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Alex Carnevale

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Mia Nguyen

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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 almie rose (26)


In Which The Only Response To The Question Am I Sexual? Is Yeah

Guys Who Just Want To Kiss Girls


The first concert I ever went to was a Backstreet Boys concert. Why am I freely admitting this? Well, friends, it could have been worse. The first concert I could have ever gone too could have been a Tal Bachman concert. Remember that dude? He whined about how a girl was so "high above me." Also, she was "lovely. Like Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, or Aphrodite." The inner all-girls school graduate within me is screaming over his use of historic examples. Really, Tal? Joan of Arc? She got you going? She hit your “lovely” meter?

I hate only because I kind of love that song. It’s got a great melody, and I have fond memories associated with it. Like one time, I busted out singing it and Tom Hanks walked into the room and stared at me and just kind of backed out. I could provide more details as to why I was singing this and why Tom Hanks was there but that would take away the humor and mystery to this story and if anything, I’m all about "building a mystery." Remember that great 90s hit by perpetual throat-voice Sarah McLachlan? But that’s not important right now.

I went to this Backstreet Boys concert because my friend Gavin invited me. Gavin lived in a huge house in Brentwood and had an endless stream of tickets to the most coveted concerts of the 90s- early 2000s. Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, Madonna (before she wore Britney Spears t-shirts in one of her first of many desperate attempts to stay relevant) – Gavin was hooked up and my best friend in middle school.

So when she asked me to go with her to a Backstreet Boys concert (with limo) what was I supposed to say? “No thanks, that’s lame as hell, I'm an unpopular loser who listens to The Beatles?" No, I said, "Like, oh my God, thanks! I love…Kevin!" To be honest, Kevin was a fucking crapshoot. I couldn’t remember if I knew the name Kevin from ‘N Sync, 98 Degrees, or Backstreet Boys, but I guessed right. Later when I went to the concert and saw who Kevin was, I couldn’t help but feel the pangs of disappointment that I would if I was set up with an undesirable blind date.

But the concert was fucking fun and fucking exciting. When the Boys appeared in a burst of flames, hanging from wires, screaming, "BACKSTREET’S BACK, ALL RIGHT!" I fucking believed them. I didn’t know much about them, I didn’t have any of their albums, but goddamn it, Backstreet was back, and it was all right. Never mind that their "zombie dance" from their Halloween themed video was a poor rip-off of the Thriller dance – the point is, it was our Thriller, and we couldn’t see the lame forest from the lame-ass trees.

When Kevin got stuck in his wires, and hung helplessly in mid-air, I fucking felt for him. When he then did somersaults for his fans, I fucking fell in love with him a little bit. I didn’t notice that he was in his early thirties and had un-ironic facial hair. I went to an all-girls school and this was it. Before we left I bought a concert tee – a baseball style-shirt, white with red sleeves, that had the BSB logo front and center on my sad little breasts, complete with the whole band sitting down, smiling, as if to say, "We’re non-threatening, but not like those pussies Hanson. We may be 'boys' but we’re men – just look at our facial hair!"

For my birthday my dad bought me a copy of the Boys latest album – Millennium. I have since sold this album. Yes, I regret this decision. Who knew that at a certain point in time, Backstreet would be back and it would be all right and not even in an ironic way? I didn’t.

This was the early 2000s. J. Lo was a music star and I had to pretend to care. I could never have predicted this world of Internet downloads and Kanye and blogging. I was lame, I was scared, I had braces, and I thought "I Want It That Way" was a great pop song. Was it really any worse than "I Want To Hold Your Hand"? It sounds like blasphemy, I know, but really listen to The Beatles’ earlier songs. Their songs are about guys who just want to kiss girls. They’re really no different from any other pop songs. And the Backstreet Boys had that strange music video where they’re in LAX Airport and their bodies shift and disappear and everything is white and bright and you feel like the millennium really is here, and pop music really isn’t bad, it’s fun and it’s dumb and it’s something you can dance to and use to relate to your peers, and really, what’s so bad about that?

Gavin invited me to a second Backstreet Boys concert. The day of, I didn’t go to school. I wasn't that sick, I just didn’t feel like going. I was going through that awkward phase where, to quote another 90s pop icon, I wasn’t "a girl, yet not a woman." I was scared of boys, I couldn’t tell cool from tragic, and my body clung to babyfat like Stallone clung to cliffs in his action movies.

Gavin’s mother called my mom, worried that if I was too sick to attend school, how on earth could I attend a concert with her daughter without getting her sick with my disease? My mom did my dirty work for me, explaining that while I had a sore throat I was feeling "much better" and "wasn’t contagious" and was just "taking precautions" and "would be devastated" to miss the concert. Another limo, another show, but this time my enchantment wore off. I wasn’t alone; the Backstreet Boys faded away, 'N Sync soared, Britney ruled, then Beck came in and ruined everything and pop music wasn’t cool and anyone who liked it should kill themselves.

Before we left this concert I bought another tee. This one was dark blue with sparkles, with the same BSB logo and similar photo of the guys; it was like my shirt was the night sky. Look at it, find the North Star, and make a wish. I have no idea what happened to these t-shirts. I guess when I became "cool" I gave them away. I wish I didn’t, but at least I have my Britney concert tee. When I went to her concert I pretended it was only because my parents scored the tickets for me, not admitting that I casually begged them for it ("I mean, if you guys are going to that silent auction and you see tickets to a Britney concert I mean I guess it would be fun to go, but only if the tickets come in like a basket of other stuff or something, I mean I don’t know, whatever supports the school, you know? PLEASE GET THEM, PLEASE!").

Christina Aguilera may have told me what a girl wants and what a girl needs but I was fucking clueless and looked nothing like Alicia Silverstone. I did the best I could and I had a great time. And the best thing is, is that I wanted it that way.

Almie Rose is the senior contributor to This Recording. You can find her website here. She last wrote in these pages on your guide for summer. You can find the full archive of her writing on This Recording here.

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"On Without You" - Backstreet Boys (mp3)

"I Want It That Way" - Backstreet Boys (mp3)

"Don't Try This At Home" - Backstreet Boys (mp3)


In Which The Next Three Months Will Go Exactly As Planned

Your Guide to Summer!


There are so many great things to do during the summer. But if you’re tired of going to the beach or making lemonade or other Tennessee Williams activities, here are some things to try that are a little different.

For this one, you have to start a little early, around November. Because this is the year you’re really going to do it: you’re going to give yourself plenty of time to get your ideal summer figure into that bathing suit! You say this every year, but this is really going to be the year. There’s something so magical sounding about “2010.”

January is when you’ll realize that you’ve totally fucked up your once steely resolve to get a beach body; your body is more like a “Hey let’s get some more Gap sweaters” body. Calm down and remind yourself that deadlines are made to be broken, because you are a human, and you are loved. Scream into the shower. Smile like Dick Van Dyke and tell yourself that you still have plenty of time.

For this next activity all you have to do is realize that it’s the first week of June and that since January you’ve been exercising on and off and eating right on and off and drinking on and on and you’ve only got about a month and five days before you go with your boyfriend to his cousin’s wedding and his ex will be there and you don’t want to look like a downgrade and you need to get this shit together, now.

Here are some other fun summer things! Grab a friend, go to Starbucks, wait until the barista asks you what you’d like, then have both of you shout at the same time, “ORANGE MOCHA FRAPPUCINOS!” then maybe high five and freeze. Before you go to Starbucks, rehearse this with your friend. It’s important that you say your lines in unison. Get it together, Darryl; I’m not fucking around. Then get your Orange Mocha Frappucinos, hop in your Jeep, and drive to the beach blasting Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” because something about that song and Jeeps go beautifully together. Once you get to the beach, don’t actually get out of the car. You don’t want to get sand everywhere and you’ll have to get the Jeep back to Hertz anyway, because you’re only renting it.

Summer is also the perfect time to catch up on those popular shows everyone loves that you don’t watch. Netflix is the site to visit for getting the hottest television programs sent directly to your home, like Frasier. How many times are you at a party and everything is going smoothly and people are laughing at your jokes until someone brings up a classic episode of Frasier that you just haven’t seen? It’s happened at least once, for me. You have to nod and smile and pretend that you know what they’re talking about when they exclaim, “And then Niles just GIVES HIM THE BOTTLE OF PINOT GRIGIO!” and howl with laughter. It’s rough. It’s maybe one of the hardest moments anyone will ever have to go through in life. Don’t let this happen to you. Scrambled eggs all over my face!

Take that vacation you’ve always wanted to; the one where you’re crying at three in the morning wondering what went wrong and why you’re not the successful person you thought you would be and how you just want to pack up one suitcase of necessary items and disappear to the French countryside or Joshua Tree and live where no one can find you. Experience that moment of clarity in between swallowing xanax where, yes, this is a great idea. Virgin America, here you come!

Remember, all you need is yourself. And money. Once your money runs out, you’ll have to find something to do to make money. You can try to hole up in your cottage but at some point you’ll need water, and possibly food. Try selling your pottery! If you don’t know how to make pottery, now might be the time to learn. People love buying pottery, especially when they’re told it came from a recluse in the middle of nowhere.

Anything goes: it’s summer! Run away! Hide! Don’t let people find you! Stay off of the Internet! Change your face! Create your own language! Bottle your urine! Get scurvy! Have a great summer!

Almie Rose is the senior contributor to This Recording. You can find her website here and her twitter here.

"Neapolitan Dreams" - Lisa Mitchell (mp3)

"Heavy in Your Arms" - Florence and the Machine (mp3)

"Heart to Tell" - The Love Language (mp3)

"Any Way You Want It" - Journey (mp3)


In Which Get Up And Shake The Glitter Off Your Clothes Now

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Las Vegas In Review


Rooms at the Venetian Hotel: A

Casino at the Venetian: B+

Elevator music at the Venetian: D

Indoor Venetian canal at the Venetian: A

Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum inside the Venetian: B

Wax Figure of Larry King: A+

Wax Figure of Nicolas Cage: A-

Nicolas Cage in The Wicker Man: A

The entire Venetian Hotel: B

Buffet at Caesar’s Palace: B-

Buffet at the Wynn: A+

Kobe beef carpaccio at Japanois at the Mirage: A

“Love” show at the Mirage: A

Beatle themed drinks at the Mirage:  C+

Beatle gift shop at the Mirage: A-

The Beatles: A+

The casino at the Mirage: B+

Free drinks at every casino: A

Getting carded for everything: A-

Repeatedly being asked if I am old enough to be in a casino: C

The Las Vegas Strip: B+

Open liquor Law in Vegas: A

The Sunset Strip: B

The traffic on both strips: F

The Vegas Episodes of Friends: A

Joey’s “Vegas, Baby!” catchphrase: A-

What everyone thought about me using said catchphrase at least 10 times a day: D

Ordering room service at 3 AM because it’s, “Vegas, baby!”: A

The way I felt the next morning: C-

Selection of movies in the hotel: B

It’s Complicated: D

Alec Baldwin’s fat little hairy body in It’s Complicated: D-

Alec Baldwin’s body in Beetlejuice: A

Beetlejuice: A

Everything Tim Burton Has Done Since (Not Including Ed Wood): C

Las Vegas: B+

Almie Rose Vazzano is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in Los Angeles. She blogs at Apocalypstick.

"Bye Bye Beaute" - Nada Surf (mp3)

"Love Goes On" - Nada Surf (mp3)

"Love and Anger" - Nada Surf (mp3)

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