If somehow you missed out on bombastic party rocker Andrew W.K.'s all-killer classic 2002 debut I Get Wet ... well, shame on you. It's a masterpiece. Yes, really. Fully loaded with flawless, stadium-sized, synth-y jock jams — four of which have the word "party" in their titles — the album might arguably be the strongest visceral rawk debut since Guns N' Roses' Appetite for Destruction.
That being the case, you'd think W.K. would be a one-dimensional, blockheaded lush. But au contraire, readers, as self-proclaimed "professional partier" W.K. is actually a serious dude with some sage pearls to match. In the years following Wet's release, W.K. — a boundless fountain of good vibes — has cultivated a singular persona as The Longhaired Tony Robbins of Meatloaf-Inspired Alt-Metal. He's pop culture's high priest of positivity. So perplexed are some suspicious music fans that Internet conspiracy theories worthy of Alex Jones abound — theories that W.K. is actually an actor flying a false flag of rock and playing a think-tank-manufactured persona (or something).
This year, W.K. started writing "Ask Andrew W.K.," a weekly advice column for the Village Voice's music blog, Sound of the City. Responding to reader prompts about topics ranging from garden-variety relationship advice to suicide, W.K. offers earnest counsel that's candid, thoughtful, sometimes sad, often funny, almost always uplifting and endlessly entertaining. In advance of W.K.'s solo piano show at this week at Exit/In — where the classically trained ivory-tickler will sing his popular favorites, offer up amazing stage patter and probably even improvise a tune or two on the fly — check some of the best "Ask Andrew W.K." prompts and one-line takeaways from W.K.'s often lengthy replies. Since the Scene's actual Q&A with W.K. is scheduled for after this week's print deadline, we figured this would suffice. Also worth noting: Pay close attention to the ellipses (or better yet, don't), as we had a little bit of fun editing out key bits of context.
"I'm in 10th grade. Like almost everyone else, I like parties. There's always one near me, but no one ever tells me about it."
"Please write me back with your full name and contact info and I'll start telling everyone to invite you to all the parties they can! ... Just reading your letter made me like you. That's one new friend already!"
"Can I turn a dog into a gentleman?"
"People are not projects — they're human beings. Leave him alone and go party with some other guy. Or just yourself."
"I'm losing my hair. I'm really self-conscious about it."
"I'm sure you can think of people who are bald and awesome, and as we admire them it's hard to even imagine them having a full head of hair."
"Please Andrew: Help me break out of my shell and stop being shy!"
"If a turtle breaks out of its shell, it will die quite quickly."
"I'm not ready for a baby."
"Plenty of people don't have kids, and billions and billions of people do — and if they can manage it, I'm sure you'll be fine too."
"My entire family are teetotaling religious types who never tasted a drop of liquor or tried a single drug. They even find dancing offensive. ... Do I drink too much, or can I just do what I like since I've never run into any problems with it?"
"Next time you feel like starting a regular beer session, what if you just try something else instead? Like bourbon! ... Life itself is the ultimate party — and if you love getting wasted, just don't let it waste your chance to party."
"Do you have any advice on how I can keep my long hair from affecting my life?"
"I actually don't really like having long hair."
"The thing is, now I don't have anymore pills, and all I can think about is taking the next step: heroin. ... Should I?"
"It takes an untiring commitment to the belief that if we keep trying to succeed, someday everything will be perfect and we'll finally be truly happy. ... Becoming a drug addict can be a perfectly reasonable reaction to the incredibly exhausting project called 'being alive.' "
"My girlfriend of four years just broke up with me last night. ... She said she wants to stay friends and to help each other through the breakup by staying in contact."
"I think that's a bad idea. ... If you get fired from a job, you don't go back and do some shifts just for fun to help your boss out."
"Do you wanna fight me?"
"No, thanks. ... My strength is in partying, which only involves fist punching the air and head banging for fun — not fist punching someone's face and banging their head on the concrete."
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