Awkward Press

Independent publishers of imaginative fiction and daily meditations on the ridiculousness of the universe.
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Archive for October, 2009

Visit Lit Drift for a Free Copy of Awkward One!

October 30, 2009 By: Category: Press, Publishing, Site Notices

Still waiting to purchase that copy of Awkward One? Well, if you play your cards right, you might not have to! The good people at Lit Drift will be giving away ONE COPY AND ONE COPY ONLY of our precious gem of a book as part of their ongoing “Free Book Friday” contest. All you have to do is comment and you’ll be in the pot.

Even if you have already picked up your copy, Lit Drift is a great book site run by wonderful human beings and you must check them out right now because your life depends on it. Seriously. Lit Drift or death. What’s it gonna be?

If you enter the contest and are not picked, don’t despair. You can still totally buy one here. We have, like, 3 or 4 copies left.

My Week of Many Shows Part 2: Regina Spektor/Jupiter One at the Greek Theater

October 29, 2009 By: Category: Greatest Hits, Music

regina3The piano is not an easy instrument to rock on stage. it’s difficult to jump when one is playing a piano, and, as everyone knows, the key to a dynamic live show is a lot of jumping. (See: Van Halen.)

We arrived at the Greek Theater at about 8:00. The Greek Theater is an outdoor amphitheater located in Griffith Park, about a mile up the hill from my apartment. When I say “up the hill,” I mean straight up. It’s not a walk for pansies. But the alternative is spending $15 to park a mile away from my apartment, and I, for one, simply do not cotton to that kind of behavior. I was with my wife, Sarah, and her dad, Bob who is visiting for a week from Louisville. I’d posted an earlier Regina video on Awkward Press that Bob fell in love with, so when we heard that Regina was here, we talked to people and made things happen. The people we talked to were Ticketmaster.

Jupiter One went on at 7:30. We decided to skip them because their name is terrible and the song I heard online sounded like Toad the Wet Sprocket crossed with a nap. The minute we arrived, we got right in the food and drink line. We stayed in this line until 8:30. The people at the Greek Theater are unconscionably slow. We watched disdainfully as everyone in front of us left the line with massive amounts of chicken fingers, hamburgers, pizza, and beers. It’s 8:30, dicks! Eat before the concert! And then we got to the front of the line and it took them 4 minutes to pour us 3 hot chocolates, which we had ordered because it’s freezing in L.A. right now. (Interesting fact: in L.A., water freezes at 65 degrees.)

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My Week of Many Shows Part 1: Sunset Rubdown/Tune-Yards at the Troubadour

October 28, 2009 By: Category: Greatest Hits, Music

tune-yardsI have seen a lot of bands play in my life, and I’m still on the fence about the experience. For every transcendent show I have attended, I’ve probably seen fifteen other shows that have me glancing at my watch after the second song. It’s not that I go see a bunch of bands I’ve never heard of, either; I will rarely see a band play unless I really like their record. But the whole process of seeing a show is just obnoxious; they always start an hour later than you think they’re going to (like, even after you’ve done the smart thing and shown up an hour late), there’s always a second opening band that wasn’t advertised, it takes forever to set up each band, the drinks are expensive, and you’re generally relegated to a 2 foot square piece of space behind some seven foot tall guy for 3 hours. It takes a rare talent to rise above these conditions and give me an experience worth my $20 ($75 after Ticketmaster fees).

But still, I keep coming back. Because the only way to hit that special show that you’ll remember forever is to wade through a lot of mediocrity. And this week, at age 34, I am finally hitting the apex of my band-watching experience. 5 shows at 5 different venues in 8 days. I know that’s a paltry sum compared to a CMJ or SXSW marathoner, but for a regular week that isn’t centered around a festival, that’s a lot of shows. Last night was Sunset Rubdown & Tune-Yards at the Troubadour, tonight is Regina Spektor & Jupiter 1 at the Greek Theater, tomorrow is The Antlers at the Bootleg Theater, Saturday is Dirty Projectors & Little Wings at the Jensen Rec Center Studio, and next Wednesday is the Pixies & No Age at the Palladium. These bands have released five of my favorite albums of the year, and they were considerate enough to space out their shows for me, so I figured I should try to hit them all.

Will I survive? After this week, will I be done with live music forever? I’ll admit, going out on the Pixies Doolittle tour ain’t a bad way to go. Fitting, even, since they were the first band that ever really blew my mind. But more about that next Thursday.

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Hooray for Clay

October 22, 2009 By: Category: Events

Here’s the thing about Awkward Press: we’re just three guys trying to scrape by on our looks and our desire to bring a little bit of entertainment into the world. When one is a founder of an independent publishing company, one does not expect to find oneself being lauded by the New York Times. Unless one is co-founder Clay McLeod Chapman, that is, who is currently sweeping the New York stage with the latest incarnation of his storytelling series The Pumpkin Pie Show. Two days ago, the Times wrote a rave review of Clay’s show, in which they say:

These are weird, creepy tales, but they are more than that. At his best, Mr. Chapman uses the macabre to explore the humanity of his characters and reveal an almost spiritual side to the horrific. Lovecraft once wrote that “the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown,” but in these stories, set in a banal, melancholy, lonely landscape, the unknown can also seem sublime.

Congratulations, Clay! You’ve earned it! As for the rest of you lot, if you’re looking for something to do to celebrate this year’s festival of Halloweenery, procure your tickets posthaste!

Oh, Oh Pinchot

October 21, 2009 By: Category: Heroes

Don't be redeckulouse, Coosin Lahry!

Don't be redeckulouse, Coosin Lahry!

I know you. You’re like, “wait, what? You disappear for weeks at a time and now you’re posting to tell us about Bronson Pinchot? What kind of a half-assed publishing company is this?” The answer is: a half-assed one. A thoroughly half-assed half-assed publishing company. With lots of books that still need to be purchased.

As I have said in multiple weepy apology posts, I am fully immersed in the world of green jobs right now and am falling behind in my Awkward duties. You would think Awkward was publishing this green jobs book, the way I talk about it. But no, this one is strickly 4 tha school kidz.

Anyhoo, the reason why I’m breaking my radio silence is because The Onion just did an interview with Bronson Pinchot that makes me love Bronson Pinchot forever. Here’s what he says about Tom Cruise:

He was tense and made constant, constant unrelated homophobic comments, like, “You want some ice cream, in case there are no gay people there?” I mean, his lingo was larded with the most… There was no basis for it. It was like, “It’s a nice day, I’m glad there are no gay people standing here.” Very, very strange.

Ha! I love that Tom Cruise would say, “It’s a nice day, I’m glad there are no gay people standing here.” I’m totally going to start using that. I have to go to the bank in a minute, and I think when the teller asks me how much I want to take out, I’m going to say, “I’d like $60, as long as no gay people are getting $60.”

This is awesome, too:

AVC: Eddie Murphy reportedly said after Coming To America that John Landis had a better chance of working with Vic Morrow again than with him. Was there tension between the two?

Vic Morrow is the guy who was killed in a helicopter crash during the segment John Landis directed for Twilight Zone: The Movie. Ha! You still got it, Eddie!

(Via HuffPo.)

Swine Flu Party in the USA

October 12, 2009 By: Category: News

I was just doing some research for an article I was writing about the swine flu, and I came across an article with this solid advice:

Other things to do to stay healthy during the flu season is to avoid swine flu parties, avoid physical contact with people known or suspected to be sick.

So when you get that evite that says, “Come to my swine flu party! I promise you won’t get swine flu!” DON’T GO. I mean, respond with a “maybe” so as not to hurt your friend’s feelings. No reason to be a dick about it.

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Awkward On the Shelves / Submissions Announcement

October 02, 2009 By: Category: Publishing, Site Notices

A "public option", good sir? At long last, have you no decency left?

A "public option", good sir? At long last, have you no decency left?

Yes, I’ve been away for awhile. It probably won’t get much better for a couple of months. I’ve been furiously slaving away on my Green Jobs book. Which has nothing to do with Awkward, but everything to do with whether or not I will be able to eat. Well, maybe not eat, because I’m not really that poor. More like it is has everything to do with whether or not I will be able to afford the HD channels in my cable package.

Speaking of, how about this healthcare thing, huh? Crazy. I don’t really care what kind of “package” we end up getting, just so long as the status quo is maintained. If there’s one thing about our country that’s great, it’s how I have to spend two hours on the phone arguing with my insurance company every time I go to see a doctor. That’s how the founding fathers would have wanted it. There’s that great story in The People’s History of America where Thomas Jefferson goes to the doctor and he’s like, “what is this? You bleed me without asking for recompense, sir? Back to England with ye!” (Little known fact: Thomas Jefferson was part pirate.)

I haven’t rapped at ya’ about Awkward for awhile, but we are still very much alive and needing your support. Sales have been pretty slow since our party in New York, I think partly because I have stopped talking about it incessantly. If you have not bought a copy yet, I truly recommend doing so. Not just because I have a hilarious and mind-blowing story in the collection, but because it is a cover-to-cover masterpiece that children of all ages and mental abilities can enjoy. To that end:

1) We’re in a store! Just one. The one store that I happen to walk past on my way to work every day. Skylight Books, the best independent bookstore in Los Angeles, now has 5 copies of Awkward One. If you live in L.A. and don’t own a copy yet, please stop in and buy one so they will think we’re popular! If you don’t live in Los Angeles, buy it here! Now! Now now now!

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Letterman’s Blackmailing Scandal

October 02, 2009 By: Category: Videos

This is going to be everywhere today, but I’m reposting it because it’s well worth watching. David Letterman was blackmailed for sleeping with Stefanie the assistant and he talked about it in a surprisingly candid way last night. Which is interesting, because Letterman guards his personal life so closely. I don’t know. Maybe it isn’t that interesting. Maybe we shouldn’t care. I guess it’s just nice to see a tiny bit of honesty sneak through on television every once in awhile.


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