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advice sought from Nick Drake nerd

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Big Al Whittle 17 Dec 11 - 05:05 PM
Phil Edwards 17 Dec 11 - 05:57 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Dec 11 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,http://www.youtube.com/minidocj 23 Dec 11 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 23 Dec 11 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,Colin Holt 23 Dec 11 - 09:06 AM
michaelr 23 Dec 11 - 09:14 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Dec 11 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,Colin Holt 23 Dec 11 - 10:35 AM
GUEST 23 Dec 11 - 10:36 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Dec 11 - 03:54 AM
Phil Edwards 24 Dec 11 - 07:21 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Dec 11 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,matt milton 24 Dec 11 - 12:30 PM
Phil Edwards 24 Dec 11 - 06:48 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Dec 11 - 08:20 AM
Phil Edwards 25 Dec 11 - 03:32 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Dec 11 - 03:34 PM
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Subject: advice sought from Nick Drake nerd
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Dec 11 - 05:05 PM

I've just gotten into Nick Drake and his work. I've got the three main albums.

Which is the next best one to have, Time of No Reply or I was made to love Magic?

I bought the introductory album first off - but I was tight and bought a second hand version that's got jumps on it. I wish I'd bought Fruit Tree compilation now to start off with - rather than get them all separate.


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Subject: RE: advice sought from Nick Drake nerd
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 17 Dec 11 - 05:57 PM

IWMTLMagic is a slightly messed-about remake of TONR with a few alternative takes & couple of posthumously-added string arrangements. On that basis you should probably go for TONR. On the other hand, ...Magic will almost certainly sound better than TONR (at least, if you get TONR on CD) - and although some of the tracks on it have been messed about with, the messing-about has been done by people who know and love the music. Also, it includes one track which isn't available on TONR, or indeed anywhere else. Read this interview with Cally (of Island Records) & see what you think.


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Subject: RE: advice sought from Nick Drake nerd
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Dec 11 - 08:19 PM

Thanks Pip. I've joined Robin Fredericks facebook page. thanks for the link and the advice.


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Subject: RE: advice sought from Nick Drake nerd
From: GUEST,http://www.youtube.com/minidocj
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 07:36 AM

i recommend the Family Tree album if you wana get even further in to ND's concept... TONR is also a valuable document, no doubt.


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Subject: RE: advice sought from Nick Drake nerd
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 08:01 AM

Looking forward to hearing the ND influence in future BAW songs (emoticon inserted here, smiling, best wishes etc.).


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Subject: RE: advice sought from Nick Drake nerd
From: GUEST,Colin Holt
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 09:06 AM

Its ironic isn't it...Fans always want more, and it seems to me that Drake stuff released since the first Fruit Tree compilation has been reeling in punters over the years, feeding a thirst.( and making the industry a considerable sum)
Most of the stuff is inferior, and was never expected, least of all by Nick Drake himself, to be commercially available.
I've loved Nick Drakes music since I first heard Five Leaves left as a student in the 70's.To me its timeless, and I never tire of it.
I would advise just buy the three glorious albums, and leave it there


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Subject: RE: advice sought from Nick Drake nerd
From: michaelr
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 09:14 AM

What Colin said -- unless you're an obsessive completist or trying to decipher Nick's guitar technique.


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Subject: RE: advice sought from Nick Drake nerd
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 09:36 AM

To me the music is like some exotic stone you find on the beach. As a guitarist (wouldn't call myself a musician in any real sense apart from a working one for most of my life - most music teachers have a better musical education than I had) - Nick's guitar style is terribly intense - rhythmic rather than melodic - but with extraordinarily complex chord shapes and sequences. Its almost like he wrestled with the guitar and brought forth beauty.

At this stage, i'm just looking for clues.


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Subject: RE: advice sought from Nick Drake nerd
From: GUEST,Colin Holt
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 10:35 AM

Big Al,
The clues are all in the tunings... baffled me for years. However look no further than the "Nick Drake Song Collection "..a song book.. try Amazon..Some clever chap has worked them all out, and believe me the open tunings open up the eye to some wonderful colourings and textures, and of course the secrets behind playing the songs.. From a guitarist point of view, it helps with the left hand (If you are right handed)some , once worked out are surprisingly simple... But it can't help with the right hand .....Drake could have seperate rhythms going at the same time with his right hand.No book will ever fathom that ...so....Good luck


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Subject: RE: advice sought from Nick Drake nerd
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 10:36 AM

Get Family Tree then - hear Nick playing through his influences (Bert Jansch, Jackson C Frank, Dylan et al)

Funnily enough, Family Tree is fast becoming my favourite "Nick Drake" album.

I put in the scare quotes because there's two songs by his mum on there. And they're lovely.

Family Tree works almost like a concept album, about time, impermanence, naivety, familial influence and other things. It's great.

Although I would disagree with you that his playing is "ryhthmic rather than melodic". I can think of plenty of much more "rhythmic" acoustic guitarists; and can't think of many acoustic guitarists with as interesting melodies as ND.


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Subject: RE: advice sought from Nick Drake nerd
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 03:54 AM

The only song I've settled to is TONR. And I found one of the chords an absolute bitch. It was a full week before I was hitting it right. I have a variax - so I may mess about with that BEBEBE tuning. I have programmed it in as one of the sttings on the variax. I doubt I will ever perform TONR, except at home.

The variax would have been a boon to Nick - with his love of open tunings. And he didn't really use the dynamic range of the guitar much - so the artificiality of it wouldn't have worried him and would have made performing less daunting. That's the way with technology - always too late on the scene. Django would have loved the limitless volume of the variax, when he was being drowned out by pissed up American and English servicemen after the war.

Sweeney - don't believe Nick will be a big influence on me . We are very different writers. His influences as a lyricist were apparently symbolist poets and fairly obviously Bob Dylan, at his most obscure. Its all about moods and spitituality and truth.

I didn't start song writing properly till I was in my mid twenties. My big influence was Woody Guthrie. I loved the way he wrote about the world he inhabited in a very accessible way, and that's really what I picked up from MacColl as well. I like writing about the world in a very concrete and immediately understandable way.

Obviously we have different notions of what constitutes - rhythmic and melodic playing, Guest. Its true the chord sequences are pretty fancy in ND. however its still that propulsive thing driving the music forward. He's not doing that clockwork business of playing counter melodies - like the classical players do.

in the end though - if you think, he's melodic - fair enough. Your opinion, and you seem to know your subject.

Theres a coffee bar in Dorchester run by a Nick Drake fan, he calls it Bryter Latte. He lives in a cottage in Drake Lane, in Pink Moon Cottage. I'm hoping to start some folk sessions there in Bryter Latte in the New Year. can't resist it!

Thanks for your help everyone - I will check out that book! And happy Christmas!


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Subject: RE: advice sought from Nick Drake nerd
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 07:21 AM

Theres a coffee bar in Dorchester run by a Nick Drake fan, he calls it Bryter Latte.

Ouch.

He lives in a cottage in Drake Lane, in Pink Moon Cottage.

Really ouch - "Pink Moon" is a horrible song, the perpetual loser consoling himself with the thought of cosmic vengeance on everyone else. Beautiful, and I love it dearly, but still. I wouldn't trust anyone who identified with that song. (I sing "Which will" sometimes myself, but I'm aware of what it puts me in touch with, & I know it's not very nice.)

As for whether the 'other' albums have anything decent on them, personally I wouldn't be without "TONR", "Clothes of Sand" or "Joey" - not to mention the 'last' four (five?) songs - so that's a pretty good hit-rate.


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Subject: RE: advice sought from Nick Drake nerd
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 08:22 AM

That book is on Amazon for £150 - £80 for a second hand copy.

I'm interested, just not that wealthy!

Hold onto your copy if you've got one - although it might be a good time to sell, before they reissue.


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Subject: RE: advice sought from Nick Drake nerd
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 12:30 PM

I think Pip is being a bit festively Scrooge-like.

"Bryter Latte" is indeed a terrible pun, but I personally think terrible puns are the best kind!

I don't interpret Pink Moon the way you do Phil:

I saw it written and I saw it say
Pink moon is on it's way
And none of you stand so tall
Pink moon gonna get you all
It's a pink moon
Hey, it's a pink moon
It's a pink, pink, pink, pink, pink moon.
It's a pink, pink, pink, pink, pink moon.

I saw it written and I saw it say
Pink moon is on it's way
And none of you stand so tall
Pink moon gonna get you all
It's a pink moon
Yeah, it's a pink moon

I always think of it as an "I'm doomed" song, like "Black Dog". Or, at a pinch, a "we're doomed" song. Never occurred to me to take the "you"s literally. ("You" is anyway often used to mean "us" ["one"], as in "you do this", "you do that".] He certainly doesn't sing it with any kind of spite or satisfaction: he sings it in that gentle, world-weary, 'I've been up all night', 'I'm totally defeated' voice that is his default.

And anyway, the words say "I saw it written ... none of you stand so tall", so it's reporting something, not making a threat.

That said, I don't think the lyrics bear much scrutiny. Usual mix of non-specific New Testament-ish imagery and slightly blues-ish imagery. As an apocalyptic symbol, a "pink moon" is a fairly pallid, atrophied one (ie it's hardly a "blood red sun" or whatever...) But maybe that's appropriate, given Drake's lackadaisical personality and otherworldliness.


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Subject: RE: advice sought from Nick Drake nerd
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 06:48 PM

Well, it's easy to over-interpret Nick Drake's songs, particularly the ones on Pink Moon - there's so little there. I got into Nick Drake in the first place after reading a profile in a borrowed copy of the London Magazine which confidently stated that "the road that will see me through" was a reference to suicide - even then, without having heard the song, I thought that was a stretch.

But I think Joey Barton had a point about suicides, & depression more generally (and I speak as someone who's been there, at least for a visit) - there's a nasty, spiteful, passive-aggressive element to it, even though it doesn't bring any satisfaction to the sufferer. And I think Pink Moon is a very dark album. "Northern Sky" is the song of someone who's known a lot of pain and neglect and a few moments of peace, and feels genuinely baffled that the world can't be like that more often. "Which will" is the song of someone who doesn't hope for anything any more, except for making make damn sure that they're sorry when he's gone.


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Subject: RE: advice sought from Nick Drake nerd
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 08:20 AM

The first time I saw Bryter Latte, I was going some where, but I made a note to investigate. Anyway I e-mailed the guy and that's how I met him. I think it would be nice to have a coffee bar where all the Nick Drake fans could hang out.

You could always let other people in as well, till you got going.


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Subject: RE: advice sought from Nick Drake nerd
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 03:32 PM

You could always let other people in as well, till you got going.

I didn't know you'd run a folk club!


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Subject: RE: advice sought from Nick Drake nerd
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 03:34 PM

Many times over the years.


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