What better way to celebrate the Halloween season than with an avant-garde prog metal guitarist/composer who never leaves home without his Michael Myers-style blank white face mask and KFC bucket crown? Yes, I'm referring to Buckethead, who brings his freak show to the Bay area this Thursday. Buckethead is probably best known by mainstream audiences for his stint as lead guitarist in Guns n' Roses, a four-year post he mysteriously abandoned in '04. The reasons for his departure remain unclear, though having to work professionally with Axl Rose probably had a lot to do with it. Either way, Buckethead has continued to be a prolific force in music; last year alone, he put out 28 albums, some as a solo artist, others as part of his variety of projects. He's also managed to earn the respect of his peers along the way; Dave Mustaine once said that Buckethead "is probably twice as good a guitar player as me and Slash combined." Thurs., Oct. 23, 8 p.m., The Garage Bar, 662 Central Ave., downtown St. Petersburg, $18 in advance/$20 day of, myspace.com/stpetegaragebar.