Phillip Crandall's Andrew W.K. I Get Wet 33 1/3 Book Release Brings "Party" to Radio-Active Records
"I was determined to do it, and I flew up to Ann Arbor, and met a few of these guys. I went to Andrew's parents', they were nice enough to have me over." For pizza, no doubt. Being in the city inspired his inquiries into W.K.'s noise and punk influences. "Andrew's always been about his friends. And that he's always giving back those who influenced him. And you might not hear the noise in his music, but if he takes it as seriously as an influence, then it is that serious of an influence."
Crandall continued, "He's trying to get across that feeling. He kept saying that word, 'feeling,' and if I'd been writing it as a reviewer, it might be frustration to capture it. But you can't argue with that feeling."
When questioned on the issue of W.K. and irony and authenticity in his act, the author explained: "I think it's taken on so much that maybe he doesn't see it as an act, or think it's an act. And maybe if it did start as an act, he's grown to appreciate the things that have come out of that. Him being as open and loving as he is, I don't think that's an act... I never thought of it like, is he trying to get to a frat audience, I thought he was just that. He has been accused of pandering to jock rock or whatever, and if someone came up to him who fit that description, and said, 'bro, that is fucking rad,' he would respond in kind... When you come at him with something, he sort of volleys back likewise. So if you're taking about deeper things, he knows where to go and be genuine."
Thursday, February 13, Crandall celebrates the launch of his book at Fort Lauderdale's Radio-Active Records. There were times while working on the book that he heard unfamiliar band names, like Sparks for instance. At Radio-Active Records, Richard Vergez made sure to help him along in his sonic quest. "I had gone to Radio-Active a lot, and they were helpful," Crandall said, "I had two dreams, if I was promoting this book. One was a release party, and the other was to set up a parking spot at the Swap Shop, and I'm going to do it. I want to put a blanket out, set a table up, and sell the book at the Swap Shop."
Though bringing Andrew W.K., even in book form, to the Swap Shop is certain to make a lasting impression on Broward County, we wondered what kind of impression Andrew W.K. and Crandall made on each other. Are they friends now? "When I first met him in New York, he text messaged me about nine times in one night." Crandall'd been warned about W.K.'s passion and wasn't sure if the musician's input would be "the best and worst thing" that happened to the book. Luckily, it wasn't like that for him.
"I would not say I was friends with Andrew. Not more than any other fan is. I know he would say he's friends with all his fans. Anyone who is passionate about him is a friend. I would consider him a friend, but he didn't call me for my birthday." W.K. performed in Tampa right after the book was finished, invited Crandall backstage and met his pregnant wife. "There's nothing but sincerity that comes from him," he explained.
"Somebody was asking me, in an interview, why I didn't choose an album that's in the canons of classic albums, I don't know enough about that 'canon' to say, but that's doing homework. Homework sucks." Pick up a copy, because unlike homework, Crandall's 33 1/3 is more like a thoughtful, smart party on paper.
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