23 December 2002

apologies to those of you who were hotly anticipating the number one single on saturday. that very morning, i slammed my right index finger in my car door and thus had a harder time than usual writing. then again, if you visit this site often enough to be looking forward to such a thing, you probably also have a good idea of what that pick would be. and so...

1. andrew w.k., "party hard"
i was watching one of the episodes of vh1's i love the 80s and under discussion was the key-tar, that very 80s combination of guitar and keyboard. dave mustaine came on, dismissed it (obviously), but he also dismissed the ideas of keyboards in rock, which is a fairly common attitude unfortunately, and one that negates the influence of little richard, johnnie johnson, and jerry lee lewis, to name only a few, on the history of rock 'n' roll. andrew w.k. isn't of the same mind -- to say the least -- and it's one of a handful of the reasons why he is maligned. however, andrew w.k. is rock 'n' roll, in a way that no other band or artist today can lay claim to. "party hard" is "tutti frutti" and "let's spend the night together" and "louie louie" and "blitzkrieg bop"; not "a day in the life" or ok computer or even "you know you're right." its appeal, in true nuggets fashion, lies in its ability to make you forget you have a brain for 3:04; its creed: "life is to be lived and not thought about," and also: "pleasure is never guilty." "meaning," as far as awk is concerned, is not found within poetic couplets but in the immediacy of sound: the electric surge that coarses through your veins, the sudden rush of blood to yr skull. he's wagner, penniman, and steinman wrapped up in one: volume, grandiosity, absurdity. he speaks in CAPS LOCK. he smashed his face with a brick because...well, why the hell not? he's elvis in high tops, our stupid messiah, and unlike the beatles or velvets, he's not why people form bands: he's why we listen to music.

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