Somerville Local First


Somerville Live Music: Electrogoth Winter Solstice Party at PA’s

Dec 12 10:08 am

By Sam Coren

The clock is ticking to Shift Your Shopping for 2011’s holiday gift buying season! But for those of you who got your holiday shopping done early (or just want another excuse to procrastinate) there’s a slew of great live music shows coming up to keep your spirits merry. Take a look at who’s playing tunes around the ‘Ville:

December 13th: Paa Seck Diery Band @ Sally O’Brien’s

“Loveline” – Paa Seck Diery Band from Ker Doff Productions on Vimeo.

Sick of the cold? Warm yourself up with some toasty afro-beat/R&B grooves by way of Senegal from the Paa Seck Diery Band. Paa Seck Diery is a gewel (griot) — a master musician, drummer, singer, dancer and teacher. Born in Kaolack, Senegal, today Paa is living in Boston. Paa performs with his own band, Diery Band, and also drums and dances with Lamine Touré & Group Saloum.

December 14th: Dixie Butterhounds Holiday Party @ Johnny D’s

Sandy’s Music presents a night of holiday old time folk with the Dixie Butterhounds playing a mixture of old and new! They play old time string band music, consisting mainly of southern Appalachian fiddle tunes and songs, though they also branch out into rags and bluesy numbers as well.

December 16th:  Firedrill!/Overboard @ Johnny D’s

So you need to get your Glee crazy friends out of the house? Check out Firedrill! and Overboard at Johnny D’s – two Boston-based acapella groups that will treat your eardrums right.

December 18th:  Math the Band / Radio Control @ Radio


Math the Band is a electro-punk spazz duo from Providence, RI. They use a combination of old video game systems, analog synthesizers and energy drinks to make the fastest, loudest, most party-est music they can imagine.

December 20th: Nirvana Tribute w/ Little War Twins, The Lousy Instruments, & The Days Weight @ Precinct

Break out your favorite flannel and don’t bother combing your hair. Precinct is throwing down a tribute night for the best known band from the legendary Seattle grunge scene (sorry Mudhoney fans). Hold a lighter up for Kurt and join 3 local rock bands as they play your favorite Nirvana songs.

December 22: The Penultimate Winter Solstice Party featuring Glass Teeth w/ Ruby Ridge, Coralcola, DJ Parzer & DJ Chadley, Loopus Amadeus and Dark & Stormy @ PA’s Lounge

You might be thinking to yourself: where can I go dance to some gothy electronic music on Thirsty Thursday before I have to go spend the holidays with the fam? Well, you’re in luck, my eyelinered friends, because this is one Winter Solstice party that you don’t want to miss. Glass Teeth and Ruby Ridge will be mashing out some dark synth waves for your enjoyment with some help from their Boston EDM DJ friends at PA’s. Don’t forget to warm yourself up with some Ruby Ridge podcasts before you head out for the evening.

December 23rd: Mod Gun w/ Dead Cats Dead Rats & The Sour Doo-Dahs @ Precinct

Ready to go back to some no-nonsense guitar rock? Fans of My Bloody Valentine and The Pixies should stop by Precinct to check out local alternative shoegaze outfit Mod Gun. Dead Rats Dead Cats and The Sour Doo-Dahs who will join them and let your inner garage punk loose.

Somerville Holiday Events 2011

Nov 28 11:08 am

By Sam Coren

Tis the season for The Slutcracker Photo: Liz Laneri

There comes a point during every holiday season when it hits you. After so many hours of cooking, decorating, family drama, and general chaos you just need to get out of the house and do something fun. Good thing there are plenty of options right in the neighborhood this season to help you escape the craziness and bring back some good old fashioned holiday cheer!

Check out some of these upcomming holiday happenings around town:

December 1st

DARBI’s Midnight Madness in Davis Square 6pm-midnight

Were you a trooper and decided to avoid Black Friday like the plague? The “shop local for the holidays” spirit of Plaid Friday carries on this Thursday with DARBI’s annual December Midnight Madness shopping event. Some businesses will offer coupons or specials to shoppers during the event.

At least 14 local businesses, primarily retail stores and restaurants, will take part this year. Confirmed participants include Dave’s Fresh Pasta, Magpie, Artifaktori, Kickass Cupcakes, Davis Squared, When Pigs Fly, The Boston Shaker, Suneri, Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant and Music Club, Buffalo Exchange, Found, Comicazi and Sunshine Lucy’s.

In addition, Zipcar will have a special booth set up in Statue Park throughout the event. Plus, Thalia Tringo Real Estate will host an art opening, “Elements and Artifacts,” featuring photographs by T.L. Litt and food and drink from local eateries.

December 2nd – 24th

The Slutcracker (Somerville Theater)

Everyone’s favorite Burlesque production of The Nutcracker is back for another season! Pick a date this December to see The Slutcracker performed live at the Somerville Theater for a night of raunchy adult fun. Don’t wait on getting tickets, folks, they’re already selling like hot cakes. Even cooler? The Boston Ballet is giving a 25% discount to Slutcracker patrons for tickets to their production of The Nutcracker. That way grandma and the kids can also enjoy the story of The Nutcracker without the intentional wardrobe malfunctions.

December 3rd

Artisan’s Asylum Public Opening (10 Tyler St) 1pm-5pm

Artisan’s Asylum is a non-profit community craft studio dedicated to supporting and promoting the teaching, learning and practicing of craft of all varieties. They’ll be throwing a free public housewarming party on December 3rd to celebrate the opening of their amazing new facility on Tyler St. with free tours of the space and exhibits. While you’re there, be sure to meet the instructors and  learn more about their upcoming classes.

December 3rd & 4th

Libana presents Artisans of India Holiday Marketplace

Libana is a global music ensemble that illuminates the creativity, vision, and spirit of the world’s women through  the performance  of traditional and contemporary music and dance. They’ll be hosting and performing at an India Holiday Marketplace in Union Square on 10am – 6pm Saturday the 3rd and Sunday the 4th from 11am – 6pm.  What will there be? Fair trade crafts, scarves and imports from India, Libana merch, and much more.

For more info including directions check out their handy flyer:

December 15th

The Weisstronauts’ Holiday Jubilee with The Rudds at Radio

The Weisstronauts will be playing their 12th annual Holiday Jubilee at Radio in Union Square to kick off the release of two new CDs, the full length “19 Something 9” and the EP “In Memphis 2.” Get ready for new tunes, holiday tunes, special guests (Hillbilly Holiday and The Rudds) and other celebratory goodness! Please note that the ‘nauts will be performing 2nd that evening and they’ll have tons of new merch available for purchase at special holiday prices.

December 16th

PA’s Lounge Annual Christmas Party 

If you miss the holiday tunes at Radio the night before, PA’s Lounge will be hosting their annual Christmas Party the next day. Details are still TBA but if it’s anything like last year’s party, good tunes and good brews should be plentiful so bring some friends and let loose.

December 23rd

Johnny D’s Holiday Party with Funky White Honkies

The Christmas Eve-Eve party kicks off at 10pm at Johnny D’s. Led by the fearlessly un-selfconscious and immensely talented Dinty Child, (perhaps best-known for being a member of Boston roots/rock masters Session Americana), the Funky White Honkies are a rag tag band of fine New England music veterans. More of a ‘tribe’ than a band, the Honkies have been around for years, providing a gorgeously joyous and free dance experience for people of every age, leanings, stripe, and style. With it’s large, rotating band of expert players, and under the spontaneous direction of Dinty, the Honkies converge for one purpose only: to get down and get dirty, laying down a set of grooves that start loose, and build inexorably to nothing less than pure, transcendent jazz/funk/punk fueled cacaphony.


Somerville Local Music: Live Hip Hop with Afro DZ ak All Starz

Nov 07 10:07 am

By Sam Coren

Afro D

Afro D

There seems to be a major lack of “real” fall here in the ‘Ville. But just because it’s cold and gross out doesn’t mean you can’t hit the town up for a night of great live music! Musicians operate like the postal service:  rain, snow, or shine – they’re gigging in it. So why don’t you toss on your hats and gloves and go rock those socks off to some of these fine upcoming shows:

November 9th:  @ Leo Nocentelli (Johnny D’s)

Everybody could use a bit more New Orleans funk in their musical diet. And no one knows how to bring it like Leo Nocentelli, guitarist and founding member of The Meters. Hop on down to Johnny D’s to get a big helping of Meters classics such as “Cissy Strut” and “Fire on the Bayou” served up fresh before your eyes by axe-master Leo.


November 11th:   Lovewhip,  Streight Angular, SPF 5000 (Radio)

If you haven’t checked out the new rock club in town, Radio, you don’t know what you’re missing. The new joint is housed in the former Club Choices spot across from Market Basket on Somerville Ave and is quickly winning over the hearts and minds of even the most jaded live music lovers in the hood. If you need an excuse to get down there and let loose don’t miss this eclectic line up of no-frills rock with a dash of EDM. Streight Angular will have you singing along to infectiously catchy pop rock anthems while their funky electro rocking friends Lovewhip will get your feet moving. Haven’t heard any new House beats in awhile? Be sure to catch the mega-fabulous SPF 5000.

November 12th:  Dave Alvin & The Guilty Ones (Johnny D’s)

Dave Alvin is bringing back the art of the barroom guitar, one gig at a time. This Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter plays a unique brand of Americana blues with brooding vocals that would be right at home in a Tarintino flick. His songs are deeply seeded in his roots as a 4th generation Californian who saw his hometown of Downey evolve from orange groves and dairy farms into tract homes and freeways.

November 13th: – Ryan Schmidt with Micah and Rhianna Larocque (Radio)


Need an evening of new live music you can feel safe bringing your mom to in a pinch? Boston indie folk singer-songwriters Ryan Schmidt and Micah will be sharing the bill at Radio with the lovely Rhianna Larocque from Maryland. Your inner Jason Mraz and Cat Power fan will thank you for not missing out.

November 14th:  Second Day Venom with Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor and The New Highway Hymnal (PA’s Lounge)

Into pretty sounding shoegaze ala Asobi Seksu? Check out Second Day Venom at PA’s, a local act that will start your work week right. Opening duties will be left to Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, a trippy psych rock group right out of Detroit that raided your Dad’s The Doors album stash.

November 16th:  Sticky Fuzz, Afro D All Starz, The Tree, Seth Wonkka, Dan Tedesco (Precinct)

You’ve never heard a trumpet player bust rhymes until you’ve witnessed the amazing Afro D (aka Pete Shungu). The MC/Trumpet player will be leading the powerhouse live hip hop ensemble called the Afro DZ ak All Stars, which consists of 8-12 musicians. How will they all fit on stage at Precinct? That remains a mystery. A must-see act for fans of The Roots, K’naan, and Roy Hargrove. They’ll be sharing the bill with Sticky Fuzz, The Tree, Seth Wonkka, and Dan Tedesco.

Somerville Live Music: Thief Thief Invades PA’s Lounge

Oct 10 2:30 pm

By Sam Coren

Thief Thief

Thief Thief

Fall is here and there’s definitely no shortage of great live music events in the ‘ville. This past weekend Jens Lekman did his Swedish pop musician thing at the Armory and thoroughly warmed up the castle for the upcoming Somerville Local First Harvest Fest. Before that, Honk! Festival fended off the rain with a New Orleans brass band that won Somervillians’ hearts called Young Fellaz. So where else can you catch some amazing live tunes in the next couple of weeks? Check out the listings below:

October 10th: Almost Blind (Precinct)

Providence’s Almost Blind will be cranking out emotionally charged punk in the same vein as Alkaline Trio and Against Me! this Monday night. They’ll be sharing the bill with other Rhode Islanders who are fall bit more onto the “experimental art rock” side of the fence:  The Universes, Txoka Txoka, and Portuguese American Nightclub

October 12th: Old New England Weather (PA’s Lounge)

With a band name like Old New England Weather you might be expecting depressing piano ballads to play on a windy, cold day. Fortunately that’s not the case. ONEW offer foot tapping headphone folk for music lovers who dig the likes of Harry Nilson and Dylan’s The Basement Tapes.

October 13th: The Good Lovelies (Johnny D’s)

Need some sunshine in your life? Pop on by Johnny D’s Thursday and catch the Good Lovelies at 7:30. Hailing from Canada, this JUNO award-winning all female trio will woo you with their three part harmonies and unique brand of swingy folk pop.


October 15th – Thief Thief (PA’s Lounge)

Should you get sold out of session 2 of SLF’s party of the year, Harvest Fest, you can cut your losses at PA’s lounge with Thief Thief. This experimental rock duo has been winning over droves of Marnie Stern and Hella fans with their massive wall of guitar sound and insane polyrhythms.

wrong answer! by thief thief


October 19th – The New Highway Hymnal with Karen Zanes (Precinct)

The New Highway Hymnal is perhaps one of the area’s best unsigned rock bands. The Haverill based group has been cranking out dark and twisted surf influenced psych rock since 2009. Opening duties will be handled by Karen Zanes, a local artist who’s making a name for herself with her trademark one woman shoegaze band sound. You might know her from The Freeways. With a glassy voice and minimalist reverb drenched guitar she’s sure to quickly grow on fans of Dean & Britta and Beach House.


October 21th: Oh! Pears with Dad Rocks and Arms & Sleepers (PA’s Lounge)

What’s not to love about the kind of live show where there’s more musicians than room on the stage? Oh! Pears is the new project of Corey Duncan, former guitarist of Pattern Is Movement. The Philly based chamber pop group features two violas, a violin, two cellos, four guitars, two drum situations, a flute, a trumpet, lots of vocals, and clapping. Be sure to pick up their new EP on band camp if you can’t get enough of St. Vincent or Beiruit.  Don’t miss Danish openers Dad Rocks! for more displays of awesome musicianship.


Somerville Live Music: The Return of The New England Pop Music Festival

Sep 12 9:54 am

By Sam Coren

Catch A Pony For My Birthday at The New England Pop Music Festival

Summer’s unofficial close came last week after the grills went out on Labor Day BBQs and Davis Square started booming once again with the college crowd. But if you dread making the trek to Allston for your live tunes because of a now unusable Green Line and 66 bus, don’t fret. There’s plenty of good shows to check out right here in the ‘ville. Here’s what’s shaking:

September 15-17 th:  New England Pop Music festival (Rosebud)

After the Abbey Lounge shut its doors in 2008, the New England Pop Music Festival went on a break. This 3-night festival showcasing a variety of local music from folksy singer-songwriters to head-shaking power pop rockers will have its much anticipated return at Rosebud in Davis Square. The action is happening this week from September 15-17th. So what should you expect from this new edition of the fest? 18 bands (many right from the neighborhood!) for $10 a night. Bands start playing at 7 PM, so come out early! Here are some notable acts playing this year:

Somerville’s Butterknife will be bringing their unique brand of alternative power pop to the ‘bud. According to local music blog Boston Band Crush, “We’d wager that there aren’t many bands that have as much fun playing live as these gentlemen and that joy is infectious. If you ska kiddies couldn’t get enough silly dancing in with The English Beat last week at Johnny D’s then don’t miss Allston’s The Pomps. Even those of you who say ska is “so over” can’t resist this Allston band’s fierce energy. If you’ve got a soft spot for cutesy boy/girl vocal harmonies and Wurlitzers you should make it a point to see A Pony For My Birthday. With a name like that who can stop themselves from feeling all warm and fuzzy.

September 15th:  Rajko Orchestra (Johnny D’s)

Raise your hand if you’ve heard world-class  Hungarian Gypsy music performed live? Bueller…..Buelller…..? Alright, well there’s a first time for everything. For those of you who need to fill that void, go see Rajko, an eight member orchestra with traditional instruments producing the “Authentic Gypsy music” sound of the 19th and 20th Centuries.


September 17: A Bit Much with TonyBear (PA’s Lounge)

Broken hearted? Good thing A Bit Much and TonyBear are playing PA’s lounge together. Their catchy brand of feel good powerpop will pick you right up as they duke out a battle between old vs. young.

September 20th: Electric Heaters, The Big Wipeout, Tsunami of Sound (Surf Rock) (Johnny D’s)

Fun fact:  Dick Dale, the prolific surf guitarist of the 1960’s was actually from Quincy, Mass. and never learned how to surf. Keep the Massachusetts surf rock pride going and boogie down to Johnny D’s for a weeknight of surf rock fun from 3 Mass-based acts.

September 20th: Something Sneaky with War Presidents (Precinct)

Newcomers Something Sneaky will be bringing Pixies-influenced riffs up from the South Shore. War Presidents will remind you of the time Ben Folds was playing in The Ben Folds Five. If the afterglow of New England Powerpop Fest wears off, head on over to Precinct and catch these local alt-rockers smooth out that chip on your shoulder.


Somerville Live Music: The English Beat, Dub Apocalypse, & Sea Monsters

Aug 30 10:56 am

Reports Photo: Hank Hauptmann

Can you hear the sound of a hundred U-Hauls putting around the neighborhood? It’s back to school time in the ‘ville and prime moving time for the immediate Boston-metro area. But once you’re done lugging all your personal belongings up many flights of stairs, why not take a well deserved music break?

Here are a few fantastic live music acts you can catch around town in the next couple of weeks:

September 3rd: Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys [7pm] (Johnny D’s)

Sorry Weird Al fans, but only the funky, soulful bayou sounds of tried and true Creole Zydeco can make the accordion a “cool” instrument. Give your earbuds the treat of authentic Louisiana Zydeco with one of the best, Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys.

September 3rd: Fat History Month / Reports (PA’s Lounge)

Nothing says back to school like a good old fashioned sweaty, fuzzed out garage rock show. The solution? Checking out local rockers Fat History Month. They’ll be headlining PA’s with support from Cambridge up and comers Reports.

September 4th: Sea Monsters (Precinct)

Long time local favorite rock and soul music collective Sea Monsters (you may remember them from last year’s SLF Harvest Fest) were long staples of Precinct last year until they got busy with other music projects. They’ll return this Sunday night for what’s sure to be an epic homecoming performance.

September 4th: Dub Apocalypse (Bull McCabe’s)

Just when you couldn’t think of the last time you went to see a reggae super group Dub Apocalypse drops down on the ‘ville for a Sunday residency at Bull McCabe’s. Don’t miss killer live dub reggae featuring member’s of Nate Wilson Group, Morphine, Dopapod, G-Love & Special Sauce, John Brown’s Body, & The B3 Kings.

September 7th: The English Beat (Johnny D’s)

Dust off your favorite checkered clothing because one of the best ska bands that ever existed is coming to the neighborhood! You’ll no doubt be skanking those arms at perfect 90 degree angles when The English Beat play their classic jams such as “Mirror in the Bathroom”, “Can’t Get Used to Losing You”, and (fingers crossed) my personal favorite, “Save it for Later.”

September 10th: Nate Rogers & Boston Band Crush Present: Mixtape 1978 with The Blizzard of 78 and Thick as Thieves (Rosebud)

Following their tributes to 1993, 1967, 1984, and 1997, Boston Band Crush invites The Blizzard of 78 and Thick as Thieves to pay homage to the music of 1978. Featuring tunes from The Rolling Stones, Foreigner, Toto, Buzzcocks, Blondie, Talking Heads, The Clash, Van Halen, Cheap Trick, Billy Joel, The Cars, The Police, Styx, Elvis Costello, Journey, The Bee Gees, and many many more. Check out the Facebook event for more details.


Somerville Live Music: One Man Bluegrass Band, Original Reggae & Live Synthpop

Aug 15 4:20 pm

By Sam Coren

DangerSounds' Sam and Dave

Union Square is getting transformed into music nerd heaven soon with the annual Somerville Rock and Roll Yard Sale happening August 21st and the opening of a new record store. Stay tuned for more Somerville Local First coverage on the much anticipated official opening of Somerville Grooves from Danielle Kennedy. Until then be sure to get out of the house and enjoy some of these great upcoming live shows during the next couple weeks at your trusty neighborhood independent music venues!

August 17th: Albino Mbie Project  (Johnny D’s)

Looking for a night of brilliant samba guitar work? Don’t miss NYC’s Albino Mbie Project throwing down soulful, latin-infused licks at Johnny D’s this Wednesday. Receita de Damba, a local Boston duo will be warming up the crowd.

August 19th: Pressure Cooker (Johnny D’s)

For over 14 Years Boston’s Pressure Cooker has been cranking out stellar reggae and rock steady originals. Their top notch musicianship and tight live sound are no doubt going to bring good times for those of you who want to start the weekend on the right foot.

August 20th: DangerSounds (Precinct)

I’m Burnin’ Up by DangerSounds
Need an excuse to just dance yourself into exhaustion on a Saturday night? Hop on down to Precinct Saturday for one of Boston’s most promising electronic duos, DangerSounds.  DangerSound’s Sam and Dave pump out funky electro jams for fans of Anoraak and Chromeo.

August 23rd:  Eric Royer (Johnny D’s)

Eric Royer’s claim to fame as a one man bluegrass band has served him well. In 2003 his interview on NPR’s All Things Considered brought his ingenuity and talent into the national spotlight. His crazy guitar/banjo/puppet contraption that he so masterfully plays is sure to bring the Johnny D’s crowd a big bluegrass bowlful of delight.

August 24th: Deli Magazines Summer Concert Series presents  The New Highway Hymnal (PA’s Lounge)

Indie music mag The Deli is sponsoring a night of New England rock at PA’s. Headlining will be the very trippy sound of Haverill surf rockers The New Highway Hymnal. Also on the bill and worth catching are,  Satellites Fall, an alternative power pop fans of The Smiths and Arcade Fire.

August 27th: Dirt Mall (Rosebud)

Rosebud is one of Davis Square’s best kept secrets for spotting early local talent. Dying for a dose of no-nonsense rock and roll in the same vein as The Hellacopters and The Cult? Check out Waltham’s Dirt Mall for pure unadulterated fun.

Know the inside scoop on good shows happening in the ‘ville? Tweet me at @samcoren for consideration in the next SLF Live Music post!

Somerville Live Music: Deep Heaven Now 4 Psych Rock Festival in Union Square

Aug 01 11:16 am

By Sam Coren

One of the best parts about living in Somerville is being in close proximity to some of the Boston area’s best live independent music venues. Who doesn’t love seeing up and coming talent for reasonably priced tickets in your own neighborhood? To give you a taste of what Somerville’s music scene has to offer I’ll be running a biweekly update with some of the most interesting music events playing in town:

August 3rd: Tribute to Blues Greats Robert Johnson & Mississippi John Hurt (Bloc 11 Cafe)
Aside making a well made cup of coffee, Bloc 11 in Union Square also serves as a good spot for blues, jazz, and singer-songwriter acts. Most of these music events are free, but you should definitely give the tip jar some love if you hear something you like. This Wednesday you can get over your hump day blues with musicians Craig Robertson and Zack Niman as they pay homage to Delta Blues legends Robert Johnson & Mississippi John Hurt. Show starts at 7pm.

August 4th: Mikael Mutti with Percussivo Mundo Novo  (Johnny D’s Uptown)

A world-class music prodigy makes a tour stop at our own Johnny D’s. Mikael Mutti’s fuses traditional Brazillian afrobeat rhythms with a dash of latin jazz and swirling synthesizers. Even cooler? Mutti’s featured all over the soundtrack for the 3D animated film Rio (2011) and he’s been known to make his own instruments out of various video game controllers.


August 5th & 6th:  Deep Heaven Now 4 – Union Square (PA’s Lounge and Precinct)
Endless Wave
Dig trippy guitar solos and crazy video light shows? Hop down to Union Square for the Deep Heaven Now 4 Psych Rock fest on Friday August 5th and Saturday August 6th. 26 bands will be playing Precinct and PA’s Lounge. For the low price of $10 a day you get access to both venues and the set times are staggered between the two so you don’t have to miss a band. Some notable acts that are not to be missed include local shoegazers Endless Wave and the far out experimental folk of Portland’s Herbcraft. For more info visit the Deep Heaven Now 4 Facebook event page and don’t forget to check out the compilation featuring all the bands playing in the streaming player below:


August 11th: Kobie (Johnny D’s Uptown)

It takes a lot of chutzpah to be a singer in a Prince cover band. However, if there’s anyone who could pull that role off gracefully it would be the Boston by-way-of DC singer-songwriter Kobie. When he’s not performing in Lovesexy, a tribute to The Artist, he’s bringing his original brand of sweet, funky soul to venues all over New England.

August 12th: Dave Sammarco Band (Sally O’Brien’s)

Got a hankering for some country fried rock? For those of you who doubt Somerville’s ability to deliver the sounds of the south, pay Sally O’Brien’s a Friday visit and catch Arlington’s Dave Sammarco Band in action. Nothing gets the weekend going like a nice glass of whiskey and shuffling your feet to some twang.

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