This is a super weekend for spectacle, for blood, sweat and beers, for properly firm balls. This is a weekend for Andrew W.K.
Performance artist, headbanger, preacher man Andrew W.K. is touring the land, a white-denim evangelist for a collective spirit of harmony and humanity that resonates in his signature passage: “Hey, you, let's party.”
“Andrew uses the word ‘we’ a lot in his songs: ‘When it’s time to party, we will party hard’ ... He’s inviting and inclusive to anyone who wants to be a part of this,” says Phillip Crandall, a Margate resident who wrote “I Get Wet,” a 2014 book about Andrew W.K.’s seminal album of the same name. And by “this,” Crandall means a party, literally, but also a mindset.
“[Andrew W.K.] doesn’t define what a party is. It doesn’t have to be a raging kegger ... It could be just a pile of candy on the floor and running around being sugar-active hyper. You can just have a party on your own,” says Crandall, a former editor at FHM.
The singer and keyboardist will bring the party to Grand Central on Saturday night (697 N. Miami Ave., Miami; tickets: $20; GrandCentralMiami.com), a performance that will be preceded 1:30-2:30 p.m. that afternoon by a casual, pizza-fueled meet-and-greet at Radio-Active Records in Fort Lauderdale (Facebook.com/RadioActiveRecords).
Dressed in his trademark white T-shirt and jeans, Andrew W.K. burst into popular culture in late 2001 with his major-label debut, “I Get Wet,” a metal-meets-punk collection of garish odes titled “It’s Time To Party,” “Party Hard” and “Party Til You Puke.” The album cover was a close-up of a sweaty Andrew W.K. with blood pouring from his nose.
Shockingly, the album was bluntly dismissed. But over the past decade, a funny thing happened: Many critics decided they’d got it all wrong. It turns out, Andrew W.K. wasn’t a dolt, nor was he a satirist. He just wants to get some fun out of life, and wants you to get yours, too.
On the album’s 10th anniversary, the smug tastemakers at Pitchfork named “I Get Wet” one of 2012’s best new reissues and offered its “biggest ... mea culpa ever.”
From his vantage point as a fan in the audience and seated next to the performer at book signings, Crandall says Andrew W.K. is indistinguishable from his message, the euphoria that moved the author, on first seeing the video for “Party Hard,” to start bouncing around his apartment at the University of Florida.
“It’s a genuine thing. It’s a true, authentic part of him. After you’ve been in his presence, you still feel that warmth and positivity,” Crandall says.
“It’s interesting, him wearing white. He can be not just a blank slate for someone to project upon, but it reflects whatever you want to bring to that,” Crandall says. “If you enjoy him just for his evangelical tweets, he can absolutely fulfill that role. And if you want to come out and have a blast listening to music ... you’ll be blown away.”
Crandall’s short book (about 170 pages, it costs $14.99) was published as part of Bloomsbury Publishing’s 33 1/3 series, which asks writers to reflect on individual albums. He described the book (written in Broward County libraries, parks and McSorleys Pub on Fort Lauderdale beach) as more of a behind-the-scenes look at Andrew W.K. and the album than a critical analysis.
In an interview Crandall and Andrew W.K. did with Interview magazine, the singer said the book hit close to home:
"I read the book once. And for several reasons I've never read it again or even opened it again. It was an extremely intense experience — very, very emotional in ways I didn't expect at all," he said. "The parts that moved me the most were things that my family said — things that my brother said — things that I never would have thought they'd thought about. It was very upsetting in that it upset the balance of my brain... in a good way!"
Crandall will be selling his book at Saturday’s gatherings at Radio-Active Records and Grand Central. Last weekend, he set up a table at the Swap Shop. He didn’t sell any.
“Some security guard came up to me and was, like, ‘Why would you write about this guy, who I’ve never heard of? Eric Clapton’s a genius,’” Crandall says, with a laugh. “Maybe it would have made it easier if I wrote a book about an album that everyone praises and loves, but I was definitely happier writing about something that personally moved me.”
Maybe the hippest scene in South Florida happens Thursday (Jan. 29) when internationally renowned British muralist Terry Haggerty returns to the Norton Museum at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the dynamic stripes he applied to the West Palm Beach museum’s lobby, an Art After Dark party that also includes a performance by sexy soul reinterpreters Elastic Bond. There will be a cash bar and snacks, and Fratelli Lyon will fix you dinner if you let them know ahead of time. Info: Norton.org.
Dogfish Head makes some of my favorite beer (and some day I’ll put my big-boy pants on and do the 120), and the Riverside Market is one of my favorite places to hang (nothing like family game night surrounded by beer). On Thursday (Jan. 29), the Riverside will have a night dedicated to the Delaware brewery, with owner Julian Siegel threatening to bring bottles out of his secret stash. And, yes, there will be 120. Where did I put those pants again? Info: Facebook.com/RiversideMarket.
BACK IN THE LOOP
Tickets for the Fort Lauderdale Bus Loop, which will return Feb. 7 with a downtown route that includes some new stops, cost $25 through Sunday (Feb. 1), rising to $30 after that and $40 at the door. Stops this time around include the Tilted Kilt, Crafti Bar (formerly Stox Bar), Tarpon Bend, Fork and Balls, American Social, the Downtowner, Lucky's Tavern and Posh. Check-in is 5:30-9 p.m. at Tilted Kilt (219 S. Andrews Ave.) or American Social (721 E. Las Olas Blvd.). For the uninitiated, the Bus Loop transports participants to a group of hot spots where they present a Bus Loop card good for a free drink/app/dessert (typically beer, wine or well drink) between 6 and 11 p.m. You may get off and on as often as you like, and designated drivers can ride for free. All proceeds for the Fort Lauderdale Bus Loop go to benefit Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation, Jack & Jill Center, Covenant House Florida, Riverwalk Trust and the Broward County Gator Club Scholarship Fund. Looking ahead, the West Palm Beach Bus Loop is set for March 20, with discounted tickets on sale now for $20. Info: BusLoop.org.
Annual Interest 2015 is the latest best reason to find yourself at Young at Art Museum (751 SW 121st Ave., Davie). A hip and youthful crowd can be expected to gather 7:30-11 p.m. Friday for this fundraiser that includes an open bar (cloud cocktails and craft beers), food (represented are Zona Fresca, Texas Roadhouse, YoNutz Gourmet Donuts, Panther Coffee and Super Duper Grub), a DJ and live music (Treasure Teeth), fog machines and, yes, art. Presented by Bedlam Lorenz Assembly and YAA, the event includes strolls through eye-popping exhibitions by Sri Prabha and the duo Guerra de La Paz, as well as an auction with works by Francie Bishop-Good, Sebastian Masuda, Guerra De La Paz, Francesco LoCastro, Mindy Shrago, Peter Symons, among others. Tickets: $50 (members/students $25). Info: YoungAtArtMuseum.org, Facebook.com/BedlamLorenzAssembly.
Alex Martinez on Thursday finally realized a dream with the release of the long-awaited six-song Sound Sleeper EP “A Perfect Sea For Drowning” (Limited Fanfare). Now officially a quartet, (Martinez, Charlie Suarez, Arnold Nese and drummer Jose Pena) the Miami-based band produced the album with help from Paul Trust (Say Anything), and its trademark churn and yearn is on fine display in the throbbing “Mermaid and the Man,” the swirly “Courtesy Wake Up Call” and the bluesy acoustic come-on “Let Me.” You can get the vinyl in any one of 16 colors. Info: Facebook.com/SoundSleeperMusic, LimitedFanfare.com.
As mentioned in this space awhile back, Saturday is Mariana Trench Day at Due South Brewing, when the Boynton Beach brewery will celebrate the bottle release of its much-desired imperial stout (brewed with cocoa nibs and vanilla beans), which won a gold medal at the 2014 Best Florida Beer competition. During this ticket-holders-only event, Due South will make 1,000 bottles of Mariana Trench available from 3 to 6 p.m. Predictably, with just 300 tickets offered, the event is sold out. However, there’s an asterisk. In the event that there are bottles remaining, you can buy them ($15, limit two per customer) on Sunday. More may be released on Feb. 7 if club members don’t pick up the bottles they’ve reserved. Info: DueSouthBrewing.com.
GET GRONKED, OR NOT
So, yes, the Super Bowl. Hard-core fans of the New England Patriots will no doubt be found all unbundled-up at Boston’s on the Beach (40 South Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach), where general manager Mark DeAtley will be offering a VIP Experience package for “select fans,” by which we think he means people willing to drop $75 or $100 on a prime seat to watch the game. Offered from 5:30 p.m. to midnight Sunday, the package includes reserved seats, a three-course dinner and an open bar. There really are no bad seats in the house, which has 30 big-screen TVs. Info: BostonsOnTheBeach.com. Seattle Seahawks fans seem supremely confident, and not prone to public displays of football hysteria. You may not find them out celebrating until Tuesday, when the Royal Pig Pub (350 E Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) devotes its First Tuesdays Wine Tasting series to bottles from Washington State. Tickets ($20 advance, $25 day of) get you samples of five wines, appetizers and hors d'oeuvres, and a Royal Pig wine glass to take home. Info: Facebook.com/RoyalPigPub or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rhythm Foundation has booked Galactic as the season-opening act for the Hollywood ArtsPark Experience, a series of six free, family-friendly and culturally adventurous concerts beginning 7-11 p.m. Friday. The New Orleans-based Galactic recently released the album “Carnivale Electricos,” which draws on the funky instincts of their hometown and not-so-distant rhythms of the carnivals of Brazil. San Francisco psychedelic soul band the Monophonics will open. Info: VisitHollywoodFL.org, RhythmFoundation.com.
BROTHERS AND SISTERS
Soul music bathes any moment in a sunny (or sexy) optimism that feels pure and uncomplicated (even if a lot of the songs were made during a time of dark division in America). LeBron James parking his $60,000 car in a Kia commercial is just another rich guy tossing his keys at a valet, unless you have him roll up to Brenton Wood’s playful 1967 come-on “The Oogum Boogum Song,” which cast everything in a warm, disarming light. On Saturday at 10 p.m., the Southernmost Soul Party will bring some of the best music of the era to Gramps Bar in Miami, courtesy of DJ Action Pat and DJ Sensitive Side, joined by WFMU’s Mr. Fine Wine, One Mint Julep and Rob Fearless. Info: Facebook.com/GrampsMiami.
KIND OF BLUEGRASS
“The Broken Circle Breakdown,” which traces the tortured romance between an elegantly inked owner of a tattoo shop and a banjo player in a bluegrass band, set to a foot-stomping soundtrack, is pure Americana — except it was filmed in the Netherlands and is in Flemish with English subtitles. Because we weren’t paying attention when a handful of South Florida theaters showed it in late 2013, we’re happy to note a reprise of the Tribeca Films release — “a rich, raw, heartache of a film, a beautifully composed, soul-stirring drama about love, family, sex, sorrow, faith, and music,” wrote a reviewer at RogerEbert.com — at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3. Tickets: $11. Thoughtful South Florida cineaste Shelly Isaacs will introduce the film and lead a post-screening discussion. Info: AventuraCenter.org.
YOUR OTHER WEEKEND BEER
In yet another indication that craft brewers are, like, rock stars, the Fillmore Miami Beach on Saturday will host the second annual gathering called Craft: Spirits and Beer, a public tasting opportunity for a weekend spirits-industry confab. The 4-7 p.m. event pairs craft brewers and artisan distillers with plates filled by some of Miami’s top chefs, including Kris Wessel (Oolite), Conor Hanlon (The Dutch), Roel Alcudia (Cypress Room), Jeremiah (Gastropod), Phil Bryant (The Local) and Andres Barrientos (Miami Smokers). Tickets: $51.50. Info: CraftSpiritsAndBeer.com.
NEW MUSIC SERIES
The Delray Marketplace (14851 Lyons Road) on Feb. 5 will debut February’s Marketplace Music Fest, a series of free Thursday night concerts in the center’s amphitheater. Bring a blanket and lawn chair for the country rock of the Casey Raines Band from 6 to 8 p.m. Info: DelrayMarket.com.