by Pat Moran
Marilyn Manson's campy trash-metal smears industrial grime over crunchy glam-rock songs that paint him as the bastard spawn of Ziggy Stardust and a tapeworm. The songs - catchy, sleazy and scary as Scooby Doo - are great fun. Like his blueprint and recent tour mate Alice Cooper, Manson is past his heyday, but in the '90s his shock-rock assault on mainstream mores made him the darling of disaffected teens while outraging pillars of the community. Nowadays, when said pillars like Bank of America are far more dangerous than anything Manson imagined, the Antichrist Superstar seems a little quaint. While Manson's dedication to free thinking and depravity was always more marketing than crusade, he still seems to believe his own press. He admires Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey, often spouting that spooky charlatan's sub-Ayn Randian "survival of the fittest" nonsense. Still, Manson's erratic attention-whore antics are refreshing when so many rock stars have cleaned up their acts. Recently, he re-enacted the suicide attempt of Michael Jackson's daughter, Paris. It was a typical Mansonian mash-up of obnoxious showboating and heartfelt support for a troubled teen. Predictably, Manson's confused "tribute" failed, but bless his little black heart for trying. With Picture Me Broken. $58. July 15, 8 p.m. The Fillmore, 1000 N.C. Music Factory Blvd. 704-916-8970.