Nick Drake Demos

We were going to get into our usual ‘Weekend Roundup’ but it’s rainy buckets here in the hub, which if you’re a Kenyan and running in the 111th Boston Marathon this morning probably means you’re having a miserable time at Heartbreak Hill right now. We’ve got Stars’s Heart pounding through the headphones, which makes for some nice relaxing early morning rainy day tunes. So some things you might have missed this weekend while paying attention to the Don Imus hubabaloo, before getting into some fantastic Nick Drake news.

  • Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is being pressured by Latino activists to add an adendum to his yet to be released documentary about World War II. I guess he didn’t touch upon the 500,000 hispanics that fought in the Great War, and that’s got lots of people up in arms. You know though, if they’re upset, why don’t they just go out and make their own documentary? Not saying it’s cool that Ken Burns left hispanics out, but he also left out the Navajo’s and they were responsible for the unbreakable code used by American soldiers.
  • MLB honored Jackie Robinson yesterday, the 60th anniversary of his breaking the color barrier. Tons of players and teams wore his number 42 during games. Kudos to MLB. Oddly, African-Americans aren’t really playing baseball anymore. But it goes without saying that often times what makes sports great is that it serves as a microcosm for society at large and deals with uncomfortable themes in a more honest way, than say politicians or media types. Cough cough Don Imus cough cough.
  • President Dubya crony Paul Wolfowitz won’t resign as head of the World Bank, despite concerns of giving pay raises and promotions to his girlfriend. Apparantly he does as good a job in charge of the World Bank as he did as architect of the Iraq War.
  • Ex DA Mike Nifong has apologized to the three Duke lacrosse players, which should really make up for ruining their lives. I can only imagine how that exchange went. But, The Nation is giving props to a blogger for being the best source of information on this story. Even going so far as to say Durham in Wonderland should win a Pultizer. Well then.
  • Sex education is going to clash between absitence only and the use of contraceptives. The differing methods of sex education are in the spotlight after a new study demonstrates abstinence only education doesn’t delay teen sex. Which is not surprising. The thing is why does it have to be one or the other when it comes to sex ed? Why can’t we teach kids how to be safe and what they can expect and that maybe they should wait until they are ready for sex? People running the show are retarded.
  • Shia LeBeuof was the pits on SNL this past Saturday and Avril Lavigne looked bored to tears. The good news, however, is that Disturbia was the number one movie over the weekend. Not quite sure why though, as the movie is lame. In related news, how funny is it to hear Alec Baldwin mutter the phrase ‘mustache rides?’

So Nick Drake. The good stuff. The singer-songwriter, who committed suicide at the age of 26 in 1974, was relatively unknown during his lifetime. He left behind three suberb albums of acoustic folk music. His deep voice and lush string arrangements lent a haunting beauty to his records. Often times the melody and lyrics would work in contrast to one another. His most well known songs, thanks to a VW commercial a few years back and hipster wannabe Zack Braff, “Pink Moon” was about suicide though it you didn’t pay attention to the lyrics the melody sounded optimistic and even “One of These Things First” has the same bifurcated nature with it’s carefree vibe.

He has many diehard fans, and it’s often surprising that no one has yet make a biofilm of his too-short-life. Fans of his music often trek to the home of his parents to listen to demos and other rare recordings. Now they won’t have to. From Filter:

No longer do you have to go to Molly and Rodney Drake’s house to hear their son’s early reel-to-reel demos; yes, there are people who do this. Super fans of the late Nick Drake, June 19th is your day to rejoice. Unreleased collection Family Tree hits the shelves that day via Tsunami LG/Fontana.

The album is not only packed with unreleased early recordings and demos, but also a handful of covers- among them Bob Dylan’s “Tomorrow Is A Long Time”, Dave Van Ronk’s “If You Leave Me”, and Robin Frederick’s “Been Smokin’ Too Long.” The family aspect of Family Tree is fully realized with two tracks by Drake’s mother and the inclusion of a letter written by Drake’s sister Gabrielle, discussing life with Nick.

Can’t wait for this to drop. We love listening to demos and early recordings, at least to hear the evolution of a musician’s sound.

MP3: Nick Drake- “Cello Song”
MP3: Nick Drake – “Pink Moon”
MP3: Nick Drake – “Time of No Reply”

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