The Best Song I Heard On The Way To Work Today: Link Wray "The Shadow Knows"

What do you when you wake up at 3:30 in the morning for some stupid reason, and you can't fall back asleep for some even stupider reason, so after two stupid, miserable hours you get out of bed and start your day while it's still very dark outside, and then when it's finally time for the sun be rising, it doesn't, not really, because it's gloomy and cloudy and starting to rain, and you check the weather report and it says it's going to be a high of 60 degrees, so you realize your going to have to wear your overcoat to work for the first time since last winter, and you're generally in a pretty crappy mood? If you're like me (which is to say, a giant dork), once you get out into the dank, cold city, you put up the collar of your overcoat, and pretend to be a mysterious noir-era detective on your way to the subway. And do you know what song you should cue up on your iPod when you do this? Link Wray's 1964 guitar-based instrumental, "The Shadow Knows. The Shadow was a old radio show from almost a hundred years ago. The titular character (I always giggle to myself when I type that, of course, because: see prior parenthetical aside) was a sort of super-hero, but he was very creepy, because... well, I guess because he always spying on everybody? Like, some kind of a proto-stalker, I guess? But he would catch bad guys, so he was a good guy. (In the binary world of old time radio shows.)

The show's tagline was "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men... The Shadow knows!" My mom always used to say that to me when I was a kid, make her voice all Hollywood-villain sounding and be like, "The Shadow knows..." I don't know. Maybe she was trying to let me know she always had her eye on me or something, so I wouldn't get into mischief. Anyway, so Link Wray—who is like the original rock-n-roll badass. Like, way badder-ass than Elvis and them. He basically invented electric guitar playing in the 50's. Or, at least, the best kind of electric guitar playing, all screatchy and scratchy and distorted and echoey, way low down-and-dirty... So Link Wray made a song a about "The Shadow" and it's totally awesome with a real spooky organ whooooing in the background like a ghost. And if you're walking around the early-morning (waaaay-too-early-morning!) streets in your city and it's all wet and dark, you can listen to it and pretend to have a more exciting life than you do.

I mean, if that's your kind of thing.  

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