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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 You Should Always Drink And Date

I Might Practice Santeria Once I've Had A Few Sangrias


On a recent girls-night-out (yes guys, we have those and yes, we talk about you), my close friend, who we’ll call K, was reporting back from a first date with a guy who, before this date, seemed to have a lot of promise.

Besides him being cute and having an interesting job, K and this guy had hit it off upon meeting through friends at a bar. After a few email exchanges, plans were made to meet at a local coffee house. The verdict? “Well,” she told us over pint glasses of murky beer, "we just didn’t have much to talk about." "Oh," we all echoed disappointingly.

K is an awesome girl, and it had been too long since a guy of equal caliber had taken her out and shown her a good time. We all thought this new guy was a shoo-in. What went wrong?

They had both shown up to the coffee house (a swanky Silver Lake spot) on their vintage Schwinn fixed-gears, I’m sure she looked adorable in some sort of designer-yet-casual get-up, and they had sat in the outside patio drinking expensive lattes hoping, I’m sure, to capture that same connection they had experienced upon first meeting. But it didn’t happen.

We all puzzled over it for a moment, hoping to use our collective successes and failures at dating in order to dispense some sage advice to K. I was the first to speak; “Uhhh, maybe you guys just needed to get drunk?” was my bit of wisdom.

I didn’t think it’d be well received, but to my surprise, the lovely M retorted with a spirited “yeah!” I was glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who thought of alcohol as a necessary means of getting through those first few, nervous dates.

"OMG you are HOT! I think?"

I’m a social person by nature, I always have been. Unfortunately, I also have a tendency to get overexcited and little spastic, which leads to extreme self consciousness, which in turn leads to me to forcing myself to sit quietly as to not embarrass myself.

Cue the shots of Jameson, pints of beer, or glasses of red wine.

Just as you might notice what he or she wore, what kind of car they drove, or if they have a tramp stamp, the type of drink a person orders tells a lot about them, too. My rule of thumb is; if a guy orders anything with cranberry juice in it, or anything pink for that matter. OK, hell, anything with any kind of mixer other than Coke (and I mean regular coke, not diet), then it’s probably not going to work out. In the same vein, if a girl orders a pint of beer, a whiskey on the rocks, or an Irish car bomb, marry her.

There’s something about drinking alcohol, not even the “getting drunk” part (although that does come into play), but the actual act of drinking alcohol, which relaxes me and makes me feel more cool and collective. Is this alcoholism? I don’t know, but I don’t think so. What I believe it to be is “social lubrication”, and it’s a necessity for me when I’m dating someone new...someone I really like.

You may not want to get drunk enough to eat a bacon wrapped hot dog on the first date if you are planning on making out. If the date goes down in flames, however...

The first thing that makes drinking a necessity when dating is that it’s something to do. How much do you hate that “what do you want to do?" ”I don’t know, what do you want to do” back and forth that you have with someone when you don’t know them very well? A good answer to that question is “Let’s go have a pint at Red Lion” or “How about margaritas at El Coyote?”

See? You’ve immediately indicated that a) you’re a take-charge kinda girl or guy, and b) you’re ready to have an intimate conversation with this person, which as we all know, is what normally happens when you drink with someone.

A girl I know - let’s call her “me” -was dating a new guy, one she really liked. While driving home from a party (which would have counted as their 3rd or 4th date) Sublime came on the radio. Being somewhat intoxicated, (don’t worry, I...*ahem* she wasn’t driving) an excited and heartfelt solo sing-along ensued.

Do you think the excuse of “but I’m from Orange County!” the next morning when relaying this mortifying experience to her friends would have sufficed? No, it would not. But! “I was drunk!” worked just fine. In fact, the drunken Sublime sing-along turned out to actually be endearing to this guy! Can you believe it?!

Sublime = That's when things got out of control!

Drinking in the beginning is a necessity is that it gives you a handicap. Did you tell him about the time you got pants-ed in fifth grade? Did he lean in for kiss and spill beer on your jeans? Did he pull his own finger and fart?

Let’s just say you have a lot of leeway when it comes do doing and saying embarrassing things while drinking, way more that if you did those things while sober. An added bonus is that telling that guy or girl things about your childhood which you wouldn’t normally share without first imbibing in some spirits, makes them feel closer to you.

Before I make my third point, I’d like to first request that my dad stop reading this. That’s right, Marty. See that little red “x” at the top-right of this page? Click it. Do it now, or we’ll both regret it for life.

No really dad, stop reading right now!

Okay, now that I’m without parental supervision...ummm, drunk sex? Possibly the most awesome thing ever! Guys, you know that embarrassing straight-edge tattoo on your back that you got in high school? Or that mole that looks strikingly like a third nipple? Or your insistence on leaving your socks on during sex?

And ladies, you know how your ass jiggles a little too much when you’re unclothed? Or how much bigger your right boob is than your left when you’re not wearing a bra? Or those sounds you make in the middle of an orgasm that make you sound like you’re bat-shit crazy?

All those things are waaaaay less noticeable when you’re drunk, which is why it’s so hard for some people to have sober sex in the beginning of a relationship. Follow my advice, and those creepy bedroom habits of yours won’t be noticed until you’re a couple months into the relationship which by then, if you’re doing everything else right, he or she will be too smitten with you to dump you.

It’s a lonely world out there, folks. Having someone you love to belly-up to the bar with is a wonderful feeling. A few post-date hangovers is a small price to pay for that, don’t you think?

Georgia Hardstark is the contributing editor to This Recording. She had a million dollars but she spent it all on booze. She blogs here and tumbls here.

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"Amy's Song" - Joshua Radin (mp3)

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In Which Adam Lambert Probably Ejaculates Glitter Or Some Shit

Liveblogging American Idol


American Idol 

Season 8

Paula's text to Gokey was actually "pppppppppppp." There is no way that woman knows how to text correctly. She can barely speak English. Gokey is getting ready for his future career as a cruise ship entertainer. Danny Gokey's money spot is a place I never want to go.

Kara's subtext: "I find you physically repulsive. Please stop dancing, forever." Simon's hair still looks like a Frankenstein flat-top. Is Seacrest wearing Cuban heels?

Kris seems like a nice enough young man. He's wearing chipped blue nail polish. Do you think he ever did before Adam Lambert swept into his world?

Chris Pine is way hotter than Kris Allen though. Read my Star Trek review?

"Apologize" by One Republic is actually a perfect song for Kris's meager talents. Kara is the Kelly Bensimon of Idol and I love it. She just called Kris "competent," which is like Kelly saying that Bethenny "does a great job" being a pathetically single career-driven chef.

Kris is still really good looking. He's probably got a future. He can play the bad guy in the sequel to Star Trek or the monster in Cloverfield 2. Simon, real talk. Somebody make me a GIF wall that is all just Simon and Lauren Conrad from "The Hills" rolling their eyes.

Don't understand how the Mac guy/PC guy ad campaign is still going. This can only have damaged Apple's sales. Nobody wants to hang out with the Mac guy. 

Adam Lambert = Spock. America is ready for gay guys with emo hair to take over the universe. I for one am ready to give in to my homosexual raven-locked overlords.

Wow, Carrie Underwood is in Angola while a vocal version of Toto's "Africa" plays. Something about Idol Gives Back is condescending to the people it helps. But it's nowhere near as gross as the public service thing on The Biggest Loser they just announced which is called "Pounds For Pounds" and involves people losing weight and then the hungry are fed with the pounds of their shed flesh. No it's not that, but that's what it sounds like.

YES GOKEY SING TO YOUR DEAD WIFE. TUG THOSE HEARTSTRINGS ONE MORE TIME. It's not working at all because your facial hair is a prison pussy. Something about everything he does is so repulsive to me. He has no soul. He dresses like the president of a college acapella group or the bartender at a Cheesecake Factory. I hope this is a fake-out because they're planning to vote him off. If it comes down to Gokey and Lambert, I bet Gokey will win. Because that will be America's punishment for letting Gokey get this far in the competition.

Even Simon is greasing up Gokey. Are we in an alternate universe? Is this a time loop?

Clearly Kris Allen is a gay fish. This is his best performance on the show to date. He sounds like the dude from Matchbox 20. I mean that as a Kelly Bensimon style compliment! How could you be so Arli$$?

"Did they sleep together?" - my roommate Jess, on the Simon/Paula dynamic

The judges are freaking out because Kris just pulled an Adam Lambert and did a crazy opposite version of a hip-hop song. My cousin Marly Guthrie could easily sweep this competition with her acoustic soul versions of Prince songs.

Adam changed out of his Texas tuxedo into a slinkier leather number.

This is pretty good but I was really hoping he'd sing an acceptance anthem like Xtina's "Beautiful" or Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors." Failing that, I was really praying for "You Oughta Know" in the dream that he'd stare Simon in the eye during the "go down on you in a theater" part. Maybe Adam's secret is that he is THE LAST CASTRATO. He will be the next Farinelli!

Farinelli, famous castrato singer

Adam Lambert is like Obama. He knows he's good, so he can chill out. He's not threatened by the competition. He can say genuinely nice things about them and mean it. He's just cool as fuck and he breaks none of Gokey's flop sweats reaching for those high notes. Shit is effortless for Adam Lambert! Of course it is. He's a Lambert.

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

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"Apologize" - Silverstein (OneRepublic cover) (mp3)

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"Apologize (Mike D Bass Remix) - OneRepublic (mp3)


In Which Life Is So Content And Complete From Where We're Sitting



My freshman year in high school, I worked so hard. I wanted to make all As and be pretty and be good. I wanted to be friends, make friends. I wanted to move on from middle school, start over. Be a new person, be my own person.

Everything was going OK until things started the next year, the sophomore year. I got my braces off. I got pretty. Boys were calling, and I didn’t really understand why or what they wanted. It made me feel strange, why they would call my house and want to talk to me, my mom was always in the next room.

I met geometry and chemistry. I don’t understand these subjects now, I didn’t then. All of a sudden I was getting C’s and D’s. I was supposed to be good, I was supposed to be so smart. before I was smart, now I wasn’t.

Before, being smart was the only thing I was ever really good at. reading, and knowing things, and understanding things and being smart. I couldn’t do sports all that well, or dance or gymnastics or even girl scouts. I was always bored by those things.

I just wanted to stay home and read.

But the boys kept calling and the classes kept coming and there wasn’t a plan anymore, I was just making it up as I went along, I didn’t know how to do this.

I made out with boys but I didn’t know anything about sex and I didn’t even know what I didn’t know. I thought making out was bad. I was lost. my parents were worried. I read and loved books like The Bell Jar and Go Ask Alice and Life Without Friends.

In short I loved books about depressed girls who wanted to kill themselves.

After a while I went to a therapist. Depression was not then what it is now, you know, like alcoholism or anorexia. I didn’t know what depression was. I just knew I felt heavy sometimes, dead. Maybe my parents understood, I don’t know, they just wanted me to be happy. That is all good parents who love you want, is for you to be happy.

I wish I could give them this.

The therapist was in his late thirties or early forties. He was kind, but I do not think he knew what to do with me. He was a blonde redhead, balding just a little bit. He was probably attracted to me, and I made him uncomfortable.

This is not a judgment, just the truth.

I don’t say that because of how I look or anything special about me. I say that because sometimes it just comes down to man and woman and it is that simple. You can’t take it personally. The instinct, at least. It's what you do with that instinct, really, that counts.

I failed some test, geometry maybe. My geometry teacher tried so hard to help me understand, but I just couldn’t understand. He knew how much it upset me, he could tell I was trying so hard.

Sometimes in class I would fantasize that actually I was some sort of savant and I actually just grasped math on a different level than everyone else but no one understood it yet.

That was not the case.

My geometry teacher wrote me a nice note though, at the end of the year. I think I finished with a C, maybe. I knew that that combined with my ineptitude with chemistry and science meant that I would not get one of those amazing scholarships, that I would not be the overachiever I had always hoped to be. But this note meant a lot. It was so thoughtful, this note. He just wrote that he knew I tried so hard and maybe something about going easier on myself, or something.

Before all that, I was supposed to be at a pep rally or something in the gym but instead I was in the bathroom, crying. The last time I was in the bathroom at school like that I had gotten my period for the first time. My stomach had hurt all morning and then it happened and I was so confused, I didn’t understand my body, or what it was doing,

Even though I had read Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

It was after the crying in the bathroom, after the test, that I was sent to this therapist. He was a nice man. but I didn’t know how to relate to him or what to say, I just mostly stared at the clock and watched the hands pass the time, like one of the depressed girls in one of those books I read did.

sylvia and tedSometimes the therapist would ask me questions, more about my behavior than my feelings, like have you been drinking alcohol? And so on. Sure I had tried it. but I didn’t understand how to do that, either really. I didn’t drink much, even then. I didn’t do drugs, I didn’t have sex. I didn’t even know what I didn’t know.

He had pictures of his twins on his desk. They were toddlers. I asked him about them once, and he smiled and I smiled. I liked the sight of those twins, they were blonde and they were young and they were happy. I noticed his gold wedding band. He was so vanilla. His life looked so content, so complete, from where I was sitting.

I do remember one time he asked me what was bothering me, why was I sad, and I said, because. The whole idea I had of my life, what schools I would go to, what I would accomplish, how successful I would be, how smart I was, what I could do, was over. It was all over, before it had even begun.

I was fifteen.

I had already figured out that I wasn’t going to be who I wanted to be, I said, and I was always going to be less than what I wanted to be. Plus, now I knew how hard it was for me, how sensitive I was, how easily stressed I became, how emotional, how difficult it was just for me to be me.

I was fifteen.

I can already see my whole life before me, I said. I can already see how hard it will be, I can already feel what it will be like. I know all the motions I will go through, college, work. I know what it will all feel like.

I know how hard it will be.

He did not respond.

I think he may have known I was right.

Meredith Hight is the contributing editor to This Recording. She lives in Los Angeles. She tumbls here.

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