Andrew WK

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as far as the "st55v mike" stuff goes, i remember seeing some interviews circa close calls (don't remember where, sorry) where he talked about andrew w.k. as a collaborative performance piece, a collaboration between the artist and his audience. andrew's suggestion was that there was no fixed narrative to the story he was creating, and that he wasn't really in control of it himself. of course, this plays into the idea that he is or was a puppet, but it seemed to me that his primary point was that he was happy to go along with whatever story his fans wanted to project onto him - that this was the essential nature of celebrity, to be a story told by others. so maybe the st55v mike stuff was done by andrew himself, maybe it was done by his friends, and maybe it was done by fans. doesn't matter. it's equally real and "true" either way.

i found close calls with brick walls and especially the associated non-musical ephemera (art, videos, websites, theories, performances, interviews) extremely disturbing. it's lynch-like in that it suggests the presence of something awful, some terrible psychological disturbance or rupture, without ever really describing it directly. it has the sickening, trypophobic gravity of a good wingnut conspiracy theory, where everything starts to seem like an encoded clue after a while, but the solution remains forever out of reach.

i know your nuts hurt! who's laughing? (contenderizer), Thursday, 6 September 2012 17:53 (six years ago) Permalink

I dunno it feels like the stakes are too low to be properly engaging. Basically the conspiracy is... to make a lot of money?

Philip Nunez, Thursday, 6 September 2012 18:01 (six years ago) Permalink

Well, granted I should allow that it should be at least as engaging as Scientology on those grounds.

Philip Nunez, Thursday, 6 September 2012 18:02 (six years ago) Permalink

Basically the conspiracy is... to make a lot of money?

by the time of ccwbw, he seemed to be on the outs with his label and management and wasn't yet making lazy money as a kids show host. it's hard to sort out any clear single thread, but the essence of the "conspiracy" seemed to revolve around questions of identity. the album and its "related ephemera" played on this in a number of ways, suggesting both a fragmented personality and literal duplicate identity, the idea that there might be more than one person "playing" andrew w.k. the fragmented personality stuff was very well developed, imo, and retains a disturbing edge even when you take it simply as art-play. self-actualization collapsing into literal solipsism, the idea that seeing is being, weird tangles of gibberish covering up mysterious gaps. helps to dig into the associated web stuff as you absorb the album, and much of it is still archived as far as i know.

there's also a fair bit of crowleyist philosophy in his motivational speaker schtick, which only adds another layer of creepiness to the whole enterprise.

i know your nuts hurt! who's laughing? (contenderizer), Thursday, 6 September 2012 18:13 (six years ago) Permalink

xp exactly. scientology, too, is creepy as hell, and because it seems so serious, it's a bit less fun to examine as art. personally, i don't find art with apparent commercial intent any less interesting than that which seems to exist in a vacuum. and i think andrew managed to play some interesting or at least entertaining games with the idea of commercially commodified identity.

i know your nuts hurt! who's laughing? (contenderizer), Thursday, 6 September 2012 18:16 (six years ago) Permalink

it's less interesting to me in that the motive behind everything just boils down to "how can we make money"
so anything disturbing about multiple identities gets submerged into "well, of course it's more lucrative to promote
AWK as a brand than can be played by multiple people than tying it to an individual" and it becomes no more sinister
than the fact that there are probably multiple ronald mcdonalds walking around.
I'm not super well-versed on crowley, but it seems like his motives were similar?

Philip Nunez, Thursday, 6 September 2012 18:29 (six years ago) Permalink

A few years ago on his message board, someone claiming to be from his high school posted a story about how they were asked in class by a teacher what they wanted to do when they got older. Most people said things like, "doctor" and "lawyer" and "policeman", but when it got around to Andrew, he said "I want to manufacture my own non-existence." Then everyone rolled their eyes at the 'typical Andrew' response.

Poliopolice, Thursday, 6 September 2012 18:40 (six years ago) Permalink

very similar!

thing is, i don't know that there ever was any intent to promote AWK as a duplicable brand. maybe yes, maybe no. the thing about paranoid investigation is that the singular/coherent truth, to the extent that it ever existed in the first place, quickly gets lost in the embroidery of conspiracy. maybe the point of all the creepy psycho stuff was to poison the AWK brand. maybe it was an attempt to drum up viral interest in a flagging career. maybe it was all just a lark. maybe he was going through some shit, or fighting it out with the illuminati, or being indoctrinated into the golden dawn, etc. i like the indeterminacy, because it allows anything, incorporates anything, molds itself to whatever you want to make of it. this only makes it all the more scary, like a rorschach blot in which you can see whatever you want (or don't want). this is the sense in which AWK's play reminds me of david lynch. lynch is great at guiding the viewer's imagination towards whatever they might find disturbing.

i know your nuts hurt! who's laughing? (contenderizer), Thursday, 6 September 2012 18:44 (six years ago) Permalink

that was xp PN

i know your nuts hurt! who's laughing? (contenderizer), Thursday, 6 September 2012 18:47 (six years ago) Permalink

David Foster Wallace once wrote that 'Lynchian' describes a situation where the very disturbing and the very macabre is wrapped up in something that is on the surface very innocent and very innocuous. In this sense, AWK's entire performance art thing is extremely Lynchian.

Poliopolice, Thursday, 6 September 2012 18:49 (six years ago) Permalink

you can find equal indeterminacy in tom cruise's marriage which you could also say is Lynchian. (also, see nicole kidman's role in AWKspiracy)

Philip Nunez, Thursday, 6 September 2012 18:54 (six years ago) Permalink

I feel like at least with tom cruise, there might be a genuinely deranged individual at work.

Philip Nunez, Thursday, 6 September 2012 18:55 (six years ago) Permalink

nicole kidman's role in AWKspiracy

what's this?

Poliopolice, Thursday, 6 September 2012 18:56 (six years ago) Permalink

there was this whole thing about nicole kidman being tied to AWK and they tried to make it spooooky, but I think it just boils down to Andrew having a thing for redheads.

Philip Nunez, Thursday, 6 September 2012 18:57 (six years ago) Permalink

I'm glad someone brought up scientology - not that I think there's any direct connection but some of his songs on Close Calls seem to relate to those same principles. I do think the "Multiple AWK" thing is interesting and maybe part of the point of the live recordings with two vocal parts. He always seems to refer to "Andrew W.K." as though it was a corporation. Like you wouldn't hear Peter Gabriel referring to "Peter Gabriel music". Something like "I Sold My Soul" off his new EP seem to refer to this directly; "I sold my soul/and now I won't get hurt anymore/and now I won't be afraid anymore"

Pitchfork just ran an interview, and again he said something very cryptic/ominous:

When people do things to make your dream come true, you owe them in one way or another. Everyone understands that for every dream that comes true for you, there might not be a dream coming true for someone else. When we trade one wish for another, there's a price to pay. It works like that. When you make an agreement with yourself, or with a dream, or with a group of people, there really are consequences, and it's really hard to see that when you have no experience and you're young and you hope people don't take advantage of that.

frogbs, Thursday, 6 September 2012 18:59 (six years ago) Permalink

The (I'm assuming) not-made-up stories about Andrew's troubled youth are frankly a lot more interesting than the Jane McGonigal/VICE-level viral marketing street team pranks.

Philip Nunez, Thursday, 6 September 2012 19:01 (six years ago) Permalink

i don't know that there ever was any intent to promote AWK as a duplicable brand

That latest video of "Time to Party" with literally dozens of people playing AWK. Also, the "Close Calls" reissue with that weird purple-tinted fake-AWK i posted earlier. Just bizarre. I really like the packaging for that a whole lot, including the weird photo for the "Mother of Mankind" CD that looks kind of like he's in a scene from a horror movie.

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Thursday, 6 September 2012 19:05 (six years ago) Permalink

"When you make an agreement with yourself, or with a dream, or with a group of people, there really are consequences, and it's really hard to see that when you have no experience and you're young and you hope people don't take advantage of that."

what's cryptic about this (other than not naming names)?

Philip Nunez, Thursday, 6 September 2012 19:06 (six years ago) Permalink

When people do things to make your dream come true, you owe them in one way or another. Everyone understands that for every dream that comes true for you, there might not be a dream coming true for someone else. When we trade one wish for another, there's a price to pay. It works like that. When you make an agreement with yourself, or with a dream, or with a group of people, there really are consequences, and it's really hard to see that when you have no experience and you're young and you hope people don't take advantage of that.

this is the stuff i love best, the seemingly mundane blather that impinges ominously on any number of conspiracy theories without really saying anything. it's fun, and also just a little unnerving. it's like a good thriller or horror movie, and you don't have to take it as anything more than that. unless you want to...

i know your nuts hurt! who's laughing? (contenderizer), Thursday, 6 September 2012 19:06 (six years ago) Permalink

nicole kidman's role in AWKspiracy

what's this?

― Poliopolice, Thursday, September 6, 2012 11:56 AM (10 minutes ago)

like PN said, there was at one point the suggestion that AWK was obsessed with and had perhaps even slept with nicole kidman. this was tied to the "seeing is being" solipsism i mentioned earlier, though, so "sleeping with nicole kidman" may have been nothing more than "seeing eyes wide shut". CCWBW lyrics touch on this indirectly.

i know your nuts hurt! who's laughing? (contenderizer), Thursday, 6 September 2012 19:10 (six years ago) Permalink

That latest video of "Time to Party" with literally dozens of people playing AWK. Also, the "Close Calls" reissue with that weird purple-tinted fake-AWK i posted earlier. Just bizarre. I really like the packaging for that a whole lot, including the weird photo for the "Mother of Mankind" CD that looks kind of like he's in a scene from a horror movie.

― Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Thursday, September 6, 2012 12:05 PM (5 minutes ago)

oh yeah, he definitely played up the "multiple andrews" thing. i just don't know that there was ever a sincere, real-world attempt to legally wrest the "andrew w.k." brand away from anyone.

i know your nuts hurt! who's laughing? (contenderizer), Thursday, 6 September 2012 19:12 (six years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

The Andrew WK giving the talk at the Brony convention has a really thick midwestern accent, what is up with that?

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 2 October 2012 01:54 (six years ago) Permalink

Or, maybe it's a real thick "Da Bears!" accent

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 2 October 2012 01:55 (six years ago) Permalink

Great talk. When they declare him a brony, he stands still like a triumphant doll and rotates back and forth. About 20 mins in, he spontaneously leads the crowd in some drone chanting. He almost breaks into the theme from "Lawrence of Arabia".

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 2 October 2012 02:17 (six years ago) Permalink

I gives himself a hand for releasing the a 30th Anniversary Gundam tribute album. After he tells the crowd it's only out in Japan, he says "You can illegal download it!" AWK is an old-school nerd.

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 2 October 2012 02:24 (six years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

http://i.imgur.com/lV0zHoY.jpg

:)

, Sunday, 5 July 2015 13:04 (three years ago) Permalink

The Andrew WK giving the talk at the Brony convention has a really thick midwestern accent, what is up with that?

― Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Monday, October 1, 2012 9:54 PM (2 years ago) Bookmark

he's from michigan

, Sunday, 5 July 2015 13:04 (three years ago) Permalink


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