It's Time To "Party"
December 30, 2009 12:18 AM   Subscribe

November 13, 2001: Musical unknown Andrew W.K. (Previously 1, 2) releases his debut album "I Get Wet." It is a simple rock record of power chords and unabashed, un-ironic party music -- exemplified perfectly both by its first song, "It's Time To Party," or its lead single, "Party Hard" -- released during a month of American depression, paranoia, and insincerity that borders on nihilism. The album finds mainstream success, selling over 30K copies in its first three weeks, with songs from the record appearing in commercials, movies, and television shows, not to mention heavy rotation on MTV and awesome appearances on Conan and Saturday Night Live.

While Pitchfork gives the album a 0.6 out of 10 (in a review written by its founder, Ryan Schreiber), most of the music press gives the album warm reviews - with Rolling Stone (4 out of 5 stars) saying that "To experience "Party Hard" is to refuse to believe your ears" and even the notoriously dismissive Robert Christgau gave the album an A-, saying "It's simple enough once you accept it for what it is." Possibly The Onion's A.V. Club said it best in an interview preamble: "...he's clearly dead serious about his music and its potential to inspire a world in need of passion and commitment." [In fact, the Onion's interview with AWK is one of his most candid and fascinating, with Andrew touching on his childhood ("Very good. Very Solitary."), his personal philosophy ("This is about working hard and inviting everybody into an unending, inexhaustible source of strength and energy."), and his resistance to change his music for corporate forces ("People give them too much credit—these corporations, or whoever is ruining people. Well, you may allow them to ruin you, but they don't touch me").]

Buoyed by the critical reaction, Andrew W.K. tours. And tours and tours, not stopping partying for anything, even performing in a wheel chair due to a broken foot. His high-energy shows, goofy behavior, and seeming limitless devotion to his fans -- mixed with mid-set speeches that border on motivational speaker territory -- help him build an underground following to supplement his mainstream appeal. The album eventually sells over 250K, and, of course, he gets huge in Japan.

Over the course of the decade, Andrew's quirky, sincere dedication to his fans finds a seemingly unlikely companion in MTV when they produce the series Your Friend, Andrew W.K., where fans would write him letters, and he'd fly to their homes to help them with their problems. Additionally, he continues to perform and record new material, ranging from similar up-tempo party anthems, to piano pieces, to covers of music from an anime series.

December 15, 2009: In a hybrid interview/lecture video released by RockFeedback, Andrew W.K. admits that "Andrew W.K." is a construct, played by several different auditioned actors/musicians and created in secret by different groups working "in the spirit of commerce" to devise the ultimate popular/underground musical frontman. (Parts 2, 3, related)
posted by Damn That Television (355 comments total) 102 users marked this as a favorite

 
A friend had made a comment to me a few days ago about Andrew W.K. being played by several different people, but I had brushed it off as a re-hashing of the Steev Mike talks that had been going around a few years ago.

I've been a huge fan of A.W.K. for a long time, in part because I had always felt that his gleeful outlook on life was genuine; that he was just a guy trying to spread good energy around to the masses. I guess I was fooled by the equivalent of a highly skilled marketing group.

I could not be more heartbroken. Long live the party, and all that jazz.
posted by Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld at 12:46 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


I don't want to believe this because Andrew WK is like the Anti-Snark, with his unfashionably open-faced sincere approach to music and life and people. If he turns out to be a completely fabricated bullshit thing, then fuck it--game over man. The "meh" crowd wins. Every thread reading like the initial comment in this one, forever.

Most likely it's just AWK having fun with the old "Steev Mike" rumors that have been around since he first came out, though. In any case, the Big Reveal of whatever the hell is going on will probably be at this event...
posted by First Post at 12:49 AM on December 30, 2009 [8 favorites]


Never heard of him.

Was that the point?
posted by Sparx at 1:04 AM on December 30, 2009


I'm confused. If I never really paid attention to Andrew W.K., only vaguely knew who he was, and just kind of assumed that he was a media construct, does that make me hip, savvy, or omniscient?
posted by mannequito at 1:05 AM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


but hey, he's big in Japan...
posted by mannequito at 1:06 AM on December 30, 2009


Amethyst, I feel you. Check this comment I made, barely half a year ago:

Andrew W.K. is amazing and cares about each and every one of his fans.

He got popular just as I entered college, and while I rolled my eyes at his music initially, I went to one of his shows in Hollywood with a few friends. It was the most fun I'd ever had at a musical performance.

Later, one of my friends who had gone sent him an email, explaining just how positive and uplifting AWK's music had been during a tough time in his life. Andrew W.K. called the number that my friend had in his email signature, and talked to him for about 10 minutes about how much letters like that meant to him. He then called my friend back, at his request, and left him a voicemail about how important it was to love life and cherish every day.

He does not make "great" music, and if you want to, you can have the same reaction that pitchfork.com did to him: slap a 0.6 out of 10 on it and hate him because he's the last non-ironic person left in America.

As for me, I will continue to listen to "I Love New York City" every time I go on a run, buy every album he releases, and admire the guy for the rest of his career.


No kidding, I feel ashamed that I could ever fall for something like this, and enraged that what I took to be maybe the only 100% sincere performer of the decade turned out to be, surprise, a conspiracy designed to take my money.
posted by Damn That Television at 1:07 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Who's the guy that got his ass kicked by Gonzales?
posted by setanor at 1:10 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm still confused. I hope orville sash shows up to clear this up.
posted by equalpants at 1:13 AM on December 30, 2009


I don't want to believe this because Andrew WK is like the Anti-Snark, with his unfashionably open-faced sincere approach to music and life and people. If he turns out to be a completely fabricated bullshit thing, then fuck it--game over man. The "meh" crowd wins.

Maybe in 2001, sure, but now there are a lot more options.
posted by setanor at 1:14 AM on December 30, 2009


Capitalism is so weird.
posted by the_bone at 1:17 AM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


"I love you, no matter what you think of me." AWK facing down a hostile Juggalo crowd, Tiananmen Square style.
posted by First Post at 1:23 AM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


No kidding, I feel ashamed that I could ever fall for something like this, and enraged that what I took to be maybe the only 100% sincere performer of the decade turned out to be, surprise, a conspiracy designed to take my money.

It's your own fault for thinking something good could happen this decade.
posted by Epenthesis at 1:29 AM on December 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


The first time I heard "Party Hard" I punched a dartboard.

Let me make that more clear. I was at the Alligator Lounge in Brooklyn, and I jumped off my feet towards the wall, slammed my fist into the dartboard, with all its sharp metal appendages, and launched myself off the wall with the force of it. On purpose. Because of the music.

Damn right I bled. And I scarred. And that's one of the most out-of-character things I've ever done in my life, and also one of the least regrettable.

I don't know what to think about the "confession," having just watched around 45 minutes of video wherein the "confession" is barely touched on and highly oblique. It seems like he's saying that the original sound and image of Andrew W.K. was focus-group-devised, which isn't surprising. What is surprising, and inspiring, is that this guy who wears the label of it is so thoughtful, and so concerned about the message he relays and how it plays with each of his listeners personally.

He's not the world's greatest musician, but he's far more innovative than he's been given credit for. He took heavy music and infused it with a joy for life - something I've never heard anyone else do with any sort of sincerity. I could give a shit how that music got to my ears, the fact that it did, and the fact that this person still cares about who he reaches, is enough for me.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:29 AM on December 30, 2009 [9 favorites]


No one's really said it yet, so I'll be the first: I don't care if he's "made up" or if it was all a big capitalist conspiracy. You can pry I Get Wet from my cold, dead, hungover hands.

On the first point - is Andrew W.K. real? Well, there's an actual dude on stage at an Andrew W.K. show, by all accounts singing and dancing and whatever. In terms of corporeal veracity, he fits the bill. Maybe it's not the guy that wrote the music, but this is basically jaywalking in the music industry. I don't go to a show like Andrew W.K. for a soulful heart-to-heart with an artiste, I go there to rock the fuck out, and for reality points, that's the only score that counts.

On the second - was it all a big money grab by a committee of evil super villains from an underground lair? Who cares. The iPhone is a plot by a capitalist, shareholder-owned venture to get you to spend money on hardware and software. The Trek Madone is a conspiracy to get cyclists with good jobs to trade cash for a bicycle. Mother's Cookies is an operation devoted to making you part with dollars in exchange for cookies. Why I should mind that Andrew W.K. wants me to trade currency for ass-kicking rock is beyond me.
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:30 AM on December 30, 2009 [37 favorites]


> variations of "I've never heard of this guy. Why should I care?"

Sometime in the last thirty years it has become popular to wave one's ignorance proudly, like a flag.

Don't do that. It's not clever, it's not cool, and it's not the spirit of MetaFilter.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 1:49 AM on December 30, 2009 [158 favorites]


Questions:

Why are the RockFeedback articles dated December 2009, when the opening titles of the first video show a date of September 2008? The Andrew WK appearance at Madame Jojo's did, by all accounts, occur in 2008. That's fifteen months ago. Why is RockFeedback posting this now?

In the Madame Jojo appearance, he claims that he auditioned for the role of Andrew WK. This implies that someone else is in charge -- namely, the people holding the audition. Why would the people in charge let this hired hand destroy all the artifice that they've so carefully constructed? What's going on here? Has the Sept. 2008 Andrew WK already been replaced?

Also, what is more likely? That this hoax* really was perpetrated over the course of seven or eight years? Or that he's yanking our chain now?


* "Hoax" may be a little too strong or loaded a term, but it'll do for now.
posted by mhum at 1:55 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thought the rest of the video would make things clearer, but I guess not. That's the weirdest "confession" I've ever seen. Hell, it's more like an anti-confession--he may or may not have been sincere before, but he's definitely not being sincere now. Unless the whole thing was some kind of joke or something that the internet has failed to get.

Oh, well, whatever. I still like his music. And bizarre performance-art media hoaxes are fun, too, so this is a win-win.
posted by equalpants at 2:09 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


In addition to the Wikipedia link to Steev Mike that Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld linked to, the "Multiple Andrews" section of the discussion page has more rumor mongering and such. It seems that tales of multiple/replacement/impostor Andrew WKs have been in the lore since at least 2004, possibly coming to a head in 2007.
posted by mhum at 2:15 AM on December 30, 2009


I too had never heard of Andrew WK before tonight, but I echo the win-win, equalpants. I've read every link in this story, watched the videos, followed related links, and I can't make heads or tails of the guy, but he is energetic, funny (FOX clip is hilarious) and bewildering.

And that wheelchair bit reminded me of Bob Roberts.

Also, I got hooked by the way you put this post together Damn That Television. Great job.
posted by salishsea at 2:18 AM on December 30, 2009


Navelgazer: “He took heavy music and infused it with a joy for life - something I've never heard anyone else do with any sort of sincerity.”

Dude, fuck that. And I'm sorry, but I'm resisting the temptation to say some much cruder stuff. Are you seriously suggesting that heavy music had never been infused with joy for life before? Are you seriously dismissing almost all the music I've ever listened to? Go listen to "Pay To Cum" a few dozen times, and then you can come back here and tell me that there's no authenticity or joy in loud music.

This is why so many of us couldn't stand this fucker when he came out - because all of you jumped in our faces and demanded that we accept that he was the first guy ever to have fun playing music, and didn't we love him so much? And then, when we were mildly uncomfortable with the fact that it didn't really seem genuine or real, you called us cynics, you told us we were jaded and sad and boring, and that we didn't know how to enjoy life, that we were mopey sourpusses, and didn't we all just have a case of the Mondays, and why didn't we all go listen to some sad music or something, and weren't we all so capitalistically cynical that we couldn't believe authenticity even when it was staring us in our faces.

The thing is: authenticity doesn't mean anything if it comes easy; trusting another human being has absolutely no significance if the only reason you have to trust someone is a giddy sense of enjoyment and a few empty lyrics that express nothing. I'm not saying that lyrics have to be deep or that music has to be complex - The Undertones' "Teenage Kicks" said more in six words than Andrew W. K. has done over the last ten years.

Nietzsche said it, I believe it: history repeating itself, first time as tragedy, second time as farce. First time as Fugazi, second time as Andrew W. K. Now that I find the thing was a sham I can actually respect the guy, to be honest. 'Positivity' and 'life fulfillment' are the opiates of the 21st century, and the gullibility of people is astounding; what's funniest is that, while people were saying over and over that Andrew W. K. was the last genuine musician, the world was full of musicians infinitely more genuine who actually cared about what they were doing and sought to find a way to express that genuineness in a way edifying to human beings in shitty times like these.

Somewhere, Andrew Krier and Ian Svenonius are drinking martinis together and laughing.
posted by koeselitz at 2:35 AM on December 30, 2009 [47 favorites]


Sometime in the last thirty years it has become popular to wave one's ignorance proudly, like a flag.

Don't do that. It's not clever, it's not cool, and it's not the spirit of MetaFilter.


To answer that, because it's a common accusation:

To wave the flag of not having heard of *insert name of imaginary artist here* is not only to the point, but almost entirely the point of MetaFilter. Different perspectives rather than mobthink. This is a good post because it raised awareness, but hearing that others weren't even slightly aware of the trick being played creates context, without which said point vanishes into self-absorbtion. This isn't Milli Vanilli - there were no Grammys involved, and some us who occasionally like music aren't even regulars on PitchFork.

Stand down, soldier.
posted by Sparx at 2:38 AM on December 30, 2009 [17 favorites]


Capitalism is so weird.

On the one hand, I'm confused by this. Capitalists worked together to make something people truly enjoyed. They made a hell of an effort making personal contact, and really affecting people's lives. They did good, created a great aura and music that moved people.

On the other hand, people seem so damn dedicated to the genuine, which somewhat flummoxes me. Every sports star scandal reveals this. So did Milli Vanilli. Yet people also readily accept personas like Lady Gaga and Marilyn Manson.

People are so weird.
posted by FuManchu at 2:42 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


FuManchu: On the other hand, people seem so damn dedicated to the genuine, which somewhat flummoxes me. Every sports star scandal reveals this. So did Milli Vanilli. Yet people also readily accept personas like Lady Gaga and Marilyn Manson.”

And Andrew W. K.
posted by koeselitz at 2:44 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


the world was full of musicians infinitely more genuine who actually cared about what they were doing and sought to find a way to express that genuineness in a way edifying to human beings in shitty times like these.

But being genuine doesn't matter when the music they make sucks. Andrew WK's doesn't.
posted by cillit bang at 2:44 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


cillit bang: “But being genuine doesn't matter when the music they make sucks. Andrew WK's doesn't.”

It does. It's unlayered, simplistic tripe. It's a motivational speaker given a microphone and very boring synthesizers and mixing them together in the most compressed, pop-friendly way possible.

But, though I can say that and argue it, what's interesting now is that, where the WK-heads have been telling me for years that I needed to pull my head out of my ass and stop worrying so much about "whether the music sucks" and just go with it, enjoying it for its own sake, now everybody's saying "ah well, at least it was of quality." The quality never seemed to matter. What people seemed to latch onto was the illusion of genuine connection with Andrew WK.
posted by koeselitz at 2:51 AM on December 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


Oh wow -- and just like that, Andrew WK suprirsed me again! Bravo!
posted by cavalier at 2:55 AM on December 30, 2009


the music they make sucks

An almost entirely relative opinion. I'll see your Taylor Swift and raise you Avril Levign's second album.
posted by Sparx at 2:55 AM on December 30, 2009


First of all, the commerce thing doesn't really bother me, largely for the reasons 0xFCAF outlined; trading cash for the music and the concert experience has been part of the deal from day one. But I find the creation of a sort of identity-nexus based on multiple people to be unsettling in this instance.

I think what I find dismaying about this is that it completely upends the idea he had created -- that a single human could be the full array of joyful tenacity that is Andrew W.K. This is basically a tacit admission that no, he could not achieve the fullness of whole-life-based artistic vision he'd claimed to achieve, and it makes all his subsequent proclamations about human potential ring a little hollow.

Whatever the reasons for a multi-person performance of the identity, the performance points to the idea that we as individuals are incapable of living up to the personas we show the world. If the reasons for this multi-person performance are based in the fact that it's simply too much for one individual to handle, that's fine, but I wish he would have admitted that from the get-go. So much of Andrew W.K. revolves around the idea that "Hey, I am living my life to the fullest -- you can, too!" But if one is only able to live one's life to the fullest because one has the assistance of a Jamie-Madrox-like series of backup bodies, each with fresh neurochemistry when one's worn out, then all of one's proclamations about the great potential for humanity strike me as shallow dismissals of the very real ways in which the world is harsh to us, and our responses to that harshness.

I suppose one could say, "Well that's it now, innit? We none of us are islands, we all need help sometimes." Which is definitely true. But most of us can't afford to audition and hire paid servants to be our help, and this guy -- with the financial backing of profit-seeking capitalists -- can. Bully for him, but encouraging people to believe they can achieve X+Y+Z as individuals while concealing the fact he can only achieve X+Y is not helpful to the development of humanity. It's a bit like the soul's equivalent of young girls who see photoshopped models on the covers of magazines and making their body-based decisions on the basis of a fiction; unhealthy, neurosis-inducing. It's a house built on quicksand -- no matter beautiful the final construction is, it's likely to sink.

I'm certainly opening myself up to an accusation that I'm taking this revelation too seriously, but I guess to that, I say that I take this seriously because I took his persona seriously. Living a life of joyful emotional generosity is an admirable goal, and it's something I -- like many people -- constantly struggle with, given perhaps-less-than-ideal past experiences and neurochemical tendencies. And to be fair, Andrew W. K. asks us to take it seriously -- his job these days is to stand on stage and offer advice that the audience is supposed to assume was forged in the crucible of his living experience, not the experience of a mythical superman-character of whom Andrew Wilkes-Krier is only one component.

At the end of the day, the music is still kickass, so there's that. That's good. But now it feels more like noisy bluster than transcendence. I like noisy bluster, so there's that. That's good. But it's unfortunate that the additional philosophical component is gone.

Also, the confession itself did seem hella weird to me; if none of this turns out to be true, I'll be delighted, but right now, this ain't doing much to alleviate my insomnia.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:56 AM on December 30, 2009 [19 favorites]


A mefite - I think KlangKlangston, but could be wrong - actually went to school with Andrew W.K, played in a band, and has alluded to knowing a bit more to this story in the past. Perhaps he will comment in this post.
posted by smoke at 2:57 AM on December 30, 2009


avril lavigne (I totally fail at canadian spellngi)
posted by Sparx at 2:59 AM on December 30, 2009


mixing them together in the most compressed, pop-friendly way possible

As if artists that don't have any merit whatsoever.
posted by cillit bang at 3:00 AM on December 30, 2009


So this guy's like, the Milli Vanilli of pop rock, right?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:00 AM on December 30, 2009


Anyway, the creative production of this decade was much, much better than it's popular around parts like these to give credit for. Just because you didn't bother to look...
posted by setanor at 3:09 AM on December 30, 2009


very boring synthesizers

Tangent: What makes a synthesizer boring? Is it kinda like what makes a piano boring?
posted by setanor at 3:11 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sometime in the last thirty years it has become popular to wave one's ignorance proudly, like a flag.

Before I started clicking on the links, I actually assumed that this some sort of Spinal Tap/Ruttles fake band history piece. I think that culture is just too fragmented these days to assume that everyone has heard of your favorite band.
posted by octothorpe at 3:17 AM on December 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


me: “the world was full of musicians infinitely more genuine who actually cared about what they were doing and sought to find a way to express that genuineness in a way edifying to human beings in shitty times like these.”

cillit bang: “But being genuine doesn't matter when the music they make sucks. Andrew WK's doesn't.”

Sparx: “An almost entirely relative opinion. I'll see your Taylor Swift and raise you Avril Levign's second album.”

Holy crap.

Okay, look: my point wasn't primarily that Andrew WK's music sucks. I think it does, but I don't expect to make headway on that point, and anyway just dragging him through the dirt, as satisfying as that might be, isn't really what I'm up for at the moment for some reason. What I meant is that this is being done in the world by musicians all over; and it's pretty fucking galling to have someone say (as you say, cillit bang) that no, all of those musicians make music that sucks.

And no, Sparx, I'm not talking about Taylor Swift or Avril Lavigne.

It's just music you have to look around for, dig a bit to find. It's not always right in front of your face. Maybe you have to go to a few local shows. It used to be taken for granted that heartfelt music infused with joy and love was hard to find, that you had to look for a while if you wanted to hear it. Now, I think because the internet era has given us the gift of a million hipsters, any music you have to dig to find is suddenly seen as "pretentious."

I saw Jonathan Richman play live two years ago. He's still touring, still recording albums. He's as great as he ever was, maybe better. And people like that are all over in the world doing neat things.

cillit bang: “As if artists that [did that] don't have any merit whatsoever.”

Does it really not seem derivative to you? What do you really like about the way it sounds? I don't mind hearing; maybe I'm missing something.
posted by koeselitz at 3:19 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


So this guy's like, the Milli Vanilli of pop rock, right?

Now I think he is more like a one guy more rocking version of Up With People
posted by katinka-katinka at 3:23 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well said, koeselitz. My point, such as it was, is that the joy and love is more often than not infused by the listener rather than the artist - everything else is "De gustibus non est disputandum".
posted by Sparx at 3:27 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not a fan so I don't have an emotional dog in this fight, but I don't interpret the content of part one the way it's framed in the OP. It sounds to me like what he's saying is that a character was developed, and that he was chosen to play that character, and that he's grown into that character over time and now it's something authentic to him and that's what he's trying to share in the lecture about choosing to look at the world in a joyful way and etc.. I don't think he meant that it was literally a different dude earlier on - even though he *said* just that - because if you keep listening he uses the same language to claim that everyone in the audience is a different person than they were in 2001 and that everyone in the room is *actually* perfect and so on.
posted by moxiedoll at 3:37 AM on December 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


Well now I'm interested. I've never heard this guys music. Just what does corporate rock sound like?
posted by vicx at 3:42 AM on December 30, 2009


Just what does corporate rock sound like?

AMERICA!
posted by Sparx at 3:46 AM on December 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


So this guy's like, the Milli Vanilli of pop rock, right?

Clearly, he's like, the Spartacus of pop rock?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:48 AM on December 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


I never understand the word 'Party' in the American context. Sometimes it seems to mean getting high. Sometimes it seems to mean having (paid for?) sex. Or both? From some contexts, it appears to be something two people can do in a motel room.

So this party music? Is that music that you'd listen to while high and having sex? Because here in the UK, party music tends to mean Agadoo and the Birdy Song which are the last things you'd want to listen to while high or having sex.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:49 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Tom Waits isn't an actual hobo. I still like his music, though.
posted by dortmunder at 3:49 AM on December 30, 2009 [38 favorites]


Okay... I've read through the relevant links, watched pre-2005 videos and post-2005 videos and it all seems like it's the same guy. Any video of the supposed other actor?

This whole thing confuses me, but then, while I've known about Andrew W.K. and his music for a good while I've never known much about the mythology.
posted by Kattullus at 4:00 AM on December 30, 2009


PeterMcDermott: “So this party music? Is that music that you'd listen to while high and having sex? Because here in the UK, party music tends to mean Agadoo and the Birdy Song which are the last things you'd want to listen to while high or having sex.”

Weirdly enough, AWK (I will henceforth thus refer to him as though he were the processing language, which amuses me) seems to be spectacularly popular in the UK. The NME loved him, anyway - although of course equating the NME with popular opinion in the UK is like... wait, hold on...
posted by koeselitz at 4:04 AM on December 30, 2009



Before I started clicking on the links, I actually assumed that this some sort of Spinal Tap/Ruttles fake band history piece. I think that culture is just too fragmented these days to assume that everyone has heard of your favorite band.


This.

It's fascinating to me that there's this guy out there (or this hoax) making music for almost 10 years, and there are people going to his concerts, and people punching dartboards, and people surrounded by rabid W.K. fans trying to tell them how awesome he is, and yet I've never heard of him.

I'm no ignorance-flag-waver - I own a TV and I know who Avril Lavigne is and how many Jonas Brothers there are. But my first thought on reading this FPP was that A.W.K. never existed in the first place and the whole thing was fiction. After listening to a few of his songs on Youtube I'm still not sure.
posted by mmoncur at 4:08 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


I am calling shenanigans on this attempt to self-call shenanigans.
posted by 1adam12 at 4:11 AM on December 30, 2009


seems to be spectacularly popular in the UK

Yeah, I'd never heard of him either. But then, I don't think I've ever met anyone in the UK who listens to that kind of rock music since about 1976 or so.

That's not to say they don't. I still see copies of Kerrang! selling in WH Smiths. But I think it's a fairly small audience.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:22 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


There are many lawns on this thread.
posted by cavalier at 4:32 AM on December 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


Wow, this whole post fucks with my notion of identity and how people perceive it way more than Dollhouse did. Flagged as wtfantastic.
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:39 AM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


By the way, I mentioned Ian Svenonius because he sang and played trumpet for a band called Nation of Ulysses in the late 80s and early 90s that sort of did this. That is, they were a militant communist punk band dedicated to espousing a complete dialectical deconstruction of capitalist ethics and ideals. And with all those big words slapped onto weird punk songs, they must have been a joke. Right? Anyway, this reminded me of them, in the kind of "wait - is he really serious?" kind of way.

Introduction: "The Nation Of Ulysses spits in the eye of rock and roll... smashed cameras, smashed lives..."
The Sound Of Jazz To Come / 50,000 Watts of Goodwill
Love Is A Bull Market
A Kid Who Tells On Another Kid Is A Dead Kid
Today I Met The Girl I'm Gonna Marry
Spectra Sonic Sound
We. the yet unsullied and always proud union of the Nation of Ulysses, being aligned unabashedly with the uncommon man, and in keeping with our general preference for the righteous option over things divine and arbitrary, feel that the entire concept of beauty is outmoded and must yield to the far more valid and useful idea of fashion. This is an obvious distinction, in that beauty, almost always equated with goodness, is in actuality a banal and unimportant fluke, while fashion (which henceforward shall be the exacting measure and red hot barometer in determining goodness) aligns the wearer politically, socially, and economically. Let us then, draw the lines for the coming battle, and scream in glee as the squares perish!!
ON FASHION-A LIST OF DO's AND DONT'TS
1. Cut your hair, as long hair shall align you with those who long for the bygone years, and who have betrayed us with every breath. Let them crawl into their daddy's scrap-books, as those selfsame volumes shall see fire on a night of fury not far off.
2. Color in your pimples with magic marker, then flaunt your new found beauty marks to an unsuspecting world.
3. Get afrocentric for the 90's. If you still see the west as the center of the universe, you may have trouble on judgement day....

— Nation Of Ulysses, "ULYSSES SPEAKS!" #2
posted by koeselitz at 4:40 AM on December 30, 2009 [8 favorites]


I met AWK on a few occassions and even if the AWK, as a band, is a fab, the real dude is super nice and very genuine.
posted by GilloD at 4:40 AM on December 30, 2009


I don't trust nice people.
posted by koeselitz at 4:43 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


His appearances on Conan O'Brien's old show were always exhilarating -- except his last, where he didn't perform, but came on to announce that he was re-launching himself as a motivational speaker. What I can't track down is the rumor of a few summers back, that he had converted to Islam. It seems to have faded.
posted by Faze at 4:45 AM on December 30, 2009


I've always rolled my eyes a bit at AWK and his fans, but Jesse Thorn really seemed to champion him at The Sound of Young America, so I couldn't completely avoid him. When I went to a TSOYA event and actually had to listen to AWK play and be around people who seemed taken with him, I at least came away with a modicum of respect for someone who got a positive reaction out of people. Still, in the two or three songs he performed, he really did seem like a guy trying to play the fool and bang really hard on a keyboard. There's a great tradition of folks with talent doing that (whether they considered themselves avant-garde classical musicians or more in the pop mold), and AWK was obviously not one of the ones with talent.

I assume Jesse actually knows him more than most, so I hope he comes around and weighs in on what the hell this might mean (paging YoungAmerican).
posted by aswego at 4:53 AM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


How have we gotten this far without mention of Santos Party House, the club opened by AWK and partners where apparently he actually likes people to party?
posted by pupdog at 5:00 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I find it amusing that I'm usually the one going "Who the hell is this musician that Metafilter is talking about?" and yet I have heard of this guy.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 5:04 AM on December 30, 2009


Hopefully others who were closer to him early on can shed a little more light than me, but I was around and attending shows in the late 90s when he was in local Ann Arbor bands like Beast People and Pteradactyls.

At that time, I wouldn't have known AWK by name, but I did start hearing stories about him in around 1999-2000 when he had already moved to NYC, but he had just put out this EP on Bulb Records (still a local Ann Arbor label). He had already shifted from noise rock to this sort of self-aware yet non-ironic party metal, and I was hearing stories that he was posting his home phone number on music flyers all around NYC in attempt to become famous. A year later, somehow he totally pulled it off, and the rest is mostly history.

From this and everything I've heard from him in interviews, etc.. I think his "confession" is a cryptic (like a lot of his comments) and pseudo-intellectual way of saying that he actively pursued fame and made choices about music production to reach that end.. Which can really be said about almost every famous or major-label band of recent decades. He probably just feels more guilty about it since he's more of an experimental and avantgarde music lover at heart.

The comments about auditions and conferences are still a little perplexing, and maybe the bigger labels that he switched to had proposed a different frontman or other changes to commercialize his image, etc- but it's ridiculous to take his statement that he was the 2nd AWK at face value since it's basically his birth name; this and the fact that he was already putting his signature sound in motion before meeting up with bigger labels makes me believe that there's a lot of nothing to these rumors/confessions.

I think maybe what's behind his attempt to distance himself from his earlier stage persona is AWK trying to build a new and different identity to match his recent more experimental and "grown up" music (he just released a solo piano instrumental album)..
posted by p3t3 at 5:07 AM on December 30, 2009 [12 favorites]


Metafilter's own Young American (Jesse Thorn) welcomed Andrew WK onto an episode of Jordan Jesse Go! back in 2007. (Listen online, or download from iTunes.)

Jesse is also hosting the 2nd annual MaxFunCon in May (which I will be attending), and guess who's coming?
posted by The Deej at 5:10 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


It used to be taken for granted that heartfelt music infused with joy and love was hard to find, that you had to look for a while if you wanted to hear it.

That's such a weird philosophy to me, such a strange assumption. It's like the opposite of whatever Zen is supposed to be. But it's also just a weird conflation to make: only that which you had to labor to discover is that which has authenticity and value. To me, one thing has nothing to do with the other. Some things are just enjoyable, and each person is different in what those things are. I don't have to shatter my pelvis and legs and spend painstaking months learning to walk again to take delight in the simple, vital pleasure of going for a run, to take an extreme example.
posted by Ritchie at 5:14 AM on December 30, 2009


What I meant is that this is being done in the world by musicians all over; and it's pretty fucking galling to have someone say (as you say, cillit bang) that no, all of those musicians make music that sucks.

Because "let's do something genuine and heartfelt" is not terribly compatible with making something fun or even good, and yet it's the unquestionable tenet of most rock music. That baggage doesn't seem to exist at all in the world of Andrew WK - he (or his team, or whoever) has created something that's just genuinely really fucking good.
posted by cillit bang at 5:15 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I diff-ed against last week's backups and my Andrew WK mp3s still have all the same bits in them, so this probably isn't going to affect me too much.

Also, it has not appeared on any charts that I am aware of, and I'm not sure it even has a proper title, but the McLaughlin Group song is one of my favorites of the decade.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:15 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


If you think this is fucked up, just wait until you find out what Lady Gaga has planned for you.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:34 AM on December 30, 2009 [12 favorites]


Andrew W.K. is going to be at Metafilter's favorite nerd party, MaxFunCon. Just ask Metafilter's own Jesse Thorn, aka YoungAmerican.
posted by SassHat at 5:42 AM on December 30, 2009


Ooh, I think I know this one: Lady Gaga is Andrew W.K.! Right?
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:44 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I saw Jonathan Richman play live two years ago.

See, now I get this thread, because if I found out today that "Jonathan Richman" was actually a construct devised by a team of faceless session men and brand consultants, I would cry for a week.
posted by escabeche at 5:50 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Also: this is the first time since his death I felt faced with something I really needed David Foster Wallace to write about.
posted by escabeche at 5:50 AM on December 30, 2009 [16 favorites]


You can see Andrew W.K. at 77 Boadrums. He's in the front in the striped polo shirt. I always took his appearance there to mean he didn't want to be Andrew W.K. -- he just wanted to be a drummer. He mostly wanted to be anonymous. I thought that was pretty cool.

I'm sure that "Andrew W.K.," the "party hard" guy, is a construct. The Andrew W.K. who covers Gundam songs and such is a genuinely nerdy and fun guy. (Also, there was a VH1 show from a few years ago, called something like "I Love Nerds" and Andrew W.K. showed off this pinball machine-like thing he'd made as a kid. It was incredible.)

I always felt the "party hard" stuff was a game, a joke, but a fun one we were all in on. When I saw him, that was one of the best shows I've ever been to. You can fake a lot of things, but you can't fake that sort of energy and enthusiasm. I don't know what this "revelation" is supposed to mean, but I don't think I really believe it as a confession to some deeper conspiracy.
posted by darksong at 5:51 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Andrew W.K. is too busy singing to put anybody down.
posted by pracowity at 5:56 AM on December 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


Deligitimacy comes in the night on little cat's feet!
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:17 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


That's it! I'm taking back all my fake bloody ratty white t-shirts right this instant!
posted by billysumday at 6:19 AM on December 30, 2009


Next you'll tell me KISS doesn't wear that make-up offstage!
posted by The Deej at 6:24 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Because here in the UK, party music tends to mean Agadoo and the Birdy Song which are the last things you'd want to listen to while high or having sex.

Separated by more than a common language, indeed.

I'm finding this really fascinating. I'd never, ever heard of the guy before reading this FPP, but when I clicked on the various youtube clips (loved the one of him dodging beer cans) the music was very familiar -- clearly I've been hearing it as background noise for years, without ever having it stand out to me.

Even if he is a total corporate construct (and it sounds more like he is a total self-construct in collusion with the suits), how is this new? I'm sure I've seen three or four movies with this storyline -- it's an old phenomenon and it's not like his music was real deep and nuanced anyway. You can party hard and punch dartboards, whether it's indy or sponsored by Corona, no?
posted by Forktine at 6:25 AM on December 30, 2009


I can't wait for the FPP exposing Blink 182 for the frauds that they really are.
posted by snapped at 6:28 AM on December 30, 2009


This entire thing reminds me of a discussion I had with a friend of mine about what makes punk rock punk. He cited solely musical aesthetics - fast, driven, loud, distorted guitars, hard beats, heavily accented vocals - and said this was what punk was. I took the position that a band playing punk-sounding music without any of the actual beliefs of punk rock was not a punk band. Punk's beliefs - anti-corporatism, non-conformity, anti-authoritarianism, anti-art - is part and parcel with punk music, I said. This discussion went back and forth until he posed the question:

"So let's say an underground-touring punk-sounding band that espoused all those aesthetics turned out to be a secret project being conducted by a major record label. Would they suddenly cease to be a punk rock band? Were they ever a punk rock band in the first place?"

I'd have to say that this band would, at the moment this revelation was made, cease to be a punk band. I don't deny that a lot of corporate punkish bands can make great music. I'm not so much of a snob that I can't listen to Green Day's "Welcome to Paradise" with the same enjoyment Crass' "Do They Owe Us a Living?" brings me. But while Crass is punk, Green Day is just punk-sounding. Again, that's not a snipe on the quality of Green Day's music; it's just that I think punk's beliefs is a crucial component of the genre.

Andrew WK never pretended to be punk, of course, but I think the same dynamic applies. If you espouse being Mr. Sincerity and then later reveal your entire act was indeed an act, that your band is a "commerce project," then yeah, say good-bye to Mr. Sincerity. Doesn't make the music suddenly suck more, but it does wipe away the veneer of sincerity you painted over top of it.

I'll also second koesilitz's position that many Andrew WK fans shouted down anyone pointing out that previous acts have done Andrew WK's schtick before, not by saying, "So what?", but by telling us we were wrong, that he was a pioneer, and that we just don't get it. Ah well. If you liked this music before, there's no reason why you can't still enjoy it for solely musical reasons. But yeah, at least Hannah Montana has been sincere about being a character created as a business venture.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:29 AM on December 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


Man, when I found out "Gallagher" wasn't really Gallagher, all that sledgehammered fruit seemed so empty to me.
posted by minimii at 6:31 AM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


...what makes punk rock punk..."

Cheech said it best in Up In Smoke: "You don't have to know how to play, you just have to be a punk."
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 6:34 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


a team of faceless session men

Never understood this insult. Today's faceless session men are tomorrow's legendary Funk Brothers or Wrecking Crew.
posted by kersplunk at 6:40 AM on December 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that this "Andrew W.K. is a construct" thing is a joke.

Otherwise, he's one of the least successful commercial constructs ever. I don't know why the people supposedly behind it would want to take credit for creating a one-hit wonder almost a decade ago. I know he still performs and is reasonably popular, but it's not like he's this massively huge act that some revelation like this would blow everyone's mind.
posted by mpbx at 6:44 AM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Say, that reminds me - I think I should get this off my chest. OK, here goes: I was actually every ska band that played between 1997 and 1999. I'm really sorry for what I did to the genre, but it was a lot of fun. I absolve myself of the brief swing revival, though. Don't even try pinning that on me.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:50 AM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'd have to say that this band would, at the moment this revelation was made, cease to be a punk band.

This is why I don't get punk. I like The Monkees, though.
posted by kersplunk at 6:54 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Sex Pistols were probably the most "punk" band of their time, by MSTPT's idealistic standards, but they were also the least sincere and most calculated.
posted by mpbx at 6:54 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


You really buried your lede here. The most newsworthy part must not come last.
posted by joeclark at 6:55 AM on December 30, 2009


This is insane and terrific. I like Andrew W.K. not because of his music, or his message, but as part of the spectacle. I enjoy AWK in an ironic sense, and I'm totally fine with that. I think that, at its heart, the AWK construct is as nihilistic and cynical as anything else, especially so because of how earnest it tries to be.
posted by codacorolla at 7:06 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Never understood this insult. Today's faceless session men are tomorrow's legendary Funk Brothers or Wrecking Crew.

More than that, the session men are often extremely talented people, able to do one style of music one day, flip around and do something else the next. And of course, sometimes in the same day.

This short film, besides showing Weird Al as an amazing musician and composer, also shows his use of session musicians for all sorts of effects, instead of just cobbling together samples.

A friend of mine loved listening to the Partridge Family albums, because they were comprised of Cassidy and Jones singing the male and female parts, and all the rest was being done by session musicians.

Just because they're not on the cover doesn't make them bad.
posted by jscott at 7:06 AM on December 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


If figuring out whether something is "punk" requires me to do something other than listen to the music, then that's a distinction I'm not particularly worried about making. Do bands exist in an undetermined state until I learn enough about their extramusical activities? Are The Poodles metal? Could 'purple' actually be green?
posted by Wolfdog at 7:09 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Next you're going to tell me he didn't write his comedy monologue about how riding an airplane made him realize how wonderful life is, and what complainers we are.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:09 AM on December 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


I'm confused. The on-stage stuff where he actually confesses that AWK is a creation is from September of 2008. So...has this been known for a while now?
posted by graventy at 7:16 AM on December 30, 2009


"Nietzsche said it, I believe it: history repeating itself, first time as tragedy, second time as farce. First time as Fugazi, second time as Andrew W. K."

Could you expound on this statement a bit more?
posted by HopperFan at 7:18 AM on December 30, 2009


This isn't Milli Vanilli - there were no Grammys involved

Huh?
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:23 AM on December 30, 2009


Sometime in the last thirty years it has become popular to wave one's ignorance proudly, like a flag.

sometime in the last sixty years, people started defining ignorance by what one knows of pop culture instead of what one knows

don't do that - it's not clever, it's not cool, and it's not the spirit of civilization

---

If you espouse being Mr. Sincerity and then later reveal your entire act was indeed an act, that your band is a "commerce project," then yeah, say good-bye to Mr. Sincerity.

are you saying that the people behind this merely pretended to produce light party music for people to boogie to and they actually wanted people to stay home and be miserable?

look, this is pop music, and that's what pop music does and it's a commerce project by definition - as are the bands who market themselves as punk, or genuine, or whatever - because i can guarantee you if there wasn't some kind of money involved, they wouldn't be doing it on a record label and touring - if the records are sold and admission is charged for the concerts, it's a commerce project, whatever other intentions the artists may have

frankly, punk music and other kinds of "authentic" music can be just as full of art school pretense as the most overblown prog rock was

there's a reason people say live musicians "perform" music, you know ...
posted by pyramid termite at 7:28 AM on December 30, 2009


Uhm, what? I always thought AWK was a joke band/commercial construct, and not a genuine band, and I thought everyone was in on the joke. They're so ridiculous, how could it be otherwise?
posted by zarah at 7:29 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Nietzsche said it, I believe it: history repeating itself, first time as tragedy, second time as farce. First time as Fugazi, second time as Andrew W. K."

Nietzsche? Don't think so.

Try Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852): "Hegel remarks somewhere that all facts and personages of great importance in world history occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce."
posted by Mister Bijou at 7:30 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


He took heavy music and infused it with a joy for life - something I've never heard anyone else do with any sort of sincerity.

I always thought of King's X as "life metal".
posted by adamdschneider at 7:37 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I do like the fact that there was a rumor he converted to Islam floating around.
posted by josher71 at 7:45 AM on December 30, 2009


See also: "On the Authenticity, or Lack Thereof, of the Public Personas of Popular Musicians", by H. Garfield et al.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:48 AM on December 30, 2009


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: "But while Crass is punk, Green Day is just punk-sounding."

Dookie sounded more like power pop to me. But I thought their playing Woodstock 94 was the most punk thing a band could do at that point in history.

By then, what could be more scripted or trite than, say, uttering the word "fuck" on television - as the Pistols had done? But wearing big shit-eating smiles while cashing a nice fat check to participate in a blatant corporate exploitation of a hallowed "brand"... that's punk, if you ask me.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:49 AM on December 30, 2009


So ya thought ya might like to go to the show ...
posted by All Out of Lulz at 7:54 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


No kidding, I feel ashamed that I could ever fall for something like this, and enraged that what I took to be maybe the only 100% sincere performer of the decade turned out to be, surprise, a conspiracy designed to take my money.
posted by Damn That Television


He may be "the only 100% sincere performer of the decade" in mainstream played on the radio rock but for any and all who are disillusioned with Andrew W.K. as their performer who espouses joy and whose shows are infused with ultimate happy, seek thee out Jason Anderson. His musical ouvre on records does not sound of W.K., but these descriptions of the glorious JOY and the motivation and the sincerity exist all in the wonderful being that is Jason Anderson. His shows are like a cult where you don't have to drink the Flavor Aid. I have seen him turn around and suck in audiences of all kinds and shapes. He sings pure joy and enthusiasm and it may be a conscious decision to act that way, but it's certainly genuine. I've seen him wow a crowd of hundreds who had never heard of him, and give it all for a crowd of five, in bright daylight, in a tiny cafe with just his acoustic guitar. Jason Anderson is your joy savior, I'm dead serious. Also he's playing in Boston on New Year's Eve at PA's Lounge, 8:30 pm doors, 10 pm. I will be there, so should you be.
posted by haveanicesummer at 7:57 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


By then, what could be more scripted or trite than, say, uttering the word "fuck" on television - as the Pistols had done? But wearing big shit-eating smiles while cashing a nice fat check to participate in a blatant corporate exploitation of a hallowed "brand"... that's punk, if you ask me.
posted by Joe Beese


I once saw a TMZ style clip of the lead singer of Sum 41 in a car sneering at the camera with Paris Hilton sitting next to him. Some random guy runs up to him and starts yelling "SUM 41 SUM 41 SUM 41!" and the lead singer spit on the guy when he looked away for a second, then grinned and drove off, the spit-on guy didn't seem to notice. Circa 2004 or whatever that was, and despite or maybe because of the endless corporate backwash of it all, it was pretty damn punk.
posted by haveanicesummer at 8:02 AM on December 30, 2009


I prefer my music cynical and ironic. I have a feeling if you are looking for the opposite of that, there is a good chance you're opening yourself to being tricked by secret cynics, and the irony just sort of writes itself.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:04 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Regardless of who 'plays' Andrew W.K. I don't see the harm in a positive message. It's a shame he has to generally age (or does he?), as it'd be pretty cool in my books to have AWK stay the same general age/personality for all generations. Many actors, one role.
posted by Doug Stewart at 8:04 AM on December 30, 2009


The illusion of punk is that it's always been an anti-authoritarian, anti-tradition, anti-corporate movement, but anyone who has read Please Kill Me knows that this is far from the truth. Most of the primary players in the NYC 70s punk movement were really just dumb kids looking to have fun or, at worst, arty poseurs who wanted to be cool.

If anything, the early punks were obsessed with tradition. Remember, punk was a reaction to progressive rock, which was expanding and changing the genre into (often cheesy) but definitely experimental realms. Punk music looked backwards to early rock-and-roll, Buddy Holly, Bo Diddley, the bare-bones, straight-ahead style of garage rock and rockabilly, and to 60s girl-groups a la The Ramones.

They all signed to labels, most of the NYC groups to Sire (which became part of Warner Brothers). There were no high-minded ideals among the early crowd. The Clash were on CBS. Are The Clash not punk? Blondie, definitely a founding punk band, went disco with "Heart of Glass." Television and Talking Heads are certainly founding punk scene bands, but they share little in ethos with a band like Crass. The Sex Pistols were formed to promote a clothing store and they were always looking for a new major label to shower money on them. Should they be written out of the history of punk?

The anti-establishment trend didn't come about until the 1980s, with "hardcore" punk. Hardcore punk has always been an exclusionary movement, in that it was very much about lifestyle and ideology (see "Out of Step") and drawing lines between what was and wasn't punk. That's where Marisa Stole the Precious Thing's extra-musical outlook derives from, but it's something that was absent with '77 punk. And it's a very (no offense meant) teenage perspective on music.
posted by mpbx at 8:05 AM on December 30, 2009 [23 favorites]


I think I should get this off my chest. OK, here goes: I was actually every ska band that played between 1997 and 1999. I'm really sorry for what I did to the genre, but it was a lot of fun.

YOU FUCKER
posted by Greg Nog at 8:06 AM on December 30, 2009 [9 favorites]


Doug Stewart: " it'd be pretty cool in my books to have AWK stay the same general age/personality for all generations. Many actors, one role."

Like Menudo. Or Ronald McDonald.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:12 AM on December 30, 2009


This reminds me of the whole Paul is dead thing. I'm with Kattullus. Looking at the videos and pictures before and after, this looks like the same guy to me.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 8:13 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oop. There is a slightly NSFW pic on the previous link.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 8:14 AM on December 30, 2009


Just after his early success, his father was often observed and interviewed at his concerts, presenting a bemused pride in his son's unexpected popularity. Who wrote that role? Who played it?
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:14 AM on December 30, 2009


it'd be pretty cool in my books to have AWK stay the same general age/personality for all generations. Many actors, one role.

I suppose the best way to do it would be one Andrew W.K. per sector of space, each with a ring powered by the force of partying. That way, even if Wilkes-Krier dies or turns into Partylax or something, Guy Gardner could always take over, and bring us a new generation of bowl-cut rock and roll.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:16 AM on December 30, 2009 [15 favorites]


*does comments search for "buried lede"*

Yeah. What he said.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:18 AM on December 30, 2009


I think p3t3 has the sanest take on this: he's being point blank about the fact that he wanted a music career and created an aesthetic that he thought would be successful. As far as whether his friendly, happy shtick is authentic, it's a fact of life that plenty of noise-rock musicians are perfectly friendly, personable guys. He's been in the public eye for so long that it shouldn't be that difficult to figure out if he's literally being played by different people and replaced over time, like the Dread Pirate Roberts.
I'm not saying that lyrics have to be deep or that music has to be complex
This review, back when I first became familiar with Andrew WK, explained the appeal:
Rock and roll music, at its very core, has always been inherently dumb. Whether it’s sociopolitical satire disguised as dumb (The Fugs), pop genius disguised as dumb (The Ramones), dumb disguised as profound (Creed), entertainingly dumb (Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie), or just plain moronic (Loverboy, Journey), the same old three chord, verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus formula of Big Dumb Rock has remained relatively unchanged. The problem these days is that with the unending stream of rock bands who are either overly morose, overly angry, overly political, or overly pretentious, one other fundamental element has been missing from mainstream rock: dumb old fun.
posted by deanc at 8:26 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


We cynics wouldn't be so cynical if we weren't constantly proved correct.
posted by bondcliff at 8:27 AM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


The Sex Pistols were probably the most "punk" band of their time, by MSTPT's idealistic standards

Not especially, no. The Sex Pistols were the Monkees with safety pins. In any event, the ideology of punk seems to mean a lot of different things to different people. It has a flexible definition. I'm not ultra-orthodox about it, but I have my own POV on what it constitutes. Having said that:

The anti-establishment trend didn't come about until the 1980s, with "hardcore" punk. Hardcore punk has always been an exclusionary movement, in that it was very much about lifestyle and ideology (see "Out of Step") and drawing lines between what was and wasn't punk. That's where Marisa Stole the Precious Thing's extra-musical outlook derives from, but it's something that was absent with '77 punk. And it's a very (no offense meant) teenage perspective on music.

If you're talking about American punk, this might be the case. In the UK, though, Crass, Subhumans, Conflict UK and others were composing and playing socially conscious punk rock in the late 70s.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:29 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I took the position that a band playing punk-sounding music without any of the actual beliefs of punk rock was not a punk band. Punk's beliefs - anti-corporatism, non-conformity, anti-authoritarianism, anti-art - is part and parcel with punk music

I know the whole "if your subculture so non-conformist why do you all wear similar clothes, har har" thing is played out, but seriously the punk rock culture's insistence that everyone follow the punk rules was really tiring, especially in the early 90s when there was a huge backlash against the punk bands that signed to major labels and got popular. It was an annoyingly elitist scene considering that most of the audience for punk rock were skater kids and other misfits who just wanted to feel like they belonged to a culture other than the mainstream one that they didn't fit in with. I remember listening to Boxcar for the first time and totally agreeing that the whole punk/not punk thing wasn't worth worrying about.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:30 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Can someone breakdown in detail how the 'multiple andrew' thing worked? Cause I don't understand it. Wouldn't it be obvious?
posted by empath at 8:33 AM on December 30, 2009


The Old vs. The New Andrew W.K.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:34 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


for any and all who are disillusioned with Andrew W.K. as their performer who espouses joy and whose shows are infused with ultimate happy, seek thee out Jason Anderson.

Jason was my roommate freshman year in college. I can attest 110% that he's genuinely genuine and a completely and totally awesome guy. He's got some free shows up for download on his website that are worth your time to seek out.
posted by togdon at 8:34 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Right, I wasn't trying to ignite a "more punk than thou" discussion. I was just using an analogy, comparing the pointless debate I had with a friend with the debate now going on about Andrew CK. The music is still the same, and can be enjoyed for the music alone.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:34 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Per Equalpants' request, I'll take a crack at this. Full disclosure: I haven't seen or spoken to Andrew in quite a while (over a year), and I'm on vacation on a slow ass internet connection, so I haven't watched the videos.

When we were in high school, back when he was just Andrew Wilkes-Krier, he had a habit of trying on new personae. He did an album as The Portly Boys, which was supposed to be a rebellious inner city boys choir that got really into Gregorian chant, and sounded like very slow and echo-y call and response. He recorded an album with some friends called The Rusty Bucket Group, who were supposed to be old bluegrass musicians that would hack and snarl between songs. Around the time the Gravediggaz album came out, he recorded an album as a rap group called The Coffinz. He also had an experimental noise outfit called Ancient Art of Boar (later known as AAB), he played drums in Pterodactyls, he played with us in Lab Lob Otomy, and briefly had an acoustic metal band with a friend of mine called The Deer Dogs. At one point he wanted to record albums under the monikers of Los Angeles sports teams (The Lakers, The Raiders, etc.) I have a 7" with him performing "Gangsta's Paradise" on it. From around 1998.

Say what you will about his compositions, his technical skill is beyond reproach. He is an incredibly talented pianist, guitarist and drummer. He was also incredibly driven and something of a perfectionist, and he was never fully satisfied with any of his projects when I used to play music with him. He just wanted to go bigger and bigger. Andrew WK was born out of that desire. I think on a personal level, creating the Andrew WK persona allowed him to be more accepting of his music, because he was forced to be unwaveringly accepting of everything all the time. And, of course, the recognition didn't hurt either.

The AWK character also gave him a lot of room to move and try new things. He recorded an album of Gundam songs. He did a piano improvisation album. He did inspirational speaking. He did kids shows and shows on MTV, and I'm sure it was all a lot of fun, and he had the opportunity to meet a lot of people that he never would have otherwise. I mean, he produced a Lee fucking Perry album. People really responded to this character, and it appeared to genuinely help people, so he just cranked it up harder and harder.

If you give it some thought, there's really no way to believe in Andrew WK as a person. He's a totally blank slate. He doesn't talk about anything except being positive and partying. As Astro Zombie mentioned upthread, that story he told on The Sound of Young America about struggling to be positive when he sees overweight people at the airport is ridiculous on the face of it. He's having fun with us, even though I think he has really come to believe most of his "HAVE FUN PARTY NEVER LET DOWN NEVER LET UP" schtick. Being a guy named Andrew Wilkes-Krier and playing a guy named Andrew WK is a strange delineation to make. Very Andy Kaufmann. I wouldn't be surprised if he has assimilated parts of this persona into his offstage routine. If anything, I bet it has helped him immensely.

I don't believe for a second there were fake Andrews, or that anyone was involved in contriving this character other than Andrew himself. He's just having fun with us. As well as being a funny, talented guy with a weird sense of humor, he's also a great showman, and like it or hate it, he's giving us an interesting show.

So why do this now? Well, as liberating as AWK probably was for him, this is a guy who would come up with a new character once a month. Playing the same one for 10 years is probably pretty exhausting, and really, can you think of a better way to walk away from it than this?

As I said in that last thread: "He's good people, and he's managed to carve out an amazing little niche for himself that few performers get, where he can (and does) try just about everything. More power to him." He's taking an opportunity to try something new. More power to him.
posted by orville sash at 8:40 AM on December 30, 2009 [95 favorites]


"Andrew W.K." is everything that's right about people embodied in everything that is wrong about music.
posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism at 8:41 AM on December 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


Oh my word, you people are old. My parents' generation groused about how my generation's music wasn't "real" music. Now you folks are going to tell the kids their music isn't "legitimate". Or culturally appropriate. Or some sad shit that just means you got old.
posted by yerfatma at 8:43 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


He recorded an album of Gundam songs.

?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:44 AM on December 30, 2009


Now you folks are going to tell the kids their music isn't "legitimate"

I know. It's a real shame that the musical genre pioneered by the Sex Pistols has been co-opted by a record company creation.
posted by empath at 8:47 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


> Like Menudo. Or Ronald McDonald.

Exactly so.

As long as the general appearance is there, and the person can perform parts of the ever-expanding AWK ouvre, I'm fine with it. The current AWK doesn't do full band concerts so much as the first one did and instead of has what are being tagged as "parties" where music from the first two albums plays as backing tracks, he adds keyboard on top, and sings openly with the crowd.

It's still an AWK show, it's just also an Everyone show. There were literally only two people left in the 'audience' by the end of this one, and I don't think anyone would say they felt ripped off or deceived. (link to my own Flickr set of a show to illustrate the stage/crowd)
posted by Doug Stewart at 8:55 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


As long as we're examining musicians' authenticity...

Having been introduced to Lisa Loeb back when she was a student at Brown University and performing with Elizabeth Mitchell as "Liz & Lisa", I can vouch that she wore the cat glasses then too.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:56 AM on December 30, 2009


I buried Lede.
posted by pracowity at 8:58 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I know Andrew personally and have known him for years. We're not close friends or anything, but we keep in touch. He's been a guest on my radio show four times, and once on my podcast-only show. I had his first EP, which he released independently. I have a friend who went to high school with him.

This corporate construct / multiple actors stuff is a metaphor, not a literal statement.

Also: Andrew is literally one of the best people I've ever met. The only way I can describe him that conveys the impact he has when you meet him (or even just see him play) is that he's like Mr. Rogers. Not in the sense that he's guileless or quiet... just in the way he absolutely radiates love. I'm a public radio host, and I book my own show, so I've met many, many people I admire. Andrew is leagues above all of them in my esteem.

He met my then-eight-year-old brother six years ago. Not only did he give him a tour of his bus, introduce him to his whole band, take a picture with him, actually listen to his CD (my brother, then as now, had a band)... but Andrew still checks in on him whenever I talk to him.

Andrew is one man, and he's only a character in the way Iggy Pop is a character or Mick Jagger is a character or Chuck D is a character or even Jonathan Richman is a character. And he's one of the greatest guys around.
posted by YoungAmerican at 8:58 AM on December 30, 2009 [64 favorites]


I told you he's too busy singing to put anybody down.
posted by pracowity at 9:03 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also: everything Orville wrote, except that I didn't go to high school with him.
posted by YoungAmerican at 9:03 AM on December 30, 2009


his father was often observed and interviewed at his concerts, presenting a bemused pride in his son's unexpected popularity. Who wrote that role? Who played it?

Oh, I see. They're saying the father created his persona.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:08 AM on December 30, 2009


Uhm, what? I always thought AWK was a joke band/commercial construct, and not a genuine band, and I thought everyone was in on the joke. They're so ridiculous, how could it be otherwise?
posted by zarah at 10:29 AM on December 30


Maybe I didn't make this painstakingly clear: the interesting part about all of this, to the "Well he was OBVIOUSLY just a creation of corporate media u sheeple" crowd and the "I love him more than life itself" crowd alike is the possibility that not only was he created by the corporate media figuratively, but also literally, in that he has been played by multiple actors/people over the years.

Regardless of how you feel about him/"him"/his music/art/the media/pop culture/capitalism/other people's opinions of capitalism/etc., having one person rise to moderate (if unusual) prominence in American music, only to find out a decade later that he has been a series of actors, is pretty mindrending (if true).

It also leads to the very interesting condition of music that is quite literally impossible to cover, because merely by playing AWK's songs, you become him.
posted by Damn That Television at 9:08 AM on December 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


Thanks for the input Jesse. Can't wait to meet him at MaxFunCon!
posted by The Deej at 9:08 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


First, I've always found Andrew WK to be incredibly hot.

Second, a cursory look at this link makes me think that this is just a constructed, deliberate Paul is Dead thing--he seems to be one person, but they're constructing a conspiracy around that person. Which somehow involves Sierra Mist.

Which I think is pretty nifty.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:09 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Or, from the bottom of that link:
The other three people that he's always worked with are all adults much older than him (by the way, Andrew's real age isn't 26 or 27). I don't know exactly how he met these other three, but I think it was through his Dad somehow as they were all involved in academics (probably from University of Michigan). One day in the acting class the teacher had us all stand up and talk about what are dreams for the future were. Most of the kids said "To be a famous actor", one other girl said "To be a star on Broadway", and I said "To make movies". Andrew went last and stood up and said, very slowly, "I want to craft my own non-existence." The teacher asked him what he meant and said "Exactly what I said." The teacher was clearly annoyed and the whole class rolled it's eyes because Andrew was always saying weird stuff that made no sense. I thought what he said sounded cool though, so after class, while we were walking to our cars, I asked Andrew how he was going to craft his own non-existence). I don't remember what he said word for word, but essentially he said, "First I'm going to make myself undeniably exist as a recognizable and identifiable form, and then I'm going to spend the rest of my life working to eliminate it and prove that it's existence was an impossible illusion all along, but because people have already seen it they will experience the sensation equal to maximum pleasure." It was something like that, obviously some of what he said was different, but that's essentially what he told me. I remember it well because it made a huge impact on me and I've thought about it a lot since.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:11 AM on December 30, 2009 [13 favorites]


I remember when I first saw him on MTV or whatever, I recognized him from when a friend brought him over to my dorm room (like back in '95). That's pretty much all I think about whenever I hear his name mentioned. Never really liked his music, though his newer stuff sounds pretty good.
posted by organic at 9:13 AM on December 30, 2009


it'd be pretty cool in my books to have AWK stay the same general age/personality for all generations. Many actors, one role.

So...Andrew WK is the Dread Pirate Roberts of music?
posted by inigo2 at 9:14 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Everything in this whole fucking existence just ends up being an alternate reality game for McDonalds.
posted by Damn That Television at 9:14 AM on December 30, 2009


The Sex Pistols were formed to promote a clothing store and they were always looking for a new major label to shower money on them.

True. But then, if you actually, like, listen to their music, there are some subtle hints that maybe, just maybe they were ever-so-slightly anti-establishment. Hint: God Save the Queen is not a pro-Monarchy anthem.

Now, sure, it's possible--likely, even--that the Sex Pistols were simply a ruse on the part of Malcolm McLaren to take money from angry teenagers. But, thing is, the ruse actually addressed the very real reasons for those teenagers' anger, and focused it once and for all at its source: Britain was thoroughly fucked up from top to bottom.

The Pistols, however phony, through their success and popularity (quel horreur!), were the catalyst for a real movement in Britain.

(It is also worth noting that, at the time, record labels--even the big corporate labels--tended to be that and only that, perhaps with a shop and/or disco on the side, which is very different from the current system of Four Megacorporate Overlords.)

Now, all that said, many bands that punk displaced (Jethro Tull, for example) were every bit as anti-establishment. The punks just added the viscerally cathartic musicality.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:15 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Shaving one person rise to moderate (if unusual) prominence in American music, only to find out a decade later that he has been a series of actors, is pretty mindrending (if true).

Second, a cursory look at this link makes me think that this is just a constructed, deliberate Paul is Dead thing--he seems to be one person, but they're constructing a conspiracy around that person.

The above two comments seem pretty contradictory. Based on reading the long FPP and the 100+ comments here, I still have no idea whether this was a borderline-Milli-Vanilli scandal, or if it's just much ado about the unsurprising fact that a solo artist isn't literally a solo artist but has a lot of other people working with him.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:16 AM on December 30, 2009


Speaking of NSFW, there's some nudies on that page, PBWK.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:17 AM on December 30, 2009


True. But then, if you actually, like, listen to their music, there are some subtle hints that maybe, just maybe they were ever-so-slightly anti-establishment. Hint: God Save the Queen is not a pro-Monarchy anthem.

OK, but going by the "just listen to their music" standard, Green Day and a lot of other pop-punk bands that have been derived as not-really-punk are actually very anti-establishment.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:18 AM on December 30, 2009


the possibility that not only was he created by the corporate media figuratively, but also literally, in that he has been played by multiple actors/people over the years
is so far-fetched that a lot of people are not going to take it seriously, and the conversation is consequently going to go in some different directions. Further painstaking clarification probably won't help that.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:19 AM on December 30, 2009


I’d never heard of Andrew W.K. before today. I am curious about whether “he” is in fact a corporate entity, an assemblage consciously constructed by multiples much like the author in Foucault’s “What Is an Author?” Intentional fallacy really is an fallacy and it’s good folks have enough sense to call it out as well as recant it.

Intention aside, this music is for assholes.
posted by mistersquid at 9:22 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Next up: TaTu not really lesbians!
posted by Artw at 9:23 AM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


And that's not Tom Jones' real hair.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:24 AM on December 30, 2009


* derived --> derided

(Note to mods: Edit function, please!)
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:26 AM on December 30, 2009


orville sash's comment is about as close as the Blue can get to a "Best Answer," and I'm sad it's so far down the page.

Reading a lot of these comments, it's clear that people didn't actually watch/listen to Andrew's interview/lecture, because what Damn That Television put in the post just really wasn't too true. It's certainly the literal interpretation, but listening to him speak, he's saying that the Andrew WK from I Get Wet is not the same person he is, in the same way that the 18-year-old me is not the same person as I am now.

Buried the lede, indeed, but disguised it as a different lede too.
posted by explosion at 9:27 AM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


The monkees did not all live in a house together! Posh Spice is not really anyones definition of "posh"!
posted by Artw at 9:29 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Whoops, sorry. Yeah, NSFW images there.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:29 AM on December 30, 2009


he's saying that the Andrew WK from I Get Wet is not the same person he is, in the same way that the 18-year-old me is not the same person as I am now.

"Andrew WK was created, and this is a bit of a confession, by a large group of people, almost a conference of people, and we talked about how we could come up with something that would move people, that was done in the spirit of commerce, that was done in the spirit of entertainment… I am the next person who is playing Andrew WK."

I didn't disguise shit, dude. That doesn't sound like figurative language to me. And I buried the lede because posts ain't journalism, they're storytelling, and I wanted to do my best to make sure people at least got the backstory as I saw it before jumping to conclusions.
posted by Damn That Television at 9:31 AM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


This entire subject is so enormously confusing that I fear my hair may catch fire.
posted by aramaic at 9:31 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


It is quite impossible to actually surf a butthole.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:32 AM on December 30, 2009 [10 favorites]


OK, but going by the "just listen to their music" standard, Green Day and a lot of other pop-punk bands that have been derided as not-really-punk are actually very anti-establishment.

Well, yeah. It's a first little step toward full indoctrination in the ethos. I'm not ashamed to admit that, when I was 12, Green Day were among the first nudges in the right direction (the right direction being back in time).
posted by Sys Rq at 9:34 AM on December 30, 2009


The monkees did not all live in a house together!

You'll be trying to tell me that The Beatles didn't live in four terraced houses all knocked together into one big one next.

Posh Spice is not really anyones definition of "posh"!

A posh wank isn't that posh either.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:38 AM on December 30, 2009


So... Andrew WK is some sort of weird genetically-engineered cybernetic composite pseudo-human? Because I gotta say, he still rocks pretty hard either way.
posted by quin at 9:38 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I am secretly hoping for Andrew WK and Lady Gaga to form some sort of musical Megazord.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:39 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's certainly the literal interpretation, but listening to him speak, he's saying that the Andrew WK from I Get Wet is not the same person he is, in the same way that the 18-year-old me is not the same person as I am now.

Your 18 year-old-self was not a commercial construct created by a think tank of "himself, his father, and other individuals". It was actually physically you, not a hired actor, doppleganger, or pod person, right? Just an existentially and physically underdeveloped version of you. Well Andrew W.K. is not saying he's grown up and blossomed into a mature snowflake. He's saying this:

"I'm not the guy you've seen from the I Get Wet album...I'm not that same person. I don't just mean that in a philosophical or conceptual way. It's not the same person at all.""
posted by Juicy Avenger at 9:41 AM on December 30, 2009


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: It is quite impossible to actually surf a butthole.

Speak for yourself, man.
posted by Kattullus at 9:43 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


He's saying this:

"I'm not the guy you've seen from the I Get Wet album...I'm not that same person. I don't just mean that in a philosophical or conceptual way. It's not the same person at all.""


Not everything everyone says is 100% true.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:44 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


IS THIS REAL LIFE????!!!?
posted by Juicy Avenger at 9:46 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]



The Pistols, however phony, through their success and popularity (quel horreur!), were the catalyst for a real movement in Britain.


I wasn't disagreeing with this idea in my post, in fact, I was supporting it.
posted by mpbx at 9:47 AM on December 30, 2009


Now where did I put my copy of the Great Rock and Roll Swindle?
posted by Edward L at 9:48 AM on December 30, 2009


mpbx: "The anti-establishment trend didn't come about until the 1980s, with "hardcore" punk."

Considering the notably authoritarian and traditionalist sentiment of "Anarchy in the UK," "God Save the Queen," "White Riot," "Oh Bondage Up Yours," not to mention the lockstep lickspittle sentiments of such reactionaries as the Dead Boys and Pere Ubu, one would certainly find nothing whatsoever to disagree with in your statement.
posted by mwhybark at 9:49 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


The girls in porn movies really are having the best sexual experience of their life, right? Someone told me they're faking it for money but that can't be true.
posted by minimii at 9:51 AM on December 30, 2009


You'll be trying to tell me that The Beatles didn't live in four terraced houses all knocked together into one big one next.

wait - wait - you mean the grateful dead were actually ALIVE?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:55 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


In the linked interview, he refers several times to *being* the Andrew WK character over the entire period of time, from 2001 until the present. I am pretty sure his "confession" is in fact philosophical/conceptual, even if he says "I mean it literally." He talks about having an advice column in Japan for 6 years; the interview was filmed in 2008, whch would mean since 2002. When did the supposed switch to this new Andrew WK occur? That's the part I'm confused about. If there were multiple actors, when did the new one take over? Was it before the first album even came out?
posted by synaesthetichaze at 9:57 AM on December 30, 2009


I'm beginning to doubt whether Andrew WK liked parties at all.
posted by The Deej at 10:02 AM on December 30, 2009 [27 favorites]


Ok... so assuming that what is happening here is that Andrew W.K. is the performance art of one man backed by a studio, then the layers are:

Surface Layer - Andrew W.K. is a very happy man that likes to party and inspire other people to party. After releasing an album in the early part of this decade, he went on to have trouble with his label, has experimented with other side projects, and recently opened a club in NYC.

Sub Layer - Andrew W.K. is, in reality, a construct of a corporation designed to sell music. Every step of the way, this persona has been designed by comittee to cultivate a fan-base and, and create good will to sell more records, tickets, and merchandise. Whatever altruistic or philosophical tones this advertising may take it is, at its core, still advertising with profit its ultimate goal. There may also be a conspiracy with multiple look-alike actors.

Reality - Andrew W.K. is, despite the involvement of any corporation, the project of a single artist to explore the nature of identity. Is Andrew W.K. a near religious figure of zen-like hedonism and good will? Is Andrew W.K. the cynical creation of admen, playing with the easily led psyche of the internet age? Does Andrew W.K. exist at all, and if he doesn't, then isn't the fabrication in many ways realer than anything else? If the commentor above is telling the truth, then Andrew really has created and then destroyed himself. People often talk about being a "self made man", as if anyone could make himself out of whole cloth and determine his future independent of outside of events. But perhaps this is what being a self made man gets you - a construct of indeterminate reality that, when examined closer, is nothing more than a hollow shell


Bitchin'
posted by codacorolla at 10:02 AM on December 30, 2009 [9 favorites]


I WANT TO BELIEVE
posted by lumensimus at 10:02 AM on December 30, 2009


Considering the notably authoritarian and traditionalist sentiment of "Anarchy in the UK," "God Save the Queen," "White Riot," "Oh Bondage Up Yours," not to mention the lockstep lickspittle sentiments of such reactionaries as the Dead Boys and Pere Ubu, one would certainly find nothing whatsoever to disagree with in your statement.

Anti-establishment was the wrong phrase to use, it's too broad. But I was generally speaking of the notion that punk rock is a form of music that operates outside of mainstream, corporate avenues of distribution, something that the founding bands of the movement did not believe, but allegedly became a requirement of punk in the 1980s.

All the records you mention above were released or distributed by major labels, with the exception of Pere Ubu (who are very clearly post-punk ;)), and thus would not be considered "punk" by the very narrow perspective that Marisa Stole The Precious Thing described, regardless of their attitude. This is something I think both you and I would disagree with.
posted by mpbx at 10:03 AM on December 30, 2009


They did do a naughty tune about EMI.
posted by Artw at 10:06 AM on December 30, 2009


I don't see anything "very narrow" about saying punk rock is anti-authoritarian and anti-corporate, but to each their own.

I was generally speaking of the notion that punk rock is a form of music that operates outside of mainstream, corporate avenues of distribution, something that the founding bands of the movement did not believe, but allegedly became a requirement of punk in the 1980s.

I'm guessing now you're talking exclusively about American punk, as it's been noted already that there were numerous British punk bands in the late 70s who were abiding an anti-authoritarian, underground ideology.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:11 AM on December 30, 2009


Sounds like AWK is having fun teasing the authenticity of his persona, hinting at some interesting ideas about the nature of identity.

He is also confounding some people by restating an accepted reality about the entertainment business: any front-man/front-person for a commercially successful performing act is essentially a front, an artist who is the recognized figurehead or public image representing a committee or collective of artists who all collaborate in putting on a show. Shocking.
posted by ovvl at 10:13 AM on December 30, 2009


At the very least I want to believe this is all meta-level performance art because, if true, it confirms the idea that Ryan Schreiber is a pompous, bloviating asshole who never should have any sort of cultural cachet.
posted by codacorolla at 10:14 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have never gotten the whole "he's really sincere" thing. The first time I heard his music was in a beer commercial. "Motivational Speaker" is not the Stamp of Unironic Sincerity to me that it is to many. See also: "Nightclub Owner".

His whole schtick is very entertaining though, and his music is pretty fun. I'm sure that in-person he's a swell guy. Everyone here that's met him seems to attest to that.

I hope he does a Man...or AstoMan style Clone Project and has multiple AWK's touring simultaneously.
posted by Cookiebastard at 10:18 AM on December 30, 2009


I had heard about AWK for years, his music being described as "energetic piano-driven hard-rock". When I finally heard his hit song, it sounded to me kinda like energetic computer-generated hard-rock, with a bit more compression than is to my taste. I haven't heard his piano improvisations.
posted by ovvl at 10:19 AM on December 30, 2009


This is why I think discussions of cultural authenticity are so absurd: what we're talking about now is not the music, but the marketing of the music, which to me is far less important. But this case in particular is more absurd than the normal for three reasons:

1) So his goal was to be the Platonic Ideal of a Rocker. Authentic or not, that was clearly the case from day one and no matter how many men are behind the curtain, the giant green head of the Wizard is still as close to our ideal as it ever was. Whether or not it was an authentic gimmick, it was always a gimmick - its just not possible to party 24 hours a day for your entire life. I think everyone here should be mature enough to recognize that art often requires artifice.

2) The goal of being the absolute most at what you do should be supported. The fact that he even tried to be the Platonic Rocker is awesome, and the fact that he came as close as he did is still cool. I suspect that if you sat down and hung out with Wayne Coyne, he probably wouldn't spend all his time making vague proclamations about the nature of life and the impact of death, but that doesn't mean that I don't fucking love him when he's being larger than life onstage with the Flaming Lips; I appreciate him for trying to be the best he can, even if I know that the real Wayne Coyne actually isn't some sort of God.

3) Most importantly: to paraphrase Roger Ebert, its not about what it is, it's about how it goes about being what it is. Andrew W.K.s idea of what a platonic ideal of a rock star is amazing, fake or not. Because let's face it: he was always pretty fucking weird. Look at songs like "I Want Your Face" or "Let's Go On a Date" (Opening lyrics: "Even Though You Don't Know Me / I Know You Live Alone / Because I Listen To You Cry.")... If that was his idea of how to be universal, than his idea of what universal is impresses / amuses me.

A parrallel: a lot of bands wanted to be the Beatles. Trying to be the Beatles is not so impressive and is often pretty crappy. But Ozzy Ozbourne said he wanted Black Sabbath to be the Beatles - and listening to Sabbath, his idea of what the Beatles were is fucking amazing (if completely inaccurate), because their method of trying to be the Beatles was so awesome.

In conclusion, this reminds me of Obama's Telepromptergate from earlier this year in that it just shouldn't have been shocking, but yet, somehow was to people. All politicians speak prepared notes; all successful artists are marketed. But Obama was still handcrafting speeches - even if he was using speechwriters - by picking the message, picking the writer, picking the time and place to deliver it, and putting his own personal stamp on the end product. Andrew W.K. may not be who we thought he was, but there's still some guiding force making "his" music what it is. It might be a group of people instead of one guy. It might be one guy whose different than we think he is. But still: his music is distinct from, say, Kings of Leon. It's still his even if its not made exclusively by him.
posted by Kiablokirk at 10:20 AM on December 30, 2009 [13 favorites]


I'm not sure why there's an uproar to be stoked by this revelation, such as it is. So Andrew W.K. is a construct! Big deal. Isn't virtually every music act a construct, to one degree or another? Isn't Lady Gaga a construct? Isn't Beyonce Knowles a construct? For that matter, isn't Madonna a construct? As YoungAmerican pointed out above, isn't Iggy Pop a construct? Didn't John Lennon, after the construct disbanded, deride the Beatles for having been a construct?

Who cares?
posted by blucevalo at 10:21 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yesterday, on Twitter, AWK posted "I'm humbly asking my friends to stand with me during this. I was forced to say this stuff:" when he linked to an article that linked to the Madame Jojo's thing. Which just makes the whole thing weirder, but I suppose will drum up interest for the big Feb 23 event in which he will either reveal something or not which may or may not be later disavowed.

If nothing else, the whole thing is a pretty interesting piece of performance art. Performance performance art?
posted by Lyn Never at 10:21 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Was Davy Jones really that size?
posted by Artw at 10:25 AM on December 30, 2009


I'm guessing now you're talking exclusively about American punk, as it's been noted already that there were numerous British punk bands in the late 70s who were abiding an anti-authoritarian, underground ideology.

Yes, I am talking about American punk, because punk as a concept originated in America in the mid 70s.

I don't see anything "very narrow" about saying punk rock is anti-authoritarian and anti-corporate, but to each their own.

What's narrow about it is that it excludes the American punk bands who created punk from your definition of punk rock. Which seems kind of odd, don't you think?
posted by mpbx at 10:26 AM on December 30, 2009


Possibly relevant video from youtube?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:26 AM on December 30, 2009


"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."
—Kurt Vonnegut
I'd say, if he was indeed pretending, Andrew W.K. was at least very careful.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:28 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I love this thread so hard.

Seems like the possibilities are:

1) One guy named Andrew WK creates a stage persona, runs with it, gains surprising underground traction, makes provocative statements as a viral marketing ploy.

2) Andrew WK is a focus-group tested construct a la 60s-70s bubblegum pop, playing out in a very new medium.

3) Both 1 and 2.

My reaction to any of those scenarios is: Wow, that's kinda awesome.

I know it's naive, but I just gotta think that sometimes the manager at McDonald's REALLY DOES HOPE that I enjoy that Big Mac. Like the old saw goes, "the secret of success is sincerity: once you can fake that, you've got it made".

If it's all smoke and mirrors, well, then I got taken along for the ride and I'll happily get in line and buy another ticket. If he's sincere, then he's in the middle of one of the greatest and longest performance art pieces I've ever had the pleasure of witnessing.

Also: the Captain and Tenille? Not really a captain.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:36 AM on December 30, 2009 [15 favorites]


Yes, I am talking about American punk, because punk as a concept originated in America in the mid 70s.

What you said was, "The anti-establishment trend didn't come about until the 1980s, with "hardcore" punk. ... Thing's extra-musical outlook derives from, but it's something that was absent with '77 punk". If you meant "in America", this might be true, but anti-corporate, socially conscious punk was very much alive elsewhere in the world before the 80s, most notably in Britain, featuring a number of bands who aren't exactly total unknowns in punk circles. I don't see what punk's supposed national origin has to do with this fact.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:40 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


So Andrew WK is to music as Andy Kaufman is to comedy? Do I have that right?
posted by anifinder at 10:41 AM on December 30, 2009


I don't see what punk's supposed national origin has to do with this fact.

It doesn't have anything to do with it. It's not an essential part of my argument. We're just nitpicking a span of three to four years. It'd be more constructive if you'd address the fact that you don't think The Ramones, Talking Heads, Television, and The Clash are "punk rock," which is what we're really supposed to be discussing.
posted by mpbx at 10:43 AM on December 30, 2009


Look, everyone knows that Lady Gaga is a musically talented Italian-American kid from a fancy Manhattan private high school, not an omni-sexual alien. However, anyone who wears a gyroscope as an outfit it totally cool with me. I suppose it seems a bit sketchy that Andrew WK isn't really a person who launched his musical career because he wanted to promote his philosophy of partying, but, by the same token as lady gaga, someone who promotes a feel-good partying message because it's fun and successful can be perfectly cool with lots of people.
posted by deanc at 10:45 AM on December 30, 2009


It doesn't have anything to do with it. It's not an essential part of my argument. We're just nitpicking a span of three to four years.

The reason why I addressed it is because you put forward the argument that punk was never originally meant to be anti-establishment, backing up this assertion by saying the concept didn't even exist until the 80s, wholly dismissing an entire scene on the other side of the ocean that was very much a part of punk's germinative stages.

It'd be more constructive if you'd address the fact that you don't think The Ramones, Talking Heads, Television, and The Clash are "punk rock," which is what we're really supposed to be discussing.

It's not actually that important at all, as I've repeatedly said in this thread that this is my own subjective POV on what constitutes punk, the definition of which is flexible, to each their own and so forth. That's why discussing it is futile. I don't consider these bands punk, sure, but I don't think less of them for it and in fact greatly enjoy their music. It's a discussion, in other words, that I'd rather not have. It'd be like a discussion on whether or not strawberries are tasty.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:56 AM on December 30, 2009


He did an album as The Portly Boys, which was supposed to be a rebellious inner city boys choir that got really into Gregorian chant, and sounded like very slow and echo-y call and response.

Okay, this guy is awesome, full stop.
posted by chinston at 10:59 AM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


So who produced that Lee Perry album? A nameless series of hirsute men?
posted by decagon at 11:00 AM on December 30, 2009


I'm gonna listen to Operation Ivy for the rest of the day. That's who comes to mind to me when I think of 'positive music'.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 11:01 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't consider these bands punk, sure, but I don't think less of them for it and in fact greatly enjoy their music. It's a discussion, in other words, that I'd rather not have. It'd be like a discussion on whether or not strawberries are tasty.

I guess I just find it unusual that you don't consider the original punk bands punk. We're locked in some sort of descriptivist/prescriptivist nightmare.
posted by mpbx at 11:03 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Holy Jesus I thought we had all agreed to leave the argument about who started punk back in the 20th Century where it belongs it's like I went to sleep and woke up and a zombie was eating my face

and besides... we all know Serge Gainsbourg invented punk

posted by Kattullus at 11:03 AM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


The first punk rock song is "I Fought The Law," or possibly "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor."
posted by mpbx at 11:04 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


It'd be more constructive if you'd address the fact that you don't think The Ramones, Talking Heads, Television, and The Clash are "punk rock," which is what we're really supposed to be discussing.

Well, Talking Heads are plainly not punk unless you mean in spirit or ethos. They might have fit in with the punk scene that was around at the same time, which explains why they're often mentioned in discussions of punk. But their music (which is what matters more than anything else) was a lot more stylistically and harmonically adventurous than "punk."

In fact, I wouldn't classify Television as punk either. Of Montreal often sounds like they're trying to do their best Television imitation, and I certainly wouldn't call Of Montreal punk.

"Punk" is one of those musical terms like "swing" and "rock" that's taken on far too much baggage and mysticism. These words denote specific genres that can be clearly defined; in fact, "punk" can be defined quite simply as long as we can agree that it's the kind of music that sounds like ... you know ... the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Rancid, etc. There shouldn't be any special glory about fitting into or not fitting into these categories.
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:04 AM on December 30, 2009


It sounds like the Feb. 23 event is gonna be, in part, a CD release party... he has a 2 CD set coming out that day. So, while there are several layers to this, it seems that one of them is good-old-fashioned album promotion with a pomo twist.

Even so, this is amazing. I can get behind anything that makes people question reality on any sort of large scale.
posted by the_bone at 11:11 AM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


So who, if anyone, got wet?
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:15 AM on December 30, 2009


"Nietzsche said it, I believe it: history repeating itself, first time as tragedy, second time as farce. First time as Fugazi, second time as Andrew W. K."

Nietzsche? Don't think so.

Try Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852): "Hegel remarks somewhere that all facts and personages of great importance in world history occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce."


At a public reading in Old Mill Street, Marx, dressed as Hegel, claimed this was a deliberate misquote of Nietzsche.
posted by xod at 11:16 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Everyone needs to read Faking It: The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music
posted by anazgnos at 11:17 AM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


This vaguely reminds me of Hoobastank, whose music need not be mentioned, but one peculiarity of their existance I enjoyed was that I noted them describing detailed and differing versions of the origin of their band name when the question was inevitably asked in an interview. (It's short for "whose butt stank?" "it was the name of a German gas station near where a friend lived" etc etc). I appreciate people who play with their audience and/or the press in this manner.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:22 AM on December 30, 2009


The KLF did it better!
posted by xmutex at 11:25 AM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


Wait, so the Spiders from Mars were neither spiders nor from mars?

My whole world is crumbling.
posted by mike_bling at 11:31 AM on December 30, 2009


Anybody got scans of Wolf "Slicer"?
posted by generalist at 11:31 AM on December 30, 2009


See: Clutchy Hopkins.
posted by VikingSword at 11:31 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wait, so The Beatles aren't good doctors?
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:32 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Led Zep was real, growing organically out of the need for young people to strut around on stage like a bunch of morons, the precedent having been set by the likes of the Rolling Stones, etc.

Who knew the human navel could contain so much lint? Or that others would be able to build careers out of digging around in said lint, so much so that the likes of this guy could set the whole henhouse cackling over a momentary glimpse of what lurks behind the mask.

I suspect the mongers of pop culture are simply testing the waters, so to speak. Just how stupid are these people? they might wondering.

No worries, dude. The dumb is bottomless. You're good to go.

Rock on.
posted by metagnathous at 11:33 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Gotta say, no matter which of the possible interpretations you go with, it makes Andrew WK seem all the more impressive. Wasn't a fan before, but I am now. I'm going to link to the goofy behavior video again, because that is the funniest shit ever.
posted by breath at 11:34 AM on December 30, 2009


orville sash's comment reminded me of how people like Bowie and Madonna like to swap out personas and some of the criticism that they get for it. Bowie, in particular, got a lot of grief for quitting glitter right in the middle of a tour, and some reviewer--for Rolling Stone, IIRC--called Young Americans "a fucked-up album by a fucked-up rock star." (Bowie was indeed pretty fucked up personally at the time, mostly due to heavy cocaine use, but Young Americans has at least two great songs on it, the title track and "Fame".) Also, Velvet Goldmine basically boils down to the story of a guy who never quite got over Bowie leaving glitter behind.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:35 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


See: Ugly Casanova.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:36 AM on December 30, 2009


Also: don't tell anyone but I heard once on the internet that maybe Meg White isn't actually Jack White's sister
posted by Kiablokirk at 11:47 AM on December 30, 2009


So I'm hoping that YoungAmerican and orville sash are correct -- that the multiple-people thing is a lie, a metaphor, a viral-murmur, or otherwise not as true as he explicitly stated in that lecture. So! I just bought tickets to the Feb 23rd event (they're only five bucks each, and I don't have to go anywhere more exotic than Manhattan, so hey why not). Any other New York folk who might go: feel free to say come and say hello if you recognize me! Let's see what all this is all about, here.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:56 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is a fun thread.

An additional link for anyone interested: NPR had him come into their tiny concert series
posted by stratastar at 11:59 AM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


So I'm hoping that YoungAmerican and orville sash are correct -- that the multiple-people thing is a lie, a metaphor, a viral-murmur, or otherwise not as true as he explicitly stated in that lecture.

If we take him literally, that means that it took Andrew W-K several years to get the gig of playing Andrew W.K.. Which would be awesome! But seems really far fetched.
posted by moxiedoll at 12:05 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, he wasn't being literal. Or he was joking. It's hard to tell, the editing on that last video link is so jarringly edited.
posted by starman at 12:17 PM on December 30, 2009


so he's basically Status Quo for the internet generation?

And I'm with anazgnos on the Faking It recommendation. The search for authenticity in the music you like must always lead to disappointment.
posted by scruss at 12:22 PM on December 30, 2009


The entire thing is a "Who's on First?" scenario. By naming his stage persona and/or lifestyle character the same as his real name, he can talk about one or the other cryptically, and leave us wondering constantly. Is he currently talking as the person or the character? Which one does "me" or "he" refer to? When he says "Andrew W.K." does he mean the person or the persona?

Regardless of whether it's an act or not, the niceness is genuine. Fake being nice for 8 years, and you're a nice guy.
posted by explosion at 12:27 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's inspiring that Andrew WK is starring as himself.

I'm only an extra in the story of my own life.
posted by The Deej at 12:32 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I almost hate to bring this up, because it's kind of semantic and nitpick, but the whole not-the-same-person-seriously-guys-not-a-metaphor thing could be both literally true and not mean that multiple persons (agents, individuals) played Andrew WK. It's the Ship of Theseus. The old canard about it taking 9 years for your body to replace itself.

So it could be both a metaphor ("I've grown and changed and I'm not that guy anymore"), a non-metaphorical but discrete and occluded reference to his professional life ("I'm out from under a weird record contract, and now I neither can be exactly that character anymore, nor do I want to be" -- this is the Artist Formerly Known as AWK idea), and literally true ("All my cells are different, I am a physically entirely distinct individual from the person I was").
posted by penduluum at 12:38 PM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: Your Favorite Band is a Construct
posted by GodricVT at 12:39 PM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Look, everyone knows that Lady Gaga is a musically talented Italian-American kid from a fancy Manhattan private high school, not an omni-sexual alien.

Of course not, Grace Jones is the omni-sexual alien.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:45 PM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


OOoooh this thread has even gotten even more special and interesting since I saw it this morning! Is this all promotion buzz for Feb? Is Damn That Television SECRETLY a member of the PartyHardButQuietNeverLetThemKnow brigade?! da da da da da, I'm loving this!(tm)
posted by cavalier at 12:56 PM on December 30, 2009


Punk was create around about the time that Hip-hop started going downhill: i.e. earlier than any point that anyone suggests, in a game of one-upmanship that eventually places it's birth BEFORE THE DAWN OF TIME ITSELF.
posted by Artw at 1:03 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Greg Nog: “So I'm hoping that YoungAmerican and orville sash are correct -- that the multiple-people thing is a lie, a metaphor, a viral-murmur, or otherwise not as true as he explicitly stated in that lecture.”

Hmm. I don't know why - I mean, personally I'd think it was far more interesting and cool if he'd pulled off the trick of having many people play him, or even of being the last in a long line to play the character. I don't say this because I dislike his music, and to be honest the final feelings he always leaves me with aren't feelings of strong dislike or of hatred - only of emptiness. And again, not even emptiness in a "god, this stuff is so vapid!" sort of way - it's an interesting emptiness. orville sash probably described this best:

“If you give it some thought, there's really no way to believe in Andrew WK as a person. He's a totally blank slate. He doesn't talk about anything except being positive and partying.”

It was just astounding to see him work, because he could always turn things back upon themselves to bring the focus back to the central positivity of the character. No details, no names, no attributions, no heros, just positivity.

People talk about the philosophy behind Andrew WK, but... well, it's hard to see anything beyond sheer, adamant refusal to meet the world with any outlook beyond a positive one. Of course, that is the philosophy, right? - and a lot of people saw something interesting and even inspiring in that, that one man could steadfastly be happy and keep partying. And I have to say that, for those who see something in that, this revelation shouldn't kill it for you; as he pointed out in that interesting interview linked at the top, his happiness and positivity, no matter how much it was part of the character he was consciously creating, was never fake. Regardless of the circumstance, at the center of it was the same thing, no matter how you look at it: one guy steadfastly refusing to be negative about anyone or anything.

Anyway, thinking about it now, it seems like the "multiple actors" thing is really sort of a doublespeak joke, not so much a metaphor as a way of testing the waters to see the reaction and trying to move on with the character.

By the way, Damn That Television, I see what you mean when you say it seems like he's speaking literally here, that he's quite literally had different people playing him, and that he quite literally isn't the same guy as the original Andrew WK - but I think if you pay closer attention to his speech during that show in the RockFeedback interview you posted, you'll see that he's using the phrase "literally" in a way that isn't quite, well, literal. Here's the text of the big "reveal" speech there:
This is my dad's suit - it belongs to my father. You can actually see his name here: James E. Krier. James E. Krier. And when I think of my dad, it gives me a moment of pause, and it makes me want to confess something to all of you.

I - I'm actually not Andrew WK.

I'm not. I'm not the same guy that you may have seen from the I Get Wet album, where I actually spent a lot of time here, we launched the album from London and England through the, ah, incredible support of publications like the NME and Keraang, I'm not that same person. - ah - And I don't just mean that in a philosophical or conceptual way - it's not the same person at all. Do - do I look the same - as that person? (guy in crowd: "similar.") Oh - I - similar. Huh. Uh... Well, moving on -

What I mean is that since that time, I have changed, and for any of you that happened to be there during that time, perhaps you have changed as well. And I would like to think that we're not the same people at all - and again, not just conceptually, but very literally, we're not the same - people, that I'm a completely different entity. Not to discredit what I've done before, or what Andrew WK has done before, whoever that person was. We want to be able to give ourselves the freedom to change, and I come here in the spirit of that freedom. Which is not to deny the importance of whatever we've done before, or the value of whatever we've done before, or the - the quality of whatever we've done before, or whatever we experienced before - I'm just here in the spirit of freedom. And to me, humans, human beings, have a capacity to indulge in all the freedom that the concept of freedom gives us. And so I'm here in that spirit, and I think that freedom is sort of hand in hand with idea of joy, and songs like "Party Hard" that Andrew WK has done, songs like "I Get Wet" or "Party 'Til You Puke" or "Totally Stupid" or whatever songs, that have appealed to you, that Andrew WK has presented - I'm here in the name of that joy, but I'm not Andrew WK as far as that goes.
So he comes out and says he's not *literally* Andrew WK, but then he explains this by saying "I have changed... and perhaps you have changed as well." I know that there's a lot more stuff in the video (which is exceedingly interesting, by the way) but it's generally very vague - he doesn't even say "it was a focus group" or "it was corporate," he uses vague synonyms like "it was done in the spirit of commerce" and "it was done by a large group of people."

The most interesting thing in the entire video, in my mind, is what comes right after the "reveal" speech in that first video - a real, personal explanation, I think, of what the character originated in and means to him:
What appealed to me a lot about the very abrasive music that I got into in high school was: on one hand, there was this group of people that all liked it, so I felt like I could be part of this thing, and I liked that it separated me from people who I thought - "oh, they'll never understand this music," so I liked that, but I also kind of said "you're stupid because you don't understand it" - but I never really wanted other people to understand it. But eventually again that started to feel kind of boring and closed, it wasn't challenging me anymore; and what became reallly exciting to me was this idea: what if I could make a music that I really liked that people that I didn't like (or didn't think I would liike) would also like? And then we would realize that we both had this common interest or this common love for this exciting feeling that this music was giving us, and maybe then I would find this common ground and be able to love them or like them or be friends with them. And that became more exciting to me than the idea of being separate from people.
So he kind of created a character behind that - a character that doesn't dislike anyone, that doesn't criticize anything, that wants to stay positive and never be negative. And I think that must have been a very interesting character to play, because it really pushed him to accept things that are aggravating or annoying and not let it show at all. At one point during the video, an audience member asks him how he deals with annoying people, and he says that he pictures them as tiny babies. An interesting exercise - a sort of coping mechanism for dealing with the difficulty of playing this person.

Actors are artists as much as musicians or writers, anyway.

And ending AWK this way makes a lot of sense in a certain way. It's as though he sat down and thought to himself: "what would kill this character - what would kill Andrew WK?" Not because he necessarily hates it, but because it's more interesting to keep it moving and let it change. The interesting thing about the character of pure positivity that he created was that so many people had the same reaction; many, many people said of him what he never implied of himself, that Andrew WK is the last authentic man alive. That was the life the character took on that I think he didn't foresee. So the best way he could come up with to "kill" the character, or to force it to grow beyond itself, was to announce: "Andrew WK is not authentic."

It's also possible that he started this process himself before by intentionally spreading a rumor that many different people were playing him. At this point, I wouldn't put it past him to have been wholly responsible for that notion that's been kicking around for years; it would have been an interesting thing to try, a sort of foil of inauthenticity to stand against what people perceived as his innate genuineness.

Even so, he seems pretty attached to Andrew WK and to being Andrew WK. It's become a bit of a spiritual practice for him, and I think it's hard to let go. That's what's suggested by the Twitter mentioned above, but it's also suggested by the whole way he goes about it in the show where he makes the announcement; he takes great pains not to invalidate the way anybody felt about AWK, and he still ends the thing the way any AWK show might end (the whole audience on stage, singing with him) - saying to everyone that this is "a preview of the future." If he were really detached from AWK as a character (the way some actors can be, I guess) he would be able to walk in and just slaughter him: "I am not Andrew WK, and I hate the music he makes, but I wanted to make money."

It's probably more interesting this way, anyway, although the subversive nature of the announcement that he's not AWK is sort of left hanging. We'll see where it ends up in a few months.
posted by koeselitz at 1:04 PM on December 30, 2009 [14 favorites]


From Jokes: Philosophical Thoughts on Joking Matters by Ted Cohen:

One day a paleographer came into his classics department in great excitement. “There has been an earth-shaking discovery,” he announced. “The Illiad and the Odyssey were not written by Homer, but by some other Greek with the same name.”
posted by Xalf at 1:05 PM on December 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


Oh and the initial threadshit I mentioned early on here got deleted...not that anybody at the moment would care this far down on the page, but I wanted to clear up the confusion for future generations that might be studying this thread or whatever.
posted by First Post at 1:07 PM on December 30, 2009


I meant to say:

in a way, Nick Cave, who over most of his career has had sort of a steadfast refusal to 'get happy' or 'be positive,' and who has addressed this over and over by telling people that he doesn't think that's interesting or thoughtful, is the antithesis of Andrew WK, at least as far as their personae go.

So what I've been fantasizing about for a while now is: Nick Cave and Andrew WK, battling to the death onstage. "Never Let Down" and "Party Hard" versus "From Her To Eternity" and "Do You Love Me?" Positivity and happy encouraging life-affirmingness versus hate, rage, sadness and pain.

That would be so awesome.
posted by koeselitz at 1:28 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I once saw a TMZ style clip of the lead singer of Sum 41 in a car sneering at the camera with Paris Hilton sitting next to him. Some random guy runs up to him and starts yelling "SUM 41 SUM 41 SUM 41!" and the lead singer spit on the guy when he looked away for a second, then grinned and drove off, the spit-on guy didn't seem to notice. Circa 2004 or whatever that was, and despite or maybe because of the endless corporate backwash of it all, it was pretty damn punk.

That's about as punk as any member of any ruling class anywhere spitting on the peasants. Real punk would have been seeing the guy in a car with Paris Hilton and kicking the door in. [/pendant]
posted by jokeefe at 1:30 PM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Punk was create around about the time that Hip-hop started going downhill

That was the same year the MDMA stopped being any good.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:31 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like to imagine Damn that Television started this out just as loving post to AWK, and they added tags as they went deeper into the research:

Musical unknown Andrew W.K. (Previously 1, 2) releases his debut album "I Get Wet." It is a simple rock record of power chords and unabashed, un-ironic party music . . .

TAG: AndrewWK, Party, Pop

seeming limitless devotion to his fans -- mixed with mid-set speeches that border on motivational speaker territory -- help him build an underground following to supplement his mainstream appeal. The album eventually sells over 250K, and, of course, he gets huge in Japan.

TAG: Motivational, Rock

Andrew W.K. admits that "Andrew W.K." is a construct, played by several different auditioned actors/musicians and created in secret by different groups working "in the spirit of commerce" to devise the ultimate popular/underground musical frontman.

TAG: Lies, propaganda, manipulation, illuminati, corporateoligarchy, fuckthisshittydecadeoflies
posted by Think_Long at 1:37 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Another thing that pisses me off, talking about who started punk rock music. Was it the Sex Pistols in england, was it the Ramones and the Velvet Underground in New York? It was the Ramones, it was the Sex Pistols. Who cares who started it, it's music. I don't know who started it, I don't give a fuck. The one thing I do know is that we did it harder, we did faster, and we definitely did it with more love. You can't take that away from us.

~slc punk
posted by nadawi at 1:39 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Andrew W.K. has 4-corner simultaneous PARTY CUBE in only 24 hour rotation.
posted by Artw at 1:40 PM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Andrew W.K. has 4-corner simultaneous PARTY CUBE in only 24 hour rotation.

YOU ARE EDUCATED RETARDED AND CANNOT UNDERSTAND MOTIVATIONAL PARTY ROCK

Artw wins. Lock thread!!! :)
posted by tantrumthecat at 1:46 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thank you koeselitz for finally finally posting a transcript. From reading that it should be obvious to everyone that despite the use of the word "literal" he is being figurative- unless you think everyone in the audience that night also *literally* hires actors to play themselves:

And I would like to think that we're not the same people at all - and again, not just conceptually, but very literally, we're not the same - people

It is an interesting choice, for a guy who has been dogged by (and vehemently denied) rumors of being a series of impersonators, to use language like this. And now his twitter seems to imply he was put up to it somehow? Weirder and weirder.

Anyway I have always liked the guy. "Party Hard" was a good song, the rest, ehhh. But I have heard so many people say so many good things about him as a person. I think someone once said if you hate Andrew WK you really must hate life. That Pitchfork rating kind of bears that out.

(I am usually against all the "stupid ironic hipsters don't like anything" talk because I think 99% of people labeled "hipster" are actually really genuinely enthusiastic about a lot of things, especially music. The other 1%, the ones who write for Pitchfork, yeah, they kinda suck.)

posted by drjimmy11 at 1:51 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hold on, wait. You guys are all in on this aren't you? HOW DEEP DOES THIS CONSPIRACY GO!?

~*screams and runs from thread*~
posted by graventy at 1:55 PM on December 30, 2009


He does reminds me a bit of "Slurms McKenzie" from "Futurama" though.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:56 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Our innocence has been taken.

Dewey Fuckem
Mayor, Hannah, Montana
posted by pianomover at 2:33 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm looking forward to the February 23rd revelation, whatever it might be. Part of me is hoping that it's an announcement of an upcoming tour w/ Lady Gaga in some sort of perfect storm of Platonic Pop Star Ideals and amazing good times.

For the moment, my takeaway from this issue is A) everything orville sash has to say and B) god damn it, I could have been following WK on Twitter all this time! Just check out this awesome sample tweet:

PARTY TIP: It always feels good to buy someone a candy bar, a juice box, or a snack pack. Give a friend a treat!

Construct or not, that advice is as real as it gets!
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:46 PM on December 30, 2009


From reading that it should be obvious to everyone that despite the use of the word "literal" he is being figurative-

For a long time, we've dealt with the ridiculous use of the word "literally" to mean "figuratively," so I am kind of surprised that everyone thinks that the word "literal" means "literal."
posted by deanc at 3:00 PM on December 30, 2009


I have unredeemed punk points from the early nineties. I was told I could redeem them here. And could I put them toward my bar tab?
posted by thivaia at 3:25 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow. I am so glad this happened while I'm stuck at work with fuck all to do!

Someone had better report back after this February thing. And this had better not turn out like taters. I want a REAL answer.
posted by grapesaresour at 3:35 PM on December 30, 2009


I find I'm rather tickled by the notion of there being multiple physical AWKs, each assuming the mantle and identity of his predecessor, so that to the world at large he appears to be same, immortal, performer. Like a pop-rock Phantom: a man who swore a blood oath on his father's skull to *never* stop partying, a legacy and a mission passed down through the generations.
posted by MarchHare at 3:48 PM on December 30, 2009 [8 favorites]


By the way, I mentioned Ian Svenonius because he sang and played trumpet for a band called Nation of Ulysses in the late 80s and early 90s that sort of did this. That is, they were a militant communist punk band dedicated to espousing a complete dialectical deconstruction of capitalist ethics and ideals. And with all those big words slapped onto weird punk songs, they must have been a joke. Right?

Um, wasn't NoU sort of a put-on? I mean, it was great music, but all those liner notes and so forth weren't really espousing any sort of concrete ideology, it was more like a parody of political literature. And the lyrics were often about oddball topics like getting high on Robitussin.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:48 PM on December 30, 2009


I have unredeemed punk points from the early nineties.

The 90s?! Beat it, poseur!

*adjusts Crazy Glue-formed mohawk, steals dad's car keys*
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:52 PM on December 30, 2009



That was the same year the MDMA stopped being any good.

It's all piperazine now, which is a drug used to deworm animals. There also hasn't been real LSD since the mid 90's. I'm not sure how kids today can be expected to Party, Party, Party.
posted by dortmunder at 3:57 PM on December 30, 2009


The Clash were on CBS. Are The Clash not punk?

No, not really. CBS promote The Clash, ain't for revolution, it's just for cash.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:58 PM on December 30, 2009


("What's punk and what's not" is a mug's game, though. The only bands that fit the definition as far as backing up what they espoused with action would be the anarcho-punk bands that lived on communes and squats and shit, but I kinda like running water and electricity. Leave these kinds of debates for kiddies who read MaximumRockNRoll, if that's even still around)
posted by DecemberBoy at 4:03 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


MRnR was a pretty weird publication. I mean even given the lo-fi format, did it really need to have a layout like a Pennysavers? It was nigh unreadable.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:05 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I had never heard of this guy, and I read a bunch of comments before clicking the links. When I read about how he is all about joy and happiness, I was not expecting a giant picture of his bloody face to accompany the music.

I did not find this joyful, so I am thinking I am not the target demographic for this music.

I do like Green Day, though.
posted by jeoc at 4:10 PM on December 30, 2009


Does anybody even read this deep into threads? Anyway...

I now know much more about a guy named Andrew WK than I ever imagined I would. And I'm better for it. There are lessons here for me, maybe for many of us that hope our lives are, in the final analysis, greater than the sum listing of their events/accomplishments.

I resolve that in coming year I will:

Consider my time alive as the only opportunity I will have to explore what the conceptual limits of being ME are.

Further:

I will try not to let the ridicule of others taint my vision of who I am, or who I could be, particularly when it is obvious that I do not represent the most perfect example of whatever it is that I am choosing to pursue.

I will remember that doing is the essential part of being. And not to hold a grudge against those who mistake habitual critique as being somehow indicative of a finer sensibility. Because these people are the bottom feeders of experience.

I will make an effort to live, in my private and public lives, in such a way that I am a reflection of my own values. Even if those are, at times, half-baked or in flux. And especially when it requires change or risk.

Finally, I will, no matter what the temptation, resist any advice that results in wearing white jeans with running shoes. Because you really have to draw the line somewhere.
posted by nickjadlowe at 4:13 PM on December 30, 2009 [9 favorites]


Punk is one of those deals like the radio--it was invented more or less simultaneously by multiple groups who were unaware of the others' existence. Trying to identify the original punk bands is a chicken-and-egg thing, in that evolution does not lend itself to these kinds of black-and-white distinctions (e.g., Hasil Adkins, The Monks, etc.).

That subcultural-identity moment where you suddenly realize 'Holy shit, I'm not the only one!'? Man, that's a great feeling.
posted by box at 4:16 PM on December 30, 2009


MRnR was a pretty weird publication. I mean even given the lo-fi format, did it really need to have a layout like a Pennysavers? It was nigh unreadable.

My brother got that magazine, around the same time he was wearing a grey denim jacket with an "anarchy" symbol painted on the back in whiteout. I used to attempt to read them when he'd leave them around. That's how I found out who GG Allin was.

Woo.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:18 PM on December 30, 2009


I stopped hunting for authenticity in musics when I realized that Howard Jones did not, in fact, know what love is.
posted by everichon at 4:24 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Andrew WK is reading this thread
posted by amuseDetachment at 4:37 PM on December 30, 2009 [13 favorites]


REGISTER AND COMMENT, ANDREW WK!

And then continue to participate in other threads. We've been talking about getting a kickball team together. Who doesn't like kickball?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:39 PM on December 30, 2009


My brother got that magazine, around the same time he was wearing a grey denim jacket with an "anarchy" symbol painted on the back in whiteout. I used to attempt to read them when he'd leave them around. That's how I found out who GG Allin was.

Woo.


Brother!

Are people still arguing seriously about When Punk Began? Really? That argument already felt stale back in the mid-1980s when I first met it, and it isn't any fresher since then. The cute part, however, is that in the 1980s my friends and I were totally, 100%, completely certain that punk was dead, any band still around was probably just sell out posers faking it, blah blah punky cakes. So it has always cracked me up to see people pointing to that time (and correctly so) as a pivotal moment for punk, because it didn't feel that way at the time.

I kind of miss MRR, though. Maybe it's still around, I don't know -- what I miss is being a disaffected 15 year old and having my copy arrive in the mail. I liked the goofy stuff, especially the columns and some of the interviews. But the agonized parsing of who and what was and was not punk was boring then, and silly now.
posted by Forktine at 4:44 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Mr. Wilkes-Kefauver-or-whatever, I didn't know much about you before, and it sounds like you might have some interesting things to say.

Mr. WK, leave us alone. The stunt has attracted publicity--you have nothing to gain and five bucks to lose.
posted by box at 4:45 PM on December 30, 2009


People of Metafilter, do stop taking what Andrew WK says and changing it.
posted by cillit bang at 4:47 PM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


i'm curious which parts he objects to - maybe he has an opinion on who started punk.
posted by nadawi at 4:51 PM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


I honestly think punk was one of those things, like the discovery of fire, that arose in different places at around the same time. Please don't confuse my own admittedly uneducated and subjective amateur opinion of what's punk to me with my claiming to be Marisa the Punk Rock Archeologist or something.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:02 PM on December 30, 2009


DIAMOND PIZZA
posted by generalist at 5:02 PM on December 30, 2009


YoungAmerican, I was hoping you'd drop in to this thread. I'm not very familiar with AWK, so when I read this post you were the first thing that popped into my head.
posted by brundlefly at 5:03 PM on December 30, 2009


Any other 90s Ann Arborites wish to comment?
posted by k8t at 5:05 PM on December 30, 2009


Marisa the Punk Rock Archeologist

Counting on all of my fingers, and then some, I've been having punk/not-punk arguments for almost 25 years. So if it hasn't fossilized yet, it will soon, and the archeologists can have at it.
posted by Forktine at 5:19 PM on December 30, 2009


Good grief - can somebody loan the man five bucks already?
posted by koeselitz at 5:20 PM on December 30, 2009


*adjusts Crazy Glue-formed mohawk, steals dad's car keys*
posted by q
I'm sorry, but in order to redeem said punk points, we need pics.
posted by HopperFan at 5:33 PM on December 30, 2009


OK, the cat did that. Marisa Stole the Precious Thing, not "q."
posted by HopperFan at 5:34 PM on December 30, 2009


K8t, klangklangston and I went to high school. I was half expecting him to come in and contribute.
posted by orville sash at 5:35 PM on December 30, 2009


It is quite impossible to actually surf a butthole.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:32 AM


I used to think that but thanks to Metachat, I realized that butthole surfing is the simple joy of sliding down a banister rail.
posted by Sailormom at 5:35 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh I didn't know that you went to Community too!
posted by k8t at 5:36 PM on December 30, 2009


Good grief - can somebody loan the man five bucks already?

I don't think they have money in the future that he comes from.
posted by KingEdRa at 5:44 PM on December 30, 2009


Just came back and can't believe this thread gained so much attention!

I'm in the Jesse and Orville camp, and already put in my .02 upthread. But this got me thinking about commercial music in general today too:

This whole idea of an "experiment in commercial music" reminded me of the Gorillaz virtual band, whose identity was initially secret. When the whole story was revealed, and it looked like Gorillaz was half sincere, and half "let's see if artsy guys can make commercially viable music" experiment, nobody gave a crap because it's already a given that pop artists are willing to change their image, style, sound, ideas, etc. in the name of making money. If anything, it only makes them MORE interesting that they are completely conscious of the decisions they made to get there; and the same can probably be said about AWK if his commercial career was found to be something similar. As long as the artist keeps putting in 110% effort toward the persona, pop fans don't seem to mind much about the artists' underlying intentions.

Then again if it actually turned out to be literally multiple actors playing AWK (which I don't buy at all for the record), it might look more like the MF Doom imposter controversy which made for a lot of unhappy fans at Doom shows (mostly because the imposters did such a bad job apparently). That goes back to the 110% effort thing though; Doom fans were mostly mad because it made Doom appear lazy and not taking his career seriously.
posted by p3t3 at 5:52 PM on December 30, 2009


Huh.

I follow Andrew on twitter, so now I am charged with coming here and defending him. The thing is, I'm not sure if what I said before was "defending" or not. To restate, I am of the opinion that he was obviously using a metaphor and is, in the literal, physical sense, one guy, not a character played by multiple actors. Is that "defending?"

Lil help, Andrew?
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:52 PM on December 30, 2009


Marisa the Punk Rock Archeologist

Not a bad user name actually.
posted by marxchivist at 5:54 PM on December 30, 2009


Seems as good a place as any to mention that rap was invented by Rex Harrison.
posted by and for no one at 6:14 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm asking for you to defend me everyplace you can

NOT YOUR PERSONAL ARMY
posted by Greg Nog at 6:20 PM on December 30, 2009


I loved Party Hard. LOVED IT! I played it to a musician friend, but because he's a miserable fucking bastard I didn't get much of a reaction.

As for what's real and what's fake, we are so deep into the asshole of the age of widely distributed pop music that anyone who can get worked up about that is jerking the reality chain. Or just plain pretending to not know what's going on.

Here in Melbourne, musos obsessed with Being Real eventually disappear into Roots music, which is such a fucking sad end, because in their search for the truth they become deeply boring librarians. (Actually, librarians are great, what I mean is 'gatekeepers'.)
posted by Gamien Boffenburg at 6:58 PM on December 30, 2009


This whole idea of an "experiment in commercial music" reminded me of the Gorillaz virtual band, whose identity was initially secret. When the whole story was revealed, and it looked like Gorillaz was half sincere, and half "let's see if artsy guys can make commercially viable music" experiment, nobody gave a crap because it's already a given that pop artists are willing to change their image, style, sound, ideas, etc. in the name of making money.

I thought nobody gave a crap because Gorillaz was comprised of musicians writing music for cartoon characters. Kind of hard to feel betrayed by any revelations that arise from that situation, especially the revelation that said musicians were established pop artists that many people already quite liked.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:14 PM on December 30, 2009


This is without a doubt all a publicity stunt to sell Warped Tour tickets, feat. Andrew WK, announced last week, presale in March!

Which basically confirms the hypothesis that he is a capitalist deploying a constructed controversy, rather than an artist, regardless of how much real-ness he is currently in possession of.
posted by mek at 7:28 PM on December 30, 2009


I thought nobody gave a crap because Gorillaz was comprised of musicians writing music for cartoon characters. Kind of hard to feel betrayed by any revelations that arise from that situation, especially the revelation that said musicians were established pop artists that many people already quite liked.

Yeah, I guess it's also different because they were experimenting with anonymity moreso than a false identity; but my main point was that it's harder to create scandal or controversey in the pop world because selling out or altering your image is more a prerequisite than a problem. Controversey comes from more extreme and fundamental falsifications like lip syncing ala Milli Vanilli or committing felonies, etc..
posted by p3t3 at 7:30 PM on December 30, 2009


...but when he sleeps - is he literally Andrew WK or figuratively Andrew WK?
posted by horsemuth at 7:35 PM on December 30, 2009


my main point was that it's harder to create scandal or controversey in the pop world because selling out or altering your image is more a prerequisite than a problem.

Very true - pop is one of the few genres where you can get away with this kind of thing. Even country music fans are apparently unforgiving of their favorite acts pulling a fast one on them. Case in point: Garth Brooks/Chris Gaines.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:55 PM on December 30, 2009


Awesome post. I was all "An Andrew W.K. post? Why?"

And then Blam! Wholloped on the upside of the head by the twist at the end.

It was even better than the Six Sense.
posted by afu at 8:11 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm late to the party but I have to post this, this quote from the actual referenced material, I think if I post it here people might actually read it/listen to it.

For those that don't want to read it basically says, I'm a different person than I was 10 years ago. Ok, so he says it in a strange way... but that is what he is saying. Time to move along... nothing else to see here.
I want to confess something to you.
I'm not actually Andrew WK

Do I look the same as that person? Similar?

What I mean is, that, since that time, I have changed. And for any of you who have happened to be there at that time perhaps you have changed as well.
We aren't the same people at all, and again not just conceptually but very literally.

I am a completely different entity.
Not to discredit what i have done before
or what Andrew WK had done, who ever that person was.

Whatever songs have appealed to you, that Andrew WK has presented, I am here in the name of that joy, but I am not Andrew WK as far as that goes.

Andrew WK was created, and this is a bit of a confession, by a large group of people, almost a conference of people, and we talked about how we could come up with something that would move people, that was done in the spirit of commerce, that was done in the spirit of entertainment.

And I was auditioned along with many other people to fulfill this role, of a great front-man, a great performer.

It's a little scary to admit this to you all, that I was not exactly who you thought I was, the person who was in fact, first hired as Andrew Wk was a different person than the guy sitting here on this stage tonight.

I am the next person who is playing Andrew WK.

But it's really all one vision, so I don't want to make it this and that, a and b, black and white, it's all one vibe. But I wanted to be honest that there is more than one person involved in this procedure.
posted by Hogan at 8:23 PM on December 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


pretty sure what he's saying is he's literally a viking
posted by decagon at 8:50 PM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


I don't know how Andrew WK can c claim we are distorting what he was saying when I don't know what the fuck he was saying.

Andrew, learn to communicate. Because if you didn't mean that you are an actor hired to play a role that was created by committee, and that there have been other actors, you managed to say exactly the opposite, and it's not very becoming to accuse people of misunderstanding when you so totally failed to express yourself comprehensibly.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:53 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is this the right time to say that by confessing his participation in a character-building exercise and that his public persona of authenticity and joy was an artifice designed by committee, he is thereby more genuine and authentic? Cause it sounds like it's that time to me.
posted by breath at 9:05 PM on December 30, 2009


Punk started in the 60s, with groups like the Standells and Shadows of Knight that Lenny Kaye collected on Nuggets. The main concept was to play for the fun of it, whether you were a good musician or not. Lots of people call it "garage" now, but they're wrong. Chapter 2 of punk was the Stooges and NY Dolls. Chapter 3 consisted of the mid to late 70s punk/New Wave bands people here are arguing about. I stopped following it after that, as I was out of college and had to go to work.
posted by rfs at 9:13 PM on December 30, 2009


Yeah, Led Zep was real, growing organically out of the need for young people to strut around on stage like a bunch of morons, the precedent having been set by the likes of the Rolling Stones, etc.

whatever - they played their asses off, didn't they? - that's what rock and roll is about - and judging from the one video i watched of andrew wk, he's certainly doing that to some extent, whatever one might think of the context and the songs

perhaps it's on the dumb side, but the guy ain't phoning it in and that counts for something
posted by pyramid termite at 9:17 PM on December 30, 2009


Hmm. To beanplate more, the whole speech begins with Andrew wearing his dad's clothes. And there's that video on his youtube ("Andrew WK is not there") that zooms in on his dad and has a voice over by him talking about how he had to step out of the limelight.

My theory? Andrew WK is really his dad. Time travel might be involved.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:31 PM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Punk started in prehistoric time when a caveman, beating rocks together, composed a song about how he doesn't give a shit what the village elder says, he's going to put mud in his hair and is more than happy to fuck with any caveman who doesn't like it.

Everything since then has just been an iteration of this paleolithic theme.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:32 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


My theory? Andrew WK is really his dad. Time travel might be involved.

My friend and I have a joke about how certain entertainers/media personalities are really Time Travelers who have leaped back into the bodies of people from the past. Lady Gaga and the NFL's Chad Ochocinco were two people that we agreed were Time Travelers. When we saw Andrew W. K. at a Sound of Young America taping in NYC several months ago and heard him expound on his philosophy of life (yes, he told the Airplane story), we looked at each other and simultaneously said "Time Traveler."

This revelation of his has done nothing to dissuade me from the nagging idea that my friend and I may be right. If anything, I think it lends even more credence to my crackpottery.
posted by KingEdRa at 10:17 PM on December 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


Nietzsche remarks somewhere that all great world-historical events and personages repeat themselves, as it were, twice: the first time, as tragedy; the second time, as farce. He forgot to add: Andrew W. K. sucks.
posted by stammer at 10:18 PM on December 30, 2009


Hey Andrew WK's twitter linked to this thread

Hi Andrew :> I've seen you like 8 times (once with Flogging Molly was one of my favorite shows ever)
posted by Damn That Television at 10:23 PM on December 30, 2009


IT WAS MARX NOT NIETZSCHE.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:47 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I posted a snark earlier, but I wanted to come back and say this: Andrew W.K. is perfect.

Interestingly, two of the most illuminating posts in this thread have just been literal transcripts of what Andrew said. And I think there's a parallel here with his music: there is nothing more to say about it beyond the music itself. That's why it can irritate people who get off on describing music (for a living or otherwise) - his music is actually it's own best description. It's also in some ways a call to cease thinking (which is I think where the claim that it is "dumb" comes from - although I would argue that only a supreme intellectual power can actually stop thinking, but I digress). He's actively SEEKING liminality (this is from an Invisible Jukebox interview in The Wire):
ANDREW W.K.: I've never liked the idea that something has to be either/or, that it has to be binary - that either it has to be a complete joke, and they're totally aware of what they're doing, or that it's the dumbest, worst music ever heard. Can't it be both those things and many more? And don't I get to decide what it is? There's so much that comes from the observer that it doesn't really matter what the person who made it says it is, or what the majority of people say it is.
And the reason I said parallel above is because the distinction between the music and what he says in interviews and his self-help/motivational speaking IS WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT. The guy wears all white - it's a costume. It's a performance. He's a super hero. What else could it be?

Yes, YOU were also formed by "almost a conference of people" - your parents, your peers, etc. If you were a performer dedicated to making as many people happy as possible, I would hope that you would have talked to people to try to figure out what you should do to accomplish that! The idea that there is some cynical plot here is what is inside of YOU. If you're obsessing over authors/authenticity/authority then I'm sorry for you. Everything he is talking about is exactly about exploding so many of the redundant, sad and cynical thought processes seen above. (Don't even get me started on the "never heard of 'im" people - thanks anyway).

Read the 2002 Onion interview (seriously - read it!).
Watch the Tiny Desk concert. (seriously!)
The original invitation to the talk which seems to partially be what he's responding to in setting expectations for what he's actually there to do.
posted by mike_bling at 11:53 PM on December 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


IT WAS MARX NOT NIETZSCHE.

Misattributing the quote is kosher, as Marx appears to have been essentially inventing a pithy Hegel quote to modify in the first place.
posted by stammer at 12:13 AM on December 31, 2009


first time as tragedy, second time as fuck off
posted by koeselitz at 12:42 AM on December 31, 2009


my main point was that it's harder to create scandal or controversey in the pop world because selling out or altering your image is more a prerequisite than a problem.

Indeed. Aqua's entire career was an example of musicians deciding they wanted nicer TVs, and very well done it was too.

Even country music fans are apparently unforgiving of their favorite acts pulling a fast one on them.

Even? Country is as obsessed with authenticity as punk.
posted by rodgerd at 12:54 AM on December 31, 2009


[j/k]
posted by koeselitz at 12:58 AM on December 31, 2009


Read the 2002 Onion interview (seriously - read it!).
Watch the Tiny Desk concert. (seriously!)


No.

His music is OK, but hearing Andrew W. K. blather on about positivity makes me want to go out and find a baby to punch.
posted by afu at 2:32 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


He's a fine weatherman though.
posted by mmoncur at 3:53 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Everybody in pop music is a god damned media construct designed by committee and shaped by advertising types; how could you possibly be alarmed or shocked that this is true about yet another person
posted by tehloki at 5:39 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is everyone really having fun here or is it some sort of construct?

DOES NOT COMPUTER!
posted by humannaire at 7:17 AM on December 31, 2009


So Andrew W.K.'s twitter page showed up in the mefi referrer logs thanks to this tweet:

I'm asking for you to defend me everyplace you can: [shitty bitly link] People are taking what I had to say and changing it!!

...linking back to the thread, which made me go look at his twitter feed because I was like, hey, AndrewWK is tweeting about mefi, but then it turned out he was just tweeting about mefi talking about him so it wasn't like some organic Andrew W.K. Lurks At Metafilter thing, which was a letdown.

But I ended up here anyway, and there's some serious ouroboros stuff going on with the me watching him watching us watching him thing. I think that qualifies as a kind of mental partying, so I think I'm probably good.

But anyway so the thing about Andrew W. K. is that I've never actually seen him do his thing for whatever reason and so he exists in my mind mostly just as a recurring character over on Jeff Rowland's fantastic Overcompensating:

- party fridge
- partycasting
- war on party
- party doom
- hello party

And I think managing to exist mostly as the perceived fictional creation of another person is also kind of like a party, so I think we're pretty much good all around.

So then when I see Andrew follow up on the mefi thread thing with something like this:

Sorry if I over reacted. Don't want to make this worse or give it even more attention. I've been advised to ignore it. Focus on what's real.

I worry that maybe he's not partying very hard about this whole mefi thing after all and it makes me want to give him a hug that says, hey, it's okay: you can party.
posted by cortex at 7:27 AM on December 31, 2009 [15 favorites]


people on metafilter apparently do not understand metaphors
posted by speicus at 7:48 AM on December 31, 2009


though it would be pretty cool if andrew wk actually did have an evil lynchian doppelganger named steev mike. oh well

FIRE PARTY WITH ME
posted by speicus at 7:49 AM on December 31, 2009


It gets better and better!

I don't usually dig twitter but I am enamored with his feed. Great stuff.

Also -- using 20X for 2010. It's so fantastic I can't believe I haven't seen that before today.
posted by cavalier at 7:52 AM on December 31, 2009


He posted this link on twitter:
http://www.cargorecords.co.uk/release/10830

The roots of the album and the changes it signals lie in the story behind the unorthodox path Andrew took to fame and, specifically, the dramatic contrast between his early years as part of a free-spirited music scene in his hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan and the transformation in attitude and image and personality that came about after he had assumed the role of Andrew W.K. The trademark white t-shirt and jeans he wore in public was also adopted in order to help create an easily-identifiable image. And it worked. Audiences embraced Andrew W.K. as the long-haired, straight-talking, everyman rock icon who oozed positivity and made his fans feel that not only was it OK to be different but that it was OK to be yourself and not feel embarrassed about being awkward or goofy.
posted by k8t at 8:04 AM on December 31, 2009


people on metafilter apparently do not understand metaphors

Bolded for emphasis because it took 300+ comments for someone to point it out.
posted by deern the headlice at 8:12 AM on December 31, 2009


Andrew WK: "I literally just ate an apple. I put an apple in my mouth, and bit it, and chewed up the part that I bit off, then swallowed the chewed-up parts, and repeated this until there were no more parts of the apple for me to eat. I literally did this, earlier today, and here's a picture of me doing it, and a signed affidavit of someone who witnessed me do it, and that affidavit is notarized. I love apples"

Interpretation: DUH it's obviously a METAPHOR. He's talking about how were all made of atoms, and how the atoms that escaped his body are not the same as the atoms that are there now, and how maybe THOSE atoms ate an apple, which in his metaphor, is a symbol for a return to traditional American values, like farms and danger. Also you buried the lede (journalism term, look it up newfag...) so much that I had no choice but to take this to MetaTalk :U
posted by Damn That Television at 8:19 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Another point: the talk in question is not scripted. The fact that it doesn't make perfect sense is because he is at least partially making it up on the spot. He touches on something similar during the Tiny Desk concert (where he actually seems kind of nervous for some reason - maybe because he's IMPROVISING SOLO) at about 9:00 from the end: "I don't have anything to motivate anybody specifically. I have no idea what I'm doing and that's the state I would like to be in and if that's the state that feels good to you guys then I'm sure you'll do the same. Just to really be not quite clear or confident in any area except that area itself. That's the headspace I wanna be in. To really throw yourself into the fire, I guess, to not play it safe and to really put yourself out there, even if it's humiliating, that's where I wanna be. Now another one?" He goes on to play an incredible Reed-esque rework of I Get Wet.

afu: If you're unwilling to click the links we'll just have to agree that your baby punching urges are your own and can't be blamed on Andrew W.K. You've created your own mind, so take some responsibility for it.
posted by mike_bling at 8:32 AM on December 31, 2009


I don't believe in Zimmerman.
posted by pianomover at 8:34 AM on December 31, 2009


DUH it's obviously a METAPHOR. He's talking about how were all made of atoms, and how the atoms that escaped his body are not the same as the atoms that are there now, and how maybe THOSE atoms ate an apple, which in his metaphor, is a symbol for a return to traditional American values, like farms and danger. Also you buried the lede (journalism term, look it up newfag...) so much that I had no choice but to take this to MetaTalk :U

I’m missing something here . . . but I can’t quite figure out what it is
posted by Think_Long at 8:53 AM on December 31, 2009


Andrew WK was formed on a bet that he could become famous doing pop music. He won the bet.
posted by wcfields at 8:55 AM on December 31, 2009


damn that television's argument is literally, like, a dude made of straw. how can an argument be made of straw??? it doesn't make any sense -- one person couldn't make an argument out of straw by themselves. i therefore posit that damn that television is actually a sockpuppet for a committee of space lizards. QED
posted by speicus at 9:02 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think you also just proved the existence of god.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:05 AM on December 31, 2009


Hey specius, take it to MetaTalk.
posted by Damn That Television at 9:07 AM on December 31, 2009 [5 favorites]


New meme for 2010 - fake metatalk links
posted by Damn That Television at 9:07 AM on December 31, 2009 [8 favorites]


Or not.
posted by mike_bling at 11:00 AM on December 31, 2009


I saw Andrew W.K. at some wretched night club on the "I Get Wet" and he was amazing. If he's fake, I don't want to be real.

This thread has destroyed an hour of my life so as a favour I will put up the McLaughlin Groove video referred to earlier.
posted by jeffen at 11:51 AM on December 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


It was Marx. But it sure sounds like something Nietzsche could have said.
Nietzsche was a punk before Marx was.

I could favourite alot of the comments on this thread.
posted by ovvl at 1:29 PM on December 31, 2009


Just glanced at the NPR video. Woah, dude's throwing a bit of fucking Ragtime in there.
posted by ovvl at 1:43 PM on December 31, 2009


Any other 90s Ann Arborites wish to comment?

Yeah, I'd like to say that I'm really hating my teenage self right now. I went to Community in the AWK timespan but I have nothing to add because I was blinded by my head being up my own ass. I'm pretty bummed to hear there was all this awesome music going on in A2 during my darkest years.

Like Andrew WK, I'd like to say I'm a "literally" a different person now, too. For fucksake 10-year-ago-self! Get a grip, look around! Go to shows, have a good time! Throttlethrottlethrottle
posted by bobobox at 5:52 PM on December 31, 2009


I just want haveanicesummer to know I "sought out" Jason Anderson, downloaded a number of tracks, listened to some videos, and wondered...

...did you even listen to Andrew W.K.?

Because seriously? Jason Anderson may be great and everything but his music pretty much made me want to stop listening to music. I didn't even know sincerity went up past 11.

Actually, yeah, I did. In a word, blehcCH!
posted by humannaire at 8:11 PM on December 31, 2009


mpbx: "This is something I think both you and I would disagree with."

I think not.
posted by mwhybark at 10:17 PM on December 31, 2009


but I'll come clean to tweaking more than arguing, mpbx. Do not play the game; do not give the game away.
posted by mwhybark at 10:18 PM on December 31, 2009


Also, I'm on the last train to Clarksville, and I will meet you at the station. I'm going to the mountain with the fire spirit, no one will accept all of me. You wanna talk about the real junk? I see bodies. There's kerosene around, I want something to do.
posted by mwhybark at 10:23 PM on December 31, 2009


speaking of partying oh god my organs and bones;;;;;;
posted by Damn That Television at 1:41 PM on January 1, 2010


If this is the other thread about Jorge Louis Borges, I just popped in to say,
as soon as you get The Book of Sand, give it away.
posted by at the crossroads at 12:57 AM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Here is my statement to respond to everything."
posted by The Deej at 11:13 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Does he always refer to himself in the third person? And his example of a genuine artist hounded by haters is Lady Gaga? The one self-admitted constructed persona in pop music, who intentionally riddles her material with illuminati-style conspiracy crap?

It's official, we're being trolled.
ps. i love lady gaga
posted by mek at 11:36 PM on January 3, 2010


The one self-admitted constructed persona in pop music

The insistence that Lady Gaga is hyper-intelligent meta-commentary is something that exists solely in the world of overthinky types who've found themselves in the intellectually-unacceptable position of enjoying dance music. For everyone else, she's just a better-than-average popstar.
posted by cillit bang at 1:52 AM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


I've never heard Lady Gaga, and I'd check her out now but this crappy machine really, really doesn't want to try to do Youtube.

Maybe tomorrow.
posted by koeselitz at 2:07 AM on January 4, 2010


Lady Gaga is hyper-intelligent meta-commentary is something that exists solely in the world of overthinky types who've found themselves in the intellectually-unacceptable position of enjoying dance music.

I was going to come up with a hyper-intelligent meta-snark for you, but I think this will suffice.
posted by mek at 2:33 AM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Here is my statement to respond to everything."

Oh Andrew W.K., the party officially stops when you resize my browser.
posted by cortex at 6:42 AM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Here is my statement to respond to everything."

Browser re-sizing, plus tiny white rambling text on a black background with auto-loading music. I don't know if he ever made an actual point. My conclusion? This.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:41 AM on January 4, 2010


cillit bang: "The insistence that Lady Gaga is hyper-intelligent meta-commentary is something that exists solely in the world of overthinky types who've found themselves in the intellectually-unacceptable position of enjoying dance music. For everyone else, she's just a better-than-average popstar."

The only music I've heard by Lady Gaga was in a commercial for... a cellphone, I think? It sounded like really generic techno. The kind of music I'd expect to hear pouring out of a tourist bar on Bourbon Street. Based on the way people* talk about her, I have to assume I'm missing something. What is her appeal?

* Including several people I respect the musical taste of.
posted by brundlefly at 9:54 AM on January 4, 2010


Any other 90s Ann Arborites wish to comment?

I had his dad for first year property law in Fall of 2000. He took us to Dominiks (a bar across the street from the law school) and played the CD for us -- it must have been right before it came out, but maybe after the single was released? It was sort of difficult to tell whether his dad liked the music, but it was very clear that he was excited and proud that the music/cd existed. Also, he bought us sangria. Yum.
posted by dpx.mfx at 10:29 AM on January 4, 2010


Brundlefly: The music they play in tourist bars is the best music in the world. Sounds like there's not enough party in your life.
posted by cillit bang at 11:40 AM on January 4, 2010


I should clarify: not tourist bars so much as cheese-ball nightclubs for the frat house set. Places that have foam parties.
posted by brundlefly at 11:49 AM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I could favorite a lot of the comments on this thread.

Though attributed to ovvl, I believe that was Ovid.
posted by humannaire at 12:14 PM on January 4, 2010


Then I should clarify: Music they play in cheese-ball nightclubs that have foam parties is the best music in the world. Even those that allow in - welcome even - people who are ever so slightly different from us.

Next time you listen to Lady Gaga, try to ignore that it reminds you of places where people have fun. And party harder.
posted by cillit bang at 12:23 PM on January 4, 2010


brundlefly - just cuz i don't feel like redoing all the html - here's link to a past comment of mine with some youtube videos that are the things that won me over on gaga. she makes the (to me, utterly boring) dance music, but behind her monotone singing on some of her singles, she's a real musical artist who does a sort of bar piano crossed with burlesque crossed with elton john ballads.
posted by nadawi at 1:05 PM on January 4, 2010


Yes, cillit bang, clearly I don't like those types of places because I don't like to have fun. Because we all have the same definition of fun.

nadawi: Looks like most of those YouTube videos have been taken down. However, the one that remains (the acoustic one on Japanese TV) seems rather nice. I can't really listen to the whole thing right now, but I will later. Thanks!
posted by brundlefly at 1:15 PM on January 4, 2010


ah sad. i should have checked that.

paparazzi
poker face
poker face again
poker face again, again
just dance (not acoustic, and shitty sound on top of it - but go 50 seconds in - something fucks up with the sound, and she doesn't stop. one of her guys starts beatboxing and she keeps doing her thing - i can't conceive of any of the other pop tarts doing that)
just dance (not an "acoustic" version - but fascinating to me to see how she sings the record skips and studio tricks. it's like when artists started singing the fade out)
posted by nadawi at 1:30 PM on January 4, 2010 [11 favorites]


The only music I've heard by Lady Gaga was in a commercial for... a cellphone, I think? It sounded like really generic techno. The kind of music I'd expect to hear pouring out of a tourist bar on Bourbon Street. Based on the way people* talk about her, I have to assume I'm missing something. What is her appeal?

It's music ignorance mad libs time!

The only music I've heard by [MUSICIAN OR BAND] was in a commercial for... a [PRODUCT], I think? It sounded like really generic [STYLE OF MUSIC]. The kind of music I'd expect to hear pouring out of a [LOCATION]. Based on the way people talk about them, I have to assume I'm missing something. What is the appeal?
posted by speicus at 2:53 PM on January 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Good lord, let the man not like Lady Gaga. It doesn't mean he can't have fun, or he's musically ignorant. Tastes vary.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:07 PM on January 9, 2010


How can you not like something you haven't really experienced? I guess I need to accept the fact that these days it is standard practice to judge music based on hearing a 30 second clip of one song one time.
posted by speicus at 2:07 AM on January 10, 2010


Everyone does that. You don't have enough time in the day to listen to the bulk of the discographies of every artist out there. 30 seconds of "My Humps" was enough to convince me that exploring the Black Eyed Peas further would probably not be worth my time. So it is for brundlefly and Lady Gaga. Who cares?

I get that she has a lot of fans here who are very diligent in rising to her defense anytime someone shrugs or expresses distaste for her music. And that's cool, you know, showing another side of an artist and all. It's saying that someone who doesn't like her music doesn't know how to have fun, or that they're musically ignorant that's kind of uncalled for, really.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:57 AM on January 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's saying that someone who doesn't like her music doesn't know how to have fun, or that they're musically ignorant that's kind of uncalled for

Yes, but that's not what anyone did. It was the proudly professing ignorance that got him called ignorant. The answer to what he's missing about Lady Gaga's music is at least in part "Because you are unfamiliar with and unhelpfully dismissive of the entire genre it exists in".

And I never questioned Brundlefly's own fun-having skills, which I'm sure put even Mr W.K.'s to shame.

(as long as there aren't foam parties, obv.)
posted by cillit bang at 11:18 AM on January 10, 2010


And I never questioned Brundlefly's own fun-having skills, which I'm sure put even Mr W.K.'s to shame.

Eh, you sorta did with that "Next time you listen to Lady Gaga, try to ignore that it reminds you of places where people have fun" remark, but maybe I'm just reading that wrong.

It was the proudly professing ignorance that got him called ignorant.

Not really sure where he "proudly" professed anything. He said he heard 30 seconds of Lady Gaga and decided he didn't care for it, as it harkens an entire genre of music that he doesn't care for. Pouring scorn and ridicule on the guy for his "ignorance" seems hardly fair, or accurate, as it seems he's familiar with the genre anyway.

Take heart in the fact that he's said he's going to give the YouTube links of Lady Gaga a listen. So it seems he's going to try and rectify this supposed ignorance, in any event.

I can understand the desire to want to really, really convince somebody to give an artist a fair shake and give them more of a listen. Just think there are constructive ways of going about that.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:37 AM on January 10, 2010


Yeah, I understand that in this era of musical oversaturation that you can't possibly give a good listen to everything. My comment about that was sincere. I do wish that it weren't the case, since "music that immediately appealed to me on first listen" accounts for a vanishingly small percentage of the music I now love.

I feel like I would make this complaint about anyone not giving any kind of music a fair listen, though for some reason it seems to disproportionately happen to ol' Gaga. Sometimes I do feel like it is willful ignorance, or disingenuous fake ignorance of the "is this something I would need a TV to understand?" variety, and so it reflexively annoys me, though on reflection I don't think brundlefly here falls into that category.

In conclusion, Andrew WK is the new Yoko Ono. PARTY HARD! PARTY HARD! PARTY HARD! PARTY! PARTY! PARTY! PARTY HARD! PARTY HARD! PARTY HARD! PARTY HARD!
posted by speicus at 5:15 PM on January 10, 2010


Andrew WK addresses the Steev Mike conspiracy 01/12/10

So Steev Mike is Dave Grohl?
posted by Sailormom at 4:47 PM on January 15, 2010


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