Back From the Dead

Rigor Mortis were once "Condemned to Hell"--and irrelevance--but the Dallas metal legends have risen

After all, he seems to say it most succinctly in "Skincarver": "All the world will die/All the world will die/Ripped and skinned alive/All the world will die."

Not exactly "Crazy Train," is it? --Matt Hursh

Kat Care
To help hurricane victims, Samantha Noss put down her guitar and picked up hundreds of leashes

"[Being in a band] doesn't necessarily blend very well 
with... cleaning out shit from a cage," says Samantha 
Moss. Obviously, she's never played a gig with Mortiis.
"[Being in a band] doesn't necessarily blend very well with... cleaning out shit from a cage," says Samantha Moss. Obviously, she's never played a gig with Mortiis.

"Predominately, my world is rock and roll/scenester/whatever stuff," jetscreamer guitarist Samantha Moss says. "That doesn't necessarily blend very well with being on your hands and knees and cleaning out shit from a cage."

But after Hurricane Katrina, that changed for the Denton blues rocker. While others were clicking "Donate" on Web sites and dropping old T-shirts in collection bins, Moss took off of work, rented a car and started driving east until she reached the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, Louisiana, where rescued animals from New Orleans were being housed. "I wanted to help people," she says. "I wanted to do anything I could, and I've always loved animals." So she helped Katrina victims by caring for their critters--cleaning cages, refilling food and water bowls and walking dogs all hours of the day for five days straight. She and other volunteers slept on cots in one of the center's barns with a couple hundred pets and piddling rations such as cans of Beanee Weenee and crackers. Hot food, cool air and showers were rarities.

Moss has since returned to Denton, and the readjustment's been hard. "From now on, this is as much my life as music is," she says. "I can do both. But those worlds are so far apart, and it's figuring how to do it." She'd even considered canceling jetscreamer's New Music Festival set last month, knowing that the 100 bucks the band would spend on gas, parking, food and drinks was almost half the cost of returning to Lamar-Dixon. She insists she will eventually go back, but for now Moss is recruiting others to help by collecting money ("Buy Schlitz instead of Shiner for a week," she says) and fostering pets from the SPCA (she plans to adopt a Lamar-Dixon pit bull she calls Belle). She also posted journals and photos from the trip online (jetscreamertx.com/secretsam) to show others that making a difference is easier than they might think. "There are a lot of people who are wringing their hands and saying, 'I want to help,'" she says. "Well, quit saying that and go do something." --Shannon Sutlief

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