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.
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.