Awkward Press

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

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 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.)


I Was Into This Post Way Before You Were

August 06, 2009 By: Category: Videos

I’m the kind of guy that tells you what to listen to. Guys like me, we get into new artists because we’ve read about them or heard a song by them on some cool Internet radio station or blog that you’ve never heard of. We don’t buy music because we hear it on the soundtrack to a movie, because a movie is something that millions of people will see, and if millions of other people are also hearing that song then every time we put it on a mix tape (which is the only real reason for buying music, is the never-ending pursuit of the perfect mix tape (yes, we’ve gotten back into tapes lately, haven’t you?)) the person receiving the mix tape will think, “hey, I know this song, it was in that Kate Hudson movie!” and we’ll be so embarrassed because of course we never saw that stupid Kate Hudson movie, who saw that stupid Kate Hudson movie? How were we supposed to know that song we loved before anyone had heard it was in that Kate Hudson movie? Wait, what? You got into the Moldy Peaches because of Juno? Give us back our engagement ring, please.

That being said, I saw (500) Days of Summer the other day, and now I am obsessed with this Regina Spektor song. Whatever. I’m not the poser, you’re the poser. So there. Ya burnt!*

*For the record, I was saying “ya burnt” way before Tina Fey was saying “ya burnt” on 30 Rock.**

**I was into 30 Rock way before you were.