For Those About to Pretend to Rock, We Salute You
The most ridiculously cool event of the summer is also the most ridiculous: the Air Guitar Championships
By Eric Feezell
CAN YOU windmill like there's no tomorrow? Do you yearn to ascend to rock stardom, but accept the fact you've got the musical talent of a butternut squash? Are you an interpretive dancer or mime looking for a little extra push toward fame and fortune?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you just might be insane enough to put it all on the line at the U.S. Air Guitar Championships, Wednesday, June 27, at San Jose's Blank Club.
Bafflingly entering its fifth year, this contest pits the nation's—indeed, the world's—most ferocious bedroom-version Jimmy Pages and Dimebag Darrels against one another in a no-licks-barred cage match that will force you to ponder, "Why aren't these people famous? Oh, right."
With a Bay Area 2007 summer entertainment lineup that includes regularly touring acts like Sonic Youth, Ozomatli and Modest Mouse, as well as not-so-frequent (but proportionately pricey) productions like the long awaited Police reunion, Northern California music aficionados will be looking for something fresh, original and affordable. What better fit than live air-guitar tomfoolery at the local live-music hub?
Employing instruments comprised of roughly 80 percent nitrogen, countless intrepid rock & roll aspirants undoubtedly rehearse as we speak, readying to throw down their best nonexistent battle-ax skills in this dubiously anticipated tournament-style competition, all in the hopes of advancing through the local and national stages to contend for the coveted title of World Air Guitar Champion this September in fabulous Oulu! (Finland, not Hawaii.)
How does it work? Well, in the spirit of the tournament's multitudinous languid 16-year-old stoner contestants, the rules are fairly simple. Judging criteria consist of three categories:
It's an air-guitar competition. This one should be self-evident.
Now's your opportunity to wow the judges with your Kirk Hammett-inspired head banging, Kerry King-aroused intensity or Billy Corgan-like superboringness.
Seriously, don't even ask for an explanation on this one.
To further pique your interest, here is a brief list of various highlights from last year's competition:
And here are some predictions for this year's local first round in San Jose:
For what will likely be a cheap date, why not come out and witness your best local air guitarorrists at work, with "more cities, more performers, more fans—and even fewer guitars—than any year in [competition] history"? If nothing else, it promises to be one of the most spectacular demonstrations of musical nontalent to date—not counting Healdsburg's first annual air accordion competition this August.
Or maybe you're planning on staying home and washing your air cat.
Eric Feezell lives in Oakland. Visit him here: www.ericfeezell.com.
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