“Those L.A. Nights”

I’ve been working on this song for the last month or two, and though I wrote most of the words in one sitting, the song never quite clicked with me, so I’ve been rewriting and rearranging it. It’s inspired in part by a visit to L.A. with my wife over the summer. We went to Alfred, a Melrose Place coffee shop that is ridiculous as only things in L.A. are ridiculous, and that gets a mention in the song. I’d worked out the whole story: a guy moves to L.A. with his girlfriend, but after partying and doing drugs and sleeping around for a year or two she goes back to Illinois, and he’s still in L.A., living the life. But I couldn’t decide whether to play it fast or slow, country, rock, or (God forbid) country-rock. I ended up bringing it up a half-step to E and speeding it up, and I recorded it on my phone this afternoon and decided I like it this way: faster, and with an instrumental chorus the second time around.

I’d originally conceived of a John Darnielle-type project where I would write a series of “Nights” songs about different places. So far there are two: this one, and “Oklahoma Nights.” I’m not sure I’m going to continue the project, as it seems a little too programmatic, though I’m glad it got me to write a couple songs.

I stole what might be the best line in the song from a Jon Langford song, “Sugar on Your Tongue.”

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