Patti Smith thought he was a latter-day Rimbaud; Jack Kerouac called him the best young writer around. He worked for Andy Warhol, partied with...well, everyone, and has seen his most famous book made into a major motion picture. Jim Carroll has lived many lives, surviving them all with a nonchalant aplomb that would've sent most people to the grave; but perhaps it's his catlike tenacity that has allowed him to continue in his role as journalist of the damned. He has proven to be a skilled and even-handed observer of the degradation around and inside of him, leaving startling and intriguing documents for readers and listeners to wonder at. His most potent and notorious song, "People Who Died," is an unforgettable anthem about the addicts and freaks who have passed out of his life. It's a potent mixture of raw, fast-paced rock 'n' roll and downtown poetry delivered in the songwriter's emotional, strained voice. He sounds as if he's desperately searching for catharsis or redemption. One can hear this on his 2000 EP Runaway as well; witness lines such as, "So I think it's time / That you all start to think about getting by / Without the need to go out and find / Somebody to love" (from "It's Too Late"). The quintessential loner, Carroll demands of himself and his audience that we extract meaning and some sort of salvation from our experiences. That's what he's been doing since he was thirteen.