Horriblefest is upon us once again, and as I pack the company car, empty the Termbo petty cash box and put the “Gone Fishin’” sign up in the office for the rest of the week, I’m reminded of all the past fun I’ve had down there in good ol’ Clev-O. Paul, Russ and the rest of the staff/help run as tight a ship as possible during a weekend-long bender and I’ve never been less than entertained by the entertainment, musical and otherwise. Eels, clowns, cars being dismantled by barbarians, nudity of all sorts, hot tubbin’, you name it. Yet every year my favorite part of the fest is having one more chance to see America’s Greatest Rock’n’Roll Band, HOMOSTUPIDS, play one of their always inspired sets. I originally wrote this up for inclusion in an issue on Negative Guest List and I’ll especially miss Brendon this weekend.


#7) Horriblefest 2 – this one gets ranked last because I missed their set. I’m told they played up in the front corner of the bar where the video game console is now. One of my biggest regrets…

#6) Horriblefest 7 – this one ranks low on the list, but it’s my own fault. I was not on top of my game and forgot to get posted up in the basement early to get a good spot. I ended up heading downstairs right when they started and got stuck in the back of the room and couldn’t see shit. I suck.

#5)Horriblefest 6 – now this was a great Club Atlantis set, I got down there early and got a cozy spot right next to the band. They played the songs great and I think the lights were turned off part of the time. The crowd was really fun and no one was injured. Well done.

#4) Horriblefest 5 – this year they played the actual bar stage (which wasn’t a real stage yet), which is a setting that has produced some of the most visceral sets I’ve had the pleasure of seeing at Now That’s Class. It’s a real intimate setting, but also a real problem space-wise. Somehow I was fortunate and ended up getting pushed into sitting on the bar with a row of barstools protecting me, allowing me to watch kids destroy themselves in the “pit” without actually getting any drool on me. The fellas really hit a home run this year and the crowd was an entertaining mess.

#3) Horriblefest 4 – I think that the guys in Homostupids are truly humble fellows who are probably uncomfortable with some of the accolades people (like myself) lump on them. They usually try and play the tiniest spaces of the bar, but at HF4 they played the big stage (or at least the floor in front of it) and they were fucking spectacular. The crowd was totally into it and very responsive and I think the boys in the band seemed every bit as capable of filling that large room with their beautiful music as they are cramming it into the dampest corner of the bar. They owned it this year, perhaps the most triumphant Homostupids set I have ever seen.

#2) Horriblefest 1 – I will always remember this one fondly, as it was my first Homostupids experience. They played at the Blacklist Gallery (which was a great venue) and I knew nothing about them except that someone from 9 Shocks Terror was in the band. They played early if I remember right and they completely killed me. I thought they sounded like some kind of AmRep band at the time, but it might just have been the magic in the air that night. I think the power trio set up, Steven’s confident bass lines and Josh’s aggressive guitar assault had me thinking that. After the set I approached one of them and asked if they had any music available and was told to maybe check their Myspace page, they weren’t really sure about it though. A few weeks later ‘The Glow’ demo showed up in my mailbox.

#1) Horriblefest 3 – Living through this set was like coming back from WWII with all your limbs still intact. They played the bar area, but sort of where that big table is now, basically blocking the front door. I think this might be the angriest set I’ve ever seen the band play, and the crowd responded to it. Total brutality, people were getting destroyed left and right, it was like participating in a Battle Royal while trying to watch your favorite band play. The boys seemed pissed about something, they abused the crowd as much as I’ve ever seen them, and we were probably asking for it. I think Steven launched his bass into the audience at one point. It was total fucking destruction, but also immensely fun as I thankfully lived through it. I can’t say I wasn’t concerned for my well being at points, but sometimes that’s part of the thrill, right?

So that’s my rundown. Thanks to the ‘stupids for such great songs and sets and I look forward to seeing where they play this year. Outside? In the upstairs apartment? On the bar? In the ladies room? Wherever they decide, I’ll be there, and I’m positive it will be great.

Horriblefest starts this Thursday, if there’s any event in the world I could endorse, this would be it. Check out the full line-up here, buy advance tickets here , and check out Now That’s Class here . And be sure to visit My Mind’s Eye and Hausfrau Records while you have some downtime. I’ll see you guys there.