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Singer-Songwriter Ponders New York vs. LA

Remember the concept album? It still exists. Gabriel Kahane‘s latest, The Ambassador, is all about Los Angeles, with each track sung from the perspective of a specific Lalaland address. On the the title track, for exampe, Kahane embraces the POV of a doorman at the bygone Ambassador Hotel.

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The singer-songwriter has also penned a fun New Yorker essay on the age-old dismissal of Los Angeles by New Yorkers. He starts off with a good theory as to why that is:

The notion that LA is a place unsuitable for serious thought is one many of us cling to in order to justify the cramped and sometimes squalid conditions in which we live in New York…

I spent six years writing music (which, for most people, requires silence) in a small apartment one floor above a middle-aged couple whose domestic disputes frequently reached decibel levels that would not have been out of place on a tarmac at J.F.K. And there was the time when, working as a bartender, I watched my boss at a dingy midtown bar douse his genitals in vodka in order to “sterilize” himself after a basement assignation with a female patron, only to turn around and fire me an hour later for “overpouring” and thus wasting his liquor. I told myself that these were the wages of true artistry.

From there, the LA native moves to the topic or architecture. Already, there are some intriguing reader comments about the differences between LA and NYC. Read the full piece here. Kahane currently lives in Brooklyn.

[Image via: gabrielkahane.tumblr.com]

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