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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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Entries in alex carnevale (238)

Saturday
May232009

In Which They Are Taken From Us With Cause

Kill Lists, YouTubes, And Other Ways To Pass The Time

by ALEX CARNEVALE

It is always disturbing to find your own name on a kill list. In the case of this Washington mom, she found her daughter's name on a kill list. She immediately oriented herself towards the sky, spread her arms wide, and yelled like in Wolverine.

The first kill list was constituted in the early stone age, and the trouble wasn't in completing the stated intention, it was reading the handwriting of that period. From then on it was mostly girls in high school. No one ever said why they had to list the ways they would kill her. The whole point of a kill list is that the method is arbitrary. It is a distinction that maintains we still must do what we say, despite all evidence to the contrary.

A Pierce County mother says she's horrified by a cartoon video - posted online - that showed several ways to kill her sixth grade daughter. The cartoon was made off school grounds by some of her daughter's classmates, girls aged 11 and 12.

Titled "Top Six Ways to Kill Piper," it includes depictions of girls shooting her, making her commit suicide, poisoning her and even pushing her off a cliff. Beth Smith tells KING5-TV the cartoon was set to a Hannah Montana song called "True Friend" and posted on YouTube.


Her daughter Piper attends Elk Plain School of Choice in Spanaway, Wash., as do the girls who made the video. The little girl says it hurt her feelings.

A boy was recently expelled for an 18-name kill list. My reaction: He only wanted to kill 18 people? I feel for the little guy, because before the computer was around, it was totally status quo to make real world kill lists with pen and paper. I think we actually even might have carried some of them out. Let me check with Google.

"you're of different religions and colors. who would like to take a bath with me?"In Hawaiian Gardens, CA, of all places, a Latino gang was targeting black people outside of L.A.

Gang members take pride in their racism and often refer to the VHG Gang as the `Hate Gang,'" the main indictment said. "VHG gang members have expressed a desire to rid the city of Hawaiian Gardens of all African-Americans and have engaged in a systematic effort to achieve that result by perpetrating crimes against African-Americans."

the fact that gang members have facebook photos: good for both cops and bloggerThe indictment alleges a string of attacks on black residents, including a shooting into a home with eight people inside. The indictment does not say if anyone was hit.

Fortunately, according to the California hate crime law, only white people and black people can be arrested for hate crimes. Being Latino was ruled "a grey area."

another kind of kill listIn another instance, two gang members allegedly chased a black man, yelled a racist epithet at him and then beat him with a garden rake. The same man was later repeatedly stabbed by two gang members, according to the indictment, which charged them with his attempted murder.

For god's sake people, have you never seen John Leguizamo's one man show? Healing. It's about healing. And I think Jada Pinkett Smith is Latino, or the younger version of her that was on Star Trek. I'll have my research intern work on that one.

Killing people is totally wrong, but making a list of people to kill can be so right. In my time, that shit was different. This was before TLC dropped "Waterfalls." This was when Michael Jackson was black, when Jesus was a real person and had a phone number and stuff. This came first.

I just saw Terminator: Salvation and those guys really don't stick to their kill list. The people who made that movie have no idea how many contingencies a machine intelligence would plan for. Thus you have an enemy that is downright retarded and makes no sense. Guess what list of mine McG is on?

i know it sucks, but the poster was cool right?

Christian Bale is on a similar list, because he's a dick and can't act except by growling. The governor of the state in which this Latino hate-grudge grows was in the movie I watched. Mind-boggling stuff that even Marshall McLuhan didn't see when he took LSD.

marshall, you fucked us. what happened?Fortunately, the much-maligned Seth MacFarlane took care of Christian Bale so I didn't have to:

Before the machine — Cyberdyne, Apple, Jamba Juice, Rachel Maddow — comes to get us, let's see if we can't get off on the right foot this time. TLC had so much promise. I was really looking forward to the 2009 TLC album that would contain lyrics about a nude photoshoot that had been discovered in 2008. That's all I'm waiting for.

My friend Eleanor says we should all collectively agree to set the clock back to 1994. Date is arbitrary anyway. You know what they do in theater, right? Take it again from the top.

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

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"Creep" — TLC (mp3)

"Take Our Time" — TLC (mp3)

"Waterfalls" — TLC (mp3)

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)

Wednesday
May202009

In Which We Regard Events Outside Our Control

Evolution

by ALEX CARNEVALE

Events continue to occur. The timeline is infinite. The NBA draft lottery occurred, was witnessed. Will never happen in the same way again. Our government owns the largest automaker in the world, possibly also the poorest. Toyota has oodles of cash reserves. Better planning and preparation brought the Orlando Magic to the brink of greatness. They still couldn't improve Stan Van Gundy's wardrobe.

When the mentally ill return to society, this is the kind of dress they'll adopt. Someone put Stan Van Gundy in a halfway house. Some people are still living large. Madonna just spent $40 million on a townhouse in my neighborhood. The iteration of such events gives one pause. They found a certifiable missing link, and that it was also taking Xanax. It was in all probability Blake Griffin.

Perhaps most importantly of this coming together of American life is the concordance that brings Kobe Bryant back to Denver, the site of his most real trangression. It was almost an Ali-type situation, but then Kobe started acting like a dick, and he just didn't "get" Twitter. I respect Kobe, have you seen his wife?

She's all kinds of crazy, but that's why he loves her. I just finished watching the first season of United States of Tara. It's absolutely awesome, and Toni Collette in particular is tugging at my tear ducts when she's not saying anything. Mental illness is hard, remaking The Adventures of Pelham 123 is easy. They should have just bite the bullet and called it Swordfish 2.

Also quietly sneaking under the radar is the Weinjew brothers adaptation of Alexander McCall's The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. The pilot was directed by Anthony Mingella, and stands alone as one of the more gregarious films of the year. I mean, this white-envisioned drama about Botswana is just so clean-cut and exciting.

Jill Scott is absolutely tremendous, as was the adorable actress who played her younger self. Someone get that little girl in a biopic of Rosa Parks.

Besides an end to Saturn commercials, this is all I'm waiting for. In mid-2008, near Svalbard, in the Artic, in the real world in which we live, Norwegian paleontologist Jørn Hurum unearthed the remains of a titantic sea predator. He called the fearsome beast, Predator X, for nothing could combat in the oceans of this world.

No one quite knows why Predator X is going after seagulls in this illustration, but the seagulls are up against over 8 tons of pure predator.

The best show on television for former amateur paleontologists is The Animal Extractors, where those who pose an unwholesome risk to the human spieces are eradicated and released into deserts, or caught in bear traps.

Now that The Animal Extractors have come to Hulu, I can revisit the strategems of these tender creatures, and also bears, snakes, bison, raccoons, and people from Phoenix.

It's coming along. Occasionally things will seem to be getting better, but then they'll come back from 8 weeks without The Bachelor for a tepid version of The Bachelorette. Have you even seen some of the shows that ABC is bringing to television? I half want to drive to Mark Cherry's house and punch him in the face, and I half want to cry.

Predator X died out, was consumed, extinct. If extinction is not so far away, maybe we had better begin to guard ourselves against it. What does the land biome have over the Darwinian advantages of a water setting? What can we take to keep existing, to make sure our children have someplace to lord themselves over? If only money stopped AIDS. If only money stopped AIDS, and we still had our money.

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

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"Flaw" — Hot Chip (mp3)

"Sanfrandisco" — Hot Chip (mp3)

"Making Tracks" — Hot Chip (mp3)