It's the week of The 'Roo, and as many festival-going audiophiles prepare to sweat it out down in Manchester, a very different, very special class of music fans prepares for an especially different sort of music festival: The Gathering of the Juggalos returns, slated this year for Aug. 11-14. The Juggalos decided to get next-level with this year's Gathering promo — or "infomercial," as they like to call it — by delivering the lineup via a series of half-assed sci-fi vignettes and allusions from "back beyond the galaxy behind ours ... or some shit like that." Yes, that's Vanilla Ice portraying "Vanilla Zerg," alongside Sugar Slam and all the rest, and they're broadcasting from a spaceship that's shaped like ... wait, I don't want to ruin the surprise. OK, I'll let you guess. The spaceship is either shaped like: A) Charles Darwin's face, B) a harmonium, or C) male genitalia. Keep in mind, the Juggalos are a very clever bunch. Of course, Slam, Ice, DJ Clay and the others don't exactly act so much as they shout in the general direction of the camera, but we'll chalk that up to them being really excited.
And in case you were wondering, the scarecrow Boondox is back from the South of Hell, there will be a freak show, midway games and independent wrestling, and Scott Tepperman of the show Ghost Hunters International will be there, leading a "candle-lit seminar" with Twizted and Prozac attending as his personal assistants (boo, muthafucka). Is Toronto's So Sick Social Club Psychopathic Records' answer to Broken Social Scene? Probably not, but you'll have to "warp speed" to Cave-in-Rock, Ill., on Aug. 11 to find out. As Sugar Slam points out, the big corporations and "old bankers" own everything — festivals, tours, the radio — and the Juggalos offer an alternative to commercialized music. So grab a Faygo and prepare to be welcomed with open arms — and flying sacks of human waste. (Also of interest, Violent J wonders to Village Voice: Fucking festivals ... how do they work?) Rest in peace, Ass Dan.