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She may not exactly be a household name, but Brandi Carlile, a 33-year-old country-folk singer-songwriter from Washington state, closed out the inaugural Howling Moon Music Festival on Saturday night with the style of one and, judging by the adoration the 2,000-or-so attendees showered her with, she's a known quantity in at least a fair number of households. Carlile, who has worked with luminaries such as T-Bone Burnett, Rick Rubin and Elton John and toured with Tori Amos, Chris Isaak and the Indigo Girls, took the stage at 10 p.m.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of those bands that people love to hate. And they’ve earned it, mostly due to their insistence on going through life without shirts, and by having perhaps the most annoying frontman in rock history in Anthony Kiedis, who never found a melody he couldn’t mangle with his Kermit-like warble. Of course, none of this matters one whit to the band, which has played to packed arenas for more than 20 years. But the band members — the ones who play instruments — were always solid and often impressive.
It takes only a couple of verses for vocalist Craig Finn to drop a Minnesota city name on the latest Hold Steady album “Teeth Dreams.” They’re a New York band with deep roots in Minnesota — Finn and guitarist Tad Kubler came from the much-loved Lifter Puller, which broke up in the early aughts — and Finn can’t help himself but namecheck St. Cloud right out of the gate this time around.
Let’s get one thing taken care of right away: “New Whirled Order” is a terrible album title. It was terrible when the first hippie put a “Visualize Whirled Peas” bumper sticker on his vegetable-oil-powered Saab, and it was terrible when Public Enemy called one of their ill-fated albums “New Whirl Odor.” Students, here’s today’s lesson: Don’t replace words with other words just because you can. It’s not clever, and it makes you look like artistic brethren to the Insane Clown Posse. Moving on.