Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rainy Days and Nick Drake

Nick DrakeIt's been raining again for quite some time. The skies are gray and the air is cold. You know what completes days like these? Nick Drake. Especially since I'm by myself at home.

I first heard (or read) of Nick Drake the day Heath Ledger died (may he rest in peace). That was three years ago. Heath wanted to make a documentary about him. Maybe I listened to some of his songs, I can't remember. I was not paying attention. But I was definitely struck by how young he died. Yet I moved on.

Then last August came. It was my own folk festival. I discovered and rediscovered music artists: from Ray Lamontagne, Damien Rice, to newer ones Fleet Foxes and Joshua Radin. And an independent artist, whose name I forgot, pointed me to Nick Drake again. This indie artist mentioned Nick as one of his two influences. I remember thinking that his name sounded familiar. When I checked him on wikipedia, I was very sure I've seen him before.

This time I listened, really listened. It was the kind of attention a lot of great and unheard of musicians need. And he stayed in my playlist at work for weeks. I later found out about the AT&T commercial. In a way, his music helped me through an otherwise uninspiring job.

After a month, I had a Mojo magazine with him on the cover and a dream to take photos like Keith Morris did. And this blog eventually resurrected.

Most of his fans might have the album Bryter Layter as favorite. It was mine, too, for a while. But Pink Moon grew on me. It was raw and melancholic, like his own soul was exposed. Melancholy is not necessarily sad. Nick's lyrics might be depressing, but his songs are uplifting. "Depressingly uplifting" may well describe his music that when I listen to them, I come back to myself. When I hear them, I am home.

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