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Wear with Confidence: Nick Cave’s beautiful and empowering Soundsuits
12:04 pm


Nick Cave
performance art
Rodney King

Nick Cave is an artist, performer, educator and “foremost a messenger” who works in a wide range of media including sculpture, installation, video, sound and performance.

Not to be confused with the antipodean singer and screenwriter, this Nick Cave is best known for his beautiful Soundsuits—“sculptural forms based on the scale of his body” which “camouflage the body, masking and creating a second skin that conceals race, gender, and class, forcing the viewer to look without judgment” or prejudice.

The idea for Soundsuits came about as a response to thinkingthe brutal police beating of Rodney King in 1991. As cave recalls:

It was a very hard year for me because of everything that came out of the Rodney King beating. I started thinking about myself more and more as a black man—as someone who was discarded, devalued, viewed as less than.


I started thinking about the role of identity, being racial profiled, feeling devalued, less than, dismissed. And then I happened to be in the park this one particular day, and looked down at the ground and there was a twig. And I just thought, well, that’s discarded, and it’s sort of insignificant. And so I just started then gathering the twigs, and before I knew it, I was, had built a sculpture.

Cave carried the twigs he had collected in Grant Park, Chicago, back to his studio where he drilled a small hole at the base of each one. He linked these together with a wire before attaching them to a large piece of material. From this he created his first wearable sculpture or Soundsuit:

When I was inside a suit, you couldn’t tell if I was a woman or man; if I was black, red, green or orange; from Haiti or South Africa. I was no longer Nick. I was a shaman of sorts.

Inspired by this incredible sense of freedom and empowerment, Cave began making more and more outrageous and fabulous creations from materials he found in flea markets and thrifts stores across country.

Cave admits he never knows exactly what he is looking for or how he will use it once found. When he does find some suitable object he will spend considerable time working out where best on the body this item can sit. When this is finally worked this out he then develops each design organically from this point. The finished sculptures are worn in performances devised by Cave. There is an obvious similarity between Cave’s Soundsuits and Leigh Bowery’s performance costumes from the eighties and early nineties. Both take traditional crafts (needlework, macramé  and crochet) and use them them to create powerful and beautiful works of (wearable) art. A selection of Cave’s Soundsuits are for sale at the SoundsuitShop.
More of Nick Cave’s fabulous designs, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Kid posts hilarious tweets asking ‘Does anyone know who this is’?
09:30 am


Nick Cave

Meet New Zealand-based James Malcolm. Yesterday on Twitter, James posted photos of himself with a certain celebrity in the background asking his followers, “Does anybody know who this is?”

It looks like James was in an airport when this was taken. Was James serious about not knowing who that certain person was or was he trolling his followers? That’s the million dollar question in the Twitterverse today.

One More Time With Feeling, Andrew Dominik’s acclaimed documentary about “this celeb” comes out on Blu-ray and DVD on March 3. Pre-order here.


Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘The Cat Piano,’ narrated by Nick Cave
10:19 am


Nick Cave
The Cat Piano

The Cat Piano is an award-winning short animation directed by Eddie White and Ari Gibson and narrated by Nick Cave. For some odd reason the Wikipedia entry makes note not to confuse this with Keyboard Cat. So let’s not do that, okay?

A brief summary of the animation:

In a city of singing cats, a lonely beat poet falls for a beautiful siren. When a mysterious dark figure emerges, kidnapping the town’s singers for his twisted musical plans, the poet must save his muse and put an end to the nefarious tune that threatens to destroy the city.

Released in 2009, The Cat Piano won “Best Short Animation” at the Australian Film Institute Awards and “Best Music in a Short Film” at the APRA Screen Music Awards. The short’s bold animation style was achieved using Adobe Photoshop, with the artists drawing directly into the computer with Wacom tablets.

Watch it in its entirety, below:

h/t Coilhouse on Facebook

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Christmas ornaments featuring Morrissey, Bowie, Adam Ant, Nick Cave, Siouxsie and more

This charming set of Christmas ornaments does a wonderful job of letting everyone in your circle know that you love St. Nick—and that the “Nick” in question is Nick Cave. Matthew Lineham designed them, and he’s done a wonderful job of working in “obscure Christmas memories and puns,” as he put it.

Many of his “obscure” references involve network Christmas programming from many decades ago. Siouxsie Sioux is transformed into Cindy Lou Who, the little girl from Whoville in Dr. Seuss’ classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Morrissey plays the part of “Snow Mozzer” and “Heat Mozzer,” the memorable characters from the 1974 stop-motion animated Christmas TV special from Rankin/Bass, The Year Without a Santa Claus. Former Oingo Boingo frontman and soundtrack maestro Danny Elfman appears as “Elfman on the Shelfman,” a reference to the 2004 children’s book The Elf on the Shelf. Robert Smith is perched atop Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and DEVO‘s familiar energy dome is cleverly done up as a Christmas tree.

Lineham calls the set “A Very New Wave Christmas” but he has sensibly gone where the name-puns and name recognition will take him rather than obey strict genre definitions. Bowie and Cave might not be your idea of “new wave” icons but they were active in the early 1980s, at least.

You can buy the rubber die cut bendable ornaments for $10 a pop (“Mozzer” pair $15), or $50 for the entire set, a significant discount. However, due to the unexpectedly high demand, Lineham wants purchasers to be aware that any ornaments ordered today will be shipped “sometime between Dec 21st & 31st,” so don’t bank on them being available for this year’s tree—however, there’s always 2017, 2018, 2019, and beyond to think of. These seem unlikely to go out of style anytime soon.


More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Killing Joke, Nick Cave, The Damned & Billy Idol lip-synching for their lives on 80s television

Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke looking a bit confused about how the band ended up on German music television program ‘Musik Convoy.’
As a frequent flier on the astral plane that is the Internet I never get tired of flipping through pages upon pages of YouTube in search of footage worthy of sharing with all you Dangerous Minds music fanatics. I cannot lie, I feel like I’ve hit the motherfucking JACKPOT today when it comes to these amazing clips that are also somewhat amusingly strange. And that’s because you are about to see musical gods like Nick Cave, Killing Joke, The Damned and Billy Idol lip-synching for their very lives back in the 80s on the short-lived German music television show Musik Convoy.

Musik Convoy was only on the air for a year but during that time they managed to get quite the cast of characters to “perform” on the show including a 1984 visit by The Cure who performed “Shake Dog Shake” with a beautifully disheveled Robert Smith, his signature red lipstick and hair askew. There are so many strange moments from the collection of videos in this post I just can’t pick a favorite. Like Nick Cave pretending to belt out an emotive version of “In The Ghetto” when you know—and he knows that you know—that he’s totally faking it. Or Billy Idol literally dancing with himself for two-plus minutes while miming “Eyes Without a Face,” or Robert Smith’s distinct indifference with his strange white microphone during another of the Cure’s appearance on the show. And since I’m feeling generous I also threw in twelve-minutes of the Ramones from Musik Convoy performing in front of a mostly solem, confused looking crowd of “fans” and soldiering through four songs: “Howling at the Moon,” Mama’s Boy,” “Wart Hog,” and “Chasing the Night.” I’ve said it before, the 80s were certainly full of fantastically weird times.

Nick Cave performing ‘In the Ghetto’ on ‘Musik Convoy,’ 1984.
More lip-syncing with the bad boys, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Vegan cookbooks inspired by Nick Cave and Morrissey

Human beings are great at doing two things when we’re sad: wallowing in music and overindulging in food. We all have our go-tos—ABBA and chocolate covered pretzels? Excellent choice. Early Cure and ice cream? Gets the job DONE, son. Belle and Sebastian and Doritos? Awesome and awesome and awesome.

When getting over a breakup herself, artist Automne Zinng spent a lot of time making art while listening to music. Zinng is a primitivist illustrator and surrealist photographer who attracted some attention a few years back with a series of drawings called “Goths Eating Things.” I’ll leave the guesswork as to what that series depicted up to you. She’s parlayed that series into two cookbooks, Defensive Eating with Morrissey and Comfort Eating with Nick Cave, both of which pair drawings of those singers eating with recipes, many of which pun on those artists’ lyrics.

From her introduction to Defensive Eating with Morrissey:

In 2013, I was broke, living in Los Angeles, and going through a terrible breakup. It was probably one of the darkest times in my life and I felt inconsolable. I wasn’t working. I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t drinking. I wasn’t doing much of anything except writing depressing songs and listening to even more depressing ones from my youth. I found it curious that the bands that got me through the general malaise of being a sad teenage goth served as a type of sonic comfort food for me as an even sadder adult. Was I having a mid-life crisis?

The only thing that brought me comfort during that nightmare was drawing. I started to doodle images of Nick Cave crying over pints of ice cream, Siouxsie Sioux devouring tacos, and The Sisters Of Mercy stuffing their faces with Cinnabons. The more time passed, the more surreal these drawings became. Eventually, I started sharing them with others and everyone wanted to see Morrissey putting things in his mouth. Who wouldn’t? I obliged and started doing a series of drawings of Morrissey hoarding food. Those drawings became a zine, and that zine is now a cookbook.

Unfortunately, Messers Morrissey and Cave were not involved in the making of the books. According to the publisher, Microcosm Publishing’s Joe Biel—who’s broached this territory before in publishing Tom Neely’s fictional punk rock bromance Henry & Glenn Forever—“Morrissey was nearly involved. His manager really liked the book and pushed and pushed him but he’s kind of…humorless. We even offered to give money to his favorite charity. He eventually just stopped engaging. Unbeknown to us, Nick Cave’s son had just died when we got in touch so his manager said that he could not be involved.”

The recipes were crafted by Joshua “The Touring Vegan Chef” Ploeg, and accordingly they’re all vegan, so barring allergies, everyone can enjoy them (working out variations to accommodate other special diets like gluten free, nut free, kosher, etc. would be all up to the end user). Microcosm have been kind enough to permit us to share some of the art and recipes with you. We’re planning to try the Nick Cave cookies ourselves this weekend.


More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘Jesus Alone’: Emotional new video from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds


Most of us don’t want to change, really. I mean, why should we?

—Nick Cave

This morning I had the pleasure of listening to the powerful new Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds single “Jesus Alone” and if you’ve not heard the six-plus-minute track yet then I highly recommend that you stop what you are doing and not only listen but watch Cave’s delivery of the haunting lyrics while long-time collaborator Warren Ellis commands a small string section. It is both compelling and dark. Two qualities that Cave has developed a deep proficiency for over the course of his long career. 

The single is one of eight new tracks on the upcoming Bad Seeds record Skeleton Tree due out next week on September 9th. Also making its debut next week on September 8th is Cave’s new film that documents the making of Skeleton Tree, One More Time With Feeling that is screening at theaters across the country. If you’ve seen the trailer for the film (which I’ve posted below) then you may know that the music that accompanies the trailer was written by Cave following the heart-wrenching death of his fifteen-year-old son Arthur last year in July. An unimaginable event that no parent should have to endure. The powerful emotions the thought-provoking black and white video sadly conjures come to a head as Cave utters the heartbreaking words:

“With my voice, I am calling you.”

Watch the video, after the jump…

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‘Stranger in a Strange Land’: 1987 documentary on Nick Cave from Dutch TV
11:53 am


Nick Cave

One of the first images in “Nick Cave: Stranger in a Strange Land” is a glimpse of the Berlin Wall, which (it’s strange to imagine) would only be in use for a couple more years. “Stranger in a Strange Land” was produced in 1987 by Bram van Splunteren, and it appeared on the Dutch TV channel VPRO. I saw the second half of this movie when I was living in Austria in the early to mid-1990s, so it’s a pleasure to come across it again!

Cave lived in Berlin in the 1980s, during which he appeared in one of the greatest movies of all time, Wim Wenders’ Das Himmel Über Berlin, known to English speakers as Wings of Desire.

Giving the crew a tour of his digs, Cave says one of those things only Nick Cave would say, glumly referencing “my collection of German Gothic paintings, my gun, and my desk.” Later he grabs his “little black book,” which is a little album containing some startling religious iconography, some of which made it into the artwork for the 1986 album Your Funeral ... My Trial.

There’s some bracing footage of Cave with the Birthday Party as well as rehearsals with the Bad Seeds, during which Cave belts out the chorus to “Yesterday,” of all possible things. In the rehearsal we see them do a version of “The Singer,” which appears on Kicking Against The Pricks.

The voiceover is in Dutch, but the interviews with Cave, Blixa Bargeld, Mick Harvey and so on are in English. Mark E. Smith pops up unexpectedly, Cave makes a joke about “two hugely intelligent frontmen.”


Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Nick Cave’s handwritten dictionary

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Is this the earliest Nick Cave interview?
06:49 pm


Nick Cave
Rowland S. Howard
Birthday Party

This is fascinating: An early—1978—interview with Nick Cave and Rowland S. Howard back when the group that would eventually gain infamy as the Birthday Party were still known as the Boys Next Door. Cave would have been 20 years of age here and 18-year-old Howard hadn’t even been in the group very long at all at that point. The YouTube poster speculates that this might be the very first Nick Cave interview—at least one captured on videotape—and I reckon this might be so.

The Boys Next Door formed in 1973, when Cave, Mick Harvey and Phill Calvert were all students at the Caulfield Grammar School, a private boys school in suburban Melbourne.  Although their repertoire originally consisted of David Bowie, Alice Cooper and Lou Reed covers, the Boys started performing Ramones songs as early as 1975 when bassist Tracy Pew, another student at the school joined, along with punky originals with titles like “Sex Crimes” and “Masturbation Generation.” With Howard’s arrival, his trademark feedback guitar sound gave a violence to their music that had been missing. He also brought along a song they’d be closely associated with, “Shivers,” a number the group performs below with Howard singing.

In the interview footage (a handmade title card near the end identifies it as “Conversations”) the kid asking the questions seems quite drunk. I’ve seen dozens, probably hundreds of interviews with Nick Cave and he’s always been a cool customer. Here his persona seems already quite fully-formed, even at this tender young age, as he gives the “interviewer” bemused looks and takes a long time to answer his goofy questions.

More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
In Their Own Write: Handwritten lyrics by Nick Cave, David Bowie, Joey Ramone, Kate Bush and more

Beat writer Alexander Trocchi was wise to the easy money to be made from selling handwritten drafts of famous works of literature. When short of cash for his drug habit, Trocchi would write out in longhand one of his novels (Young Adam, White Thighs, whichever) and sell it on to some collector as the one and only original handwritten manuscript. It kept him from finding a job or worse, from writing something new. Across London and Paris there’s probably dozens of these supposed “originals” cobbled together by Trocchi in his moment of need.

If Trocchi had lived and tried the same today, he would probably have been found out for his ruse as the market for original handwritten drafts to books, poetry and pop songs is now a mega business.

Last year, Bob Dylan’s handwritten lyrics for “Like A Rolling Stone” was sold at auction for $2 million. In 2005, John Lennon’s pen-drafted words for “All You Need is Love” made $1.25 million at auction, while in April 2015, Don Maclean’s handwritten lyric sheet for “American Pie” sold for $1,205,000.

Handwritten pop lyrics are as valuable as works of art—in fact they are works of art—as in this digital age where everything is written by keyboard, the value of such pen-scrawled texts on legal pad or hotel note paper only increase in value year on year. Though the top ten most expensive lyric sheets are about 2/3 the work of John Lennon (4) and Bob Dylan (2), there are plenty of other musicians out there who are finding their first drafts to popular songs offer them or their inheritors a comfortable pension.
David Bowie’s handwritten lyrics for ‘Jean Genie’ made $29,063 at auction.
Bowie: Lyric detail for ‘Jean Genie.’
Ziggy jams with a ballpoint pen: David Bowie’s handwritten lyrics for ‘Ziggy Stardust.’
One of Nick Cave’s many notebooks with original lyrics for ‘No Pussy Blues.’
Cave’s typed lyrics for ‘Push the Sky Away.’
No notebook or typewriter for Joey Ramone—the lyrics for ‘Disassembled’ were written on an old Alka Seltzer box.
More original pop lyrics, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Fantastically realistic sculptures of Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Batgirl, Eddie Munster and more
08:42 am


Nick Cave
Tom Waits
Trevor Grove

Nick Cave sculpture by Trevor Grove
Nick Cave bust by Trevor Grove
The incredible work of sculptor Trevor Grove has been featured here on DM previously, and it’s my pleasure to be able to share more creations from this talented artist with our readers.
Nick Cave bust sculpture side view
Nick Cave Grinderman era sculpture
Nick Cave “Grinderman” version
The So-Cal based Grove has been at the hand-sculpting game for about seven years. He primarily creates his pieces with hard wax and the results are nothing less than startling. I’m especially fond of Grove’s two sculptures of Nick Cave (above) which includes a Grinderman version of Cave sporting his handlebar mustache, as well as his two sculpts of everyone’s favorite avante growler,Tom Waits.

And since I know you may be wondering, you can purchase some of Grove’s sculptures over at his site, Tweeterhead such as his sculpt of the late Yvonne Craig as Batgirl that were personally signed by Craig before she passed away last month.
Tom Waits sculpture by Trevor Grove
Tom Waits
More after the jump…

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Nick Cave’s teen son Arthur dies in tragic fall
08:33 am

Current Events

Nick Cave

Very sad news coming out of England this morning, Arthur Cave, one of Nick Cave’s twin sons with wife Susie Bick, died of injuries sustained in a tragic accident.

Sussex Police confirmed that 15-year-old Arthur Cave died after a fall at Ovingdean Gap in East Sussex. He was found there at about 6pm on Tuesday. Members of the public performed first aid on the boy before he was airlifted to the hospital in Brighton. He died at the Royal Sussex County Hospital soon afterwards.

The grieving parents paid tribute to their son in a short statement issued through Sussex Police:

“Our son Arthur died on Tuesday evening. He was our beautiful, happy loving boy.

We ask that we be given the privacy our family needs to grieve at this difficult time.”

Unspeakably sad. May he rest in peace.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
They have Nick Cave dolls now? I want one!
11:12 am


Nick Cave

L.A. based pop-artist Plasticgod has created a series of Nick Cave figures that he’ll be debuting at San Diego Comic-Con on July 9th. (Also debuting at Comic-Con: new Star Wars Stormtrooper figures. Different strokes for different geeks, right?) Each is based on a Cave song title. There’s the “Red Right Hand

Two slightly different designs for “Babe, You Turn Me On



More Nick Cave dolls after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Nick Cave, Mark E. Smith and Shane MacGowan arguing in a pub
12:06 pm


Nick Cave
Mark E. Smith
Shane MacGowan

Years ago, I read the transcript of this NME “summit” on some Fall obsessive’s fansite: it’s Nick Cave, Shane MacGowan and Mark E. Smith arguing in a pub in 1988 (published in 1989). I searched for it the other day and found that the Quietus reprinted this latter-day symposium in 2012.

If you like Mark E. Smith at his most truculent, you’re going to love this conversation. Cave is laconic (hates journalists), MacGowan is affable (loves drink), and MES is as voluble and contentious as ever. He complains that Fad Gadget (a/k/a Frank Tovey) “was doing incense and headstands” before a show, that the only good Bob Dylan album he’s heard is The Traveling Wilburys Volume 1, and that Morrissey is an Irish person. As always, there are splenetic outbursts concerning the many things Mark E. Smith doesn’t need to be told about, pal:

There’s nothing new in Acid House for me, pal. I’ve been using that process for years. Bloody years. It might be new for you but don’t assume it’s new for anyone else, because you’re fucking wrong, pal.

We had jazz arrangements in ‘82 when the rest of those tossers were playing cocktail lounge music and fucking pseudo new wave, so don’t talk to me about it because I know what I’m talking about pal.

Don’t tell me about oppression, my parents and grandparents were exploited to the hilt. Sent to wars, they had gangrene in their teeth.

But this is Smith dancing like a prizefighter. Just wait until MacGowan (whom MES addresses as “Sean”) calls Nietzsche “a fascist maniac posing as a philosopher.” Friend, do you hear that bell? That’s Mark E. Smith, and school is back in session:

MES: If we’re gonna talk philosophy, that’s a load of crap! The Nazis adopted his creed and distorted it, they misquoted him all the time.

SM: The Will To Power. Try reinterpreting that statement. You can’t, it says what it says.

MES: He wasn’t a Nazi – you’re only saying that ‘cos some polytechnic fuckin’ lecturer told you he was.

SM: I’m saying it ‘cos I read two of his books where he dismissed the weak, the ugly, the radically [racially?] impure, Christianity, Socrates, Plato. He was anti anyone who hadn’t got a strong body, perfect features…

MES: That’s the coffee table analysis. He was the most anti-German, pro-Semitic person…

SM: His books were full of hate.

MES: You just said you’re full of hate when you go on stage.

SM: I don’t go round saying Socrates was a c***, Jesus Christ was an idiot, do l?

MES: Jesus Christ was the biggest blight on the human race, he was. And all them socialists and communists – second rate Christianity. It’s alright for you Catholics. I was brought up with Irish Catholics. Some of my best friends are Irish Catholics.

SM: Listen to him.

MES: Hitler was a Catholic vegetarian, non-smoker, non-drinker. The way you’re talking about Nietzsche is that anyone who’s a non-smoker, non-drinker is a Nazi. That’s the level of your debate, pal. You don’t know fuck all about Nietzsche, pal!

In the Cave biography Bad Seed, an eyewitness to the summit reports that while Cave (who had just spent seven weeks in rehab) was clean and sober, MacGowan had “done some Ecstasy and had drunk a bottle of whisky on the way down.” MacGowan picks up the story:

I was out of my brains, Cave was dead straight, drinking tea, and Mark E. Smith was pissed on bitter and very belligerent. It must have been really difficult for Nick but I wasn’t in that position, you know what I mean. We were ranting and raving and Nick was very quiet that day. I was amazed how together he was, considering. At the time I was really pissed off with touring and I was going on about that in the interview, and he said, “Well, why don’t you just stop?” and I couldn’t think of a good reason because I was on the treadmill and you can’t get off it. Nick turned out to have a savage wit. He’s an intense person. It was a great interview, two soul brothers and Mark E. Smith. Cave was winding both of us up, he basically instigated the fight between me and Mark Smith. He was shit-stirring, seeing how far it was going to go. Mark E. Smith was saying things to me I couldn’t let him get away with, stuff about Ireland and the British Army. [Reporter] Sean O’Hagan went loony as well, he’s from Armagh, a Catholic. Nick was enjoying it as it got more and more intense and the reporters joined in and I started going barmy.

More after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Nick Cave meets Dr. Seuss
12:42 pm


Nick Cave
Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss and Nick Cave? Two great tastes that taste great together? Sure. Why not?

Nick Cave’s “Red Right Hand,” a single from his 1994 album Let Love in is one of his best-loved tunes and long an in-concert staple of his live shows. It can be heard opening and closing series one of Peaky Blinders, the soundtrack to all three of the Scream movies, The X-Files and many other things (including, curiously, a Snoop Dogg documentary.). The “red right hand” referred to in the lyrics is an allusion to a stanza in Milton’s Paradise Lost (not the first time Cave has drawn inspiration from Milton’s epic verse):

“What if the breath that kindled those grim fires, / Awaked, should blow them into sevenfold rage, / And plunge us in the flames; or from above / Should intermitted vengeance arm again / His red right hand to plague us?” (Book II, 170-174)

And now the song’s sinister narrative has been Seussified by Deviant Art user DrFaustusAU... Cave’s lyrical wordplay is suitably Seussian, and it works brilliantly:

Take a little walk to the edge of town. Go across the tracks…

Where the viaduct looms, like a bird of doom, as it shifts and cracks…

Where secrets lie in the border fires, in the humming wires. Hey man, you know you’re never coming back…
More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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