Mark Your Air-Calendars!

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The Air Guitar Championships are storming through the Bay Area next week, as part of a fourteen-city tour to select competitors for the 2007 US Air Guitar Championships National Finals. Locals will tune their air guitars before competing at the Blank Club in San Jose on Thursday, June 27, followed by a second act at San Francisco's Independent on Friday. Contestants will be judged on technical merit, stage presence, and "airness." The champion of each regional wins a trip to Manhattan for the August 15 finals; the winner of the finals will receive $1,000 and a free trip to the World Championships in Oulu, Finland. The regional winners so far: Lance "The Shred" Kasten (DC), Andrew "William Ocean" Litz (NYC), Erin "McNallica" McNally (Boston), Garth "Chuck Mung" Donald (Cleveland), Dave "Derek Not-So Smalls" Weissman (Columbus), Leldon Omar "Skeety Jones" De La Cruz (Chicago), and Cami "Airisol" Phillippi (Minneapolis).

Unlike the guitar, the competition isn't free -- there's a $20 competitor's fee. General admission is $8 for the San Jose show, but tickets for the SF event, which went for $15, are already sold out. Who's to blame? Air Guitar Nation, the 2006 documentary that brought air guitar out of its not-so-proverbial closet and into American movie theaters. -- Jeremy Singer-Vine

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