AURAL FIXATION: The world of audio-book recordings steps out of the parlor to take a walk on the wild side--if we may so jumble our metaphors--with a unique dramatic adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Margaritaville Records, CD and cassette), by the Godfather of Gonzo, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.

The good doctor may be living on borrowed time as he celebrates the 25th anniversary of this cult classic, originally published in Rolling Stone in a two-part series; but this hilariously entertaining tribute ensures his immortality. Stellar performances include narration by Harry Dean Stanton, Maury Chaykin as Gonzo, and Jim Jarmusch as Duke. Also making guest appearances are Jimmy Buffet, Dan Castellaneta, Joan Cusak, Laurie Metcalf, and George Segal, among others. Producer Laila Nabulsi calls the project "a valentine to Hunter, a real labor of love from all the artists involved."

Searching Las Vegas in an ether haze for the American dream to the tunes of "One Toke Over the Line" and "Sympathy for the Devil," the recording is a red convertible roller-coaster ride through amphetamine psychosis and acid overdoses. Reminiscent of serialized radio dramas, this disk is a party for the imagination and a dream come true for any Thompson fan, complete with trippy cover art by Ralph Steadman.

PRESSING ISSUE: Paying our undying admiration to arts advocates is certainly a welcome gesture; but cash is ultimately more helpful. Local non-profit operation Kore Press, which has produced a number of beautiful books featuring both established and new women authors, has embarked on a landmark project to produce a bilingual chapbook and CD recording of new and selected poems by Ofelia Zepeda. The author, a nationally renowned linguist considered the most prominent Tohono O'odham-speaker writing poetry today, will read in both Tohono O'odham and English, with traditional Tohono

O'odham music interspersed throughout. "When the members of Kore first heard her gentle voice and the natural rhythms of the language, we were stunned by the emotional power of her work," write board members Karen Falkenstrom, Lisa Cooper and Lisa Bowden. Alas, the group was surprised to learn that grant funding for Jewed 'I-hoi/Earth Movements, had been denied; and now the project, which has already been recorded and prepared for typesetting, is in a precarious state of incompletion. Add them to your gift-giving list this year: They lack but $3,500 to meet their goal. Any amount is appreciated, with donations of $100 or more receiving a signed copy of the book and CD as soon as the project is released.

Contributions can be sent to: Kore Press, 101 W. Sixth St., No. 4, Tucson, AZ 85701. Call 882-7542 for information.

BORDERSNAKE RATTLE: Put on your trenchcoat and fedora and skulk under the pool of light from a sodium streetlamp with Bordersnakes, the latest Wild West detective story by James Crumley. The six-time novelist has a straight-forward style and droll sense of humor that'll draw you in to his twisted tale of two friends' road trip through Texas and Mexico on a hell-bent quest for revenge and money. Fans of the genre say Crumley adds renewed vigor to the hard-boiled gumshoe tradition.

Crumley hits the pavement himself for two signings on Friday, December 13: at 1:30 p.m. at Borders Books and Music, 4235 N. Oracle Road; and from 4 to 6 p.m. at Clues Unlimited, 16 Eastbourne in the Broadway Village Center. Call 292-1331 or 326-8533 for information.

FRESH POETS: See what the literary cool cats drag in as the winners of the local Fresh Poets Contest step up to the mike to read from original (and now award-winning) works at 8 p.m. Saturday, December 14, at Borders Books and Music, 4235 N. Oracle Road. The café lounge area has cushy chairs and plenty of caffeinated and herbal remedies to nurture patrons of the arts. Becky Byrkit, author of The Writers Voice and Range, is the event hostess. Call 292-1331 for information. TW

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