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Archive for the ‘Andrew WK’ Category

[ATTENDED: May 21, 2018] Andrew W.K. 

When Andrew W.K. first came on the scene, I enjoyed what I thought of as his dopey party music.  It seemed a little one note, but it was sure fun.

Then I learned more and more about the guy and decided I really liked him, even if I didn’t get into any more of his music.

Then he put out a record of piano music (he is a long-trained pianist)  It was all instrumental and improvised and he did a Tiny Desk Concert piano improv (which was interesting if not a little disappointing).

Then some kind of strange legal things happened and he stopped making music (more or less) and did motivational speaking and went into TV.  He made the terrific show Destroy Build Destroy and my kids became fans of him (although not his music). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 21, 2018] David Fantasy & Adult Content

When I saw that David Fantasy & Adult Content were opening for Andrew W.K., I had to do some research to see what they were all about.

Somehow, it led me to this page from the West Philadelphia Orchestra, a band David Fishkin joined a few years ago:

Shortly after joining, I had a conversation with my mother about the special connection that WPO has with people who dance to our music. My mother said, “David, why don’t you start a dance band?” I thought to myself, “Indeed, why not?” But I don’t think my mother could have imagined the band that I was inspired to create: David Fantasy & Adult Content. We are a party band, dedicated to making bodies move in rhythm. As my alter ego, singer David Fantasy, I have been known to implore audiences to “get up and shake their asses.”

As a music educator, I am a member of the faculty of the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts, as well as a woodwind teaching artist through the youth program of Symphony In C. I also teach private lessons in saxophone, flute and clarinet.

This show was all-ages.  Some of Andrew W.K.’s fans are little (as evidenced by the guy at the merch table who bought a bobble-head for his nine-year-old girl.  Why didn’t you bring her?  The merch guy asked).

Given this piece of information, I assumed that David Fantasy & Adult Content would be a kind of double entendre band, with David Fantasy (not a stereotypical hunk) playing up the funny.   (more…)

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boxersSOUNDTRACK: ANDREW W.K.-Tiny Desk Concert #37 (November 30, 2009).

wkWhen I saw Andrew W.K. on the list of Tiny Desk players I was intrigued to say the least. W.K. is a maniac.  His first album was packed with full throttle, really dumb party anthems.  Later he made an albums of… piano instrumentals.  Then he became a motivational speaker.  He’s done children’s shows and he recently did an anthem for an internet cat.  He even played drums for 24 hours straight–setting a world record.  So who knew what to expect.

Well, I didn’t expect two lengthy piano improvisations (quite pretty, if a little scattered).  Holy cow, does he attack that keyboard!  The improvs are really unexpected–meandering and interesting (mostly), especially at the end where they kind of decay.

Then he plays a keyboard version of “I Get Wet” which sounds almost symphonic especially compared to the pummeling version on the record.

He ends with a faithful cover of “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress” made famous by Linda Ronstadt.  He sings in a proper voice and if you didn’t know it was Andrew W.K., it would be a pretty normal song.

Nothing like what I expected, this is a most unusual (and slightly awkward–for a motivational speaker, Andrew seems a little distracted) Tiny Desk.

 [READ: February 19, 2014] Boxers & Saints

Gene Luen Yang is a wonderful artist and storyteller.  He has written several books that I’ve enjoyed quite a lot.  This is a two volume set that is meant to be read together (although each story is more or less independent).  I assume that Boxers should be read first since Saints has an epilogue, at least that’s the order I read them.

This story is about the Boxer Rebellion.  I knew literally nothing about the Boxer Rebellion, so for those who don’t, here’s Britannica: (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: WEEZER-Raditude (2009).

I didn’t buy this Weezer album when it came out because I had heard really bad things about it (like the “guests”), but when I saw it cheap I decided to check it out.  This has to be the most polarizing Weezer album of them all.  I listened to it twice yesterday.  The first time I thought I had been too harsh on it.  The second time I thought it was godawful.  It’s amazing what a couple of hours can do.

It opens with a wonderful bit of poppy wordplay ala Cheap Trick: “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To.”  It’s catchy as anything and is a wonderful start to the album, even if it is probably their poppiest song ever.  From there though, the album really degenerates.  And mostly it’s because it’s so dumb.  I mean the album title should tell you what you’re in for, but who would have expected the moronic sub-pop-metal of “The Girl Got Hot” or even the reprehensible lyrics of “I’m Your Daddy” “You are my baby tonight And I’m your daddy.”  It’s just creepy.  Or gah, a song about the mall?  “In the Mall.”  It’s not even worth mocking.  And really, try to picture Rivers Cuomo in a mall.  Any mall.

But nothing could prepare anyone for “Can’t Stop Partying.”  Unlike Andrew WK’s ouvre, which is so sincere about partying that you can’t take it seriously, this song really seems to be about the guys partying.  It’s laughable.  The anemic rap but Li’l Wayne certainly doesn’t help.

Even the collaboration with Indian musicians on “Love is the Answer” (yes, seriously) doesn’t really work.  It feels like they wrote the song and then said, “Hey let’s throw some sitar on it.”  It’s not enough to be exciting but too much to ignore.

This is not to say that these songs aren’t catchy.  I mean, geez, I still have “Can’t Stop Partying” in my head while I’m listening to something else.   Rivers knows how to write a pop trifle.  And the more he writes songs like this, it makes me thing that Pinkerton was the fluke.  Which is fine. The music world needs poppy songs, right?

[READ: early August 2011] various nonfictions

I thought about doing individual posts for all of Arthur Bradford’s non-fiction that’s available on his website (that’s right,  yet another author that I have read short uncollected pieces by without having read any of his bigger works–I’m looking at you Wells Tower).  Bradford has links to all of his nonfiction ( I assume) on his website.  There are 12 links in total.  One is to his blog (which I’m not reviewing).  The rest are for articles covering a pretty broad array of topics from a pretty broad variety of sources.  (more…)

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