Video of the Day


Alex Carnevale

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen

Reviews Editor
Ethan Peterson

This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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In Which Keira Knightley Will Be Our Lesbian Bride

Keira Knightley and The Duchess

by Molly Young

Beauty is subjective, but Keira Knightley's beauty is less subjective than most. She is classically beautiful, and this is why she does so well in period films: her face lends itself to any time period. If Scarlett Johansson is sexiness incarnate, then Keira Knightley is Beauty with a capital B.

Her face is a funny one, shallow and broad and not unlike a mask in its dimensions. Pay close attention and you'll see that it is ten inches wide and two inches deep. She has caterpillar eyebrows, crooked teeth and a prominent underbite; in moods of consternation her great jaw thrusts itself forward like a mandible. Occasionally her lips look like Dilbert lips:

See what I mean

But do not be mistaken. All of these things are evidence in support of Keira's beauty. Great beauties are mysterious; they are the result of unlikely combinations. Think of Louise Brooks, Marlene Dietrich, Veruschka, Kate Moss.

Another Keira comparison can be found in Audrey Hepburn. Both women are beautiful but unsexy. Is it their skinniness? Their delicacy? In any case, they are awesome but not alluring in the fleshly sense. For this reason both are more popular among women than men. Movie execs have taken note: Keira is more frequently cast in movies targeted toward women than other actresses her age (Megan Fox, Scarlett Johansson.)

An underbite makes you look determined; an overbite makes you look dumb. Proof: Cletus from The Simpsons

The Duchess, like most period films, is plainly designated for female consumption. When I bought my ticket, the men accompanying their girlfriends looked like kids being dragged around an exhibit of Impressionist paintings. If only they knew how much period films have in common with sci-fi/fantasy films!

To wit: the key to one's absorption in a period or sci-fi film lies in how well the filmmakers present their imaginary cosmos. Children of Men did it beautifully. Ditto The Matrix and the Harry Potter films. Marie Antoinette tried to fuck with the formula, and it failed for those who don't align themselves exactly with Sofia Coppola's tastes.

Words not used in this piece that also apply to Keira Knightley: tasteful, mischievous, soigné, pear-shaped.

If the filmmakers do their job, both kinds of movie will evoke a sense of disbelief and absorption that other genres of film can't summon. By these standards, The Duchess scores highly. As in most cases, the pleasure is in the details: candle-snuffers, fuzzy wigs, the imprint of corset lacings on Keira Knightley's back. Is it all accurate? I'm not sure. But the sum is convincing, and that is the point.

Now, this was supposed to be a review of The Duchess, but I can't quite remember the plot. There is a boorish husband, a slutty friend, and many child-rearing complications. Even in the theater, these things fall to the wayside. You need only to look at the advertisements to see that The Duchess is a star vehicle, and that a review of the movie is a review of Keira Knightley. We shan't forget her soon!

Molly Young is the contributing editor to This Recording. She frolics here.

"Shine" - Ben Lee (mp3)

"Milk Thistle" - Conor Oberst (mp3)

"Discover the Lovelier You" - Pernice Brothers (mp3)

Look at her. She's a work of art! Can you be attracted to a work of art


The Age Of Innocence

The King Of Comedy

The Color Of Money


In Which Carrie Fisher Defines "Blowsiness"

Princess Lei-Lei Is Cray-Cray

by Molly Lambert

Carrie Fisher exemplifies the quality of blowsiness. We cherish blowsiness. Stevie Nicks is blowsy. Laura Kightlinger is blowsy. Bobbie Barrett is very blowsy. Heart might be the blowsiest band. But Carrie Fisher is not only the blowsiest, she is the second generation inheritor of Debbie Reynolds' legendary mantle of blowsiness.

Wikipedia tells me that Debbie currently resides in Los Angeles next door to her daughter Carrie, and her granddaughter, Billie. WHY IS THIS NOT A REALITY SHOW YET? It would be like a Hollywood version of Grey Gardens on Bravo. Fuck the American Kath & Kim remake, I want Debbie & Carrie on a double bill with Kathy Griffin's reality show.

Debbie Reynolds circa 1965

Anyway here's a blowsy interview with Carrie, who got nominated for an Emmy for her guest turn on 30 Rock. If Carrie wins, she should celebrate by taking the Jonas Brothers to Mexico.

Q: You have had trophy opportunities, including a BAFTA nomination for the Postcards From the Edge script

A: I don't really pay attention. I don't have a good memory anymore. I know I got a Los Angeles Pen Award for Postcards the novel, and I get a lot of awards for being mentally ill. It's a lovely combo.

Q: On 30 Rock, you played drunken TV writer Rosemary Howard, an idol of Tina Fey's Liz Lemon. How was it to play this crazy lady?

A: She was a pill addict, too. Not a big reach. I have never officially been a drinker, though. She is a pathetic creature. I am friends with Alec Baldwin, and he was great to work with. I loved when he yelled, "Don't ever make me talk to a woman that old again!"

Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher, & Pat Boone

Q: Will you attend the Emmy ceremony?

A: I don't think I can because I am on tour. I've never gone to an awards ceremony, but I've written for them. That is the best way to go. As a writer.

Q: You worked on the Oscar show three times, including in 2002

A: That was fun, because I was fighting with Wanda Sykes (a co-writer) the whole time. The first two times I was paid with one of those gift baskets — they are so awesome. That's why I did it as much as anything. But the last time, they stopped giving out baskets. Bummer. I don't care if they charge taxes. It's like having a really great Easter. Who wants chocolate when you can get mattresses and watches?

Q: How is your stage show going?

A: I do miss my daughter, Billie. I keep having nightmares about her when I am not seeing her. She's not that interested in me. She's in the 11th grade. I did not like my mother at that age. But the show is doing really well. My crowd is gay, the mentally ill and seniors.

Photograph of me and Tess Lynch, circa Mad Men

Tess and I heard some Conor Oberst in a store recently. Tess made a face that people only make when they realize they're being unconsciously subjected to Conor Oberst.

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording.

"Lenders in the Temple" - Conor Oberst (mp3)

"Get-Well-Cards" - Conor Oberst (mp3)

"Cape Canaveral" - Conor Oberst (mp3)


Lesbians Are Awesome

Abortions Are Awesome

Films Of The 1970s Are Awesome


In Which We Negotiate With the Tsonians of Zablon IV

Christmas Times One Billion

by Alex Carnevale

By now you know all about the Portia-Ellen wedding. It is comparable to the moment in The 40 Year Old Virgin when he bangs Catherine Keener. It is the Andrew Sullivan wedding photoset times one million. It is the paper bag floating around in American Beauty while you're simultaneously googling yourself.

It is the California Raisins Christmas special while your mom hands you a Super Nintendo before any of your friends have it. It is the way Don Draper's penis feels in your vagina, except it is two blond lesbians getting married.

If you haven't seen it:


We have to assume Portia's going to be the vessel because the former Amanda Lee Rogers is just 35 while Ellen is 50. Handicapping the contest to be Portia's baby daddy:

5 to 1: Tom Brady. Brady's already reproduced, but it's not like he has anything else to do for the next year. We are begging someone to come up with a Jack Brady fansite. How mad is Gisele that she has to pretend to like Bridget Moynahan's son?

12 to 1: Mickey Rourke. Could his titular role in Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler catapult him to copulate with Portia in the original Battle of the Blondes? No.

6 to 1: David Cross. What a feel good cross promotional tool for the coming Arrested Development movie! Plus, whatever offspring comes of his current pairing, it will probably be a bald, unemployed comedy writer anyway - might as well take a shot with Ellen and Portia. Frankly, I wouldn't say no to Bob Odenkirk's sea men either.

3 to 1: Clint Eastwood. Have you jackasses ever seen this picture? You don't walk to get this man's jam in a jar, you RUN.

32 to 1: Danish Aziz. After my dad met Danish, he asked me, "why does that kid say alt-bro so much?" Danish is reportedly available. The fact that he can't tell Lez from Hetero means that he's the perfect choice for your neighborhood sperm receptacle.

8 to 1: Ryan Seacrest. Perfect tabloid father with a growing business and superior motivation to become the next Dick Clark, plus short kids cost less money in clothes and food. (Fact.) More importantly he may never get another chance to have a Ryan Seacrest production.

spinning space celebrity couples

As we have said before, a culture is defined by its celebrity couples. In fact, interstellar relations largely consists of expressing adulation for the celebrity couples of another planet. Why do you think the entire Pegasus galaxy is in the tank for Obama?

Currently there are a large number of Threat Level Five celebrity couples. This is causing problems in our negotiations with the gelatinous people of lower Neptune, and it's making Veronica Mars fans puke their lunches up.

Does Tom Brady's ACL make him unable to bring Gisele to climax? This is a dark possibility. Is Matt Cassel able to fill in there? How much would that sex tape go for?

the divorce watch for kim and reggie bush is on and they haven't even gotten married yet

Football pairings induce mass panic in the good Tsonian people of Zeblon IV. At the rate that Kim Kardashian's ass is expanding, it may end up pissing off Mars as well. She no doubt whispers in his ear during intercourse, "Reggie, this is way better than when I banged Ray J in my video, honest!" and reassuring him that his inadequacy in fantasy football hasn't translated into the bedroom or the quality of their long talks.

The most important part of any coupling is communication. In other words, you're probably in love with whoever you like talking to the most. And I'm sorry but I'm about a hundred percent sure the Mac guy doesn't like talking to Kirsten Dunst, he just likes having anemically-thin naked touching with her and telling all his friends about it. He's the first person to be able to compare sex with Drew Barrymore and Kirsten Dunst, but he damn sure won't be the last.

michelle williams und spike jonze

As much as we like to imagine that Kirsten only kisses upside down, more serious concerns lurk in the Spike Jonze-Michelle Williams coupling. At a bar recently, the Post reported that Jonze told several of his friends, "She's dumb but she's hot," which is the same thing Levi Johnston told his hockey buddies before his fiance tore into another box of Twinkies and moose biscuits.

he's great with kids

When you are smarter than your other, a knowing gap slowly expands between the two of you. You might comment absentmindedly about a Hipster Runoff tumblr post, and your other will be like, "I didn't know Carles had a tumblr," and your estimation of your partner will shrink as you flush with embarrassment.

Research has proven that individuals of a similar IQ level seek each other out, a fact that doesn't seem to have made its way to Tony Romo's entourage.

At this point in the offseason-long relationship, and after Jessica's stop-and-start performance at the VMAs, you have to believe that Tony is officially in, "How in God's name do I get out of this single and with a Super Bowl Ring?" territory. If he and Terrell Owens ever really got together, they could out-Ellen Ellen. For my female readers who are unaware of this priceless videoclip, we replay the greatest postgame speech in NFL history:


Hollywood isn't the only place with couples famous to me. Tumblr's very own Nabokov, pocketnovel flew to NY for some intra-tumblr love that turned into a lengthy sobfest for fellow tumblhead Peter W. Knox. Referred to as 'the boy' on pocketnovel.tumblr.com, a shot of Knox's Astoria subway stop got the rumor brewing that Knox was 'the boy.'

some of the activites knox and pocketnovel presumably engaged in

Embarrassed by his public outing, Knox shrank from pocketnovel's touch, as she continuously updated her blog all night as she cried in his bed. Where is a Kevin Smith adaptation of this heartening true story? This moment surely deserves cinematic embodiment from the likes of Andrew Bujalski at the very least!

Let me get back to Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell for a second. Since I only want what I can't have, it really angers me that Kristen Bell is now saying that I can get with her if I tried hard enough. What if Corey Feldman is going to kill himself and improve the world immeasurably, and he starts reading this post, and he's like, "I won't take my own life because I should at least give Kristen Bell a call first"?

This is the butterfly flapping its wings theory of celebrity couples, formulated when Bruce Willis went on vacay with Ashton and Demi, and suddenly 9/11 happened. That's correct: celebrity couplings caused 9/11, and John Mayer dumping Jennifer Aniston appears to have indirectly caused Obama to call Sarah Palin 'a pig' and lose this election for the Democrats.

Was it worth it John Mayer, you greasy fuck?

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording.

tom didn't want to come home to that?

"Los Angelenos" - Billy Joel (mp3)

"Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out On Broadway)" - Billy Joel (mp3)

"Everybody Loves You Now" - Billy Joel (mp3)

did they think they were getting keira knightley?

"I've Loved These Days" - Billy Joel (mp3)

"She's Got a Way" - Billy Joel (mp3)

yankee fan tom brady doesn't even have the bombers to watch in the playoffs


Lindsay & Samantha

Anything's up for grabs on the internet

Natalie & Scarlett

Justin Jessica Kate & Lance

Scarlett & Obama

Cross and Joan of Arcadia

if you've ever seen people about six months away from becoming scientologists, this is it


A Rose For Emilys

The Sparring Couple

Claire plays Fuck/Marry/Kill with the candidates.

you'll always be veronica mars to us bb


In Which The Time To Sate Our Search Engine Referrals Is Now

Inside the Pink Palace of Jayne Mansfield


One of the funniest things about the internet is that no matter how much better it gets, how much more intellectual or culturally valuable, its primary use will always be pornography. I think of the web as an encyclopedia with a dirty magazine shoved inside.

We may get some hits for poetry but our top search term every single day for awhile was Jayne Mansfield. Which leads me to believe that the majority of the internet is dirty old men whose last cultural masturbatory touchstone is Jayne Mansfield. I also imagine that they are using a library computer to search for naked pics of Jayne, and that their bathrobes are flapping open.

With all the focus on Lindsay Lohan’s terrible embarrassing decision to display her freckled mams in New York magazine, she recalls not so much Marilyn Monroe as Mansfield, who became more well known for her publicity stunts than her acting. Jayne may have originated the photographed purposeful nipple slip, though it’s hard to tell where such an ancient trope began.

Marilyn Monroe based her own Gold Digging Blonde screen persona on her favorite actress, Jean Harlow, with aspects of their mutual hero Mae West. Madonna based herself on all of them, and Anna Nicole Smith was the embarrassing drunk girl who eats all the cake at the party.

Jean Harlow, foreshadowing Christina Hendricks

Jayne Mansfield is the real predecessor to today’s media attention hungry harlots like Britney Spears, and Lohan. Or as Emily Gould’s rival pub quiz team called her, “Sad Eyed Lindsay Of The Lohans.”

Jayne with Groucho Marx (as George Schmidlap) in WSSRH

Jayne made two great films with Frank Tashlin, a former Warner Brothers animator who branched out into directing films. The Girl Can’t Help It and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? channel the manic sight-gag heavy energy of Looney Tunes into live action. And Jayne Mansfield is a human cartoon, a caricature of voluptuousness to make even Sophia Loren jealous.


Mansfield was a Playmate of the Month in Playboy, in February 1955 (preceded by Bettie Page and succeeded by Marilyn Waltz). Mansfield won several beauty contests while living in Texas, including Miss Photoflash, Miss Magnesium Lamp, and Miss Fire Prevention. The one title she turned down was Miss Roquefort Cheese, because it “just didn’t sound right.”

Frequent references have been made to her very high intelligence quotient. Mansfield advertised her I.Q. as 163, spoke five languages, and was a classically trained pianist and violinist, but such intellectual abilities were inconsequential to her career. Mansfield admitted her public didn’t care about her brains. “They’re more interested in 40-21-35,” she said

Jayne married bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay, and they had a daughter, Mariska Hargitay, who stars as on Law & Order: SVU as the totally awesome Detective Olivia Benson. Mariska founded a foundation for sexually abused women and has her own perfume called XO, M.

In 1963 Mansfield became the first mainstream American actress to appear in the nude with a starring role in the film Promises! Promises! Photographs of a naked Mansfield on the set were published in Playboy.

In one notorious set of images Mansfield stares at one of her breasts, as does her male secretary and a hair stylist, then grasps it in one hand and lifts it high. The sold-out issue resulted in an obscenity charge for Hugh Hefner which was later dropped.

By the late 1950s, Mansfield began to generate a great deal of negative publicity due to her repeatedly successful attempts to expose her breasts in carefully staged public “accidents.” Her bosom was so much a part of her public persona that talk-show host Jack Paar once welcomed the actress to The Tonight Show by saying, “Here they are, Jayne Mansfield.”

Early in her career, the prominence of her breasts was considered problematic, leading her to be cut from her first professional assignment, an advertising campaign for General Electric, which depicted several young women in bathing suits relaxing around a pool.

Throughout her career, Mansfield was compared to the reigning sex symbol of the period, Marilyn Monroe. Of this comparison, she said, “I don’t know why you people like to compare me to Marilyn or that girl, what’s her name, Kim Novak. Cleavage, of course, helped me a lot to get where I am. I don’t know how they got there.”

Marilyn Monroe as vamp Theda Bara, for Richard Avedon

Jayne Mansfield’s reliance on the racy publicity that had set her path to fame would also prove to be her downfall. Fox did not renew its contract with her in 1962. Even with her film roles drying up she was widely considered to be Monroe’s primary rival in a crowded field of contenders including Mamie Van Doren (whom Mansfield considered her professional nemesis).

Jayne Mansfield being Classy.

Mamie Van Doren is alive (!!) and has a sexy blog (!!!!).

In 2008, at age 77, Van Doren and her husband, Thomas, maintain her popular and controversial web site. Here she sells autographed “nipple prints” and homemade short films starring herself, such as ‘A Girl and Her Banana.’

Classy classy Scarlett J. Boobsalot

Jayne’s ridiculous figure made inevitably her a cartoon of a cartoon, despite her considerable intellect and acting skills. She accepted it and became the living embodiment of the kind of intense pink girliness Julia Allison aspires to, with a similar emphasis on spectacular racks. “I don’t know how they got there!”

Sophia Loren. NSFW. I’m straight but I can’t stop staring. So hot!

Marilyn, Jayne, and Jean all died tragically. Jayne in a car crash, Jean of kidney failure, and Marilyn of an OD.

Jayne’s Heart Shaped Headstone with the engraving “We Live To Love you More Each Day”

Siouxsie & the Banshees wrote a song called Kiss Them For Me about the death of Jayne Mansfield. It alludes to the Cary Grant flop co-starring Jayne as a ditzy bimbo in her last real role. The Siouxsie song is awesomely spooky. The video makes reference to Jayne’s heart shaped pool at her Pink Palace.

Jean Harlow

I think Kenneth Anger put forth the rumor in Hollywood Babylon that Mansfield was decapitated. It’s untrue, as are reports that Jayne was a member of Anton LaVey’s Church Of Satan.

Apparently Jayne’s wig flew off when she was killed, leading to the speculation she’d been beheaded. Two of her kids, including a three year old Mariska, were asleep in the backseat during the accident. Mariska got a zig-zag scar on one side of her head.

Jean Harlow with Anita Loos. Loos is such an ur-Diablo Cody!

I’ve read Anita Loos’s autobiography, A Girl Like I, and it’s hilarious. Loos wrote the 1925 novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which was adapted in several forms. Loos wrote the screenplay for The Women and all kinds of sparklingly witty scripts and prose full of astute observations about gender and class.

Loos totally paved the way for heroes of mine like Amy Heckerling and Nora Ephron. But doesn’t she sort of look like Diablo? The emo haircut? The bottle jokingly poised above the starlet’s head? And gentlemen do prefer redheads, as Jean Harlow and Christina Hendricks show.

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording.


In Which We're Holding These Flowers For A Wedding Gown

Mommy Wants Her Happy Sticks

by Molly Lambert

C'mon Sean P, give Mommy her happy sticks

Ahhhh thank you jesus

Amy's Blaaaaaaaake is incarcerated for another 27 months.

Everyone knows I like a blond man, and Charlie Hunnam was a superfox on Undeclared, but I have to say he is channeling Spencer Pratt in these promo pix for Sons Of Anarchy, which kind of looks exactly like John From Cincinatti with motorcycles in place of surfboards

The Vanity Fair issue with the sexy Miley Cyrus pic sold like a trillion copies. We're trying to sell a zillion blogs by following suit with this seductive Han Mo shot.

also we're going to hell

Miley's scenemo brother Trace Cyrus loves to take a hot photoset

"b'scuse me?" says Nick Jonas

Hayden Panettiere gives us whatever the opposite of a boner is.

(A renob?)

Time to play Soccer Players or Brideshead Revisited?

Soccer Players?

or Brideshead Revisited?


Baltimore is shady? R.I.P. K-Swift. Someone call McNulty.

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She tumbls here.


"Everyone's a DJ" - Zookeeper (mp3)

"Moorestown" - Sun Kil Moon (mp3)

"Little Bird" - The Weepies (mp3)

"Baby Don't You Do It" - The Who (mp3)


Bernadette Mayer and our double secret picture collection.

Speculating about political futures.

Possible remedies for trouble sleeping.