Good ol’ Jeff “Fast Fingers” Tobias is heading off to New York to pursue a degree in music composition, and, man, is Athens going to miss him.
I guess “Fast Fingers” isn’t a nickname that ever stuck, besides in my own head, but Jeff was so dubbed by another Flagpole freelancer because he always beat everyone else to the punch—first to pitch a story, first to take on an assignment. And once a story was his, he was equally efficient, diving into his writing with unbridled enthusiasm and creativity, consistently delivering thoughtful, engaging pieces in a truly unique voice. He’s been an absolute asset to this magazine, and as his editor I’ve relied heavily on his insight and contributions. I told Jeff about the nickname once, to which he simply (and quickly) replied, “Gotta stay hungry.”
To me, Jeff’s voracious appetite as both a journalist and a musician embodies the ethos of the Athens’ music scene—always exploring, taking risks and making connections. He is passionate about creativity for creativity’s sake, and his ambition and drive are inspiring. We could fill a week’s worth of Calendar listings with all the bands he’s played in (Quiet Hooves, We Versus the Shark, Pegasuses-XL, Space Trucks, just to name a few), and he’s encouraged many others to be creative, too, with uniquely collaborative events like Face/Off, Halloween LIVE! and the recent string of talent shows at Go Bar.
Sunday at the Squirrel will serve as his going-away party, and in typical Jeff style, it’ll be a collaborative affair. His ambient project, Nutritional Peace, will headline, expanding into a 10-piece (or more) ensemble featuring contributions by Mat Lewis, Emily Armond, Becky Lovell, Greg O’Connell and many others. There will also be a “Nutritional Feast” (a potluck, naturally) kicking things off at 3 p.m. Bring a dish and your best wishes for Tobias as we send him off… And while being a full-time student will certainly have its time constraints, here’s hoping those fast fingers will fill these pages from time to time in the new year.
Like what you just read? Support Flagpole by making a donation today. Every dollar you give helps fund our ongoing mission to provide Athens with quality, independent journalism.