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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 We Continue To Read Leonard Michaels' Innermosts

You can find the first installment of Leonard Michaels' Journal here. Read on...

from Journal


I visited a monastery in the wilderness. The monks had carved every stone by hand. It took years to complete. They were content, but their work was so ugly it seemed to comment on their faith. I wandered in halls and courtyard looking for a redeeming touch. There was none. In works of self-abnegating faith is there necessary ugliness?

Writers die twice, first their bodies, then their works, but they produce book after book, like peacocks spreading their tails, a gorgeous flair of color soon shlepped through the dust.

Boris tells me, apropos of nothing, that he has been rereading certain novels and poems. It's as if he is talking to himself, yet he is curious to hear my opinion. He says the novels and poems mean different things whenever he returns to them. As he talks, he picks up a small lacquered bowl which he brought back from Japan. It is very old, very good. It has the aura of a museum object whose value has emerged over time and declared itself absolutely, but he studies it with a worried, skeptical, suspicious eye.

Spoke to her on the phone. She cried. Said she missed me. I feel like a ghoul wandering in the darkness.

Eddie said her ran into his former wife in the street in New York, and they talked. They talked as if neith of them knew how to say nice to see you, I'm expected somewhere, goodbye, goodbye. They went to a restaurant and ate and talked some more, and they went to her apartment, and they made love. Then she said, "So why did we get divorced?" Eddie smiled at me and said, "See?" as if he were an idiot of circumstances, shlepped into pain and confusion by his cock. "You know how long I was divorced before I remarried?" he asked. "Not three days," he said. I was sad for him and for her, and her, and her. The feeling widened like circles about a leaf fallen onto the surface of a pond.

I eat standing up, leaning over the sink. I wouldn't eat like this if anyone could see me.

New York. Mother's apartment. Moritz visits, tells a story. One freezing morning everybody had to go outside and and watch a man be hanged. He'd tried to escape the previous night. Beside Moritz stood a boy, the man's brother. "His nose became red. It was so red," said Moritz. "That's what I remember." Moritz's eyes enlarge and his voice becomes urgent, as if it were happening again. His excitement isn't that of a storyteller. he can recite passages from Manfred in Polish, but he isn't literary. The experience is still too real to him. His memories are very dangerous. He fears another heart attack, but he tells about the camps. It should be remembered as he tells it. Freezing morning. The boy's red nose.

Her voice is flat and coolly distant, so I imagine things aren't over between us.

Boris drove past me in his new car, speeding down Euclid Avenue, picking his nose. he didn't see me. He was watching the road, driving fast, obsessed with his nose. Each life, says Ortega, is a perspective on reality.

I talk to Annette only on the phone. Afraid we might touch.

Every wildness plays with death. Washing your hands is a ritual to protest against death, and so are all the small correct things you do every day. Aren't there people who do nothing else? They pay their bills on time and go to the doctor once a year. They have proper sentiments and beliefs. They are nice people. I wanted to do dull ordinary chores all day. I wanted to be like nice people only to forget death, only to feel how I'm still alive.

The waiter does everything quick, everything right -- no sauce on the fish, dry wine, salad dressing on the side. Then he bends over her and whispers, "Why are you angry?"
She says, "I'm not angry."
He says, "I can see that you're angry."
"I'm not angry."
"Didn't I bring you everything you asked for?"
His voice becomes bigger, self-pitying. "Fish, soup, bread, wine. Everything you asked for."
She says, "I shouldn't have to ask." The waiter walks away rolling his eyes. He doesn't understand American women. I rise, go to her table, and say, "Do you mind if I join you?"
She says, "What took you so long?"

Leonard Michaels is the senior contributor to This Recording. He died in 2003.

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"Maggie and Me" - Dirty Projectors (mp3)

"Time for Bed" - Dirty Projectors (mp3)

"She Turns to Ash" - Dirty Projectors (mp3)

"We Are Striving" - Dirty Projectors (mp3)


In Which In A Manner of Speaking I Just Want To Bleed

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished


There are about seven different words that mean gratitude in Japanese, and about half of them figure the word 'resentment' into their definitions. These are the same people that brought the world that most splendid of energy drinks for the young vampire, TruBlood. Do yourself a favor and mix a little O negative in with that broth you're cooking. It's a change you won't regret.

But yes, thanking someone for real ended when the Old West did; shortly thereafter it turned itself into an insult except for a brief period during the Jimmy Carter administration when it was a pun. No good deed goes unpunished, and few creatures of this world can appreciate that.

But Marianne (the delicious Michelle Forbes) can. Her inner monologues go on and on in Latin, and she's a Dionysian one for sure. She brought ne'erdowells of color into her well-apportioned home, and she can make shapeshifters shit diarrhea when they're busted back to their canine form. Be thankful! What exactly is so bad about accepting your host's graciousness? Guest rights were common when Marianne first burst on the scene. Now if you plan ahead to stay with your relatives they wait for your after-dinner walk to sample the sherbet you so desperately crave.

To prevent his store from being looted in the wake of the Lakers' championship, a shopkeeper had an unusual idea. Put a sign up that said, "Free! Going Out of Business!" and you wouldn't even have to put a guard at the door. People hate being offered things, and they certainly can't accept kindness, whether it comes from a human, or whatever Marianne is, exactly.

The first season of True Blood was provincial, this season the show can really start to spread its wings. Gosh, we haven't met a single wolf yet, although for my money Tara's ex-con seductor looks like he might bite. Everyone is just so beautiful in this backwards town that Anna Paquin is starting to look piqued under her eyes and tits.

Last week's premiere ended in make-up sex, and it's where last night's episode picked up. Sookie and Bill are having major problems, huge problems, problems accepting that each other's problems are problems. Vampire-human love will never work, there's too much going against it. You can hit the same artery multiple times and it'll come back, but veins are tougher, and it's only a matter of time before Sookie loses the ability to create scar tissue on her neck and bleeds out for good.

why aren't you watching this show again?Yes, Bill will soon be parted from Sookie's ample bosom. In the books there was no teenage vampire Jessica that Bill had to care for to step between them - she's a fiction of the show, which needed a reason to separate the happy couple short of Bill's research. (Bill attempts to put together a vampire Who's Who in Charlaine Harris' series. As a dramatic action it's somewhat lacking.)

Meanwhile, the consumers of vampire blood are struggling through rehab. Lafayette is about to undergo a serious transformation, and it is true he would make one stellar vampire. But poor Tara! Deprived of her cousin's once-questionable humanity, is she the only non-supe in Bon Temps?

Jason Stackhouse is doing his part to help Tara out. Off at vampire hate camp, he captured the flag, along with the erotic intentions of his host. It's just good to be Jason Stackhouse. He loves everyone, whether it's Stephen Root, the chick from Cloverfield, or the wife of a preacher. Bro is just full of it. You have to wonder how far Alan Ball is prepared to push the church camp satire. As of now, he probably has some viewers thinking they accidentally stumbled on EWTN.

The new Eric Northman should come as no surprise. If he really has his eye on Sookie (and let's be honest, the only reason to dress like Sporty Spice is for ass), he's going to have to stop chowing down on her friends.

As of this very moment, however, he might have an opportunity. Sookie's a fragile creature right now. When you could always read minds, and suddenly can't because you're stepmother to a teen vamp - you can be talked into some pretty crazy things. I suggest the show's producers consider a Vampire Jessica world tour, dragging the evil ginger who plays her around the world to flash her fangs at opponent of homosexual marriage and cry red. When best utilized, fear can do us all some good.

"Don't you dare threaten me," Marianne tells Sam Merlotte. She's not going to let anyone ruin her good time, whether it's her devoted servant who stopped Tara from banging whatever it is that black drug dealer actually is, or the good rodeo-loving people of Bon Temps. Trouble at home and abroad - this is show is life.

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording. He tumbls it all here.

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"Out of the Wilderness" - God is a Whale (mp3)

"Maybe You're Right" - God is a Whale (mp3)

"Birds and Pears" - God is a Whale (mp3)



In Which We See The Week The Way It Was Not The Way We Wish It Was

Week in Review

It goes by rather fast when you start thinking about it. There's always something to treasure, to revisit, to bring your mind back to. We highly recommended The Proposal starring Ryan Reynolds and the creature formerly known as Sandra Bullock. She was just someone on Keanu Reeves' bus, and now she's playing opposite of Scarlett Johanssen's fuck-buddy? Imagine our surprise.

The new Fiery Furnaces leaked, life went on as before. The Yankees lost because Johnny Damon couldn't catch a fly ball. Donte Stallworth got 26 days in jail, Plaxico Burress said what the fuck? The people of Iran desired a free election, but try making that happen!

Makeshift sex tapes of Leighton Meester and Robert Pattinson circulated like flies. Imagine being one of their mothers. No one wants to be famous if they're really famous, it's like a Gypsy curse. Leonard Michaels had better ideas about these things, but he's a misogynist, and he's no longer with us. To be dead is to be happy.

Was in the supermarket the other day and a young woman came up to me and asked does the blinking light meant it is open? Could make no sense of what she was saying, was listening to a book on iPod. Took a moment and decided on phrasing of correct answer: You ought to go and see.

It's better to give advice, any advice. It doesn't matter what it is; it would probably go a long way. We try to forget everything, even things we know are important, because remembering it is so difficult. Our memories are to us as Johnny Damon is to a fly ball hit straight at him.

We'll keep wandering here for a while in case you want to ask us something.

You can find last week's WIR review here.

"My Love For You Is Real" - Ryan Adams (mp3)

"Evergreen" - Ryan Adams (mp3)

"Answering Bell" - Ryan Adams (mp3)