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?
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!”
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.
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?
In this episode, I talk about systemic failure in life; I talk about the POSSE system that I am using to post and receive activity from my blog to social networks and back; I discuss adding Piwik stats to my websites; I talk about migrating vs starting things fresh; I mention GTD, Evernote and The Secret Weapon method of using them together; I close with a discussion of Extreme Programming, Agile, and heavyweight processes.
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.
Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for January 10, 2010. I take a moment of silence for the loss of Natalie Morris; I play the promo George Hrab did for the JREF; I play a song by Retribution Gospel Choir; I talk about what I hope for 2010 and what I did wrong and right in 2009; I play a song by Fleet Foxes; I talk about using Calibre with my Kindle and also how I both succeeded and failed simultaneously in NaNoWriMo; I play a song by AFCGT and get on with my year.
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.
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?
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.