It’s a shame that after spending the majority of his years putting a fresh slant on the tragic boho lifestyle, Jim Carroll had to gain fame in a longform MTV-video version of his teen-junkie manifesto, The Basketball Diaries. For a guy who owes his career to his own myth, Carroll has never been one to overplay his image; still, his poetry has always been dwarfed by his best writing (“People Who Died,” which is actually a punk song) and a habit of living the low life. Tonight, Carroll will play the bard, as he has since the dissolution of his band over a decade ago, reading verse in a fashion I’d expect to be reminiscent of his last recording, 1991’s Praying Mantis. Opening will be local band Please and local poet Silvana Straw. At 9:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $10. (202) 667-7960. CP