Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Orange Spotlight

Juliet Cook Planchette (Blood Pudding Press, 2008)

"Lolling back, licking wisps of
vintage cashmere, caramel dolls.
Time release ruffles ripple from my
knee socks. I'm dolled up like
a luminous daybook page, a dreamy soothsayer
with my sacred white eyeshadow."
~ from "Hippomancy"

Planchette, the title truly sets the tone for this haunting ten poem collection, as every good little goth knows this is the triangular instrument used on the Ouija board. Juliet does play soothsayer, summoning the souls of the past, the souls hidden in your great grandmother's attic, hidden behind the glass eye of the porcelain doll on the dusty shelf in you great aunt's parlor, and collects all of their pain and wisdom to give a little insight into the future. The book itself is handmade, ribbon bound and is adorned with two little pink jewels. As Juliet so devilishly puts it, "Some of these petite tomes have light blue covers with sandstone-colored innards. Some of them have sandstone-colored covers with light blue innards. All of them have naughty little deckled edges." For all of the canopy beds, spider eggs in doll eyes, snails, ooze and fizz, there is always a very genuine undertones behind all of the Gothic glitz and pale glamour. There is the humanity of the experience detailed in "Cataract" or the reality of being forced to take your medicine in "Stained Bloomers" that really drive this collection.

Dawn Landes Fireproof (Cooking Vinyl, March 2008)

"When it's hard to breathe in the city/It's easier to drink/Come to my house/We'll sit in the dark and try not to think/About the green fields/The way the land feels/All we left behind" ~ from "Dig Me A Hole"

Upon first listen it would nearly impossible to guess that Dawn Landes recorded this album in New York City, in fact the album seems to draw more on her roots in Louisville, Kentucky. However, it wasn't until she made it to New York that her music began to take shape. It is almost as though she could fully process where she was until she moved forward, moved beyond her hometown and into tomorrow.

Lyrically, Fireproof is about stepping beyond what is known today, facing the fear of being alone, of being unknown, arriving in a new reality and being completely fireproof. Musically, this album is rich with traditionial folk sounds, but there are moments when the musical explorations match Dawn's personal journey and reach out for something new and exciting.

Bodyguard (mp3)/I Don't Need No Man/Tired of the Life/Twilight/Private Little Hell/Picture Show/Kids in a Play/Toy Piano/Dig Me a Hole/I'm in Love with the Night/Goodnight Lover/You Alone

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