Awkward Press

Independent publishers of imaginative fiction and daily meditations on the ridiculousness of the universe.

Archive for November, 2009

What Are You Doing for Thanksgiving?

November 25, 2009 By: Category: Events

I’ll tell you what Awkward Press is doing … co-hosting a KICK-ASS READING at HAPPY ENDING, that’s what!

Okay, the reading won’t technically take place on Thanksgiving … it’s happening December 1st. And it has nothing to do with Thanksgiving. But it is a celebration for which you will be most thankful. And there will be pie!*

*There won’t actually be pie. I’m just making that up. The pie is that there is no pie. But there will be 4 incredible readers reading incredible things that you won’t hear anywhere else.



Tuesday, December 1st — 8 PM
(doors open at 7 PM)
at Happy Ending
302 Broome Street
New York


Julius Singer Press and Awkward Press team up to present “Old Notebooks,” an evening of readings by authors Sara Jaffe (The Art of Touring), Chris Leo (Feathers Like Leather), Zack Lipez (No Seats On The Party Car) and Jason Diamond ( In addition to reading from their published works, our writers will have a chance to dust off something buried within their old notebooks, something they’ve never read from before, something they never intended to see the light of day. Ever.

My Week of Many Shows Part 5: Vampire Weekend at Hollenbeck Park Bandshell

November 19, 2009 By: Category: Greatest Hits, Music

vampire-weekendPoor Vampire Weekend. First everyone said they were the most amazing thing to happen to music since the hollow log. Then your mom bought the album, and everyone said they were overrated garbage. Well, ya’ know what? Your mom was right. I don’t care what it does to my H.Q. (hipster quotient), Vampire Weekend’s first album was an excellent record. Yeah, it was made by a bunch of rich (has that ever been confirmed?) Columbia University students who sing about things like going to college and hanging out on Cape Cod, and yeah, it’s heavily influenced by African music even though none of the members are from Africa, and yeah, they got inordinately successful in a short amount of time. But who really cares, when they do what they do so well? They are not trying to present themselves as anyone other than who they are. And as to the criticism about them appropriating African music, that’s just rock n’ roll. It’s no different to me than Led Zeppelin appropriating the blues or David Lee Roth appropriating being gay.

That having been said, when Eric initially called and told me that Vampire Weekend was playing a free surprise show in a tiny amphitheater in Boyle Heights, I didn’t immediately jump at the chance to go to it. I was getting tired from my Week of Many Shows and I was anticipating having to fight with crowds of people to get a spot. Until Sarah reminded me that we live in Los Angeles, and people don’t do things here. I mean, that’s not exactly true. People in LA do plenty of things. There are lots of things to do here and when I do things, I often see people there. But they don’t do things like rush out the door to hit a last-minute free concert, particularly if that concert starts on time. People in LA don’t like sudden movements. They like to make plans weeks in advance and then skip out on them.


My Week of Many Shows Part 4: Dirty Projectors/Little Wings at Jensen RecCenter Studio

November 12, 2009 By: Category: Greatest Hits, Music

149428.Dirty Projectors CoverartHalloween is a great concept, but it often suffers from the curse of heightened expectations. There’s a lot of pressure on Halloween, not the least of which is coming up with a sweet costume. It’s especially difficult when the people you roll with fancy themselves artists, because artists are better at making things than you are. As a writer, I’m really good at describing things, but not so skilled at making them. If Halloween only existed on paper, I might stand a good chance at winning first prize in the costume contest, but not so much in the real world where you’re expected to actually assemble the things you see in your head.

I’ve only experienced a handful of really good Halloweens in my adult life. My first Halloween in New York, back in 1998, was a good one. The evening began at my friend Matt’s friend Matthew’s place in the East Village. That isn’t a typo, Matt’s friend was named Matthew. I didn’t know anyone, but there were a couple of cute girls there. I don’t remember my costume. I’m sure it was something that was supposed to be conceptual, because at the time I thought the best thing you could be on Halloween was a punchline. The year before I had dressed like a hobo in a shirt that said “She didn’t look 16.” I was a poor excuse. It was a poor costume.

When we got to Matthew’s place, everyone was watching a Gallagher comedy concert that Matthew had on tape. This was before DVDs. I looked at his tape collection and he had a lot of Gallagher tapes. I think he liked Gallagher ironically, but it was that kind of ironically that was only there to make it okay for him to really like Gallagher. Like how I pretend to think Lady Gaga is awesome because I really think Lady Gaga is pretty awesome. It’s a thin line. The interesting thing is, if you asked Matthew if he liked Gallagher ironically, he would say, “no, I really like Gallagher,” because if you admit that you only like something ironically, then you’re just trying too hard. So he pretended to like Gallagher for real to cover up the fact that he liked Gallagher ironically but underneath it all, he really liked Gallagher for real. Phew. Being cool is hard.


The Most Awesome Financial Commentary Ever

November 02, 2009 By: Category: Videos

I haven’t had time to post about the last two shows (including the surprise Vampire Weekend show!) yet. To make up for it, here is a video of a guy talking about the economy and smashing shit with a baseball bat. This guy’s the best.

(Thanks, Taibbi!)

My Week of Many Shows Part 3: The Antlers/Timber Timbre at the Bootleg Theater

November 02, 2009 By: Category: Greatest Hits, Music

The Antlers - HospiceThe night started out with great promise. I met Sarah at the Cha-Cha Lounge, a bar in Silverlake that has a photo booth and a vending machine filled with things like Big League Chew and Growing Pains trading cards. Our friend Mark was having a going away party because he’s moving to Seattle. Mark is one of those people who really makes you doubt the existence of karma. He’s among the nicest guys I know, but he finds himself in the middle of awful, completely unprovoked disasters on an almost daily basis. When his truck was stolen out of his driveway a few weeks ago, he decided it was time that his romance with L.A. come to an end. A week after the truck was stolen, he got a ticket in the mail from the state of California. Whoever stole the truck went through a toll booth without paying. No word yet on what Mark’s going to do about the ticket, but I’m sure it will come back to haunt him somehow.

For Mark’s going away party, he’d asked the bartender if he could play nothing but Chicago and the Doors. Chicago, because he’s from Chicago, and the Doors, because they are the musical equivalent of Los Angeles. The bartender said no at first because he was afraid the regulars would be turned off, but he changed his tune when Mark promised him $30. Mark had decided to add America to the mix as well, because we live in America. He told me that night that America is actually not from America, which I never knew. Actually, I just looked it up on Wikipedia, and they were sort of from America; they met at school in London, where their fathers were stationed in the Air Force. I just spent the last five minutes reading up on America on All Music Guide. You can really fall down a rabbit hole when you start clicking around on All Music Guide. Did you know they released an album in 2007 produced by Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger and James Iha from the Smashing Pumpkins? And that it sounds kind of amazing?