23 June 2006

you gotta put your faith in a loud guitar

there was a little bit of controversy at last night's Air Guitar Championships at Bowery Ballroom.

It seems the judges (the owner of Vice, a dude from the daily show, former champion sonyk rock and an a&r dude from Atlantic Records) didn't know exactly how the scoring worked and so asked for a reneg on the champion they chose. what happened was, william ocean scored ok in the first round and got a near-perfect in the second round, while the guy with the sombrero scored very well in the first round and also got a near perfect second round score, giving him the title. seems fair enough. whether or not you win should be based on your chosen performance song as well as compulsory (enter sandman, excellent choice!-- when the contestants all got to listen to the bit they would play, it took about three seconds before all their heads, save that of the rainbow zombie guy, who totally stayed in character, were bobbing along. mine was too) performance.

anyway, the judges were all "we'd like to have an air-off", because they wanted william ocean to win. give it up for the man, he shaved the word "air" into his chest hair, and crushed a beer can by sort of piledriving it. he also had his cohorts carry him through the crowd during his entersandman. he was pretty insane. (his first performance was prince, i think, and he came out with a graduation gown type thing that said Warning: prepare to be rocked on the back.) anyway, the sombrero guy, who's initial song i cannot remember but who was very good, went totally insane during the second round and ran up the stairs to the balcony where the judges were and hooked his legs through the bars and leaned over. we all thought in some way he was going to die. but he didn't, he just spilled all the judges' drinks and knocked a bunch of shit over and scared the shit out of them. intense, thy name is sombrero dude.

anyway, it was a bit shitty because they'd given sombrero guy his trophy already--the head of the air guitar committee or whatever looked like he walked off a dockers ad, not exactly the kind of person you'd expect to be in charge of a bunch of air guitarists--but now they wanted to take it away. william ocean was very gracious and clearly did not want to be a part of such an unearned and underhanded win, the audience were torn, wanting to see an air off (who doesn't?) but also thinking it was a shit thing to do. in the end, the air guitarists spoke, all of them stuck up for mr sombrero head because he'd won it fair and square. one of them even told the judges to "follow the rules". it was an interesting political process.

other highlights of the evening included me getting pissed off at the morons who had to take upwards of 40 pictures (i took two and haven't uploaded them yet), a guy breathing fire, a 50-something guy who put on a pretty sad performance, but was cool nonetheless, psycho dave losing his wig about six seconds into his performance and ruining his chances (much like that fucking penatly kick ghana undeservedly got fucked the US in yesterday's game...ahem), bjorn toroque endlessly talking about himself, the owner of vice remarking that rainbow zombie's partial-moon looked like a "baby's cunt", and the overwhelming joy that only comes when someone plays "crazy train", good god i love that song, i mean are there better lyrics in the world than "i'm running off the rails on a crazy train"? (no, there aren't)

extra special attention should be paid to the guy who...caught the air guitar that one of the performers pretended to throw off the stage. to you, dude, i say this: you are SO. FUCKING. LAME.
the final hurrah, anyone was invited to the stage for "keep on rocking in the free world"

william ocean, in all his violent glory

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