Luv Doc Recommends: Austin Air Guitar Championships

Emo's, Saturday, May 21, 2005

Experts tell us that between 60% and 90% of all communication is nonverbal – exactly the kind of statement of fact that you can’t communicate with your eyes. Fortunately, people don’t pay much attention to experts – much in the same way they don’t pay attention to mimes. Most folks are far too involved with what comes out of their own mouths to pay much attention to what comes out of the mouths of others – especially if it’s a plastic egg or a string of colorful scarves. For all its potency, subtlety, and nuance, the spoken word often leaves much unsaid. After several thousand years of flapping jaws, humankind is still tragically, comically unable to adequately articulate the really important stuff: emotions, instincts, urges, obsessions … thus, the dance. Literally, people were expressing themselves through movement long before any discernable languages developed. Mimes and gestures communicated the bare essentials. People necessarily, mercifully stuck to the point. These days of course, there is a mind-numbing multitude of ways to communicate, but none have the simple, undeniable eloquence of dance’s fusion of the abstract with the corporeal. Maybe that’s why after so many centuries dance is still such an important and integral part of people's lives. Whether it’s the bump and grind at the disco or the grace and elegance of the ballet, dance is everywhere. This weekend, it’s at a particularly unlikely place: Emo’s. Yes, this Saturday night Emo’s plays host to the Austin Air Guitar Championships, the culmination of several preliminary rounds of air guitar competition at Alamo Drafthouse. Expect plenty of spandex shrouded salamis, big hair, leather wristbands, and diddly-diddly-wah-wah rock & roll as Austin’s hottest air guitarists battle it out for a trip to the USA Air Guitar Finals in sunny Los Angeles. If you’re thinking air guitar is not your thing, you’re probably right, but watching people fully engaged in something so cheesy and embarrassing is everybody’s thing. In fact, it’s irresistible – sort of like slowing down at the scene of an accident. Everybody has at one time or another hit a few riffs on an imaginary axe, pantomimed an Eddie Van Halen finger hammer solo or attempted a Chuck Berry chicken strut – maybe in the bathroom mirror with a towel falling off their butt or maybe in the first row of a Joe Satriani concert. That’s the beauty of dance: When it’s good it’s really good and when it’s bad, it’s a wreck worth slowing down for – if only because at some time or another you’ve been in that same wreck yourself.

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