I’m going to premise this post by saying I’m at a loss for words, I really haven’t processed my feelings well enough to be writing. For me, it’s nearly impossible to think or refer to Jeff without mentioning music – I know that absolutely and unfairly limits him here – but it was the initial connection that he and I shared, and sometimes it was all we shared.
In a music diary sense, I spent yesterday relatively music free, driving in the pouring rain back home listening to and focusing on Maurice Sendak tributes on NPR. After a day being disconnected from the internet, I checked Twitter to catch up on the news. A tweet from him led to his blog, one post led to another, and everything quickly led to the phone.
Jeff and I met in college at WUVT, Virginia Tech’s student-run radio station. I was program director at the time and Jeff was one of the DJs at the station. Slots on the FM station were pretty competitive. Our protocol was to have DJs learn on our AM station – which was broadcast just on campus – and then to “graduate” to FM – which had something like 100 mile radius broadcast. It wasn’t possible to listen to all the shows on both the FM and AM station 24 hours a day, so DJs made a cassette recording of a representative show and passed it in with their application for an FM time slot. Jeff’s application tape was awesome.
We ended up talking about music late into the night sitting in the radio station and this even resulted in our trading cassette tapes for a while. I’ll spare you the music history details – the bottom line was that at the time electronic music (drum’n’bass, jungle, IDM, whatever) was competing with free jazz, old blues, weird world music, and modern classical, and pushing out the indie- and punk-rock out of my ears. Jeff made me awesome tapes with electronic stuff from the Skam, Spymania, Rephlex, and early Warp Records releases. I don’t remember what I put on tapes I made for him.
The above picture is a representative tape that Jeff made for me back when. He always put a lot of time into designing cassette covers on his computer, much more than could be said for my efforts into artwork. He still made mixes online (8tracks and Mixcloud) that I would always listen to.
Jeff and I didn’t spend very much time together as friends. I moved west for graduate school and Jeff started working at the record store I used to work at before moving to DC. I would have surely lost track of him if it weren’t for mutual friends and social media. I moved back to the east coast and he moved to Seattle. We didn’t really cross paths very much during these moves. I saw him in September at Tim & Sarah’s wedding in California after years of not seeing him. We talked for a while and caught up and we traded links for music mixes on the internet. When I was back in San Francisco in March, Tim told me he was worried Jeff was really depressed. I sent Jeff two quick one liner messages to check in, but he responded with his typical dry humor. I wish I had tried to do more. I know we weren’t the closest of friends, but I will miss him.
Here’s a picture I took of him in September:
Here’s a photo album of pictures of Jeff.
…and here’s what some other people have said since yesterday (collected by atomic overmind):
The last pic I have of Jeff (Stochasticity)
Golden Gardens In Seattle
Twitter funny guy
RIP Jeff, 21st Century Pen Pals (Podcasts)
RIP @fedge, Whom I Did Not Know
I guess this is where I pour one out for my homie
Why we’re shipping Jeff’s cats, and what we’ll do with the money
UPDATE: #fedge fund update