Three things you should know, if, by some chance, you mercifully live in a world where you've never heard of any of this stuff:
"Insane Clown Posse is an American hip-hop duo from Detroit, Michigan."
"Juggalo is a name given to fans of Insane Clown Posse."
"The Gathering of the Juggalos is an annual event for the Juggalo Family
put on by Psychopathic Records first staged in July 2000."
Juggalos are as interesting as any sub-culture of the world. How there isn't a compelling book or ridiculously watchable documentary already out about these folks blows my mind. Surely it's on the way. For now, the 14-minute video above, hyping their 2009 Gathering (Aug 6-9), will have to do. Here are probably way too many reasons (with timestamps) why you should watch it:
1. (0:07) Right off the bat, like any good infomercial, we get unsubstantiated claims. The first? Our announcer calls The Gathering "THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL MUSIC FESTIVAL IN THE WORLD!"
2. (0:18) Cave-in-Rock, Illinois! I grew up about a half hour south of Springfield and have never heard of this incredibly-named city, but it sure sounds like as good a place as any to host The Gathering.
3. (0:33) "If you've never been to The Gathering, this is the motherfucking year to go, bitch boy." This announcer is unbelievable. He berates me, and yet, I want more.
4. (0:45) In his description of what it's like to attend The Gathering, ICP member Violent J—who literally phones it in—uses the words "magic," "energy," and "feel" or "feeling" nine times total before comparing The Gathering to what it's like for "Muslims to visit the holy land of Mecca."
5. (1:35) Wrestling! Music! Crowds! Face paint! More wrestling! That's right, folks: Montage!
6. (2:19) Meet our infomercial's hosts, DJ Clay and Sugar Slam. Together, they have the chemistry of a box of hair.
7. (2:45) "Ninjas can expect to hear brand-new material off ICP's up-and-coming album, Bang Pow Boom." You had me at "ninjas."
8. (3:19) I'll be the first to admit I don't have a vast knowledge of ICP and its genre peers, but an apparent pre-requisite to joining the Pyschopathic Records roster is that you wear terrifying, clown-inspired corpsepaint.
9. (4:23) The Psycophatic Rydas' set will be "super," "late night," "rare" and "special." Phew.
10. (4:55) Wait, Ice Cube is gonna be there? Really? "That's just the greatest news we've heard thus far." Agreed.
11. (5:16) GWAR! This keeps getting better.
12. (5:35) Coolio! Cue "Gangsta's Paradise" video clip. If I were a betting man, I'd put money on the fact that Michelle Pfeiffer has no idea that she has even a tangential association with Insane Clown Posse.
13. (5:48) Sugar Slam has a very specific way of emphasizing acts that are pretty obviously not exactly marquee material: she says the act's name a second time, only harder. Example: "You know who else? Mushroomhead. Mushroomhead! You know they're gonna be making the floor shake!"
14. (5:56) "What about Scarface? How dope is that?" Answer: More dope than Mushroomhead.
15. (6:08) Vanilla Ice! Alas, Robert Van Winkle gets no further introduction and no emphasized re-naming.
16. (6:41) The announcer breaks in, in an apparent attempt to trick the viewer into thinking this is some kind of live broadcast. The "JUST ADDED NOW" list includes MC Chris, some guy from D12 and a dude called, wait for it, Paradime.
17. (7:15) "OVER 120 MUSICAL ACTS" over the course of four days! Explain to me how this didn't make it into the Paste summer festival guide.
18. (7:26) But that's not all! "Everywhere you look, there's some different shit popping off," Sugar Slam informs. "Expect the unexpected," DJ Clay elaborates. Human cannonball! Freestyle motorcross shows! Love train hayrides! Inflatable games! Carnival rides! Midway games! Live radio broadcasts! Dudes on stilts! Ninjas jugglin' fire! At The Gathering, the hits simply do not stop.
19. (8:35) "Plus, deep in the woods..." Late night comedy hosted by Upchuck the Clown! Pauly Shore, Rowdy Roddy Piper and Jimmy "JJ" Walker are included in the lineup. So that's what Pauly Shore is doing these days.
20. (9:18) Hog Daddy's Giant Hellfire of Death!
21. (9:22) "Magicians and hypnotists walking around that bitch."
22. (9:28) Shaggy 2 Dope's threeway DJ battle is "not really a battle. It's more like a showcase of skill. A rare demonstration of devastation, if you will." I most definitely will.
23. (10:09) "Calling all fat kids: It's time to get paid."
24. (10:46) "And for those of us who enjoy late-night violence..." Oh, good, finally.
25. (11:03) Oddball wrestling! On barbed wire, broken glass, thumb tacks and more. Midgets, too. The Gathering really has it all.
26. (11:55) Following the introduction of redneck wrestler Tracy Smothers, DJ Clay editorializes just a bit: "I hate that motherfucker."
27. (12:14) Ladies and gentlemen, Butterbean! And here you thought he had been out of work since the Jackass movie.
28. (12:42) "And for all you hungry asses out there, yes we have food, and plenty of it, all over that bitch." Good to know.
29. (13:19) "Expect the unexpected." Worth reiterating.
30. (13:49) One final note: "And there's a lot of sex in the air, too. Don't doubt it." You stay classy, The Gathering.