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Alex Carnevale

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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 christina hendricks (3)


In Which Pete May or May Not Get Another Chip 'N' Dip

Love The Way You Lie Glen

Season 4 of Mad Men just started. Let the predictions begin.
Don will say, "What do you want me to say?" at least twice before the season's end.
Duck Phillips will host a swinging beach party and Annette Funicello will show up and get drunk, but this will be referred to and not shown, because Mad Men is all about the great 60s references that make old people feel young again. And young people feel old in a fresh, hip, Urban Outfitters furniture-kind-of-way.
Don will say, "What do you want me to think?" at least twice before the season's end.

Betty will purse her lips and say something shrewd.

Henry Francis will be followed by a horde of villagers chanting "IMHOTEP!"
Glen will hide in the Drapers home's basement. He will emerge only at night, to play beautiful music on the family piano. Sally Draper will be enchanted. Then in a bizarre s'mores mishap, Glen will accidentally burn the house down. Sally will get blamed.

Don will crash his car again and chuckle about it later.
Harry will continue to lose weight and look like Buddy Holly by the season's end.
Something will happen and Peggy will not be amused by it. No, sir.

Hey remember when Pete raped someone?
Roger will ask Joan if she'll pee on him. Joan will ponder it in a voice over using puns like, "Urine Hot Water Now" and "If MGMT thinks it's time to pretend, is it time for me to pee-tend? Or should I control myself?"
Several episodes will end with a sobering image of something serious while a happy 60s tune plays in juxtaposition.
Colin Hanks will stay on Fox.
Black people will continue to be mysteriously absent.

Someone will say, "We can't lose this account!" They will then lose the account.
We'll be treated to another Don Draper/Dick Whitman/Grapes of Wrath flashback that will tell us everything we already know; that Don had a difficult childhood, that hobos are just honest folk trying to get by, and that this show is more than stylish outfits. The next scene will feature Betty in a stylish outfit, because we've had enough doom and gloom, and the Great Depression is just yucky.
Sally Draper will stab someone with a pair of scissors.
The Draper dog will run away and/or commit suicide.

Don will want Betty even more now that she's not his wife.
That guy that you've seen several times before, oh God he was in that movie with that guy, and I think he was in that TV show too, and wasn't he in that indie with Mark Ruffalo? will make a cameo.
Someone will say earnestly, "The times are changing, Don." It will probably be Roger. He will probably be smoking and/or drinking when he says it.

Sal will show up and make a great pop culture reference and everyone will laugh except for Pete.
Seriously, Pete raped that au pair. Remember?

Don will arrive at a party where some girl with long straight hair is singing a song in French. He will make a face.
Pete will accidentally shoot himself in the foot in the middle of a meeting. Literally. Don will tell him that his actions almost cost them the big account. Pete will cry, not for his foot, but for disappointing Don.

Betty will make a simple, yet loaded statement like, "It's all so beautiful" and we will all suddenly understand what her character is really about.
Nothing will happen and yet everything will change.

Paul Kinsey will be arrested for public nudity. Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Pryce will hear about it and laugh. Don will remark, "When you want ham...don't settle for turkey." Everyone will laugh but not really understand his joke. There will be an awkward silence. Pete will try to break it by saying, "I guess he should have ordered a side of hash browns." No one will understand that either. The silence will become even more awkward. Roger will say, "This is more awkward than the time I vomited everywhere." Everyone will understand that and will laugh and feel relieved. This is the precise moment when Don plots to murder Roger.
Someone will cry at their desk and it won’t be who we think it is! Unless it is.

Everyone will die. It will be okay though because they will all meet up in heaven and "move on" together. It will not make sense. It will come out of nowhere. Nothing will be explained.

Don and Roger will take on Playboy as an account. It will be a smashing success. They will be invited to a party at Huge Hefner's. Don will hit on a Bunny. She'll surprise him and say, "I'm sorry Mr. Draper, but I'm not that kind of girl." Don will realize that appearances are not always what they seem. He will apoologize take her to a real steak dinner and not even try to feel her up. She'll say, "Maybe there's hope for you yet, Mr. Draper" with a smile. He'll say, "Maybe there is" and cock his head and grin. Meanwhile Roger will learn the true meaning of Christmas.

Almie Rose is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in Los Angeles. She twitters here and blogs here. She last wrote in these pages about the Backstreet Boys.

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"Juveniles" - The Walkmen (mp3)

"All My Great Designs" - The Walkmen (mp3)

"While I Shovel the Snow" - The Walkmen (mp3)


In Which I'm Peggy Olson And I Want To Smoke Some Marijuana

Mad Men: The Musical



Great episode. The viewers at home breathe a sigh of relief as Mad Men hits its stride in the third inning after two wobbly-kneed and tedious first attempts. All the gears are finally whirring. Everyone (Joan!) has shown up. Characters are mixed up and re-matched in new social settings. And so many GIF opportunities.


So Many GIF Opportunities:

Roger in blackface

Peggy getting high

Don Draper hopping over the bar

Sterling's wife v. Joan

Pete and Trudy's dance routine

Joan playing the accordion

Sally Draper stealing from grandpa

The Tigertones reunion


So many chances for things to go horribly wrong, and yet for the most part it went alright. Matthew Weiner clearly thrives on the narrative tension of awkward situations, and yet he does not go straight for the banana peel every time. Jane's alcohol induced collapsed was not followed up with one of Mad Men's trademarked "vomiting in public embarrassment" sequences.


Pete & Trudy's Charleston: America's Next Best White Dance Crew?

Are they setting the characters up to be happy just to twist the knife later? Joan's husband's lack of medical prowess being revealed with the suggestion that patients die on his table seems pretty ominous. As does the whole "Grandpa Gene" situation. Or is it possible that after two seasons of turgid misery the Mad Men ensemble's lives will finally achieve that "freeness" the sixties is so often associated with. Probably not.

the other contender: Monica and Ross's "Routine" from Friends

There were some overly long poetic monologues. That Sam Elliott type (Chelcie Ross) in the empty bar served no purpose other than to make me laugh with his rambling about "taking a johnboat down past the old mansion." Peggy's overly mothering secretary who won't go home was neither here nor there.


But the Breakfast Club bit with Peggy and the other creatives holed up smoking reefer at Sterling-Cooper on a Saturday was delightful. Christina Hendricks may not be a real redhead, but she really plays the accordion. How she fits it comfortably over her massive (real) breasts is a mystery for the ages.


"I'm so hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii"

The cut from Peggy smoking the joint to the hallucinatory nightmare of Roger singing "My Old Kentucky Home" was one of many such touches that made this episode feel like the show is the Sopranos successor it ought to be. At its finest, Mad Men is a slow-paced and richly rewarding character drama (like The Wire). At its worst it's a campy soap (like True Blood).

I see you Patrick Bateman, hitting on my Peggy Olson, don't even think about it man!

Here's hoping the season continues in this fashion. I'll admit the first two episodes left me a little cold compared to this one, which I loved. Mad Men — like The Sopranos — theoretically follows one antihero while remaining an ensemble show at heart. Don Draper is cool, but he is just one of the eight million reasons we love this show.


In the end, it's really Pete Campbell's show. We're just watching it.


Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She tumbls & twitters. You can find her review of last week's Mad Men here.

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"Soil, Soil (demo)" — Tegan & Sara (mp3)

"Burn Your Life Down (demo)" — Tegan & Sara (mp3)

"Call It Off (demo)" — Tegan & Sara (mp3)



In Which I Keep Going A Lot of Places And Ending Up Where I've Already Been

His Wife But Different Somehow


A man dreams of his own wife, but differently dressed. Her attire is unlikely, the expression on her face borderline alarming. She's making out with him in the hallway, smelling as she normally does, but with the a slightly stale taste. Her blue eye shadow suggests something is off. "It's my birthday," the man murmurs, to expedite the blowjob that will no doubt be forthcoming. Don Draper is back, baby, and so is Mad Men.

Setting back Draper's humanistic learning curve to zero was a sad move, although I guess they need to constantly reestablish that he's unfaithful for new viewers. He can't evolve, he's still stuck seeing the past flash before him as he curdles milk for his pregnant wife. If you really want to grow up, Don, try being a father for christ's sake. Instead all you do is joke about your daughter being a lesbian and give her your mistress' stewardess wings.

Everyone was so obsessed with themselves in the 60s, it's like the 90s but with better weed. "You squint too much. You need reading glasses," his wife tells him, standing in for all wives. Family hasn't been this dreadful since they came over for Easter. No wonder Don wants to get out of the house more often.

"Was I really in there?" Don's little girl Sally asks her parents, looking at her mother's pregnant tummy. Mad Men is a moving eulogy for existence, and last night's premiere, "Out of Town", sang it loud in all the ways the show's first two seasons did.

Weiner seems a little confused about the difference between what's actually good about his show and what the media thinks is good. His show has gotten attention despite not-so-great ratings because it's not just the usual pablum. But jumping into the darkest parts of Mad Men might turn off newbies, so last night was more about restating the new Sterling-Cooper status quo than rocking the boat.

While last night caught us up on all the news that's fit to print, major changes are afoot at Sterling-Cooper. By major, we don't mean the loud firing of a guy we've basically never seen on the show before. Things have to start getting a little more mixed-up than usual, and it would help if they involved some of the show's best characters.

On the surface, Peggy appears to have all her actual drama behind her. Let's hope it doesn't stay that way. What about giving her an actual romance to hang her hat on? I'm pretty sure Ken Cosgrove has a big dick, for example. But seriously, what about a torrid love affair between Peggy and a sexy client who really respected her for her work and ancient taste in fashion? If you cast Shia LaBoeuf in that role, you could probably boost the show's ratings by a whole point. Then he could dump her for a model in the ensuing ad campaign (Megan Fox or Odette Yustman, assuming they're not one person).

It's pretty sad that Sal's relationship with that super-cute bellboy has more depth to it than any Peggy's been allowed so far. In the wake of Sal finally finding himself with the mother of all hjs, we can only hope that the show doesn't become a prism through which bigots can view their own disturbing feelings about homosexuality. We already have True Blood for that.


One thing you can say about Don Draper is that he's no hypocrite. Hmm, no. Try again. One thing you can say about Don Draper is that he doesn't mind a little peeping. It doesn't seem all that likely that he'd be so knowing and kind about a bellhop handjob on a work trip, but I guess it takes a cheat to know a cheat, and Sal has dirt on him, too. Leave it to Don Draper to take subliminal advertising to a whole new level with his marvelous London Fog campaign.

Between Hung, True Blood, Entourage and Mad Men, each Sunday we're going to have to put the over/under on estimated hjs at four. And how much do you wanna bet that despite showing the vast corpus of heterosexual positions, that Sal never gets to really prove he's a top and no bottom?

At least Sal's criminally untapped potential as a character is getting tapped. Men from Toledo to Cincinnati fell in love with Roger Sterling's winsome, extremely placable younger fiancee, and I would have paid to see that divorce go to arbitration. There's got to be more there than the casual fop who wanders into Don's office waiting for Draper to bend over to pick up a pen.

The new British guy looks exactly like Pete Campbell, and since I love Pete Campbell, I guess this is a welcome development. British people don't understand raincoats, and their version of an electoral body looks like a debate team, but they really have a nose for capitalism. We can only hope that Don gets challenged by somebody soon - he's like the reigning champion of the big dick contest for the last 50 episodes. If I see one more person defer to his everloving wisdom, I'm going to scream like Pete.


As for the real Pete Campbell, he's made up with his wife, and the band is back together. His coming war with Kenneth Cosgrove has already approached his flirtation/impregnation with Peggy for lolness. Pete is the perfect character: not sympathetic enough to be the protagonist, just pitiful enough not to be the antagonist. He's like a really well dressed Archie Bunker.


I would watch a whole show entirely based around Pete and his secretary. They have such an incredible relationship, it's so giving and knowing. There's nothing like the love between a man and his secretary.

Hopefully the deterioration of any agency for Christina Hendricks' character will end the constant talk of how 'hot' she is, as if the charity of praising her beauty wasn't another condescending male objectification. She's now the weakest part of the show, or she has been since Matthew Weiner had her raped on the floor of someone's office last season. If she starts blowing that British guy in the office he was so presumptuous to occupy, I'm going to quietly cry for womynkind.

All that's gravy, though. What's important is that the men and women of the 1960s stay forever retarded in their own time, and we look back happily on it thinking about how much more cosmopolitan and understanding we are. The genius of Mad Men is that it makes you feel good about yourself, then bad about yourself, then good about yourself again.

Eleanor Morrow is the senior contributor to This Recording. She lives in Manhattan, and she tumbls here.

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"Sharp Knife" - Third Eye Blind (mp3)

"One in Ten" - Third Eye Blind (mp3)

"Bonfire" - Third Eye Blind (mp3)