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Brittany Julious
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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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Tuesday
Jun122012

In Which They Were A Lovely Couple

ghada amer, "Trini", 2005

Ready For Me

by VICTORIA HETHERINGTON

We’re lying and talking in bed, and the late afternoon sun stretches long into the room.

But you know, childhood is extending. Thirty is really young now, you know? he's saying. We have time.

You think you have time. We have the same amount of life as ever, and it isn’t much.

Oh, don’t be dour. You mean, what? Like we feel young just because we like automatically adjust and seek older and older elders?

Well, yes, actually. And also like, I don’t know. You’re a man; you can take fifteen more years to find yourself, you can wait til you’re forty and get married whenever you want. In that way I’ll age faster than you, I say, and he nods gravely, patiently, like a teenager during an unending wedding speech.

Don’t you wish you were a kid again? I ask, then realize I’m being cruel: if he agrees, he’s being a Millennial baby; if he disagrees, he’s lying — because don’t we all wish for this? Or at least, don’t we all wish to cycle between ten and twenty-five, then snap right back again?

He pauses, then: I wish I was a kid, with you.

I think about it. When I was a kid I was catching dragonflies (buzzing in my clenched hands like little machines) and frogs (until one, plopped triumphantly in a bucket filled with water, went fleshy and dead in the white noon sun.) And what else? I had a broken front tooth for years, I masturbated with pens. I was once so in love with Star Wars I thought I would die if I stopped.

I don’t think we’d have been friends, I say, but he as he rolls his big body over and up, throwing his legs over the bed and squeezing his armpits shut, I feel how wrong this is.

I sit up beside him. We’d have been friends, I say. I’d have made you marry me in my backyard playhouse. Then maybe we’d have hot dogs.

We’d have cared for each other, he says, because we like each other now, and people don’t really change. I run into people all the time when I visit home, and even if I haven’t seen them since we were seven, there’s still this little hidden grain of themselves that kind of...radiates outwards. I recognize them right away.

I mean, listen I wish we’d been friends, I say. I was too shy to make friends, and then when I figured out how, I only picked rotten people. Like Tara we ran into her like two weeks ago. Remember, I ran out of the store?

He looked down at me and I looked up at him, imagining us little. My red-headed husband, seven hands high.

ghada amer, "The Roses" 2002 Maybe childhood is always a little lonely and frightening; bursts of anxiety and surprise and delight peppering long, long stretches of nighttimes, parental dinners, and Sunday afternoons. I remember the first day I slept at Tara’s house as late fall, but it wasn’t. It was freshly May, the breathless time before the insects and the blankets of heat, and plump unsheathed maple leaves were shivering all along the street. We sat on the sidewalk curb and she dragged circles in the junky rain-soaked maple blossoms, and I watched her talk, amazed at the body glitter sparkling on her downy arms. "My dad only watches war movies," she was saying. "They have him in Latvia now, and he’s using like machine guns and stuff. But he’ll be back in six months, and you’ll see – he looks out for me. When we go out for Halloween, he’ll follow us a block behind."

I nodded — "My dad looks out for me too." She frowned, and I felt that lonely coldness again: we didn’t really like each other, I understood that then. But we had nobody else.

She stood up. "Let’s eat," she said.

The kitchen was cool and dark, and I knew that the rest of the house was dark too, and that Tara’s mother would sleep upstairs until probably the next morning. She wrenched open the fridge and put a plate on the table — engraved with knife marks, it looked like china but was actually plastic, like the plates at Swiss Chalet. "I’ll feed you, OK?" she said.

She opened the Styrofoam containers of leftover Thai food — slick crunchy mango slices peppered with ground nuts, and chicken globs set in thick cold peanut sauce, and chalky rice perfectly shaped to the inside of its container — splatting it out on the plate, saying Eat, now — and I did. She threw open the cupboard doors, pulling out dried apricots and sleeves of crackers, dipping them in cream cheese and margarine and getting it on her fingers after a while, passing them to me, and I kept eating, not stopping, unbuttoning my pants a little as the weak cloudy May afternoon trickled into the kitchen. And then ice cream, bending the spoon and freezing my teeth in my haste, and then apples when there was nothing left, breaking their skins over and over, spreading the white flesh under my meaty fingertips, crunching down to the seed-flaps, the wooden parts, and starting again, a new sick roundness in my palm, a gastronomic analogue to the hellish perpetuity of my childhood – inscrutable afternoons like this, lasting and lasting. The dead house air pressed in ocean-like on my ears as I listened to the rhythmic click of my own jaw. To this day I chase pleasure to lead myself into punishment, maybe to recapture the ill giving-up frisson of the sick stay-at-home days slung alongside days like this. She paused to throw away the ragged apple cores.

"Now you’ll have diabetes," she said.

Did she?
Did she what? I ask.
Have diabetes? Wait no. That’s a dumb question, whatever. Continue.

We watched Halloween as I controlled my nausea and Tara made comments in a different-sounding voice, perhaps repeating things her dad had said as they’d watched the tattered VHS tape together ("It’s dumb because all her blood is drained out but she’s still flesh-colored," etc.), and right before bed we pressed our faces to her mother’s fish tank. "Look at the gourami," she said, pointing at the biggest, fattest, pearl-bodied fish, and I yelped. All the other fish were attacking it, darting and churning the water, eating its gauzy fins nearly away. We rescued it in a shallow bowl of water to die alone, leaving bright fin-flakes scudding at clay castle-level (she gave clipped directions, and I whimpered the whole time.) We peered into the bowl for a moment, watching its disc-like body spin gently as if with the momentum of its thwarted will to live, its little puff of life energy seeping in the dark. I thought about it dying as we lay chatting in our sleeping bags, its mouth still opening and closing with nobody downstairs to watch it, with no lights on. I started thinking about my parents, and began to cry.

"You're very sentimental," she said to me, her cold eyes assessing, and I took it first as a compliment, then later as an insult — but really it was neither. She was simply gauging the difference between her and I; the oozy sadness between my ears, clouding in front of me. Even then I understood that she’d shut off when nobody was there, that she could flick through people like books and create herself for them.

That's pretty precocious, he says, then thinks about it. You are very sentimental.
Better that than blank. I say.
There’s only two choices?
For me, maybe. I pause. Probably people can change a lot, if they want to.
Did she?
I laugh. Not a bit.

About two years ago I visited her house, for the last time — she shared a run-down home in Chinatown with four other people, girls whose personalities she’d merged and then dominated.

"You caught me in the shower," she sang through the half-open bathroom door, oozing steam and fragrance — "just make yourself at home." Reluctantly I walked past the bathroom into the kitchen — she was rubbing oil over her legs, her hair twined up in an elaborate towel. She grinned at me in the mirror, and I blushed: I didn’t mean to look, but I knew she wanted me to, to witness her perform her gleaming health, her luxurious youth. The sun whitened the whole kitchen, blazing through the grubby curtains, gleaming off a shifting mass of fruit flies hovering over the garbage. I filled a mug with lukewarm water. Christopher’s in the living room, she called through the door — go say hi, OK? My heart sank. OK, I said.

The old warped-up wood floor had creaked enormously as I walked, but Christopher, sitting with his knobby knees together, looked up from his laptop as if he was surprised. His twiglike, brittle-yet-potbellied body was sealed in a tight, tight blazer studded with pins (Get Bent, one of them said) and a silly hat, the kind with a brim in the front. The whole ensemble had a musty, mismatched Value Village feel (his most recent employment before he left Vancouver, whose clothing selection, he had claimed, was — as all things were — better than that of any Toronto locations). We said hello, and he patted the dingy cushion beside him. I sat, glancing furtively at his laptop screen. A dozen Microsoft Word documents were arranged across the desktop, a constellation of Millennial self-entitlement, all named things like ‘i tossed my smoke to the ground.doc’ and ‘she said, honey let’s go.doc’ and ‘belfast second ending, no victim.doc.’ "How’s the play going?" I asked.

He ignored the question. "She’s going to break up with me," he said. "Today, when you leave."

This was likely. "We’ll probably never see each other again," he added.

"You and I?" I asked, and he nodded, toying with his clumsily large lip ring, pouting his wet lips, making a sort of frozen expression I could tell he practised in the mirror.

"Well relationships, you know," I said, and then elaborated: "They don’t just end, sometimes they wear out and end like a couple times. You guys probably still have some time together, and maybe some of it will be really nice."

"I don’t think so," he said. "The thing is, she’s discovered she’s bisexual. She has to explore that."

Despite her enormous appetite for people — she wanted to claim and consume everyone, men and women, it didn’t matter — I knew this wasn’t true. Still, when she swept into the room, I felt my chest throb with sick excitement.

Shit like that cheapens real queerness, he says.
Exactly! I say, and he brightens.

Tara came in, her hair still twisted in the towel, and we chatted performatively about school, drinking, quitting drinking, smoking, quitting smoking, people we’d lost touch with, and people we were looking to shed. Christopher watched, sullen, rubbing her palm with both hands. Finally he said, "You know, it’s interesting about gossip. You need it for bonding, don’t you? Like, you and I have these things in common, we’re not like these other people, who are undesirable for reasons A, B, and C."

"Yeah," I said, and Tara rolled her eyes and went to the bathroom, and Christopher turned to me, radiating need. I got up — "I’m just going to grab more water" — and brought my empty mug to the kitchen, aching with pity. On my way back to the living room, I passed the bathroom again and caught Tara’s reflection in the mirror — she wasn’t ready for me this time. She was staring at her own face, the towel coming loose, her hair dripping out, her mouth hanging slack. Her arms hung limp and folded in the sink, like they weighed a hundred pounds, like she’d suddenly sprouted five extra feet of arm and was baffled by it. She looked overwhelmed, as if she knew she’d get lost on the way to adulthood, sensing she would, as my mother would say, grow up funny, lingering and fucking up and receiving parental rescue over and over, a child-monster in the body of a beautiful young woman. Her eyes snapped over to mine and she straightened up and smiled, but not before a spasm passed over her features. It could have been surprise — she was startled, she wasn’t expecting me. It could also have been hate.

"It’s awful when you just agree with people like that," she said. "He was being disparaging about women. You didn’t really mean it."

Christopher came tearing up the hall, his ears burning — "No I wasn’t!"

I thought about it, holding her gaze in the mirror. "At least that’s the worst thing about me," I said.

"Leave her alone," Christopher demanded.

"Oh, of course you’re defending her — you’re in love with her, aren’t you?" she said. "When you just agree and listen and smile and make things OK all the time — who wouldn’t love that? She’s blank. She’s nothing."

"You’re wrong," he said. (I hope he was.)

"Your hat is stupid," she said. (It was.)

"You’re getting fat," he returned. (She was.)

"You’re a loser," she spat. (He was.)

"You’re a bitch," he yelped, and she threw her hairdryer against the wall.

"You’re old as shit," she screamed. (He was — to be dating her, at least.)

"You’re living off your parents," he yelled. (She was, and would for years.)

"You’re wearing eyeliner!"

"No I’m not!" (He was.)

"I’m smarter than you!"

"No you’re not!" (She wasn’t.)

"Your writing is terrible," she said triumphantly, and there was silence. I wanted to say, no Tara, that’s too much, he needs this — working terrible jobs for years, forever, always feeling the discrepancy between his middle-class childhood and his hand-to-mouth, minimum-wage adult life, nursing its unfairness like a deep wound in soft flesh. Writing about it was his only release, producing linearity and a fervent but as yet imaginary bond with countless others, writing their own plays about grocery-store-working playwrights tragically stricken with writer’s block, toiling away at their own greasy-screened laptops, swollen with promise and yet to be found.

Victoria Hetherington is the senior contributor to This Recording. She last wrote in these pages about the only good thing. She is a writer living in Toronto. You can find her website here.

Images by Ghada Amer.

"Flutes" - Hot Chip (mp3)

"Now There Is Nothing" - Hot Chip (mp3)

The new album from Hot Chip is entitled In Our Heads, and it was released on June 6th.


Monday
Jun112012

In Which We Regard Ourselves As Equals

The Opal Ring

by HELEN SCHUMACHER

A spiritualist and mystic who believed in reincarnation, June Mathis always wore an opal ring when she wrote, believing it brought her ideas. Her films were recognizable from their religious figures and esoteric themes. Nearly one hundred years before The Secret, Mathis claimed that, “If you are vibrating on the right plane, you will inevitably come in contact with others who can help you.” She elaborates, “It's like tuning in on your radio. If you get the right wavelength, you have your station.” As is all-too-typical of successful women, Mathis dismissed her hard work and natural talent, instead attributing her achievements to an outside force. And Mathis was highly successful; one of the first female Hollywood executives, she also became the highest paid (male or female) at age 35.

Born in Leadville, Colorado, in 1889 and raised primarily in Salt Lake City, Mathis first employed the idea of a mind-cure as a sick child with a heart condition and tried to will herself into health. At 12 years old, she was well enough to join a vaudeville act and began touring the country. She continued with theater tours and Broadway performances for the next decade, until deciding to become a screenwriter.

After studying with an editor friend for two years, Mathis entered a screenwriting contest in 1914. She didn’t win, but her entry was impressive enough to garner offers from Hollywood. Mathis moved to California with her mother and began working for Metro studios in 1918. A year later she was the head of the scenario department and the only female executive at the studio.

Mathis’s next break would come with her adaptation of the epic war novel The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. She had been put in charge of production of the film and was responsible for casting Rudolph Valentino as the lead. The movie was a huge success, becoming one of the highest grossing silent films, inspiring fads in tango dancing and gaucho fashion, and launching the careers of director Rex Ingram, Valentino, and Mathis. Valentino and Mathis would be on-again-off-again creative partners for the rest of their lives. Mathis had another box office hit the following year with Blood and Sand.

With Valentino and Ingram on the set of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Mathis believed she knew the two men from a past life.

Working within the studio system for the next six years, eventually Mathis would leave Metro for Famous Players-Lasky and later move to Goldwyn during its merger into MGM, just before which, Mathis would be charged with adapting and heading up production of Ben-Hur. She insisted the movie be filmed on location in Italy, a decision that proved problematic as the local crew went on strike and extras lied about their swimming experience and consequently drowned. Mathis also fought with the director Charles Brabin — who ignored her despite her responsibility for his being hired.

After the MGM merger, the studio was desperate to finish the expensive, troubled film and fired the crew and recast the lead. The movie would end up being the most expensive silent film ever made until 2011’s The Artist. Although the experience was a professional disappointment, the trip to Italy was not a total loss. While there, Mathis met an Italian cameraman named Silvano Balboni. They were married after she returned to California.

With her husband, Silvano Balboni

Three years later, while seeing a performance of The Squall with her grandmother in New York, Mathis had a heart attack, leaping up from her seat and shouting “Mother, I’m dying!” during the play’s final act. She was pronounced dead in the alley behind the theater at age 38, having succumbed to her lifelong heart condition. Her ashes were shipped to California and interned in the mausoleum next to Valentino in the Hollywood Forever cemetery.

Helen Schumacher is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in Brooklyn. She tumbls here and here. You can find an archive of her writing on This Recording here. She last wrote in these pages about Clouzot.

Most Powerful Women of Early Hollywood

Mary Pickford: Having acted in 52 films, Pickford’s international stardom helped define the concept of modern celebrity. An adroit businesswoman, in 1916 she signed a contract with Famous Players-Lasky that gave her control over any of the movies she starred in and a record-breaking salary of $500 a week. Later she founded United Artists with D. W. Griffith, Douglas Fairbanks, and Charlie Chaplin.

Lois Weber: Weber’s Wikipedia page begins with a quote from film historian Anthony Slide that declares: “Along with D. W. Griffith, Lois Weber was the American cinema’s first genuine auteur, a filmmaker involved in all aspects of production and one who utilized the motion picture to put across her own ideas and philosophies.” A talented professional pianist as a youth, Weber went on to work as a screenwriter, producer, director and actress. She was also an evangelist who supported progressive social causes. Under the surveillance of Hollywood censors, her film Hypocrites would contain the first scene with female full-frontal nudity, and another called Where Are My Children? addressed abortion and birth control (and, disappointingly, promoted eugenics). She was also the first woman to start her own movie studio.

Frances Marion: After serving as a correspondent during World War I, Marion moved to Hollywood and began working as a writing assistant for Lois Weber Productions and later writing scripts for Pickford. During her tenure, she wrote over 100 scripts and won two Oscars. She also directed several films, taught screenwriting at the University of Southern California, and was married four times.

Dorothy Arzner: Her first big assignment was as an editor for Mathis’s Blood and Sand. Soon after Arzner began directing, including Clara Bow’s first talking film, and would continue working until the mid-1940s. She also invented the boom mic.

Anita Loos: Loos was best known for her Harper’s Bazaar column “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and the book that followed. She was successful writer despite getting married to the needy John Emerson, whom she met while both were working on a series of Douglas Fairbanks films. The two continued to work together with Loos writing the scripts and Emerson directing them and later shared writing credits with Loos doing all the writing and Emerson spending all the paycheck. When she wasn’t writing or caring for her husband’s hypochondria and schizophrenia, Loos enjoyed an active social life and regularly made appearances at society galas and fashion shows. She hung out with the Algonquin Round Table while renting a suite at the hotel and spent summers in Paris with another Hollywood couple Joseph Schenck and Norma Talmadge. Loos was an early member of the Lucy Stone League and creator of the Tuesday Widows club — after her husband convinced her that he needed to take a break from their marriage once a week, she would spend those days entertaining friends like the Talmadge sisters, Marion Davies, and Adele Astaire or visiting Harlem jazz clubs.

Lobby card for Ida May Park’s Fires of Rebellion

Ida May Park: Like Weber, the director Ida May Park’s work often addressed social issues, such as sweatshop conditions (Fires of Rebellion) or sexual harassment in the workplace (The Model’s Confession, Risky Road). Besides her success as a director, Park wrote over 500 scenarios and created her own production company, Ida May Park Productions. In 2009, a chapter Park wrote on filmmaking for the 1924 book Careers for Women was quoted by Manohla Dargis in her essential article on Hollywood sexism: “She warned other women about her chosen path. ‘Unless you are hardy and determined,’ she wrote, ‘the director’s role is not for you. Wait until the profession has emerged from its embryonic state and a system has been evolved by which the terrific weight of responsibility can be lifted from one pair of shoulders. When that time comes I believe that women will find no finer calling.’ There are women who would agree with Park’s conclusions, or would if they could get the chance to direct. The problem is, 90 years later, women have advanced while much of the movie industry has not.”

Mary Pickford and Frances Marion, Suspense

Friday
Jun082012

In Which We Are Completely Surrounded By Others

The New York Review of Hooks Vol. 3

Because I am not a musician, I can pretend that musicians create music to fulfill the desires and wants of their listeners. It is a self-centered line of thought. Because of this, I imagine the winters in atmospheric, haunting, post-dubstep. I never have and never will listen to Burial in any other time than late fall. Emotionally, it makes little sense in the summer. Burial’s music is often described as the soundtrack to personal commuting, to urban life, to the individual in a world surrounded by - endlessly, constantly - others.

“Signal Loss” - Pariah (mp3)

"Rift" - Pariah (mp3)

I downloaded Pariah’s beautiful new single, “Signal Loss,” but have only been able to listen to it once or twice. This is not the right time for this kind of single, imbued with the heavy, daunting atmosphere of seasons past. It works, but I wish I had heard it in February, when this slightly uncomfortable, yet still gorgeous style of music couples well with the winter.

"This Can't Be A Crime" - Cocaine 80s (mp3)

The freedom of summer can never be underestimated. Summer is literally more daylight, more sun, more warmth, more comfort. Many of the songs on Cocaine 80s’ new EP, Express OG, create this feeling of comfort and familiarity. The more acoustic tracks like “Take My Keys” and the gorgeous “This Can’t Be a Crime,” fall delicately in listeners’ ears. Later songs on the EP are good, but overproduced in a way that stands out considerably from previously mentioned tracks. A light touch is all that is needed right now.

Summer forgives  all of the troubles that rest heavy in our minds all winter as we hibernate under the covers, in front of the heaters, beneath layers and layers. But summer is also the chance to see more, to hear more. People walk down the streets lazily. They have someplace to go, but not really. And surrounded by the noise of summer, music that compliments our depressed moods only complicates and confuses.

The songs that work best for right now – for the beginnings of summer – are the ones you can sing along to, at the top of your lungs, without worry or annoyance. And so, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” most certainly the best pop song written within the past year and quite possibly one of the best ever, seems appropriate.

“Call Me Maybe” never sounded cheesy to me. But my first instinct was to think of it as a song for people younger than me. I assumed that something so sweet and light and lovely could only have been sung by someone much younger, and only appreciated, truly, by young girls.

The song grew on me. And eventually I realized why it works so well for so many people: it is a perfect pop song. The idea of a perfect pop song usually encompasses one or two core ideas: an instantly-memorable chorus, simple lyrics, and love. “Call Me Maybe” accomplishes this and then some. The synthetic strings are contemporary, invoking the Balearic pop and disco of Swedish band Studio that made past summers so much lovelier. The lyrics, while simple, are smart and relatable.

On playlists, the song couples well with the perfect and timeless “Steal My Sunshine” by Len. Jepsen’s newer releases indicate a strong likelihood that “Call Me Maybe” might become a one-hit wonder, something that seems to have disappeared from Top 40 radio. A lack of artistry for many mainstream singers means that the radio hit, the instantly-purchasable single needs to be replicated again and again. This explains Rihanna’s career of the past two years.

"Manners" - Icona Pop (mp3)

"I Love It" - Icona Pop (mp3)

"The World Is Ours" - CatCall (mp3)

I felt that CatCall’s “The World is Ours” and Icona Pop’s “I Love It” were both fun upon first listening, but it wasn’t until the third or fourth spin when I realized that I had memorized nearly all of the lyrics and was hopelessly in love with their shouty, youthful, anthemic-brand of pop. Both songs have off-melodies. They sound incomplete, as if the resolution of the chorus is yet to come. But their aversion to a routine pop structure in the music gives them a bit of edge. The songs are just different enough.

"Neptune" - Lemonade (mp3)

Diver, the new album by Lemonade, is everything I ever wanted in the last Yeasayer or Cut Copy album: an attention to detail and melody, brief yet perfect instances of danceable fun, and a cohesive sound that is not just a collection of songs. This has been a constant problem borne out of the way we listen to music. Songs are to be consumed, one right after the other, without the clear direction of musical saturation. I often purchase one album in exchange for 30 individual singles. And each song has its own value, but as a whole, it only stands as "My Music Collection," and not as an album or a definitive statement.

Diver just works, and the way it works can best be understood by listening to the album. The charms though, are numerous: the sweet, almost youthful crooning of lead singer Callan Clendenin; the instrumentation that channels dance pop, straight house, and even r&b; and the relatable lyrics of youth, yearning, change, and confusion.

“Running” - Jessie Ware (Disclosure remix) (mp3)

Disclosure succeeds in ways in which their contemporaries have yet to accomplish. Their music is sample heavy, driven, and charismatic. But also, each song feels complete. A remix of Jessie Ware’s “Running” is the best argument for their skills. Ware - an enigmatic vocalist in her own right - was transformed into the House Goddess we all knew she could be. Her cooing intonation made impressions on danceable tracks from producers and performers such as SBTRKT, but it was not until Disclosure’s remix that the indelible power of her voice was confirmed.

Most everything from Disclosure’s new EP, The Face, was released earlier online. But together, it makes for a perfect package of smart, well-executed house and dance music. The incorporation of female vocalists (on “Boiling” with Sinead Harnett and “Control” with Ria Ritchie) was probably one of the best decisions they could have made, though their flawless taste indicates a level of intelligence toward their music that is far beyond their contemporaries.

"Harlem Shake" - Baauer (mp3)

We turn to dance music during times of confusion and upheaval. Perhaps we turn to dance music because a truly great dance song compacts euphoria in a only a few minutes. When necessary, we can turn back to what we heard before to relive the way it made us feel. Disclosure understands this as does Baauer.

I wouldn’t call “Harlem Shake” gritty. In fact, it seems to fill a certain formula. Everything sounds clean and well-executed. Despite its execution, something still sounds reckless. Or maybe, it easily summons past memories: late nights, sweat, dirt … a kind of beautiful filthiness one feels on the dance floor.

Brittany Julious is the senior editor of This Recording. She is a writer living in Chicago. You can find the first volume of The New York Review of Hooks here, and the second volume here. She tumbls here and twitters here.