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:
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.
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.
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:
"If 'Tush' comes on the radio, I can promise you, the windows are coming down, the volume is going up, and I’ll be singing along to it at the top of my lungs no matter how stupid I might look to other drivers on the highway."
There is always much complaining about how hard it is to fire city workers when they misbehave, thanks to union rules that handcuff managers. But all other agencies are in the minor leagues compared with the city's elections board.