CHRISTIE McCULLOCH, CREATIVE KIDS ‘FUN’ DEVELOPER JOINS THE PANEL OF JUDGEMENT
Not sure if it was clear yet… But Air Guitar won’t exactly make you rich. Sure, you can win a trip and be part of a weird and wonderful experience. But the NIKE shoe endorsements are still a ways away. So it’s a good thing that we do this for the right reasons – in the case of our event in Saskatoon, our good reason is the kids who benefit from the work of CREATIVE KIDS.
Let’s introduce one of the important peeps who make ‘the good’ happen for the artsy kids of Saskatoon. Christie McCulloch has worked with Creative Kids since its inception in 2010. Always amazed at the creativity of youth, she loves that she gets to make a living by helping connect kids to their creative side. Christie recently confessed to being an ‘Air Aritist’ of another kind – one could say she grinds through adult colouring books like a Crayola killling machine.
Having spent her vast fortunes from working at Not for Profit on concerts both large and small, Christie attests that she can spot exceptional Air Guitar when she sees it. We bet those aviators help too.
There is still time to register. Just do it and make people happy.
The kids of Creative Kids will thank you. YOU will thank you for being so brave and stupid. Your friends will thank you for the being the one to do it instead of them. Everybody wins. And maybe… just maybe… you can win stuff. Like a trip to Toronto, or Oulu, Finland (when you win Nationals).
Make your way down to the Farmer’s market. May 14th. 7pm.
Here’s an awesome video of one of the Creative KIds Saskatoon events with bikers and ‘actual musicians’. More info at http://www.creativekidssask.ca
NEW JACOBIN CLUB FRONT MAN TO LEAD AIR GUITAR JUDGING REVOLUTION
Possibly the most fitting judge yet to grace an Air Guitar Canada event. Xerxes Praetorius Horde is all things Air Guitarists seek to embody in their 1-min of fame: Hot swagger, stage theatrics, and mad skills. He will be dolling out the scores to help us find Saskatchewan’s first-ever official Air Guitar champion on May 14th at the Saskatoon Farmers Market – the first event of the Air Guitar Canada 2016 season!
“The Horde” has been fronting veteran Saskatoon theatrical rock band NEW JACOBIN CLUB for nearly 20 years. In that time the band has released five full length albums and become popular on college radio across Canada and in the United Kingdom where they will be performing their first ever international tour this summer. Xerxes is no stranger to Air Guitar as he claims he spent the first 10 years of his career merely pretending to play before learning how to strum a chord. When he is not on stage with the NEW JACOBIN CLUB he maintains a secret identity as a music teacher, session player and contributor for various other musical ensembles playing everything from country and pop to medieval music.
There is still time to REGISTER TO COMPETE and maybe win the whole thing. 1-min of mind-bending performance can win you a trip to Toronto July 16th for the Nationals.
AIR GUITAR SASKATCHEWAN ANNOUNCES ITS FIRST WELL DUDDED JUDGE!
Welcome to the party on May 14th at the Farmers’ Market. Being an Air Guitar judge is a tricky job. Not only do you need to familiarize yourself with the SIX criteria of Air Guitar (Originality, Stage Presence, Technical Skill, Ability to be Taken Over by The Music, Artistic Impression, and of course ‘Airness’), but you have to parlay that into a score from 4.0 to 6.0 – the figure skating scoring system.
Our first Saskatoon judge is Nicola Tabb. She is no stranger to public performances. Having grown up in an arts family meant she’s graced the stage countless times, in every capacity from music to dance to burlesque to fashion. Her love of the absurd and out-of-the-ordinary is apparent with one visit to her vintage clothing shop, Better Off Duds. She’s a big fan of confidence and will be looking for attitude, moxy, and of course killer style.
She’s so rocking, she’s even offered competitors 25% off their costume purchases at Better Off Duds to help them get into their Air Guitar personas.
So what you waiting for?
You too can become a rock star with your 1-min of out-of-mind self-abandon and on-stage antics. Winner flies to Toronto for the National Championships on July 16th. There’s nothing to lose. All proceeds of the event goes to Creative Kids of Saskatoon.
Our Montreal Champ – Helene ‘Hey!Len’ Laurin spent a little time on Montreal TV the other day, talking Air Guitar and her academic thesis about women’s representations in world of Air Guitar. Have a look/listen. Note… the show is in french… so practice up those French skills. Canada is a bilingual country after-all.
We lost a hero with David Bowie. I must admit that I grew up in the eighties and very clearly remember the ‘Let’s Dance’ days of David Bowie. My fondest memories are when my big brother introduced me to the Space Man. So much of my brother I saw in David Bowie: Suave, smart, brightened. That is how we look up to our heroes, like our big brothers. David Bowie represents a magical time for me and for many. And so, on January 10th the news of his passing… was a shock. I think many of us expected him to live forever.
In the past week, we’ve seen a number of homages. A notable Canadian one coming from Scratch Bastid. These warm acknowledgement of this legend will surely continue for months to come as people grapple with his departure.
It’s only appropriate and wonderful to see the outpouring of respect for such a talent. Likewise – big props to Air Guitar World Champ, Justin ‘Nordic Thunder’ Howard for making this video rocking out to the best of Bowie’s rock tracks – Ziggy Stardust. I expect many of us have done the same in the past week. Way to rep, Thunder.
(I wish for you to meet Justin one day. He is truly genuine and good. Maybe he’ll make the trip from Chicago to Toronto sometime for a Canadian competition so he can show us how it is done.)
One of David’s tracks that always intrigued me… music video included, was this one “Blue Jean’ – I think it was the make-up; it could have been the stage work – but it was all Bowie. Let’s all snap our fingers for our Goblin King:
Time to celebrate his life. Thanks David. We love you. You will be missed. You will always be wish us.
Russia’s Kereel ‘Your Daddy’ Blumenkrants defeats the United States’ Matt ‘Aristotle’ Burns in Air-Off!
Canada’s Jason ‘THRUST’ McNeely’s performance wows the crowd! The judges… they needed more convincing.
Canada will be back in 2016 for another chance at the title and a whole lot of joy-raising for our audiences and fundraising for our charities.
Check back here in a few months for the latest and greatest in plans for Air Guitar Canada!
Huge thanks to our sponsors:
Message from our Champ- Jason ‘THRUST’ McNeely – TUNE IN AT 1PM
And so it begins. Our Canadian Champ – Jay ‘THRUST’ McNeely takes to the stage tonight for the 20th Air Guitar Championships in his quest to bring Canada the first place finish and make Air Guitar history. You can tune in around 1pm EST time – while on your lunch break, or heck… skip work and gather up the kids to watch it all go down.
Jason is on 14th in the running order. A great spot. Sandwiched between the two time US champ ‘AIRistotle’ and current Japanese Champ ‘Jun Jun’. It’s going to be insane.
Here’s the Live Stream Link: kaleva.fi/ilmakitara
Last night there was the Dark Horse competition… probably one of the best nights in Air Guitar… you could smell the fear, the ambition, the desperation. Canada had the duty of sitting on the judging panel and we feel pretty good about the folks that made it through. Notable omissions from those moving on were U.S. competitors – The Marquis, and Lt. Facemelter. Who both received 5.7 and 5.9 respectively from us.
Here is the complete list of lucky Dark Horses: http://www.airguitarworldchampionships.com/en/blog/2015/nine-air-guitarists-qualify-to-the-world-final
Here’s the night that was the 2015 Canadian Air Guitar Championships
July 25th, 2015 – THE MOD CLUB, Toronto. We had 8 pre-qualified performers, including 5 regional champions from Alberta, Kingston, Ottawa Toronto and Montreal. 13 Dark Horse competitors battled for the remaining 5 spots in the championships. Over 30 Air Guitar performances and over 250 people in attendance, this year’s Air Guitar Championships was an explosion of brand new amazing performers and screaming fans. And as far as ‘Air Guitar for Good’ is concerned: It looks like we’ll get to contribute just over $3500 to our charity, Right To Play. A nice little jump over last year’s donation of $2500.
Let’s take a look at the night through the lens of Culture Snap’s Henry VanderSpek’s camera. Enjoy and be sure to join us again for the 2016 Air Guitar season as we continue to raise joy for our friends, raise funds for our charity, and send amazing competitors to the world championships.
It all started with a show from Alberta’s Banger Bingo to warm up or moisten the crowd…
Ou Host Matty Burns took to the slightly slippery stage and officially kicked off the competition with a group Aireoke number to assorted Canadian rock hits. Joining host Matty Burns: AGC VP Paul ‘PK’ Kingston, judge Joan Smith, judge Kris Bruun, AGC VP Mike ‘House of’ Payne and Tim ‘Glen Airy Glen Rocks’ Evans.
Then we started the Dark Horse competition for the last 5 spots in the Championships. The pool of competitors was deep and the talent level was nothing like we’d ever seen on the Canadian Air Guitar scene.
New comer Jesse ‘Da Loverboy’ Herron went first and amazed the crowd with his Michael Jackson ‘Beat It’ routine, complete with guitar solo and moonwalk.
Katie ‘Bettie Bruiser’ Mactavish rocked it right to Heart’s ‘Crazy on You’ – those tights were a find.
Steve ‘Rebel Yell’ Verzyden was a first time competitor to Air Guitar, but no novice to competitive sport. He’s the captain of the Aussie Rules Football squad The Rebels. Catch their next game on RogersTV. He rocked out to Gaslight Anthem.
Mark ‘Whiskey Pockets’ Slater was a new participant at the Toronto Championships. He showed that persistence pays off. He entered again as a Dark Horse for the Nationals and made it through to the Championship Round for a chance at the title.
Mr. Bob – the eldest active Ari Guitarist in history, totally took his game up a notch and went from Dark Horse to Championship round with a hip gyrating, Elvis track – Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.
Previously known as ‘The Playa’, BJ Jeroy underwent a transformation to become ‘THE PRAYA’ and to the audible boos of the audience totally killed a CREED song – ‘With Arms Wide Open’. By the end – the audience asked for forgiveness.
Morgan ‘SPITS’ Joy provided us with the most artistic and lauded performances of the night – using part puppet she rocked out to ‘Barracuda’ by Heart. She impressed enough to get the highest scores in the Dark Horse round and enter the Championship round.
After the Dark Horse round – SPITS, DAZ, Da Loverboy, Mr. Bob, and Whiskey Pockets scored the highest and made their way into the Championships Round. The scores from this round will be combined with scores from the Compulsory Round to find the winner of the competition.
This is when shit got a little crazy and the vibe went from all happy and friendly and got a little serious. It’s Air Guitar, people… but we appreciate your commitment to the craft. What was to transpire next was some of the most intense Air Guitar that Canada has ever witnessed. Hold on to your socks.
First up again was Da Loverboy. He had totally transformed, new outfit and new moves. He kicked to off with a front flip that missed slightly, but that didn’t stop him for doing a handstand and moving like a man possessed. He knew he needed to set the bar high to assure himself a spot in the Compulsory round. He was rewarded with exceptional scores and would move on.
Then came Toronto’s 2nd place finisher David ‘Kit AIR-ington’ Finkelstein who needs to be credited with never breaking character on stage… not once. It was pretty impressive how he involved the story of Jon Snow into his performance complete with Air Guitar swipes and thrusts as if wielding a sword. He was rewarded with solid 5.8s across the table. He was one of top performers of the night and made it to the Compulsory Round.
Next up… our Montreal champ – Helene ‘HEY!len’ Laurin. She re-interpreted Motley Crue’s ‘Dr. Feelgood’ in a medical gown and then later revealed a kick-ass rock-modified nurse’s outfit. Her creativity and presentation earned her some top scores and landed her a spot in the Compulsory Round.
Ottawa’s champ – Jason ‘Thrust’ McNeely was another bold performancer as he walked on stage with a real guitar. And after shaking his head, he takes it and SMASHES to splinters all over the stage and the audience. He then resurrects another guitar (from air, of course) and rolls through a high-energy beer fuelled song by Aussie rockers Airbourne. He grabs a beer at a drum section of the song and then, to the beat, SMASHES the beer to his head, which explodes and showers the audience and himself with beer. It was pretty insane. He got 5.8s, 5.9s and a 6.0.
Ari ‘Red Thor’ Hunter then leapt into action. And to his defence, we should have waited for the beer from THRUST to be adequately cleaned up. The stage surface was still somewhat damp and ended up causing the normally lofty Red Thor to have to tread more carefully. He still managed great scores but didn’t place in the Compulsory Round. As all good Vikings await their Valhalla, we’ll have to bid our adieu to Red Thor, at least until we convince him otherwise, since he’ll be stepping down from Air Guitar competition next year. Red Thor is a fan favourite and will be truly missed. We thank him.
Michael ‘Von Poutine’ Daniels – originally from Indiana, now a permanent resident in Canada, a veteran of the US Air Guitar circuit, received some of the best scores for his performance and moved on to the Compulsory Round.
Then Morgan ‘SPITS’ Joy came on and totally sent everyone for a whirl. An ‘Airtiste’ of sorts, Morgan totally floored the crowd with her bouffant act that was both inspiring and a little too far off the Air Guitar mark for some of the judges. We’re hoping she comes back to us next year to keep elevating the field of performance.
Danielle ‘Dora The Destroyer’ D’entremont – our Kingston champ. She was a ball of frenetic energy quite possibly fuelled by stars or some trick from her back-pack, can you say ‘back pack’?. She had THE most aggressive track of the night and showed the crowd just how to truly commit to a song. She was a total cheer-leader and booster for all competitors that night.
Leslie ‘MC JOY’ Seiler another Toronto Championships qualifier who started her journey as a Brave Soul a month earlier. She bedazzled her foot cast and totally rocked ‘Walk This Way’ by Aerosmith. Hilarious and huge originality scores.
After all the scores came in, our finalists for the Compulsory Round were: Da Loverboy, THRUST, Von Poutine, Kit AIR-ington, HEY!len, and Hanzel the Manzel. The audience, via ballot, choose Loverboy’s ‘Working for the Weekend’ for our Canadian Content compulsory song.
Then came Carlos ‘Hanzel the Manzel’ Mengual, who thrilled the judges with his home-made wrist mounted fireball shooter. he got the highest scores of the competitors up so far, but would it be enough?
Jesse ‘Da Loverboy’ Herron had to pull out an amazing performance to come close. And so he too took to the audience and struck a pose at the Judges table while too of his friends showered him in beer – what our host Matty Burns called ‘A Steam-Whistle Bukkake’… classy.
After all the insanity, THRUST won by a narrow margin over Hanzel the Manzel. 0.1 points separated the two. Jason ‘THRUST’ McNeely was victorious and will be representing Canada at the 20th year of Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu, Finland.
Huge thanks to our sponsors, Steam Whistle Brewery, Panago Pizza, Banger Bingo, Eatertainment, Hogtown Pub and Oysters, Second City and Second City Training Centre, and RightSleeve for our t-shirts.
Panago Pizza increased their donation the week of the championships and added an extra $1000 to the cause. Talk about #randomactsofpizza.
Special thanks go to our volunteers: Ben Birchard, Summer Skilleter, Rebecca Sutherland.
To our Host and Judges: Matty Burns, Adam from 102.1 The Edge, Kat Curtis of Naked News, Joan Smith of Little Foot Long Foot, Suresh John of Mr. D, and finally Kirs Bruun from Orphan Black.
To our competitors: You all put on an amazing show. Come back next year and do it again.
To our Executive: Cat Friday, Amy Blackmore, Cole ‘Johnny Utah’ Manson, Paul PK Kingston and Michael Payne – let’s start planning 2016!
Thanks to the Mod Club for hosting us
Stay tuned for how THRUST fares in Finland!
Ottawa’s JASON ‘THRUST’ MCNEELY is your 2015 Canadian Air Guitar Champion!