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

Michael Gorman of Edina:

1 Ducks Ltd., "Harm's Way." Fantastic driving music, with songs like "Hollowed Out" and "Train Full of Gasoline" feeling like a mashup of Django Django and '80s alternative fixtures like the Cure and Modern English. Jangly and moody college rock from the '80s with modern production values.

2 The Smile, "A Light for Attracting Attention." Thom Yorke's techno-infused minimalism is mesmerizing. "The Smoke" leads with a meandering bass line that beckons you to follow.

3 Rolling Stones, "Sweet Sounds of Heaven" on "Hackney Diamonds." Something authentic, joyful and musical that we haven't seen in a while from the Stones. A sense of ease and confidence. How can Mick Jagger possibly sound this good at this point? Instant repeat.

Jon Bream, Star Tribune critic:

1 Raul Malo, the Dakota. "This is nothing like a Mavericks show," the lead singer of the Mavericks said before singing a note in his solo show. ⁦Indeed, no dancing but more romance. Irresistible romance from the haunting "Siboney" to an Elvis-y "The Wonder of You" to the new "And We Dance" to Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust." Malo previewed tunes from the Mavericks' new album, "Moon & Stars," with a little help from his son Dino Malo on snare drum. A magical night.

2 "The Modern Pulpit," the New Yorker. In a story subtitled "Maggie Rogers balances stardom and seeking," writer Amanda Petrusich takes readers inside the head of Rogers, who was discovered in a senior music class at New York University, and this week is releasing her third major-label album as she's pursuing a master's in divinity at Harvard. Rogers, who is about to turn 30, is remarkably open and forthcoming about her creative process, insecurities and evolution as a person and an artist. But probing into her childhood went too far, she felt, responding to Petrusich, "I'm fundamentally in the business of selling my own emotions. There has to be some real humanity kept sacred."

3 Bruce Springsteen biopic will focus on his "Nebraska" era. "Deliver Me from Nowhere," based on the 2023 Warren Zanes' book of the same name, is an authorized biopic that will explore the Boss making his surprising 1982 cinematic folk album at one of his many rock 'n' roll peaks. Scott Cooper, who worked on "Crazy Heart" with Jeff Bridges, has signed to write and direct, and Jeremy Allen White is in talks to star. Of course, Springsteen and his manager/producer Jon Landau will be involved in the project.

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