2015: The Year in Keith

I feel like I wrote a lot more than this?

Anyway, here’s most of the best of what I published in 2015. Thanks, as always, to my editors: Chris Weingarten at Rolling Stone, Jay Boller and Reed Fischer at City Pages, Christy DeSmith at the Star Tribune, Brad Nelson at Maura, and Rob Harvilla at Deadspin.

Essays, reviews, previews, listicles, etc.

“The Blurred Lines verdict proves only one thing: you can’t second-guess a jury,” The Guardian, March 11  The most lawyerly article I’ve ever published outside of the Cardozo Law Review. Takeaway for tl;dr types: Judges make law, juries don’t.

“The Mall Gaze: When Tiffany’s ‘I Saw Him Standing There’ Looked Back at the Beatles,” EMP Pop Conference Presentation, April 19, audio here, also published in Maura Magazine, May 19 (subscriber only). A history of Boomer fretting about the Beatles’ legacy throughout the ’80s, leading up to T. Darwish’s trash-cendent reminder that duh, pop is a commodity. (Recommended to the social media snoots who were claiming the other day that they wouldn’t listen to the Beatles on Spotify because the music is “too special to stream.”)

“Why this Minnesota transplant loves the State Fair,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, August 25  The State Fair is a thing Minnesota writers write about, and I am a Minnesota writer who wrote a thing about the State Fair.

“Show us your hits! Analyzing KDWB’s top pop jams,” City Pages, September 9  The Hendrix of hookily modulated cyborg puking, General Swift’s testimony before a VMA subcommittee on weaponized feminism, and other quip-crit from the summer that was. The headline is a tribute to a singles roundup I published in 2002 eight years before the Bloodhound Gang best-of, I’ll have you know.

“Album reviews: Motion City Soundtrack and Low,” City Pages, September 16  This is the first time I wrote about two of Minnesota’s biggest legacy acts.

Two concert previews: Madonna & Girlpool, City Pages, October 8-15.

“20 Great Moments in Rock Star Nudity,” Rolling Stone, October 29  I wrote so many blurbs for Rolling Stone this year that my student loan servicer should send Weingarten a Christmas card. Some were a little too, you know, institutional to make the year-end c.v. (Feel free to browse, though.) This was among the funner assignments.

“God Bless Alan Jackson, Country Music’s Invaluable Extra-Vanilla Everyman,” Deadspin, November 20  Most everything I’ve written about Jackson over the years, rearranged into a longer overview of his music and his persona. Hoping to do a lot more of this sort of thing in 2016.

Show reviews

I love reviewing live shows, and I got to do that plenty for City Pages in 2015.

Sleater-Kinney summoned chaotic intensity at First Avenue, February 16

Kacey Musgraves is as real as country’s ever been, February 23

Stevie Wonder gives you more than you ever knew you wanted, March 30

Father John Misty preaches to the converted at First Avenue, April 6

Morrissey finally arrives in Minnesota, July 14

Miguel navigates sexistential crises at the State, August 17

FIDLAR’s show at the Varsity is better than drugs, September 15

Madonna celebrates all things Madonna at Xcel, October 9

Yo La Tengo bring a special kind of hush to Pantages, November 9

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