I met Jeff in 2003 outside the Montague Bookmill after a Death Vessel show: “the best Death Vessel show ever,” he called it in an email. I was similarly blown away, and as we got talking we bonded over other Maine musicians we dug, like Micah Blue Smaldone.
Later I sent a copy of eau de ambiguity, by my band The Ambiguities, to Northeast Performer, hoping for a review. I got an email reply from Jeff saying he’d given it to a reviewer, the review would be in the next issue of NP, and could I send one more copy for them to listen to at the office?
I think the last time I heard from him was when he emailed me for info about a Benefit show The Ambiguities had organized at Greenfield Community College. Jeff wrote a piece in the Northeast Performer about the show, a benefit for people who lost their homes when a trailer park beside the Green River flooded in 2005. I wish I’d stayed in touch with him.
It’s an honor to hear that Jeff played “Future Artifact” more than once on his show. I never mentioned or shared any albums by The Frost Heaves and Hales with Jeff. It’s my main band now, but our first album didn’t come out until 2009, which means Jeff tracked it down himself. Jeff seemed to have an insatiable and eclectic appetite for new music, and he was an ardent champion of local music in particular. And the fact that he actively sought out music from western MA, even when he was based in the Boston area, is rare given how self-involved and insular local music scenes tend to be. He was much more interested in using music to build bridges than to walls.