A Long-Overdue Trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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Photo courtesy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Part of the original set from Pink Floyd's "The Wall" tour in 1979-80
While it's true that my Bucket List could be contained in a fairly small bucket, a big one got checked off recently when I was able to finally stroll into that big ass glass pyramid on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland: I had arrived at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Though it was established in 1983 and began inducting members shortly thereafter, the physical building did not open until 1995. The Museum's six levels host thousands of artifacts, interactive displays, video screens and jukeboxes, two theaters, and enough nooks and crannies to keep even the most casual music fan occupied for hours.

I was there for five, and could have easily spent five more. Or just move in there for a week or so. Though I think security might question a guy with a sleeping bag at the foot of Howlin' Wolf's guitar.


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The Funniest Things Overheard at the 2014 Juggalo Gathering

Note: this past weekend our colleagues at St. Louis' Riverfront Times risked life and limb to cover the 2014 Gathering of the Juggalos outside Thornville, Ohio.

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Photos by Nate "Igor" Smith unless indicated
Another Gathering of the Juggalos has come and gone, and with it thousands of face-painted, fun-loving freaks and misfits to and from the event's first year in Thornville, Ohio.

While the move from the deep wilderness of Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, to this year's decidedly more inhabited location did make the experience seem less like being on another planet, there was still an overabundance of hilarious and strange things happening at all times.

Here are the best overheard quotations from the 2014 edition of the Gathering of the Juggalos.


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The 20 Best-Dressed Juggalos at the Gathering (NSFW)

Note: this past weekend our colleagues at St. Louis' Riverfront Times risked life and limb to cover the 2014 Gathering of the Juggalos outside Thornville, Ohio.

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All photos by Nate "Igor" Smith
Clearly, this man takes the top honors.
Juggalo fashion generally involves great big pants and T-shirts that were possibly purchased at truck stops. Hair is best when it is braided and aloft in the style of Coolio, and everything looks better coated in a thin layer of sticky-delicious Faygo, of course.

But some Juggalos go out of their way to trot out their hottest looks for the Gathering of the Juggalos, Here, then, are the 20 best-dressed juggalos at this year's big event.


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10 Reasons Juggalos Are Better Than You

Note: this past weekend our colleagues at St. Louis' Riverfront Times risked life and limb to cover the 2014 Gathering of the Juggalos outside Thornville, Ohio.

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Photos courtesy of Riverfront Times
Life sucks. There is a multitude of reasons why, and no one has come to terms with this inescapable truth better than Juggalos. Zen masters of nihilism and partying, they have become unquestionable experts at finding creative ways to cope with the unrelenting pain of reality.

Behind the fun-at-any-cost, consequences-be-damned attitude of these clown-painted fiends lies a cache of truly virtuous and respectable traits. You might be unable to comprehend that people who seem so strange might have something profound to teach you, so we've put together this list, outlining just what it is that makes Juggalos better than everyone else.


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A Heartwarming Wedding In Juggalo Country

Note: this weekend our colleagues at St. Louis' Riverfront Times are risking life and limb to cover the 2014 Gathering of the Juggalos outside Thornville, Ohio.

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Photos by Drew Ailes
Tiffany and Dip Set, juggalo bride and groom, exhange vows.
"Please, we ask you to hold your Faygo until the wedding begins," a woman with electric green braids instructs the crowd. Standing anxiously nearby is the groom, outfitted in a Jack Skellington top hat. His big day has arrived -- he is about to be wed to the love of his life, here at the Gathering of the Juggalos in Thornville, Ohio.

"I'm gonna try and fuck her in the butt tonight," he jokes.

As dedicated to their Juggalo family as they are to one another, Tiffany and Dip Set, bride and groom, are here to tie the marriage noose at the Gathering's Carousel Stage.


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An NSFW Trip to Juggalo Night Court, Which Is a Real Thing

Note: this weekend our colleagues at St. Louis' Riverfront Times are risking life and limb to cover the 2014 Gathering of the Juggalos outside Thornville, Ohio. This article was written by Daniel Hill.

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Photos by Nate "Igor" Smith
A young Juggalo faces the punishment for his crimes.
Those in the outside world tend to view the Gathering of the Juggalos as a lawless festival of debauchery, with apparently violent clowns -- "gang members," even, if you ask the U.S. government -- running rampant and chaos ruling the day.

In actuality, this notion is far from the truth. Juggalos in attendance not only consistently treat one another with respect, but even have an institutionalized arbiter of disputes for when conflict does arise.

Have an issue with a fellow Juggalo? Take them to Juggalo Night Court.


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10 Big Changes at the 2014 Gathering of the Juggalos

Note: this weekend our colleagues at St. Louis' Riverfront Times are risking life and limb to cover the 2014 Gathering of the Juggalos outside Thornville, Ohio. This article was written by Daniel Hill and Drew Ailes.

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Photos by Nate "Igor" Smith
After a seven-year stint at Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, the Gathering of the Juggalos has moved this year to Legend Valley Campground in Thornville, Ohio.

Will its new home prove as accommodating as its last? Or will the residents of Thornville freak the hell out -- like the citizens of Kaiser, Missouri did when they learned last year that the Gathering was flirting with a move to their town?

After Day 1 of the Gathering in Thornville, it's probably a bit premature to answer either of those questions. But there are plenty of differences between last year's festival and this year. Below are ten initial observations we had as to how the move to Ohio may be better -- or worse.


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What the Cops Think of This Year's Gathering of the Juggalos

Note: this weekend our colleagues at St. Louis' Riverfront Times are risking life and limb to cover the 2014 Gathering of the Juggalos outside Thornville, Ohio. This article was written by Daniel Hill and Drew Ailes.

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Photos by Nate "Igor" Smith
Juggalos on Wednesday
What's different about this year's Gathering of the Juggalos? Well, the cops, for one thing.

During last year's coverage of the event, set in Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, we encountered minimal security. The gatekeepers and patrol staff, which were seemingly just exceptionally large Juggalos in "SECURITY" shirts, peered into backpacks to eliminate glass bottles and fireworks. Aside from that, they pretty much did nothing except hang out and then -- only after someone died of a drug overdose -- reactively shut down the Gathering's infamous drug bridge.

This year, however, we encountered a different scenario. While there remains a stock amount of bleary-eyed "security" volunteers to direct traffic (both vehicular and human), there were absolutely no searches. We just walked right through the front entrance, past a Deadhead-looking fellow with a beard, and straight into a clown-themed metropolis of chaos without nary a single question -- or even a glance. Predictably, glass bottles and fireworks abound.

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UPDATED: The 2014 HPMA Write-In Nominees

Categories: HPMA, On the Road

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Graphics by Monica Fuentes
UPDATE (Monday, 2 p.m.): See new voting ballot info in third-to-last paragraph.

It's been an interesting week. Rocks Off would like to thank everyone who participated in last week's write-ins for the 2014 HPMA ballot. It says a lot that even after their favorite local artists were left off this year, fans cared enough to speak up for them and tell us we were wrong.

Of course we expected some criticism of our revised nominating process. But we still felt it was an improvement on the previous system, which sometimes rewarded acts as much for their self-promotion skills as the actual music they made, and excluded some deserving artists who were simply not interested in dancing to that particular tune.

That's why the people we asked to participate this year were the most knowledgeable about the local music scene that we could think of (and who wanted to participate; ultimately all but a couple of people we asked did). Furthermore, they are, in our opinion, all people capable of being as objective as possible about a survey that hinges on the use of the word "best." They will also all stay safely anonymous.

So that's our story and we're sticking to it. But like we said last week, it was never our intention for this whole thing to be a one-way street.


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The 20 Most Beautiful People at Electric Daisy Carnival 2014

Note: this article is a gift from our good friends at LA Weekly and OC Weekly.

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All photos by Christopher Victorio
You thought only homely people went to Electric Daisy Carnival this past weekend? Think again! This year, per usual, the bold and the beautiful made their way to Las Vegas for parties that lasted all night long.

Here are the concertgoers, shot by Christopher Victorio, whom we found particularly enchanting.


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