Monday, October 20, 2008

The Orange Spotlight

Christopher Cunningham In Gambler's Blood (Kendra Steiner Editions #110, Sept. 2008)

"The air is heavy with rent money and pain."

I've never been much of a gambler in life or at the tables. In fact, I've only been to the casino once and it was rather a sad scene. Mostly elderly folks parked in front of video games blowing what's left of their pensions and social security checks. They are hopeful but lost with no other place to go. I left feeling empty and $20 lighter, and I knew I would never return. Then I saw the movie 21, which is as much about gambling as it is about living, and became intrigued. It's about systems and risks, and pushing yourself and the rules in place to their furthest limits. I wasn't inspired to gamble in Casino's, but I was moved to take more risks and take a few leaps.

In Christopher Cunningham's latest chapbook, he finds inspiration in not the blood of a gambler, but in the sound of the great spaghetti western composer Ennio Morricone. He brings to life the felt and plastic, the adrenaline and compulsion, the thrill of sadness, and the knowledge that you will never win. There is an ever present feeling that you should be somewhere else, that you should be home.

Not only is In Gambler's Blood a wonderful collection of poetry, but included in each book is an original water color hand painted and signed. There were only 60 copies printed of this collections and I am holding copy #29, so order your today.

Adron Adron (New Street Records, July 1st, 2008)

Musically Adrienne McCann (a.k.a. Adron) is well beyond the twenty years that she has been alive. On her self-titled debut she has woven a tapestry of gentle folk, tropical rhythms and melodies, and a sense of nostalgia that gives this album a classic feel. Adrienne also has an impressive vocal range, shifting from an intimate purr to a billy Holiday-like swoon to burlesque false to. Where Adron shows her age is lyrically, but they are not childish in anyway. They are a mixture of innocence and clarity that clearly illustrate the life a young girl just beginning to understand her role in the world. She is stretching her wings ("Airplane"), but remembers warmly her youth ("Blanket Fort"). It's a heart-felt confusion we all felt and worked through at one time, Adrienne's process just happens to be a beautiful and meaningful debut album that will leave everyone wondering what will come next.

Airplanes/Walking Home/Arabia Lights/Blanket Fort/Never Leave My Room Again/Ave, Etc./Bicicleta (mp3)/Slimesmile/Stringsong (mp3)/Undefined

1 comment:

christopher cunningham said...

thanks for the mention jason; I'm glad you enjoyed the chap. Bill Shute is always a pleasure to work with, and I really enjoyed the Morricone angle/inspirado.

on a side note, the cover photo was taken by my lady, cynthia etheridge, a damn fine photographer, chef, jewelry maker and all around artist (plus, she even tolerates me)...