Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An guitar competition, with no ax

By Daniel Ng

Can Ricky Stinkfingers do it again?

Defending Brooklyn air guitar champion Alex Forbes — whose nom de guitar is “Ricky Stinkfingers” — will compete against 19 of the borough’s greatest (air) guitar heroes next week at Brooklyn Bowl in an event that’s almost more fun for the performers than for their legions of fans.

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” said Forbes, best known for his “on-stage dive” where he looks as if he’s ready to crowd surf before promptly landing flat on his face at the edge of the stage. “It makes my blood flow to every single end of my body, gets my sweat glands stinking, and allows me to command a thousand people with my fingers. It’s really beautiful, and there is tons of free beer.”

Beer is nice, but there’s nothing better than air guitar at its best, a head-to-head, two-round battle pitting wannabe Axel Roses, Pete Townshends and even Warren Zevons.

In round one, contestants perform a song of their choosing — but then must adapt, without so much as a costume change or a hair blowout, to a surprise song for the all-important second round.

Scoring is based on three components: technical prowess, crowd approval, and “airness.”
And what is “airness” exactly? No one really knows.

“Airness is not definable in any language,” Forbes said. “It’s paying homage to the art of air guitar and being true to the form of high energy. For example, if you cut your knees open, it’s worth it because that is airness.”

The regional goes onto the nationals later this year, when one skilled air guitarist will go from being a hero to a god.

Air Guitar Regional at Brooklyn Bowl [61 Wythe Ave. between N. 11th and N. 12th streets in Williamsburg, (718) 963-3369], June 16, 8 pm. Tickets are $12. 


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