A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:
Donovan Weimar of Bloomington:
1 Rihanna, “Born Again.” This new track brings about some feelings of softness and growth. With her vocal guidance, this tune exudes a glass of wine and a conversation about love.
2 SoFaygo, “Fasho” on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” A young artist finding his groove on a live performance. Mix of soulful anger and cool rap. The stage and artist visuals were glowing in pink coolness. I’ll take another dose.
3 Taylor Swift tickets. Reading the Twitter angst from all sides about Swifties crashing the Ticketmaster site, which is frustrating politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Amy Klobuchar with prices soaring up to $22,000, we need reform. But that’s nothing new. We still love live shows — without all the fees, please.
Jon Bream, Star Tribune critic:
1 American Music Awards. It’s a good thing Taylor Swift showed up to collect all her trophies and bring some much-needed star power. Shoutout to Pink for her impassioned reading of Olivia Newton-John’s “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and to Dove Cameron for her thrilled but forceful speech as new artist of the year and the sultry, jazzy performance of her hit “Boyfriend.”
2 Wizkid, “Money & Love” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” With his delicate, embracing vocals over mellow rhythms delivered by seven chill musicians, the Afrobeats superstar seduced with his vibey tune in his native tongue and English, promising to “take your pain away.” On Sunday, he won the American Music Award for favorite Afrobeats artist.
3 Chris Botti, the Dakota. With a parade of guests, the jazz trumpeter and his band presented a generous, highly entertaining, musically rich evening of pieces associated with Miles Davis, Nina Simone, Led Zeppelin, Louis Armstrong, Andrea Bocelli, Leonard Cohen and others. Brightest of many highlights: vocalist Sy Smith’s hip-hop-inspired “Feeling Good.”
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