The Covalent Bond

This site is dedicated to the sharing of ideas in the field of music, literature, and whatever else strikes my fancy. To play the music, you must have Rhapsody. I am just getting started. There will be more to come. "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Song of the Day - August 31, 2005

Inouk's "Elected" is an awesome listen! Though they have often been compared to the Who and the Kinks, this track shows the strong influence of Neil Young. The reverb of the guitars and vocal harmonies all remind me of Neil Young at his best. Inouk is originally from Philly, but their influences are far and wide. Beside the aforementioned Who, Kinks, and Neil Young; there are elements of the Byrds, Led Zeppelin, and even Brian Eno to be found among their songs. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Song of the Day - August 30, 2005

Arthur Russell's "The Platform on the Ocean" immediately brought to mind Joy Division. His vocals are very reminiscent of Ian Curtis. The whole track is one of ominous foreboding. Arthur Russell was a cello innovator, and worked with the likes of Phillip Glass, Alice Coltrane, Allen Ginsberg, and John Cage, before making a name for himself in disco. He unfortunately passed away in 1992. "The Platform on the Ocean" bears no resemblance to a disco tune, however, it does show aspects of Russell's study of Indian music. Give it a try! Click here to listen.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Song of the Day - August 29, 2005

Kelli Hanson's track "Circles" immediately brought to mind CSN, with the acoustic guitars and great harmonies. She has been compared to P.J. Harvey and Kate Bush, this track is definitely more on the Kate Bush side of the spectrum. "Circles" reminded me of beautiful Indian summer days, while walking through the woods as sunlight filtered through the multi-hued leaves and dappled the ground. The music imparts happiness and fond memories, a true sonic treat. Click here to listen.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Song of the Day - August 26, 2005

The Warlocks came out with their new album, Surgery, this week. I had the opportunity to catch part of their show at Lollapalooza, and I wished I had seen more. I absolutely love their new track, "Thursday's Radiation." It starts very slowly, and may not immediately catch your attention. You must have patience, for you will be rewarded. Though the song starts with a simple chord change repeated over and over, there are hints of what is to come. Overlaid above the simple strumming of the guitar, you will find some beautiful crafted distortion. Layers of additional guitar and vocals eventually enter into the mix, then the bridge comes, and the song erupts into a much more complex piece of music. Drums, vocals, and guitars combine in ever increasing intensity, slowly building in volume and emotion. The guitar being pushed into its upper octave range, then just as suddenly the intensity fades. The song ends in sporadic bursts of distortion. Click here to listen.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Song of the Day - August 25, 2005

Anna Oxygen's "Primary Colors" immediately reminded me of a female version of Kraftwerk. Anna's vocals, however, remind me of another Annie, Annie Lennox. Her voice is very beautiful and powerful. The lady has quite a range. The background chorus, which I assume is Anna, is also very infectious. The only issue I have with the song is its length. Though the song is fleeting, one should take joy when one finds it. Click here for fleeting moments of joy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Song of the Day - August 24, 2005

When I first heard the track "Shadowland," I thought it was a missing track from New Order's great album Low-Life. I was very surprised to find out it was the Australian band Youth Group. The song just has that about to burst out of a long bout of melancholy feeling, that many New Order tracks impart upon my soul. The music mirrors this experience by starting slowly and simply, and then bursting into an eruption of guitars, percussion, and vocals. Then slowly it ebbs back from this burst of emotion. Click here to listen.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Song of the Day - August 23, 2005

I am not sure how I missed this one, in fact I am confident one of my Rhapsody blogging friends have already discovered them. The Cloud Room sound like David Bowie backed by Interpol, especially on the great track "Hey Now Now." The jangly guitars of Interpol are there, while the vocals are reminiscent of David Bowie circa Hunky Dory. Being a huge Bowie fan, I was immediately drawn to The Cloud Room. The chorus of "Hey Now Now," is just irresistible. The song is permanently lodged in my cerebellum. Click here if you have any room left in your cerebellum.


Monday, August 22, 2005

Song of the Day - August 22, 2005

I discovered the band B.A.L.L. last week while putting together my TV Party playlist. I never heard of them before, but that is what makes Rhapsody great; the ability to discovery new music. Well, B.A.L.L. is not so new, this track is from 1988, but that doesn't matter, only the music matters. The track "If I Breakdown" resembles its title. The music starts ominously with heavily distorted bass, a foreshadowing of the impending breakdown. There is a chaotic chorus of "doot doot doo..." or something like that, which serves to distract your thoughts, while the music moves forward, gaining intensity with pleading vocals, and a bipolar guitar solo of assorted distortion, erupting in burst of energy. Click here to listen.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Funky Friday Revisited

Many months ago, I created a playlist called Funky Friday. It concentrated on the great funk bands of the 70's, such as Parliament, Funkadelic, and of course the legendry James Brown. Well I thought I would revisit that idea except with a focus on more of the jazz, funk, fusion side of things. Of course, a few tracks tend more to the fusion side, while others are definitely more funky. One of my favorite tracks is Lonnie Liston Smith's "Astral Traveling," a masterpiece of cosmic jazz. I couldn't resist ending the list with the Pharoahs, definitely not jazz, just the essence of funk. Click here to listen.

1. Faster Than Light - Mike Clark/Paul Jackson/Wagnon
2. Only The Shadow Knows - Mocean Worker
3. Sister Rosie - Abdullah Ibrahim
4. Explodition - Eddie Henderson
5. Theme From Burnt Weeny Sandwich - Frank Zappa and the Mothers Of Invention
6. The Wizard Of Montara - Christian McBride Band
7. Acidhead - John Scofield
8. Astral Traveling - Lonnie Liston Smith
9. Sanctuary - Miles Davis
10. Slow Orbit - Yaya Cubed
11. Tears of Rain - Gary Burton
12. School Days - Stanley Clarke
13. Vein Melter - Herbie Hancock
14. Matrix - Chick Corea
15. Miles Davis - John McLaughlin
16. Betcha, By Golly, Wow - Freddie Hubbard
17. Comin' Home Baby - Herbie Mann
18. Black Enuff - Pharoahs


Song of the Day - August 19, 2005

I love The Mae Shi. They are like a shot of whiskey, short, powerful, and intense songs that knock you back, as you feel their music coursing through your veins. You know you are alive, but you feel slightly dazed by the experience. Last month I featured one of their songs from their album Terror Bird. Rhapsody recently added their latest album Heartbeeps and it is every bit as good as their previous effort. Check out the song "Born For A Short Time." Heavily influenced by the Gang of Four, the song is a mixture of jangly, distorted guitars, awesome bass, and total chaos. Yes, that is what I like! Click here to listen.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Song of the Day - August 18, 2005

Sciflyer has been labeled shoegazer, and for those of you who care, they specialize in distorted guitars, a focus on melody, and muddied vocals. If you are a fan of the genre, Sciflyer will keep you happy. I am particularly enamored of their track "The Nation." I know it has that early 90's sound, but does everything have to be new? The music is great, so enjoy. Click here to listen.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

TV Party

While cruising down the highway with The Negative Creep, I happened to play The Misfits' "TV Casualty" and The Negative Creep thought it would be a good idea to put a playlist together with songs that have TV in their title. Our initial hypothesis was that the existing population of "TV songs" would be minimal and the quality quotient would be low. Well that's B.S.! There seems to be a never ending supply of songs with TV in the title. I was shocked at how good they were. Though I must admit there must be something about watching TV that inspires the hardcore punk crowd. That's why I started off my list with "TV Party" by Henry Rollins (aka lead vocalist and founder of Black Flag). Excellent tracks range from the politically incorrect but very humorous "Lesbians on TV," "My Room has a TV" by Thingy, The Pink Snowflakes "It's Snowing inside the TV Again," and of course Iggy Pop's "TV Eye." Click here to listen. See the comments section for the complete playlist.


Song of the Day - August 17, 2005

The thing about Koushik's track "Pretty Soon" that caught my attention was the bass riff. It just reminded me of The Who's Entwistle, a quick succession of notes, that just seems to be the catalyst to move the song forward. The bass riff combined with the initial acoustic guitar work brought to mind Pete Townsend, but that is where comparisons to The Who end. The rest of the track is done in a hazy, jazzy, laidback style with practically whispered vocals. It also has a nonsensical chorus of "ba,bap,ba,ba,bap,ba...," which if done right I just can't resist. Click here to listen.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Song of the Day - August 16, 2005

Thanksgiving, despite what you may think, is the gifted Adrian Orange. Adrian recorded the track "Ageism" when he was only 16, back in 2003. Adrian is of the indie folk school, but I was shocked to hear how young he was. His songs speak of someone who has experienced many things, over many years, many of them painful. There is something about this track in particular that reminds me of Ian Anderson and his early acoustic work, however, I detect the influence of Neil Young as well. It must be the plaintive vocals, combined with an almost medieval drum beat, and what I believe is an accordion. Click here to listen.


Monday, August 15, 2005

Song of the Day - August 15, 2005

A touch of feedback, a driving drum beat, loud guitars, and pounding keyboards, I love the keyboards; I love the song; I love the way everything comes together. The band is Koufax; the song is "Why Bother at All." The music sounds like it might have come from Britain, but actually they are from the Midwest. In fact, two of the band members are from The Get Up Kids. This is a song that definitely has hit written all over it. Give it a listen now, before you hear it everywhere. Click here to listen.


Friday, August 12, 2005

Moonshine, Your Cousin, and Bluegrass - (The Southern Version of Wine, Women, and Song)

The following songs put a big smile on my face. All of the tracks below are classic rock staples by the likes of Ted Nugent, AC/DC, Kiss, Cars, Aerosmith, and a few others. There is one slight difference from the originals; they are done in a bluegrass style by Hayseed Dixie. A few of these songs work better than others, I think AC/DC works extremely well with the bluegrass treatment. Isn't AC/DC from the south - "down under?" I guess that would be the extreme south. Click here to listen.

1. Cat Scratch Fever - Hayseed Dixie
2. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap - Hayseed Dixie
3. Feel Like Makin' Love - Hayseed Dixie
4. Rock And Roll All Nite - Hayseed Dixie
5. My Best Friend's Girl - Hayseed Dixie
6. Walk This Way - Hayseed Dixie
7. Big Balls - Hayseed Dixie
8. Detroit Rock City - Hayseed Dixie
9. Centerfold - Hayseed Dixie


Song of the Day - August 12, 2005

I guess I am stuck in the slowcore groove, but I don't mind. Thee More Shallows are from the dreary, relatively cool environment of San Francisco. Could their locale influence their musical style? The track "Cloisterphobia" is downright sinister. One first hears a simple drum beat and a minimal repetitive guitar riff, but off in the distance, one can hear what appears to be a faint howling or groaning. Then David Kesler's melancholy vocals enter into the mix. As this is happening, the intensity is slowly building. Faster, louder drum beats are joined by the rising volume of Kesler's vocals, cymbals crash, the guitars come forward in the mix, and then it all suddenly drops back down to a serene level. In a way, I sensed the influence of Joy Division, but Thee More Shallows are not as bleak; their sound is more layered and not as intense. Regardless of their influences, "Cloisterphobia" is an excellent song. Click here to listen. I recommend you listen to their whole album More Deep Cuts. Excellent tracks include: "2 AM" with its toy piano, "Freshman Thesis" - a nice use of strings, and "Pre-Present" - Prozac in a song.


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Song of the Day - August 11, 2005

Calla epitomizes the slowcore genre with their haunting rhythms, melancholy vocals, and glacier like momentum that slowly builds during their songs. An excellent example is the track "Fear of Fireflies." The song starts out simply with what sound like maracas and an extremely heavy bass line. Layer upon layer of instrumentation gradually enter into the song, first drums, next acoustic guitar, then the drone of a keyboard, and finally vocals. It is very nicely done, but the slow moving momentum of the song is not done. The bass continues to move forward, while the vocals become more plaintive. The keyboards become more complex and move forward in the mix, as additional unusual sounds are mixed in. Finally the electric guitar becomes more prominent completing the slow transfer of musical momentum. By the way, Calla has toured with Interpol and Secret Machines. Click here to listen.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Dreamy Chill Juxtaposition Amalgamation

This latest playlist is an amalgamation of various styles, though there does seem to be a tendency to dream-like music and chill influenced tracks with other styles thrown in randomly. A few tracks that I particularly enjoyed include: the mysterious sounding, "Costa" by Robert Wyatt, Erlend Oye's 80's synth band influenced "Sheltered Life," and the ambient piano stylings of Harold Budd on "Campanile." Click here to listen to the full playlist

1. Costa (Memories Of Under-Development) - Robert Wyatt
2. Ex-Cowboy - Mogwai
3. Luck Shield - Minotaur Shock
4. Kite Hill - King Of Woolworths
5. Say Something - Lake Trout
6. Sheltered Life (Radio Edit) - Erlend Oye
7. I Love You (Ben Watt Blackness Of Night Mix) - Unity
8. Campanile - Harold Budd
9. Frou-Frou Foxes In Midsummer Fires - Cocteau Twins
10. Stay Inside, Feel Everything - Air Formation
11. Falls to My Sleeve - Dorian Gray


Song of the Day - August 10, 2005

Normally when I hear the song "Pop Goes the Weasel," I immediately think of the ice cream man and his van being chased by the neighborhood kids. This urge to chase after the ice cream man, I theorize is etched into our genetic code. Is it possible that "Pop Goes the Weasel" is some sort of primordial music celebrating a feast? Well quite frankly I had enough! It is time for some genetic engineering. I nominate The Workhouse and their track "Ice Cream Van." It certainly is more appealing. Imagine the kids in your neighborhood chasing after the ice cream van playing music from The Workhouse. The song is for the most part an instrumental, that builds in intensity, with great walls of guitar sounds, and some minor spoken vocals at the end. If you are a fan of Mogwai or Low, especially in their treatment of the guitar, I believe you will take a liking to The Workhouse. Click here to listen.


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Song of the Day - August 9, 2005

I thought I would tone things down a little, with today's song of the day. The Espers specialize in psychedelic folk. If you are a fan of Fairport Convention and Pentangle, the Espers will probably be to your liking. There is a lilting decadence to their music. One gets the sense of eventual doom, death, and decay. I suppose it is existential folk. The song "Meadow" starts out beautifully with some nice acoustic guitar, but the accompaniment that really makes the song is the cello. I love the melancholy sounds of the cello and the feeling it imparts. The combined male and female vocals of Greg Weeks and Meg Baird float over the accompaniment with just the right amount of detachment to give the track a slightly eerie quality. Click here to listen.


Monday, August 08, 2005

Song of the Day - August 8, 2005

Check this song out! If you are a lover of psychedelic music, garage bands, and the like, you will not be disappointed. The Alchemysts' track "Gone" is pure psychedelic bliss. I can hear influences of The Cramps mixed with lots of reverb in the guitars, alla something you might hear from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. The whole album Zero Zen is just the ultimate combination of 60's psychedelic influences, mixed with the rawness of a garage brand, all transported to the 21st century. Excellent tracks include: "Achievement Song," a very tripped out song with random rants and fuzzy guitars, "DMT Blues," great extended guitar solos, I detect a note of Zappa influence here, and "The Psychic Fayre," which sounds like it could have come from The Stones classic psychedelic album Their Satanic Majesties Request, had only Mick Jagger consumed more speed. Oh, I almost forgot the track "Rocket 69" a pure bundle of raw energy, it reminds me of Iggy and The Stooges. To hear the song of the day click here. Click here to hear the album Zero Zen in its entirety.


Friday, August 05, 2005

Song of the Day - August 5, 2005

The Moaners are just two girls, who make great rock and roll. Melissa Swingle, formerly of Trailer Bride, sings and plays guitar in a down and dirty style. Laura King, a veteran of the Baltimore punk scene, plays drums and sings background vocals. The track "Flannery Said" just plain rocks. I love the high pitched slide guitar in harmony with the great background vocals. If you like the Black Keys or the Drive-By Truckers, who they have toured with, you are sure to like The Moaners. Click here to listen.


Josephine Foster - Hazel Eyes, I Will Lead You

I recently stumbled across this album, after first being made aware of Josephine Foster and the freak folk movement by the always excellent blogger thus spake drake. The album is Hazel Eyes, I Will Lead You and as I like to say it is an acquired taste. This is truly a unique piece of art. Josephine's vocals are from another time and place. Her high pitched vibrato may take some getting used to, but you will not mistake Josephine Foster for any other artist. She accompanies herself with a vast array of instruments including guitar, harp, sitar, tambourine, ukulele, cittarina, black cat and whatever else strikes her fancy. Josephine has the unique ability to transport you back in time. There is a parallel to Josephine work in the excellent novel The Eyre Affair, in which a prose portal is developed that allows people to enter into works of fiction. Josephine Foster has developed a musically equivalent portal that allows us to go back in time with her lovely album Hazel Eyes, I Will Lead You. As to the location and time of her musical portal, I would place it somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains anywhere from the 1870's to the 1930's. Favorite tracks include "The Siren's Admonition" and "Stones Throw From Heaven." Click here to listen to Hazel Eyes, I Will Lead You.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Increased Rate of Random Neural Firings Found In Covalent Bond

As my brain spins out of control with random neural firings, I have constructed a playlist of musical tidbits that have no practical relationship to each other or theme. The music crosses many genres and may annoy some and amuse others. I hope you enjoy the selections. Click here to listen.

1. Surveillance House - Six Finger Satellite
2. Corner Stone (Aka A Trip To Mars) - The Skatalites
3. Torque Pound - Chrome
4. Something About The Music - Juan Atkins
5. Iowa City - Kenny Wheeler
6. Mo Beru Agba - King Sunny Ade
7. Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues - Bob Dylan
8. Walking Stick Man - Bardo Pond
9. Philosophy Of The World - The Shaggs
10. Jump Into the Mess - Half Japanese
11. Bonus Track: Ol' MacDonald - Frank Sinatra
12. Who Are The Brain Police? - Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention
13. If I Can't Be Drunk - Flipper
14. Zoo Music Girl - The Birthday Party
15. Can You Dig It - The Monkees
16. Pumpin' For Jill - Iggy Pop"

Song of the Day - August 4, 2005

The Lucky Bishops are four lads from England. Yes, there are some similarities to those other four lads from England, The Beatles. The Lucky Bishops' sound is reminiscent of The Beatles during their Sgt. Pepper days. The track "Doppleganger" is an excellent example of their psychedelic Beatles era sound with changing melodies and rhythms, vocal harmonies paired with distant solo vocals, and an overall happy sound. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Song of the Day - August 3, 2005

Bumblebeez 81 is an Australian band that frankly didn't get a lot of good reviews for their album The Printz. Their sound is definitely lo-fi with practically unintelligible vocals, but I just love the beat of their song "Vampires." The distortion of the vocals combined with the overdriven guitars bring to mind chaotic images of a modern life. Despite the fact that I can't make out the lyrics, sometimes I just have to go with the emotions a song imparts; the frenzied, chaotic, mood of Vampires seems to fit the modern world. The music felt like it would fit in one of my favorite movies Run Lola Run. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A Partially Esoteric Jazz Infusion of Highly Populated Musical Ensembles

It's time for a jazz infusion. This time I thought I would focus on big band jazz, some of it relatively esoteric, balanced with some more traditional tracks. I just love the outright funkiness of Mingus, Andrew Hill's unique compositions, the beauty of Gil Evans and Miles Davis, and the out of this world music of Sun Ra. Click here to listen

1. Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting - Charles Mingus
2. Hey Hey - Andrew Hill
3. Misterioso - Thelonious Monk
4. Stolen Moments - Oliver Nelson
5. Africa - (first version) - John Coltrane Quartet
6. Tip Toe - Thad Jones
7. Happy Jammy (Monterey Pt. 4) - Dave Holland Big Band
8. Modern Opus - Stan Kenton
9. Summer Night - Miles Davis
10. The Aztec Suite - Chico O'Farrill
11. Blue In One - Tom Harrell
12. Space Is The Place - Sun Ra


Covalent Bond and Negative Creep's Excellent Adventure - Part II

Sunday was brutally hot at Lollapalooza, but we still had a great time. We started the day with the battle of the bands winner, Cathedral. I had never heard of them before, but they sounded pretty good. After finding some shade, under one of the few trees bordering the field where the four stages were, we rested while listening to The Ponys until about a half hour before Kasabian took the stage. We got about 10 feet from the stage and took in about half the show before the heat really started to get to us. Thank god for the city of Chicago, they brought relief in the form of cooling buses, which were parked near the exits to the field. We hung out there until we got our strength back, and then hurried over to Dinosaur Jr. Negative Creep really enjoyed the show. We caught a little bit of Louis XIV, which I liked even better. The show that I was waiting for was Tegan and Sara. We were lucky in that we were right up front, but off to the side quite a bit. Being a huge Tegan and Sara fan, I was very happy to finally get a chance to see them. Tegan and Sara were not immune to the heat, as Tegan or Sara, the Negative Creep tells me it was Sara, ran off stage in the middle of a song, suffering from the heat. A few minutes later, she returned, and finished the show, a real professional. Regardless, I really enjoyed their set. With that the Negative Creep and I decided that we couldn’t take the heat, and caught a train home. The heat was just too much, but I have no regrets. If we would have stayed, we had planned to catch Ben Kweller, Drive By Truckers, The Arcade Fire, Spoon, The Dandy Warhols, The Killers, and Death Cab for Cutie. This was an ambitious schedule, which I have attempted to replicate in Rhapsody. Click here to listen.

1. L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever) - Kasabian
2. Burn In Hell - The Ponys
3. The Wagon - Dinosaur Jr
4. God Killed The Queen - Louis XIV
5. I Know I Know I Know - Tegan and Sara
6. Tylenol - Ben Kweller
7. Box Of Spiders - Drive-By Truckers
8. Rebellion (Lies) - Arcade Fire
9. I Turn My Camera On - Spoon
10. I Am A Scientist - The Dandy Warhols
11. Andy, You're A Star - The Killers
12. Tiny Vessels - Death Cab For Cutie

Song of the Day - August 2, 2005

Moe Tucker was the former drummer for one of the most influential bands of all time, The Velvet Underground. She now occasionally records under her own name. The track "Hey Mersh!" starts out with some fuzzy guitar riffs and is infused with the essence of Bo Diddley, an influence which she freely admits. I love her simplistic vocals, a definite lo-fi sound, combined with the 50's style drum work. Click here to enjoy Moe's refreshing style.

Monday, August 01, 2005

July's Songs of the Day

July was a month for concerts. I was at Intonation, Local H, and Lollapalooza and you can see it in the influences for the songs of the day. Absolutely Kosher artists were featured for a week and I even added a little psychedelic world music from Africa. Click here to enjoy a retrospective of last month's songs.

1. Half Smile - Weevil
2. You Will Be Safe - James William Hindle
3. This Party's Over - The Narrator
4. Hey, Rita - Local H
5. Suge Knight Sweetheart (Live) - The Lights
6. Close Your Eyes Slowly - Landing
7. canada - Anagram
8. Ex-Mas (Young In Love) - The Lashes
9. Ossuary - The Dead Science
10. Say It - Eltro
11. Crystal Palace - Donovan's Brain
12. Doot Doot Plot - The Hidden Cameras
13. The Drive - Summer At Shatter Creek
14. I Like Dot Dot Dot - Frog Eyes
15. December Is Only A Window - Bottom Of The Hudson
16. Mission Impossible - The Places
17. Power to the People - The Mae Shi
18. Shake The Dope Out - The Warlocks
19. Stutter - Lake Trout
20. Love's A Real Thing - Super Eagles
21. The Six Stations - Six Organs Of Admittance"

Song of the Day - August 1, 2005

For those of you who have been listening to my songs of the day for awhile, I think there would be no question about today's song. The Green Pajamas'"The Cruel Night" begins with fuzzy, overdriven guitars reminiscent of the 60's and a slight Neil Young influence. The vocals start with Jeff Kelly followed by Laura Weller in a combination that brings back memories of X. The whole mixture is the perfect psychedelic cocktail for Mr. Bond. Click here to enjoy your cocktail.

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