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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 Live Entirely In The Realm of the Semiotic

spring, summer, autumn, winterBlissymbols


Today we begin again.

Originally called Semantography, Charles K. Bliss invented a language that makes ideograms out of seven hundred basic icons. Now known as Blissymbols, it is not widely used and it's still debated whether an entirely logographic language is possible. I like it because it reminds me of rebuses and the sample sentences sounded like Talking Heads lyrics.

In the future, This Recording will be written entirely in Blissymbols.

This is my house.

This is my life.

Please come here today.

I want to go to the cinema.

She is my friend.

It is made of wood.

I lost my hat while at sea.

On icy stairs.

We learn by teaching.

I think, therefore I am.

Who can help us now?

I doubt what the government says.

Whose book is that?

Her boyfriend is jealous of her work.

Their relationship won't last.

How did they like the giraffe?

She has beautiful teeth.

I like the music from these headphones.

Your wife said she was in the hospital because of depression.

That nonsense must stop.

Happy to help!

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

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"Summertime Clothes (live on Letterman)" - Animal Collective (mp3)

"Summertime Clothes (Zomby's Analog lego mix)" - Animal Collective (mp3)

"Summertime Clothes" - Animal Collective (mp3)

"Summertime Clothes (Leon Day aka L.D. remix)" - Animal Collective (mp3)

"Summertime Clothes (Dam Funk remix)" - Animal Collective (mp3)


In Which We Understand That It Was A Rough Week

Week in Review

This is a calling from the Age of Aquarius. It doesn't matter if you're a run-away bride or a murdering hottie or an extra in The Hangover. If someone just farted, it might be Lebron James. To wit:

On the plus side, you can came back from this. As the poet wrote, "The mind of sinner isn't all that different from the mind of a saint."  I was the poet in this apocalyphral saying, which you will soon find yourselves coming across in Bartlett's. (I ransomed Bartlett's daughter.)

This week was about going to those places. To challenge yourself intellectually, you can look forward to reading our Summer Reading coverage, and we can look forward to the return of the One Week Only phenomenon when our coverage of a certain Jewish comedian hits your RSS readers.

Until then, all our emotions will be resolved through black-and-white photography and copious masturbation. Let all our days be so.

Programming alert: Molly will be liveblogging the True Blood premiere this sunday. She just loves Anna Pacquin in the role, esp. Anna's accent. No JK, Molly is just jealous of Anna Paquin, it's sad how jealous.

If I ever met Anna Pacquin, I would ask her what Harvey Keitel was like during the filming of The Piano.

Was I to have made this far journey, only to find the very thing which I had fled?

-- Paul Gauguin

You can find last week's WIR review here.

"Ocean In The Way" - Dinosaur Jr. (mp3)

"There's No Here" - Dinosaur Jr. (mp3)

"Imagination Blind" - Dinosaur Jr. (mp3)


In Which We Just Want A Little Bite

Back to the Blood


Sookie Stackhouse, True Blood's blonde-haired, wide-eyed heroine, is telepathic. And naturally, since she can hear their lovely thoughts, she's not a huge fan of human men. Sookie's gift is just one supernatural element viewers are asked to accept as normal in this intense and dark dramedy. Alan Ball's True Blood is a move away from his last foray into the premium channel playground where anything goes, Six Feet Under, but his mix of heavy and light, death and love, fantastical and gritty is still present in True Blood.

Ball has an ability to strike a balance of humorous dialogue and scenarios with the darkest of situations and themes. True Blood is certainly no different, taking seriously the idea that vampires are now out in the open and will be treated like minorities are in this country, especially in the South - not too well.

Here, vampires exist and are immortal. Never a Harry Potter or fantasy/supernatural genre fan, I found the whole concept hard to get past. When I watch movies/shows I want to feel as though the story playing before me could actually take place.

The Japanese have created synthetic blood that fulfills all vampires' nutritional needs. It's called TruBlood and sold in 4-packs like gourmet beers. It looks disgusting. Now that vampires do not need to feed on humans, they have "come out of the coffin"; we had better get used to it. They have a Vampire Rights Act, a Vampire Rights agenda, and an American Vampire League to push it.

That's fine and good but some Joe six-pack Americans aren't all that open to the vampire agenda and think they're evil, sick and a blatant affront to Our Lord Jesus Christ. Sound familiar? This is where the larger - albeit obvious - metaphor begins to take shape, and that wink, wink I-get-what-you're-putting-down Ball feeling makes the supernatural element easier to swallow.

True Blood is set in Bon Temps, a fictional small town in northwest Louisiana. The swampland of Louisiana as a setting lends itself to the supernatural (and to the horrible accents that populate the show) but it also sets up a portrayal of the Deep South that is relatively accurate.

As a young girl I lived in Shreveport, which is in northwest Louisiana and is referenced on the show, and my family is from a small town very similar to Bon Temps, Logansport, La. and as I watched a familiarity washed over me reminding me of the times I spent in my grandmother's house on the Red River.

What True Blood does very well is show a fairly realistic small Southern town: race relations imperfect but  improved, the gossip news network, the slower pace of life in the stifling heat.

The worst element of the show for me is the accents. They are bad-bad, not so bad it pains to watch, but laughably inaccurate at times. Non-Southerners waxing Southern is always especially amusing for me, and even though some of the hackneyed elements of the set design and clothing choices, among other things, are laid on a bit too thick for my taste, it could always be worse.

In small towns, evangelicals tend to set the standards of living and vampires are wholly unacceptable in a "family values rule!" society. The vampire lifestyle is unnatural and a sin, they will convert your children, they are sexually perverse, and on and on.

Ball's portrayal of the majority of vampires as these poor, unfortunate souls who golly-gee just want rights like all the rest of us law-abiding, tax-paying Americans is a bit much at times, but fortunately that is not the only plot point of note.

As with real-life issues the level of acceptance for vampires and vampire culture is on a continuum for the non-blood drinking characters on the show and most are not quite as accepting as Sookie. The mystery of Sookie Stackhouse series of books by Charlaine Harris is centered between these two spheres. Are the vampires murdering the young, nubile women of Bon Temps or is it something more sinister? (It turned out to be the latter.)

The drama is about the humans (perhaps more than human in Sookie's case) and how they react to and are affected by the vampire infestation. Bill Compton, Bon Temps first vampire and Sookie's love interest, is "mainstreaming." He lives among human and he doesn't bite people. He is generally a stand-up vampire as he courts Sookie Stackhouse, which does not please his fellow vampires. He's too normal! He's domesticated and boring!

The other competition for Sookie's love was Sam Merlotte, the creepy proprietor of Merlotte's Tavern. His love for Sookie is desperate and more than a little awkward. Now seemingly mild-mannered Sam is a shape-shifter (not a werewolf as I previously assumed) and Sookie just can't wait to learn more about her boss. It is hard to dislike someone whose parents just took off and left him to fend for himself when he was a young teen.

tara and sam making out

So sure, the shape-shifting is weird and a little off-putting but Sam and Sookie's BFF Tara as a couple? Weirder and majorly off-putting. I delicately hid my eyes every time they were shown in flagrante.

As Sam's plight is becoming more and more understandable, Tara pushed the audience and everyone around her further and further away. The pairing of the two just didn't work and hopefully, that ship may have officially sailed with the arrival of Michelle Forbes' character, Sam's apparently former love interest, to create friction between them.

Jason Stackhouse, Sookie's brother, may be very pretty and a little dumb, but he means well. (In another case of major family issues as a source of bad behavior, Jason is convinced that his irresponsible behavior as a boy caused his parents' untimely death.) Tara's late cousin Lafayette's schoolin' has impressed upon the chill young man that his recent actions have had and will continue to have some major consequences, as will his entry into the Children of the Light.

Bill made a mistake defending Sookie's honor, and now all he wants is to mainstream and be with Sookie and hang out in Bon Temps. He'd rather not take part in vampire politics, yet he has no choice. With creative punishment from the tribunal, Bill became a maker for the first time and he does not appear to be a fan of the process or the new, bratty young vamp. I mainly feel sympathy because even when he missteps with Sookie, it seems he's just trying to do right by her, as chauvinistic as what he thinks is best might be.

He doesn't fit in with her modern world and she'll never understand the complexities and requirements of the vampiric life. This conflict between the two will surely cause an even bigger rift between their two worlds as a battle for the moral majority looms on the horizon.

Sarah C. Roberts is the senior contributor to This Recording. She lives in Georgia, and her tumblr is here.

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"The Conversation" - The Lodger (mp3) highly recommended

"Falling Down" - The Lodger (mp3)

"A Hero's Welcomes" - The Lodger (mp3)