Ninja Tunes: A Year With ICP And Houston's Juggalos

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Tonight's Insane Clown Posse show at Warehouse Live will be Rocks Off's second date with the duo and their Juggalo army in a little more than a year. It's a make-up date for ICP's October 16 gig, which was rescheduled for "legal reasons," according to ICP's Web site. Fair enough, we suppose.

Since that October 2009 show, Rocks Off has firmly latched onto the Detroit hip-hop phenomenon, now nearly two decades old. We suppose at first it was for shits and grins, but the deeper we got into ICP's "Dark Carnival," the more we realized there is a distinct, almost Dickensian, class-warfare battle going on between the Juggalo family and the rest of society.

Notwithstanding the crimes committed by their fans elsewhere in the U.S., all Rocks Off saw was love and respect among the Houston Juggalos we met. All of them seemed like sweet people - clannish, maybe, but warm and engaging nonetheless.

Starting last fall there was the Aftermath we wrote, still sticky with Faygo from the show. It turned into a sort of Jane Goodall-like trip into another side of polite life. Then back in June, there was the "Gathering of the Juggalos" at Walter's on Washington, pitting the avenue's usual band of well-heeled drinkers versus those down with the clown.

We ended up getting video and pictures from the Wet T-Shirt Contest, which featured Faygo instead of water. It's still one of the blog's best performing slideshows, routinely beating out even the bikini girls and body-painting parties at places like Rich's Houston. Our friends in Rogue Improv did a short video essay outside as well.

Then there was a lull for the rest of the summer and most of the fall, until the run-up to the October show, for which we were extremely excited. Earlier that day, we went to cover a Tea Party rally at Sam Houston Race Park for Hair Balls, so we were more than prepared for a day of wonderful discourse. But alas, with ICP canceling, it was not to be, so we were stuck with the Tea Party chums.

If you are going to the show tonight, don't forget to bring winter clothes or a new, unwrapped toy for the toy drive inside the venue. Organized by the band and their label, Psychopathic Records, the drive is also accepting cash donations. In exchange for your donation, you will receive a special holiday sampler disc from the label.

Our coverage of tonight's show is shaping up to be like our coverage of SXSW or ACL. We have Matt Keever shadowing a local Juggalo, with video, all day today. Another photog is hanging out at the tailgating party behind Warehouse Live before the show, and the same Rocks Off team from the last ICP appearance is in place to cover the show tonight.

Whoop Whoop, y'all.

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