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Arts and Entertainment

For Those About To Pretend To Rock - US Air Guitar Championships (LA Regionals)!

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We at LAist are sad to report that there is no longer any point to making art, recording music or even writing something in that Live Journal we all know you have (even if you've set it to "private" so no one knows how much you really hate that one friend of yours.) Everything our civilization could possibly contribute to the universe has been effectively and entirely topped by 20 contestants - three surly, drunken and lightly celebritized judges - a crowd full of hyperpartisan supporters - and three straight hours of Air Guitar Air Guitar Air Guitar.

We're talking, of course, about the 2008 Cuervo Black US Air Guitar Championships, presented by TouchTunes. Which we will henceforth refer to as the Air Guitar Championships Los Angeles Regionals. The Los Angeles regionals were held Thursday, June 26th at the venerable Troubadour. It was an astonishing spectacle, filled, as you'll see, with the best combination fo Fantasy sports and pro wrestling ever conceived - costumes, great puns and ardent, angry fans. And, as befits a city filled to the brim with celebrities and rock star wannabes, the contestants where judged by "esteemed" (and drunken) comedian Greg Proops, also comedian Jeff Davis, and Flight of the Conchords' Brett Mackenzie. What Transpired? Let's watch!

(additional airness related information after the jump!)

The current Air Guitar Championships were founded by the fine people of Finland all the way back in 1996 and since then it's grown to include a staggering 17 countries who send contestants to Oslo. You've already guessed that the US is one of em - all summer long, all over the country in cities just like ours, the giants and wannabe giants of Air Guitar are gathering to fight for the right to go to San Francisco on 8-8-08, where they'll compete to be declared national champ. At which point, they'll be shipped off to Finland to fight for the world title.

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Here's how it works:

There are two rounds: Round one, 20 contestants perform for 60 seconds over the song of their own choosing. The top winners from round one are then advanced to the final round, where they perform for 60 seconds over a song selected by the competition's organizers. The losers lose, and to the winner goes eternal (if highly localized) glory. And the possibility that they might win in San Francisco and take home the world prize for good ol' America.

Their performance is judged on three important qualities:

1) Technical Proficiency - how well they made it look like they were playing an actual guitar.
2) Stage Presence. How well did they make what they were doing look cool.
3) Airness. I have no idea what airness is. It's probably a lot like pornography in that we know it when we see it. (And we saw a lot of it. Airness that is. Not porn. No, seriously.)

They're also judged on a 6.0 scale, like in figure skating, and if you're in LA and drunken stand up comics are among the judges, there's an equal number of lame gay jokes. Ha ha guys, we get it. Gay is funny! Gay jokes aside, a tremendous amount of the judges commentary was truly hilarious. Proops, upon learning that the Prince of Bel Aire was Half German, Half Swedish, said "Great, you can both invade and collaborate with yourself." Hilarious. Brett considered the point system to be at best a suggestion, and frequently delivered zingers like "4.get another jumpsuit", or "4.fuck all". Funny stuff.

We wish every LA Concert could be this awesome. Typically, LA audiences are so detached from the show it's difficult to tell whether or not they actually liked it. Not so here, where people screamed their outrage, or disapproval, with equal fervor and seeing the losing contestants fans flipping off the judges nearly made us cry with real tears joy. Therefore, in the future, all concerts need judges, and an audience willing to yell profanities at a sucky band.

Finally, for those of you who care, the Rock Ness Monster is eligible to compete in some of the other contests happening across the state, so there's a good chance the battle of the Troubadour might get a round three. Barring that outcome, we're hoping Houston Rocket doesn't let us down. This is LA for crying out loud. We are made for Air Guitar, and the Fins should tremble in fear of our mighty prowess. So .

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