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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 Are Surprised At Ourselves

A Spike Lee Grew in BK


Rosie Perez, in impossibly tight clothing, jukes to "Fight the Power" by Public Enemy. It's Brooklyn, or at least a re-creation of it, and as she dances alone, angry and with impenetrable gusto, you quickly realize, before the film has even begun, that Spike Lee's best joint is also the best film of the '80s.

Straight forward, Do the Right Thing is a film about doing the right thing, whatever that may mean. Buggin' Out, all thick specs and Kid 'n Play haircut says, "I'm just a struggling Black man trying to keep my dick hard in a cruel and harsh world," and as a 20-year-old Black female from the burbs, I somehow get that.

What does it mean to do the right thing when street violence plagues your neighborhood and the only applicable justice is vigilante justice? What does it mean to do the right thing when hundreds of years of violence, racism and slavery have immobilized an entire population from somewhat recovering in the face of "get over it?"

What does it mean to do the right thing when you can't even open up a business on your own block? What does it mean to do the right thing when, despite your friendships, the most problematic and inopportune of situations inevitable clouds one judgment, stripping away rational thought and instead, replacing it with "us vs. them?"

Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing came twenty years ago on the tail end of a decade of mental deterioration, social destruction, and cultural extinction. A means of shedding light on and telling one story for a population systematically ignored, it rattled a hell of a lot of feathers and left a sour, near-painful taste in the mouths of the sect who would have the means to watch the film in theaters, though not personally relate to its context on the sort of visceral level that the average Black American would.

It seems fitting that Lee, as Mookie, was the star of the film. It was completely his story to tell and like a gust of strong wind or a punch to the gut, Lee reflected on the past with a touch of humor and a ton of responsibility.

On the cusp of the politically correct '90s, Do the Right Thing spat in the face of social apathy, two years before the residents of South Central LA did the same thing.

Brittany Julious is the senior contributor to This Recording. She writes at Glamabella and Britticisms.

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"Of Moons, Birds and Monsters (Soft Rocks Late Night Screening Mix)" - MGMT (mp3)

"Of Moons, Birds and Monsters (Holy Ghost! remix)" - MGMT (mp3)

"Of Moons, Birds and Monsters (Modernaire remix)" - MGMT (mp3)


In Which We Have Scheduled Leonard Michaels For Psychotherapy

from  Journal


Evelyn's four year old son had a nightmare in which Evelyn appeared with a big knife stuck in her head. She has scheduled him for psychotherapy five days a week.

Billy phones, says, "Want to play?" I think about it, then say, "The traffic is heavy. It will take forever to get to your place. I can't stay long. I'd feel I'm using you. It's not right. I don't want to use you." She says, "But I want to be used." I drive to Billy's place. She opens the door naked, on her knees. We fuck. "Do you think I'm sick?" she says. I say, "No." "Good," she says. "I don't think you're sick either."

She was once making love and the bed collapsed on her cat, who was asleep underneath, and broke its back. Since then, she says, sex hasn't been the same for her. Then she dashes to the sink, grabs a knife, and looks back at me, her teeth shining, chilly as the steel, welcoming me to the wilderness.

Annette claimed Dr. Feller "worked hard" during their sessions. "I trusted him," she says. "So many therapists sleep with their patients." As if it were entirely up to him. That hurt my feelings. Later we met his girlfriend at a party. I was friendly, as usual, but Annette was furious, confused, depressed. I asked, "What's the matter?" She wouldn't answer, but then, in bed, unable to sleep, she announced, "I will confront him, tell him off." I ask, "Why?" She hisses, "I trusted him." I begin to wonder if I'm crazy. Dr. Feller took a fifth of my income. I feel a spasm of anger, but fall asleep anyway, imagining myself taking a three point shot from the sideline with no time on the clock. The ball feels good as it leaves my hands.

Margaret doesn't like oral sex because she was once forced to do it at gunpoint, in a car, in the parking lot next to the railroad tracks, outside the bar where the guy picked her up. I wish she hadn't told me. I hear freight trains. I see people coming out of the bar, laughing, drunk, going to their cars while she crouches in misery and fear, the gun at her head. How easy, if I had the gun at his head, to pull the trigger.

Schiller says, "When the soul speaks, then -- alas -- it is no longer the soul that speaks." William Blake says, 'Never seek to tell thy love/Love that never told can be." They mean the same as Miles Davis' version of "My Funny Valentine," so slowly played, excruciating, broken, tortured.

Afterward, afterward, it is more desolating than when a good movie ends or you finish a marvelous book. We should say "going," not "coming." Anyhow, the man should say, "Oh god, I'm going, I'm going."

Kittredge loves pretty women, but he is blind, can't pursue them. So I take him to a party and describe a woman in the room. He whispers, "Tell me about her neck." Eventually I introduce him to her. They leave the party together. Kittredge is always successful. Women think he listens differently from other men. In his blind hands they think pleasure is truth. Blind hands know deep particulars, what yearns in neck and knee. Women imagine themselves embracing Kittredge the way sunlight takes a tree. He says, "Talk about her hips." As I talk, his eyes slide with meanings, like eyes in a normal face except quicker, a snapping in them. Kittredge cannot see, cannot know if a woman is pretty. I say, "She has thick black hair." When they leave together I begin to sink. I envy the magnetic darkness of my friend. To envy him without desiring his condition is possible.

Sonny reads in the paper about a child who was sexually assaulted and murdered. She says quietly, as if to herself, "What are we going to do about sex?"

Leonard Michaels is the senior contributor to This Recording. He died in 2003. This is the third installment of his Journal. You can find the first two installments here and here.

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"Rainy Nights" - Matthew Solberg (mp3)

"Nothing to Say" - Matthew Solberg (mp3)

"Saving Disgrace" - Matthew Solberg (mp3)


In Which We Can Go To An Island Far Away!

Babes and Fast Cars


SPOTTED: on the Forever 21 website. A shirt in the "graphic tees" section, markedly separated from the "licensed tees." Not a particularly awesome shirt but instantly notable for a few cool convergences

Forever 21 shirt, artist unknown, 2009

First impression; Gee that looks familiar. But what from? So many stock images are copied from even older stock images. But no, this has to be a Roy Lichtenstein rip.

"In The Car," Roy Lichtenstein, 1963

Which it is, a Lichtenstein work named "In The Car," itself probably copied from an earlier comic book panel. But why is it mostly stripped of colors? Why did they put sunglasses on the guy? Besides the proven fact that sunglasses make you cool.

Sonic Youth "Goo" LP cover, Raymond Pettibon, 1990

Because it's a hybridization of the 1963 Lichtenstein painting and Raymond Pettibon's iconic cover for the 1990 Sonic Youth album "Goo." What you might call in modern day netgoob parlance "a mash-up." Or just a multi-level knock-off.

Maureen Hindley and David Smith, en route to the murder trial

The similarities between "In The Car" and the cover of "Goo" are coincidental, besides portraying similarly posed subjects in cars. The Pettibon drawing is based off this photograph of Maureen Hindley and David Smith, witness to the infamous mid-sixties Moors murders, wherein Maureen's sister Myra and her boyfriend Ian Brady killed five children over the course of two years more or less for kicks.

Myra Hindley and Ian Brady, the world famous murderers' mugshots

Smith was waiting in the kitchen when he suddenly heard a loud scream from the adjacent living room as Hindley shouted for him to go and "help Ian". Smith entered the room to find Brady in a murderous frenzy, repeatedly striking Evans with the flat of an axe before throttling him with a length of electrical cord. Smith was then asked to help clean up the blood and bits of bone and brain in the living room, and help carry the body to the spare room upstairs and wrap it in a polythene bag trussed up with rope. Fearing for his own life, Smith complied. In the months before this murder, Smith had refused to believe Brady's claims of carrying out several murders and disposing of the bodies on the moors, and had conveyed his skepticism to Brady.

Kate Moss and Pete Doherty pose as the Moors murderers

Morrissey wrote the song "Suffer Little Children" about the Manchester murders for the first Smiths album. Part of what strikes me as so interesting about all this is how iconic these original images are, and how they've remained iconic for so long. All images are now are available all the time. 

Not that one's better than the other. Certainly new technology lovers had reason to geek out this week with all the Iranian election online media. Things are newly possible that were unimaginable even a few years ago. 

Neda Soltani, after being shot in the chest

Images are really transmitted across the world instantly. The youtube video of a woman being shot to death in the chest has already become the iconic image of this event. Especially chilling is the way the girl's gaze seems to shift (or roll, depending on your interpretation) towards the camera at the moment of death. 

The footage has been shown on CNN several times and watched on the internet countlessly. As citizens we are mostly otherwise insulated from war and death, especially from its particulars. This video, in some ways resembling a snuff film, reminds us that death is often shocking, cruel, and horribly pointless. 

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She twitters here (follow her now!) and tumbls here (likewise!).

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"These Days" - Nico (mp3)

"These Days" - Casador (mp3)

"These Days" - Denison Witmer (mp3)

"These Days" - St. Vincent (mp3)