Saturday, September 02, 2006

And while we’re on the subject of things I hate (I’m having a bad day and it’s better that the Blogmos bare the brunt, rather than nearest and dearest) let’s have a quick shufti at Nick bleedin’ Drake shall we?

Has there ever been a duller slab of sound than “Five Leaves Left”? Saw, saw, saw, scrape, scrape goes the droning cello, strummity-strum-strum, the dull guitar, mumble, carp, quaver goes the supremely flat voice as one track blurs somnambulisticly into the next. The musical equivalent of getting caught in the rain on the way to the corner shop, of sleeping in somebody else’s wet patch, of answering the telephone only to find that your recently divorced friend has “ just rung up for a chat.” Thankfully someone stole my copy years ago.

And what about “Bryter Later”? Tellingly Moby’s favourite record, which has, equally tellingly, been larded over the “ poignant” homecoming/ meeting childhood sweetheart/ epiphanic “it’s not ALL bad” bitter-sweet conclusion in just about every sub-Dave Eggers whimsical U.S Indy movie (“Life in Suburbia bites but like is strangely magical too, huh, go figure!”) for the past five years. “One of these things first” (“hey it’s about like, re-incarnation, yeah?”) is one of the most, outright-annoying “great” songs ever attributed to a major artiste, ( “Could have been a car park, could have been a dog, could have been a raincoat, could have been a log.” Why stop there? It could go on forever, Nick, with this kind of limited poetic ambition. There are a million things you could have been first, let’s see.. (The Impostume scans room) “Could have been a teacup, could have been a mouse (glances to left) ”Could have been a telephone, (glances out of window) could have been a house.”)

Even mentioning him in the same breath as Tim Buckley as a comparably great, lost artist of the Sixties is a crime against humanity. Does Drake have anything to compare to “Song to the Siren” (ahh, but then who does?) even “Buzzin’ Fly”? Does he have anything to match the range and ambition of Buckley’s stuff, from folk troubadour through free-jazz cosmonaut to salacious, dry-humping funk-dawg. He’s terribly limited in range and tone, a ginger English miserabilist whose apparent “darkness” and hermetic, White-goddess worshipping ways certainly don’t come across in his songs and seem like a post-hoc salvaging of depth from the untimely death of a second rate songwriter/long-fingernailed, cloistered nutter.

Ok! That’s it. Saint Ettiene, Scritti, Japan, Nick Drake. I’ve got it all out now, no more bile, I promise. I shall only focus on the positive from now on, having exorcised all my Pet Hates.

Pet Hates…hmmm

Uh-oh. That reminds me.. the bleeding Beach Boys!!!!

1 comment:

Samuel said...

Well, if you don't do fey, then you'll probably never understand my current Scritti obsession.

I would say, however, that basing a hatred of GG and the Traitorous Three on the "Cupid and Psyche" era singles is somewhat unfair. That stuff is strictly for those of us who are already "on the crack". If you really feel like giving Scritlock a shot, start with "Early" before moving on to "Songs to Remember" and/or "White Bread..." And, for God's sake, listen to the words!

I personally have a high tolerance for fey and I love Nick Drake and the Beach Boys BUT BUT BUT *prefer* Tim Buckley.

I'm working on a Buckley-related post right now, in fact.