A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:
Brock Peterson of Minneapolis:
1 Pearl Jam, Xcel Energy Center. Back on tour this fall for 12 North American dates, the boys didn't disappoint. Opening the first night with "Indifference" and closing the second night with "Purple Rain," Pearl Jam played songs from every album in between. Eddie Vedder was feeling it and chatty both nights. For me, he is the best frontman in the business.
2 Zach Bryan, "Zach Bryan." I haven't been this excited for a new album since Pearl Jam's "Vitalogy" in 1994, when a friend and I drove from St. Peter to Mankato at midnight to get the CD. Starting with a poem, Bryan works his way through 16 songs: some sad, some country, some rocked out, but all awesome! Two years ago, Bryan was playing afternoon sets at festivals, next summer he's playing U.S. Bank Stadium.
3 Country V2. Zach Bryan, Tyler Childers, Sturgill Simpson, Ryan Bingham, Whiskey Myers and the list goes on. It's not country, definitely not pop-country. It's not rock 'n' roll, it's not alt-country. Not sure what genre it is, but I love it! Songs are more about love and loss, perseverance and commitment, less about pickup trucks and Saturday nights.
Jon Bream, Star Tribune critic:
1 Jann Wenner ousted from board of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The hall's co-founder lorded over the prestigious institution like an autocrat drunk on his ego and arrogance, much the way he wielded his star-making power at Rolling Stone. After he made racist and misogynistic comments in a New York Times interview last weekend, Wenner was deservedly expelled from the board in an emergency meeting that lasted a mere 20 minutes.
2 Liv Warfield, Fine Line. Despite a sparse crowd, the undaunted former Prince protégé delivered 2½ hours of sweaty funk-rock with extraordinary ferocity — singing in the balcony, dancing in the audience and showcasing material from her first album in nine years. Real music by real musicians in the moment.
3 "Blood in the Tracks: The Minnesota Musicians Behind Dylan's Masterpiece" by Paul Metsa and Rick Shefchik. Building on Metsa's interviews from his 2018 cable-TV show, Shefchik fleshed out the story about the six Minnesota musicians who contributed to Bob Dylan's classic 1975 album "Blood on the Tracks" but didn't receive official credit until five years ago. This book is a detailed document of a noteworthy moment in Minnesota music history. The authors will appear at the Electric Fetus at 3 p.m. Saturday.
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