guitarist Doug Wamble) and plenty of potential.
Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk." This new smash may sound like Michael Jackson trying to get funky Prince-style, but it still perks up my ears and moves my feet.
Tribute to "The Last Waltz," the Cabooze. There was a parade of laudable guests performing as Van Morrison, Bob Dylan et al., but the biggest props should go to the house band for its excellent musicianship and strong vocals.
Jon Bream, Star Tribune