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Editor-in-Chief
Alex Carnevale
(e-mail/tumblr/twitter)

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen
(e-mail)

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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Thursday
May212009

In Which There Is A History of Space and Time

Too Much Time

by ALEX CARNEVALE

We are besieged with a product that is substandard, an imagination that begins and ends with the word 'Romulan.' There is no recourse from our culture, there is not even recourse from the recourse to our culture.

There is a forgetting of what went into the stew before the stew was the stew. Industrious, brilliant immigrants to this country resettled here and made the best, if not the first, American culture. Poul Anderson is one of these such enterprisers. Born to immigrant parents in the middle of Pennsylvania, he was gifted with a superior mind, and made the best of the late space fantasies. Summer won't be the same without Poul.

Tau Zero may be the finest of his high space adventures, slightly ahead of the more optimistic Harvest of the Stars. It concerns a space mission that is going so fast it literally passes all of time by; it is far more difficult to formulate into a pitch than "they fire a nuke into the sun!" Zero shows Anderson's immemorial ability to make you care about a character with more than just the sleight of hand of "his dad died saving his mom's life while giving birth."

kirk's mom's saucy ginger sideTime is a much gentler theme in Anderson, coming and going with the sensitivity required of the subject. In There Will Be Time, he bridges the two themes expertly, using a first person narration, building the entire plot around the idea of witness, crossing it all with an understanding of American history that is entirely lacking from most fiction. Like Dick's The Man In The High Castle, Anderson isn't interested in exploding what exists — he seeks to make ourselves recognizable amidst the roundly alien.

Like any good writer, Anderson kept exploring. In Three Hearts and Three Lions he brought his futurist visions to traditional fantasy and ended up creating an amalgam of both, with humor thrown into the pot. Anderson's Operation: Chaos! fantasies are adult literature dressed up as genre trash, and like all of his work, it creates a rich reservoir of texture surrounding the action.

In Nicholas Van Rijm, a so-called "flamboyant capitalist adventurer", Anderson might have found his most compelling protagonist, a man who explores worlds shaped by fantasy forerunners like Jack Vance and Tolkien. These books are thrilling and genuine, even if they may not be intended for the casual reader. Most of Anderson's work is wildly accessible, concerning itself with darker desires and putting them into the light.

Anderson never ignored the 'science' aspect of science fiction. His scenarios are more than plausible, they're nearly inevitable. While Terminator: Salvation presents an apocalypse that's about as uncomfortable as a strained back, Anderson watches us make our mistakes and do the impossibly probable to work around them.

Like many of his peers, Anderson was a lefty in his younger days, even spending a period advocating the United Nations are a prelude to world government. He later pretty much laughed in the face of these views, and found more inspiration in the model of primitive civilizations, who often get a sneaky kind of triumph in Anderson's tellings. This view led him to his finest achievement, The High Crusade, in which a medieval British population sets out to conquer all of space's civilizations, and pretty much does.

Overarching government control is still palatable to many of Earth's less serious Democrats, and Anderson undercut these views brilliantly, watching the centers of power put at the mercy of the power of the individual. In The Corridors of Time, Earth through history is presented as a battleground between two prevailing forces, with neither completely sure who is in the right or who is in the wrong. You can step into one place, and be changed completely, or the world can be changed completely from what you thought it was. The Corridors of Time shows man as the same in every repetition, makes the identical mistake in trying to dominate all that is around him.

Seen this way history is less a timeline than a bitter moat: difficult to cross and a fucking mess to fall into. There is no greater ideal to head towards, Anderson told us before his death, like so many others, from cancer in 2001. We can know almost nothing of the world we come into, and what we do learn might prove to be meaningless over time. We can only gird ourselves against the future, and hope that we lack the will to change it for the worse.

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording. He tumbls to your mother here.

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"I Was My Parents Vision" — Nodzzz (mp3)

"Highway Memorial Shrine" — Nodzzz (mp3)

"Controlled Karaoke" — Nodzzz (mp3)

Thursday
May212009

In Which Kanye Was A Difference Maker For So Many Young White Men

How Could U B So Heartless?

by MOLLY LAMBERT

"Heartless" was a real game changer. That is what will be said about the 2009 season of American Idol. Kris Allen known it's ridiculous he won. He knows he's not as good as Adam Lambert. He knows Adam wanted it more. But now Kris will never have to sing "No Boundaries" aka the worst song of all time ever.

Kris Allen has "fuckability as judged by 13 year olds " to quote Jess Stites. Kris is cute and all, but he is a total mayonegg. Right now they might want non-threatening hamsters like Kris but when they're older, they'll be ready for a big gay stallion like Adam Lambert.

Adam Lambert is the kind of gay guy that makes straight guys think they might want to be gay. He will probably be fucking John Mayer by the end of the week.

Paula and Simon's looks said "this is bullshit" when the verdict was announced. You know they'll be discussing it in bed tonight.  

Kris and Adam are like the archetypal Yaoi couple. Even more so than Kirk and Spock, who are actually probably too equal to qualify for the Boys Love genre, and fall instead into Dōjinshi (the Japanese equivalent of slash fan fiction). From the Wikipedia entry on Yaoi:

The two participants in a yaoi relationship (sometimes also in yuri) are often referred to seme ("attacker",攻め or せめ) and uke ("receiver",受け). These terms originated in martial arts and do not carry any degrading connotations. Seme derives from the Japanese verb semeru (“to attack”) and uke from the Japanese verb ukeru (“to receive”). Though gay males are often referred to in English as "tops" or "bottoms," seme and uke are more nearly analogous to "pitcher" and "catcher." 

The seme is often depicted as the stereotypical male of anime and manga culture: restrained, physically powerful, and/or protective. The seme is generally older and taller, with a stronger chin, shorter hair, smaller eyes, and a more stereotypically masculine, even "macho", demeanor than the uke. The seme usually pursues the uke. The uke usually has softer, androgynous, feminine features with bigger eyes and a smaller build, and is often physically weaker than the seme. 

American Idol is over. Adam Lambert lost. Lost is also over. Kanye put out a video for "Paranoid" starring Rihanna. Rihanna is apparently doing it with Drizzy. The world is a wheel. If life is a highway, I'm gonna ride it.

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

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"Idiot Heart" — Sunset Rubdown (mp3)

"Black Swan" — Sunset Rubdown (mp3)

"Silver Moons" — Sunset Rubdown (mp3)

Wednesday
May202009

In Which This Is Hilarious Given The Context

Things I Find Funny

by TYLER COATES

This classic scene from Clue (SPOILER ALERT!):

The Jeannie Tate Show:

Angry Chicago trannies:

Seth Rudetsky on "Turkey Lurkey":

Sexual Intercourse American Style:

Match Game:

Bubb Rubb and Lil' Sis:

Naked Dudes:

This shot-by-shot remake of a scene from The Fugitive:

Carol Channing:

Tyler Coates is the senior contributor to This Recording. He tumbls here.

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