Pick Six is a half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view.
Jeff Larson of Rochester:
1 Jesse Colin Young, July 4th. Without official fireworks, we discovered some great musical skyrockets on television, notably with Young on CNN. The Youngbloods founder reprised “Get Together” backed by the excellent preteens known as “Little Kids Rock” (these kids are a revelation).
2 “Bob Dylan Gems at the Bitter End,” YouTube. I believe the singers are either in the cast of “Girl From the North Country” or otherwise on Broadway. It was great to hear Dylan gems like “All Along the Watchtower” coupled with“Tight Connection to My Heart” and “Slow Train Coming” tied soulfully with “License to Kill.” Great gems indeed and some of the best singing anywhere.
3 Ringo Starr, AXS TV. This ever-charming lad celebrated his 80th birthday with some good cheer, worthy fundraising (“Water Aid,” “Black Lives Matter,” et al.), and lots of musical guests — Sheila E., Joe Walsh, Gary Clark Jr., Sheryl Crow and Sir Paul McCartney, who, with Ringo, made “Helter Skelter” dangerous again.
Chris Riemenschneider of the Star Tribune:
1 Anderson .Paak, “Lockdown.” A darkly grooving epic like this one by the Los Angeles-area singer/rapper — with its references to riots, unemployment, police shootings, etc. — wouldn’t normally be a contender for the song of summer. But this is far from a normal summer.
2 The Chicks, “Juliana Calm Down.” Not to downplay all the fiery songs directed at her ex-husband and other dumb white men on her band’s long-awaited album “Gaslighter,” but the standout track might be this tender mantra of a song that the incomparably voiced Natalie Maines seems to be singing to herself.
3 “Palm Springs” soundtrack. There’s not actually a formal soundtrack available from Hulu’s sleeper hit comedy starring “SNL” alum Andy Samberg, but playlists are floating around the internet with its fun mix of desert-breezy hidden gems by Khruangbin, John Cale, Los Straitjackets and even Genesis.