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

Steve Roth of St. Louis Park:

1 "Alice Cooper at 75" by Gary Graff. A different take on the rock bio, with Alice's life and career chronicled in 75 key moments (befitting his 75th birthday this Saturday). Filled with cool and rare photos, it looks great on a coffee table or bookshelf.

2 Butch Walker, Varsity Theater. The last concert I saw was amazing and thinking about it still puts me in a great mood. He never disappoints, nor does his recent album, "Glenn." Loved it so much I had to see him again the next week in New York City.

3 The Beach Boys, "Holland" boxed set. An album that deserves a deeper look and this delivers. Worth the price, filled with goodies and rarities, including a Brian Wilson demo of one of my favorite Beach Boys songs, "Sail On Sailor."

Jon Bream, Star Tribune critic:

1 Beyoncé chooses Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Finally, an artist who puts "fan experience" ahead of maximum financial gain. The Gopher football stadium doesn't have the seating capacity of U.S. Bank Stadium. But since Queen Bey has performed in both venues, she prudently opted out of the acoustically unsatisfactory Vikings $1.1 billion palace and picked the fan-friendlier college venue for July 20. A true Renaissance woman.

2 Robert Glasper, the Dakota. Funny and funky, groovy and generous (his second sets lasted two hours), chill and cool, spontaneous and silly (he sang snippets of Nirvana, Phil Collins, Bon Jovi, Otis Redding but refused to answer a request for "Purple Rain"). I dug his husky but gauzy voice on "The Look of Love," and his innovative mixing socially relevant spoken word samples with improvised music. On Sunday, he encored with a Kendrick Lamar jam.

3 Semisonic, First Avenue. What a treat to hear this smart Twin Cities-launched pop/rock trio once again, especially with some instantly likable new songs. Even though it took a few tunes for Dan Wilson's voice to find its groove, I loved how he swiveled his hips when he was in a Semisonic zone. And John Munson's ecstatic encore of the Suburbs' "Cows" left everyone feeling strangely fine.

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