Simplicity baffles me.
However, it’s not a bad baffling. How can something be so simple, but be delightfully entertaining? Most of the time, personally, the simplistic takes precedence over the complex. As much as I enjoy big band music, I prefer a solo artist. As much as I enjoy heavy and distorted fast rhythms, slow and melodic acoustics captivate me just as much. It has nothing to do with the performer, nor the lyrics; the performer, singer or whomever, sounds exactly like everyone else in the category, and the lyrics are as hokey.
It wasn’t until I saw Serendipity (yes, you can make fun of me all you want, because I know I have mentioned the movie several times) that I became interested in Nick Drake. It was toward the very end of the film, the culmination of the events leading up to Kate Beckinsale returning to the ice rink where hers and John Cusack’s characters “first” got to know each other. “Northern Sky” played in the background, through life’s public announcement system, and the characters were seemingly unaware of this happening. Cusack returned Beckinsale’s gloves, they exchanged glances, swapped spit, and presumably skated upon their shoes before fading out to the flash-forward.
I’m sorry if I ruined the ending for you, but you should have seen it by now. I know the movie was predictable and hokey (that’s twice I used that word), but at least it was funny and–ahem–cute. I am seriously digging my own grave right now, I know. However, the movie was supposed to be predictable. That was the premise. Hey, as long as it gives people/daydreamers hope, that’s all that matters. If those people need legs to stand on, let them have it. For us who don’t buy into it, or refuse to admit it, in other words denial–essentially I already have–just let it go. We–ahem–these people are harmless.
I, apparently, have a lot of phlegm tonight.
Nick Drake, an English musician, died at the ripe old age of 26, a year too short of the infamous number “27,” which has been the age of ages in regard to death amongst famous musicians. I am proud to admit that I own his three studio albums: Five Leaves Left (1969), Bryter Layter (1970), and Pink Moon (1972). The latter is the most solo, acoustic of the three, but it is a tough choice to decide which is my favorite. Each album is so fucking good. However, I have always leaned toward Pink Moon for reasons not known. It’s a gut feeling.
“Northern Sky,” the song from Serendipity, can be found on the album Bryter Layter.
Drake, if I remember correctly, died of an overdose from antidepressants. Essentially: suicide. It’s disheartening. I don’t know what else do say, because I’m not of a lack of expertise. It’s personal to feel distraught, to feel like shit and like the forgotten and wet, moldy garbage at the bottom of the barrel; I’ve been able to stop myself from doing dumb, malicious things to hurt myself, but others have not. It’s a serious topic, and it can’t be discussed to extent due to my not being an expert with diagnosis, prevention or resolution.
Drake’s lyrics and playing style were… err, are… perplexing. He was a great writer, lyricist, and musician. He reflected writers, and he obviously found his own voice. The tunings of his guitar are not in standard tuning, which adds to the complexity of his music. This aspect, also, annoys the hell out of me, because I refuse to tamper with the tuning of my guitar. I would have to essentially tune it back for whatever else I would like to play. Since his songs are in various tunings, it’s just simply aggravating to take the time to go from here to there, to there, and then back to the first there, and then back to standard. It’s dizzying.
Plus, the back-and-forth does a number on the strings.
That’s why I leave it up to the recording to do the dirty work. It’s easier to press the Play button than turning pegs.
If you have the albums, you know what I am talking about. If you don’t, I highly encourage you to obtain them any way possible. There is a time and a place for all genres of music, and Nick Drake–in my opinion–has a place in everyone’s hearts.
The songs are hauntingly melodic and catchy. The music is purposeful on road trips, or to play while one is asleep, hoping to develop some interesting dreams. You’re parents would enjoy him, if they have not already heard of him; and the songs are appropriate to play in a nursery.
I chose to write about Drake, briefly, because the song “Which Will” came up on my iPod on the way back to the apartment last night. This song is off off Drake’s third album, my favorite, Pink Moon. From start to finish, from the title track to the finishing notes of “From the Morning,” the album is a treat for the mind, body and spirit. I cannot guarantee that it can flip somone’s irritability into elation. It is encouraged to give the album a listen to, but the second time around (it’s not long by any means) it’s important to really listen to the lyrics and take them all in. There is so much pain and joy, heart and soul, and artistry that Drake puts into his work.
If one could pick out songs for their own personal soundtrack, I would hope Nick Drake would be on there.
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