Kathy Tillotson Austin of Owatonna:
1 Andre Thomas, Westminster Town Hall Forum. This professor, world-renowned composer of spirituals and author of “Way Over in Beulah Lan’,” spoke about the history, meaning and impact of African-American spirituals. Informative and engaging, it can still be streamed on MPR site.
2 T. Mychael Rambo and friends, “Songs of Gratitude,” the Dakota. What a wonderful, spirit-filling way to spend Thanksgiving night. Also, some money went to the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless.
3 Vintage Trouble, the Amsterdam. There are so many sounds in this band, rock, blues, R&B and soul. With his infectious energy, lead singer Ty Taylor was all over the place — in the crowd, on the bar, body surfing and more.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 Aaron Rodgers and Justin Vernon conversation, GQ Sports. The Wisconsin heroes — the Packer quarterback and the Bon Iver leader — discuss football, nutrition, nerves, breathing, fame, privacy, therapy, leadership, teamwork, legacy, basketball, Eau Claire, lucky numbers, bad performances, career life spans, football movies, pregame and preshow routines, and, of course, music. It’s guy talk and deep stuff, too.
2 Halsey, “American Music Awards.” Even though there were captivating performances by Lizzo, Taylor Swift and others, Halsey stole the show with her pas de deux with a doppelgänger, smearing bright paint on each other’s white outfit as she sang and they executed a strikingly choreographed dance around a table. The performance was so riveting that you almost didn’t notice the song, which was “Graveyard.”
3 Leonard Cohen, “Thanks for the Dance.” We thought 2016’s “You Want It Darker” was his farewell, released just before his death. But he’d already recorded the poetic meditations for this project, and his son Adam Cohen wrote the minimalist music for this one last dance.