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Alex Carnevale

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen

Senior Editor
Brittany Julious

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 We Like All The Things That You Like

Hard to Say is This Recording’s weekly advice column. It will appear every Wednesday until the Earth perishes in a fiery blaze, or until North West turns 40. Get no-nonsense answers to all of your most pressing questions by writing to justhardtosay@gmail.com or by dropping us a note at our tumblr.


My new boyfriend Keith is a great guy. He is very well-read, though and never lets you forget it. When he met my mom, he talked about Spenser for like fifteen minutes. Books are kind of his passion; often when we're together he will read quietly for long periods. Sometimes this isn't so bad - it's better than hearing about Spenser, for example. But I'm starting to wonder if he maybe needs someone who shares his hobby. I like to read, but am I wrong to think this is extreme?

Jana S.

Dear Jana,

One person's dream is usually someone else's nightmare. Bradley Cooper talks about the theater all the time, a fact his previous girlfriend found dreadful and a situation which I assume was the thinspiration for your question.

In High Fidelity, Nick Hornby whined for upwards of thirty pages... wait, sorry I'm talking about a book. There was a movie, too. John Cusack was upset because his girlfriend, who weirdly never was in another movie after that, didn't share his same hobbies. The odd part of it was his only discernible hobby was listening to music, which can be done conveniently during other activities, like protests against the police or masturbation.

It seems like if Keith takes the humblebragging too far in front of other people, there is a subtle way to reel him back in. Try these words, "Keith, wasn't Spenser a murderer? No? I thought I read that. I refuse to read the words of murderers. Do you guys want to see that David Duchovny show about Charles Manson, or do you think it looks as fucking stupid as I do?" Problem solved.

As for the actual reading itself, just read the internet while he is doing this or watch The 100.


Is total silence during an orgasm normal? It's not a very gratifying absence of sound to hear.

Alexis T.

Dear Alexis,

I have heard a variety of noises which sufficiently signify for orgasms. Here are some of the best and some of the worst.

Excellent: barking, meowing, reciting the Star Spangled Banner

Mediocre: singing, talking like Chappie, whistling

Pretty Bad: humming, whistling songs, doing that annoying heart-pounding thing from The Wolf of Wall Street

Horrendous: silence, talking about the perils of taxation, death

Encourage your partner to make all noises he wants. Most people learn to be quiet when they masturbate so as not to alert others to what they are doing, and bad habits stick around longer than good ones. 

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen.

"Stone Flower" - Adam Beyer (mp3)

"That Would Be the Sun" - Adam Beyer (mp3)


In Which We Keep The Remnants Of Fate For Ourselves



Here are the things we wanted to take with us:

- old drawings of cars if they were people

- photocopies of our hands on top of our hands

- the pluperfect, the pluperfect

- the same rock, close up, magnified, and then from the farthest distance

- triumvirate alliterations, like daddy daughter day or ravishing rick rude

- contact lenses that are no longer our prescription

- the tonality of light, daytime leaves like a bow...

- baseball cards, all the players had our same birthday. June babies, March misfits. I knew their poses.

- when he became Venom, how did it feel?

Here is what was better left in the old house, stacked next to the stairs like a rose bush too close to another.

- casseroles of double meaning

- unused stationary, the wrong address. Mailings and return to sender in those familiar printed letters.

- albums by the Police and Pink Floyd without that asshole Roger Waters

- helmets of the Spanish conquistadors

- assembling at dawn

- retrofitting porcelain tiles that did not resemble the brochure

- remember that time in Monterrey? She thought they were smoking menthol cigarettes.

- There is no point, no point at all in candles where we are headed.

-  Before the exit there's a turn-off where you can see the whole town, Don't stop there.

- I signed over the rights to this story, but I am not sure what we get in return, except a bib.

- The functions of things.

I sanded down two thin sticks of wood and placed them in my pencil case. It is a lot easier to get inside of a building if you have your lockpicks all squared away before then. They resemble cheap, finite creatures who barter for status. There is none of that here, in the world beyond the world.

From one vantage, the past radiates through each of us, humming like an air conditioner and bringing a more favorable complexion to view. I hate to mix metaphors, but someone very close to me had a cast on her leg, and she likened it to that. I sure don't want to forget what happened - bad first dates, God in an oxygen tank. Writing her all those frantic letters that didn't show enough of what they meant to display, which was this: my affection.

I glanced through what she had sent me. Corny bullshit mostly: playlists and cheap polaroids, postcards from Manila and Bangladesh. Her opinion of all the painters who had ever lived. Everyone else is sentimental. I used to wish I was like that, and my wish came true.

Dan Carville is the senior contributor to This Recording. He is a writer living in Los Angeles. You can find an archive of his writing on This Recording here.

Images by Los Carpinteros.

"Seven Hours" - The Helio Sequence (mp3)

"Phantom Shore" - The Helio Sequence (mp3)


In Which We Keep Missing Littlefinger For Some Reason

The One True King


I really feel for King Tommen. He's sitting in his breakfast nook, waiting to dig into an adorable plate of corn and eggs, when his wife comes in to complain about her homosexual relative's detention. These are the kinds of everyday problems I am forced to fix, but I do not like to talk when I am eating.

There's a lot of issues with our country that need to be solved right now. A major city is self-destructing in front of our eyes, and the president is like, "Yeah, I'm not going over there." Cersei Lannister would send an expeditionary force to start another, more cohesive riot to overwhelm the first one.

Why didn't they just sail to Mereen to begin with? Nevermind.

Freddie Gray is the only the latest person to die in police custody. This has happened for thousands of years and it will probably happen again. It doesn't matter the reason for the expected disorder - keeping the peace is the only reasonable job of the government. Leaders are more motivated by personal considerations: "Do you have any affection for me at all?" Margaery whines.

Barbara Bush never wore a wig, and I give her a lot of credit for that.
Between your wife, your mother and your city is a tough place to be. Barack's mother lives in the White House. George W. Bush would sometimes get calls from his mom and Laura at the same time. Guess which one he took?

That was a trick question; he took whichever one I fucking told him to.

Of all the men to expose your breasts to... Samwell was right there, and he has been definitively friendzoned by Gilly.

Thrones is only a reflection of America, a satire becoming more prescient every time that Jon Snow refuses to have sex with someone. At other times in our history a religious revival has swept through the people. Unabashed belief is the only thing that can truly change a nation. The Gods of Westeros are as dead as the old dragons.

The Sand Snakes of Dorne really need to hit Talbot's for some new outfits. Yikes.

Watching Stannis Baratheon get all soft about his daughter being poisoned with greyscale just reminds me of how much the temperament of a leader affects his followers. We require a true believer, not some tongue-in-cheek professor who tweets about watching Veep. We need a leader who can focus people on the world beyond the world.

Perhaps it is a bit early to be laying down my endorsement, but the most important thing we can have right now is a person who takes this country as seriously as I don't. You can send Rand Paul and Martin O'Malley to the ruins of Valyria for all I care. The one true king is Littlefinger.

You just need to find the boy who loves greyscale, e.g. Bran. He can probably cure it in fact.

That guy looked so cute in the sept. This is a man who still lives in the past. He never forgets what happened to him. He's tiny, but very rich. He has all the straight goss about Lyanna Stark and Aerys Targaryen. He alone can greenlight the Thrones prequel series where we can watch Ned Stark fall in love with the saucy mother of Jon Snow all over again.

I honestly don't know why Littlefinger is being friendly to Sansa. (I became fully aroused when he told her, "You've learned to maneuver from the very best.") He's mentoring her before his return to King's Landing in a most affecting way. Littlefinger's plan is exciting, but I have serious concerns that the coming pairing of Jon Snow and Sansa will lead to them reflecting on the good old days where Robb hazed Bran by forcing him to masturbate Hodor to orgasm.

So many regrets. I wonder who will play you in the prequel, maybe Harry Styles?

A society that kills off its oldest and weakest members is not one that I want to be a part of. Unless that includes Bran. That guy gets to draw a paycheck for an entire season and he doesn't even have to have a crow dream once. Fuck Bran.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.

"Lavender Philosophy" - Jenny Lysander (mp3)

"Under the Willow Tree" - Jenny Lysander (mp3)