The Awkward Stage

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The Awkward Stage
Origin Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Genres Indie pop
Years active 2006 (2006)–present
Labels Mint
Members Shane Nelken
Tygh Runyan
Tony Koelwyn
Chris Mitchell

The Awkward Stage is a Canadian indie pop band from Vancouver and fronted by singer-songwriter Shane Nelken.[1] The band's supporting lineup consists of Tygh Runyan on lead guitar, Tony Koelwyn on drums and Chris Mitchell on trumpet and keyboards.


Nelken, who works as a cremationist, had a longtime side career as a musician, supporting a number of artists including A. C. Newman, New Pornographers and Sparrow.[2][3] He put together a backup band, The Awkward Stage, which included drummer Kurt Dahl,[4] and released a debut album, Heaven Is for Easy Girls, on Mint Records in 2006.[5] Nelkin performed much of the music himself, with some help from violinist Kim Koch and trumpeter Shaun Brodie.[6] The album charted on Canadian campus radio[7] and CBC Radio 3, which named the band's song "We're Going for a Ride" one of its Top 94 songs of 2006.[8]

With Tygh Runyan, Tony Koelwyn and Chris Mitchell, The Awkward Stage released a second album, Slimming Mirrors, Flattering Lights, in 2008.[9] The songs were written and arranged by Nelkin.[2]

Nelken is also a contributor to Radio 3, hosting a humorous audio advice column feature titled Dear Shane, and serving as an occasional guest host.



  1. ^ CMJ New Music Report. Issues 967-990. CMJ Network. 2006. p. 80.
  2. ^ a b "The Awkward Stage Slimming Mirrors, Flattering Lights". AllMusic Review by Mark Deming
  3. ^ "Tragically unhip". Georgia Straight, by Jennifer Van Evra on January 3, 2007
  4. ^ "Vancouver Buzz: Little Hamm On Big Screen And The Awkward Stage Sign To Mint". Chart Attack - Aug 4, 2006
  5. ^ "The Awkward Stage Heaven is for Easy Girls". Exclaim!, By Chris Whibbs Oct 01, 2006
  6. ^ "The Awkward Stage Heaven Is for Easy Girls". Pop Matters, by Michael Keefe 29 November 2006
  7. ^ "The Dears Return To The Top Of The Chart". Chart Attack - Oct 24, 2006
  8. ^ CBC Radio 3 - Top 94 Tracks of 2006,, 2006-12-31. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  9. ^ "The Awkward Stage Slimming Mirrors, Flattering Lights". Exclaim!, By Chris Whibbs Jun 10, 2008

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