Flight School (Ian Anthony Aeillo), #BFF tonight; Pro-Magnum, Pine Ridge Toy Drive Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:37 pm December 6, 2019

Ian Aeillo at Hear Nebraska’s Take Cover at The Waiting Room, Jan. 18, 2014. He’s the subject of a sound/art exhibition at The Sydney tonight.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve talked about Ian Aeillo before on this blog, about his role in the Nebraska music scene both as a producer, creator, musician and influencer, employed (these days) at The Sydney in Benson. Aeillo’s music history goes back literally decades to a band called The Golden Age that, at the time, was hot-rumored to be thee next big band on the then-fledgling (though already successful) Saddle Creek Records label. I remember asking the label execs at the time about signing the Lincoln band and received the tertiary wayward nod/no response that greeted all such questions directed to the Nansel/Kulbel braintrust. They always held their cards close to the vest, though one couldn’t ignore the fact they were both in the audience at Sokol Underground one night when The Golden Age was playing a rare show in Omaha. Talent scouting?

Well, nothing ever came of any of it, and The Golden Age eventually faded away or disappeared or broke up. Tracks from the legendary unreleased Jealous Love album were deleted from YouTube a long time ago. Aeillo would go on to work with a number of bands, including Lincoln outfit Eagle*Seagull as well as countless others recordings at ARC Recording Studio where he once worked as a producer.

Poster for tonight’s Flight School exhibition.

He does his knob twirling these days at The Sydney, where you can find him most nights working as a sound engineer. But tonight Aeillo will be playing a different role as the featured artist for The Sydney’s Benson First Friday festivities. There’s a lengthy Facebook post where he describes what the event entails, but at the very least, those who drop in will experience either the playing over the PA or a live performance of his work as Flight School, a multi-media rock-punk-jazz recording odyssey all of which is available via Bandcamp. There will be other equipment set up as part of the “experience/installation” that’s been dubbed “An Evening w/Ian Anthony Aeillo (Flight School)” The experience runs from 5 p.m. til 2 a.m. at The Sydney, and admission is free.

It’s all a part of Benson First Friday.

Since you’ll be in Benson anyway, why not stop at The Little Gallery, 5901 Maple Street (the east bay of the Masonic Lodge Building), where tonight is the opening of the 5th Annual Little Show. Featured is the work of more than 20 local artists, all showing works 12 x 12 or smaller at a price point of $100 or less. Just in time for holiday shopping. The show runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Come on by.

That’s it for tonight.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) Johnny Vredenburg and the rest of the boys from Pro-Magnum headline at The Brothers Lounge. Also on the bill are KC metal band 34. $5, 10 p.m.

Finally, the annual Toy Drive for Pine Ridge is happening at The Waiting Room Saturday night. Featured performers include Satchel Grande, Pony Creek, Garst and Vago. Admission is a new, unwrapped toy or $10. All proceeds will be used to deliver toys to the children of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Show starts at 8 p.m.

And believe it or not, that’s all I got, except to mention the fine folks who ran Almost Music as well as EZ Records are having a record show at Reverb Lounge at noon on Sunday. It’s free and always fun.

If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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The second coming of Criteria: New album on 15 Passenger, Cursive tour, ping-pong…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:42 pm December 5, 2019

Criteria 2019. Photo by Django Greenblatt-Seay.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

You already knew that Criteria was hitting the road with Cursive in January, and if you read this blog, you also already had a good idea that the band’s new album, Years, was coming out at some point on 15 Passenger. It’s been rumored for over a year. The fact that the recording is actually seeing the light of day is nothing short of a miracle.

Criteria announced the album and tour via Brooklyn Vegan yesterday before unleashing it on social media. Included in the BV story was both a track off the new album and an amusing/disturbing video of Criteria frontman Stephen Pedersen playing ping-pong with a diminutive Tim Kasher of Cursive. Hi-jinx indeed ensue.

Anyway, the new record is available for pre-order from 15Passenger.com. It comes out Jan. 17. The new tune, “Agitate Resuscitate,” is a real scorcher, and the first question that came to mind upon listening to it was how in the heck Pedersen is going to be able to sing it — along with all the other high-flying Criteria songs from yesteryear — night after night for two weeks without turning his vocal chords to bloody ribbons.

As the website says, this is the first new album by Criteria in nearly 15 years. In that time, the band has pulled itself together at least once or twice a year for a one-off show, after which Pedersen could retire back to his professional life and conceivable talk in a hoarse whisper at work the following Monday morning. Instead, he’ll have to get right back behind that microphone the next night. I don’t know how he did it 15 years ago let alone how he’ll do it for two weeks in January (The sched: six days in a row, break, four days in a row, break, four days in a row). No doubt he’s been in training for the past few months. He’ll pull it off…

Folks who follow Little Brazil on Facebook already know that Austin Elsberry has taken over behind the drum kit, replacing Nate Van Fleet. That’s good timing considering Van Fleet will be holding down the drum chores for Criteria on the upcoming tour in place of drummer Mike Sweeney. Those are rather massive shoes to fill, Mr. Van Fleet, but I can’t think of anyone better to try.

You’ll be able to see both Little Brazil and Criteria when the bands play at The Waiting Room Dec. 28 with Lodgings. Talk about your down home holiday extravaganzas…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Kris Lager tonight, and some thoughts on The Jewell…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:46 pm December 4, 2019

Kris Lager plays solo tonight at The Jewell.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’ve been told by a couple music folks (and have read on Facebook) that The Jewell is hands-down the best live music venue in Omaha. I couldn’t tell you if I agree having never stepped foot in the joint.

The Jewell originally was marketed as a live dinner/music-venue with a jazz focus, and many acts initially booked were jazz-oriented. But there have been exceptions, such as tonight’s Kris Lager solo show at 6:30 (tix are $15). Lager has generated a large local following for his style of feel-good blues rock. His Spotify bio, for example, shows he has 1,161 monthly listeners, most of them located in Omaha and the Midwest, though Lager tours his ass off.

It’s a smart booking for Jewell, along with upcoming dates by Cubby Philips Trio, Hector Anchondo Band, The Confidentials, Blues Society of Omaha gigs and various holiday shows that appear to reach for a different audience than is typically attracted to jazz fare.

That said, I’m still waiting for The Jewell to book one of Omaha’s premier indie / punk bands (and if you’re wondering who I’m talking about, you never read this blog, but here’s the list for 2019). One assumes these bands have never been considered for the Jewell stage because, well, they’re indie/punk bands. And while blues ain’t jazz, you could argue that there’s an overlap in those two genres’ perceived audiences.

That said, considering that the club is booked kind of like a dinner-theater — with ticketed calendar events where you get in, order dinner, watch the act and leave — there’s no reason why they couldn’t book any genre of music or performer — i.e., it’s not a hang-out jazz club where patrons show up expecting jazz five nights a week. You go to see the band you bought tickets to see.

If they’re willing to book Anchondo and Kris Lager, they certainly could book David Nance Band, Thick Paint, See Through Dresses or any of the Saddle Creek Records stable. I guess the question is whether those bands’ followers would show up and order dinner instead of just soak themselves in PBR. In that way The Jewell seems designed for old(er) people, the kind you see leaning over a king-cut prime rib at Anthony’s.

And you could argue that indie bands already have plenty of quality venues to play at — The Slowdown, The Waiting Room, Reverb Lounge, not to mention smaller clubs like O’Leaver’s, The Sydney and The Brothers. (But for those of you wondering whether those bands would play at The Jewell in the first place, the answer is yes they would, if the money’s right).

I guess I’ll just have to keep on waiting for the right moment to finally experience The Jewell. In the meantime, tickets to Kamasi Washington — arguably one of the most influential new jazz voices and (one would assume) a perfect fit for The Jewell — go on sale Friday at The Slowdown…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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A Digital Leather / Solid Goldberg Thanksgiving tonight at O’Leaver’s…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 1:38 pm November 28, 2019

Digital Leather at The Sydney, Sept. 6, 2019. The band plays tonight at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Fabulous O’Leaver’s is starting a new tradition tonight by hosting one of the hottest Tryptophan-fueled rock shows of the year.

Solid Goldberg is a project that features Omaha legend Dave Goldberg, who takes the one-man-band experience to a whole ‘nuther level. Goldberg, who’s past projects include Sucettes, Rusty Lord, Box Elders, The Terminals, The Carsinogents, Street Urchins and Full Blown, to name a few, creates an audio/visual head trip that must be seen to be believed.

He’s followed by Digital Leather, a project helmed by an Omaha doom-vision electronic music svengali. Beyond what I’ve reported in the past, I know virtually nothing about Shawn Foree other than he’s the only post-wave singer/songwriter actively trying something new in a tired genre dominated by tribute acts and unwanted reunion tours.

Over the past 15 years or so, Digital Leather’s musical style has constantly shifted between electronic No Wave, garage rock/psychedelic and static-powered synth-punk. Prolific, Foree records a record (or two) every year, released on labels like FDH, No Coast, Volar, Goner, Fat Possum and Stencil Trash.

You get both acts for just $7. The fun starts at 10 p.m. Expect your typical O’Leaver’s crowd, which is another way of saying expect the unexpected. And that’s something to give thanks for…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Ghost Foot, Universe Contest, InDreama, Helmet tonight; Disq, Goon, Show Me the Body, Dreamers, Wagon Blasters Saturday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , , , — @ 1:25 pm November 22, 2019

Disq at Slowdown Jr., June 2, 2019. The band plays at O’Leaver’s Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A busy weekend for a change…uptown, downtown, all over…

Let’s start with fabulous O’Leaver’s, where tonight sees the return of Louisiana duo Ghost Foot. I wrote about them yesterday. I’m told they’ll also be hanging around Omaha this weekend doing some recording. Treat them like locals even though they ain’t. Lincoln’s Universe Contest and The Sunks open at 10 p.m. $5.

Also tonight, Nik Facker’s space-prog-art-rock project InDreama headlines at The Sydney. I’m told Nik and Co. have been working on new material. Go see what they’ve been up to. And How and Jacob James Wilton open at 10 p.m. $5.

Meanwhile, downtown tonight at The Slowdown seminal alt-rockers Helmet brings their 30th Anniversary Tour to the big room. It’s just Helmet playing 30 songs over 30 years. $25, 8 p.m.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) it’s back to O’Leaver’s for Saddle Creek Records band Disq. Their gig this past summer at Slowdown Jr. was one of my favorites of 2019. Disq is opening for LA psych rockers GOON (Partisan Records). This is a very cool show for $7. Infinite Video kicks off the night at 10 p.m.

Reverb’s hosting a very interesting hardcore show Saturday night headlined by NYC act Show Me the Body. Their latest album, Dog Whistle, is as hard and shrill and uncompromising as they come. Urochromes and Jocko are the openers. Things could get heated in Reverb’s tight confines. Bring your Docs. $15, 9 p.m.

On the other end of the spectrum, LA psych-pop band Dreamers headlines at Slowdown Jr. Saturday night. Arrested Youth and American Teeth open at 8 p.m. $18.

Meanwhile, over at The Down Under Lounge, 24 Hour Cardlock headlines a show Saturday night with Wagon Blasters and Korey Anderson. It starts at 9 p.m. and No Cover!

Sunday, of course, is a day of rest.

Did I miss anything? If I did, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Another venue, better rock shows? The Mercurys tonight; Articles, Relax, It’s Science Saturday; The Regulation Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 12:29 pm November 15, 2019

Relax, It’s Science at Lookout Lounge, April 30, 2016. The band plays Saturday at The Brothers.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

More information yesterday on the proposed $109 million music venue by way of Omaha World-Herald’s Kevin Coffey. Kevin answers 8 questions about the venue. There is no new “news” in the piece; rather it’s Kevin conjecturing as to what it all means.

As this weekend rears its ugly head, let me do some conjecturing of my own:

We don’t need more venues; we need better booking — i.e., better shows featuring better touring bands. Yes, acts are passing Omaha by, but the size and number of venues probably is the least of their reasons.

Here’s some questions: Are bands passing Omaha because no promoter, venue, etc., is willing to gamble on covering the guarantee — the contracted minimum fee paid for performing? How many quality indie bands on tour right now have reached out to an Omaha promoter or venue with an offer only to be passed on? How will that change with the addition of more venues?

I guess you can’t blame the venues and promoters, who have been burned in the past paying top dollar for very cool acts to play in half empty rooms. So let’s build more rooms?

Anyway… there are no touring indie rock shows at any of the major local clubs this weekend. What else is new?

Tonight at The Waiting Room, local roots/rockabilly band The Mercurys headline with The Pink Flamingos. $10, 9 p.m.

That’s it for tonight.

Saturday night, local double-bass-attack rock band Relax, It’s Science plays at The Brothers Lounge with Sioux Falls sludge/psych/instrumental rock duo Articles. Omaha post-hardcore act Mere Shadows opens at 9 p.m. $5.

Local power-pop / American a band The Broke Lose plays at O’Leaver’s Saturday with Lincoln’s Red Cities and Virgin Mary Pistol Grip. 10 p.m., $5.

Finally on Sunday, Omaha indie act The Regulation plays at The B Bar at 4330 Leavenworth. Joining them is Omaha ex-pat Mitch Gettman. Jake Norstadt gets things rolling at 8 p.m. No idea if there’s a cover here…

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend!

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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GoFundMe campaign helps cover Joe Knapp’s (Son, Ambulance) medical bills…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 5:06 pm November 14, 2019

Omaha singer/songwriter Joe Knapp.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

A quick note to make you aware of a GoFundMe campaign that’s been set up for Joe Knapp.

Joe recently was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, a chronic autoimmune condition in which the body attacks its own insulin-producing cells.

As the singer/songwriter behind seminal Saddle Creek Records act Son, Ambulance, Joe is one of Omaha indie music’s elder statesmen. Though the band hasn’t released an album since 2008’s Someone Else’s Déjà Vue (Saddle Creek), they’ve continued to perform sporadically over the years, always rolling out new material, which we can only hope will one day be recorded and properly released.

Needless to say, with this diagnosis, Joe is finding himself with medical bills his ACA insurance isn’t covering, which is where this campaign comes in.

On the brighter side, I quit smoking. I am eating healthier than ever and practicing regular exercise and yoga,” Joe said. “Type 1 is a ‘self-awareness disease’ and I am more aware of my body than ever before.

Joe’s nearly halfway to his $3,000 GFM goal. If you’d like to contribute, go to his GoFundMe page, located here.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Lupines, Unexplained Death, Hobbyist, Solid Goldberg Saturday; Clan of Xymox Sunday…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 2:04 pm November 8, 2019
Solid Goldberg at The Barley Street May 13. See him tonight at O'Leaver's.

Solid Goldberg at The Barley Street May 13, 2011. Mr. Goldberg returns to The Brothers Lounge Saturday night.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

So… we have, what, a thousand venues with more coming every day and there’s nothing going on tonight — on a Friday night? Well, that’s the deal when it comes to indie music in a town that used to be known for its indie music.

Ah well…

Onward to Saturday night where there’s a couple hot shows.

Down at fabulous O’Leaver’s arguably the best garage rock band in Omaha, The Lupines, plays with Unexplained Death, the new punk-ish project by Matt Whipkey and his band. Minne Lussa (Matt Rutledge singing in French!) opens at 10 p.m. $7.

Meanwhile, over at The Brothers Lounge, Kansas City rock duo Hobbyist plays with the legendary Solid Goldberg. Effluvium opens at 9 p.m. $5.

Sunday night you’ve got a pretty big touring show — Clan of Xymox at The Waiting Room. This band, which recorded on the 4AD label back when it was impressive to be on the 4AD label, is still kicking with at least one original member, frontman Ronny Moorings. Chicago’s The Bellwether Syndicate opens at 8 p.m. $20.

And that’s all I got. If I missed your show, put it in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Look! A new $109 million music venue downtown. Wait, what?; David Nance Group, Long Hots tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:31 pm November 7, 2019

The new Omaha Performing Arts live music venue would cost a cool $109 million.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

By now you’ve probably seen the press release wherein Omaha Performing Arts announces plans to build a $109 million music venue located from Dodge Street to Capitol Avenue between 11th and 12th streets in downtown Omaha. If not, go here now. We’ll wait…

The facility, with a capacity of 1,500 to 3,000 and no fixed seats is slated to open in 2023. According to Kevin Coffey’s article in the Omaha World-Herald, the venue “could accommodate a standing-room crowd for a rock concert or a thrust stage and seating risers for an immersive opera performance.”

A few questions come to mind:

— Who exactly is the target audience for this facility? Is it classical music aficionados or rock fans? Is OPA going to book it? Do they know anything about booking rock shows?
— What hole does this fill that the current arenas as well as the already-announced 1% indoor-outdoor music venue in La Vista doesn’t fill? (Kevin does a great job at the end of his article listing all the existing / coming facilities).
— Why does it cost $109 million?

Seems a bit crazy, but I guess downtown developers are eager to figure out ways to get people to come downtown? And there are plenty of local millionaires (billionaires?) with money burning a hole in their pockets.

From the OPA press release: “We believe the Live Music Venue will significantly improve music opportunities available in Omaha, especially for the key audience demographic of 21 to 45 years old. This proposed O-pa campus expansion provides an excellent fit with the renovations underway along the Riverfront, and will further enhance Omaha’s downtown entryway.”

There’s an argument that this new venue will also somehow help keep young people in our fair city (or attract more young people). As someone aptly put it in one of the many Facebook threads about this topic: Maybe they should take $1 million of the $109 million and apply it to developing the talent that’s already here. Because, folks, we’ve lost a shitload of talented folks over the past couple years, more than than I can remember losing in the past decade. And I don’t think they left because they didn’t have a $109 million venue to perform at.

Anyway, read the OPA press release here.

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David Nance Group returns to The Brothers Lounge tonight and they’re bringing along some Third Man Records label-mates: Long Hots form Philly. You won’t want to miss it, and it’s just $5. Starts at 10 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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Betty Rubble debuts ‘Kittybear’ via YouTube; new Maria Taylor features Adam ‘Counting Crows’ Duritz…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:43 pm November 6, 2019

A screen-cap from the new video for “Kittybear” by Betty Rubble.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Local musician and filmmaker Aaron Gum (Glow in the Dark, InDreama) has a new project called Betty Rubble that features Chelsea Balzer (Vital Organs) on lead vocals and superstar rock veteran Craig Dee on drums.

Their first track, “Kittybear,” is a sassy, kick-drum-driven rocker with an ’80s New Wave sheen. “Drawing from elements of riot grrrl, synthpop, and punk movements, Kittybear is a feisty, danceable anthem which exemplifies the duo’s no-holds-barred, infectious sound,” says Gum.

The track was recorded at Gum’s home studio with drums recorded at Make Believe Studio. So when are we going to be able to catch them live?

Maria Taylor, who you might remember as half of Saddle Creek Records act Azure Ray, is recruiting some mighty big names for backing vocals on her recordings these days. On her latest track, “Waiting in Line,” Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz brings the harmonies (But never rips into “Round Hereeee!!!“).

Pretty song. Taylor’s new self-titled LP comes out Nov. 11 (Yes, that’s 11/11 for those paying attention) on her very own Flower Moon Records label.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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