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You don’t have to pay $500 to see this rare Japanese concert video of the Cure, now it’s on YouTube
06.28.2017
12:12 pm
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It’s a curious fact that the first two VHS products the Cure put out were both Japan-only releases, and both are rather difficult to find today. They’re so obscure that even full-length biographies about the Cure often include no information about them.

In 1985 the band put out Live in Japan, which was a full concert recorded at the Nakano Sun Plaza in Tokyo on October 17, 1984. The show was the third and final gig on the Cure’s brief visit to Japan, and the second in as many nights at that venue. The tour was in support for The Top, an album that was put out by Fiction Records in the U.K. and Sire in the U.S.
 

 
Today if you want to purchase a copy of the VHS itself, only one Discogs user has ever sold a copy of it using the website, and that transaction cost the purchaser $499. (There are no copies available on Discogs right now.)

Later the same year the Cure put out a video compilation called Tea Party—kind of a first take on what would end up being the Staring at the Sea: The Images video compilation that was later commonly available elsewhere. You can buy a Betamax copy of Tea Party for a whopping $799.99 on Discogs.
 

 
Given that Live in Japan was the first video product the Cure ever sold, that perforce makes it the first official live video ever put out by the band too. The Cure in Orange, recorded in France in 1986, wouldn’t come out until a couple of years later.

Live in Japan has surfaced on YouTube here and there over the years, but it’s never managed to stay online for very long. For a year now, there has been a high-quality version on YouTube, and it’s likely to stay up there because the uploader was apparently the Cure’s drummer on that tour, Andy Anderson.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.28.2017
12:12 pm
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The secret dirty sketchbooks of Tom Poulton (NSFW)
06.28.2017
11:57 am
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‘Sorry to Disturb, but can one of you hand me out that light gray topcoat? ‘
 
I suppose we’ll just have to say Philip Larkin’s poem was wrong. Sexual intercourse didn’t begin “in ninteen-sixty-three / Between the end of the “Chatterley ban / And the Beatles’ first LP.” It had been going on in polite society for a hell of lot longer than that. Probably as far back as VE Day and Sinatra’s first LP—though I concede not too many people would have known about it.

If Larkin had been paying attention, then he might have just known 1963 was, in fact, the year the great English pornographic artist, Tom Poulton died. But only a few dozen would have probably marked his passing and an even smaller number would have ever been aware of Poulton’s secret life as an erotic artist.

You see, Poulton, or Tom of England, was a highly respectable illustrator for science and medical textbooks, guides to fishing and other sensible books. But in secret, he also produced a staggering amount of hardcore pornographic drawings featuring supple young bodies relishing the joyful pleasures of sexual intercourse. He kept this work hidden as he feared he would be prosecuted for obscenity and his respectable life would come to a rather sudden and humiliating halt. However, Poulton did have a few very rich and influential patrons who secretly collected his erotic work—most notably the yachtsman and playboy Beecher Moore.

Poulton was inspired to produce erotica in the 1940s after being stationed in India where he first came into contact with the explicit illustrations of the Kama Sutra. Poulton’s drawings are equally as explicit but are often humorous and all are filled with a great joy, a gleeful relish, for the pleasures of sex

It was only after Poulton’s death in 1963 that his secret sketchbooks came to light. Then in the 1990s, Beecher Moore sold a considerable part of his large collection of erotic drawings which brought a new generation to Poulton’s work and started a reappraisal of his career as an artist. If you want to know more about Tom Poulton then I recommend you beg, steal, or borrow or even just buy a copy of Jamie MacLean’s book Tom Pulton: The Secret Art of an English Gentleman.
 
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‘Please, Lady Brisere, You’re Suffocating Me!’
 
More of Tom of England’s erotica, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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06.28.2017
11:57 am
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NYC’s former graffiti mecca is being transformed into dumb street art-themed luxury apartments
06.28.2017
11:36 am
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On the morning of November 19th, 2013, the artists of 5POINTZ arrived at the giant canvas to find that their work had been whitewashed overnight. The graffiti mecca was located in New York’s Long Island City neighborhood, which since 2010 has seen “the most new apartments built among neighborhoods across the country” (12,533 apartments in over 41 new developments). It was no surprise then, that 5POINTZ building owner Jerry Wolkoff eventually saw the dollar signs and razed the building in favor of a new luxury high-rise apartment.
 

 
The five-story building was originally constructed in 1892, but didn’t become 5POINTZ until street artist Meres One took over as head curator in 2002. Since then, some of the world’s greatest aerosol painters have made the pilgrimage to make their mark on the exterior walls of the 200,000 sq foot “United Nations of Graffiti.” The location became a “must-see” for tourists visiting Queens, soon transforming this place of artistic culmination into a living, breathing (legal) graffiti museum. The community backlashed when plans were announced to demolish the building, but to no avail. New York’s Landmark Preservation Commision turned down an application for landmark status because “the building lacked architectural distinction and the artwork was less than 30 years old.” They are currently underway in completing a pair of forty-story apartment towers.
 

 
As Hyperallergic points out, the 5POINTZ legacy will live on through this new development, in its own fucked up way. After several lawsuits were made by artists whose work had been buffed without permission (believed to have been intended to prevent landmark status), Jerry Wolkoff has successfully registered the complex to bear the namesake of the location’s former urban glory, 5POINTZ. If that wasn’t obnoxious enough, this half-hearted homage will also see the building’s interior presented in an embarassing attempt to evoke street art. Renderings from architecture firm Mojo Stumer Associates reveal an official logo in an urban “Wild Style” font and graffiti-inspired paintings on the walls of common rooms. When completed, the buildings will also host twenty available studios for artists. But how many of them will attempt to paint their exteriors?

Take a look at the real estate developer’s unpalatably idiotic tribute to New York guerilla art below.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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06.28.2017
11:36 am
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‘Cannibal Girls’: The naked ladies of this gory, sleazy 1973 horror spoof like to eat men
06.28.2017
11:05 am
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A Spanish lobby card featuring an image of actress Mira Pawluk who played the ax-wielding Leona in Ivan Reitman’s 1973 film ‘Cannibal Girls.’
 
Shot on a shoestring budget of $12,000, Cannibal Girls was one of the first films made by producer/director Ivan Reitman (Stripes, Ghostbusters, Animal House, Meatballs). It has also been heralded as one of the sleaziest B-movies ever to come out of Canada, an honor that was only enhanced by the film’s use of a “warning bell” that was sounded to alert moviegoers that something gross was about to happen so they could avert their eyes. But since the name of this film is Cannibal Girls, it really should have been a safe bet to assume that your eyes would probably be treated to some good old-fashioned gore and hot, flesh-eating chicks. Also, since this is Ivan Reitman we’re talking about, the flick features moments of comic relief, many thanks to the film’s stars, Eugene Levy—the brilliantly funny Canadian actor, SCTV alumni, and long-time collaborator of Christopher Guest—and SCTV’s Andrea Martin. What could go wrong? Well, just like any other movie, a lot of things. But that doesn’t necessarily translate to Cannibal Girls being a bad film in the conventional sense of the word. In fact, it is a much-loved example of classic “Canuxploitation” films that started making their way to the big screen in the early 1970s. The word was used to help classify Canadian films that fell into the category, such as a couple of classic slashers from 1981, My Bloody Valentine, and Happy Birthday To Me.

In the spirit of the future films of Christopher Guest, much of the dialog in Cannibal Girls was improvised. There are also numerous blood-soaked scenes, many of which feature topless flesh-eating females performing weird rituals or gorging on some unfortunate ice cream salesman who one of the girls shacked up with the night before. Then there’s the nutty, Svengoolie-looking character of “Rev. Alex St. John” played by actor Ronald Ulrich who would not-so-unbelievably go on to do little else when it came to acting after Cannibal Girls. Another plus for the film is that it possesses the distinct feel of a Hammer-style horror film at times—though the mood is hard to maintain due to its lack of plot continuity and the occasional random scene juxtaposition. According to others that are well acquainted with Cannibal Girls that kind of makes sense, as Reitman’s screenplay (which he wrote with Daniel Goldberg and Robert Sandler) was ambiguous at best, to begin with. A major factor to the success of any horror flick is the ability of the film to instill a sense of isolation or desolation—and Cannibal Girls does that well. Reitman chose remote areas surrounding snowy Toronto like Richmond Hill (which was called “Farnhamville” in the film) where activities in 1973 included a “beard growing” contest. At times when Levy (who looks exactly like “Phineas Freak” from The Fabulous Fury Freak Brothers comics come to life) and his “broad” Martin are traipsing through the snow-covered streets, you wonder if the town is inhabited at all. And the feeling that all has already been lost helps keep you engaged, even when you want to laugh during some of the hilariously cringey improvised scenes between the actors.

Reitman would end up selling the rights to Cannibal Girls to B-movie impresario Roger Corman and the movie actually did pretty well when it was released in the U.S. where it hugely popular with the heavy neckers who frequented the drive-in. Corman was also responsible for the goofy “warning bell” idea. The soundtrack for the film, which appears to involve a synthesizer mostly (because this is a horror movie after all) was composed by Canadian musician Doug Riley aka “Dr. Music” who had previously played with Ray Charles, even turning down Charles’ offer to join his band back in the day.

The film is a degenerate’s dream—strangely appealing in all the right ways and an utterly epic mess of awkwardness, all while being a compelling historical document from a man who would go on to make some of Hollywood’s most memorable and endearing films. Cannibal Girls even makes a cameo appearance in Reitman’s Ghostbusters II in a montage scene of New York being overrun by ghosts. The film can be seen at a cinema where movie-goers are chased out by a winged ghost.

I’ve posted some awesome ephemera from Cannibal Girls below such as the grindhouse-looking lobby cards (one of which featuring Levy in all his freaky-haired hippie glory) and a few movie posters to hopefully get you into the mood for seeking this bizarro gem I’ve also included a beautiful looking trailer for Cannibal Girls that reads like a horror film you need to see. On that note, Cannibal Girls got a proper Blu-Ray release a few years back which includes an option to watch the movie with the “warning bell” effect turned on. Nice.
 

 

 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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06.28.2017
11:05 am
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‘Monkey Bizness’: Music from Pere Ubu’s new 9-piece lineup
06.28.2017
10:30 am
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Few bands that have been around for forty years gain the kind of creative steam that Pere Ubu have in their later efforts. Since 2006’s kinda just OK Why I Hate Women, the band have been creatively all over the map, producing three excellent, ambitious, and highly diverse albums: Lady From Shanghai, an electronics-heavy experimental double LP; Carnival of Souls, a moody, smouldering work punctuated by Keith Moliné guitar interludes; and the forthcoming 20 Years in a Montana Missile Silo, an aggressive art-rock album that features a band lineup expanded to an astonishing 9 members. For this album, Ubu/Rocket From the Tombs touring guitarist Gary Siperko and Swans guitarist Kristof Hahn have joined Moliné, mononymic synthesist Gagarin, clarinetist Darryl Boon, and the band’s longtime core quartet of Michelle Temple (bass), Steven Mehlman (drums), Robert Wheeler (electronics), and singer, conceptualist, and lone remaining founding member David Thomas.

There’s a temptation, after the wide detours of the band’s last two albums, to call 20 Years a back-to-basics move, but that temptation is undercut by the sheer number of personnel involved—nothing about this is particularly “basic.” Many of the ideas here do recall classic Ubu, but like time, Pere Ubu can not move backwards. In particular, the music’s intensity is ramped up significantly over that of some of the band’s prior landmark albums—half of 20 Years’ 12 songs conclude their business in under 2 1/2 minutes. The exceptionally hard-hitting Mehlman is utilized to his full potential, and I suspect a good deal of the album’s headstrong rock could be attributable to contributions from Siperko, who comes to the Ubu/Rocket camp from a gonzo roots rock band called The Whiskey Daredevils. The album opens with “Monkey Bizness”—a stream of which we’re premiering below, so I’ll spare you any needless description of cultural produce you can easily audit for yourself—and segues into “Funk 49,” which, apart from boasting a pretty chunky riff, bears no resemblance whatsoever to its namesake James Gang song. Other worthies include “Toe to Toe” and “Red Eye Blues,” but the album isn’t one-dimensionally hard-nosed, and it ends with three longer slow-burners, including “I Can Still See,” a lovely and disconsolate song which chiefly showcases clarinet and electronics.

David Thomas graciously took some time out of his life to talk to us about the album and the band’s creative trajectory.
 

 
DANGEROUS MINDS: So last month I traveled from Cleveland to Texas see Rocket From the Tombs and Pere Ubu at Beerland. It was my birthday weekend and when I found out those shows were happening, it struck me as a good way to mark the occasion. I didn’t know at the time that a new album was on the way—Steven informed me at the merch table that Saturday night, I think. But your set seemed really heavy on older material, did you play any of the new work that night?

DAVID THOMAS: No, well, that was specifically booked as a “Coed Jail” show, that’s the set we’ve done to mark the box sets. We thought we were finished doing that, but the Austin guy wanted it so we said “what the hell.” That was supposed to be the absolute last “Coed Jail” show, period, but this Polish festival booked us and they were begging us to do it, and so hopefully THAT will be the absolute last one, period. You know, we have a price, we can be bought. [laughs] We’ll do the old material if you really beg us, or if there’s a good reason to, and Poland seemed like a reasonable request. And we’re not ready to do the new material live.

Much more with David Thomas after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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06.28.2017
10:30 am
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Bizarre Willie Nelson pubic hair ‘tattoo’ and other things THAT YOU CANNOT UNSEE
06.27.2017
12:48 pm
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Willie Nelson

I’m not sure of the provenance of few of these images. The artist’s name is clearly signed on one image (good ol’ Willie), but otherwise I came up empty-handed. Even a reverse Google image search led me nowhere. Are some of these from an old Playboy spread celebrating pubic hair? I simply don’t know.

What I am pretty certain of though is that a few of these are definitely not tattoos but body paintings incorporating the nether region hair. Every website I go to says they’re tattoos, but I’m not buying it. That being said, the bird’s nest and Willie Nelson coiff are quite creative. Next up? Kenny Rogers. I demand to see that.


 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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06.27.2017
12:48 pm
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Just some Victorian women and their big-ass dresses
06.27.2017
12:04 pm
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When I saw these photographs of Victorian women in their voluminous skirts and dresses, I wondered what I could say that hasn’t already been said by the usual suspects in historical books or feminists texts about patriarchy and fashion, etcetera, etcetera. I really don’t want to go down that path, but if you do there are plenty of sites out there that will supply the goods.

Honestly, my first thought when I saw these pictures was: “How the hell did these women go about their daily lives dressed like this?” It couldn’t have been easy. It couldn’t have been very practical or even remotely comfortable. But then, most fashion isn’t meant to comfortable—it’s about performance, it’s about dressing up to present a show. Victorian fashion was all about presentation—like the whalebone corsets worn to keep the female figure constrained, narrow-waisted, and artificially slim. Seems perverse to us today, but so might breast implants appear one day to our progeny’s progeny.

Fashion changed rapidly during the 19th-century with radical developments in industrialization, mass production, new techniques in printing patterns and colors, and the rise of the department store. At the start of the century, dresses were straight up-and-down maxi-lengthened Jane Austen-type garments made of linen and silk. By the 1820s, there was a flaring out of the hem and a widening of the hips to give women a more voluptuous and feminine shape.

This style of dress developed quite dramatically in the 1830s when such dresses ballooned out from the waist like a bell or a parachute, while the upper half of the body remained slim and pinched at the waist. Their bell-like shape was solely dependent on the hidden supporting structure of a bustle or crinoline cage suspended from the wearer’s waist. These “cages” were originally made of whalebone but were soon superseded by lighter more sturdy yet flexible “steel-hooped cage crinoline” in 1856.

Such hoop dresses or skirts were worn by all class of women. But it should be noted, these garments were often very hazardous as many working-class women lost their lives after their skirts were caught in machinery while many middle-class women perished after their dresses caught fire.

Rich women would have had a whole closet filled with various beautifully designed outfits. Lower class women usually had just the one outfit, which they kept fashionable by changing collars and cuffs or adding ribbons or a new layer of material.

Ultimately, the whole ensemble presented the image each of these women either wanted to or felt obliged to present.
 
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More Victorian women in big-ass skirts, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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06.27.2017
12:04 pm
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Phone scammers called *this one programmer* and immediately regretted it!
06.27.2017
11:51 am
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Face it, we live in an era defined by “fake news,” identity theft, and countless nefarious schemes to separate you from your money through false pretenses, especially using social media. Just a few months ago, the feds indicted dozens of scammers working out of India, an operation that targeted 56 individuals and 5 companies, for frauds perpetrated against over 10,000 people that cheated them out of literally hundreds of millions of dollars.

The good news is that the feds occasionally get help from unexpected sources, such as Project Mayhem, which is described as the work of “a security developer who tries to prevent victims from being scammed by different types of scams.”

A group of phone scammers had the misfortune to approach this particular security developer, who goes by the username “YesItWasDataMined,” a move that it quickly came to regret. In this case the scammers were pretending to work for the IRS calling about a “miscalculation error” in past taxes with some scarifying language about attempting to defraud the government—the hackers then proceeded to attempt to secure the “total outstanding amount,” which was purportedly $8,219.

Project Mayhem instantly recognized the scam for what it was, and decided to take action. He wrote a script that dialed each of their phones 28 times per second with an automated message, tying up their lines and making it impossible to reach other potential victims. Crucially, he recorded many of the scammers as they contended with the same impersonal recording endlessly stating the following:
 

Hello! It has been detected that you are a scammer. Because of this, we are now flooding your phone lines to prevent you from scamming additional people. This will not stop until you stop.

 
The method worked wonders, as we can hear the increasingly frustrated responses of the scammers, which range from sarcasm (“Hi, it has been detected that you are trying to fuck me up”) to prideful rage (“YES I KNOW I AM A SCAMMER, AND I’M PROUD TO BE A SCAMMER MOTHERFUCKER!”)

More, after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.27.2017
11:51 am
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European postcards featuring rare images of Grace Jones, Marianne Faithfull, Klaus Kinski & more


A Danish postcard featuring a publicity still of Klaus Kinski from the film ‘And God Said to Cain,’ 1970.
 
The images in this post were culled from a large collection I found online at a site called Filmstar Postcards—and once I started digging through the site’s massive alphabetical list, I couldn’t tear myself away. Historically, postcards have been used as promotional vehicles for everything and everyone. The vintage postcards in this post are of European origin with most hailing from Germany, France or Italy.

Of the astounding array of postcards cataloged by the site, I was most taken with images that captured the faces of the famous before they were well known. For instance, in the “B” section I found a rather astonishing Hungarian postcard of Bela Lugosi that shows a young, dashing looking future Dracula in a white suit staring stoically into the camera with a cigarette between his lips. While most of the celebrity postcards are of the stars of yesteryear, there were a few of more contemporary actors/performers such as Asia Argento, Grace Jones and Serge Gainsbourg. Check them all out below!
 

British postcard of Grace Jones.
 

French postcard of Marianne Faithfull.
 

 
Belgian promotion card by Taschen Gallery for the exhibition ‘Taxi Driver - unseen photographs from Scorsese’s Masterpiece.’ The image was a publicity still for the 1976 film ‘Taxi Driver.’
 

Italian postcard of Asia Argento used to promote the 1998 filmd ‘Viola Kisses Everybody.’
 
Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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06.27.2017
11:45 am
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The grotesquely chaotic paintings of Mu Pan
06.27.2017
11:10 am
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A painting by artist Mu Pan featuring Bruce Lee battling a puking Ultraman. Yes.
 
Some have compared the style of artist Mu Pan to that of another highly regarded artist, Ralph Steadman, the collaborator and long-time friend of Hunter S. Thompson. And much like the often ragged, tormented-looking characters in Steadman’s work, Mu Pan’s subjects appear to be engaged in violent clashes with antagonists that range from animal/human hybrids to martial arts hero Bruce Lee locked in battle with the alien/robot known as Ultraman. Excellent.

Pan was born in Taichung City, Taiwan which he left behind at the age of 21 when he moved to the U.S. He would attend college in New York where he acquired his B.F.A. and M.F.A. in Illustration and Illustration as Visual Essay at the School of Visual Arts. According to Pan, if he hadn’t gone to art school, his mother had threatened to send him to a military academy. Lucky for us, this scenario didn’t result in Pan in becoming a military lifer, and the remarkably talented artist now spends his days teaching Illustration to students at his alma mater.

If I had to take a stab at describing Pan’s style, I’d call it a chaotic, often barbaric blend of classic eastern-inspired folk art infused with modern pop culture references. And it looks as good as that sounds. I’ve posted a nice selection of Pan’s work below for you to spend time dissecting with your eyeballs. Some are slightly NSFW.
 

Watercolor.
 

Watercolor.
 

Another image of Bruce Lee by Pan, this time in watercolor.
 

‘Mermaid.’
 
More Mu Pan after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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06.27.2017
11:10 am
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