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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 New Yankee Stadium Reeks of the Old

Our series on New York rolls on as we celebrate the last days of Yankee Stadium.

We're Bad With Change

by Alex Carnevale

Since this is the dead and dying period of American life, the natural inclination is to work towards spiritual rebirth. In fiction (like that boring tome The Bible) the meme is always water. Here in New York there are massive construction projects to wipe the slate, to cleanse us of that dirty taste in our mouth.

The Old Yankee Stadium, which hosts its last Yankee game this coming Sunday, was not that building. The New Yankee Stadium is not that building, either.

the official farewell tour

Designed by HOK Sports, New Yankee Stadium shapes up to be as bad as the old one. The Red Sox made needed improvements to their ancient piece of history, Fenway Park, but in typical New York fashion the new announces itself with the wrong building. It incorporates all the disturbing capitalist excesses that doomed our markets with the usual Yankee churlishness. Does a baseball stadium really need a Hard Rock Cafe?

a-god in the flesh

As the Yankees find themselves out of the playoffs in the first time in forever, their spend-anything approach to management will create a massive behemoth of a new stadium (63% larger than the original!) that will house a gaudy new team. They'll shell out dollars to sign the likes of CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, thinking that will put them back into contention.

more pictures of new Yankee stadium here

If success were as easily as writing a check, the Yankees would be winners. But they're not.

The anger of the fanbase will be taken out on the franchise's most highly compensated player, Alex Rodriguez. It will be ignored by most that he may be the team's only quality above-average player at this point besides shortstop Derek Jeter, who is himself sliding towards replacement-level. Here is their new ballpark:

Stadium shots

The facade is reminiscent of the first Yankee Stadium facade. The lovely coloring and view of the structure down its third base line makes for a pleasing enough exterior. The real problem is with the interior lines of the ballpark.

In order to accommodate additional seating, much of the crowd will be farther and farther away from the action, lessening the feel of the current Yankee Stadium, where everything and everyone seems to be on top of the play on the field, while keeping intact the short porch for lefthanded hitters and the ugly nothingness behind the center field wall.

pricetag: $600 million dollars.

The new Shea Stadium, on the other hand, embodies all too well the spirited of fucked-upness that the denizens of Queens brought to their filthy, outdated ballpark day after day. That the minor league ugliness of an apple popping out every time a home run is hit is seriously being considered as part of the new stadium makes me weep.

It's only the utter ineptitude of the Dale Sveum-led Milwaukee Brewers that's allowed the Mets to stick around this long. Their bullpen consists of journeymen lefty and righty, none of whom has ever gotten an important out. Billy Wagner's left elbow says hi.

The Mets may back into the playoffs and "erase" the disappointment of last year's collapse, but their bullpen is already crying at the thought of giving up game-winning bombs to Ramirezs, Manny and Aramis. Despite the fact that being a Mets fan is as rewarding as rooting for an Arrested Development movie, at least Shea Stadium has as variegated a history as its Bronx brother.

The Beatles' visit to Shea, for example.

"There's A Place" - The Beatles (mp3)

"A Taste of Honey" - The Beatles (mp3)

"Do You Want To Know A Secret" - The Beatles (mp3)

"Baby It's You" - The Beatles (mp3)

Even now that they're the most successful baseball team in New York, the Mets have a lot of trouble selling out games. Yankee Stadium will attract a million more fans than Shea here. It's winning that brings fans to the ballparks, and the Yankees have done it long enough to be the big ticket in this city. Even if they go to the World Series this year, the Mets will never be New York's team.

more images of CitiField here

The Mets' new ballpark is also set to open in 2009. The large pavilion in front of the ballpark will either be a festival of corporate endorsements or a celebration of old New York. Guess which.

To that end the club has promised through its relationship with the MTA to offer additional gameday service that should make it nothing less than a pleasure to head to Shea/CitiField. The Yankees have countered with more Metro-North trains to bring in out-of-state dollars.

There was some talk of naming the new stadium after Jackie Robinson - for what reason, no one ever explained. The promised interior, seen above, actually reminds me of the old Shea Stadium, soon to make way for a parking lot. Technology at the expense of comfort, confusion at the expense of simplicity. At least the people in Queens know when to move on.

The new football complex at the Meadowlands may end up as the saddest structure ever built. Besides the pain of getting out to New Jersey, there is the inevitable disappointment of seeing the two most boring sports teams ever to take the stage.

Recent controversy has been over the Jets and Giants demanding thousands of dollars for PSLs (Personal Seat Licenses). The Jets will even auction off some of the field-level action on StubHub to make the most money off each seat. Longtime season ticket holders are being gouged, and they're not happy about it. Who would want to actually attend a football game in person in these high definition times?

The most interesting of the new stadium concepts was developed by tycoon Bruce Ratner, in a project conceived by Frank Gehry and titled Atlantic Yards. There has been moderate community opposition to this proposal, but it looks as if they will break ground very soon. It's tougher to build stadiums in cities because of community opposition and other lobbying interests. It's also important to build them there so that these Babel Towers doesn't cower in New Jersey, a place where we don't care if God sees us.

Save Flatbush! Oh, wait, actually...if you could build on top of it, that would be great.

The interior of the arena, a small part of the overhaul pacakge, is an exciting contemporary area, suited for concerts and other cultural events, expansive enough to keep prices down for the people of the area. It is the total opposite of the only New York arena stadium not being totally rethought, Madison Square Garden.

Unlike MSG, long called The World's Most Famous Arena, the new Nets area will have the luxury seating to attract corporate clientele currently sinking their dollars into the lowly New York Knicks, now captained by our favorite person in sports, Mike D'Antoni.

It would be naive not to recognize the true elephant in the room when it comes to all this New York building, and that's the 9/11. In a way the architects and businessmen are saying that the only way they know to compensate for loss, is bigger, better. Perhaps that's as it should be, but even so. The problem with these projects was detailed best by Ayn Rand in The Fountainhead: the idea that it takes a village to ruin a building.

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording. He lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

"The Walls Are Starting to Crack" - The Secret Machines (mp3)

"Under the Concrete" - The Secret Machines (mp3)

roark doin' what he does best

"Worried Shoes" - Daniel Johnston (mp3)

"Rocket Ship" - Daniel Johnston (mp3)


Find faith in television reruns.

In the house of stone and light.

The 80s were totally a simpler time.


In Which We Go to Far Rockaway

Our special series on New York continues today with Brian DeLeeuw's examination of Rockaway Beach. Enjoy.

images courtesy the bridge & tunnel club

Surf City USA

by Brian DeLeeuw

Sometimes the genius of a place is found not in its surprises, but instead in its more or less exact confirmation of your expectations. It’s gratifying when this happens, because it marks a rare intersection of how you think the world might be and how it actually is. The place takes on a sort of defiantly singular existence: it not only is a certain way, but also can’t even be imagined to be otherwise.

In precisely this fashion, if you were to envision a surfing spot lying within the borders of New York City, Rockaway Beach in far Southern Queens is pretty much what you’d be forced to come up with. Near the most popular surfing area, at Beach 92nd Street, wind-stripped bungalows and ominous project towers jostle up against the ocean. Police cars join the joggers and dog-walkers in a slow cruise down the boardwalk. There are rumors of locals duct-taping knives to the undersides of their surfboards to settle disputes over wave-etiquette. At high tide, the snaggle-toothed remains of scrapped piers lie concealed just beneath the water’s surface.

Maybe most New Yorkers don’t feel a particular need to entertain any specific idea of a hometown surf-spot. But for me, after twelve years of being a surfer who lives, but has never surfed, in New York City, my first visit to Rockaway Beach was more or less an exercise in a perverse sort of wish-fulfillment: in all its grimy juxtapositions, it was exactly as I thought (and hoped) I would find it.

Even surfers like me often forget that their city is unequivocally a coastal town, that the rivers and harbors and bays that encircle and subdivide the five boroughs are not just scenery and props, but the fingers of a very real and very unpredictable Atlantic Ocean. After passing underneath Crown Heights and East New York, then rising above ground and hooking south on Rockaway Boulevard, the A train shudders across a series of bridges spanning Jamaica Bay. Here, low-lying marshlands and wind-whipped inlets are bisected by elevated subway tracks and two-story strip-malls, and the city’s familiar concrete and metal infrastructure maintains an uneasy balance with the encroaching waters.

On a cloudy and raw mid-October Sunday, the clatter of the train pulling away from the over-ground Beach 98th Street station fades and is replaced by the whistle of a gusty north wind. It’s about three blocks south to the boardwalk and another six blocks east to the only spot that, on this day of minimal surf, is showing any signs of life. Tiny sets trickle in next to the jetty, and about a dozen wet-suited long-boarders scramble for anything that moves. On a solid south-east swell this particular line-up is said to offer a thick left bowl, but on this afternoon the waves are knee-high at best. And yet even today, the flat and chilly ocean is the most appealing thing in sight.

In most areas of the country, proximity to the ocean bears a direct relationship to property prices – but apparently not in New York City. Ever since Manhattan’s tycoons abandoned the Rockaways for the North Shore and East End of Long Island in the early part of the 20th century, the area has encompassed a heterogeneous cluster of working and middle class beach communities. Even the Bell Harbor and Breezy Point neighborhoods on the western end of the peninsula, nicknamed “The Irish Riviera,” are hardly Amagansett and East Hampton, and, as Surfline.com warns of the east end, “the surf in the area between 30th Street and the mid-40s can be perfect, but don't expect your car to be there when you get out of the water.”

Today at 92nd Street, I don’t spot any car thieves, just a group of teenage skateboarders busting kick-flips and tossing around a Nerf football. Rusted orange trashcans dot the beach as the silhouettes of massive tankers motoring in and out of New York Harbor punctuate the horizon. I sit on a graffiti-covered bench, freezing, waiting for something to happen in the water, but, as the tide drops and the waves pretty much disappear, even some of the diehards are calling it a day.

Crossing Ocean Promenade on my way back to the subway, I’m overtaken by a jogging surfer wearing only a dripping wetsuit. He carries his board under one arm and his car keys in the other hand; he’s sporting sunglasses despite the gloom.

Keeping his head low against the wind, he dodges a few cars and hustles around the corner, the soles of his bare feet flashing a startling bright-white against the gray concrete.

Although it was flat today, he probably already knows that the remnants of Hurricane Wilma are creeping up the Eastern Seaboard just as another extra-tropical low-pressure system spins off the North-East coast. Wednesday morning, the surf reports say, is shaping up to be solid overhead with favorable north winds, and, with its dead-south swell window and relatively sheltered wind exposure, Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York City, terminus of the A train, home of the Edgemere House projects and the NYPD’s 100th Precinct, may just be the best spot to go surfing on the entire East Coast.

Brian DeLeeuw is the senior contributor to This Recording. You can find his previous work here, here, here, and here. He writes frequently on travel and food for CITY magazine. His writing has also appeared in New York, Tin House, and New York Press. His novel In This Way I Was Saved is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster in the spring of next year. He last wrote in these pages on the Tsukiji fish market.

"Sleeping False Idol" - Giants (mp3)

"O Tide" - Giants (mp3)

"Whispered Ears" - Giants (mp3)

Giants myspace


The hair makes the man in No Country for Old Men.

Venus and Serena remind us of the future.

John C. Reilly’s beautiful singing voice.


In Which Thrust To The Fore New York Casts Its Own Shadow

Over the coming weeks we'll be featuring our New York series: essays which reflect on New York City art, film, music, fiction, architecture, and history. You can find the first entry in that series here. Now we turn it over to photographer Matt Lutton.

I See A Darkness

by Matt Lutton

I can remember each and every moment I took these photographs. I can remember the location, where I was standing, where I was going and often what I was thinking when I clicked the shutter and attempted to capture a fleeting impression of a person, thing or place in New York. I try to put into the picture an idea of this little, tiny moment in time in an immense city, too complex even to discuss.

A few, though, are unconscious. I don't know why I took the picture, I have no memory of it. They are blessings on the contact sheet. I recall the place I took them - if not this can be reconstructed from looking at the nearby frames - but I don't know the moment. An accident, maybe. Blessing, certainly: something inside me, bypassing thought, caused me to react to a scene by taking a picture.

Lately I've been trying to explore this phenomenon. Most all of my favorite photographs, taken by myself and others, seem more made by feeling than by thought.

They're impressions, or questions, rather than statements. They're often products of intimacy and understanding of the subject, and of intuition. They always say it is about 'being in the right place at the right time', but it goes further – you need to feel it to be there and know what is important.

What am I thinking when I'm out shooting? Music and rhythm. Of the city and of myself. One of my favorite photographers, Alex Majoli, says: “We should think of a photographer as a Samurai who makes rituals, moves and gestures in order to develop his techniques and his instinct.”

I think this is insightful, particularly when one is working on the street trying to chase down and hunt images in the faces of the anonymous. I am not talking to the people in my pictures; many don't even notice me or my camera. It takes practice, particularly mental practice, to work this way and produce images that live on their own. I say “If your pictures are not good enough, you don't feel it strongly enough."

Let's be honest, I've put myself in to pretty clichéd territory – photographing New York City in black and white.

I started taking these pictures at 21 during my first summer of living alone outside of the city I grew up, Seattle. At first, I was just photographing the things around me as I went about my days in the city as an unpaid intern living in rough Brooklyn neighborhoods. Later on, looking at all these random pictures together for the first time, I noticed a consistent theme running through them, which was amazing to me because I hadn't tried to do anything consistent, I had no aim to do a 'body of work'.

In these pictures I expressed something deep about my interaction with the city, and done so without conscious thought. And I had to have more, both to close this chapter, and to learn from photographing in this way, as it seemed to unlock something new in me and the photographs.

Robert Frank's The Americans probably got me started taking pictures of people in the first place, and from there I moved on to Garry Winogrand, Henri Cartier-Bresson and other black-and-white 'street' photographers.

That I bring up these names with this project is probably incredibly obvious to some of you, and I can't decide if that is good or bad. Hopefully I've moved beyond imitation and produced something new and in my own voice.

Even more than these or other photographers I find myself constantly bumping up against a particular album and book when I am photographing in New York. If I do have an image in my mind, it is some strange apparition to the tune of Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's I See A Darkness and in the key of Mikhail Bulgakov's masterpiece The Master and Margarita.

I've taken to starting out exhibitions of these pictures with my favorite quote from Margarita, which explains everything:

As soon as you appeared on this roof you made yourself ridiculous. It was your tone of voice. You spoke your words as though you denied the very existence of the shadows or of evil. Think, now: where would your good be if there were no evil and what would the world look like without shadow? Shadows are thrown by people and things. There's the shadow of my sword, for instance. But shadows are also cast by trees and living things. Do you want to strip the whole globe by removing every tree and every creature to satisfy your fantasy of a bare world? You're stupid.

Here the Devil is admonishing Matthew the Levite for his naiveté about the world; there certainly is darkness in this world, and frankly it gives the light its meaningfulness. We must remember that we all cast our own shadows, and that this is inherent to having light around us. One begets the other.

This is precisely what I am interested in: the casting of shadows, literal and metaphorical. In New York in particular there are profound shadows thrown from the dizzying and oppressive maze of skyscrapers, setting the whole scene. And then there are the pockets of light that squeeze between, finding the gaps and illuminating, sometimes for impossibly brief moments, hidden corners of a city.

There, again, something that is often relegated to a dark existence is spot-lit and thrust to the fore, only to cast its own shadow.

There is no judgment here, I find meaning and beauty in it all. I just seek to capture those places and moments for everyone else who doesn't notice them or never gets to see them through their own eyes.

As for the album I ripped my title from, the perfect confluence of lyrics and music conspires to paint the most photo-realistic picture of my New York. In some ways, my photographs are simply trying to realize and communicate my feelings when listening to this album and how profoundly it represents life in the city.

This is my vision of New York City, a place I love and fear. And as Bonnie 'Prince' Billy sings on this album, “By dread I'm inspired, by fear I'm amused." Walking for 8 hours a day puts me in to a trance. I'll glaze over for hours, not talking to a single person, just pacing. Then to snap in panic as I make a picture or more. As an old hero said, talking about his first days taking pictures on the street, “I prowled the streets all day, feeling very strung-up and ready to pounce, ready to 'trap' life."

Here are some of those moments, many of which I remember in my bones and am happy to share. Others are those miracles that struck like needles and I present here as wonders of spontaneity and luck. All are trademarks of moments big and small in the city of New York.

Matt Lutton is a photographer living in Seattle. His site is here, where you can find the complete collection of I See A Darkness. The introduction to the book version of the series can be read here.  If you want to be on a mailing list for information on the book version of Lutton's I See A Darkness please be in touch with him via the contact info on his website.

"Another Day Full of Dread" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"Death to Everyone" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"Lie Down in the Light" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"I Kill Therefore I Am" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"Love Me Tonight" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"Babylon System" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"Someone to Watch Over Me" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"Someone to Watch Over Me" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"Lullaby" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"Missing One" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"Brokedown Palace" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"Big Friday" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"Madeleine-Mary" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"No Bad News" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"Cold & Wet" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"Knockturne" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"Cursed Sleep" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"Willow Trees Bend" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"I'll Be Glad" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"Song for the New Breed" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)


We are so through with men.

Being cheap as an art form.

All the good young electric jellyfish.


In Which We Can't Say No To It Later

This is the first essay in our series about New York.

Ted Berrigan, by Alex Katz.

Nice to See You


This week a good friend of mine gave me a wonderful book. It’s called Nice to See You: Homage to Ted Berrigan, and includes an abundance of worthwhile insight into one particular circle of friends operating just after the publication of Donald Allen’s New American Poetry anthology.

They are mostly Berrigan’s friends and associates, people like Ron Padgett, Clark Coolidge, Donna Dennis, Larry Fagin, Philip Whalen, Dick Gallup, Anne Waldman, Anselm Hollo, along with the familiar crowd of Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg, and Frank O’Hara present as well.

Berrigan seemed to have a particular way of bringing folks together to listen, and all included in this collection of prose and verse seem to have found much excitement in his life and work.

"Red Shift" - Ted Berrigan (mp3)

"Today in Ann Arbor" - Ted Berrigan (mp3)

You can listen to more of Ted at UbuWeb.

Certain Slant of Sunlight

by Ted Berrigan

In Africa the wine is cheap, and it is
on St. Mark's Place too, beneath a white moon.
I'll go there tomorrow, dark bulk hooded
against what is hurled down at me in my no hat
which is weather: the tall pretty girl in the print dress
under the fur collar of her cloth coat will be standing
by the wire fence where the wild flowers grow not too tall
her eyes will be deep brown and her hair styled 1941 American
will be too; but
I'll be shattered by then
But now I'm not and can also picture white clouds
impossibly high in blue sky over small boy heartbroken
to be dressed in black knickers, black coat, white shirt,
buster-brown collar, flowing black bow-tie
her hand lightly fallen on his shoulder, faded sunlight falling
across the picture, mother & son, 33 & 7, First Communion Day, 1941 -
I'll go out for a drink with one of my demons tonight
they are dry in Colorado 1980 spring snow.

Nation review of Ted's collected:

If you read about Berrigan, you're bound to learn about his reckless treatment of his body and his ghastly diet (he subsisted mostly on Pepsi, greasy hamburgers and peanut butter sandwiches), or about how he forged prescriptions to buy the many milligrams of speed that fueled his marathon sessions of writing, reading, talking and pontificating. Such snapshots of Berrigan's personal life are meaningful, but they provide little guidance for anyone trying to grasp how the words Berrigan wrote continue to live beyond the life he led, an undertaking made more difficult as only a relatively small amount of Berrigan's poetry has remained in print since his death.

Though his first major collection of poems, The Sonnets, did not come out until 1964, and was thus late for the New American Poetry, I was disappointed to learn that Berrigan has been ‘edited out’ of many of the major anthologies of 20th century poetry, including the Norton.

Years ago I went to Providence’s lovely John Hay Library and read The Sonnets all the way through. Not only is the Hay’s copy remarkable—one of the original 300 numbered, staple bound copies, bearing the imprint of Ron Padgett’s own original typewriter transcription—the poems themselves stand out to me as a major achievement in contemporary verse.

In the book, which lasts 88 sonnets, Berrigan creates series of poems that deal in a recurring currency of images, each poem a development or interpretation of the poems preceding, and often including several of the lines of the previous poems verbatim but in alternate location. Berrigan also lifts lines from the poems of his friends—Padgett, Gallup, and O’Hara especially—achieving a collage effect, but also demonstrating the intimacy of this particular group of New York poets.

"To Jack Kerouac" - Ted Berrigan (mp3)

There are other innovative reconceptions of the sonnet form as well, and I include below sonnet XV in which Berrigan has employed his scissors more than his pen:

Sonnet IV

by Ted Berrigan

In Joe Brainard's collage its white arrow
he is not in it, the hungry dead doctor.
Or Marilyn Monroe, her white teeth white--
I am truly horribly upset because Marilyn
and ate King Korn popcorn," he wrote in his
of glass in Joe Brainard's collage
Doctor, but they say "I LOVE YOU"
and the sonnet is not dead.
takes the eyes away from the gray words,
Diary. The black heart beside the fifteen pieces
Monroe died, so I went to a matinee B-movie
washed by Joe's throbbing hands. "Today
What is in it is sixteen ripped pictures
does not point to William Carlos Williams.

What gems have to do with spas is revealed in a sonnet that was never written.

This poem is difficult, but rewarding I think, to read in order. Now try it by reading the first line, then the last line, then the second line, then the second to last line, etc. Though this reading is easier, it does not achieve the avoidance of rational sense that the top-to-bottom reading does. Top-to-bottom, we do not hear the narrative but we hear the emotions contained within the images, and the way Berrigan has arranged the lines in sonnet XV allows, I think, a much more complex emotional experience than if the lines were in correct order.

Berrigan’s favorite line in The Sonnets: “Fucking is so very lovely/ who can say no to it later?” Reading that poem again now, hearing it begin with “Everyone is suddenly pregnant”, I cannot disagree.

Last Poem

by Ted Berrigan

Before I began life this time
I took a crash course in Counter-Intelligence
Once here I signed in, see name below, and added
Some words remembered from an earlier time,
"The intention of the organism is to survive."
My earliest, & happiest, memories pre-date WW II
They involve a glass slipper & a helpless blue rose
In a slender blue single-rose vase: Mine
Was a story without a plot. The days of my years
Folded into one another, an easy fit, in which
I made money & spent it, learned to dance & forgot, gave
Blood, regained my poise, & verbalized myself a place
In Society. 101 St. Mark's Place, apt. 12A, NYC 10009
New York. Friends appeared & disappeared, or wigged out,
Or stayed; inspiring strangers sadly died; everyone
I ever knew aged tremendously, except me. I remained
Somewhere between 2 and 9 years old. But frequent
Reification of my own experiences delivered to me
Several new vocabularies, I loved that almost most of all.
I once had the honor of meeting Beckett & I dug him.
The pills kept me going, until now. Love, & work,
Were my great happinesses, that other people die the source
Of my great, terrible, & inarticulate one grief. In my time
I grew tall & huge of frame, obviously possessed
Of a disconnected head, I had a perfect heart. The end
Came quickly & completely without pain, one quiet night as I
Was sitting, writing, next to you in bed, words chosen randomly
From a tired brain, it like them, suitable, & fitting.
Let none regret my end who called me friend.

Berrigan thought that Frank O’Hara was the only poet he needed to read for inspiration—“Everything is there!”

He was right, and made good on that insight, extending O’Hara’s project of immediate verbal engagement:

Sonnet XXXVI

by Ted Berrigan

after Frank O’Hara

It’s 8:54 a.m. in Brooklyn it’s the 28th of July and
it’s probably 8:54 in Manhattan but I’m
in Brooklyn I’m eating English muffins and drinking
pepsi and I’m thinking of how Brooklyn is New
York city too how odd I usually think of it as
something all its own like Bellows Falls like Little
Chute like Uijongbu
I never thought on the Williams-
burg bridge I’d come so much to Brooklyn
just to see lawyers and cops who don’t even carry
guns taking my wife away and bringing her back
and I never thought Dick would be back at Gude’s
beard shaved off long hair cut and Carol reading
his books when we were playing cribbage and
watching the sun come up over the Navy Yard
across the river

Williamsburg Bridge, 1904.

I think I was thinking when I was
ahead I’d be somewhere like Perry street erudite
dazzlingly slim and badly loved
contemplating my new book of poems
to be printed in simple type on old brown paper
feminine marvelous and tough

Will Hubbard is the contributing editor to This Recording. He is a writer living in Williamsburg. Would you like to know more?

"Cheney's Toy" - James McMurtry (mp3)

"Freeway View" - James McMurtry (mp3)

"Hurricane Party" - James McMurtry (mp3)

"Ruby and Carlos" - James McMurtry (mp3)

Ted's wife Alice Notley, Anselm, & Edmund Berrigan.


Unplayed Piano. I can still hold a tune.

Becca on kid art.

Our Midwest correspondent chimed in.


In Which It Grows Stronger Like A River Flows

Trapped In The Sound Walls

by Molly Lambert

Hey New York!

Get off our dick. It's unseemly.

(We're married now.)



p.s. we can still have sext


Melissa Gira is the Carrie Nation of Cyberation. It is also a satirical post, in case you are the kind of person who needs things to be spelled out for you.

Indiana Jones And The Mystery Of The Island From LOST

Stay tuned for my Jurassic Park/Russ Meyer mash-up Beyond The Valley Of The Gwangies starring The Carrie Nations

Gwangi is a Native American word for lizard

The million dollar question for the past few weeks has been which looks worse, You Don't Mess With The Zohan or The Love Guru? Both star past-their-prime nineties SNL comedians as comically ethnic Easterners. I didn't need to see The Darjeeling Limited to tell you that Hollywood has a major problem depicting foreigners. I'm thinking Love Guru will suck a little bit harder, but that's mainly because Jessica Alba is total comedy Kryptonite.

I bet you wish Spielberg had used stop-motion claymation

Both of these bloated summer comedy train-wrecks seem to me like apolitical Borat rips. Between Love Guru, Zohan, and (Iron Man doing the minstrel show shuffle in) Tropic Thunder, will 2008 be the summer of White Guys In Peter Sellers Style Brownface? How about can it not be though? Please?

pronounced mill-e-wah-que which is Algonquin for "the good land"

Mike Myers ganked some of his Austin Powers catch phrases directly from Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls. Most notably, "It's my happening baby, and it freaks me out!", which is said at the height of the first party scene by teen wunderkind record impresario Z-Man Barzell.

Proto Riot Grrls The Carrie Nations Playing Prom

I wonder if Myers sent Roger Ebert (the screenwriter of Dolls, yes homo) any residuals from sales of Austin Powers inflatable Goldmember talking lollipop keychains? I doubt it.

Remember when Emily Gould was merely an innocent bloggeur for Gawker, positing Lindsay Lohan as Kelly Mac Namara in a fictionally casted remake of B.T.V.O.T.D.? That's still a pretty great idea. So how about Zac Efron as Z-Man? Maybe one of those Jonas Brothers as Kelly's hopelessly square boyfriend Harris Allsworth. Joe Jonas is a dead ringer for David Gurian.

Phil Spector: Come On Kiss The Gun

The character of Z-Man was based on noted nut-job (and teen wunderkind record impresario) Phil Spector, foreshadowing his recent murder mistrial. Goes to show, you can be a psychotic sociopath and a musical Wall Of Sound making genius. But even though Phil produced "Be My Baby," "My Sweet Lord," "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," "River Deep - Mountain High" and "Then He Kissed Me" it still doesn't make it cool to fucking shoot someone in the face.

and he'll never ever be any good

The term "Wall Of Sound" first appeared in print in the New York Times on June 22, 1874, in a description of Richard Wagner's redesigned Niebelungen Theatre in Bayreuth, Germany, which placed the orchestra (for the first time) in an orchestra pit in front of the stage rather than behind the opera singers:

Wagner's revolutionary Festspielhaus in Bayreuth, Germany

The mere sinking of the orchestra is, however, not the only innovation. Wagner leaves there, a space of eighteen feet wide, and extending the entire breadth of the stage (not merely of the proscenium) and extending up to the roof, perfectly free. He calls this the Mystic Space, because he intends that here the invisible 'wall of music,' proceeding from the invisible orchestra, shall separate the real (that is the audience) from the ideal (the stage pictures.) If we may so express ourselves, the audience will perceive the scenes through an invisible wall of sound.

Raymond Scott and his Wall Of Sound in fifties Manhattan

Raymond Scott nicknamed the vast array of homemade sequencers and synthesizers that took up a wall of his studio the "wall of sound". The term became popularly used around 1945 to describe the sound of the jazz orchestra led by Stan Kenton, (more commonly known as "sheets of sound"). It was also frequently used to describe the improvising style of John Coltrane, particularly his way of running through scales rapid fire—the individual notes blurring into a larger pattern.

The Grateful Dead's Wall Of Sound in seventies San Francisco

The term "Wall of Sound" was also used to describe the enormous public address system designed by (LSD chemist) Owsley Stanley specifically for the Grateful Dead's live performances circa 1974. The Wall of Sound fulfilled the band's desire for a distortion-free sound system that could also serve as its own monitoring system.

why yes I did make this awesome photoshop myself

Speaking of crazy musical geniuses with a propensity towards insane sex crimes, grandiose statements and violence (and golden showers) other than Chuck Berry, the R. Kelly trial IS Trapped In The Closet Chapters 23 To Infinity. Don't think we forgot about your marriage to child bride Aaliyah (r.i.p.).

R. Kelly: The Pied Piper Of Pederasty is on trial

When your legal team trots out the "Little Man" defense, you're in trouble (who's your lawyer Kellz, Lionel Hutz?). Everyone knows you did it Robert. Nobody cares how many remixes to "Ignition" you come out with now, you are gonna pay for your decades of kid-touching bullshit. But maybe you'll get lucky and The Happening will happen first and freak everyone out?

p.s. the big bad is plants, Bruce Willis is dead the whole time, Soylent Green is people, and Rosebud is the sled.

Molly Lambert is managing editor of This Recording


"First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (live)" - David Cook (mp3)

"Little Sparrow" - David Cook (mp3)

"Innocent" - David Cook (mp3)


Think twice about where you sit.

This picture always makes me feel better.

Our childhood series hit Dublin.

This Recording Is The Wall Of Blog