I’ve been listening to Nick Drake on and off for a long time. But Helen – Mom to Billy – has just gotten into him – Nick Drake, that is. She’s been playing our records of him over and over. At times he can be too artsy and ethereal. But he does weave a certain irresistible magic when the melody suits his voice, and the lyrics aren’t so much Blake-and-water. Right now Helen is obsessed with “Fly” off Bryter Layter, the album where he plays with some Fairport Convention folks, John Cale, and a couple Beach Boys (at least I thinks so?!).
I wonder if her mind was primed to like that song by the touching and somehow not-all-that-creepy scene in The Royal Tennebaums, where the siblings declare their love to each other. (Remember when Royal was asked about being in love with your step-sibling: “I think that’s frowned on . . . of course, what isn’t these days?”) The Rolling Stones tune “She Smiled Sweetly” plays next.
But it’s hard not to favor the scene with “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” – “I’m not talking about dance lessons; I’m talking about putting a brick through another guy’s window.”