Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for September 4 2015 – DDOP 32

In this episode, I answer questions from fellow Dog Days podcasters: Nutty Nutchtchas asks why I close the show with I love you? and Derek Coward asks what happened to the Uplifter events and CREATE South?

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, September 4 2015

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for March 12 2015 – Negation

In this episode, I play a song by the Kropotkins; I discuss the ongoing struggles to enjoy media and how much it is like having another job; I talk about negation, negativity, opinionation and other life anti-patterns.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, March 12 2015.

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

New Peakecast for XMas

Photo by Sam Vignjevi?
Photo by Sam Vignjevi?

A new episode of the Peakecast has been published. This one is the recordings of a set of interviews Thomas Peake recorded in 1996 with members of the RockATeens. The band is playing Atlanta tomorrow, December 13th, so that helped drive the urgency of getting this published this week.

I use this podcast over and over again as a living example of what I see as the true value of the medium. Much is made of the blockbuster successes, the shows with hundreds of thousands of listeners. That it is viable to create this show which is targeted towards at most a few hundred people makes me happy. These shows can be appreciated by anyone who likes music or is interested in the topics but the core we aim for is the set of friends Thomas Peake left behind. I am glad to do this tiny bit of service to that community.

Or in the words of some great philosophers of the 20th century, “Turn it up!”

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for October 16 2014 – Just Saying Goodbye

In this episode, I spend a long time talking about the casual cruelty imbedded in the way people use the word “just” as in “just don’t work there”; I mention the video that made me stop eating regularly at Jimmy Johns; I talk about PG Holyfield’s memorial service weekend and publicly mourn him and Thomas Peake; I finish by talking a little about Tiny Tiny RSS and why finding RSS feeds to follow was surprisingly difficult for me.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, October 16 2014

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Goodbye to Absent Friends

PG Holyfield and Thomas Peake

Last weekend I drove to Charlotte to attend the memorial service for the late great Patrick “PG” Holyfield. It was a nice time and I’m glad I went, as nice as it could be for an event I wish with all my heart didn’t exist. I saw friends and met Kimberly, PG’s “special lady friend” for the first time. I listened to the eulogies and sniffled. I played tickly banjo with Patrick McLean’s son and ate chips with pesto. Later I hanged out with the remaining friends and ate Vietnamese food and generally soaked in the presence of people I enjoy.

I freely admit that of everyone in that room, I had the loosest personal connection to PG. He was a guy I always liked, enjoyed talking to every time I saw him and never had a bad time in his presence. I know and could always have told you that my life would benefit from having more of him in it, but it didn’t and now it won’t. I drove to Charlotte primarily to say goodbye to a guy I wish I knew better and to support the people who helped him as he died. Goodbye, Patrick.

Right around the same time, we noted the sad occasion of five years since the passing of Thomas Peake. He died in 2009 while hiking in the Grand Canyon, just shy of his 40th birthday. After a several year hiatus, Chris Campbell and I began preparing new episodes of the Peakecast. We knew him from college radio and he left behind a lot of tapes of him doing that brilliantly, so we put those back out into the world. For all I see podcasters interested in gaining traction, I put a lot of time in a podcast primarily aimed at 50 to 100 people, his friends and family who want to hear a little more of him.

I miss both of these guys and wish like hell I could talk to them again. I wish I didn’t meet both of their significant others for the first time at their memorial services. I didn’t keep up with either as well as I should have. I will try going forward but I will fail. The next person I lose I will feel the same way. I am sorry if it is you. Give me a call sometime, okay?

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Peakecast Episode Six is Live

Today, we posted Episode Six of the Peakecast, our memoriam show for the late great Thomas Peake. This time out, the show is all the music of Guitar Roberts. Doing an episode of this show is always a melancholy experience. It’s good to hear my friend’s voice and be able to present his work, but I hate like hell that the program even exists.

This is a validation of what I’ve always claimed is the very best aspect of podcasting. A show doesn’t need a huge constituency to make it worth doing. This show has a theoretical maximum listenership in the three digits and yet it is still wildly worth doing. If you knew and miss Thomas Peake, listen. Even if you didn’t but you love good music of wild diversity, listen. I promise it will be worth your time.

Thomas Peake Farewell Concert and Peakecast

Tomorrow Sunday December 20th 2009 will be the “Thomas Peake Farewell Celebratory Concert” at the Eyedrum – 290 MLK Jr Drive SE in Atlanta. Doors open at 3 pm, music starts at 4 PM and will go until the wee hours. A variety of bands will perform, from ones that Thomas helped in their careers, was friends with the members, and even a band that is debuting as a live act at the event. It will be a great time for lovers of music and lovers of Thomas alike. A salient point of the whole deal is that all the money raised by the concert will be given to the East Atlanta Kids Club, a charity that Thomas was intimately involved with in his life.

I wish I could be there to hear the music, help send off a friend, and spend a little more time with all our mutual friends. At the memorial in September I saw many people that I hadn’t seen in 20 years. If there is one thing I need in this life, it is more ways to get these groups of people together that don’t require someone dying first.

We’ve had a self-imposed deadline of getting the next episode of the Peakecast out before this show and I made it today by about 22 hours. Peakecast Episode Three is out in the world now and captures Thomas and Arthur Davis spinning tunes as guest hosts of Personality Crisis. Their set list is unique and weird and not at all like anything Jon Kincaid would have played, or anyone else for that matter. Check it out. This is just the beginning of what there is to be published. That is literally the first tape out of a big box, and we’ve been informed by Dena Peake that there are more boxes where this came from. It’s not as good as having the big man around to spin us some tunes but we’re now taking what we can on that front. If you care, tune in, subscribe, listen, comment and share your memories. Every memory gets more precious every day.

New Peakecast is Up

For those who were friends or fan of Thomas Peake or just fans of interesting music, the newest Peakecast has been posted. This is a fitting show to be the second episode, as it was itself a memorial for former WREKster and restlessly creative musician Witt Mills. I urge you to go, check it out and if there is any chance you have any Thomas Peake material recorded, please dig through those boxes in the closet and attic. Give those unlabeled tapes a spin, just in case. One never knows, does one.

Above all, please leave us some feedback. We’re doing this show partly as a balm against loss and partly as an act of defiance against an uncaring universe. Let us know if it soothed or enraged you. I’m deliriously happy with either reaction.

And don’t forget the Peake Foundation. Go out and make a difference where you live. The clock is ticking, we need results by October 2010. What better place than here? What better time than now?

Peake Foundation and Peakecast

Yesterday would have been the 40th birthday of my late friend Thomas Peake. His wife Dena launched a project called The Peake Foundation. You can read the mission statement here. The very short version is that it is a call to action for people to make a difference, with a timetable given. On October 8, 2010 there will be a gathering, recounting and celebration of the success people have had in the previous year. It’s a nice way to keep the urgency alive. We all have the best intentions but life gets in the way, so for this there is a clear timetable and deadline to work to. They don’t specify anything about what shape the action should take, just that you do something, in some fashion, somewhere. Start in your own community, start anywhere, just start.

Also, Chris Campbell and I launched yesterday our Peakecast project. It is an ongoing collection of any audio we can scare up from Thomas’ career as a DJ, a music historian, a writer about and compiler of music. We begin with the audio I already published a few weeks ago, and our second episode will be the show Thomas did as a tribute when Witt Mills died in 2000. If you have any recordings of audio from Thomas, please submit it to the show.

Above all, help someone out. Make a difference. VIsualize what a better world looks like to you, and then put your shoulder to the earth and try to move it that way.

Moving On In This Post-Peake Life

For the last ten days, this blog has been quiet and mostly been about the late great Thomas Peake. On Tuesday I went to the memorial service in Atlanta, where I saw a lot of old friends I haven’t seen in years (or in some cases, decades) and met many other friends of Thomas for the first time. I was expecting a big turnout filled with lots of people I didn’t know but it was beyond my craziest estimate. This little space had 400 people in it in a Tuesday evening in Inman Park. His friends reached so far that he had entire subgroups of friends that all knew each other that I had no conception he knew. He was a guy who lived his life as if people were the most important thing in it, and people responded in kind.

Chris Campbell passed out fliers for our Peakecast project in an effort to round up audio people might have, and after the ceremony and reception I had a little bit of pizza with Chris and Sharon at the Fellini’s in Candler Park. I had heard from them that some of Thomas’ friends were getting together at The Local, which was approximately on the way back to my hotel anyway. I figured “what the hell, why not stop by?”

I walked around in The Local and I saw people I recognized from the service but no one that I knew personally. My initial inclination was to get back in the rental car and leave but that didn’t seem the right thing to do for the occasion so I approached a table with an empty chair and said “I don’t know any of you, but can I sit with you?” I did, and we talked about Thomas and told crazy anecdotes and it was good. I’m glad I did it. As time went on, a few people from other groups around the bar came over and talked to me and said they had read my blog posts and found them helpful.

This floored me because I didn’t quite follow the chain of events that would make that possible. I guess they recognized me from the Facebook profile photo and connected that with my links from the memorial page. I personally probably couldn’t have done that to anyone else so it shocked me that others could to me. I had a hard enough time connecting people I spent 5 minutes talking to with their Facebook photo. I’m glad people that I don’t even know were able to find some value and some comfort in my writings about Thomas and even more glad they were willing to approach me and discuss it. I’m trying to do more of that, because its the way Mr. Peake lived and the world could use a little more of that.

I thank everyone for being patient with me. Most of my blogging, Twittering et al for the last week and a half has been about this guy and his loss even though I know most of the people in my sphere didn’t know him. I’m going to turn down that proportion but it will never go to zero. I just won’t invoke his name so much because it will be part of my new baseline. I’m not going to say “I do this because Thomas Peake would” about things but it will be true and a part of the new me, the kinder more generous me. I think it will take all 400 people who were at the Trolley Barn and all of the thousands more affected by this loss, each of us to be more kind, more respectful, more generous and more goofy to replace what the world lost in Thomas Peake. We don’t want to have to but we do, and because we are strong and want to honor the man we will. The torch has fallen, and we pick it up and light more and from this tragedy we build better communities and a better world because that’s the only thing that makes sense. Do it for Thomas. I love you, Thomas. Goodbye.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for September 27, 2009 – “Goodbye Thomas Peake”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for September 27, 2009. I play a song from Fugazi; the bulk of this show is an extended eulogy to the late great Thomas Peake; I play a song by my friends in Stovall and try not to weep my way out.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Thomas Peake Historical Audio

Thanks to Chris Campbell’s reminder, I was reminded that I have CDs of all the MP3s from the 2004 WREK alumni weekend. That weekend was to celebrate the history of the old station in the Georgia Tech Thrillerdome as they prepared to move to the brand new space. Thanks to CDC’s persistence and the kindness of Mr. Dave Hamilton I can present here an hour of radio that Thomas did. It was nostalgia at the time for a time a decade and a half prior. Now it is double nostalgia for the original period, as well as Thomas’ life as a whole.

I listened to the whole hour this evening and misted up all over again. Here is the audio of Thomas at the WREK alumni weekend shindig in July 2004 – part 1; part 2 and part 3. It’s cold comfort but it lets you hear his voice again, talking about something he really loves. I’ll take it.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

RIP, Thomas Peake

Horrible news. My friend Thomas Peake died in a fall from a trail in the Grand Canyon. There is a memorial group for him on Facebook and I’m sure there will be no end of reminiscences about him. My friend Chris has a post about this sad loss, starting from the point when Thomas was missing when there was still hope of him being found alive. Those were the days.

I can count on one hand the number of people I’ve met who I’ve never heard a bad word about, and Thomas was one. Hell, he might be the only one. He always had a smile on his face. This kid was so full of joy that it leaked everywhere and splashed everyone in his vicinity. I’m pretty sure that the last time I saw him I told him that I loved him. It was around the time my Dad died and I was keenly feeling that mortality pressure that says “Don’t leave these things unsaid. You never know what time is the last time you see a friend.” I was just in Atlanta two weeks ago but because I was busy with Dragon*Con I didn’t reach out to any of my friends away from the con. I could have seen Thomas but I didn’t. That’s a decision that will haunt me.

Thomas taught me how to screen print, from making the screens with the light table through squeegeeing down the ink, in the old Student Center building at Georgia Tech. It was on his word that I first listened to Fugazi. I saw Pineal Ventana for the first time at a house party of his in Home Park, and I believe I brought my mom to one of those crazy affairs. I worked with him in many capacities at WREK and would hang out with him at shows all around Atlanta. I’m pretty sure we skanked together to “Take the Skinheads Bowling” at a Camper Van Beethoven show once. I converted one of his zines to HTML in the early days of the web for his “micro-publishery” experiments. He published music zines and screen printed his own covers while I sat in awe watching him mix inks so that no two would be the same.

When I was working in the Perimeter area around 2003, one day driving home I heard this car honking at me when I wasn’t doing anything. I was annoyed, and I looked over to see Thomas with a goofy smile on his face, waving and honking like crazy. We had lunch a few times after that, and the last of those was the last time I ever saw him in person. I loved this crazy man and I wish I had spent 100x the hours in his presence that I actually did.

Several of my friends have had health scares in recent years, including one that just saw his own home for the first time in six weeks this weekend. People my age that I know have died, but they were acquaintances. Thomas is the first of my peers to pass, a guy I deeply loved and who made my life appreciably better by just knowing me. This is a corner I wish we’d never turned, and if I could jump into the Grand Canyon to bring him back I would. He was a better guy than I will ever be so that’s a trade that would be plus EV. I’ve known for less than an hour and the shock is still sinking in, but all I can think is that the burden is now on all his friends to be better people as a way to honor his memory. I’m starting now and if you catch me slipping, call me on it. If you play the Peake card, there is no defense.

My deepest condolences go out to his wife, his family and all of the rest of his friends who are bereaved. There may be thousands in that last camp, as Thomas was a gregarious, loving, well loved guy. Losing him is a wound that will never heal, but may we all learn to one day live with the pain.