For regular Gimme Noise readers, this development should come as no big surprise. Jeff has contributed to the editorial and spiritual tone of our music coverage for a long time. He takes just as great care with his words as he does with his hair.
After interning in the fall of 2009, Jeff was hired as the paper's editorial administrator in mid-2010, and worked closely with my predecessor Andrea Swensson on numerous projects, including his first cover story, an in-depth Cloud Cult piece. In the two years Jeff and I have toiled together, he's constantly pushed himself to grow as a writer and a reporter in the Twin Cities music landscape.
He's a passionate hip-hop fan who told amazing stories about rappers like I Self Devine and Carnage the Executioner (cover story). He even brought Carnage into the office once, and our entire floor of the Designer's Guild building shook as the beat-boxing commenced. Last year, he was breathing desert dust in Joshua Tree to understand Is/Is's latest complex chapter. Both an irrepressible Bob Dylan junkie (cover story), and the guy who wanted to review Miley Cyrus on her latest tour, Jeff constantly found ways to entertain and push himself. In turn, he entertained the rest of us too.
"Sometimes I'd see Jeff at shows around town, watching and listening intently beneath that unmissable mop of hair, and I'd be so excited to hear what he thought afterwards," says City Pages web editor Tatiana Craine. "That'll be one of the things I'll always remember about Jeff's time in Minneapolis -- his passion and willingness to be honest about music, even if those opinions proved controversial."
Jeff lets his opinions fly -- local music festival fatigue, the changing rap landscape, and why M.I.A.'s last album is actually great. In each case, he and I often argued (and sometimes argued some more) about how to effectively get a point across. I'm sure he'll even have some suggestions on how this piece could've been better, and I'll hear him out.
"In this office, Jeff has always been my biggest critic, and I respect the hell out of him for it," says City Pages staff writer Jesse Marx. "There's an unspoken agreement amongst us that false consolation is no consolation at all. If ever I need a reminder of why I'm failing to live up to my potential, Jeff is there to remove the blindfold."
After a serious bike accident put him in the hospital two years ago, he didn't buckle. Jeff worked incredibly hard in the months that followed on rehab. No blindfolds there either.
Jeff, you'll be missed, but we can't wait to read about your Big D exploits. And please let us know once you figure out what this Silver Jews song is all about.