Mean Melin crushes Northeast Semifinals
As the idiot who was wrong once said, “You’ll never sell out a show in New York City the Tuesday before Independence Day.”
The Bowery Ballroom erupted last night as MEAN MELIN (Eric Melin), shredding to a track of his own creation using a real life guitar, claimed the New York City title in 2013’s inaugural Semifinal show. Melin will represent the entire Northeast Region in next month’s National Finals in Los Angeles (tickets). Last night’s runners-up, WINDHAMMER (Rob Weychart) and ROCKUPINE (Jeffery Stiles), have been extended the same invitation. Other second rounders last night who won’t be advancing to LA included DANNY TANNER TANTRUM (Jaime Farnan) and JEAN LUC PICKGUARD (Thomas Smolenski).
Mean Melin had a lot of great moves last night, but there’s only one everybody is talking about: Victory fell into New York's lap, and New York dropped outright it. Melin warned the audience, then turned his back to them, and finished with a backwards trust fall. The crowd of New Yorkers – among the least trustworthy people on the planet – let him fall straight to the ground. Still, Melin didn’t skip a beat, didn’t sweat a drop, and never dropped his guitar. We caught up with the champ this afternoon, who is alive and well, aside from “a lot of bruises in very strange places and a really, really sore neck.”
There were some other minor falls as well. Surprisingly, Jean Luc, who whooped on both the Nausicaans and the Borg, was no match for this stool:
Before he tore off the bald cap, Jean Luc was a dead ringer for his Star Trek namesake, achieving a haunting level of “airisimilitude.” Get it? Get it?
MATHROMANCER (Paul Martino) gets ATC’s 2013 “hey, judges, pull your heads from your asses” award for failing to advance him into the second round. Math, topless and bearing his traditional chest hair pi symbol, delivered one of the finest performances of the evening. He leveraged every last inch of his five foot frame into a soaring stage dive. As soon as he reappeared on stage he promptly returned to beating the shit out of it.
Celebrity Judges Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live), Alex Koll (Awesome), and Hot Lixx Hulahan meted out their scores and kept everyone laughing throughout. Although confirmed blog reader Jason Jones had a conflicting engagement, world’s best sponsor, Artisanal Imports, designed customized tap handles for all of last night’s competitors and judges. It was his arch enemy, RICKY STINKFINGERS (Alex Forbes) who made sure Jones had a customized handle in absentia.
Local programmer PWN JETT (Marquina Iliev) – a great name, think about it – gave her most spirited performance I can remember (she used to compete as “Marteeka”). Last season she performed while 8 months preggers. Last night she impregnated at least that many faces.
CAPTAIN AIRHAB (Matt LeBel) had a fun little routine, fairly technical, with the laid-back approach you’d expect from a man wearing a Hawaiian shirt and drinking beer out of a corn cob pipe. It seems he was in no hurry to get dealt one of the lower scores of the evening. So it goes / it melts the faces or it gets the hose.
G. TSO MONEY (Chen Del-Kun) and MITT UMLAUT (Tom Corsillo) didn’t quite advance to the second round but clearly had a damn fine time anyway. I don’t think either has ever been to the Finals and yet they are among our profession’s finest ambassadors. Salt of the earth knuckleheads such as these are why the rest of us do what we do. Also, for the free beer.
Wasting everyone’s time last night were SPUD BOY (Richard Anderson) and THE REAL SETH LEIBOWITZ (Shreddy Mercury), both of whom managed to amuse me and me alone. TRSL, using his one unbroken arm, grabbed an unwitting 2012 U.S. Champ AIRISTOTLE from the crowd, who then promptly took over lead strum. They were clever, entertaining, and immediately disqualified. And while Spud was not disqualified per se, the judges scored him so low they might as well have. Spud did a high concept Devo routine I’m still struggling to unpack.
From the cheap seats I think Long Island’s Qualifier champ SMILEY ROD (Justin Magaldi) deserved way better than what he got, but so it goes. Opinions are like assholes, but then again judges are like assholes, too. We do our best to find a happy medium while tossing beers and flipping birds.
Like the before party, the after party was also hosted by Artisanal Imports. The look on the competitors’ faces when they saw, instead of PBR, Martens Pils and Saison by San Feuillien, was easily worth the price of admission.
I have it on good authority that Artisanal's lineup was so damn tasty that 2012 World Champion NORDIC THUNDER (Justin Howard) fell asleep beside the East River. And as far as I can tell, the rest of us haven’t slept yet.
Thanks, New York. And goodnight.