When it comes to partying, there is no source in popular music more authoritative than Andrew W.K. The man who has made a career out of sucking the marrow out of life and recording the experience for music and television, with such definitive hits as “Party Hard,” “We Want Fun” and “Tear It Up,” chatted with Popdust about his four suggestions on how to have the best 4th of July party possible. So if you were in desperate need of guidance about how to maximize the potential of the food, music, and fireworks at your Independence Day celebration, you need look no further.
Check out Andrew’s tips below, and be sure to tune in to the new season of Destroy Build Destroy, the Andrew-hosted Cartoon Network live-action game show which the rocker says is enjoying it’s “biggest season yet,” and which will feature pop stars Pete Wentz (of Fall Out Boy and the Black Cards) and Chiddy (of Chiddy Bang) in an upcoming episode. In addition, be on the lookout for a new Andrew WK album later this year, which Andrew says is “going to be perpetually exploding, like a black hole…it’s sucking all energy from around the world into itself, and then using that as like a perpetual power source for the party.” Good to know!
TIP #1: USE BEER IN A CREATIVE, TIME-SAVING WAY WHILE BBQING
“I like barbecuing, in terms of I love the food of barbecue, but in terms of like hanging out outside, or actually making the barbecue, it always seemed kind of tricky to me. You have to keep the meat, you have to tend the whole barbecue, it gets very smoky. What my friend Spencer taught me is a brilliant BBQ method that also involves beer—which I think is another great element of 4th of July, but the beautiful thing is that you can even be an underage person who wouldn’t normally drink beer, and still get to enjoy the benefits of beer. Because, Spencer showed me how you can barbecue a whole, fresh, complete, entire chicken by pulling out its insides and shoving an open can of beer into the bird, also using that can to help prop it up. It’s a beer chicken.
And then you just close the BBQ and it cooks all on its own. You don’t need to flip it, turn it, tend to it…you know, do anything, you just put the beer in. I guess the beer boils over from the heat and saturates the bird, and all the alcohol cooks off, so you don’t need to worry about if there’s kids around or anything. This is a perfectly family-friendly way to not only barbecue, but to use the beer in a creative way, and not have to stand around to barbecue the whole gosh-darned night. You can sit the birds in there, and go and have fun.
The worst thing about any kind of meat is when it’s overcooked. Chicken, turkey, any kind of poultry, when that gets dry, and overcooked, no matter how much sauce you put on it, it’s just the texture isn’t enjoyable. Well, with that beer-saturated chicken, you are just in heaven. It’s moist, it’s flavorful, you don’t even need a bunch of sauce, because just with a good steak, the flavor of the meat ideally shouldn’t need to be overpowered by some sweet sauce. Here the beer just seems to saturate and enhance, almost amplify, the tenderness of that chicken. Just hollow out your chicken, a full fresh bird, and take all the insides out, jam a beer can all the way up the bird so that the opening of the beer can would be at the end where the head is. And then stand it up and cover it, and you’re good to go. 15 minutes later, it should be ready.”
TIP #2: BE CAREFUL WITH FIREWORKS, BUT DON’T LET USED ONES GO TO WASTE
“My tip here is very simple, it’s based on past experience. Don’t hold the firework in your hand. Now, many people have had Roman Candle wars, or you know, Roman candle baseball, where you use the Roman candle firework to shoot the ball of fire at someone, or as a replacement for a baseball and have someone take a swing at it. But what I’m mostly worried about though is when people would hold like a M-80 for example in their hand while they light it. I had a friend who blew his hand apart…it’s a very simple party tip, you’d think it would be common sense, but just a friendly reminder there—don’t hold a lit firework in your hand.
But don’t just throw away the used fireworks. First of all, the packaging, the beautiful colors, the beautiful artwork…I used to collect used fireworks just because I loved the way they looked. My parents wouldn’t initially let us buy them or use them ourselves because they thought they were too dangerous, we actually convinced them over the years later to do it, and then of course my friend got his hand blown up. But don’t just throw away the used fireworks…collect them together. Also, don’t be afraid to bring them inside, because nothing to me is more delightful than the smell of spent gunpowder. That is the smell of excitement. Just like I also love the smell of birthday candles right after you’ve blown them out. It’s a way to have the atmosphere of 4th of July last for at least a few more weeks. So I would say bring all those used fireworks, gather them up, and you can make sort of a potpourri….it’s a beautiful smell, to me, it’s just the smell of summer.”
TIP #3: TAKE A MOMENT FOR REFLECTION WITH AN ANIMAL
“One of my favorite things about summertime, or just outdoor time in general, if we’re thinking about 4th of July as being an outdoors type of holiday…you wanna have a dog. Great to have a dog around. Now, of course you might already own a dog, or several, you might have friends or family that might bring a dog over, but if you don’t, this is an opportunity to round up some dog…it could be a stray, that could be lurking around the neighborhood. You could even go to the Humane Society, get that dog, and I would say, my tip is very simple: Give the dog a face massage.
It’s a great way to sort of take a moment away from all the other excitement of 4th of July, just sit the dog down, crouch down in front of it, hold its head in your hands, look deep into its eyes, and begin by massaging its cheeks and the sort of lower portion of its ear, like the equivalent to the dog’s ear lobe. Just gently working your fingers into its flesh, pushing the fur the way this way and that, sort of tossing and turning the dog’s face. It’s a chance to reflect on a whole other kind of sensation, to look into this other creature’s eyes, it’s a great little bit of perspective in the midst of all that excitement. Because with 4th of July, it can all be over before you know it, there’s so much going on, there’s so much stimulation. This is sort of a meditation with a different kind of creature.
Now, if you don’t have access to a dog, of course, this will work with a cat. You can even try to do it with a fish. But then you have to dunk your hand in the water, or you risk pulling the fish out of the water for too long. So a dog, even over a snake, or a chinchilla, I found that in terms of taking the quiet moment of animal massage, dogs seem to work best.”
TIP #4: CHOOSE A SONG FOR A GROUP SING-ALONG
“Music as background music is one thing. Of course it adds energy, it adds excitement, creates an atmosphere. But as we all are aware, especially if you’re going to have a lot of people over, with family, a lot of different age groups, a lot of different backgrounds, a lot of different kinds of people, having the kind of music that everybody is going to agree on, is going to be delightfully tricky. So yes, you could make a mixtape, and even ask people for requests of what they want on there. But that takes a lot of time.
Why not take a classic song, like even a patriotic song—you could pick The National Anthem for crying out loud, a song that pretty much everybody knows—and have a moment to sing it all together? Or “God Bless America,” for example, a song that people have heard and have sung…but have you ever really, for fun, sat down together and sung it, to really embrace the spirit of the day and to think about it? I’ve never done that. Why can’t we have a song like “Happy Birthday” that we sing on the 4th of July?
So I say make one, pick one for your party. Maybe it’s a family favorite. Maybe it’s one that your friends already like. And it doesn’t have to be patriotic song, it doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with the event. You could pick a Lil Jon song or something. But make sure that it’s something that everybody can fully get into and sing along with, including Grandma, or maybe even a very small baby. Pick one that you think everyone will get along with, and have the lyrics there, and have that moment of song. Because I know that every time at a birthday, after we sing Happy Birthday, it doesn’t matter, you just feel better. There’s some power that music has, especially singing in a group, that is the very spirit of partying, that really brings you to a higher level of happiness, of joy. But you can’t really get there unless you actually belt out in song.
So let’s have that moment. It shouldn’t just be reserved for baseball games, or for birthdays, or for holidays like Christmas. Let’s have our 4th of July song too.”
There you have it. Happy 4th of July from Andrew W.K. and all of us here at Popdust.
Originally from here.