When punk-junkie poet Jim Carroll released his near-hit single "People Who Died" back in 1980, who could have guessed that the needle-wielding New Yorker would go on to live three more decades?
Other musicians, of course, haven't been so lucky: Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis hanged himself in his Manchester kitchen, T-Rex's Marc Bolan died in a car crash two weeks shy of his 30th birthday, Manic Street Preachers' Richey Edwards inexplicably vanished off the face of the earth, and Dead Boys frontman Stiv Bators is, well, dead.
But Carroll and his deceased brethren will all rise from the grave this Halloween weekend — if only for one song each — when The Rat Bastards play their "Rocking Dead" shows Friday night at the Triple Nickel and Saturday at McCabe's.
A one-off group featuring Danny Stewart, Chuck Snow, Collin Estes (who occasionally reviews CDs for this paper), Alan Stiles and Chris Schutz, the band promises bastardized homages to all of the above, as well as signature songs by The Clash, Johnny Thunders, The Gun Club, The Velvet Underground, Hüsker Dü, the Modern Lovers, New Model Army and numerous other bands in varying states of decomposition.
The nostalgia doesn't end there. On Friday night, Jack Quinn's will play host to the less-morbid Monsters of Mock. Veteran mocker Mike Stephens will be fronting The Wild Ones, Forever, a tribute to Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. They'll be joined by The Chain, a Fleetwood Mac cover band featuring the three-way vocal talents of Kellie Palmblad as Stevie Nicks, Jeff Fuller as Lindsey Buckingham, and Lauren Andrus as Christine McVie.
In addition to the Halloween gig, you can also catch MoM at the Triple Nickel this Thursday and at McCabe's on Nov. 15.
Other All Hallows' Eve festivities around town include a Black Sheep performance by legendary British metallions Carcass, who were fawned over in this column last week.
Sunshine Studios' Halloween Metal Mash is also this Friday, and will feature the dulcet tones of He Kill3, Icarus Echoes, Cosmic Waste, Flannel Surf and the ubiquitous Many More.
We should also send a shout-out to local rockin' bluesman Johnny Graves, if only because he uses that name all year long. Graves and his band The Blue Waves will be holding court at the C'mon Inn this Friday.
And then there's the Hallowstrange Tour II at Rawkus, featuring Kutt Calhoun, Prozak, Flawless and a half dozen other horrorcore emcees.
This will be one of Calhoun's first shows since leaving Tech N9ne's Strange Music stable. No longer beholden to the theatrical excesses of his Juggalo-approved boss, the Kansas City native (whose mood will likely be influenced by the results of last night's World Series game) is finally free to wear the Halloween costume of his own choosing.
"Kutt's always been different," Tech said to HipHopDX following Calhoun's departure from his label and live shows. "He didn't really like the scrubs onstage. Kutty is a lot cooler, you know, a lot more hip and a lot more stylish."
You can also count on co-headliner Prozak, a Michigan-based rapper who's still on the Strange Music roster, to keep the spirit alive with holiday-themed tracks like "The Hitchcock of Hip-Hop," "Monster Inside," and "Psycho, Psycho, Psycho."