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Top Picks: Music from Sasquatch, Jennifer Lopez, Lord of the Rings, and more

Live recordings from the Sasquatch Music Festival, J-Lo and Marc Anthony look for talent in Latin America, Lord of the Rings returns to theaters, and more recommendations

June 14, 2011

Audience at the 2011 Sasquatch Festival

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Indie fest from your armchair

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On Memorial Day weekend, just outside Seattle, 45 top indie musical acts showed off their talents at the Sasquatch Music Festival. The good people at National Public Radio were there, recording it for our listening pleasure. Veteran acts like Death Cab for Cutie, The Foo Fighters, Flaming Lips, and Wilco turn in fine sets. Brooklyn's superfunky Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings get the crowd moving, and gifted newcomers Wye Oak and the Head and the Heart lend their sweet harmonic blends. To listen, go to: npr.org/series/136238533/live-from-sasquatch-music-festival

Another thriller cloaked in ice

Jo Nesbo, the latest in what's become a long line of Scandinavian authors mixing death and dour sensibilities amid snow-encrusted turf, conjures up another adjective: exhausting. The Snowman – an intricate tale of a serial killer, damaged souls, and the price of obsession – proves no less relentless than the earlier entries in Nesbo's Norwegian detective series starring Harry Hole. It will freeze and melt your heart at once. And leave you, yes, exhausted.

Country music defined

Brad Paisley's formula is hard to argue with: delicious guitar bits, from throaty back-roads roars to mournful sighs; solid vocals; and enough aw-shucks humble pie to serve an arena full of fans. It works to perfection again on his latest CD, This is Country Music, starting with a title track defining the genre's gifts while slipping in homages to Johnny Cash and other icons. "Remind Me" offers a well-honed duet with Carrie Underwood, "Old Alabama" is instantly catchy. You may not give a fiddle for Nashville, but when it comes to Brad Paisley, resistance is futile.

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