Gabriel Kahane’s newest album, The Ambassador, was recently released on Sony Masterworks. Each of its ten songs tells a story about a specific venue or locale in his hometown of Los Angeles, California. And each is complete with an actual parenthetical street address. Song titles include “Muss and Frank (6667 Hollywood Blvd)” and “Black Garden (2673 Dundee Pl.)”. Theoretically, you could drive to each of these places and see just what the heck he’s singing about. Clever.
Mr. Kahane is a literate fella. He attended the esteemed New England Conservatory and later transferred to Brown University. He has written a full length, classical musical. Apparently, people still do that, which is pretty awesome. He was also recently put in charge of finishing the Public Theater’s commissioned musical, February House.
His lyrics and singing style have a fair amount in common with Josh Ritter. The opening verse of “Ambassador Hotel” is particularly Ritter-esque:
I am the night watchman, I stand by the door
some 15,000 nights I have stood here for
for all of you actuaries that’s 46 years
they’ll be closing up the hotel when the morning sun appears
RIYL: Josh Ritter, Ryan Adams, Josh Rouse, Clem Snide, good music