We’re doing a bit of maintenance this morning, switching my weekly 1000 Minutes post from Tuesday to Monday, and moving our list of New Releases to Tuesday. It’s nothing drastic, but in the States, new music comes out on Tuesdays, not Mondays like it does elsewhere, so it makes sense to rearrange.
Anyway, if you’re unfamiliar with what it is we’re doing with these posts, check out the backstory here, and once you’re filled in, read on.
While it’s fashionable to be a fan of Neutral Milk Hotel’s seminal album, I’ve never been particularly enamored of it. Re-listening to it after not bothering for a few years, I can see why people enjoy it, but I’m still unmoved on the whole.
With that said, “The King of Carrot Flowers Pt. One” is the exception on the album. It reminds me of a short story in Nick Hornby’s Speaking with the Angel collection by Patrick Marber entitled “Peter Shelley.” The story is about a kid losing his virginity to a Buzzcocks single, and there’s no mention of a father in it, so for no real reason, the story and the song are connected in my mind. I like the story, and I like the song because it reminds me of the story. And then the line where Mangum sings:
“And this is the room one afternoon I knew I could love you, and from above you how I sank into your soul – into that secret place where no one dares to go.”
It’s pretty fantastic.
When Nick Drake came back into fashion a few years ago, I got into him deeper than a cursory listen. I bought up all three of his albums, and the posthumous Time of No Reply, fascinated with how broken Mr. Drake’s lyrics were, contrasted with how gorgeous his guitar playing was.
Just after the well-known “Pink Moon” on the album of the same name, is the lovely and heartbreaking “Place To Be.” It’s unrequited, unreturned love at its most breathless, and the sadness that courses through it is contrasted by the striking music.