SXSW Aftermath: Narduwar the Human Serviette's Bizarre Canadian Patriotism
The girl next to Aftermath at Headhunters motions to her American husband, who is pogoing like a 10-year-old in desperate need of Ritalin. "He tells me I must be the only Canadian who has never heard of Nardwuar."
Indeed, since Nardwuar the Human Serviette has made a name in Canada as a professionally annoying radio DJ, prank-interviewing everyone from Courtney Love to former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. Aftermath first saw him nearly five years ago with his band The Evaporators at Sound Exchange, and since then the record's been one of our favorites. When we found out he'd be doing a set with equally entertaining split 7-inch partner Andrew WK, we had to be there. Never mind that the upper balcony of Headhunters seemed in danger of collapsing at any minute.
Nardwuar came out in what looked like a '70s-era Canadian Olympic speed-skating uniform while Andrew WK alternated between the drums and keyboards. The short set was about half Evaporators songs (including the crowd pleaser "I Gotta Rash") and half Andrew WK songs, with Nardwuar pulling people from the audience for a "Shout"-style dance (you know the one - where people squat to the floor, then jump up during the chorus) while he sang WK's "Party Hard."
Towards the end of the set he enlisted the crowd's help in unzipping the skin-tight jumpsuit to reveal a sweaty, hair-covered back and a Maple Leaf Speedo. As we left to catch Dengue Fever at The Side Bar, we passed the Canadian girl again.
"THAT WAS AWESOME," she said. "I'm a convert!"
Or maybe she said "THAT WAS AWFUL." It was too loud to tell.