25. Lake of Fake

Photo by Jodi Shapiro
Ahoy! Small Awesome is pleased to announce our first vinyl appearance on the Lake of Fake compilation Q6. Lake of Fake PRF Quarter 6 is a six song EP released on 45rpm vinyl. The EP is part of an eight record subscriber only series with 48 bands contributing music. We’re in some excellent company with the Gary (TX), Walking Shadow (NY), Police Teeth (WA), Half Mile Fox Fur (TX) and Blood Sucking Fiends (PA)

Our song, “Worship” is the lead-off track and can be heard here:

“Worship” Writ and Circumscribed by Small Awesome
Captured and affixed by Matt Engstrom
by the grace of Caffeinated Recordings.
from Lake of Fake – PRF Singles Club Q6, released 04 April 2014
Faiz Razi (gullet, gossamer), Jim MacGregor (counterpoint).

Front Cover is “Headphone Girl” by Ace.
Back Cover is “The Last Days of Primeburger” by Jodi Shapiro,
New York City, May 24th 2012
Obi by Hench with tweaking by notimeforlove.
Logo by Sleepkid
Cover printed by Imprint.
Insert printed by Enframing Press.
Mastered by Chris Goosman at www.baselineaudio.com
Records pressed by Gotta Groove.

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24. Reelsounds

Hey! We recorded nine songs at Reelsounds in Skokie with Mouse and Matt.  It was tremendous.  Still exhausted and exhilarated, but here’s batch one of our photos:

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23. 35:35

Ahoy! We are recording a new record.  It will also be called Still Awesome.
I put together this 35:35 playlist of some things we’ve had knocking around, and thought you might enjoy it.
Plays well in a loop, and you can download it for free if you set your price at $0:

Rehearsals, live versions, studio outtakes and demos.
Songs all on one track for your inconvenience.
Enjoy!Worship (auktoberfyst)
Apparitions (version 4)
Denominal I edit (version 2)
Sold You Out (rough oct)
Dro(w)ned part B (version 1)
dies irae (solo)
Black Sea of Trees (caff IV)
And the Sons (version 2)
Rats & Creeps (version 4)
Tooos (auk)
Hopey Birthday (auk)


released 19 July 2013
Mostly recorded by Matt Engstrom
with Jim Birch of Caffeinated RecordingsMuch recorded by Jim Macgregor
One thing recorded by Faiz RaziCheers!
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22. Get Caffeinated


Our amazing friends / Caffeinated Recordings (we recorded Still Awesome there,
and they’ve done pretty much all of our live footage)
got royally screwed by a busted pipe and flooding:

Zoom in (real dimensions: 2048 x 1536)Image

They’re covered by insurance, but they lost a lot of hard-to-replace odds and ends.
There’s folks wanting to kick in a little something, sooner-than-later, to help out.
It occurred to super-fan/super-hero Carlin Reed, there is one possible quick & easy way:

If you get the free download of Caffeinated IV on ye olde bandcamp:

it says:

Buy Now name your price

Just sayin’…

I just overpaid! I suggest y’all do, too.

…it’s got our song “Black Sea of Trees”, and 22 other tunes by 22 brilliant bands.
everything was recorded either at or by Caffeinated. Salut.

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21. Twelves

Schuba’s was a blast! Our most fluid set yet.
Thanks to Mike Armstrong out of Bric-A-Brac for the show and the photo below.

Greetings! We’re having our annual Dec 12th rehearsal etc. and are sitting on
21 new songs, a dozen of which will be recorded soon in a couple months.

Edit: Neat! Our song, “I Don’t Think Any of Them Do”
was featured on Chicago Mix Tape.
Streaming here. Thanks, Casey Meehan!

Plus, we are pleased to present this January show–
poster by Michael Bond
Coltrane Motion
Small Awesome

Schuba’s Thu Jan 9th
music at 8pm sharp.

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20. Live Wire

Live Wire was great. Sorry if you missed it! at the end of Five-Eight’s set,
there was a special thing that happened:

Tim Midyett and Andy Cohen out of Silkworm and Bottomless Pit
with Patrick Ferguson, Mike Mantione and Sean Dunn out of Five-Eight
and Jim MacGregor out of Small Awesome
played Silkworm’s “Couldn’t You Wait?” at Live Wire Lounge in Chicago
Sunday November 3rd, 2013

hat tip to Dan Horowitz out of Five-Eight for the bass
filmed by Beth Wiedner on my crappy phone


We are thrilled to announce a show with our good friends, the unloved sons of Athens, GA, Five-Eight. It’s their first show in Chicago in three years. We will also be playing with the loved brothers of Chicago, Marmora and the psychedelic rock mavens of Grel.
We’ll be unveiling some more new songs for your ears. Come early and stay late.

Sunday Nov 3rd

Small Awesome

@ Live Wire
3394 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL

7:00 pm


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19. Tails Out

This is a portion of the song we wrote in loving memory of John Grabski III. It is called “Apparitions”, and was recorded by Beth Wiedner @ the Metropolis Coffee Co. warehouse. Sound by Jeff Fox, event courtesy of Bike and Build. Thank you.

And should the wraith choose I
I will adore you even more
across the great divide
I’m thinking about tomorrow
And what it brings
As it unfurls its wings

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18. the Jury is In

The fine folks at Pocket Jury in the UK just reviewed our twinned EPs in anticipation of the vinyl release of Still Awesome. It is lengthy and thorough and you can read it here.  An excerpt:

“Unsurprisingly, their debut album is a remarkable experience. It’s an odd blend of pastoral beauty and sublimely orchestrated menace which is memorable after two listens, compelling after three and indispensible after four. Subversion of expectations is the overriding characteristic of Still Awesome, which is really a portmanteau of two previously released EPs (Still and Awesome, obviously). By and large there are only two musicians playing on each song but unlike most duos, the songs feel complete. The robust nature of the compositions means that there is never a point whereby you find yourself waiting for the rest of the band to kick in. Some tracks feature acoustic guitar and, heaven forbid, ukulele but it never sounds remotely twee. Razi’s voice is soothing and pleasant but the disconcerting lyrics and subtly unnerving musical accompaniment precludes it from being particularly relaxing. The songs are predominantly hypnotic tapestries of spindly guitar notes and looping bass motifs which are once gorgeous and distinctly unsettling. Most of the tracks on Still Awesome have a serpentine quality – gently but firmly engulfing the listener in a manner which manages to be both sensual and deadly.”


dig it.

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17. Rock Always Wins

PRF BBQ 2012 kicks off Thursday June 28th
We’re only a week away from our eighth four-day music, food and art extravaganza, the PRF BBQ. Our Annual/Semi-Annual celebration of the underground music and art D.I.Y. community that is the PRF, has really pulled the stops out this year.  As always, it’s a non-profit event.

40 some-odd bands over four days at three venues,
this one has been almost nine-months in the works. Gift bags,
the reunions of TAR and -Dis, a charity raffle benefiting the
Cancer-research foundation of our fallen comrade, John Grabski III
featuring such prizes as a handmade aluminum Electrical Guitar, a
private performance by the Hype! and a catered meal from the fine
folks at Kitchen Sink.

To boot, in addition to the food and libations, several culinary-minded
impresarios are creating special for-the-event foods to be sold to benefit
the Grabski III foundation. Hot Doug, Gerard Jean Boissy, Steve Albini,
Tree Voigt
and Jeffrey Fox will all be creating custom grillables.

honestly, we could keep going and it still wouldn’t cover it. Here, I will note that Small Awesome will be playing at Kitchen Sink on Thursday, Faiz will be playing with Walking Shadow on Saturday and with noise&light and Tourism on Sunday. Jim will be playing with Light Coma on Sunday as well.
But don’t come for us. Come for the whole thing.

If you’re interested in attending, information on tickets can be found HERE.
Two day passes and Saturday tickets are completely sold out (they went immediately),
but there have been some extras showing up from people who cannot attend here on our facebook page.

OK!  As always, there’s plenty more, but I’m going to call it here.

Until next time,

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16. They Shoot Horses

Band photo by the brilliant Mr. King styled after the lovely photo of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. More about that here.

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