tremble clef

Monday, October 03, 2005

Late Night Alumni, "Empty Streets" (2003)

Years ago, a friend wanted to bring a copy of Thoreau to read when we visited Walden Pond, and was annoyed when I pointed out what a cliché that would have been. You wouldn't think that a 300-page paperback would hurt, but I'm here to tell you it can be painful when hurled with enough force at your noggin.

However: should your iPod's shuffle function decide to play "Empty Streets" while you're walking home at dead of night, you can forgive the gadget (or yourself, since we all know that the iPod can read its owner's mind) for the obviousness. It would in fact be eerily effective, since, aside from its lyric, the song sounds like a deserted 3 am street. I'm not sure why the shuffling syncopated beat, the beautifully echoing keyboard notes, the drowsy slurred vocals, or the rueful lyric ("If this love's not meant to be/If a heart's not ready to open," and perhaps even better, "It's a quiet time before the dawn/And I'm half-past making sense of it") perfectly soundtrack that scene, but they do.

Although this Late Night Alumni track is just now getting released as a single, to promote the album of the same name, it's been knocking around for a couple of years. I first heard it on the 2003 edition of Hedkandi's Beach House series, on which it was a clear standout. It was certainly a great introduction to the band, which comprises the two guys from Kaskade (Ryan Raddon and Finn Bjarnson), along with John Hancock (yes, really) and vocalist Becky Jean Williams. Over the past two years, more tracks have nepotistically appeared on Hedkandi compilations, and most have been great. ("Seemingly Sleepy" especially.) Of course, one problem is that as a result I now have 7 of the 12 album tracks, and am thus slightly discouraged from buying the album itself. If only there was a way to just get the other 5 tracks, *cough*.


  • Perhaps it's something about Massachusetts that inspires these book place-cliche urges -- when I visited Harvard for the first time. lo these many years ago, I was all about having a copy of The Sound and the Fury.

    By Anonymous aurora floyd, at 7:49 AM  

  • True. When I was there I kept walking around screaming, "Once a BITCH always a BITCH, WHAT I SAY!!!"

    By Blogger Brittle, at 9:10 AM  

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