On Sunday, May 21, I received an e-mail with the subject line "just a note" from Heather, a Stranger reader in Boise, Idaho. "After reading through the music blogs and not finding anything, I felt compelled to write," she said. "Andy Capps, who played drums on Built to Spill's There's Nothing Wrong with Love, passed away on Friday of unknown causes. He was an amazing wit, a drummer extraordinaire, and a city treasure."

She may not have been right about the day of his death (an obituary published in the Idaho Statesman places his death on Thursday, May 18), but speaking with Capps's family, friends, and There's Nothing Wrong with Love–producer Phil Ek, the latter portion of her statement is irrefutable.

"He was a nice, sweet kid, just excited about the process of recording and music," recalls Ek, who also worked on records by two of Capps's other bands, Butterfly Train and Olive. Ek has some hilarious memories of Built to Spill's first Seattle show at the Crocodile and Capps's naiveté about working with sound engineers in big-city clubs. "I think it was his first 'big,' sold-out show experience. I remember watching Andy at his drums, and he looked totally freaked out. I [eventually] realized that he was scared of the monitors," laughs Ek. "They must have been too loud, because every time he hit his snare, he looked terribly startled and [he'd glance] over at the monitors. And instead of just telling the sound guy to turn him down, he spent the rest of the set looking jumpy and oddly terrified. It made for a really weird show and all the reviews afterward were terrible, but I thought it was fantastic—I just framed the poster from that show."

"He was extremely intelligent, a very quick learner, and very, very funny," echoed Andy's father, David Capps when I spoke with him a week after his son died. In the intervening days, speculation about the cause of Capps's death has flourished on the website for the Neurolux, Boise's landmark music venue. Theories abound about overdoses and suicide, but neither a toxicology nor cause-of-death report had been released as of press time. "We don't know what caused Andy's death; toxicology may tell us something," said Capps. "He had bipolar disorder and like lots of those folks, he refused help and self-medicated." Father and son also shared a fondness for military history (Andy occasionally wrote about the subject for the Boise Weekly). When I asked Capps what he'd like people to remember about his son, he cited Andy's affection for animals. "He was very big on rescuing dogs and picking up dogs on the side of the road who had been injured. A lot of people drive by those situations, but Andy wouldn't. He was a real lover of animals, his friends, and a good time."

An informal memorial service will be held at 4 pm June 10 at the Connector restaurant, 249 S 16th St, in Boise. Memorial donations are being accepted at the Boise Humane Society, 4775 Dorman St, Boise, ID 83705.