Thomas Peake R.I.P.

Smoke, Shellac, Red Krayola: Former Atlanta music writer left a secret legacy

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Last week Creative Loafing was saddened to learn about the death of Atlanta music writer and DJ Tom Peake, who died from a fall on the Grand Canyon National Park Lava Falls Trail. His body was found on Sept. 22.-

I only met Thomas in passing a few times over the years but I learned a lot about what was going on in Atlanta before my time here, from many of the stories and shorter pieces that he wrote for CL. Our first real encounter was in April of 2000. We were both working as freelance music writers, both gunning to write about the Red Krayola show at the Earl. He got the feature story, I got the consolation prize of writing a review for CL’s long-gone trashy off-shoot paper, The Scene.-

Over the last few days I’ve been scouring the paper’s archives and tracking down some of the stories he wrote for us, and have included a couple of my favorite ones here. Best of all is Thomas’ feature on Shellac when they played at the Clermont Lounge in ‘95, which I have scanned and placed at the very bottom of this post. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.-

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__Creative Loafing Critic’s Poll-
“Best Alternative Band of 1995”-

Rumored proclivities aside, Smoke’s version of chamber country blues is still one of the most iconoclastic and enjoyable around. This all-star post-Opal aggregate enjoys a suprising amount of fame, given their interminably morbid style, but that probably says more about their audience than it does about their music, for Smoke certainly do not pander to anyone’s lowest-common-denominator expectations. Their second album should not only extend the musical boundaries they’ve been operating in, but also bring them notoriety far beyond their supplicants at the Point and Clermont.-

__A pre-post-rock parable-
Thirty years later, indie rock catches up with the Red Krayola-

By Thomas Peake-

Published 04.22.2000-

The much-maligned term post-rock is actually a fairly meaningful term that describes a largely Chicago-based rock often employing creative textures, unusual time signatures and experimental instrumentation in such a way that it may become something else entirely. Granted, it already carries more baggage than United Airlines. But it works as well as the taxonomies grunge, gangsta rap or ragtime ever did.__