Tag Archives: Nothing

Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon” with Artists on Bandcamp

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Nick Drake was the kind of musician other artists dream of being—and, in some ways, fear becoming. Largely unknown during his 26 years on this planet, Drake’s dark-yet-delicate music returned to public consciousness more than twenty-five years after his 1974 suicide, when the title track of his final record, Pink Moon (1972), was included in a dreamy 2000 Volkswagen commercial hawking the Cabrio convertible. Seventeen years later—and 45 after Pink Moon’s release—a diverse cross-section of musicians are still citing Drake as an influence.

In many ways, though his path was different than both of theirs, Drake was a kindred spirit to artists like Kurt Cobain and Elliott Smith (who also owes quite a bit of his spare, haunting sound to Drake). He was deeply in love with music, hungered for success, but, in many ways, shrank from the trappings of music stardom. As a result, he died “thinking he was a failure,” as his sister Gabrielle said in a 2015 interview with Esquire.

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Nothing Break the Bad Luck Streak

Nothing
photo by Jimmy Hubbard

“I wanted to be in bands that sounded like Slowdive and Ride and Catherine Wheel, I just couldn’t quite figure out how to do it.” —Nicky Palermo

To Nicky Palermo, the frontman of Philadelphia shoegaze quartet Nothing, the whole world is bleak: “It’s a tragic life with brief glimpses of happiness here and there, and you smile when you can. You just try to cope with the rest.”

That attitude might sound pessimistic, but consider the events that led to Tired of Tomorrow, Nothing’s excellent sophomore LP. After playing a set in Oakland in May, Palermo was hospitalized when five men beat and robbed him, fracturing his skull and his spine. Around the same time, Nothing’s bassist, Nick Bassett, lost his mother (Palermo’s father had passed away before the release of 2014’s Guilty of Everything). Palermo couldn’t even get to the studio in Philadelphia where the band was set to start tracking Tired of Tomorrow until his swollen brain reduced enough to make the flight. So he laid in his hospital bed, “hooked up to anesthesia, and morphine, and Demerol, and pain pills, and all the stuff that makes things just a little bit more confusing,” and tried to make sense of the situation.

“There were a lot of thoughts going on at that point,” Palermo says, reflecting on his time in the hospital. “No one really knew what the next step was going to be from there.”

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