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Alex Carnevale

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen

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 molly lambert (100)


In Which We Give You A Little Personal Information

Everything Is Less Than Zero


A little background, and some personal information (there's always personal information, you should know this by now). I went to private school in Los Angeles. I did not go to the same private school as Bret Easton Ellis, but a couple of my friends did and so did Rashida Jones.

Less Than Zero is one of those rare instances where the movie surpasses the book, in that it is CAST PERFECTLY. Robert Downey Jr. plays the same character (himself) in every movie. It's what makes him such a great movie star. He makes the character of Julian three-dimensional, which he isn't in the book. In the book he's more of an offscreen presence, a cipher, the Tino of the piece.

Downey plays him as himself, and thus somehow makes a junkie rentboy lovable. You actually care that the other two dull protagonists (Clay and Blair) are trying to rescue him because he's Robert Downey Jr. and we already know how the next decade of this brilliant young actor's life is going to turn out (not so good).

There's no sexual tension whatsoever between the leads. Jami Gertz plays Blair like a less butch Demi Moore. Andrew McCarthy plays Clay exactly as he's written; a closeted gay. All the sexual menergy is between Clay, Julian, and Rip.

Clay is still two-dimensional, which is why Andrew McCarthy is perfectly cast. He's a two-dimensional actor, cute and empty. But he's neither as cute nor as empty as James Spader, King of Pervs, who plays Rip the coke dealer.

Is there any movie in which James Spader doesn't play a glassy-eyed lech? Oh, right, Stargate. The movie I found him most attractive in, and that had to do more with my love for Egyptology and guys that resemble Encyclopedia Brown.

I can't believe he won the Emmy for Boston Legal. He fucking BEAT GANDOLFINI WTFFF. Was he the one who said "I don't know who votes for these things" because that was sort of charming. Boston Legal, jesus christ. Considering that show is even still on the air, I think it should get a new title:

I guess I disliked Less Than Zero because it wasn't at all representative of my experience as a teenager in Los Angeles. I read Less Than Zero and Play It As It Lays and The Day Of The Locust and they're all fine, but I didn't relate personally. None of them pinged with me the way good literature should.

They're all about ennui, which is hard to write about anyway. My experience in the suburbs of L.A. was more like American Graffiti or Dazed and Confused than Thirteen. You can feel displaced anywhere. People still confuse Hollywood with Los Angeles and Los Angeles with Disneyland.

My Top Twenty L.A. Movies

1. Shampoo

2. The Long Goodbye

3. Clueless

4. Chinatown

5. Boogie Nights

6. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

7. The Big Lebowski

8. Valley Girl

9. Pulp Fiction

10. Friday

11. Singin' In The Rain

12. Double Indemnity

13. Ed Wood

14. Sunset Boulevard

15. Barton Fink

16. Repo Man

17. Menace II Society

18. The Player

19. L.A. Confidential

20. Slums Of Beverly Hills

"Well, what I really want is to suck his cock."

The problem with movies like Less Than Zero that glamorize drug use and promiscuous sex is that nobody likes the third act of those movies, the redemption act. It's always all about the first two, the escalation and the spiraling out of control.

The only movie with this arc (the "Behind The Music" arc) and a great third act is Boogie Nights and that movie defies most classifications. Alex thought it was weird that P.T.A. wanted to make a movie about oil from an Upton Sinclair book but duh it's brilliant. Los Angeles was an oil town and it's a trope of historical Westerns, like the Gold Rush. I could certainly stand to see more Gold Rush movies.

The glamorous, the flossayyy flossayyy

And back to Less Than Zero: I know they mutilated the book and it's much more gray about it blah blah blah but guess what, jaded is a terrible cinematic emotion. French New Wave to the contrary, blasé is generally boring and doesn't read. It's indemonstrable and therefore can be acted well by people like Ryan Phillipe.

I'm just unbelievably sick of decadent super-rich people. In fiction, in film, in life, anywhere they exist. I am tired of their monopoly on culture and life. I'd rather read, hear, and see art about anything else. Except for like, boring married people having unfulfilling sex and intimacy issues.

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She tumbls here.

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"I've Got Your Number (live)" - Passion Pit (mp3)

"Sleepyhead (live)" - Passion Pit (mp3)

"Live To Tell The Tale (live)" - Passion Pit (mp3)


In Which Mickey Mouse Has Grown Up A Cow

SCIENCE CORNER: Martian Edition


Tharsis Montes is a range of three volcanoes in the Tharsis region of Mars. It is a plateau and the largest volcanic region on Mars. It consists of Ascraeus MonsPavonis Mons and Arsia Mons, which are arranged in that order from north to south. Another volcano, Olympus Mons, the tallest known mountain in the solar system, islocated northwest of the Tharsis volcanoes.

The three volcanoes that comprise Tharsis Montes: Arsia Mons is southernmost; Pavonis Mons is at center; Ascraeus Mons is at north. 

Olympus Mons (Latin for "Mount Olympus") is the tallest known volcano and mountain in the Solar System. It is located on the planet Mars at approximately 18°N 133°W / 18, -133. It is three times taller than Mount Everest. Since the late 19th century — well before space probes confirmed its identity as a mountain — Olympus Mons was known to astronomers as the albedo featureNix Olympica ("Snows of Olympus"), although its mountainous nature was suspected.

Olympus Mons

The central edifice stands 27 kilometers (around 16.7 miles/approx. 88,600 ft) high above the mean surface level of Mars (about three times the elevation of Mount Everest above sea level and 2.6 times the height of Mauna Kea above its base). It is 550 km (342 miles) in width, flanked by steep cliffs, and has a caldera complex that is 85 km (53 miles) long, 60 km (37 miles) wide, and up to 3 km (1.8 miles) deep with six overlapping pit craters. Its outer edge is defined by an escarpment up to 6 km (4 miles) tall, unique among the shield volcanoes of Mars.

the aureole of Olympus Mons (no homo)

The volcano is surrounded by a region known as the Olympus Mons aureole (Latin, "circle of light") with gigantic ridges and blocks extending 1000 km (600 miles) from the summit that show evidence of development and resurfacing connected with glacial activity. Both the escarpment and the aureole are poorly understood. In one theory, this basalt cliff was formed by landslides, and the aureole consists of material they deposited.

Olympus Mons is a shield volcano, the result of highly fluid lava flowing out of volcanic vents over a long period of time, and is much wider than it is tall; the average slope of Olympus Mons' flanks is very gradual. Based on crater size and frequency counts, the surface of this western scarp has been dated from 115 million years old down to a region that is only 2 million years old. This is very recent in geological terms, suggesting that the mountain may yet have some ongoing volcanic activity.

Arsia Mons

Arsia Mons is the southernmost of three volcanos (collectively known as Tharsis Montes) on the Tharsis bulge near the equator of the planet Mars. To its north is Pavonis Mons, and north of that is Ascraeus Mons. The tallest mountain in the solar systemOlympus Mons, is to its northwest. Its name comes from a corresponding albedo feature on a map by Giovanni Schiaparelli, which he named in turn after the legendary Roman forest of Arsia Silva.

A repeated weather phenomenon occurs each year near the start of southern winter over Arsia Mons. Just before southern winter begins, sunlight warms the air on the slopes of the volcano. This air rises, bringing small amounts of dust with it. Eventually the rising air converges over the volcano's caldera and the fine sediment blown up from the volcano's slopes coalesces into a spiraling cloud of dust that is thick enough to observe from orbit. The spiral dust cloud over Arsia Mons repeats each year. Recent studies provide evidence for glaciers on Arsia Mons. 

As of 2007 seven putative cave entrances have been identified in satellite imagery of the flanks of Arsia Mons. Nicknamed "the seven sisters" they have been informally dubbed Dena, Chloë, Wendy, Annie, Abbey, Nikki, and Jeanne and resemble "skylights" formed by the collapse of cave ceilings.

cave entrance on Martian volcano? portal to another world?

From day to night, temperatures of the circular features change only about one-third as much as the change in temperature of surrounding ground. While this is more variable than large caves on Earth, it is consistent with them being deep pits. How deep they go and whether they harbor any life remains to be seen.

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She tumbls here.

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"Raindrops" - The Rumble Strips (mp3)

"Happy Hell" - The Rumble Strips (mp3)

"Not the Only Person" - The Rumble Strips (mp3)

rumble strips website


In Which This Is One Way To Stay Alone

How To Be Single


Gems culled from the comments on this Jezebel post:

Don't show me your hair plug scars on a first date.

Don't tell me how many girls you fucked on your job as night manager at a hotel.

Do not ask my friend who has an artificial eye, and it's somewhat obvious, "What the hell is wrong with your eye?"

Do not say, "I kind of hate feminists."

A moonlit walk on the promenade is not the time to share your thoughts on the Holocaust being a hoax. In fact, there is no time for that ever ever ever.

Don't tell me you shave your chest and legs because "I'm a serious cyclist" and then have me feel your stubble.

Do not tell me, within five minutes of meeting me at a party, that you get 4 times as large when aroused.

Don't say, "I know women like it when men are forward. I want to take you home and fuck you." when I'm obviously not interested.

Do not tell me that you share a bed with your ex-girlfriend, whom you live with, and that your current girlfriend doesn't know.

Do not come up to me in a bookstore and tell me I have beautiful feet and you would like to photograph them.

Do not start reading the newspaper during the first date.

When hitting on someone of a different race, it's really fucking inappropriate to insist that sleeping together is really our duty, because the mixed babies would be so beautiful.

Do not ask me to tell you about my "hot lesbian encounters" when you find out I went to a women's college.

Do not say "Can I kiss you?" at all. It's creepy and it should be pretty obvious if it's okay. If you try and it's not okay I will dodge, no harm done.

Do not tell me what works on Katie. As in, "I don't know why you're not coming, it takes like two minutes with Katie."

When curious about my ethicity, do not phrase the question as "So what are you?"

Don't sit at a table full of hot women and after 5 shots of Patrón announce that you like single mothers because they're "grateful"

Do not assume because I smile and am nice to you in the workplace that I would be amenable to you accosting me in the hallway and trying to make-out. I WILL kick you in the shins AND tell our boss.

Don't tell me you never see your wife anymore.

Don't try to get me to have sex with you because you're a 22 year old virgin. Or at least, don't give me that reason.

Don't ask if my friend is hot every time I mention a friend.

At a work conference, don't show up at my hotel room door in the middle of the night with a Coleman lunch cooler full of Bud Light and ask if I want to "talk."

And absolutely under no circumstances, when I say you look familiar, do you reply you must have met me when you liked black girls.

Do not wait a full 24 hours to tell me the condom broke. Tick tock, buddy!

Don't tell me you fantasized about killing your brother as a child

Do not invite me up for a drink (while I'm waiting for a cab) and, after I tell you we aren't going to have sex, say "Oh, that isn't really how I do things."

Don't talk to me for forty minutes and then ask if my friend is single.

Do not tell me how much you miss your ex-girlfriend, but you're ready to move on with whomever because you want to be married within a year.

Don't ask me if it's a weave (it isn't). Don't insist I'm lying and ask to inspect my scalp as proof. When you discover it's really my hair, don't tell me I must be mixed to "be so dark with such good hair." In fact, don't ever use the term "good hair."

Don't ever bring me to your parents' house on the first date, where your mom will tell me that I'm going to be a great girlfriend, and then make me trudge the snow in non-snow appropriate shoes through an apple orchard to meet your father.

Do not tell me after spending the night making out that I was drunk enough that you could have raped me.

Don't tell me I could make a lot of money stripping and then rock back on your heels and smile proudly at me like you just gave me a huge compliment.

Don't tell me you usually don't date girls like me but "what the hell"

Do not invite me back to your apartment and then try to slow dance with me to Lady In Red

Don't tell me over beers that you're looking for a "cuddle buddy". Especially don't then tell me it's not about sex, you really just like to cuddle.

If we are at a party don't say, "You look really good, if I didn't just break up with you I'd hit on you."

Don't call your ex-girlfriend to tell her that you've "got a stone fox now" and "you're over her for real this time", then hang up, start crying, collect yourself, and spend the rest of the evening rhapsodizing about how wonderful she was. I can't imagine why she would dump a gem like you.

Don't ask to take a picture of me so you can put it in your blog. The answer is no.

After telling me you're a plastic surgeon, refrain from telling me my button nose is cute but I "should really lengthen it to sex up my face." and offer your services.

It won't work for you to say to me and another friend of mine, who is pretty but overweight, "I wish I could put your head on her body."

"You really look Jewish," is not a good pick up line regardless of whether I am or am not.

Don't inform me, while we are naked in your bed, that your usual "moves" won't work because I'm bigger than the other girls you've fucked.

Don't practically beg me to go to a wedding with you three months down the road on our first date. Desperate and creepy.

When I'm holding my newborn baby, don't talk about how much you love the taste of breast milk--especially when you're married to my good friend.

Don't ever say, "GIRL DRAMA!" when I'm telling you about a problem I'm having with a female friend.

Don't tell me, a tall blonde woman of northern European descent, that you are really, really into Asian woman and are on lots of websites catering to such.

Don't say, "everyone always thinks I'm gay".

Don't complain at length that your dog shits all over your house because you can't figure out how to train it, and then ask me back to your place.

Don't troll Craigslist looking for someone to have a threesome with, find someone, and give her MY NAME AND NUMBER without even telling me! I got a call last week from some woman who said my bf told her we were looking to have a threesome. I was like WTF?

Don't say "You look like a model from the side, but from the front you have birthing hips."

Don't attempt to have sex with me while pretending I'm someone else. Yes, I can tell.

Please, please do not tell the girl working at the bagel shop (me), "I hope you fuck better than you make that sandwich." Secondly, it's not a sandwich, its a bagel. Fuck.

Don't wake me up in the youth hostel to let me know I can circumsize you with my Swiss Army knife if I'd screw you afterwards.

Don't offer to share a cab home and then say there is something important for me to see in your apartment and then have it turn out that it's actually your friend's apartment and you just live in a weird, closet-type area and then try to read me a bunch of bad, depressing poetry when I'm trying to leave while telling me that you "wrote it about me and didn't even know it" and then leave a bird skeleton in a tin box outside my apartment several days later with a note: thinking of you.

Don't tell me you love me, commit to a monogamous relationship, have a discussion about not using condoms, pay for birth control pills, and then let me find out that during the ENTIRE duration of our relationship you've been fucking random men, women and trannies from craigslist (literally anyone who would have sex with you) and then coming home and having unprotected sex with me.

Don't suggest the possibility of us giving each other enemas someday soon.

Do not tell my friends when you meet them how you are going to get me pregnant. When we have sex do not tell me you are trying to get me pregnant and it's okay because your mom will raise it

Don't tell me that your baby momma is only giving you drama because she's having "dick withdrawals", 'cuz chances are, you're still fucking her.

When in the middle of a fun, flirty conversation, don't lean in and say, "it's ok, I like small tits!"

Don't show up to our first date an hour late because you had to take a shower before you came here because you were helping a friend move, then wait a minute before admitting it was actually your ex-wife. Then wait ANOTHER minute and admit she's not actually your ex-wife yet.

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She tumbls here.

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"Smiling At Strangers On Trains" - Frank Turner (mp3)

"The Outdoor Type" - Frank Turner (mp3)

"The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" - Frank Turner (mp3) highly recommended

"Imperfect Tense" - Frank Turner (mp3)