downtown dirt by manhole: It’s Halloween! (Or: “Give me a treat, bitch…”)

ghost-31324_640The Eve of All Hallows is fast approaching, and there is no better place to celebrate the Season of Fright in this bewitching little burg we call K-town than at Preservation Pub and Scruffy City Hall. And it is a season hereabouts, a month-long celebration of fright and fancy during the darkening, dread-filled autumnal season.

Already, we’ve witnessed such awful and awe-inspiring events as performances from the Bath Salt Zombies, Teenage Love13 and Red as Blood, all three of whom have played Scruffy City Hall in the latter half of October. And, truly, if you’ve never seen Teenage Love13 vocalist Rus Harper take the stage, yowling like a scalded banshee, a freakish fright wig of hair framing his naturally ghoulish countenance, then you have yet to make the full acquaintance of Terror.

Also this month, we hosted the Knoxville Horror Film Festival BBQ Banquet, a nasty little carnivorous blood bath (we shudder to think about whence came the meat presented on that banquet table, never mind the ingredients of that sauce…) that featured, appropriately enough, a showing of the terror classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Now would be apt time to announce, with the Eve itself coming down upon us, that the Benefactors at the Pub and SCH have declared the theme for this year’s Halloween celebration on our little corner of Market Square will be “Outer Space”… do with that what you will. Or else ignore it, if you want to, say f@#$ it all and come out to the party dressed as Liza Minnelli or My Little Pony, or some other damned thing…

The point is, you’ll need to come dressed as something, other than just yourself, for occasions such as “Downtown” Randall Brown’s Halloween Spooktacular, oct. 29 at Scruffy City Hall. Over the course of what promises to be a truly hideous evening, the Spooktacular will feature comedy, music from both Brown’s own Quartjar and Rus Harper’s other long-running and equally scarifying outfit Evil Twin, a few “Halloween Surprises,” and an appearance by… the ghost of Paul Lynde???…

Don’t ask me; I just work here.

On Oct. 30, guitar prodigy Johnny Monster will play Preservation Pub, while Scruffy City Hall hosts, that very same evening, Backup Planet and special guests the Great Barrier Reefs, who will be scoring an Alfred Hithcock suspense classic, which will be showing on the big screen at the rear of the SCH stage.

Also that evening — as if there weren’t already plenty of stuff to do — in the spirit of Halloween dress-up, local Talking Heads tribute act Same As It Ever Was will bring their ‘Heads homage to the stage on Market Square.

And now we get to the really good stuff, the night of Halloween, Oct. 31, featuring a veritable multi-disciplinary entertainment extravaganza hosted by electro-goth piano rockers Hudson K, along with Madre, Senryu, Tina Tarmac and the Burns, and… wait for it… a special performance featuring the Claire Metz Firedancers.

Ms. Metz, of course, being Knoxville’s premiere Tribal Fusion Belly Dance artist, a dancer, teacher and troupe leader who is also versed in the art of Poi, a traditional Maori practice that encompasses fire dancing, among many other strange and terrible things…

But in the meanwhile, as the month of October prepares for yet another ghastly finish, I would be remiss if I did not announce a couple other points of autumnal interest, including the new fall menu at Uncorked on Market Square. If you loved the exquisite foodie-friendly cuisine of Chef Terri Roberts, but still yearned for a bit of the comfort food that marked Uncorked/Oodles menus of old, then you will love the new selection of entrees. (Hint: the hanger steak with mashers and drunken collard greens is worth dying for, several times again.)

Soon enough, we’ll be gearing up for the Scruffy City Comedy Festival in mid-November. Until then, make your own fun…

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