Portland: Not Faking It (photo updated)

All photos courtesy of Janis Marie Photography unless otherwise specified.


Sometimes art doesn’t imitate shit. I have witnessed a lot of air guitar shows, a lot of flailing limbs, and a defecated pizza box or two. But I have never seen a one-armed wildcard named LEFTY replace an injured ARORA NASTY (Cassondra Scott), then demand “Motörhead, motherfucker” before shredding Portland to pieces. Sixty seconds of “is this really fucking happening?” earned him a spot in the second round, where he failed to grasp our impromptu Darkness edit. He averaged a 5.0 in the compulsory round – one point for each finger.


Truth be told, had Dante’s been streamin’ instead of just dreamin’, the blogosphere would be up in arms over Lefty’s performance. Because strapped around his neck, for some inexplicable reason, was an antique acoustic guitar – and it remained on for his performance. Yes, playing props is against the rules. And “there” guitars are fucking WAY against the rules. But his strumming arm was the picture of invisibility. Cut him some slack, people, he was in the war. (Actually, he told me he lost his arm in a blended margarita accident.)


ERIK ITTAR (Erich Hacker) gave the performance of his career last night. A veteran of USAG and Air Guitar New Zealand, he came out with three tracks shaved into the side of his head a la Vanilla Ice. His edit was perfection – Mmm Bop into Beasties – and his performance followed suit. It was a tribute to white people everywhere. Everyone from round two was phenomenal last night, but when I think back on P-town 2012, it’s Ittar’s performance and my Aardvark acid reflux I’ll remember most vividly.


Photo courtesy of KVAL channel 13.


Our celebrity judges, HOT SAUCE ROB (Rob Metnick) from Aardvark and LARRY CRANE from Jackpot Records, did a phenomenal job and only missed their mark once or twice (even in Finland, most nights judges fuck up at least a half dozen times; and when I’m forced to judge all bets are off): Opinions being like assholes, and my asshole being loudest, I think the lovely UM (Sheri Dietrich) and JEREMY BATTLESQUIRREL (Evan Burnette) deserved better scores.


In round two, Battlesquirrel lost his toupee but not his mojo. He was so hungry for victory that he located the bag of dorritos from his intro and kept snacking as the judges doled out his score. Class act.


A few hours earlier during “load in,” the first thing newcomer FINGER LICKIN’ GOOD (Matthew Hutchinson) said to us as we stepped into Dante’s was, “I took the MAX line dressed this way and didn’t bring a change of clothes.” He wore lamay bottoms and rabbit’s fur coat with a whole lot of crotch and nipples in between. “I feel a little ridiculous.”


“I quit my job to AV an air guitar show and also just rode the MAX from PDX. I feel a little ridiculous myself.” During the green room order grab FLG pulled a two-spot, and would follow a spirited opening performance by SF’s travelin’ TIGER CLAW (Dan LeFever). Had FLG gone a few spots later, after the Lighting Director (me) found his rhythm and the judges availed themselves of their open tab, he would have been a shoo-in for round two. Tiger Claw, who showed up with a costume change, two duffel bags and a 40 oz of O.E. High Gravity, forgot his track back in San Francisco. Typical, wonderful, Claw.



Portland usually falls at the tail end of our tour, and as such we rarely give her the ride she deserves. No fakin’, last night I think we both came twice.