The partying reaches pagan proportions at Friday's Horror Rock Showcase -- four hours of satanic screaming designed to blow your Halloween mask off. The shriekfest sets the stage for a trio of goth-rock bands, including the Guttervamps (pictured), Cult of the Psychic Fetus, and the Coffin Bangers. "I wanted to have a theme that complemented Cleveland's horror-oriented rock acts," says Michael Morbid, the Guttervamps' singer and guitarist. "It's sometimes hard for us horror-rock bands to fit in on bills. So, this time of year, we really want to shine at events like this."
Between sets, DJ Fix will spin horror tunes from the Cramps to the Misfits, with old-school goth and metal thrown into the mix. The musical gloom and ghoulish doom is augmented by displays of "vampyric" art by Nightwalker, pagan crafts from Hawk's Nest, demonic clothing from GraveWear, and a fortune teller. "The Halloween mood will definitely be felt," Morbid says. "So, see Texas Chainsaw Massacre early, then come hang out with us." The Horror Rock Showcase is at 9 p.m. at the Phantasy, 11802 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood. Admission is $5. Call 216-228-6300 for more information. -- Cris Glaser
Queer on Campus
Kent throws a weeklong homofest.
The rainbow flag flies for Pride! Kent's Coming Out Week. Closet doors open Monday with San Francisco-based novelist Trebor Healey, whose Through It Came Bright Colors is about a cautiously queer suburban kid who falls for a young junkie. "I'm happy to be called gay, homo, fag, queer, and I'll thank you for calling me that," Healey says. Sex educators Dorian Solot and Marshall Miller host "Straight Answers to Gay Questions," a Tuesday workshop for heteros who want inside info on gay lifestyles. "There are no restrictions to the questions," says Angela Wicks, president of Pride! Kent. On Thursday, October 23, Jeff and Pam Ellis share their 16-year-old son's coming-out story and how it turned their lives upside down. Coming Out Week is at Kent State University in Kent. All events are free and start at 8 p.m.; call 330-672-2068. -- Cris Glaser
27th Time's a Charm
Stuart Woods returns with another thriller.
Stuart Woods has written travel and nonfiction books, but he's best known for crime thrillers. A lot of them. Since winning the Edgar Award in 1981 for Chiefs, Woods has averaged two books a year. "I like to absorb my readers for a few hours," he says. His 27th tome, Capital Crimes, brings back President Will Lee, first introduced in Chiefs. This time, Lee gets involved in a murder investigation centered on conservative politicos. "Crime is dramatic and fun to read about, as long as it's not happening to you," Woods says. He discusses his career at the Beck Center for the Arts (17801 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood) at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Admission is $35, which includes refreshments; call 216-226-8275. -- Melody Caraballo
Shadow's Child combines dance, songs, drums, puppetry, and jump rope in a culture-spanning tale of friendship and bravery. The story preaches tolerance and acceptance, but it's the lively stage action that enthralls. It's performed by the Urban Bush Women and the National Song and Dance Company of Mozambique at 8 p.m. Saturday at Tri-C Eastern Campus (4250 Richmond Road in Highland Hills). Tickets are $22, available by calling 216-241-6000. -- Michael Gallucci