Monday, July 2, 2007

US Air Guitar - Los Angeles

Here're a few bits that I'm proud to present via Choir Croak Out Them Goodies - a photo gallery from the Los Angeles portion of the US Air Guitar Championships, which took place at the Key Club on Sunset Strip last Friday. Would you like to see what a time it was? Would you? Come on in and have a look!

The host for the evening was Bjorn Turoque, a "perennial runner-up," star of the movie Air Guitar Nation, and author of To Air is Human. He was not nearly as embarrassing to watch as I'd anticipated, and gave our crowd a warm-up by playing and singing. A double talent!

This was Meticulous, the only female contestant. Because air guitar is apparently a sport of equal opportunity, the judges allowed her to join the second round as a sixth-place finalist, though she also ranked sixth in the second round, sadly. She did quite a lot with her hair and tongue, and the judges seemed to dig her "20-second vagina solo."

With every contest that allows for costumes, there of course exists an Elvis impersonator. Bjorn asked this contestant if he'd been wearing a fat suit, but when Elvis unzipped his suit was to be found. Mean Bjorn.

In Los Angeles, if you're dressed like you're from the LBC and ignore laws about smoking in public clubs, you get booed after a round of air guitar.

One of two people donning leather and chains this evening. This guy's guns were real, though.

This is The Crusher. His arms gradually fell off over the course of the evening, though he won over the audience by throwing chains at them like roses and giving off an air of mystery by hiding his face until the end.

When you're donning a cheap cat suit and a lightning bolt on your face, you can not only get away with rocking out, children's-style, to "Big Rock Candy Mountain," but you can also get away with sweet moves, like sliding on a floor of glitter leftover from prior contestants. Sadly, ol' kitty cat didn't get enough points to move on to the second round.

I was rooting for the mime. His name was Poison the Will. Unfortunately, the judges weren't keen on him... the mime cursed God (this was a guess, of course), and challenged the judges as they complained that his finger picking wasn't intricate enough. However, the mime couldn't make a solid argument, so he didn't go on to the next round.

One guy wore a stringy yellow wig and some briefs that, to put it bluntly, showed off a massive piece of ambiguously real junk that was leaning to the right. Bjorn tapped it with his microphone, in fact. A picture of that guy would make this gallery more than R-rated, so to keep it kiddie-appropriate, here's the crotch of one of three guys who made it to the second round by wearing tight undies, The Next World Champion. He's got a PG-rated lower half, no?

Some contestants actually played their crotches. This is the Prince of Bel Air and his soccer calves. They/he didn't seem to mind being reduced to a piece of meat by Bjorn the MC, because such an outfit helped carry him to second place in both rounds of the competition. Prince of Bel Air was wearing Reebok Pumps.

Decent as he was, though, the Prince of Bel Air couldn't compete with three-time (now four-time) Los Angeles champion the Rockness Monster. This dude had a tattoo of Hawaii on his side and one of a solid square over his sternum. He brought out the first sixty seconds of "New Noise" by Refused, which, paired with an onstage somersault, made him an instant winner. In the second round, when everyone had to play to Quiet Riot's "Bang Your Head" (a song that only The Crusher seemed to know), Rockness managed to get around half of the technical part of playing by walking on the audience, Jesus-style. The judges accused him of being Iggy Pop, and of course, decided to send him to the US Finals. He is winner.

The most embarrassing part of the evening was when Bjorn invited anyone and everyone to get onstage for an air guitar rendition of "Freebird." If you've ever wanted to feel embarrassed for other people, watch approximately fifty people play air guitar in a concentrated space. I was too busy getting a crotch shot of the Prince of Bel Air at this point, so if you want to know what the group experience was like as a whole, check out this video.

The winner of each city's competition will go on to the US Finals at the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza, August 16. Tickets can be bought here. The winner of that competition will go on to the Air Guitar World Championships in good ol' Finland this September, competing for the champion's title with the winner from fifteen other countries. Good God.

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