A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:
Sandy Tapp of Mendota Heights:
1 Girl Power. The very best female artists are coming to the Twin Cities this summer. Taylor Swift, 6/23-24. Beyonce, 7/20. Madonna, 7/30. Pink, 8/10. The Chicks, 8/25. Brandi Carlile, 8/29. Want something a little more chill and a little less mainstream? Check out Dessa with the Minnesota Orchestra 8/3-5.
2 "Surrender" by Bono. The U2 singer has lived a life. And you know the man has a way with words. His memoir is full of great stories, personal doodles and photos chronicling the rise of one of the most acclaimed rock bands of all time.
3 Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Xcel Energy Center. The energy was palpable as the musicians took the stage one by one. The delighted crowd got on their feet and stayed there for the entire show. With a set list covering 49 years of albums, the show was just pure, unadulterated joy. To quote the Boss himself: "The older you get, the more it means."
Jon Bream, Star Tribune critic:
1 "The Haunted Life of Lisa Marie Presley," Rollingstone.com. Veteran journalist David Browne takes an in-depth look at the self-described tabloid princess, Elvis' daughter who lived a charmed and turbulent life that ended Jan. 12. Browne talks to her grief counselor, record producers, Elvis pal-turned-her-manager Jerry Schilling, her friends Pete Yorn and Alanis Morissette, Graceland officials and others to paint a troubling but not surprising portrait of an American royal who never found grace.
2 Pippi Ardennia and Daniel Leahy, Crooners. The Chicago jazz singer and her piano-playing husband returned to the Twin Cities, where she used to live, with a passel of empowering if platitudinous original soul tunes (best one: the bluesy, spiritual "Grateful") and outstanding treatments of "Honeysuckle Rose," "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."
3 Morgan Wade, First Avenue. Wearing a "Purple Rain" T-shirt, the Americana force proved to be a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll, drawling her way through all the tunes from her top-notch 2021 album "Reckless" (highlight: "Wilder Days") and throwing in covers of Tom Petty, Miley Cyrus, Rick Springfield and the Outfield.
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