Like so many New Yorkers before him, musician Gabriel Kahane sniffed at Los Angeles as a "den of the superficial" before actually visiting, falling in love, and creating an ambitious piece of art dedicated to its charms. His album The Ambassador, named for the late great Koreatown hotel where Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, has 10 songs, each about a place in Los Angeles (they even have parenthetical addresses in their titles), from the Bradbury Building to Griffith Park to Richard Neutra's Lovell House. (Find the map of locations down below or here on its website.) Songs refer to Raymond Chandler; Joan Crawford; Rutger Hauer of Blade Runner fame; and Latasha Harlins, the black teenager shot by a store clerk in 1991, shortly after the Rodney King beating; the liner notes come from LA Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne.
Still, this is apparently not an album for Angelenos—Kahane told the Wall Street Journal "I guess in some modest way, I'm trying to be an ambassador for Los Angeles in New York." The Ambassador is set to become a stage production, "to be performed at a handful of venues across the country, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, in the fall."