Awkward Press

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

Dirty Projectors at the Phil

February 25, 2010 By: Category: Music

The Dirty Projectors are playing at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday with the LA Philharmonic. Who is excited about that? We are. We all are very excited about that, yourself included. In an interview with LA Weekly, Dave Longstreth from the Dirty Projectors provided my new favorite quote:

Longstreth says it took him no time to assemble a comprehensive list of pieces he wanted to hear the Phil perform, but the challenge was finding music that fit the specs of the orchestra.

“It was difficult for me. I kept being, like, ””Yo! Let”s do some late-”70s Philip Glass stuff, where the winds are amplified and this shit is just fucking terse!”‚ÄČ”

Hahaha. Anyone who can make Philip Glass sound gangsta is okay in my book. “Yo! Gimme some of that Philip Glass business and make it fucking terse!”

The 15 Best Albums of 2009 that You Probably Will Not Like

December 11, 2009 By: Category: Best of 2009, Greatest Hits, Lists, Music


If you had asked me to list my favorite albums of the year in, say, October, I would have told you that this was one of the best years for music in ages and I could hardly choose between all my favorites. If you had asked me to list my favorite albums of the year this week, (which you did, as you’ll recall–I think we were at Arby’s), I would tell you that nothing really stood out. Albums that I thought were masterpieces upon first listen (The Decemberists’ The Hazards of Love, Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon: The End of the Day) quickly reached their saturation points. Artists I love released albums that barely warranted a second spin (Tegan and Sara’s Sainthood, The Hidden Cameras’ Origin: Orphan).

My appreciation for this year’s releases has been slightly dulled by the sheer number of new records I picked up this year. According to iTunes, I currently own 69 records that were released in 2009. That is over 2 days worth of music. I could listen to my 2009 releases from start to finish for 48 hours straight and not hear every song on every album. It is just too easy in this age of digital downloads to go overboard and pick up everything that’s garnering a slight amount of buzz. Also, I have a serious problem. It’s this or Home Shopping Network, and I don’t really have anyplace to keep hundreds of souvenir plates.

All that being said, I still maintain that in terms of quality releases, this year saw a greater percentage than many. We’ll have to wait and see whether I’ll still be listening to any of these records next year, but for the time being, here it is. As you read this list, please keep in mind that I would never give this list to anyone and say, “buy these records.” I can’t tell you how many of my friends I tried to turn on to Los Campesinos!, my favorite record of the last five years, who think it is garbage. I don’t think I have the most eclectic taste in the world, but I do like to give everything a fair shake, and this sometimes leads to me liking music that my hip friends find too mainstream and my mainstream friends find too hip. (Note: I do not have any mainstream friends.) In other words, stuff that no one likes. Enjoy! (more…)

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.