Boo Radleys - Giant Steps Poll

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My favourite album of the 90s (did I mention this ever btw?).

Poll Results

OptionVotes
"Lazarus" - 4:38 13
"Wish I Was Skinny" - 3:37 7
"I Hang Suspended" - 3:57 3
"Leaves and Sand" - 4:25 3
"Upon Ninth and Fairchild" - 4:50 2
"Butterfly McQueen" - 3:28 2
"Thinking of Ways" - 3:48 2
"Barney (...and Me)" - 4:42 2
"I've Lost the Reason" - 5:17 1
"The White Noise Revisited" - 5:02 1
"Rodney King (Song for Lenny Bruce)" - 2:45 1
"If You Want It, Take It" - 2:47 0
"Best Lose the Fear" - 4:12 0
"Take the Time Around" - 4:07 0
"One Is For" - 1:36 0
"Run My Way Runaway" - 2:20 0
"Spun Around" - 2:31 0


dog latin, Monday, 1 March 2010 14:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

Has Louis Jag ever heard this I wonder?

dog latin, Monday, 1 March 2010 14:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

Love this entire album but I'm pretty sure it's gotta be Lazarus...

ColinO, Monday, 1 March 2010 16:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

i don't really listen to any of the albums/bands that would be considered contemporaries of this, but i heard "Leaves and Sand" on a Peel comp in high school and got totally hooked on it, really love this album and am definitely voting for it in the 90s poll.

waka yoga flame (some dude), Monday, 1 March 2010 16:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah I was worried about that. Lazarus is amazing and all, but the intro's sadly truncated on GS (the only flaw on a imo flawless record). Plus there are a load of really really good tracks - (spoiler) Butterfly McQueen being the one I voted for - on here.

dog latin, Monday, 1 March 2010 16:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

xpost

dog latin, Monday, 1 March 2010 16:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Leaves & Sand" was also my intro to the Boos, strangely enough. It was on an 8-track compilation that came with DOnkey Kong Country on the SNES.

dog latin, Monday, 1 March 2010 16:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

haha really? that's so weird.

waka yoga flame (some dude), Monday, 1 March 2010 16:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

i know, right?

i was only about 13 at the time and more into games than music, but i do remember listening to that comp over and over. what it had to do with donkey kong i'll never know. st etienne, primal scream, ride were all on there. beyond strange.

dog latin, Monday, 1 March 2010 16:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

am definitely voting for it in the 90s poll.

hmmm?

Cunga, Monday, 1 March 2010 16:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

Brilliant one-two, 'Upon 9th & Fairchild' is the better of them. Could never really get into the rest of the album after that.

Ismael Klata, Monday, 1 March 2010 17:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Spun Around" is like "Upon Ninth And Fairchild" throwing up a lung. Where do I remember reading an article that I was surprised to find referred specifically about "Upon Ninth"?

dog latin, Monday, 1 March 2010 17:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

Wishin I was skinny. Also, that's the song I voted for.

T Bone Streep (Cave17Matt), Monday, 1 March 2010 17:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

I just played this earlier today, still sounds as amazing as ever.

Lazarus is one of the finest songs ever but I'm tempted to vote for Thinking of ways or I hang Suspended.

I will also be voting for this in the 90's poll.

Kitchen Person, Monday, 1 March 2010 17:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

9th & Fairchild gets my vote, just.

No, YOU'RE a disgusting savage (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 1 March 2010 19:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

Has Louis Jag ever heard this I wonder?

Ha, I been loving this longer than most others! Six years and counting. Truly excellent record, the hard part is choosing between Rodney King (Song For Lenny Bruce) and I've Lost The Reason, which are both utterly joyous slices of noise-pop mayhem

If Butterfly McQueen -> RK(SFLB) was one song, this'd be no contest

stoke for the shawcross (acoleuthic), Monday, 1 March 2010 22:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

('most others' = most other records I love, not most other people who love Giant Steps, obv)

stoke for the shawcross (acoleuthic), Monday, 1 March 2010 22:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

agree with Stoke - unfortunate that Butterfly McQueen/Rodney King can't be voted as one. vote BM!

(I Just) Died In Your Asshat Tonight, Tuesday, 2 March 2010 03:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

Brilliant one-two, 'Upon 9th & Fairchild' is the better of them. Could never really get into the rest of the album after that.

this does not compute. it is one amazing song after another right until the end. i vote for 'i've lost the reason' but i don't think there is one standout track really. i've loved all of them at different times. maybe i should have voted for 'best lose the fear'.

keythhtyek, Tuesday, 2 March 2010 04:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

and then Moose's 'honey bee' was recorded right across the hall at the same time.

keythhtyek, Tuesday, 2 March 2010 04:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

I guess I've never even heard the full-length version of Lazarus...

I know I've read on some other Boo's threads that these dudes had some killer b-sides. I've tried to find some online but no luck- anyone care to share a nice comp?

ColinO, Tuesday, 2 March 2010 05:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

it is one amazing song after another right until the end.

Even "Run My Way Runaway"?

take me to your lemur (ledge), Tuesday, 2 March 2010 09:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

It's weird. I loved this album at the time, but listening to it again, it's not as good as I remembered it. Kind of too simplistic, and every song uses the same trick - quiet bit, cod-dub bit, pile on the layers of loud LOUD LOUDER distortion at the end. It doesn't sound anywhere as "ooh, out there" as I remembered it. But the melodies still stand up.

I'll probably end up voting for Barney & Me because when this album came out, I had a large spotted dog named Barney, and this song reminds me of him.

There's Always Been A Dance Element To (Masonic Boom), Tuesday, 2 March 2010 10:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Wish I Was Skinny". Never liked this album much. The next one, on the other hand....

Tied Up In Geir (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 2 March 2010 12:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

I know I've read on some other Boo's threads that these dudes had some killer b-sides. I've tried to find some online but no luck- anyone care to share a nice comp?

I made one that spans about 3CDs. It omits remixes and live versions, but it has all their b-sides which often I think were up with their strongest work simply because the Boos were more comfortable in their element dicking around in the studio with backwards tape loops and moog synths than they were sweating to write great pop songs.

dog latin, Tuesday, 2 March 2010 13:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

... i know ned raggett made a comp that's supposed to span something like 6 cds(!)

dog latin, Tuesday, 2 March 2010 14:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

oh shit, I just realised that much as I totally adore Rodney King, it TOTALLY rips off MBV's Soon

stoke for the shawcross (acoleuthic), Tuesday, 2 March 2010 16:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

I've Lost The Reason it is, then

stoke for the shawcross (acoleuthic), Tuesday, 2 March 2010 16:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

fwiw C'mon Kids is the better album, it's like an intensified, less sprawling but even wilder leap at the throat of British pop

stoke for the shawcross (acoleuthic), Tuesday, 2 March 2010 16:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

Geir already said that.

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 2 March 2010 16:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

Wake Up! is Geir's shurely. Mine is Everything's Alright Forever even though it's an MBV ripoff and I don't even like MBV.

take me to your lemur (ledge), Tuesday, 2 March 2010 16:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah they did Wake Up! which Geir loves because it's largely classic pop and then they went totally nutso and made their best record and then they made a record nobody has heard except me because I'm listening to it for the first time now on Spotify

stoke for the shawcross (acoleuthic), Tuesday, 2 March 2010 16:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

Shame on me. I always found this lot a bit underwhelming tbh - they're one of the few bands who I thought were worse for trying to find an audience.

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 2 March 2010 16:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

I dig Kingsize, definitely should have a cut a few tracks but the best tracks are gorgeous.

ColinO, Tuesday, 2 March 2010 17:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

Opening track was pretty dece

Ismael you gotta hear C'mon Kids if you haven't! It's fucking MAD

stoke for the shawcross (acoleuthic), Tuesday, 2 March 2010 17:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

Righto then. I don't dislike them as such, they have quite a few things I liked, they're just inconsistent. I don't know what it is exactly. Maybe that I think they're pretty poor at straight pop and pretty poor at being out there - but excellent when they balance on the pinnacle between the two, it's just that's a very hard thing to do.

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 2 March 2010 17:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

ah, those days.

Mark G, Tuesday, 2 March 2010 17:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

and then they made a record nobody has heard except me because I'm listening to it for the first time now on Spotify

"Kingsize" is actually quite good. "Wake Up!" is of course by far my favourite, but on "Kingsize" they managed to combine the pop sensibilities of that one with the weirdness of the others with quite good results. Surely joins Pulp in the list of bands whose last albums nobody ever heard even though they were actually quite good.

Tied Up In Geir (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 2 March 2010 20:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

Maybe that I think they're pretty poor at straight pop and pretty poor at being out there - but excellent when they balance on the pinnacle between the two, it's just that's a very hard thing to do.

Sounds like "Kingsize" may be your kind of Boo Radleys album then.

Tied Up In Geir (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 2 March 2010 20:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

Ichabod & I was the best, from there it was steadily downhill.

There's Always Been A Dance Element To (Masonic Boom), Wednesday, 3 March 2010 11:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah, they were OK when I saw them in New Brighton in '88 but after that... ;)

Michael Jones, Wednesday, 3 March 2010 11:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

Actually, scratch that, Sice's best moment was when we beat Plessington away in the quiz league in '81 and we scoffed all the Ginger Nuts before the posh kids could get to them.

Michael Jones, Wednesday, 3 March 2010 11:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

I liked Kingsize a lot, but it got lost in the Creation closedown, plus they split before the "Kingsize" single was issued which would have been a big radio hit.

I hung around R&TE to get the single promo for Kingsize for weeks. Got one tho.

(ending up sharing the unreleased tracks w/ Ned, way before ILX happened!

Mark G, Wednesday, 3 March 2010 11:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

The "From the bench at Belvidere" e.p. gets neglected, I remember when it came out I ws like "If this was actually the new Beatles single, there would be mass rejoicing, etc"

Then "Free as a bird" came out a week later and I was vind.

Mark G, Wednesday, 3 March 2010 11:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

(Is that page with Mine and NSouth's reviews still on the boo's website?)

Mark G, Wednesday, 3 March 2010 11:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

(Seriously, I adore the EPs up to the time of Everything's Alright Forever, and that album too. After that, it was all a sort of displaced civic pride that they were doing so well. I think the records post-'92 are often very good, mind. Voting for Laz, las.)

Michael Jones, Wednesday, 3 March 2010 12:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

I was so happy when the early EPs popped up on Learning To Walk, because that is still some of my favourite Boo stuff. The Finest Kiss is just swoonsome, and the whole Kaleidoscope e.p. - argh, I wish I had that stuff with me at work because it's so amazing.

There's Always Been A Dance Element To (Masonic Boom), Wednesday, 3 March 2010 12:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

I never really "got" the early stuff (i.e. pre "Everythings")

But then I found a CD of the "Kaleidoscope" e.p. and I liked it much more as an isolated 4-tracker.

Mark G, Wednesday, 3 March 2010 12:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

The Kaleidoscope EP was the first thing I ever got - a friend just stuck it on to fill up the last 15 minutes or so of something else she'd taped for me (really miss that about 90 minute tapes) and I liked it more than the thing she'd actually taped for me. That also happened with an early Ride EP as well, if memory serves.

There's Always Been A Dance Element To (Masonic Boom), Wednesday, 3 March 2010 12:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Leaves & Sand" is the best song, cutting it would be crazy!

some dude, Sunday, 8 July 2012 20:58 (six years ago) Permalink

So I think we're all agreed there should be no cutting of this album. I mean the ones I mentioned are all great, this album is a masterpiece. I'm no help at all here.

Kitchen Person, Sunday, 8 July 2012 21:33 (six years ago) Permalink

Drop side 4, the album works as a complete unit without it.

Mark G, Sunday, 8 July 2012 21:42 (six years ago) Permalink

oh, and,

"You asked Martin Carr this question? You actually asked Martin Carr this question?"

Mark G, Sunday, 8 July 2012 22:11 (six years ago) Permalink

I couldn't cut any of this, but if I had to: Barney & Me, Wish I Was Skinny (both are nice songs, but a bit normal-setting for this album). I couldn't cut Spun Around or Best Lose The Fear (you cray!) or White Noise for that matter.

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Monday, 9 July 2012 08:42 (six years ago) Permalink

But "Skinny" is an ear-relax-bath after "Upon Ninth and Fairchild"! "Barney" is an album closer! (if you only have one disc, that is..)

As I say, side 4 seemed the 'extra tracks' side to me.

If you want to present 'Giant Steps' as a conceptual whole, each side works in isolation is my theory.

Mark G, Monday, 9 July 2012 08:56 (six years ago) Permalink

I've only had it on tape and CD, so the whole "sides" thing doesn't work for me. There's loads of great stuff on the last side. Those last few songs are lovely!

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Monday, 9 July 2012 11:58 (six years ago) Permalink

One thing I've always not liked about the Boos is their choice of A-sides always represented their most strait-laced face, like an acquiescence that something has to be simple/a ditty in order to sell. Wishing and Barney are both the most fairly straightforward sonically compared to the rest of the album.

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Monday, 9 July 2012 12:15 (six years ago) Permalink

For some reason I can't reply to this thread.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 9 July 2012 13:17 (six years ago) Permalink

Not at any length, anyway.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 9 July 2012 13:18 (six years ago) Permalink

Anyway, I did indeed ask Martin Carr this question. And then made a joke about him pinching the title from John Coltrane, which he didn't seem to take too well!

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 9 July 2012 13:19 (six years ago) Permalink

I've always thought the second half dragged, apart from Lazarus. Which may jsut be because it's quite long as an album.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 9 July 2012 13:20 (six years ago) Permalink

You can't drop Wish I Was Skinny; that opening trio, hard rock to doomy dub to bright pop, is key to setting the tone of the rest for the album.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 9 July 2012 13:21 (six years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I did once ask him if "The White Noise Revisited" was influenced by "Dia 36" by Os Mutantes, he did reply that he'd never heard it before but he could see how someone might think so, in a way, but that there's nothing new under the sun etc.

With reasonably good grace, to be fair..

Mark G, Monday, 9 July 2012 13:44 (six years ago) Permalink

And I tell you what:

I was listening to a Move b-side, "This time tomorrow" and thinking it was a bit like a boos' acoustic version of "Spaniard" or some such....

And then it hit me, it's the same tune as "Lazarus" as well!

Mark G, Monday, 9 July 2012 13:46 (six years ago) Permalink

I always thought The White Noise Revisited sounded a lot like The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill.

I seem to remember reading somewhere the band all hated I Hang Suspended. I think all four of the singles were just great choices, they should have all been hits.

Kitchen Person, Monday, 9 July 2012 15:57 (six years ago) Permalink

They hated the video.

Mark G, Monday, 9 July 2012 16:04 (six years ago) Permalink

i really want to help with editing this down but i really can't pick any song to cut. maybe if i listened to it i would. there is a reason why this is a double album.

would love a link to the interview when you have it sick.

Bee OK, Tuesday, 10 July 2012 04:15 (six years ago) Permalink

Run My Way Runway is pretty much filler isn't it?

AJD, Wednesday, 11 July 2012 21:02 (six years ago) Permalink

I didn't play this in the end, it didn't seem right lopping stuff out of it.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Wednesday, 11 July 2012 21:10 (six years ago) Permalink

xp - I like it

Özil Gummidge (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Wednesday, 11 July 2012 21:23 (six years ago) Permalink

probably wise.

Mark G, Wednesday, 11 July 2012 21:34 (six years ago) Permalink

No Run My Runaway is lovely...!

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Thursday, 12 July 2012 10:12 (six years ago) Permalink

But I love songs about air flight. It is one of the best of those though... Love the vocal effect which is kind of spot on in that "taking off, can't hear anything properly" way.

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Thursday, 12 July 2012 10:13 (six years ago) Permalink

especially difficult to remove tracks from this as the cd runs a lot of them together - am listening now on something that doesn't do gapless playback and it's v noticeable.

koogs, Thursday, 12 July 2012 15:29 (six years ago) Permalink

The segue from Butterfly McQueen into Rodney King is maybe my favourite moment on the record.

Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Thursday, 12 July 2012 15:50 (six years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

http://www.booradleys.co.uk/giant_steps/fans.htm

Ten years since the "ten year anniversary" site was set up!

Mark G, Monday, 11 February 2013 17:00 (six years ago) Permalink

Fucking hell.

they all are afflicted with a sickness of existence (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 11 February 2013 17:05 (six years ago) Permalink

The segue from Butterfly McQueen into Rodney King is maybe my favourite moment on the record.

― Scary Move 4 (dog latin), Thursday, July 12, 2012 3:50 PM (6 months ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Near enough a year late, but... YES!

The Jupiter 8 (Turrican), Monday, 11 February 2013 17:17 (six years ago) Permalink

xpost I know!

Mark G, Monday, 11 February 2013 17:30 (six years ago) Permalink

Has anyone interviewing Carr quizzed him about a reunion possibility of late?

'Separate Lives', by Phil Collins & Marilyn Manson (PaulTMA), Monday, 11 February 2013 17:34 (six years ago) Permalink

I'd assume he gets enough residuals from "Wake Up Boo" to not bother

Mark G, Monday, 11 February 2013 17:38 (six years ago) Permalink

They seem like a band that's never getting back together. What's the point? I don't think their cult following is too large anymore, either.

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 11 February 2013 17:40 (six years ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd0GCgyhbq0

Does anyone know if that's Sean O'Hagan doing backing vocals? It looks like him to me. Is he on the album?

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 11 February 2013 17:50 (six years ago) Permalink

That'd make me like that song/album twice as much. I adore everything Sean O'Hagan, hence my name.

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 11 February 2013 17:51 (six years ago) Permalink

I never read a proper explanation of why they actually split. Did they argue?

dog latin, Monday, 11 February 2013 18:10 (six years ago) Permalink

I think Martin Carr just got fed up. Kingsize was a massive compromise between the band and Creation Records, because post-Oasis and 'Wake Up Boo!' (and because C'mon Kids was perceived as some kind of flop), the label actually wanted the band to sell some records.

The Jupiter 8 (Turrican), Monday, 11 February 2013 18:15 (six years ago) Permalink

I think he just got bored. I've read a couple interviews where he said he really didn't care at all about the band when he recorded Kingsize, which makes all the posthumous love for the album funny.

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 11 February 2013 18:16 (six years ago) Permalink

The Boo Radleys sound always evolved between each album, was this always a natural progression or did you ever decide on the theme/sound of an album before you started writing?

It was a natural progression but also a very conscious one. I never wanted our albums to sound the same. I never wanted to do what people with lesser imaginations thought that we would, or should, do. So Giant Steps was a step away from the MBV sound into using more instruments and less conventional arrangements. Wake Up was a stab at pop which we loved although there were only about three or four of those ‘It’s Lulu’ (i really hate that song) type songs on it. Apart from those tunes you would have to be deaf or an idiot to think that the album was similar to what other bands were doing at the time. C’mon Kids was us trying to get back to just being the four of us, no outside musicians. A more dense sound. I’ve no idea what Kingsize was, I’d had enough then. That album probably had the least preparation out of all them.

http://www.creation-records.com/interviews/the-boo-radleys/

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 11 February 2013 18:18 (six years ago) Permalink

Funny seeing an interviewer go on about Electric Soft Parade as if they're relevant... at least it was 2002.

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 11 February 2013 18:19 (six years ago) Permalink

I like this album & band enough to say I've listened to them a considerable amount compared to bands I don't absolutely love, but I can't help but get the sense that their songs don't feel very developed. It's like they're just racing to the next track and showing off a new style. This album particularly suffers from that problem. But when I look at the tracklist I can definitely say I enjoy more than half the tracks. It's a tough one.

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 15:36 (six years ago) Permalink

For me, I think that's part of the appeal and charm. I've always loved the "stoned mixtape" approach to albums, and this fits in with the grand traditions begun with things like the White Album and Smiley Smile, where it's more about laying down this huge flood of ideas best you can before you forget about them.

dog latin, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 16:03 (six years ago) Permalink

I just wonder how a band with so many good ideas didn't really manage to continue making great albums together as a band or solo.

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 16:34 (six years ago) Permalink

For me, I think that's part of the appeal and charm. I've always loved the "stoned mixtape" approach to albums, and this fits in with the grand traditions begun with things like the White Album and Smiley Smile, where it's more about laying down this huge flood of ideas best you can before you forget about them.

― dog latin, Tuesday, February 12, 2013 4:03 PM (33 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yeah, I agree... this is part of the reason why I like C'mon Kids so much!

The Jupiter 8 (Turrican), Tuesday, 12 February 2013 16:40 (six years ago) Permalink

I like "It's Lulu." I don't hear any obvious signs of it being worse than any other song on Wake Up.

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 17:01 (six years ago) Permalink

It's over maligned, for sure, but it's no Joel.

they all are afflicted with a sickness of existence (Scik Mouthy), Tuesday, 12 February 2013 17:02 (six years ago) Permalink

Wake Up is often seen as their chirpy Britpop album, but only because of singles like It's Lulu. The rest of it's still pretty dark, psychedelic and confessional.

dog latin, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 17:44 (six years ago) Permalink

six years pass...

One of many great moments on this album: that tiny bit of ludicrously loud high-pitched feedback just before 'Leaves and Sand' kicks in!

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 9 April 2019 17:05 (two months ago) Permalink

i have not thought about this album probably since ILM's Boo Radleys poll from a few years back. i do play that Spotify all the time but was thinking about putting on those first three EPs just this morning. ironic that this thread got bumped. the first three EPs also called Learning to Walk is right up my shoegaze alley, nothing else quite hits that spot in the same way.

Bee OK, Tuesday, 9 April 2019 23:53 (two months ago) Permalink

I also re-listened to Wake Up! tonight and enjoyed it pretty much start to finish. 'Joel' and 'Martin, Doom! It's Seven O'Clock' particularly stood out as fine slabs of '90s psychedelia, but the singles on it are probably some of the finest pop songs Martin Carr ever penned.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Wednesday, 10 April 2019 00:29 (two months ago) Permalink


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