This weekend, Paul McCartney, Nine Inch Nails and Red Hot Chili Peppers topped the bill at the massive Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco. At the same time, 2,000 miles east of the city by the bay and only 135 miles northwest of Nashville, in comparatively less cosmopolitan Cave-in-Rock, Ill., another music festival was underway: the 14th annual Gathering of the Juggalos. Below you’ll (eventually) find a fun exercise to celebrate the occasion.
Four years after SNL and the Internet made Insane Clown Posse’s answer to Ozzfest a handily maligned WhoopWhoopstock of sorts, The Gathering of the Juggalos persists as a much-beloved pop-cultural punching bag for snarky music bloggers (like me) and the trolls (like you) who follow them, and this year is no exception. Current headlines emerging out of Cave-in-Rock this weekend included, but were not limited to: “Gathering of the Juggalos: Tattoo-Faced Man From Viral Mugshot Cuts Off Own Nipple"; “Make-a-Wish Helps Kid Get a Lap Dance at Gathering of the Juggalos”; “Local Pastor Brings Christian Message, Faygo to Juggalos”; and “Man Found Dead at Gathering of the Juggalos.” And the antics described in these pieces come as no surprise to my peeps in the music press.
Par for the course, finding a legitimate publication that has written anything resembling an earnest review of Gathering performances — complete with song titles and sound descriptions of sonic properties — proves challenging. That’s unfortunate, because wouldn’t we all enjoy reading the rock-press version of Grand Folks Herald food critic Marilyn Hagerty’s glowing 2012 Olive Garden review?
Priding itself on an underground ethos and catering to the tastes of its marginalized, “misunderstood” cult of painted-face personality, beyond boasting a Ferris wheel, The Gathering doesn’t have much in common with the nation’s Coachellas and Lollapaloozas in the programming department. Among the biggest names gathered on the festival marquee this year: Sevendust, Soulfly, Tech N9ne, Rahzel, Kottonmouth Kings, Vanilla Ice and Onyx. Those acts joined Gathering stalwarts and Psychopathic Records roster-toppers the likes of Twiztid, Dark Lotus, Blaze Ya Dead Homie*, Anybody Killa and the inevitable ICP Eminem effigy burning and Faygo jam to close out the weekend.
(OK, I made that last part up. Nevertheless, c’mon, if I told you that the dark carnival in Cave-in-Rock concluded with Shaggy 2 Dope setting alight a Burning Man-style statue of Slim Shady, which other clown-faced bro Violent J would later piss Faygo on to extinguish, believing me wouldn’t make you all that gullible. ICP has done crazier things.)
With that in mind, let’s play a game. Below, I will list 15 acts from the 2013 Gathering of the Juggalos undercard. However, in an effort to weed out actual Juggalos (many of whom studies show can’t count to 15, or do basic addition and subtraction with numerals exceeding the single-digit range), those 15 aforementioned acts appear on a list of 25 band names, 10 of which Cream Cap'n D. Patrick Rodgers and I made up. Can you spot the fakes?
In an effort to throw off Googling cheaters, I’ve amended each of the original names to have correct spelling. For example: Murdaface Tha Butcher translates to Murder Face: The Butcher; Cykosomatik translates to Psychosomatic; Mad Hatta da Puss Docta translates to Mad Hatter: The Gynecologist, et al. Feel free to make up a few of your own fake Gathering artists and add them in the comments. Interpretive misspellings are also welcome.
Seven Second Suicide
Pimp on Wheels
Axe Murder Boys
Sore Skin Lesion: The Ill Methamphetamine Addict
Keegan: The Creep Ass
Slit Throat Hemophiliac
Smack Cola (of the Dirty Worms)
Hazmat Fuck the Government
Southside Hatchet Swinging Mob
Hazmat Fat Titty Gangster
Hostile Six (and Puppet)
Stoned Mike Tetrahydrocannabinol
Drastic the Terrible
Loki: The Shit Puppet
Cool Leo and the Hatchet Gang
Is He Done For?
Pimp Master Fat Stuff
Little Easy E
*Note: Horror-core rapper Blaze Ya Dead Homie has no comma in his stage name. That’s a shame, really. Think of the possibilities — Blaze, Ya Dead Homie; Blaze Ya, Dead Homie; and last but not least, Blaze Ya Dead, Homie.