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Bahrain's gonna party, dance everybody
November 24, 2012 11:21 PM   Subscribe

With hits like Party Hard, It's Time to Party, and Long Live the Party classic records like Party Til You Puke and The "Party All Goddamn Night" EP, Andrew W.K. (previously) likes to party. He's excited to be "promoting partying and world peace." for the US State Department, who just named Andrew to be a cultural ambassador to Bahrain.
posted by matrixclown (76 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
what
posted by flatluigi at 11:27 PM on November 24, 2012 [31 favorites]


Bahrain, the beer bong kings of the Persian Gulf.
posted by Nomyte at 11:30 PM on November 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


The performance art is getting weird. Is this the actual Andrew WK or some actor he is paying?
posted by allen.spaulding at 11:36 PM on November 24, 2012


I am 100% honest when I say that I find Andrew W.K. a profound enigma. This is some kind of extended performance art piece.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:37 PM on November 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


We are through the looking glass here people.Just how high up does the Dave Grohl/Steev Mike conspiracy go?
posted by Ad hominem at 11:40 PM on November 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


It must have come down to a choice between him and John Bolton.
posted by fredludd at 11:41 PM on November 24, 2012 [20 favorites]


are we partying hard or hardly parting?

/parties_down
posted by The Whelk at 11:54 PM on November 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I am 100% honest when I say that I find Andrew W.K. a profound enigma. This is some kind of extended performance art piece.

At first, I wondered about it. Once I saw him live, I decided it didn't matter whether it was performance art or sincere, the dude has fun and people have fun around him and everybody parties and who cares. Everything I've read in the subsequent decade(!) indicates that he is completely into partying with everybody and having fun. And yes, he clearly knows it's a little silly and he's taking things to extremes, but he winks to the camera, and a minute later, everybody's partying hard.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:54 PM on November 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


Key & Peele do LMFAO "Non-Stop Party".

Seriously the party never stops.
posted by hippybear at 11:57 PM on November 24, 2012 [8 favorites]


I have said it before here on The Blue and I will say it again. Andrew WK is a time traveler from the future who has projected his consciousness into the body of Andrew Wilkes Krier ala the Great Race of Yith. Just like Lady Gaga has projected herself into the body of Stephanie Germanotta.

When you think about it, it explains so much.
posted by KingEdRa at 12:00 AM on November 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


If the Old Irony was having fun by picking apart the kitsch of the past and presenting it against "real" things (The Brady Bunch Movie for example) then the New Sincerity is going whole hog into something ridiculous and daring you take it as seriously as we do (he Speed Racer movie for example).
posted by The Whelk at 12:11 AM on November 25, 2012 [17 favorites]


i dont know whats real anymore
posted by boo_radley at 12:13 AM on November 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


Wow, I guess the USG isn't evil through-and-through, because someone made the decision to choose Andrew WK as a big "Fuck You" to the Bahraini government.

See also: Pakistan sending an ambassador named Akbar Zeb to Saudi Arabia, who was promptly sent back because his name meant "Biggest Penis" in Arabic.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:14 AM on November 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


See also: Pakistan sending an ambassador named Akbar Zeb to Saudi Arabia, who was promptly sent back because his name meant "Biggest Penis" in Arabic.

I wanted to believe, but the headline is "The Akbar Zeb story: too good to be true," and the entire story is about how it was made up.
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:20 AM on November 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


I wanted to believe it too.
posted by fshgrl at 12:22 AM on November 25, 2012


OK, that was dumb. I read about the "Akbar Zeb" deal a long time ago, found a link and didn't read it through before posting. Sorry about that.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:25 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


If he get's kidnapped and there's some kind of techno, neo-Argo plot to extract him involving anime and lappels can it still be the plot of the new William Gibson novel?
posted by sendai sleep master at 12:29 AM on November 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


oh good morning andrew w.k. is it breakfast time?
posted by offalark at 12:31 AM on November 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


According to the HuffPo article, it's not just Bahrain but the whole Middle East.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:31 AM on November 25, 2012


Huh.

Maybe partying WILL help.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:39 AM on November 25, 2012 [12 favorites]


If Americans don't even get Andrew WK, how is the middle east supposed to?
posted by victory_laser at 12:45 AM on November 25, 2012


I guess I could really use somebody explaining to me why AWK is at all interesting or important. His music sounds like ICP covering Up With People and if he's creating a persona, it seems to be of a giant douche-monster.

So congrats, I guess?
posted by lumpenprole at 12:54 AM on November 25, 2012


Just like Lady Gaga has projected herself into the body of Stephanie Germanotta.

You may be on to something.

What is clear though is that Steev Mike and it's current grand master Dave Grohl first coopted the 2010 tournament of books and is now coopting the state department. In 2010 WK stated that he was initiated into Steev Mike in 1999. Some have noted that the Steev Mike conspiracy seem oddly forced and a bit too just-so. I think it is most likely that Steev Mike is simply cover for a much older group, perhaps the Templars, Priory of Sion, Rosicrucians, or illuminati. Though out history powerful secret organizations have operated under cover of more innocuous seeming groups, such as the Freemason front group order of the golden poodles.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:57 AM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


What makes him a "douche-monster", lumpenprole?

what is a "douche-monster"?
posted by dazed_one at 1:04 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


douche-monster was the rejected draft title for Gaga's first album.
posted by jaduncan at 1:17 AM on November 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Didn't he host some no-budget Nickelodeon game show?
posted by Brocktoon at 1:50 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


has anyone else noticed how like crazily, fundamentally New Jersey Andrew W.K. is?
posted by The Whelk at 2:11 AM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's all fun and games until Andrew gets off the plane in Riyadh while Ready To Die is playing on the P.A.

Semi-related: Andrew WK entertains himself during an interview segment on Fox News.

posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 3:31 AM on November 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is going to help with perceptions of the US in the Middle East. Nothing says 'take us and our dedication to peace in your region seriously' like sending a rock musician as your political envoy. I'm sure everyone currently calling the West corrupt and blasphemous will be completely won over.
posted by Dysk at 3:42 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


You may be on to something.

I'm so confused. Admittedly, I haven't paid much attention to Andrew over the years. Some guy really likes to party and makes decent but uncomplicated music about said partying. Ok. Simple enough. And yet, he's somehow a magnet for conspiracy theorists?

That's kinda awesome.
posted by honestcoyote at 3:49 AM on November 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is there anything on this from somewhere more authoritative than Pitchfork or his own website? Or something official from the State Department?
posted by knapah at 3:52 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


See also: Pakistan sending an ambassador named Akbar Zeb to Saudi Arabia, who was promptly sent back because his name meant "Biggest Penis" in Arabic.

I wanted to believe, but the headline is "The Akbar Zeb story: too good to be true," and the entire story is about how it was made up.


It's a trap!

(What? Someone had to)
posted by dirigibleman at 5:11 AM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


IM A LITTLE TIRED AND NOT MUCH INTO PARTYING RIGHT NOW
posted by sourwookie at 5:37 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Semi-related: Andrew WK entertains himself during an interview segment on Fox News.

That was pretty funny.
posted by angrycat at 5:51 AM on November 25, 2012


The Paradox of Partying, an excerpt clip from Andrew W.K.'s 4 hour lecture at New York University.

From the Wikipedia page on W.K., in the section Self-help and motivational performance:
In 2005, Andrew announced that he would begin performing as a self-help, new age motivational speaker. He accepted invitations to speak at Yale University, New York University, the University of Wisconsin, Carnegie Mellon University, the Cooper Union, Missouri Western State University, and Northeastern University.
...
In June 2012, W.K. announced that he would be appearing at the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan convention Canterlot Gardens. His appearance was announced as a motivational seminar on "How to Party like Pinkie Pie", based on one of the shows lead characters, Pinkie Pie. The appearance was featured in Rolling Stone.
I'm not sure how these two things are related, but some Wiki editor thought they were, so here we are.

And if you like conspiracies, one of the strangest persistent rumors about Andrew WK is that he was replaced in 2005 by an actor, or even that he was an actor the whole time and was replaced by a different actor. There has been some more recent speculation that the same people behind Steev Mike and Andrew WK are the same people behind Lady Gaga.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:59 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Andrew WK is the Ong's Hat of the music world.
posted by adamdschneider at 5:59 AM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


@knapah

yeah, I was gonna say. no way in hell this is actually legit.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 6:24 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I find the conspiracy thing extra-funny because Andrew WK is by far the most famous person I've ever met in person. (We went to the same high school.) And now it's like OH WAIT OR IS HE??
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:32 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Love him or hate him, Andrew W.K. is our generation's Ram Dass. Personally I love him. *Hare Andrew hare Andrew, Andrew Andrew hare hare..."
posted by Mooseli at 6:35 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm going to have to wait for the official statement from the State Department, and then I want to know whether it was spontaneous partying or pre-planned partying.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:40 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


The layers of meta go on forever.
posted by tommasz at 6:43 AM on November 25, 2012


My favorite bit of Andrew Wilkes-Krier trivia is that he tried to be a member of Wolf Eyes.
posted by idiopath at 7:09 AM on November 25, 2012


> His music sounds like ICP covering Up With People and if he's creating a persona, it seems to be of a giant douche-monster.

For your edification, here is Andrew W.K.'s ambassadorial visit to the Juggalo Nation.

But yeah, I'm not getting the hate. "giant douche-monster"? If he was any more relentlessly positive he would be radiating rainbows and unicorns.
posted by ardgedee at 8:27 AM on November 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm sure everyone currently calling the West corrupt and blasphemous will be completely won over.

If they already know you're corrupt and blasphemous, there's nothing wrong with GOING. ALL. THE. WAY!
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:01 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


If he was any more relentlessly positive he would be radiating rainbows and unicorns.

Yeah, it's kind of weird. I mean, looking at him and his band, they all look like Warchild's gang from Point Break, but instead of trying to beat up Keanu Reeves, they'd be, like, carrying him on their shoulders into the ocean or something.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:24 AM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


If he was any more relentlessly positive he would be radiating rainbows and unicorns.

I agree with this wholeheartedly. He's pretty much the polar opposite of a douche-monster; the thing that confused me about him for so long is that I just couldn't accept that someone could be so cheerful and so unironic about his life and music. Once I realized that yes, Andrew WK really IS that happy and cheerful and relentlessly positive, everything made sense.

I mean, watch this and tell me that what he's doing is performance art. It's not. I think he genuinely is the guy he seems to be, and I couldn't be happier that he's spreading his own unique brand of hyper-cheerfulness around the world.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 10:25 AM on November 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


But yeah, I'm not getting the hate. "giant douche-monster"? If he was any more relentlessly positive he would be radiating rainbows and unicorns.

Yeah. That. Whenever I'm stuck in a room with someone like that my knuckles itch. I guess it's my disfunction. I'm a punk rocker of the old school who believes the words of Joe Strummer "Anger can be power, don't you know that you can use it" like gospel.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:18 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is a brilliant choice.

The United States has a reputation for many things, most of them awful and sadly well-deserved. But one thing we undeniably do well is Big Dumb Fun. And no one on the planet is better at Big Dumb Fun than Andrew WK.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:26 PM on November 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, I have booked Andrew to speak at an event I'm organizing next summer, and as part of the planning, I got to speak with him for a while on the phone a few days ago. A couple of things that I always suspected, but now know to be true:

* It's not an act. He's not being ironic, he really believes in the power of positive partying.
* He's got a core message that is about genuine positivity. He sees the larger picture.
* He is incredibly smart and well-spoken.
posted by jbickers at 1:24 PM on November 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


"You will never love anything as much as Andrew WK loves partying."
posted by Navelgazer at 1:27 PM on November 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


The United States has a reputation for many things, most of them awful and sadly well-deserved. But one thing we undeniably do well is Big Dumb Fun. And no one on the planet is better at Big Dumb Fun than Andrew WK.

I think we get that from the Brits. I always thought of Slade the same way, although maybe they weren't quite as super enthusiastically ecstatic.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:31 PM on November 25, 2012


It always seemed to me that while I am quite good at partying exceedingly hard, I would nevertheless not especially enjoy partying - hard or otherwise - with Andrew W. K. I am prepared to believe I could be wrong about this, but I have to say it's not the way I'd bet.
posted by Decani at 2:36 PM on November 25, 2012


lumpenprole: "I guess I could really use somebody explaining to me why AWK is at all interesting or important. His music sounds like ICP covering Up With People and if he's creating a persona, it seems to be of a giant douche-monster.

So congrats, I guess?
"

I'm not sure why you say he's a douchemonster, because he's seriously a dude who just wants to have fun - I've seen too many interviews and the guy is seriously legit. He is not full of himself, he's not about ego. Sure he's got the long hair, sure it's cheesy rock, but it's not about the Plastic Women and...

Well, here, speaking of ICP...

Watch Andrew WK at the Gathering of the Juggalos and watch how he deals with the haters (which afaict is pretty much the whole crowd). He's just one big dork who wants people to ... party. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. He doesn't seem to care HOW you party, he just wants you to have fun. That's what I love about him. I'm not a huge fan, really - I don't own any of his music, just have a passing respect.
posted by symbioid at 2:36 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Andrew WK is by far the most famous person I've ever met in person. (We went to the same high school.) And now it's like OH WAIT OR IS HE??

Good news! You can ask him personal questions about high school tonight! Live video party chat with Andrew, and it starts at 6:00pm EST / 3:00pm PST.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:58 PM on November 25, 2012


> I'm a punk rocker of the old school who believes the words of Joe Strummer "Anger can be power, don't you know that you can use it" like gospel.

Current 93 with AWK on bass

He seems to enjoy being all over the musical map, and I suspect that he'd spend more time in exploration if anything besides the party metal stood a chance of earning him a decent income.

I feel weird speaking on his behalf because I'm not a fan and I find the party party party stuff kind of annoying too, but he's practically a force of nature and is fascinating to watch.
posted by ardgedee at 3:06 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


They are lucky Obama won or they'd be getting Kid Rock. Shudder.
posted by Xalf at 3:28 PM on November 25, 2012


Speaking of Kid Rock, those Juggalos really bummed me out.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 3:29 PM on November 25, 2012


I used to rock and roll all night and party every day. Then it was every other day... now I'm lucky to find half an hour a week in which to get funky.
posted by fings at 3:37 PM on November 25, 2012


So...has this been confirmed or are we buying into a delightful fantasy?
posted by NoMich at 4:38 PM on November 25, 2012


It's not an act. He's not being ironic, he really believes in the power of positive partying.

I guess I should clarify that when I describe Andrew WK as "performance art", I'm not trying to imply that he's ironic or insincere. I think like nearly all good art, it comes from a heartfelt, sincere place. The persona seems like a "put-on", but it's an honest put-on, as if it's Wilkes Krier's own idealized self image.

This is all maybe just elitism on my part; the man seems too smart for the music he makes.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:47 PM on November 25, 2012


I'm a punk rocker of the old school who believes the words of Joe Strummer "Anger can be power, don't you know that you can use it" like gospel.

I've been this sort of person my whole life, too. "Anger is an energy". Only...I keep watching the sort of people I hate also using anger as power. And I don't like what it accomplishes. And I don't like that my own anger can accomplish things but not leave me feeling any better about the world.

I am moved by people like Andrew WK because I see their overwhelming positivity mostly resulting in more positivity. I'd like my own anger to translate into a means to put more positive energy into the world, if that's possible, and not into putting more fear and negativity into a world that quite frankly doesn't need it. I feel sorry for myself that I am in the habit of being so angry and cynical, and I feel hopeful that others have found a way to avoid that, because it means that if I put effort into it, I can add positive energy too. I believe I've only got this one life to live, and I hope it's going to be fairly long...I want it to be joyous and it's really hard to stay joyous when I'm in the habit of believing that anger is a useful power.

Rainbows and unicorns are more or less my goal in life. I want more people to support this and support me in this sort of thing.
posted by padraigin at 5:56 PM on November 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm a little concerned that if Andrew WK can pass the background checks to represent the US government in the Middle East, he probably doesn't really party that hard.
posted by Flashman at 6:13 PM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Only...I keep watching the sort of people I hate also using anger as power.

That's interesting. It's not totally wrong. And yet, I'm not sure in what way Andrew WK is a cure for that. I still can't shake the feeling that anger at stupidity, anger at corruption, anger at the conscious destruction of what makes us special is better than just throwing up the horns and saying "it's all good bro"

I think it's important to be outraged, but it's not like history has proved me right, so maybe....
posted by lumpenprole at 8:02 PM on November 25, 2012


I feel like in a happy world, anger (+ conviction and facts, not just blind vitriol) is the best weapon.

Conversely, in an angry world (which is arguably what we're living in now) happiness (+ conviction and facts, not just rose-colored glasses) might be a better weapon to cut through everyone's pretenses.

In a complacent world..... Shrug.
posted by elr at 10:29 PM on November 25, 2012


Whoa, that's pretty interesting, elr.
posted by effugas at 10:47 PM on November 25, 2012


Back on topic.... Kinda. I'm such a bleeding heart jag that I hate painting anyone with a wide brush so even though Juggalos are maybe second only to child rapists as people the Internet is cool with you making fun of, I hate to say this but..... Juggalos are horrible people.

Usually, I can separate the actions of a group of people from the individuals. Hate the sin, love the sinner; fuck the government, support the troops, et cetera. But in the case of Juggalos, I really do like them much more as a group/subculture than as individual human beings. I think the way they all came together pretty organically, and the way they make their own rules and the give-and-take they have with an awful group of white trash evangelical Christian horrorcore rappers is neat, and I think that juggalo culture/groupthink/mob mentality often brings out the best in a bunch of shitty shitty people. The sexual politics at the Gathering of the Juggalos seem pretty sleazy and murky, but what on paper seems like it would be a cesspool of rape and violence, is a pretty consent driven (or consent-and-commerce-and-cool-points driven) temporary community that takes care of its own and kinda sorta an unhygienic libertarian utopia.

But most Juggalos are shitty shitty people who went to an Andrew WK performance when he was invited to their Gathering, and went beyond booing him, tossing bottles and trash cans at him for doing what he does.*

And he didn't break character. He didn't run or stop partying or stop emanating love, he just kept on dancing and giving his motivational speech and dodging bottles with hair whips and shitty Elvis karate kicks. And that cemented the love I have for Andrew WK.

*of course that whole incident just may have been the flipside of that groupthink I was giving props to. If I understand the structure of the Gathering of the Juggalos correctly, there are multiple stages and activities running concurrently, and I doubt that that many people came out to see Andrew WK just to boo him and throw shit. Probably there were a lot of fans in that group who just went along with it once he was deemed un-juggalo.
posted by elr at 10:48 PM on November 25, 2012


This is not the world I expected, but I can't say that it's disappointing me.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:19 AM on November 26, 2012


I'm a punk rocker of the old school who believes the words of Joe Strummer "Anger can be power, don't you know that you can use it" like gospel.

I've been this sort of person my whole life, too. "Anger is an energy". Only...I keep watching the sort of people I hate also using anger as power.


Agreed ... and wasn't it the case that Strummer himself got to a place of less anger on his last few albums? You look at something like "Johnny Appleseed" or "Burning Streets," and you've got a guy who clearly is concerned about the world, but is coming at it from a place of compassion. That seems to me like a much better place to be.
posted by jbickers at 4:56 AM on November 26, 2012


I love that this is a real thing that's happening in real life, instead of just in a chat window with my best friend preceeded by the words "You know what would be cool?"
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:24 AM on November 26, 2012


Current 93 with AWK on bass

Well, that is...huh.
posted by malocchio at 7:51 AM on November 26, 2012


Breaking story at Brokelyn reports:
A State Department spokesperson told us the following: “Andrew WK had been invited by the US Embassy in Bahrain to be part of a cultural speakers program, but upon further review, the program was canceled because it did not meet the standards of the State Department.”
posted by Boxenmacher at 11:23 AM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I always thought AWK was secretly about the emptiness of positivity -- there's something about the relentlessness of his energy that I find exhausting, and his persona feels like a shell.
posted by speicus at 12:04 PM on November 26, 2012


All I know is that I love it when he plays the embedded wall mahogany console mellotron.
posted by umbú at 1:02 PM on November 26, 2012


the program was canceled because it did not meet the standards of the State Department.”

While this was obviously the right choice, I do wonder what kind of party a State Department Party is.
posted by Mezentian at 2:32 PM on November 26, 2012


"So, for a Department of State representative to say Andrew W.K. ‘doesn’t meet their standards’ after they invited me and planned my trip for a year… well, that doesn’t meet my standards either."

This whole thing felt like a glitch in the matrix.
posted by roll truck roll at 8:33 PM on November 27, 2012


Is it not time to party?
posted by adamdschneider at 6:43 AM on November 28, 2012


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