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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 (249)

Wednesday
Jul012009

In Which We Come So Far, And Yet Still Farther Have We To Travel

Allen Stewart Konigsberg Week

by THIS RECORDING

Karina Wolf welcomed us to the man we call Woody. That's him on the left.

Eleanor Morrow took on Melinda and Melinda:

Before Tyler I feel like we didn't really understand Annie Hall...

Sarah LaBrie handled the intricacies of Match Point...

The multi-talented Yvonne Puig on Crimes and Misdemeanors...

Molly went over a bunch of sequel talk...

Julie Klausner on Hannah and Her Sisters...

Chad Perman on Husbands and Wives...

Pauline Kael on Interiors...

Woody Allen on his Jewish heritage...

Ben Arfmann on Radio Days...

Marco Sparks on Manhattan Murder Mystery...

Georgia Hardstark on Hannah and Her Sisters...

You can visit the This Recording tumblr here, and the This Recording twitter here.

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"Birds (live in Vienna)" - Sophia (mp3)

"Where Are You Now? (live in Vienna)" - Sophia (mp3)

"So Slow (live in Vienna)" - Sophia (mp3) highly recommended

 

Sunday
Jun282009

In Which We Are Witness To The Fallacies of The Age

Capitalism and Its Contents

by ALEX CARNEVALE

Walking through Times Square at evening is dangerous proposition. Not because of makeshift hoodlums who lurk to sell you their rap CDs. It took good old-fashioned psychotherapy to teach us that while we like choices, we don't like many choices.

This aphoristic point of view is largely a lie - most of us prefer an infinite number of choices, and modernity is not sufficiently variegated for us not to be able to account for them.

Times Square is more like a square than ever, with tourists sitting on a beach of madness, and Radio City Music Hall hiding in its shadow. It's never been pretty to look at it, but at least it's daytime forever somewhere besides Alaska. For many out-of-towners, Times Square is Nuevo York, but for me it's just a place I pass on the way home, walking. And believe me, not bragging.

We are finding out in California what driving the away the rich really does. With an exorbitant demand on a minority of Californians, the system was bound to end up losing out to states with fairer laws about these things, e.g. no income tax: Texas, Florida. The government's entitlement to an out of proportion income tax is a sin akin to murder -- because it is the economy that dies. New York is the corraborating witness.

In Times Square, nobody seem to be making very much money, and sitting around and staring is preferable to other activites.  On a normal day, the marks can't get enough of the show, although Broadway is unable (or unwilling) to capitalize on the available market and do theater for less than the cost of a bagel. In addition, New York has the highest income tax rate in America. Why should that be?

Ironically, the most useful aspect about this capitalist orgy from the tourist's point of view is that it doesn't really cost anything. Like Madison Avenue (moments away!), the glitzy storefronts are merely for show, whether it reads Ernst & Young, News Corporation, or ESPN Zone. The companies themselves are taking a bath - they just have to keep up appearances.


Closer to 8th Avenue, things begin to get a little seedier. Nudie booths, virtuals, Starbucks. It's not really comforting to know that commerce goes on in these places. Frankly, New York used to be much better at doing what a city does - conducting business. Now its prohibitive prices push real people away, tourists simply gawk or purchase cheap souvenirs of a fake city, and net, it's a loss.

Long-term it wasn't just our banking system that was phony to its core. The advertisements that blaze on screens are a declining proposition, and network ratings dropped right along with the stock market. The new culture is good at casting the attention of the masses on the relatively inconsequential - and even the extremely consequential - but it can't manage to get the public's attention regularly, or even profitably. Capitalism becomes harder, not easier, in a depression.

There's too much else to distract people - that's why the internet is fearsome to old media types and goofy new Luddites who write bad novels alike. The essence of what American capitalism is changing, and whether the end result will be better or worse is a complicated question. Right now, it's not terribly better for the consumer, as corporations that can afford to lose money crowd small businesses out of the marketplace, and bailouts only help the already strong. But the lesson is that all things that don't earn will die - no company is strong enough to eat losses forever, even if Obama would have saved them if he could.


The end result is what matters, not how you got there. The consumer will be the final decider, and even if his choices are becoming progressively more complicated, he's better at making them then bureaucrats and thieves that stalk the corridors of Washington, propping up companies that haven't made a decent car since the Model T.

My folks returned from their first European vacation recently, and all they met from that part of the world asked them why they'd leave America to come there. There is still some free, admirable quality to this country, a redeemable element that we don't fully grasp since we've grown spoiled by it. The neon lights and billboards used to frighten me with their excess, but now they seem like the storm before a calm, pushing air out of a toothpaste tube before the blue comes out to clean.

That's why capitalism is the greatest - when it's dysfunctional, it repairs itself. It doesn't matter how many silly altruists wish to rescue companies that can't make it on its own. Even here, in this place, it is comforting to trace your finger in the air, in the shape of a dollar.

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

"Stroke Their Brains" - Spoon (mp3)

"Tweakers" - Spoon (mp3) highly recommended

"Tweakers (remix)" - Spoon (mp3)

Monday
Jun222009

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

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

by ALEX CARNEVALE

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)