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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 elizabeth moss (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 We Made Every Kind Of Sandwich Imaginable And A Cake

Get Your Own Damn Coffee


If there's anything we learned this week from media, it's that everybody's got a backburner, but nobody wants to be somebody else's fallback option. Betty is tired of being Don's fallback, and we can't blame her any more than we can blame Don for wanting to keep that fine shorty on layaway. Everybody wants a wife

Conrad Hilton is a prick. Even Don thinks so, and Don has been putting up with it a lot this season. This season has been all about the importance of paternal affirmation, and how the pursuit of it can lead to putting the wrong bitches on the backburner.

all of those who are white males over the age of 35, raise your hand and say aye

In order to make it work, Don has to go on a hero's quest of apologies to Roger Sterling, Pete Campbell, and Peggy. Roger wants to see Don with his tail between his legs (who doesn't?) I still hate the flashbacks to Dick Whitman's childhood, informative as they are about Don's backstory, maybe because it strains credibility in a show that is already getting a pass on a lot of things for being a period piece.

Don's father Archie Whitman (Artist's Rendering)

Like I am willing to pretend things were somehow more theatrical and dramatic because it is "the sixties" but when they go back to "the depression" to show Don's dad Archie Whitman chugging moonshine and arguing with Dick's ma about bank notices and crops I'm like "come on now, this is ridiculous."

Flashbacks are the lowest form of narrative storytelling devices! sorry Lost fans!

These are quibbles of course. I didn't much like it at first when Tony Soprano flashed back to his childhood, nor did I like it later when they abruptly stopped doing flashbacks. I learned to care for the dream sequences in The Sopranos, which is why I give Betty the benefit of the doubt on her Medgar Evers nightmare

Betty is a tough bitch and drops the big D for dee-vorce on Don. Now that she knows Don was born poor, all his handsomeness no longer pleases her. She would rather go with some less attractive landed gentry because he promises to take care of her and means it. Henry Francis knows the life Betty is accustomed to, like which is the salad fork and how to eat cucumber sandwiches and drink a lot and ignore your children.

That things went as well as they did was the big shock of this Mad Men finale. From the tone of the rest of the season I assumed the characters were going to end up in a horrible random tragedy to underline the timeliness of last week's JFK shooting.

Last week I said that every character in Mad Men was at least a little bit sympathetic, I meant to say that the exception is the British guy from The Nanny. I honestly thought they were going to give him one redeeming quirk or vulnerability in this episode, but he stayed straight evil. I guess it was meant to throw our feelings completely over to Lane Pryce, since we are now accepting him as part of the newly formed supergroup that is Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Campbell-Pryce-Olson-Crane-Holloway-Harris. 

"Beg me, you didn't even ask me?"/"Everyone thinks you do all my work, even you."

The old boys' club reconvenes to shoot their own legs off. Don, high on the fumes of his own testosterone, calls in Peggy for a quick domination session. Peggy, high on the estrogen generated by her nooners with Duck, tells Don to fuck off. Don, unable to swallow his pride, accepts Peggy's first neg and claims he's going to make a pass at Smitty and the homo. Hey Don, if you're gonna hire a homo why not call up Salvatore?

Pete, as always, provides inadvertent comic relief pretending to be sick and pulling out the chip and dip for Don and Roger. Pete looks really good and "Dead Poets Society" in his plaid bathrobe. Don, fresh from his Peggy neg, straight up tells Pete that he wants his expertise (meaning accounts). Pete's extended hand "I'm not really sick" was the second best line of the episode. Trudy is so turned on by Pete's exceptionalism that she fully forgives him for his earlier dalliance with the kraut nanny. 

Roger drops the "Henry Francis" info bomb on Don. Despite the fact that everyone is coming clean about their secrets, Don still failed to tell anyone about schtupping the teacher. Hard to teach an old dog new tricks I guess. When Don pulled Betty out of the bed and gave her that hot "because you're good and everyone else in the world is bad" spiel I really thought the other shoe might drop. Will Suzanne show up again or will Don's wandering hobo dick push the reset button as per usual.

Don and Betty Draper in happier (?) days, can't remember which season this is from

Instead Don gives Betty crazy eyes and and a lot of nightgown tugging, without a patented Don Draper vag-grab although there is a decidedly sexual undertone to their fight. How dare you cuckold Don Draper! His cock is the hammer of the gods! What will happen now to the John Updike/Cheever story that was "Life In Ossining"?

yes Don, the best way to get back your estranged wife is to call her a whore

Endless slash-fic possibilities when Pete says "I'll admit it, I'm a little scared" to Harry Crane in the elevator at the empty Sterling-Coop office. Bert Cooper welcomes them to the fold like the bohemian Gandalf he is. Don is late to the office because he has to have the traumatizing divorce discussion with his children about having two Christmases and why daddy had to sleep in Gene the baby's scary room. When Don says it's temporary and Betty starts shaking her head "no" I straight LOL'd.

Don, finally ready to be emasculated, goes over to Peggy's place and gives her a weird sort of condescending lecture about how he wants her to come because he views her as part of himself? Basically it's still all about Don. Then he claims they both understand personal trauma because la la la secret baby/identity. Don tells Peggy that even if she negs him a third time, he will spend the rest of his life trying to get back in her work-pants. Notice how the women were wearing pants this episode? Subtle. 

Joan made a list, and remained fabulous while doing so. When they said the art department was locked I dreamt for a moment they'd call Sal. That guy knows how to keep a secret! Joan and Roger are already flirting, and when Rog asks Peggy to get him some coffee she gets the episode's best line; "NO." Don and Roger take a long minute to survey the big room at Sterling Cooper for the last time, and I got sad thinking about on The Wire when they finish a case and take all the index cards down.

Don calls the Draper residence for the last time ever to tell Betty where he is (as if she gives a fuck). He calls her Betts, as if that's going to soften her any. Betty, ever the icy cunt tells Don "well, you'll always be their father," sounding resigned that she fucked up her life by procreating with this handsome loser/happy that she's ditching it to hit the casinos of Reno with her new daddy. Meanwhile, the Draper children get a way better mom in Carla, so maybe good deal? Unless you are Carla's children?

Don takes his suitcases down a rainy New York city street set to the heartbreak hometel. But don't worry Don, these streets will make you feel brand new, these lights will inspire you, cause you're in NEW YORK! NEW YORK! God I hate that fucking song (more to come about that). Sadly no more to come about Mad Men until summer.

So many questions remain. Did Peggy dump Duck? What sort of a bachelor will Don Draper be? What will happen to tragic nobleman Paul Kinsey? Charmed gladstone wonderboy Ken Cosgrove? And what about Sal? We're all pulling for you, Sal.

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



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)