February 22, 2006

 holy mother of god...


this is SO GOOD, in every conceivable way.

i have spent FAR too much time on youtube.com today. (and before you ask... yes i have seen the japanese coffee commercial with david byrne.)

and don't even get me started on this bobby darin performance. unbelievable stuff. i need to go change my panties now.

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January 24, 2005

 celebrity smackdown: streep v. byrne


i have to admit, i'm more than mildly intrigued by the comparison of meryl streep's and david byrne's manhattan apartments.

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October 28, 2004

 david byrne live at union chapel


david byrne product alert!!

"david byrne live at union chapel" went on sale today. you should get it. it's good.

besides, there aren't really that many opportunities to see david byrne on your tv, so you should take advantage of this one.

if you liked david's concert at the carolina theatre earlier this fall, this show at union chapel is very similar. it was filmed almost 2 years ago, but he performs many of the same songs, with 99% of the same musicians.

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September 30, 2004



i've got no good reason to post this picture.

just humor me.

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September 20, 2004

 david byrne @ the carolina theatre

DB_singing.jpgyes, last night was the big show. david byrne at the carolina theatre in durham. it was so satisfying to see the "sold out" sign on the marquee... it's not often that anything at that theatre is really and truly sold out. (1,016 seats! yay for david!!)

before the show, though, i invited our crew (there were 16 of us in our group) over for a cookout. not everyone could come, unfortunately, but a few other people who weren't going to the show stopped by for bacon-wrapped hot dogs on the grill. charlotte brought corn dog, the friendliest puppy on earth. we had booze & basketball, too. fun.

as 8:00 approached, we got our carpooling arranged and i threw on my red, heeled boots, and off to the theatre we went. we arrived a song or two into sam phillips' set. the lights in the concert hall had already been dimmed and the ushers were using flashlights to get us to our seats.

those seats, by the way, were in the first row. the theatre, in this instance, though, has two row "A"s... a "row A" of permanent seats, and a "row A" in the pit orchestra (these were simply temporary seats set up for this occasion). the usher pointed me towards the regular row A, and i pointed at my ticket and said, "this is actually in the pit". she said, "ohhh!" and very dramatically waved us into the area. hee hee. that felt great.

i really enjoyed sam phillips' set. she didn't have a lot of stage presence, but i liked her music. i had heard a few songs prior to the show (thanks, limewire!) and hadn't really been blown away. but in person i really enjoyed her stuff. sorta sad and subtly twangy songs. her voice is fine and clear. i think i'll be paying more attention to her music in the future.

during the intermission i mingled with a few folks and marveled at how many people were cramming into the hall. ray bought me a giant sprite from the concession stand, which came in handy throughout the evening. i was getting excited.

the minute the lights went back down i got giddy. i'd seen this tour earlier in the year and knew how good it was going to be. i took off my boots and got ready for some serious sock-dancing.

here's the set list:

Glass, Concrete & Stone (DB: Grown Backwards)
I Zimbra (TH: Fear of Music)
Aucensia (Cesaria Evora)
Finite=Alright (DB: Feelings)
The Man Who Loved Beer (DB: Grown Backwards)
The Great Intoxication (DB: Look Into the Eyeball)
Naive Melody (This Must Be The Place) (TH: Speaking in Tongues)
Road to Nowhere (TH: Little Creatures)
Nothing But Flowers (TH: Naked)
Once In A Lifetime (TH: Remain in Light)
One Rainy Wish (Jimi Hendrix)
Psycho Killer (TH: '77)
Don't Fence Me In (DB: Red Hot & Blue comp.)
Like Humans Do (DB: Look Into the Eyeball)
Dialog Box (DB: Grown Backwards)
What a Day That Was (DB: Catherine Wheel)
Blind (TH: Naked)
Desconocido Soy (DB: Look Into the Eyeball)
Life During Wartime (TH: Fear of Music)
Heaven (TH: Fear of Music)
Lazy (DB: Grown Backwards)

there's a great story over on david's tour journal (the september 6th entry in boulder, colorado) about how the concert promoter there refused to believe that people would be dancing at the show, and how a member of david's staff bet the promoter $200 that *everyone* would be dancing by song #7. of course at song #7 david looked over and the promoter was counting out $200 to the staff member. ha!

well, by song #2 last night we were all up & dancing. i acted like a crazy woman, there in the very front row, mere inches from david byrne, jumping up and down and shaking my big butt. i had such a good time. i think my bra lost all elasticity mid-way through the show, though... it just couldn't hold up to my incessant pogoing.

afterwards, though, my friend tony (who is even a bigger david byrne fan than i am) said that in the rear of the hall the security dorks were forcibly keeping people from dancing in the aisles... that even when their feet slid even a little into the aisle they got yelled at. what a crock of poo. that's terrible! let people dance, dammit! we all paid to have a good time!

as far as the music goes, the biggest surprise of the night actually came when david announced he was going to do a cole porter song. many, many years ago he recorded "don't fence me in" for the aids awareness album, "red, hot & blue" and i have NEVER heard him perform it live. i don't even think he's done it on this tour yet. it stunned me. it was a first. it's such a great, uptempo version of the song... charlotte turned to me and said, "ok, david byrne is officially cool now!" (like, duh, charlotte! :-)

about that time my cell phone started vibrating in my pocket. i pulled it out and saw it was a call from lulu, my sister-in-law and david byrne fan in her own right, and though i couldn't hear a word she said i shouted into the phone for her to just stay on the line as long as she wanted and listen to the concert. i think she heard at least 2 songs... i hope the sound was good.

as i was dancing i'd occasionally turn around and get a view of the entire hall bouncing up & down. even the people in the upper balcony were dancing! it's so steep up there! i'm terrified to even walk up those aisles... those people must've been moved --pretty fucking moved!-- by the music to risk their necks like that.

tony (uber-fan) had told me that at a recent show in austin the crowd was so incredible that david actually did a third, unscheduled encore: "un di felice etera", one of the opera arias from "grown backwards". i held out hope that we were a fabulous crowd, too (i know the front row was a fabulous crowd!) and my heart skipped a beat when, during their final bows, i saw david mouthing some words to himself. i thought maybe he was refreshing his italian or something. but no such luck. that final bow was, in fact, the final bow. boo hoo.

afterwards a bunch of us mingled in the lobby. tony had told us that there might be a chance that the band would make an appearance out there. (did i mention that tony and his wife, mary anne, have all-access badges for this tour? they go to any show they want --free-- and have access to the backstage area and after-show parties. yeah, i'm envious.) but alas, the band didn't come out. then tony suggested we wait by the tour buses... they had to eventually come out there.

well, we waited and waited and waited. probably close to 45 minutes. and it was COLD outside. band members came by and we thanked them all for the show. the friendliest was percussionist mauro refosco (scroll down to the 4th & 5th photo), who came out, saw us, pointed, and said, "oh! front row!!" we all laughed... i guess we were all making such fools of ourselves that we were easily recognizable after the show.

tony & mary anne kept popping in backstage, then coming back out to tell us what was going on. they said that david didn't really feel like meeting anyone tonight. tony said to david, "but the entire front row is out there! and they're such BABES!!" i'm still laughing at that.

so yes, david finally caved in and very briefly made an appearance outside by the buses, but he only stayed long enough for molly to get her set list autographed and then he ran away. (molly, i might add, is 8 months pregnant and danced her little heart out all night long. what a trooper! she also took some clandestine photos which are posted below.)

by that point it was close to 1am and we were all totally wiped out. i came home and noodled around the house for an hour, trying to get the buzz to wear off. when i finally slept, though, it was a beautiful, deep, happy sleep.

and this morning i woke up feeling so energized! for the last couple of weeks i've been aimless, listless and generally down in the dumps. this concert lifted me up and gave me a new energy. invigoration.

i wish i could see some more dates on this tour! my budget won't really allow a trip to south america, though, and the florida dates are during the fundraiser at work. phoo. maybe there will be other dates announced soon.


[other concert mentions: georg, sarah (w/photos!), lisa]

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July 28, 2004

 tickets in hand

yay! i now have tickets to see david byrne on september 19. woo hoo!

i got to the carolina theatre an hour before they went on sale. one other person was ahead of me in line. i tried to chat with her, but she wasn't having it... maybe it was this whole competitive "i want better seats than you" thing. who knows.

anyway, i thought i'd have an hour-long wait in the sun, but surprisingly enough one of the box office employees opened his window about 10 minutes after i got there. he said "i'm here early, so let's go ahead... you'll have an advantage over the internet people this way."

woo hoo!!

the woman in front of me in line didn't know to ask for seats in the pit orchestra section, so she got her 8 tickets in row *L*. when she left i asked the box office guy for *14 pit seats* and his eyes got really big. "you know those are more expensive, right?" yes... yes i do. "and you know there's no group discount for those, right?" yes. let's go... i'd pay a million dollars for these tickets, bub... just sell 'em to me!

well, he could sell me *12* pit seats... that's all that were left. so i bought those, plus 2 seats right behind the pit, in the second row. two of our group will have to sit a bit behind the others, but still... row B ain't shabby.

when i left the line there were 2 more people behind me, waiting to buy tickets... and it was still before 11am, before the tickets officially went on sale. so if you want to go to this show, people, you need to buy your tickets now. seriously. what are you waiting for??

Posted by xta at 3:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 20, 2004

 he's coming!

david byrne will be at the carolina theatre september 19!!

tickets go on sale july 28...

woo hoo!

post a comment if you're interested in going. i'll try to figure out a way to get a bunch of seats together.

more info here...

Posted by xta at 4:25 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 23, 2004

 great weekend; long post

i left the house at noon on saturday & pulled into annapolis at 5:30. i made really good time, even despite two giant traffic jams on I-95. each one had us at a near standstill for 15 minutes or so. which wouldn't have been such a big deal if i weren't SWELTERING in my car. good lord, it was hot. maybe this will finally be the year i get the A/C fixed.

i was so hot, in fact, that i called the car talk guys while i was stopped in traffic. you have to leave a message about your car's problem and then if they like you they'll call you back when they're taping the show. so i left a message telling them how i keep putting off the A/C repair, thinking the car is going to die soon... it's a 1990, for god's sake, with 192,000 miles. BUT THE CAR WON'T DIE. so i'm starting to think that i should go ahead and get the A/C repaired, but there's some part of me that thinks that having operable A/C will actually cause the car to die sooner. a conundrum.

anyway, in my message i complained -loudly- that i was stuck in traffic and SWEATING MY ASS OFF, so maybe that will get their attention.

so when i finally arrive at the maryland hall i'm literally dripping with sweat. thankfully i was prepared and brought a change of clothes. i first picked up my tickets from the will call window and lingered as long as i could in the air conditioned office. (the building is actually the old annapolis high school, built ages ago without central air; the 'classroom' which was the box office actually had a couple of window units working overtime to keep that room cool.) i told the woman that i had just driven from north carolina in an un-air-conditioned car, and she was appropriately impressed.

the maryland hall has a nice cafe in the basement, so after i changed my clothes (and applied a new layer of deodorant) i went down and had a turkey, hummus & roasted red pepper sandwich and a (ice-cold) pear/apricot smoothie. dee-lish.

by the time i finished my meal people were starting to form a line outside the door. (the seating was general admission.) the hallway where the line was forming was not air conditioned, so i went and stood outside where there at least was a breeze. while i was out there i spotted two of the string players and chatted with them for a while. they told me stories of the mundane life of touring (dealing with laundry seems to be a big, bothersome issue). they seemed happy that i recognized them, and indulged my questions about the string arrangements in david's songs.

when the doors opened, i didn't rush right in... i figured there would be a nice selection of single seats available. and i was right. i found a seat about 8 rows back, right in the middle, and right in front of the row that was "reserved for david byrne." i didn't at the time think about how fortuitous this would be.

on my right was a slightly hippie-ish couple (bob & terri) who wanted talked about bela fleck and the bobs with me. (i indulged them, though all i know about those bands are their names.) they were very friendly and when i found out they hadn't seen david byrne since the talking heads were still together, i told them i'd seen him a lot and i knew they'd love the show. that clued them in that i was a big fan, but their hunches were confirmed when they saw my tattoo. i mentioned that i had driven all the way up from north carolina for the show, and they said, "oh! we heard about you!!" apparently the lady in the box office was telling everyone about me as she handed out the tickets.

as we waited for the opening act to start, a few people started to come sit in the "reserved" row behind us and i decided to strike up a conversation with an elderly couple there. it turns out that the woman (i think her name was sandy) used to teach with david byrne's mom... they're friends of the family from way back. sandy told me that her son used to play monopoly with david... she had nothing but kind words to say about him. she sounded so proud, you'd have thought david was her own son.

sandy also told me that david's parents were going to be there (they live near baltimore). and sure enough, 10 minutes into the opening act they arrived. let me tell you... david byrne looks exactly like his father. it's almost creepy. his mom is short and a little mannish, but in a totally adorable way. every once in a while during the show i'd turn around and look to see if they were clapping along or anything. they were. ;-)

so the opening act... her name was juana molina. she's from argentina, and david came out to introduce her. he had nothing but praise to heap on her, saying he had been given a copy of her album and instantly fell in love with her music. he called it "latin musicby way of iceland." it was amazing. everyone sat in perfect silence and really listened to her. we were all totally entranced; i even bought her cd after her set was over. her voice is breathy, and with her parter alejandro she makes acoustic/korg guitar/keyboard trancey soundscapes that are almost a stereolab-y. i listened to the CD on the drive home today and was SO glad i bought it. now i can't wait to get her 2nd CD.

after her 45-minute set (and a 15-minute break) david came out on stage and the house went wild. an immediate standing ovation. after we all sat back down again he thanked us for "being able to make it to the assembly". (the concert hall was the one-time auditorium of annapolis high school.) he also said there would be a quiz afterward. i was personally hoping for detention. ;-)

i wish i would have written down the set-list, but i totally lost my mind during the show. i didn't even remember to take pictures until it was almost too late. (i snapped two while he was singing "psycho killer", but they're not very good. oh well. i have others. :-)

what's interesting about this tour is that david has been booked into seated auditoriums (versus his last tour, which was all smoky rock clubs)... so people seem reluctant to get up and dance. it took about 30 minutes for a contingent of people to leave their seats and dance in the aisles. that was all the momentum that was needed... soon people were doing funny walking dances in the space between the first row of seats and the stage... it was almost like a conga line at one point. the vibe was very friendly, and it was great seeing people have such a fun time... whether they wanted to dance, or stay seated (like david's parents behind me).

my friend tony had given me a bootleg of a david byrne show from march in italy, which i listened to on the drive up to annapolis... i was really surprised how much the set list has changed since then. there were a number of new additions, which was a nice surprise! i wonder how much the set list will change before he comes to durham in september.

here are the songs i remember him singing, in their general order:

glass, concrete and stone (DB- grown backwards)
i zimbra (TH- fear of music)
ausencia (cesaria evora)
the man who loved beer (lambchop - from grown backwards)
why (DB- grown backwards)
UB jesus (DB- look into the eyeball)
the great intoxication (DB- look into the eyeball)
road to nowhere (TH- little creatures)
naive melody (this must be the place) (TH- speaking in tongues)
un di felice (opera!) (DB- grown backwards)
once in a lifetime (TH- fear of music)
like humans do (DB- look into the eyeball)
dialog box (DB- grown backwards)
tiny apocalypse (DB- grown backwards)
what a day that was (DB- catherine wheel)
psycho killer (TH- 77)
blind (kick ass!!!!) (TH- naked)
life during wartime (TH- fear of music)
heaven (solo acoustic!) (TH- fear of music)
desconosido soy (DB- look into the eyeball)
lazy (DB- grown backwards)

damn, that's a long list... i probably forgot something, too. i think he played for almost 2 hours, and every song was SUPERB. i've never heard his voice sound more strong, and he really, really belted out some of the high, hard stuff (like "un di felice" and the "ay i, i, i, i" in "psycho killer").

i am not even hesitating for an instant in saying this was the best david byrne show i've ever been to. (and i've been to a lot of 'em!) the venue was great, the vibe was great, the sound was better than another other DB show i've been to, i met some really nice people, the opening act was wonderful, and david seemed more full of life & energy than i've seen from him in a while. maybe it was because his parents were in the audience... (though his folks were at the show he did at the 9:30 club a couple of years ago, too, and this show beat that one hands-down).

after the show i immediately whipped out my cell phone and called my friend tony. (he's an even bigger david byrne fan than i am... but he had shoulder surgery on thursday, or else he would have driven up from charlotte for the show, too.) he was all doped up and in a good deal of pain, but he was still happy to hear my report on the concert. i then checked in with ray.

after that 2nd phone call was complete, i decided to go back into the hall to see if maybe david was hanging around anywhere. he wasn't... i'm guessing he was still with his family & friends. oh well... it's probably all for the best. i've gotten pretty good at talking to celebrities over the years, but david byrne still makes me weak in the knees. i've met him a half-dozen times (including an interview with him many years ago) but i still get tongue-tied, even though i'm sure he knows who i am by now. (he even invited me backstage once.)

so after i calmed down enough to drive, i made my way to poolesville to spend the night on my friend jen's couch. (she's a huge david byrne fan, too, but didn't drive to annapolis since she's going to see one of his shows at the birchmere in DC in a couple of weeks.) i gave her a quick summary of the show, but on the one-hour drive to her house i got pretty sleepy (long day!) so i crashed as soon as i could.

i woke up when the sun started beating in the window... at a painful 7:30am. the rest of the house was quiet, and rather than wait around for people to get up i decided to just slip out of the house. i knew that an early start would mean a COOLER CAR and less traffic, so i left a nice thank you note, packed up and left.

the first thing i did was fill up the car with gas... and look! direct evidence that mr. pinky was right in telling me not to top off when i fill up. (for some reason his comment and his helpful link are now gone from that old post... d'oh.)

anyway, i didn't drive straight home... i went to ikea first. i spent an hour and half in that freaking store. it's a time-sucker. i spent less than $100, though, and got a new light fixture for the kitchen, 8 new soup bowls, 6 new wine glasses, and a swank red carrying case for a hopefully-soon-to-be-purchased new laptop.

and then i drove home. i pulled in the driveway around 4pm and immediately took a shower to rinse 2 days' worth of car-sweat-scum off of me.

aside from the ridiculous heat in the car, i would do the whole trip over in an instant. the show was that phenomenal. i'm actually trying to figure out of i could reasonably get to any other concerts before he comes to durham in september...

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April 30, 2004

 i haven't posted about david byrne in a while...

...but i'm counting the days (22) until i drive up to annapolis to see him perform.

also, i thought this was interesting:

David Byrne is watching the people who are watching him.

"For several years I have been photographing security cameras as an art project," the former Talking Head tells Webster Hall curator Baird Jones. "Store owners freak out and think I am casing the joint for a robbery or they think I am a cop. Being mistaken for a cop makes me feel powerful."

Bryne, whose new album is "Grown Backwards," admits that some store owners "become so enraged that they want to attack me." What's more, "I doubt I will ever manage to sell a single one of these photographs."

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April 13, 2004

 "Having stuff that can do everything is not always a good idea." 

yay! the onion av club interviews david byrne.

the quote in the title is taken from the last paragraph. the interviewer is asking about david's book envisioning emotional epistimological information, and he explains why he chose to use powerpoint to create the art in the book:

" I like the limitations and the faults and the clunkiness of the program. I love the fact that it eliminates choices of what you can do, because there's so much you can't do. And having stuff that can do everything is not always a good idea. Having unlimited choices can paralyze you creatively. So I like the fact that you can only do certain things, and some of the things it can do, it can't do that well, but it does them in its own kind of way. If you accept that, it's okay. Sometimes I can tell it to do things, and it really has a freak-out. It starts shaking, and it's great! I mean, try and do that in Flash. I showed him stuff that it was doing where the dissolves would be so imperfect that it would do this very complicated destruction of the image before the next one cleared. To do that in another program would be really, really time-consuming—to make something look this bad, but in a particular way."

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March 21, 2004

 Inside The Mind Of David Byrne - [Sunday Herald] 

Inside The Mind Of David Byrne is one of the best articles i've read about him in recent history... the interviewer talks to eno, frantz, weymouth and his old business partner, yale, about the history (and current events) of david's life. it's pretty impressive.

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March 18, 2004

 the new album. again. 

this may be my favorite photo of david byrne. ever. yum.

the accompanying article about his new album isn't bad, either. it quotes lyrics from my currently-favorite song, "glass, concrete and stone":

Skin that covers me from head to toe
Except a couple tiny holes and openings
Where the city's blowing in and out
And this is what it's all about

you can hear a real audio snippet here, though frustratingly it cuts off just before the chorus. geah.

so go buy yourself a copy so you can hear the whole thing.

and because you care so much about me, i'll share with you a short list of my other favorites songs on the album: "she only sleeps" (which contains very cute lyrics and a bossa nova beat), "tiny apocolypse" (which makes me wiggle when i hear his voice go low like that), "civilization" (a story of a first date) and "un di felice" (opera!).

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March 10, 2004

 OH. MY. GOD. 

Look who is coming to the Carolina Theatre!!!!!!

Tickets on sale March 15th:
David Byrne & Special Guest
Tuesday, June 8, 7:30pm | $35, P3: $30, Pit: $38

I cannot believe He will be a mile and half from my house.

Excuse me while I go change my pants.

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February 18, 2004

 david & carrie & big

this has nothing to do with anything (other than my obsession with david byrne), but i just thought it was hilarious that in his bio on the bonnaroo web site david talks about a dream he's in with carrie bradshaw & mr. big.

he's got a nice story on there about standing at a wet urinal wearing bread shoes, too. yet somehow i still love him.

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January 28, 2004

 Grown Backwards

david byrne's new album, "grown backwards," will be released march 16!

as promised, it contains 2 opera arias. a surprise addition is "the other side of this life", which i believe he wrote several years ago but is only now getting its official release. (in fact, he performed it at the cat's cradle during his last tour.) and just i can't wait to hear "the man who loved beer"... that's the most straightforward of all of the song titles, which usually means it will be really quirky.

he's already scheduling his european tour in support of the album. traditionally he tours the united states after europe, then finishes off with more european dates. so i suspect the US tour will begin around june or so. looks like i'll be making a few road trips this summer! (my friends tony & mary anne are already planning on seeing the 3 shows in italy in march!)

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December 15, 2003

 and you may find yourself... living in a cold-ass house

the epistemology of david byrne is a fine read. in the interview he mentions that his next album will contain 2 opera arias (the one from la traviata is my favorite of all time). i just love that man. what in the heck will he do next?

the fix-it guy from griles was here again this morning, running a new thermostat wire to the package unit. he showed me the old one, and it looked pretty sketchy. this new one will allow us to get off of 'emergency heat' (which actually worked all weekend long! yay!) and onto the regular, more efficient (har har) system.

as he was wrapping up, i asked him: "based on your powers of prediction, how long do you think this unit is going to last?" we'd just been talking about our christmas plans, and he said, "i'd be surprised if it lasted until you get back from your vacation."


so i've called 2 more HVAC companies to come out and give bids on the job. that'll make 4 quotes total; enough to give me a good basis for a reasonable decision. i hope. i'll have all the estimates in hand by friday, and then i guess i'll call and schedule the work while i'm down in florida next week. merry bleepin' christmas.

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December 10, 2003

 Turning Heads With PowerPoint 

a nice article from Wired News called "Turning Heads With PowerPoint"... an interview with david byrne that not only discusses his recent forays into powerpoint art, but also mentions a new album and tour next spring!

woo hoo!

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