Pick Six is a half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view.
Teague Alexy, Duluth, who performs next Friday at Earth Rider Brewery in Superior, Wis., for the Homegrown fest:
1 Lanue, "Lanue." Sarah Krueger's voice has always induced spine-tingling chills. On her new album as Lanue, she is all carefree confidence and admirable maturity, sounding the best ever, with next-level songwriting as her secret sauce. She's unlocked something.
2 The Oshkii Giizhik Singers, "Anishinaabekwe Inendamowin." An Indigenous women's hand-drum group from northern Minnesota led by the extraordinary mythical singer Lyz Jaakola. Their new album, meaning "Women's Thinking," features songs originally recorded in 1907 by Frances Densmore from Red Wing. It is a powerful tribute to their Great Lakes ancestors and a call to action for the many issues facing Indigenous women today.
3 Ian Alexy, "21st Century Troubadour." The Alexy brothers have been pigeonholed as the handsome hobos of Midwest Americana, but this new album by Ian and the Deserters (out May 21) proves they are just as comfortable deep in the pocket of jean-jacket rock 'n' roll. And besides, his brother is the handsome one.
Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune critic:
1 Lewiee Blaze, "Freedom Fighter." The burgeoning St. Paul rapper griped on social media last week about how unjust it was that his new ode to justice isn't already a local radio hit. He was right. It has a potent message with intoxicating rhythmic flow.
2 Dinosaur Jr., "Sweep It Into Space." Sounding refreshed but refreshingly unchanged, the Boston trio's like-riding-a-bike new album offers the usual hooks and scorching guitar work, but with the added anticipation of feeling this stuff roar in concert.
3 Buying concert tickets again. Don't wait for a refund on your $500 Stones tickets to start investing in live music again. Affordable shows at First Ave, the Cedar, Hook & Ladder, Armory and other sorely missed venues are filling up the calendar, and selling out fast.