This Week in the Voice: Infiltrating the Gathering of the Juggalos
Pop culture -- especially music -- has always had its own respectively fringe and seemingly misunderstood populations. From Phish Phans, to Justin Bieber's bloodthirsty teenage following, and beyond, there always seems to be a group of people deeply saturated in a culture of fanatic obsession that goes beyond mere fandom, and an entire world to write them and their bands off. The white, gothic rap duo Insane Clown Posse -- and their notoriously debauched fans -- are no exception. Until now. The Village Voice's Camille Dodero trekked out to their yearly concert -- The Gathering of the Juggalos -- in an epic attempt to understand "the most misunderstood people of all time" in Live from Insane Clown Posse's Gathering of the Juggalos: Revenge of the Losers.
Elsewhere this week, in News, we're also wrting about the previously written-off:
- Political party bosses are supposed to be a thing of the past. In Brooklyn, however, that isn't the case, as two scrappy, idealistic young Brooklyn residents found out in 2008 learned. Back then, they were barked out of Brooklyn's Democratic Party leader Assemblyman Vito Lopez's after expressing their desire to lend a hand and institute political change; now, as Voice columnist Tom Robbins tells it, they plan on doing it not just without him, but while beating him in his own backyard: Obama's Troops Take On Brooklyn Boss Vito Lopez.
This week in Music, we're opening our ears to change:
- "Saxophone Colossus" Sonny Rollins is a testament to aging with grace: 80 years-old, and Rollins is now turning out some of the best music of his career. Larry Blumenfeld talks with the legend himself, assessing The Ongoing Improvement of Sonny Rollins.
- Those long-deified indie rock gods Pavement -- not my words, but true nonetheless -- are reuniting to play some music, and they're playing some of it in a city they have some history with, to say the least. Michael D. Ayers talked to everyone involved, and locked it down: enjoy An Oral History of Pavement's New York City. And finally get a goddamn haircut while you're at it.
- Anybody with two hands on the wheel knows that the city of Detroit's had a long, hard past decade it's still struggling to pull out of. At a Jay-Z and Eminem concert, Tom Breihan sees the light at the end of the tunnel for Motown in Detroit Rap City.
- There are singer-songerwriters, and nowadays, R&B-rappers. Epic track-guest Bruno Mars isn't one of them. Yet coming up on his solo debut, as Mikael Wood finds by talking with him, he's not "soft" either.
In Food this week, we're giving otherwise foreign dishes a familiar chance:
- Voice food critic Robert Sietsema knows his Chinese food, by which we mean, knows his countless regional variations of Chinese food available to New Yorkers in a way that it's not to anyone else in America. Even so, he still finds himself surprised at some of the sensations he comes across, like this week, when he checked out Flushing's newest Qingdao restaurant, Lu Xiang Yuan. Don't forget to try the "tasty astroturf."
- Meanwhile, Voice food critic Sarah DiGregorio -- who recently found southern cooking in the back of a metal bar -- is now finding new America fare in South Slope, in a small restaurant owned and operated partly by Fat Mike of seminal punk band NOFX. Yet: Fat Mike, small place, but as for the plates? 'Sounds like they're thinking pretty big over at Thistle Hill Tavern.
In Film, we're not watching the movies made by the guys in ICP, which we simply don't pay our writers enough to do, and also, aren't that cruel. We do, however, pay them to write about some stinkers, otherwise:
- Remember that time Joaquin Phoenix showed up on Letterman with a beard talking about his rap career? It was part of a documentary made by Casey Affleck, Ben Affleck's brother. Even worse, that documentary actually had some kind of point, supposedly. And even worse, we made Karina Longworth watch I'm Still Here, the fruits of Phoenix and Affleck's "labors." Sorry, Karina.
- And not like we're trying to rub it in Karina's face or anything, but here's Andrew Schenker's review of Who Is Harry Nilsson?, a rock doc of someone who actually long deserved one.
- If it makes her feel any better, Nick Pinkerton had to watch Katie Holmes and Josh Duhamel doing something besides trying to liberate Katie Holmes from Tom Cruise in The Romantics.
- Also this week in Film, legendary Voice film critic J. Hoberman checks into the Anthology Film Archive's Hans-Jürgen Syberberg retrospective of otherwise unshowable films, including his perpetually-stigmatized Hitller; Eric Hynes takes note of Milwaukee-based underground aesthete Frankie Latina's "badass exploitation" Modus Operandi; Melissa Anderson gets mopey with French cinema's current go-to "brooder" Romain Duris, who apparently puts the "antic" in "romantic comedy" in his latest, Heartbreaker; Andrew Schenker notes out the five films you need to see at the Latinbeat Film Festival; Nick Pinkerton tries to unravel the oxymoronic nature of idiosyncratic Canadian piano prodigy Glenn Gould in a documentary about him Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould; Michael Atkinson experiences the visceral war of what might be "the most riveting and vital historical document ever put on celluloid," Patricio Guzmán's 1975-78 guerrilla epic The Battle of Chile, at the Maysles; and finally, Ernest Hardy tuckers down in François Ozon's Hideaway.
Finally, in Arts, we try to see aesthetes how they see themselves, like the artists we are:
- Zach Baron reviewed literary "it" boy Tao Lin's new book. "It's called Richard Yates," he said. He looked at the book. He looked at the computer. He looked at the internet. "I'm looking at the internet," Baron said. Baron looked back down at the book. Baron looked at the internet again and typed a sad face. I linked his book review in a blog post and went on to the next bullet point.. He looked into the internet.
- R.C. Baker treks out to the Brooklyn Museum who's showing the work of this guy, Abdi Farah, who won the Bravo reality show about artists, Work of Art. Do you think he regretted the decision? Whatever you think, it probably isn't art. Or is it?
- Voice theater critic Michael Feingold continues his work on assessing both New York City's Fringe Festival and the plays they offer looking back on gay history, finding more absolutist views in two more: Veritas and The Twentieth-Century Way.
- And last but certainly not least, Voice theater critic Alexis Soloski finds that while a play can't be saved such splendor as, say, anal beads, as is apparently the case with Playwrights Horizons' newest, It Must Be Him, but as is the case with Richard Maxwell directing Christina Masciotti's Vision Disturbance using what Solosky characterizes as "rich minimalism," all it takes is a little, well, vision.
Here at The Village Voice, we try to understand the otherwise marginalized and misunderstood. Yes, even Juggalos. That doesn't mean we'll still listen to that shit music they're fans of, however. After all, we're only, just like them, everyday people...who listen to better music than them: