Pick Six is a half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view.
Sean Picht of Eden Prairie:
1 Lake Street Dive, the Palace. They’re my new favorite band in the world. I can’t help but love the funky, bluesy, soulful songs from lead singer Rachael Price and her band. They make danceable and singalong songs about “Red Light Kisses” and “Side Pony” and play in small theaters to allow us to truly appreciate their talents.
2 Steve Roehm, MSP International Airport. On certain weekdays, he hauls his vibes to the airport to entertain the masses. The rest of the time, he plays in the New Standards and the Neighborhood Trio. He’s a master.
3 Willy Porter, the Dakota. He’s one guy, singing folk songs, playing a guitar that sounds like a whole band, but the full story is the Dakota. I sat 6 feet from him, had a fantastic dinner, and rested my foot on the stage. Where else can you do that?
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Jennifer Lopez, Super Bowl halftime. Between all the booty shaking and pole dancing, J Lo managed to squeeze in a not-so-subtle commentary about immigrant kids locked in cages — her singing daughter Emme, 11, portrayed one of them — while wearing a cleverly reversible feathery cape featuring the U.S. flag on one side and the Puerto Rican flag on the other.
2 Nachito Herrera and Karen Briggs, the Dakota. Working as a duo, the powerhouse Twin Cities pianist and versatile L.A. violinist took turns as soloist and rhythm player, with the magnificent Herrera showing why he’s the maestro of the mashup, blending styles in the same musical phrase in a program of Bach, Gershwin and “Guantanamera.”
3 Taylor Swift, “Only the Young.” Playing over the closing credits to her new “Miss Americana” documentary, this new song may not feature her strongest music but the lyrics are her most pointed and political, calling out politicians for inaction on gun violence and other issues, and urging young people to vote. Good to see Swift take a stand in her music with her influential voice.