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Classic Recordings
Robert Altman Week

Monday
Jul052010

In Which We Are Pursued By The Men of the World

Can’t Win Me Love

by CATE MCMANUS

I have been watching The Bachelor and The Bachelorette for a few seasons now and have always found them equal parts fascinating and disturbing. I just never put much thought into why I felt that way, because let’s be honest, who puts that much thought into the reality TV in their life?

As far as social experiments go, The Bachelorette takes it to another level, even more so than its male counterpart. I don’t know why but it just seems normal to watch a bunch of girls sit around being lame, bitchy and competitive over a guy than the other way around. But maybe that’s because being a girl, I know how girls can be.

To me it’s more disturbing to see a bunch of guys acting like girls, worse somehow. Guys are also hunters and to watch them in action is fascinating. They want to win for different reasons on The Bachelorette than the girls do on The Bachelor. But they all pretend to be in it to win it for the same reason. ‘To find love.’

Not only is The Bachelorette a dating show, it’s also a game. A game with the prize being ‘love.’ Love isn’t supposed to be a prize you win in a competition. Then add the most annoying chick and lame bunch of douches ever and why the fuck do I care if any of these people find love on this show? I am all kinds of disturbed by it, it just seems so wrong on many levels. If it doesn’t disturb you too, seriously it should.

This season we have Ali Fedotowsky and a whole slew of the worst pick of bros ever to grace a reality dating show! Are you excited? I am. This will be the worst train wreck yet. I am tivo-ing every episode. Obviously.

Of course Ali thinks, or acts like she thinks, she has won the bro lottery, as do her potential suckers suitors. So I guess that aspect of it is funny. But, again, are all these people really trying to find everlasting, true love on a TV show? You’re fucking kidding me right? It sounds like my worst nightmare. Am I watching it? You better believe it.

In this season, our bachelorette appears to be a narcissistic fame-whore. I could be wrong though. I mean, maybe it’s the editing. She was, as usual, plucked from the last season of The Bachelor. She’s annoying as hell and not all that likeable. It’s not that she’s stupid, she clearly knows what she wants and how to get it, which is what’s scary. It’s all so contrived.

None of it is organic or real. How can it be with cameras in your face during every interaction? I would also like to take a minute to say that the stylist/wardrobe people on this show are assholes. Ali thinks she looks good too with those ball gown/ wedding dresses and Jessica Simpson hair extensions. She is straight loving herself. But then, you kind of have to to put yourself in this position. 

Let’s meet the bros shall we? 

Jonathan ‘The Weatherman’. I think he got confused though and actually meant to try out for The Bachelor. He got visibly nervous during the awesome music video they were making for The Bare Naked Ladies - and seriously, whose idea was it to feature Barenaked Ladies as the feature musical act? Anyway, little Jonathan doesn’t realize he’s not into girls, sorry but I laughed/squirmed when Jonathan and Ali kissed.

Chris L, L for landscaper. He actually seems the most normal of them all and if I was forced to pick one of these guys I guess he’d be it. At least we’d have a nice backyard.

Jesse ‘Canadian Tux’, maybe not the brightest. But nice. I’d have sex with him probably. Except for his lame tattoo. Yes, I’m that shallow.

Chris N, who reminds me too much of an ex-boyfriend of mine so I can barely look at him. I don’t even know who this guy is, where has he been hiding?

Ty, I think he plays the ukulele? Anyway, he’s a country musician. Yawn.

Kasey ‘What’s in My Mouth?’ I have to admit my girlfriends and I did think that Kasey was maybe hearing-impaired at first so we tried, (kind of), not to laugh when he talked. But now that we know he’s not disabled we LOL every time he opens his mouth. They should really sub-title him to be fair. Either way, the way he speaks is creepy as hell. Kasey might be Patrick Bateman. He got a tattoo. It was some weird rose and shield situation just for Ali. You know, to show his commitment to her. Psycho.

Fatal Attraction’ Frank, who after his first one-on-one date with Ali thought they were like boyfriend/girlfriend. Does he not realize she has like a lot of boyfriends? Frank, the ‘retail manager/screenwriter’, might have a nervous breakdown though. He’s actually starting to loose his shit here. He’s worried that his girlfriend Ali is actually kind of slutty and is not saving the special stuff just for him. He’s starting to get the crazy look in his eye. I predict a full meltdown soon.

Craig, who thinks he’s like the house bullshit detector because he’s a lawyer. Fug + boring.

Justin ‘Rated R’, is an actual ‘professional entertainment wrestler.’ And he wore his ‘Rated R’ shirt under his suit shirt on the first episode so he could bust it out. Proof that sad things can be funny. Also, he’s on crutches. He hobbles all over the place. I think these two would make a good couple. For reals. He loves some hair product as well. 

Roberto, who I don’t have that much to say about, I mean he seems okay and likes hair product too. He might fancy himself as a bit of a Latin lover.

The best contestant, who alienated himself pretty much immediately and picked a fight with little Jonathan, but still managed to get a lot of screen time was Craig M. He thought he was Patrick Dempsey and was maybe on coke. Either way, he was good TV. Bet the producers were bummed he couldn’t string two words together when he was alone with Ali.

So you know what happens next right? WEEKS AND WEEKS of nauseating ‘one-on-one’ dates and these super lame ‘cocktail parties’ where we watch Ali whittle down which bros stay and which go home. So pretty much her making out with everyone, giggling at all their un-funny jokes and listening intently as they all try to impress her. It’s so sad. So desperate. How do these guys not feel totally desperate?

As the show progresses we see things heat up. Like more dates, more ‘connections’ forged, more make-out sessions and more losers sent home with no rose. All leading up to a week of ‘home town dates’ to meet the parents, exotic local ‘fantasy suite nights,’ where they can get it on and finally the big day – picking the winner. It always comes to the agonizing decision of having to pick one of these guys she’s madly in love with to be her husband

It also weirds me out that she makes out with everyone any time she gets some one-on-one time with one of these bros. But don’t worry, she’s looking out for your feelings guys. On her blog she says this, “The group date this week was a blast! There was a lot of kissing in my scenes which made things really awkward. During my scene with Kirk, I actually asked the guys to leave the room because I wanted to be respectful and not make them feel uncomfortable.” See, she is such a lady.

She goes on to say, “What a crazy week of dates. My relationships are starting to grow stronger and I am feeling really good at this point. I feel like I could find my husband here! I actually started a journal at the beginning of the show and the very first sentence reads, “This is the story of how I met my husband…” Shut up.

Then at the end of each episode there’s a ‘rose ceremony’, where she gives the bros she likes and wants to keep a rose and the others have to beat it. CLOSE CALL I SAY! The rose ceremonies are the most cringe-worthy pieces of reality TV ever to be produced, rife with the show’s winner of a tag-line, ‘will you accept this rose?’

As for the not-so-lucky ones that miss out on finding true love, we get to see them in their fifteen minutes of humiliation on the ride home in the limo where the reject can tell us how he can’t believe she would keep, insert name here, over him and how he felt like they had a real connection. How you expect me to buy, that after two ten-minute conversations and one date you felt such a strong connection that you’re devastated to be going home, is beyond me.

Look, I love reality TV, don’t get me wrong. But manufactured bullshit romance like this really rubs me the wrong way. How much is scripted? At this point we’re all fairly savvy viewers when it comes to reality TV, but this show is actually asking us to suspend ALL disbelief and get on the love train with these people.

What I hate is feeling like I’m being sold something that’s not what it says it is. I’m not into Valentine’s Day. I think love happens when it happens, not on a TV show for ratings with a bunch of people with all kinds of hidden agendas. I guess I’m just a romantic at heart, and this show has nothing to do with romance.

Cate McManus is a contributor to This Recording. This is her first appearance in these pages. She tumbls here.

"Out There" - Lali Puna ft. Yukihiro Takahashi (mp3)

"Remember" - Lali Puna (mp3)

"Hostile to Me" - Lali Puna (mp3)

 

Saturday
Jul032010

In Which Ellen Page Fills Our Heart To The Brim

the iTunes Playlist: Ellen Page

Oh to be Ellen Page! We already want to be a lesbian, and Ellen takes it up to another level. All music is new to Ellen. She heard of music about three months ago when Sean Penn told her who Eddie Vedder was. Ellen was produced via an immaculate conception somewhere in Halifax, much like Howard Norman's classic novel of the city, and one of our favorite books of all time, The Museum Guard.

Ellen probably has an addiction to cute pills, otherwise it would be difficult to look like this all the time. I wonder if when she stares at Alison Janney and Catherine Keener she thinks that is what she will become. Diane Keaton is v. jealous of Ellen. Jack Nicholson is jealous of Ellen. Fuck, we all are. Being a cute little lesbian like Ariel Schrag in Potential is pretty much as good as it gets.

The celebrity playlist she made for iTunes follows.

"Possibly Maybe" - Bjork (mp3)

I adore Bjork. The swan dress and all. This is probably my favorite song by her. Feels like someone stuck in their head while falling for another, but not knowing how the other individual feels. Intense, beautiful, and scary.

"Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl" - Broken Social Scene (mp3)

I would love if some sort of machine existed that could tell me just how many times I have listened to this song. I guess iTunes tracks it, but I only recently got into this iTunes thingy. Anyway, the point of that ramble is to say that I adore this song. Emily Haynes (from Metric) singing with Broken Social Scene. It's just a cosmic blend of awesomeness.

"Wild is the Wind" - Cat Power (mp3)

I am crazy about Cat Power, she is one of my favorite musicians. I could create an entire playlist with just her songs actually. In any event, here is a cover of 'Wild is the Wind' that paralyzes me. It is so gorgeous.

"Honey or Tar" - CocoRosie (mp3)

This song is beautiful, still, but very dirty. Elements that I love compacted into one stunning song. CocoRosie is fantastic.

"Gymnopedies, No. 1 (Bank of America)" - Erik Satie

Erik Satie's music is the score for my favorite film, The 400 Blows. I cannot even describe how his music makes me feel. So simple, but full of so much emotion.

"En Gallop" - Joanna Newsom (mp3)

When I first heard Joanna Newsom, I immediately fell in love. She was all I listened to for awhile. Both of her albums are insanely amazing. This song fills my heart to the brim.

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ellen & catherine keener are the same person at different times

"You Love Me" - Kimya Dawson (mp3)

Kimya Dawson inspires me to no end. She has an enormous heart. She is one of those people that makes me feel better about being in this world. This song is extremely touching.

"Please" - Mary Gauthier (mp3)

This album was just recently introduced to me. I am loving Mary Gauthier. Her voice blows me away.

"In a Manner of Speaking" - Nouvelle Vague (mp3)

I was obsessed with this song at one point. There are no words.

"Ice Cream" - New Young Pony Club (mp3)

Wow, all the music so far is incredibly beautiful and also very mellow. So here is one that makes me feel sugar high. It makes me feel other things too...as in it gets me pretty excited...tee hee.

"Break It Up" - Patti Smith (mp3)

Patti Smith is one of my icons. This song is from one of my personal favorite albums of all time, Horses. It makes me want to tear off my clothes and run through a field or something. Is that weird?

"Entertain" - Sleater-Kinney (mp3)

This song makes me freak out, basically when I listen to it I can't control myself. For intense, their album Woods should never be playing if I am driving. I love these girls, but I am also totally jealous, because I will never be them.

"Love Will Tear Us Apart" - Susanna and the Magical Orchestra (mp3)

This song knocks me out. It is so beautiful, honest, and sad. Sends a feeling straight to my gut.

"Lover's Spit" - Broken Social Scene (mp3)

Leslie Feist singing this Broken Social Scene song...need I say more? Let's just make out.

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Thursday
Jul012010

In Which Kenny Powers Is An Average American With Extraordinary Hair

Born On The 4th Of July

by MOLLY LAMBERT 

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY MOTHERFUCKERS! , YOUR FRIENDS AT THIS RECORDING.

I FUCKING LOVE FIREWORKS! GOD FUCKING DAMN IT I DO!!! PYROTECHNICS RULE!!! 

KENNY POWERS COMES BACK IN SEPTEMBER FOR EASTBOUND & DOWN SEASON 2!

This is the explosive long rumored under wraps until now rap inclusive volume 4 of the Kenny Powers mix. If you can't handle going electric, get the fuck out of my free country! It's 2010! The only acceptable musical transitions are Three 6 Mafia into Lynyrd Skynyrd and David Allan Coe into 2Pac. Fighting racism thru iTunes integration.

Do you like music that is heavy as fuck? Music that drips with sweat like a longhair's guitar after a blistering solo? Heavy with sweat like Lil' Wayne's dreadlocks after proving all night that he is a pussy monster? Then you will enjoy Kenny Powers Volume 4. Bump it at your BBQ while you grill and in your truck when you off-road. 

KENNY POWERS BALL 4: EXTRA INNINGS

DJ MOLLY LAMBERT

The Stealer - Free

4 My Town (Play Ball) - Birdman, Drake, & Lil' Wayne 

Mississippi Queen - Mountain

Fucked Up - Lil' Wyte ft. Three 6 Mafia 

I Ain't The One - Lynyrd Skynyrd 

Diamonds & Cadillacs - Jackie Chain

I'm Alive - Spooky Tooth

Stupid Wild - Gucci Mane ft. Lil' Wayne

Green Eyed Lady - Sugarloaf

Box Chevy Pt. 3 - Yelawolf ft. Rittz

Working On The Road - Ten Years After

Goodies - Freddie Gibbs

Rock Candy - Montrose

Never Been - Wiz Khalifa

Cocaine Carolina - Johnny Cash ft. David Allan Coe 

Is It Cool To Fuck? - 2Pac ft. Rated R & Macadoshis

Love Track - Wiggy Bits

Batter Up - Nelly ft. The St. Lunatics

Greensboro Woman - Townes Van Zandt

All 4 Volumes Of The Kenny Powers Mix

STRIKE 1: SPRING TRAINING

STRIKE 2: REGULAR SEASON

STRIKE 3: WORLD SERIES

BALL 4: EXTRA INNINGS

Molly Lambert is the managing editor/resident 70s rock completist at This Recording. She tumbls here.