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Stop what you’re doing and watch footage of The Cure in Orange in 1986

Some of you reading this may have already had the good fortune to have seen this vintage footage of The Cure performing at the breathtaking Roman-esque theatre in Orange, Vaucluse, France known as Theatre Antique d’Orange back in 1986. I also have no doubt that some of you might even possess copies of the show (known as The Cure in Orange) on VHS. If you fall into neither of these categories, then you are in for a treat as the show recently popped up on Vimeo.

Robert Smith of The Cure debuting his new short hairdo at ‘Theatre Antique d’Orange’ in France in 1986.
Shot over the course of two nights by longtime Cure collaborator director Tim Pope, the out-of-print footage contains a staggering 23 songs from The Cure’s mid-80s catalog (like The Head on the Door) as well as 1980’s Boys Don’t Cry and 1993’s Show and other assorted gems. It was also the apparently the first time Smith debuted his new short haircut much to the dismay of his gothy followers.

Though Smith himself has promised that The Cure in Orange would be released to DVD sometime in 2010, that never happened—though you can find bootlegged copies of the show for sale out there on various music-loving Internet sites as well as copies of the original VHS tape. As in the past when this extraordinary footage has made its way online it will likely once again quickly disappear so stop what you’re doing now and watch it before it vanishes.

‘The Cure in Orange’ was filmed over the course of two days in France at Theatre Antique d’Orange in 1986.
H/T: Slicing up Eyeballs

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Amusing manga of The Cure, Siouxsie Sioux, Marc Bolan, Hanoi Rocks & more from the 80s

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Siouxsie and the runaway Banshees
10:48 am


The Cure
Siouxsie and the Banshees

If you ever want to know practically everything there is to know about the first four years of Siouxsie and the Banshees, then you need to get your hands on a copy of the Siouxsie and the Banshees Scrapbook 1976-1980. I can’t tell you who compiled it because that information is lost in the rock ‘n’ roll black hole, but this fanzine/scrapbook released in 1984 includes early band history, discography, a list of all known bootlegs, photos and lots and lots of press clippings. It’s a truly work of DIY fanzine art. You would think if someone had taken an effort to compile this amount of information they would at least want to put their name or names on it. According to the back cover, “they” also compiled Volume 2 1981-1984 and similar scrapbooks on The Damned, The Cure and The Stranglers.
Scrap Book Page
The pre-Internet care that they took compiling the “Bootleg Recordings Known to Exist” section alone is impressive: Three pages of carefully cataloged bootleg information.
My favorite tale from the Siouxsie and the Banshees Scrapbook comes from a press clipping of an article that was published in Sounds on September 15, 1979. The setting was Aberdeen. The story starts with this…. “The geezer standing next to me in the urinal said, ‘Hey, have you hear the rumour? Two of the Banshees have run off. They’re not going to play. The bouncers are expecting a riot.’”

On September 7, 1979, the very day their second album Join Hands was released Siouxsie and the Banshees were scheduled to play a show with the Cure opening for them. Before the show, at an in store record signing, the Banshees got into some sort of argument which caused guitarist John McKay and drummer Kenny Morris to storm off and quit. In typical punk form, when Siouxsie and Steve Severin went onstage that night to announce their bandmates disappearance—and therefore cancellation of their performance—Siouxsie encouraged the crowd to beat the shit out of the missing band members if found. The Cure came back on and played a few more songs before they invited some “special guests” to the stage. Siouxsie and Severin entered and together with the Cure, they played the Banshees’ rendition of “The Lord’s Prayer.”

Before the song started Siouxsie announced:

“I hope you realize these guys know nothing about the ‘Lord’s Prayer’…It’ll probably be all the better for that. John and Kenny were doing it for the money and you can’t do a good ‘Lord’s Prayer’ with that attitude.”

She’s probably right about that.

More after the jump…

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Electrifying early-80s footage of The Cure, Bauhaus and The Smiths on the ‘Oxford Road Show’

Morrissey and Johnny Marr performing on the ‘The Oxford Road Show.’
A recent post that featured two-hours of “mind melting” high quality footage of Siouxsie and the Banshees performing on various music television shows such as the The Old Grey Whistle Test, Rock Goes to College, The Oxford Road Show as well as the ever popular, Top of the Pops was unsurprisingly very popular with our readers. As I was not familiar with The Oxford Road Show, I decided to take a deep-dive into YouTube land to see what other vintage delights the BBC show might have to offer.  I was not disappointed—and you won’t be either.

Robert Smith of The Cure in a still from ‘The Oxford Road Show.’
Once allegedly parodied as “Nozin’ Aroun’” on “Demolition,” the pilot episode of cult British sitcom The Young Ones, The Oxford Road Show (later known as “ORS”) was around for about four years until it marched off into the sunset. While not every band performed live (as you will see with the video of The Smiths below), many of them did and early on in their emerging careers. I cherrypicked a few highlights from The Oxford Road Show that I found most compelling such as The Cure’s 1983 appearance on the show performing “One Hundred Years” from their 1982 album, Pornography and Bauhaus in 1982 doing two of their early 80s singles, “Passion of Lovers” and an absolutely balls-out performance of “Lagartija Nick.” But what really killed me was The Smiths’ lipsynching 1984’s “What Difference Does it Make” while Moz sashays around on stage looking like he wishes he was home dancing in front of his mirror while giving zero fucks. In other words, what you are about to see is pure 80s vintage goodness that once again proves that the much maligned decade was actually pretty great.

The Cure performing ‘One Hundred Days’ on ‘The Oxford Road Show’ in 1983.

More after the jump…

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Motörhead, The Cure, The Jam (+ a bizarre Adam Ant comic) from the pages of cool 80s mag Flexipop!

Motörhead on the cover of Flexipop! magazine, June, 1981
Motörhead on the cover of Flexipop! magazine, June, 1981.
UK music magazine Flexipop! was only around from 1980 to1983, but in that time it managed to put out some pretty cool content within its pages, such as the sweet 7” colored flexi discs that featured music from bands featured in the mag like Motörhead, The Cure and The Jam. One flexi-disc from the February 1981 issue was a recording of Adam and the Ants riffing on the Village People anthem “Y.M.C.A.” called “A.N.T.S,” which you can listen to in all its early 80s glory (as I can’t embed it), here.
Adam Ant on the cover of Flexipop! #4
Adam Ant on the cover of Flexipop! #4.
Adam and the Ants Flexipop! flexidisc from Flexipop! #4
Adam and the Ants Flexipop! flexi disc from Flexipop! #4.
Another thing that Flexipop! featured were cool “live-action” storyboards as well illustrated strips that detailed the the fictional exploits of various bands and musicians. Starting with the September 1981 issue, there was a three-part-series about the career to date of Adam Ant drawn by Mark Manning. Manning—who would go on to assume the cool-as-fuck moniker “Zodiac Mindwarp” and form the biker sleaze band Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction in the mid-80s—was Flexipop!‘s acid-dropping art editor at the time. I’ve included Manning’s “Adam and the Ants” comic strip in its entirety, as well as some scans from the magazine’s inner-pages.

Surprisingly, given its short existence, you can find lots of issues of Flexipop! out there as well as flexi discs from the magazine’s colorful discography on auction sites like eBay and Etsy. Cooler still is the fact that you can look through even more pages from Flexipop! that have been scanned and uploaded at the blog Music Mags 1970s-1980s.
Flexipop! March, 1983
Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie (The Creatures) on the cover of Flexipop! March, 1983.
Much, much more after the jump…

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Amusing manga of The Cure, Siouxsie Sioux, Marc Bolan, Hanoi Rocks & more from the 80s

Robert Smith of The Cure on the front cover of Japanese music magazine 8 Beat Gag, 1988
Robert Smith of The Cure on the front cover of Japanese music magazine ‘8 Beat Gag,’ 1988.
I’m really into these sweet manga illustrations which were published back in the 80s in a Japanese music magazine called 8 Beat Gag. Written in Japanese, most (if not all) are likely by the the rather prolific manga artist Atsuko Shima—but she wasn’t the only artist that created the cartoons that featured popular musical acts in weird situations that Japanese youth were obsessing about.

The fantastic cartoon of Finnish band Hanoi Rocks, which may have also been published in 8 Beat Gag, did show up as a surprise insert UK pressings of the band’s last record 1984’s Two Steps From the Move. Which makes me want to hunt a copy down just so I can have one of my own. When it comes to finding copies of 8 Beat Gag, good luck. As when they do pop up (which they occasionally do), they will cost you a tidy sum. The comic featuring The Cure (where Robert Smith Inexplicably morphs into some sort of goth Yeti. Because, Japan), follows in its entirety as well as a few others featuring Siouxsie Sioux going up against Girlschool in some sort of track event involving vegetables, Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, Marc Bolan, Peter Murphy, Morrissey and 80s New Wavers Ultravox.
A manga cartoon about The Cure from Japanese music magazine, 8 Beat Gag, 1988
A manga cartoon about The Cure from Japanese music magazine, ‘8 Beat Gag,’ 1988.



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Baby-faced Robert Smith and the Cure’s first time in America, 1980

In Spring of 1980, just as Robert Smith was about to turn 21 years old, the Cure, supporting their sophomore release Seventeen Seconds (and new single “A Forest”) made their first trip to America. They played six dates, including three in NYC at the Hurrah’s nightclub, where Chris Stein and Debbie Harry turned up to meet them.

From the now quite pricey and rare 1988 Cure bio Ten Imaginary Years:

On 10 April, The Cure went to America for the first time.

Robert: “We’d obtained cult status out there but we only played New York, Philly, Washington and Boston. We played three nights - 15, 16 and 17th - at Hurrah in New York and it was packed.”

Simon: “It was done on a shoestring budget but it was lots of fun. Instead of having cans of beer backstage, we’d have shots of Southern Comfort!”

Robert: “It was like a holiday. Even at this point, everything we did, we didn’t think we’d be doing again so we used to go to bed at about five in the morning and get up again at eight just to go out and see New York.”

On his return, Robert told Record Mirror how America meant “being bombarded by people who all ask the same questions and all want to shake your hand . . . you just find yourself getting sucked into the whole rock ‘n’ roll trip which we’re trying so hard to get away from” while Sounds’ Phil Sutcliffe, who’d accompanied the band to New York. told, in an article “Somebody Get Me A Doctor,” how Robert had done his utmost to avoid having his picture taken with Debbie Harry.

Although these two videos from one of the nights at Hurrah’s were posted by the creators, Charles Libin & Paul Cameron, ASC, a few years back, they’ve had precious few plays. If only all shot from the audience videos of the punk/post-punk and new wave era were done this well.

“A Forest” was the set closer, while “Secrets” was the first encore, played next.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
These wild, wonderfully witty pop culture mashup t-shirts make great last minute holiday gifts

GG Allen. Get it here
Need a last-minute, inexpensive holiday gift for that hard-to-please friend? Okay, I believe I’ve got you covered with these amusing mash-up t-shirts by Wear Dinner. They’re pretty funny and each one sells for $25.00 + shipping. Not too shabby, in my opinion

Minor Sabbath. Get it here

Bernie 2016. Get it here

Mötley Cüre. Get it here
More after the jump…

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The Cure: Intense TV performance from the legendary 1982 ‘Pornography’ tour
09:21 am


The Cure

In a 2013 post about The Cure, I wrote that I was in attendance at one of the 1984 Hammersmith Odeon shows recorded for their live Concert album, and that I felt like this was the perfect time to have seen the group, with a high watermark setlist that harkened back to their earliest days through to the lighter poppier sound that began emerging after the existential wallop of their Pornography album. I was promptly disabused of that notion in the comments and on Facebook with a near unanimous opinion emerging that the Pornography tour was—no arguing—the very best tour they ever did.

I think “they” might be right. Exhibit the first, this 30-minute live set taped for French television’s L’Echo Des Bananes program in 1982, in a Paris recording studio with no audience. When I saw them, they were a five-piece and super slick, with a great light show and amazing projections. Here they’re a seemingly nuclear-powered three member unit who require none of the showbiz frills to deliver the thrills and it’s… outrageously good stuff.

Listening to the Pornography album some thirty plus years after it first came out, well, it’s still one of the most brutal and raw listening experiences one can possibly have. I wouldn’t classify myself as a Cure fanatic, but this album I rate an absolute psychedelic mindfuck masterpiece. It’s a great album to listen to on acid (guilty, many times over) and the band themselves have admitted to ingesting quite a lot of LSD (and booze) during its recording. Imagine the state of mind that you’d have to put yourself in to make music like this!. The album art is apt, it’s like they’re playing through flames.

What may also have contributed to the blistering intensity of the 1982 tour—never mind the blunt force power of the material from Pornography—is what was apparently quite intense hatred that had developed between bandleader Robert Smith and bass guitarist Simon Gallup, who promptly quit after the tour’s completion. In fact, then-drummer Lol Tolhurst found that his two partners had both split back to England as a result of a fistfight backstage after a concert in Strasbourg, before Smith’s dad set his son straight, scolding him to get back out on tour because “People have bought tickets!” Two weeks later, after a final concert in Brussels, the three imaginary boys were no more.

Setlist: “Cold,” “Hanging Garden,” “One Hundred Years,” “A Forest,” “Figure Head,” “Play for Today”

There’s very little footage of this tour, so savor this. It’s incredible what these three guys do here, each of them a one-man band. Dig the bass synthesizer pedals!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Mashing up the Commodores and the Cure is a shockingly good idea
10:04 am


The Cure
The Commodores

Who knew that Robert Smith would have made quite an effective Elton John/Billy Joel type in an alternate universe? I wonder how Billy Joel would fare if he were charged with belting out all the tunes from, say, The Head on the Door....

The second proposition will have to wait, but as for the first, we have some notion of what that might have sounded like, thanks to Daniel Barassi of BRAT Productions, who recently concocted the track “Easy Like Heaven,” which mashes up The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” and The Commodore’s “Easy.”

[Update: Reader Scott F. Griffin points out that this has been bouncing around for quite a while.]

via Sonic More Music
Thank you Fred Gunn!

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Yo La Tengo’s delightful cover of The Cure’s ‘Friday I’m In Love’
03:27 pm


The Cure
Yo La Tengo

Yo La Tengo have just released a video for their cover of the Cure’s “Friday I’m in Love.” The song will appear on the album Stuff Like That There, due out late in August. It’ll feature plenty of covers besides “Friday,” including tunes by the Parliaments, Hank Williams, and the Lovin’ Spoonful.

Their version crushes the 1992 original, which has long been fanbase-breaker in the Cure’s oeuvre—mawkish, histrionic, popular as hell, but considered sub-par by just as many as those who adore it. It’s a love-it-or-hate-it song, and I’m pretty squarely in the hate-it camp. But Yo La Tengo’s version strips away all the Cure’s standard affectations, and the sincere, unpretentious rendition by YLT’s drummer Georgia Hubley reveals the lovely little song it could have been if the Cure hadn’t Cured it up quite so much. For revelatory covers of overblown pop songs, this ranks with Richard Thompson’s “Oops, I Did it Again.”

And the video is just wonderful. It features Hubely walking through the streets of Hoboken singing the song, apparently completely unaware that her singing is attracting giant exploding hearts to rain on the Earth. And as things get worse, the band’s sense of humor comes more and more to the fore.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The drummers from Oneida, Yo La Tengo and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs really tore it up on Record Store Day
Adorable Yo La Tengo dolls, designed by Jim Woodring!

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Siouxsie and the Banshees with a young Robert Smith on ‘Something Else,’ 1979

Last week, when DM HMFIC Richard Metzger posted about Robert Smith and Steve Severin’s Siouxsie and the Banshees spin-off the Glove, it set me off on a kick. I’ve waxed rhapsodic on DM, probably more than once, but definitely once that I can specifically remember, about the surpassing excellence of the Banshees lineup with guitarist John McGeoch, also a vet of Magazine, The Armoury Show, and P.I.L. before his untimely alcohol-related death in 2004. When I listen to Siouxsie, it’s almost invariably one of the three albums McGeoch played on—Kaleidoscope, Juju, and A Kiss In The Dreamhouse.

But that’s kind of stupid, given that McGeoch’s tenure in the band was bookended by the two stints enjoyed by the Cure’s moonlighting poo-bah Robert Smith. Weirdly, as influential as both the Cure and the Banshees are/were, Smith doesn’t get a whole lot of accolades as a guitarist. Even Cure devotees know him more for his melancholic singing and his trademark hairsplosion. But the guitar stylings associated with that saturnine strain of UK post-punk that would become known as Goth owed as much to Smith’s deliberate and doleful playing as to the aggressive slashing of Bauhaus’ Daniel Ash, the disquieting Morricone-isms of the Birthday Party’s Rowland S. Howard, or McGeoch’s heavily chorused, layered picking. Check out early Cure songs like “Three Imaginary Boys” or “The Figurehead,” and it’s plain that Smith can wring a lot of emotive impact out of comparatively few notes.

And so, after that post last week about Smith’s excursion in the Glove, I started giving more attention to his time in the Banshees, and in the process I found this fantastic TV footage of Smith during his first Banshees go-round, from the BBC2 show Something Else (I love the “Watch Something Else” banners decorating the set!) in 1979. They perform “Love in a Void” and “Regal Zone” from Join Hands, an album on which neither Smith nor the drummer appearing here, Budgie, actually performed. The prior guitarist and drummer left very shortly after Join Hands’ completion, so Smith and Budgie, a refugee from Big In Japan and the Slits, were recruited to fulfill tour obligations. Budgie went on to stay with the band forever, and even wed Siouxsie, but Smith only stayed in for the duration of the tour (the Cure were the opening act anyway), so his first shift with the band was as an interpretive player. Smith wouldn’t write music with the band or perform on a Banshees album until 1984’s Hyaena, but as this was the transitional phase of the Banshees’ career wherein the band straddled punk and goth, Smith makes an apt fit even though the compositions being played aren’t his.

Also, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the reading of a pretty damn funny letter from an unhappy London viewer who wanted his vigorous opposition to all this “punk” nonsense noted for the record.

More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
The Glove: When Robert Smith and Steven Severin played hooky from The Cure & Siouxsie & the Banshees

During Robert Smith’s tenure as the guitarist in Siouxsie and the Banshees (1982-84), a period that yielded the “Dear Prudence” hit single, as well as Hyena and the live Nocturne album, while Siouxsie and Budgie were off doing The Creatures, Smith and Banshees’ bassist Steven Severin formed The Glove, a one-off side-project with vocalist/dancer Jeanette Landray (Smith’s Cure contract forbade him from singing with another group).

The Glove, named after a character in Yellow Submarine produced just one album, the experimental, druggy, yet still quite poppy-sounding goth psychedelia of Blue Sunshine (yes, they copped the title from the cult film about the bad LSD) and two singles, “Like an Animal” and “Punish Me with Kisses.”
The 2006 reissue of Blue Sunshine as a 2 CD set that features a second disc of Glove demos with Smith singing instead of Landray. (Many fans were annoyed to find that his vocals were only recently recorded.) Both Severin and Smith have indicated that they would like to record together again.

Below, “A Blues in Drag”:

Hear “Punish Me with Kisses” after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Trent Reznor and Robert Smith talk about the Jesus and Mary Chain’s ‘Psychocandy’

A lot of now-classic albums have grown into their reputations over the course of years or decades, but the Jesus and Mary Chain’s debut Psychocandy was one of those whose epochal nature was screamingly obvious right out of the starting gate. Because so many bands in the last 30 years have copped JaMC’s move of burying SoCal pop and surf tropes under layers of reverb, noise, and darkness, it might be hard to convey just how INSANE they sounded when they were upstarts. I’m going to date myself pretty seriously here, but the first time I heard them, I was 15, delivering my paper route (laugh all you want, it was money for records), and listening to college radio on my Walkman. The song “Never Understand” came on, and I don’t know how the hell I didn’t fall off my bike. It seemed amazingly assaultive—full of ugly squealing feedback and guitars that could just as well have been broken vacuum cleaners, propelled at a nervous clip by caveman drumming that somehow sounded like it was stalking you, and yet it was catchy as hell, sporting laid-back, almost drowsy vocals that didn’t belong anywhere near that out-of-control musical mess, but it all clicked perfectly, like there was nothing weird about it at all. These young noise-abusers from Scotland had managed the feat of making themselves the Velvet Underground’s second coming. Even if they’d done nothing else worth hearing (and that’s decidedly not the case, of course, they churned out a lot of very cool stuff), Psychocandy would have cemented their legend.
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
The Cure’s Robert Smith interviewed on a playground carousel, 1985
09:30 am


The Cure
Robert Smith

Robert Smith
This interview should be a delight to any Cure fans out there, as Master Robert is in awfully likable form, as the rest of the playground keeps sliding past him in the back. For the interview is being conducted on one of those carousels you surely played on when you were a child. As it happens, the origin story of The Cure actually involves a playground, so it all works out.

The questioner (in my head he is “the poor man’s Jools Holland”) is terribly interested in how they came up with the CRRRRAZY ideas for their videos for “Let’s Go to Bed” and “In Between Days” and “The Love Cats” (the first two directed by The Cure’s longtime collaborator Tim Pope, while “The Love Cats,” apparently, was not).

Easily the best moment comes at around 0:20, when Smith shouts at a bunch of rambunctious offscreen children to “SHUT UP!”

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The Cure’s Roger O’Donnell discusses Robert Smith and being fired *twice* on ‘The Pharmacy’

This week The Cure’s keyboardist Roger O’Donnell talks about his relationship with Robert Smith, being fired twice from the band, and taking over and locking out an English radio station for twelve hours.

O’Donnell has had a 20 plus year tenure in the influential English post-punk band.

He began his career playing for the likes of Arthur Brown, The Thompson Twins, The Psychedelic Furs and others and has been with The Cure since the 1987 tour supporting Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. He has contributed to 1989’s career-defining record Disintegration—discussed here—among others.

Gregg Foreman’s radio program, The Pharmacy, is a music / talk show playing heavy soul, raw funk, 60′s psych, girl groups, Krautrock. French yé-yé, Hammond organ rituals, post-punk transmissions and “ghost on the highway” testimonials and interviews with the most interesting artists and music makers of our times…

Mr. Pharmacy is a musician and DJ who has played for the likes of Pink Mountaintops, The Delta 72, The Black Ryder, The Meek and more. Since 2012 Gregg Foreman has been the musical director of Cat Power’s band. He started dj’ing 60s Soul and Mod 45’s in 1995 and has spun around the world. Gregg currently lives in Los Angeles, CA and divides his time between playing live music, producing records and dj’ing various clubs and parties from LA to Australia.

Set list:

“Love Me” - The Phantom
“Hey Luciani!” - The Fall
“Dum Daro Dum” - Asha Bhosle and Chorus
The Cure - Roger O’Donnell Interview PT 1
“Grinding Halt” - The Cure
“Can This Be” - The Wipers
LA Nocturne Intro
“Baby Please Don’t Go” - Them
“Another Girl Another Planet” - The Only Ones
“Outdoor Miner” - Wire
“Ye Ye” - Elko Syuri
The Cure - Roger O’Donnell Interview PT 2
“Romeo’s Distress” - Christian Death
“Erase You” - ESG
“There but for the grace of God go I” - The Gories
“Don’t you want my Lovin’” - The Orlons
“Black Soul” - Bo Diddley
“Stereo Freeze” - Jackie Mittoo
The Cure - Roger O’Donnell Interview PT 3
“Mushroom” - CAN
“Mr.Pharmacist” - The Fall

You can download the entire show here.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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