LANE: He likes Nick Drake and Liz Phair and The Sugarplastic
Nicholas “Nick”Drake (1948-1974) was an English singer-songwriter known for his acoustic guitar-based folk music. He produced three albums between 1969 and 1972, none of which were a commercial success, partly because Drake was reluctant to perform live or give interviews to promote his work. Suffering from major depression, he committed suicide by overdosing on prescribed antidepressants at the age of 26.
He remained somewhat obscure, although his work was re-released after his death, gathering him new fans as a doomed romantic hero. By the 1980s he was cited as a musical influence by artists such as David Sylvian and Robert Smith, and had gained critical appreciation; a “best of” compilation album was released in the 1990s. His career had a posthumous revival after his song Pink Moon was used in a 1999 Volkwagen Cabrio commercial, aimed at young people. Since then he has sold more than 2 million albums and downloads.
We can assume that Dean was one of the young people who became instant Nick Drake fans after seeing the VW commercial. As we later disover Dean is a car fanatic, it makes sense that he would discover a favourite singer through a car.
Liz Phair (born Elizabeth Phair in 1967) [pictured] is an American indie rock singer-songwriter. Her first album, Exile in Guyville, came out in 1993 to critical acclaim, and was hailed as a landmark in alternative rock. Her 1994 second album, Whip-Smart, brought her mainstream attention, and is her most commercially successful album. In 2000 her most recent album would have been Whitechocolatespaceegg (1998).
Liz Phair was born in New Haven, Connecticut, but grew up in Winnetka, a wealthy village just outside Chicago – it was a favourite film location for director John Hughes, as seen in movies such as Home Alone, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles. Liz Phair may have been chosen as a favourite singer for Dean because she is connected with both Chicago and Connecticut, his birthplace and later home.
The Sugarplastic is an alternative rock band founded in 1989 by Ben Eshbach and Kiara Geller. Their first album came out in 1995, and their third album, Resin, in April 2000. The most genuinely obscure of Dean’s choices, he may have become a fan quite recently. His indie/alternative tastes in music make him seem like a worthy beau for Rory. For now …