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Archive for ‘Friends’

The Kinks A-Z

August 05, 2009 By: Category: Friends

In honor of the 45th Anniversary of the Kinks’ classic “You Really Got Me,” Awkward contributor Mike Segretto created an incredible Kinks A-Z that must be seen to be appreciated. I am in awe:

Aside from Ray and Dave Davies, the most enduring (and long suffering) member of the Kinks was one Michael Charles Avory. From 1964 to 1984, Avory sat quietly behind the kit banging out rock-solid, Charlie Watts-style beats. Mick’s similarity to Watts is somewhat appropriate considering that he briefly sat in with the Rolling Stones before they played their first gig in the summer of ’62. Good-natured, working class Avory was not hired by the artists-formerly-known-as-the-Ravens until January of ’64, and as was often the case at the time, he did not play on the Kinks’ first few records. Instead producer Shel Talmy used session man Bobby Graham while Mick was relegated to slapping a tambourine. He was not allowed to take his rightful position on the drum throne until the group’s sophomore long-player, Kinda Kinks, which is also the first Kinks album to give a good indication of the band’s actual power and versatility. Much of this is due to Avory’s sense of dynamics, whether he was pounding away on “Come On Now” or keeping the tension taught with the rim shots he laid beneath “Nothing in This World Can Stop Me Worrying About That Girl”. Unfortunately for Mick, his sensitivity was not limited to his sense of rhythm, and he often found himself bated into physical altercations with Dave Davies (see Violence below). The two band mates’ mutual hatred would be one of the Kinks’ few consistencies as the group shifted line-ups, musical styles, and levels of popularity throughout its career.

Radio Free Broadside

July 23, 2009 By: Category: Friends

I am from a small town outside of Flint, Michigan called Clio. Most people read that and pronounce it “clee-o,” but most people are wrong. It’s pronounced with a long “i”. Cly-o. When I tell people that, they often scoff. I have never understood why. I guess when a town’s name is pronounced differently than you might expect, it gives the impression that the town was named by amateurs. When people laugh at my hometown’s pronunciation, I always assume that they’re really thinking, “boy, your town is so full of stupid that they can’t even pronounce their own name properly.”

Clio is just like any other small town in America. Maybe slightly better because we don’t really have any strip malls. Wal-Mart moved in a few years ago, though, so I guess we’re headed in that direction.

Most of the people I know from Clio have moved elsewhere. I have moved elsewhere. There is nothing wrong with Clio … I thought it was a very nice place to grow up, albeit somewhat lacking in diversity. The main problem with Clio is that it is stuck right between Flint and Saginaw, neither of which are exactly crawling with opportunity.

My friend Jon McCarron stuck it out. Jon is a writer. He’s a good writer; my old publishing company, Contemporary Press, published two of his stories in our Danger City anthologies. We didn’t publish his stories because he was my friend, we published his stories because they were among the best from the hundreds of submissions we received.

Recently, Jon and a few friends started a free, alternative newspaper in Flint called Broadside. I have read this newspaper, and it is a really great example of the kind of community paper that we need more of in America. Plus, it is funny. They are only a few issues in, and already they’re turning a profit on ad sales. It is far more impressive than anything I have ever done, because A) people are actually reading it and B) it is actually making money. Michael Moore, you will recall, got his start as the editor of the Flint Voice, the last good alternative newspaper in Flint. So basically what I’m saying is that I know the next Michael Moore.

Yesterday, Michigan NPR did a really great piece on the paper. You can listen to the interview here or read it here. They introduce McCarron as a “computer expert,” which is pretty awesome. If I am ever interviewed for NPR, I hope they introduce me as some kind of expert. I’m pretty sure that holds as much weight as an honorary degree in most circles.

I am proud to call McCarron my friend and Awkward Press is proud to extend our very-highest, most-supportingest 6 PIZZA SEAL OF APPROVAL to Flint Broadside! And for only $20/year, you can experience the magic yourself. Do! Now!

Congratulations Are in Order

July 14, 2009 By: Category: Friends

Congratulations to F.O.A. (Friend of Awkward) and Contemporary Press publisher Jay Brida for getting a picture of the Fatburger tagline he wrote into the AP today.

The Brida Touch

The Brida Touch

There is no greater honor in life than in writing a throwaway tagline for a local hamburger chain and having it used in an Associated Press article to illustrate a completely unrelated story. I should know, because the same thing happened to me a few months ago.

My Finest Hour

My Finest Hour

F.O.A. (Friends of Awkward) Announcement

July 08, 2009 By: Category: Friends

The Debate Society, Friends of Awkward and producers of the finest acts of absurdity known to man, have a new website. Enjoy.