Song #56: Stuyvesant – “3AM”

October 19, 2020
Song #56: Stuyvesant – “3AM”

I’ve got a weird schedule. Which is partially why there are two entries today.

Years ago, I read a story in some magazine about a scientist who decided to take the adage “There’s not enough time in the day” literally, by expanding his “day” by one hour, living in 25-hour days. I don’t even recall if the story was fiction or nonfiction, but basically, he created his own clock and his own calendar, and then set about the business of living an extra hour each day. I don’t recall many specifics of how he did it, I just remember the results: at first, it was quirky and weird. Then, his days became out of sync with the people around him; he would go long stretches where he was working while everyone he knew was sleeping. His family and social life became a mess as he could not coordinate a schedule with others. The story – and the experiment – ended with his suicide.

My schedule is not really a schedule, I guess. I am productive sometimes, and unproductive others, and have always been that way, and so I’ve learned to just go with it. When I’m getting things done, I work until I’m finished. I go to sleep when it seems like it’s too late to be up, and I wake up when I feel like I’m finished sleeping. I stop for lunch, I stop to spend time with family and friends at a logical hour. Sometimes I’ll sleep twice in a day, other times I’ll sleep three or four hours and then take a nap sometime in the afternoon, sometimes I go to sleep and wake at a normal hour. When I’m unproductive, I’m really unproductive. When I’m productive, I can accomplish more in a day than most people do in two days, mostly because I’m up for 20 hours. I’ve always been this way, it’s just taken me a while to figure out how to embrace it.

The result of this is that I’m often awake at 3AM, and whenever I am, and happen to notice the time, Stuyvesant’s “3AM” suddenly begins playing in my head. It’s my favorite song on the Shmyvesant album besides “Hellbent for Heather,” and definitely one of my favorite Stuyvesant songs.

Still image from the Stuyvesant “3AM” video by D. Smith

The first time I heard this song, the band opened with it at the Court Tavern in New Brunswick. It was one of the last shows I ever saw at the Court, on a cold night in February of 2013. Though we didn’t get there nearly enough, the Court was one of my favorite venues, partially because of the multiple levels (you could sit upstairs at the bar and talk, or go downstairs for the music), partially because the room sounded great, and partially because there was really convenient parking. This particular show was with Eastern Anchors and The Anderson Council (who also played a song that resonated with me that night, “Gardening Man”).

Stuyvesant opened with the song, which featured excellent vocal interplay between Ralph and Sean, just loads of hooks at a breakneck pace. That night was the night I felt like Stuyvesant was at its absolute peak as a band, I felt they were the best band in New Jersey at the time. The studio version of the song features saxophones by Scott Zilitto (The Everymen) and Greg Vegas (Monsterland, Savak), and became one of the songs we emphasized when marketing the album. Dan Smith, who at the time was experimenting with making music videos using license-free video, created a sort of dreamy video around the line “It’s 3AM inside her head,” and the single got its premiere on some website I’d never heard of.

Because of the catchiness of the song, and my wacky schedule, I don’t think there’s any other Dromedary song that’s stuck in my head more often – my head hits the pillow with “3AM” playing in it a couple of times a week. As a result, I wake up with “3AM” playing in my head pretty frequently as well.

Give it a listen, maybe it’ll play in yours, too.

~ by Al on October 19, 2020.

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