12.22.2007

Ziggyesque.



















m. bilyeau said...
I have been wondering: if what Andrew WK came to mean in 2000-2004 is to be replaced, are there any paradigms or expectations that can be shattered other than those of Andrew WK itself? Whatever else you might say about "Your Friend", it came across as something out of the ordinary. Let's say, on his next tour, andrew has tons of security, talks to no one, performs in multiple costumes, and generally cultivates an aura of mystique. Sure, old fans would be surprised, even upset, but would it really be anything new or original? In a post-YF context, does becoming a stereotypical self-important ziggyesque artiste rock star count as any sort of coup (however happy it makes duff mulligan)? or is there another way?


L.M. said...
You are quite right to say that the "Your Friend" persona is/was a groundbreaking phenomena. And while other artists may have reinvented themselves over time, or experimented with on-stage personas, (Alice Cooper, Madonna, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Gwar, etc.) none have carried the performance as far as Andrew W.K. has. He played his role on stage and off for more than four years, and so effectively that most people are still unable to reconcile themselves to the fact that the person they believe they interacted with does not exist outside of their own imaginations. Take the recent reviews posted at http://zeromag.com/ and http://www.transformonline.com/ of the "Who Knows?" DVD. Both trot out all the old chestnuts, trying to convince us that Andrew W.K. is 'the real deal.' Both use anecdotes of his marathon signing sessions with their reams of personalised text, wild tales of his outrageous philanthropy, and fervid testimonials from enraptured audience members, to come to the conclusion that with Andrew W.K. what you see is what you get. Surely this is proof that the "Your Friend" persona is one far and away more subtle, convincing and all-encompassing than those created by other artists. I sincerely doubt that many Madonna fans felt they had a personal relationship with her "greta" persona, or were particularly upset when she retired it, nor that anyone meeting Brian Warner in a Denny's restaurant at two in the morning would expect him to be drinking a glass of goats urine or setting fire to a foetal pig nailed to a crucifix. Yet with Andrew W.K. the confusion and conflation of image and reality is nearly total. Regardless of how we feel about this, we must recognise the boldness of such an approach, and the skill and grace with which it was pulled off.

As for what direction things will take in the future, we can only wait and see. Whether or not Tom Wilson's Ziggy cartoons will play some role in dictating Andrew's next persona as you suggest is anyone's guess.

Berkley said...
The Ziggy cartoons are similar to the situation Andrew is in, not because of their tone or aesthetic cores, but because of their straight forward, "pure" nature. This ambiguity is taken almost to the point of being aloof. I don't think there's anyway we can assume that Andrew will head in this direction permenantly, or that even the current situation is headed this way, but I think it's something to consider, despite my own reservations about its relevance.


L.M. said...
I cannot comment on comic-books with any degree of specificity, as I am primarily concerned with the medium of film. Yet, you may well be correct to point out similarities between the Ziggy cartoons and Andrew W.K.'s current situation. Certainly there is an existential coldness to the Ziggy comics. And while this, as you say, may not directly have a bearing on W.K.'s intent or methodology, it might speak to the state of mind of some of his fans, who doubtlessly feel confused or frightened in the wake of the release of the "Who Knows?" DVD.