Senior Discount to perform Blink-182 set for anniversary show

senior discount

While bands typically play a retrospective set of their own songs to celebrate an anniversary, Senior Discount, of Rhode Island, will play a set filled with tunes from Blink-182 at their 11th anniversary concert at The Met in Pawtucket, R.I. on July 31st. Founding member Chuck Staton said Senior Discount wants to “shake it up as often as possible,” and this was the best way he knew how for their anniversary show. We recently caught up with Staton who reflected on his past 11 years with the band and what the future may hold.

Limelight Magazine (LM): Senior Discount is going to be celebrating its 11th anniversary with a special show at The Met in Pawtuck, R.I., on July 31st. You’re going to be performing the music of Blink-182. How did the idea for this show come about? Chuck Staton (CS): The reason we came up with this idea is two-fold. One is that we’ve always wanted to celebrate big occasions with something different. We respect different bands, and we respect the different ways that bands decide to handle shows. For us, playing our set – some old songs, some new songs, a couple covers – is great in the normal show setting. But when we can reach outside that and do something special, we want to do that. We know people can get used to seeing bands playing the same songs, and we want to shake it up as often as possible. So we’ve done things before that were special – we opened one of our sets at Lupo’s with a big marching band drum, doing “We Will Rock You”, with our lead guitarist coming out on the balcony dressed as Abe Lincoln to do the solo. We did an outdoor show in Providence where our guitarist disappeared from the stage and played his solo in one of our songs on top of a U-Haul way above the stage – we like to do memorable things, and something different, to set our shows apart. So we thought playing a set of Blink-182 songs would be cool because there are a lot of people who have seen us play our set tons of times – but to hear us play songs by a similar (and much much more famous) artist, for the first time, for a whole night, is something super different. The second reason is because we really think there’s a huge decline in live local rock shows. We started long time ago, when Facebook (and MySpace at the time) weren’t the way you reached out to people to promote. We would burn demos, print flyers, etc., and go out and physically promote. We got to those 18-year-old kids and said “Hey, we’re fun guys, we’re playing fun music, please come check out our show” and it turned a LOT of people on to the local scene in Providence, who maybe never knew about the great musicians playing locally and the scene around them. Since then, a lot of bands rely solely on social media, and you’re really not going to reach NEW people that way. You can spread the word to the people you know, the people within the community – but if you want NEW people to come out, you have to let them know about the scene and get them to come experience it. Playing music by some of the biggest bands of the past two decades, and mercilessly promoting that, is something I really hope will achieve that. I hope it will be a bridge for people to say, “Hey I love Blink-182, I’ll go check this out with some friends,” and I want those people to be impressed with Senior Discount, and at that point their foot will be in the door to the local scene. That can open them up to a whole new, very accessible, local music community.

LM: Will the band’s set list be entirely composed of Blink-182 material or will you throw in some of your own songs as well? CS: It will be a set of Blink-182 songs, but I wouldn’t rule out a Senior Discount song appearance.

LM: Other artists performing are SoundOff (performing the music of Green Day) and Rob of The Pogs and John of Bad Larry (performing the music of Goldfinger). What can you say collectively about these acts and what they add to this show? CS: SoundOff is a younger band who has been following in our footsteps for a long time. The lead singer Eric Macksoud was added to our band, so he’s going to be pulling double-duty for this show. SoundOff is a bunch of young guys and I’m really hoping they step it up, promote really hard, practice really hard and pull off an awesome set and show. When we played our CD release at Lupo’s with Badfish, I also talked to the bookers on that show to get SoundOff on the bill for that, and they really pulled their weight, so I’m hoping they do it again. There’s nothing more important on a show then to have bands care about playing a good show, and doing the work to get people there to see it. I trust SoundOff to be that band. “The Goldfinger Tribute Band” (as I’m calling it because they refuse to come up with a name) is made up of guys from The Pogs, Bad Larry, Pickle Spill: Aisle 6 and Riley so they are band veterans who know what to do. I’m super psyched to see their Goldfinger tribute set and the less I know about it, the better! I want to be surprised. However – later this month, I will be interviewing Rob from the Goldfinger tribute band on my podcast. So I’m excited to learn more about his history and relationship with being a musician.

LM: When you founded Senior Discount, did you ever expect to be around 11 years? CS: I think I did expect to be around for this long. We started the band for fun but as soon as we started playing good shows, I think I realized that I loved writing and playing music, and that Senior Discount is a part of me that I had been waiting to express. I think that some bands represent a certain type of sound, or a genre – and Senior Discount is the opposite of that. People think of Senior Discount as a punk band or a pop-punk band but it’s bullshit to. It’s easy to pigeon-hole us that way because some of our songs and our live show, and we love that music so we’re fine with it. But our influences are actually all over the place. Senior Discount represents the music that the people in the band want to create. Period. So to me, there’s no limitation on how long we could be around. As long as we love music, I think Senior Discount exists. We dealt with a lot of hardships in 2011/2012 and the band didn’t play for a while, but the band still existed. At one point, we were down to just two members – Christian and I – and we came out with an EP together as Senior Discount. To me, I’m never going to be out of Senior Discount. It’s too close to my heart.

LM: Reflecting back on the past 11 years, do you have any specific moment or special memory that stands out above the rest for you personally? CS: Oh man. A moment that stands out for me personally….I think when we played the House of Blues in Boston and it was sold-out, while also we were selling out Club Hell in Providence in the same month. The reason it was so great was because it was two completely opposite situations. Club Hell held 350 people, we were headlining, and we sold it out on our merit, which I was extremely proud of. House of Blues was us opening for Girl Talk, it was 3,500 people, and it was sold out before we even got on the show – so not one ticket was sold to someone whose intent was to see us. Both shows went so well (even though we were super nervous about the House of Blues show) and the situations were so wildly different, that I really felt a pride in the idea that we could do anything. It was an insane time and I was incredibly proud of the band.

LM: You’ve had a few different members in the line-up over the years. Do you still keep in touch with any former members? CS: For the most part, we still keep in touch. Some more than others.

LM: What do you like most about the current line-up which features yourself, Christian Staton, Abe Correia, and Eric Macksoud? CS: What I like most about the current line-up is that there’s a new dynamic onstage. A huge part of Discount is our personality, and I think Christian, Abe, Macksoud and myself all have a new set of personalities to deal with onstage and to be exaggerated in the videos. I really honestly believe that not everyone belongs in the art collective that is the band, the videos and the podcast – and Abe and Macksoud (as the newest members) absolutely 100 percent have the comedic personalities for it.

LM: Senior Discount released their last studio album in 2013. Are there plans to release any new material in the future? CS: We’ve been in the process of writing a new full-length called The Great American Single since around 2008. We never had enough money to do it, so we did an EP in 2009. We had a member leave and we wanted to re-establish ourselves as a more serious band, and put out material with the line-up at the time. Then we did an EP in 2012 when two members left and we wanted to show that we were going to make it through that time – and then we added seven songs to that in 2013 to make it a full-length of songs from the new line-up, but we never had enough money at once to record a full-length so it didn’t happen (also partly because we kept having statements to make with what was going on in the band). So there is a ton of thought put behind The Great American Single, but I don’t think we’re going to sit down to write it until we know we can. If we finish a new song, we’re going to be so psyched on it that we won’t be able to help ourselves from playing it live – which isn’t great if we have no means to record it, because by the time we do record it, it’s an old song. So I want to do that yet, but we need to put a plan in place to do it.

LM: Other than music, what are some of the things you like to do in your spare time? CS: Senior Discount is interesting because it spawned a lot of things. My bachelor’s degree is in film, and I’ve been making short films since before I played guitar. When we had our first big show responsibility, we were trying to think of a way to promote the show, and we came up with the idea of making a very short, viral video – except this was before YouTube was popular. Our show was June 25, 2004. We came up with a video under five minutes and it was our first video. In the past 11 years, we expanded them to be from five minutes to 28 minutes (in sitcom episode-esque fashion) and we’ve done about 45-ish more since then, plus a feature-length documentary about the band, and recently a pilot episode for a TV show about the band. So writing/directing/acting in comedy is a huge thing that I do, and we’ve incorporated that largely into the band – to the point we’ve done multiple live events that revolve around our scripted comedy videos, including a sold-out screening at the largest movie theatre in the Providence Place Mall for our full-length documentary. On top of that, I do a weekly podcast called “Agreeing to Disagree: The Chuck and Brad Podcast” that also started because we wanted more content for the band. We were making a new website and wanted a reason to create weekly content, so my friend Brad Rohrer (co-writer/star of the Senior Discount videos) sat down to record a podcast about our life in the arts (me with the band, he with the Providence Improv Guild). It’s now a weekly show about our lives in the arts, our personal lives, our love of mainstream movies/music/games/books, and interviews with local artists of all kinds (musicians/stand-up comedians/visual artists, etc.). This has also led to Senior Discount-related live events – we’ve done a few live podcasts so far, all of them including all the members of the band in new live segments and videos, and it’s an excellent addition to the world of Senior Discount. Our website is balanced between the three entities (Senior Discount music, Senior Discount videos, and the podcast) and those three things are very different creative endeavors I love to dedicate my time to. I also really seriously dedicate time to devouring new live art (stand-up and music mostly), which is fuel for the podcast – and I take my relationships very seriously so I’m consistently getting together events and trips for my close friends and I to partake in, as odd as that sounds. It’s very time-consuming but worth it. People tend to grow up and leave their friendships behind, and I think it’s a heart-breaking and sort of pathetic.

LM: Is there anything else you’d like to add? CS: I guess I’d just like to say I think that there’s this kind of elitist, judgmental part of being inside any local music community. Maybe some portion of the scene thinks that certain genres are cooler or “better” than other, maybe a portion looks at “mainstream music” fans as being outsiders – and I f*cking hate it. It’s bullshit. I think it hurts the scene, I think it hurts the community aspect of the scene, and I think it’s just plain ugly. It makes the idea of getting into local music unattractive. You don’t want to deal with those people who are going to knock you down for doing something you love – and to be honest, I’m kind of ashamed to share the community with them. I’ve been in a band for 11 years. I’ve played all up and down the East Coast, I’ve worked my ass on practicing, on writing, on promotion, etc. – and I have never have said that I didn’t respect a band based on genre or my personal likes/dislikes, or give a cold shoulder to people who aren’t part of the local music scene. I really want to discourage that behavior, and this show represents that. I love Blink-182 and Green Day – I don’t care if they’re two of the biggest bands in the world. I’m proud of them for achieving that, and I’m super proud that I’m so into this music that so many other people connect to on a deep level – but I feel like a lot of the people in the scene kind of shit on bands like that because of a combination of genre and popularity. Senior Discount is DIY, 100 percent independent, artists making art, no money, no leg-up, just work – we’ve proven it a hundred times over – and I still can’t wait to bust out some of the biggest pop hits of the past two decades. I want new people to feel welcome. I want new kids to feel invited into the scene. No negativity, no elitism, no genre-hating or pop-hating. If you love serious, super successful, widely loved pop-punk music that had often ruled the summertime radio playlist – come out to this show, express that, and learn about some more bands you might love!

Photo - Senior Discount set

R&B legend Bettye Lavette returns to the Narrows Center in Fall River

Bettye Levette photo

FALL RIVER – Two time Grammy nominee Bettye LaVette returns to the Narrows Center in Fall River, Mass., this Saturday, June 20, at 8 p.m. Click HERE for tickets.

LaVette is an interpreter of the highest order. Whether the song originated as country, rock, pop, jazz or blues, when she gets through with it, it is pure R&B. She gets inside a song and shapes and twists it to convey all of the emotion that can be wrought from the lyric.

LaVette was born Betty Jo Haskins on January 29,1946, in Muskegon, Michigan. Unlike many of her contemporaries, LaVette did not get her start in the church, but was weaned on the C&W and R&B records of the time that were playing on the juke box in her parents’ living room.

In 1962, at the age of 16, she became Bettye LaVette. Her first single was “My Man–He’s a Loving Man” on Atlantic Records. The record charted #7 R&B and put her on her first national tour, with Ben E. King, Clyde McPhatter, and other Atlantic stars of the time. She continued recording throughout the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s including stints on Atco, Epic, and Motown.

She worked alongside Charles “Honi” Coles, and Cab Calloway in the Toni Award-winning Broadway musical, Bubbling Brown Sugar, in the role of Sweet Georgia Brown.

2012 marked her 50th year in show business. It also saw the release of both a new album, Thankful N’ Thoughtful (ANTI- Records), and her autobiography, A Woman Like Me (Penguin), written with David Ritz. The book is currently being developed as a feature film by producing partners John Wells (The West Wing, ER, etc) and Alicia Keys’ company AKW. At President Obama’s personal request, she also performed at the prestigious annual Fords Theater Gala in Washington DC. Her most recent album, Worthy, was released in January of this year.

LaVette is one of very few of her contemporaries who were recording during the birth of soul music in the 60s and is still creating vital recordings today, as opposed to resting on her laurels and recreating sounds of the past.

To quote LaVette: “And still I rise!”

Tickets are available through the venue’s website,, or by calling the box office at 508-324-1926. They will also be available at the door.

Gallery X to host book signing by former New Bedford resident

NEW BEDFORD – Los Angeles filmmaker Adam P. Cray returns to his native New Bedford to sign copies of his new book Last Seen at Gallery X on Sunday, June 28, from 4 to 6 p.m. The supernatural crime thriller Last Seen is a work of fiction based in and around New Bedford and focuses on two homicide detectives investigating a string of mysterious disappearances in the city.

“Last Seen began as a short film I produced in New Bedford, “said Cray. “The film screened at the Building Bridges to the Homeland Film Festival in New Bedford (on April 19, 2009), and various other venues. The response was so positive, I decided to move forward with a feature screenplay, which eventually evolved into this novel.”

Cray grew up in Westport and graduated from UMASS-Dartmouth before moving to New Bedford. He relocated to Los Angeles in 1999 and has worked for both 20th Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Cray has also studied acting at James Franco’s Studio 4 and with film and TV veteran Clu Gulager.

Cray is currently finishing a new supernatural feature screenplay with producing partner Bryan Duran and is considering the future of Last Seen as a feature film or possible TV series.

Though he’s lived on the West Coast for 16 years, Cray has continued to produce films in the SouthCoast.

“Growing up in rural Westport first sparked my imagination as a child,” Cray says. “I continue to be creatively inspired by Southeastern Massachusetts and its surrounding areas.”

Last Seen went on sale on on June 8 and can be purchased HERE. Books will also be available for sale at the Gallery X signing. The afternoon event will also include a reading from Cray’s novel as well as a screening of clips of films that he has produced in and around New Bedford and the SouthCoast. The original Last Seen short film will also be screened.

For further information on “Last Seen” and future events, please go to or email

Gallery X is located at 169 William Street in New Bedford. It is a contemporary, cooperative art gallery of visual, performing and literary artist members and volunteers.

Promo Last Seen


Psychic Medium Kim Russo coming to the Narrows Center in Fall River July

If you’ve ever wondered what lies in the world beyond, you can connect at the Narrows Center in Fall River, Mass., on Friday, July 17th, at 8 p.m., when psychic medium Kim Russo, host of the Lifetime series The Haunting Of, makes undeniable connections with her audience, giving them a first-hand glimpse into the world beyond. Purchase tickets HERE. (VIP tickets are also available for a post-show meet and greet with Russo).

Often referred to as “The Happy Medium”, Russo believes that she has been given the gift of clairvoyance and makes it her mission to share it with the world. The detailed messages that she receives from the spirit world are living proof that the spirit continues beyond the physical death of the body. While she was growing up, Russo would often see random spirits in her bedroom and sometimes felt their presence while walking home from school. The spirits used to scare her, but she is now comforted by their presence, speaking to them more than she speaks to the living on some days.

A practicing Psychic Medium for nearly 20 years, Russo is a Certified Medium with The Forever Family Foundation and the Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential. Her readings have offered much comfort and hope to those who seek her services in the Long Island and Metropolitan New York areas.

Russo has also appeared on A&E’s hit show, Paranormal State, and is currently helping many children develop their psychic abilities. She has also recently appeared on a few episodes of the hit TV show Psychic Kids in addition to hosting The Haunting Of, which currently began its fourth season.

The Narrows Center for the Arts is located at 16 Anawan Street. Tickets to his show can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 508-324-1926. For those wanting to purchase tickets in person, box office hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12 noon to 5 p.m.

Photo - Kim Russo

Stryper’s Michael Sweet to rock Plymouth

Michael Sweet

PLYMOUTH – After a sold out performance last year, Michael Sweet, front man of the multi-platinum rock band Stryper, returns to the Spire Center for Performing Arts in Plymouth, Mass., on Saturday, December 12, 2015, at 8 p.m. for a special Christmas show. The concert will feature Stryper classics, songs from his solo career, and Christmas staples. Purchase tickets HERE.

With a career and repertoire spanning over three decades, Sweet has fronted one of the most trailblazing groups of the MTV generation, written a stable of Billboard charting singles, filled arenas all the world over, said goodbye at the peak of it all, took stock in a thriving solo career, got Stryper back together for yet another record breaking run and even took a stint co-leading one of the most legendary classic rock acts ever, Boston, from 2007 to 2011.

Musically speaking, Sweet is coming off yet another creative high in the Stryper camp thanks to its 2013’s return to form record No More Hell To Pay. Besides making an instantaneous Top 40 debut on the Billboard 200, it landed at #3 on Top Hard Rock Albums and #6 on Top Rock Albums. It’s certainly a testament to the band’s perseverance, whetting the public’s appetite all the more for Sweet’s I’m Not Your Suicide, which may technically be the follow-up to 2007’s individual offering Touched, but is actually the singer/songwriter’s first full-length original album since 2000’s Truth.

For this special intimate show at The Spire, Sweet will take you on a journey throughout his musical career, performing songs and sharing stories in an unforgettable evening of stellar musicianship. Local band Shell Shock opens the show!

The Spire is located at 25 ½ Court Street in Plymouth. The venue features superior acoustics, custom state of the art lighting and sound systems, and original period architectural details, offering patrons an exceptional performing arts experience.

Advance tickets are available through or through the venue’s website,

ADVERTISEMENT - Y&T @ Narrows Center in Fall River, MA ON March 8, 2016. Click on image to purchase tickets.
ADVERTISEMENT – Y&T @ Narrows Center in Fall River, MA on March 8, 2016. Click on image to purchase tickets.

Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre to perform in Plymouth, Mass.

Martin Barre (of Jethro Tull)
Martin Barre (of Jethro Tull)

PLYMOUTH – Martin Barre, legendary guitarist for Jethro Tull for 43 years, is celebrating the music of Jethro Tull with a concert at the Spire Center for Performing Arts in Plymouth, Mass., on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, at 8 p.m. The concert will feature Jethro Tull classics and songs not played for many years. Tickets can be purchased HERE.

Barre’s sound and playing have been a major factor in Jethro Tull’s success. Album sales have exceeded 60 million units and they continue to be played worldwide, representing an important part of classic rock history.

Barre’s guitar playing has earned him a high level of respect and recognition. He was voted 25th best solo ever in the USA and 20th best solo ever in the UK for his playing on “Aqualung”. His playing on the album “Crest of a Knave” earned him a Grammy award in 1988. He also influenced such contemporary guitarists as Joe Bonamassa, Steve Vai, Joe Satrini and Eric Johnson.

As well as numerous Jethro Tull albums, Barre has worked with many other artists including Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Gary Moore, and Chris Thompson and has shared the stage with such legends as Jimmy Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.

As Jethro Tull is taking a long break from touring, Barre has put together a band to play the “classic” music from the Tull catalogue. His band, under the title of Martin Barre’s New Day, is a total commitment to give Tull fans and a broader audience the chance to hear tracks not performed for many years. The band includes other members of Tull and top musicians from a similar background.

The Spire is located at 25 ½ Court Street in Plymouth. The venue features superior acoustics, custom state of the art lighting and sound systems, and original period architectural details, offering patrons an exceptional performing arts experience.

Advance tickets are available through or through the venue’s website,

‘Big Break’ leads to big things for Kevin Herchen

Kevin Herchen
Kevin Herchen (Photo by Kristen Pierson)

Kevin Herchen is an award-winning singer-songwriter from Providence, R.I. He took an interest in music at an early age and won a number of awards in music when he was a student at West Warwick High School. After performing in two bands, Herchen went solo, but still wishes he had the time to do both. He enjoys playing local venues and has a captivating style and a passion that can be heard in his original work and his covers of songs from other artists. He recently won The Rhode Show’s “Big Break” contest, presented by Cardi’s Furniture, which enabled him to record a music video for his original song “Stronger” that was broadcast on WNAC-TV during the season finale of American Idol. He will be playing at the Lighthouse Bar at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I. on Thursday, May 21, at 8:30 PM.

Limelight Magazine (LM): You recently won The Rhode Show’s “Big Break” contest which was presented by Cardi’s Furniture. How do you feel about being this year’s winner?


Kevin Herchen (Herchen): I feel great! I am very excited about this honor and about what it may mean for my future as a singer/songwriter and I am very grateful and blessed to have the tremendous support of my family and friends.


LM: One of the prizes was a professionally recorded music video that was featured in a Cardi’s Furniture commercial and broadcast on WNAC-TV during the season finale of “American Idol.” Why did you select the song “Stronger” to be the music video?

Herchen: “Stronger” is one of my favorite original songs and one of the newest songs I’ve written. I also feel as though it tells a great story and sends a message of hope and triumph in the face of adversity and odds in life, which everyone can relate to on some level.

LM: Are you pleased with the way the video came out?

Herchen: Yes! I was very impressed by the technique and care that went into the process by everyone involved.  It was a lot of fun and the creative design was inspiring.

LM: Every singer-songwriter has their own songwriting process. Please walk us through how you go about creating a song?

Herchen: I wish I knew! If I could pinpoint it, I would be able to do it better and more often. Seriously though, I usually try to write songs with emotion and songs that have a universal truth or tell a story. Usually lyrics and melody/music go hand-in-hand and come together at the same time, sparked by some type of inspiration.

LM: When did you first become interested in music?

Herchen: I feel like I’ve been interested in music my entire life. My father plays guitar and sings, so I feel like I’ve been around music forever. Once I saw the “Johnny B. Goode” clip from Back to the Future in 1985, I began entertaining neighborhood kids from my front step and knew it was something I loved.

LM: According to your bio, you won several awards in music when you attended West Warwick High School in the 1990s, including best guitar solo at the Berklee College Jazz Festival in 1996. Did those awards help validate that you were doing the right thing by pursuing music?

Herchen: Absolutely! Much like winning The Rhode Show Big Break Contest this year, those awards helped to validate the hard work and effort that went into music as my passion.

LM: You were also in a few bands, including Raiding Neptune and HearSay, but you’re now a solo artist. Do you have a preference for one over the other and why?

Herchen: To be honest, I wish I could do both.  Playing solo and playing in a band each has its own unique fun. It’s like two totally different worlds and each allows me to play different songs and explore different options.  

LM: You’ve obviously played a lot of gigs in your life. Do you have any favorite venues to play? Are there any local venues in New England that you’d still like to play?

Herchen: I enjoy outdoor venues the most. I play at George’s in Galilee on select Saturdays in the summer and it’s always a great atmosphere. I enjoyed opening for The Kingston Trio at The Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence, R.I., and I love the artistic crowd at The Met in Pawtucket, RI.  The Paradise Rock Club in Boston, Mass., has a nice stage and a great crowd that enjoys listening to original music.

LM: You list a lot of musical influences on your Facebook page. If you had to narrow it down, who are some of your biggest influences?

Herchen: Wow! That is very tough. If I had to pick five, I would have to spread it out among my favorite genres and among the bands/singers that have had an impact on me at significant times in my life. I would have to choose Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, Jackson Browne, Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Chris Stapleton, and John Mayer.

LM: Do you want to continue playing music for the rest of your life or do you have other goals?

Herchen: I would love to play music for the rest of my life but to continue to improve and progress further in my musical career.

LM: Outside of music, do you have any hobbies or things you like to do?

Herchen: I am a HUGE Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots fan! I love sports and I love being outside by a fire pit or by the beach in the summer and spending time with family and friends. I am also extremely interested in health, fitness, and nutrition.

For more info about Herchen, visit

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Advertisement – Click on the above image to purchase tickets!

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