Rowland S. Howard RIP

Influential Melbourne guitarist Rowland S Howard dies

Rowland S Howard

Rowland S. Howard. Picture: Karen Dodd Source: HWT Image Library

MELBOURNE musician Rowland S Howard has lost his battle with liver cancer.

He passed away this morning, aged 50.

Howard was waiting for a liver transplant and had cancelled recent shows due to illness.

The influential guitarist came to prominence as a member of Melbourne punk band the Boys Next Door who became The Birthday Party, fronted by Nick Cave.

Howard wrote their iconic hit Shivers, and his guitar skills would inspire a generation to come.

The guitarist was also a member of bands including Crime and the City Soultion and These Immortal Souls.

His second solo album, Pop Crimes, was released in October to critical acclaim.

His final gig was at the Prince of Wales in October to launch the album.

In an interview with Rolling Stone to promote the album Howard spoke of his years of poor health.

“Being told that you've only got a couple of years to live without a transplant is a pretty frightening experience and certainly changes the way you feel about your life, [it] makes things so much closer."

Rowland appeared in this year’s Melbourne punk scene documentary We’re Living on Dog Food, released with the DVD of Australian film Dogs in Space.

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Espers @ Sanctuary




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Cold Cave @ Echo

Cold Cave



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BEST RECORDS of the 21st Century so far
By Alexander Laurence

1. Brian Wilson - Smile
2. Sigur Ros – Agaetis Byrjun
3. Primal Scream – XTRMNTR
4. Radiohead – Amnesiac
5. Antony and the Johnsons – I Am A Bird Now
6. Gorillaz – Gorillaz
7. Arcade Fire – Funeral
8. Black Mountain – In The Future
9. Joanna Newsom – Ys
10. Bat For Lashes – Two Suns

11. PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
12. Goldfrapp – Felt Mountain
13. The White Stripes - Elephant
14. LCD Soundsystem – LCD Soundsystem
15. Blonde Redhead - 23
16. Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
17. The Kills: Keep on Your Mean Side
18. The Strokes – Is This It?
19. White Stripes – White Blood Cells
20. Fiery Furnaces – Blueberry Boat

21. Sparklehorse – It’s A Wonderful Life
22. DFA 1979 – You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine
23. Mercury Rev – All Is Dream
24. The Hives – Veni Vidi Vicious
25. Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
26. The Coral – The Coral
27. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
28. Sparklehorse/Danger Mouse - Dark Night of the Soul
29. Trail of the Dead – Source Tags and Codes
30. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular

31. TV on The Radio – Return To Cookie Mountain
32. Hope Sandoval – Through The Devil Softly
33. Colder - Again
34. The Streets – Original Pirate Material
35. Jose Gonzalez – In Our Nature
36. Burial – Burial
37. Bat For Lashes – Fur and Gold
38. Ali Farke Toure – Savane
39. Wire - Send
40. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever To Tell

41. Devendra Banhart – Rejoicing In The Hands
42. Cold Cave – Love Comes Close
43. Portishead – Third
44. LCD Soundsystem – Sound Of Silver
45. The Magic Numbers – The Magic Numbers
46. Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights
47. CSS - Cansei De Ser Sexy
48. TV On The Radio – Dear Science
49. Blonde Redhead – Misery Is A Butterfly
50. The Big Pink – A Brief History of Love

51. Bob Dylan – Love and Theft
52. Adult: Anxiety Always
53. Burial – Untrue
54. Murcof - Cosmos
55. Beck – Sea Change
56. Secret Machines – Now Here Is Nowhere
57. Singapore Sling – The Curse of Singapore Sling
58. The Pleased - Don't Make Things
59. The Kills – No Wow
60. Devendra Banhart – Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon

61. Goldfrapp – Seventh Tree
62. The Horrors – Primary Colours
63. The Knife – Silent Shout
64. Mogwai: Happy Music for Happy People
65. Fiona Apple – Extraordinary Machine
66. A Place To Bury Strangers – APTBS
67. TV on The Radio – Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
68. Soundtrack of Our Lives – Behind The Music
69. White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan
70. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend

71. UNKLE – War Stories
72. Elliott Smith – From A Basement On The Hill
73. Ladytron – Light & Magic
74. A Place To Bury Strangers – Exploding Head
75. Klaxons – Myths of The Near Future
76. The Walkmen – You & Me
77. Fever Ray – Fever Ray
78. Spiritualized - Amazing Grace
79. Loretta Lynn – Van Lear Rose
80. The Vines – Highly Evolved

81. The Libertines: Up The Bracket
82. Ray La Montagne – Gossip In The Grain
83. Doves – The Last Broadcast
84. The xx - XX
85. Teddybears – Soft Machine
86. Grandaddy – The Sophtware Slump
87. White Stripes – Icky Thump
88. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
89. Giant Drag – Hearts and Unicorns
90. A Girl Called Eddy – A Girl Called Eddy

91. ARE Weapons – ARE Weapons
92. Wire – Object 47
93. Hecuba - Paradise
94. Wolfmother – Wolfmother
95. Super Furry Animals – Rings Around The World
96. Black Dice – Beaches & Canyons
97. Raveonettes - Chain Gang of Love
98. Liars – Liars
99. MIA – Arular
100. Autolux – Future Perfect

101. Beth Gibbons and Rustin Man – Out of Season
102. Mull Historical Society - Loss
103. PJ Harvey – White Chalk
104. Soulsavers – Broken
105. Fischerspooner - #1
106. Clinic – Walking With Thee
107. Queens Of The Stone Age – Songs For The Deaf
109. Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – How I Long To Feel Summer In My Heart
110. Ryan Adams - Gold

111. Band of Skulls – Baby Darling Doll Face Honey
112. David Holmes – Bow Down To The Exit Sign
113. Super Furry Animals – MWNG
114. Shelby Lynne – I Am Shelby Lynne
115. Arab Strap – Mad For Sadness
116. Badly Drawn Boy – The Hour of Bewilderbeast
117. Low – Things We Lost In The Fire
118. The Polyphonic Spree – The Beginning Stages of…
119. The Notwist – Neon Golden
120. British Sea Power – The Decline of British Sea Power

121. Junior Boys – Last Exit
122. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus
123. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
124. M83 – Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
125. Calla - Televise
126. The Futureheads – The Futureheads
127. Richard Hawley – Cole’s Corner
128. Gorillaz – Demon Days
129. Scott Walker – The Drift
130. Art Brut – Bang Bang Rock and Roll

131. The Black Angels - Passover
132. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
133. Oasis – Dig Out Your Soul
134. Annie - Anniemal
135. Last Shadow Puppets – The Age of The Understatement
136. Grinderman – Grinderman
137. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
138. The Veils – The Runaway Found
139. The Divine Comedy – Absent Friends
140. The Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldiers

141. Hot Chip – Made In The Dark
142. The Knife – Deep Cuts
143. Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Raising Sand
144. Amy Winehouse - Black To Black
145. Joanna Newsom – The Milk-Eyed Mender
146. Broadcast – Tender Buttons
147. Cat Power – You Are Free
148. Soulwax – Nite Versions
149. Liars – Drum’s Not Dead
150. The Rapture - Echoes
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VOICEsVOICEs to tour US with Prefuse 73 and Gaslamp Killer this January ; "Origins" out next month

VOICEsVOICEs to tour US with Prefuse 73 and Gaslamp Killer this January ; "Origins" out next monthExperimental rock duo hit the road on the US as both the openers and the live backing band for Prefuse 73. He also will be playing with their band as well.
MP3: Flulyk Dreams (Edit)

"Their sound-- part ambient electronic, part primal scrawl-- is tough to pin down and always taking unexpected turns"
Pitchfork Media

"schized-out drone pop"
VOICEsVOICEs are a two-piece making warm, seductively atmospheric, mostly instrumental music from Los Angeles. Formed in June of 2008, Jenean Farris and Nico Turner, came together to break away from the musical mold they were confined to in previous projects to defy what they've been taught, and challenge what they know. Their use of pedals, looping, spellbinding vocals, and heartrending drumming results in hauntingly beautiful music that will awaken even your most subconscious dreams and fears. L.A. Record says "Los Angeles has one of the most exciting music scenes going on in the world right now and in the center of all this is the darling female duo, VOICEsVOICEs."

Both musicians were originally drummers for other bands and wanted to show that drummers were creative musical forces and more than merely providers of backbeats for other people's songs. The project began as an experiment in the creation of sound, with masking vocals that swirl like ghosts in a sea of reverb, beats and distortion, creating a sound that amounted to a beautiful clutter. Although they hadn't much experience performing other instruments prior to combining their forces, or perhaps because of it, they developed a psychedelic ambient sound that is unique in a way that separates them from the other bands in the abundant Los Angeles music scene.

While they both still play drums and various percussions, they learned to incorporate guitars, pedals and looping effects, even as they were still learning to play the instruments. Rather than procrastinate in a rehearsal space, they chose to perform live as often as they could at any place that would welcome them. Through dozens of shows in their early months, they developed their style and their fanbase at the same time, playing mostly in galleries and all age venues. Rather than relying on luck to be discovered, and confident in the power of their sweeping scores, they released their first self-produced and self-released ep, "Sounds Outside" within a few months of forming and it was warmly received, garnering rave reviews from Los Angeles publications like LA Record and grabbing the attention of influential label Manimal Vinyl and producer Prefuse 73.

Quickly advancing to the the top indie rock clubs in town like Spaceland, The Echo and The Smell, their fanbase and reputation grew in leaps and bounds. They were immediately snatched up by Manimal Vinyl who is releasing their new ep "Origins" in January. The EP was produced by Prefuse 73, who postponed his own recording for the opportunity to work with the band. In the studio, Prefuse added textural instruments and arrangements and brought the two musicians vocals closer to the forefront. The result is a combination of compositions that fall somewhere between Enya and the Plastic Ono Band. Barely a year after combining forces, VOICEsVOICEs were opening shows for artists like Blackheart Procession and Octopus Project In November, 2009 they were tapped for a month-long European touring with Brightblack Morning Light and Rio en Medio. Their shows are notable for attracting some of the top local musicians and scenemakers who become avid fans after one or two listens. Their soundscapes will send you into a peaceful slumber or make you scream and want to break things, sometimes causing both reactions at the same time.

ORIGINS OUT 01.26.2010 on Manimal Vinyl

12/31 Aragon Ballroom Chicago IL #
01/19 Music Hall Of Williamsburg Brooklyn NY *
01/20 Middle East Downstairs Cambridge MA **
01/23 Eagle Theatre Pontiac MI **
01/25 Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis MN **
01/29 The Nightlight Lounge Bellingham WA *
01/30 Neumos Seattle WA *
01/31 Holocene Portland OR *
02/02 Slims San Francisco CA *
02/03 Troubadour Los Angeles CA *
02/05 Urban Lounge Salt Lake City UT **
02/06 Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom Denver CO *
# w/ Umphrey's McGee
* w/ Gaslamp Killer, Voices Voices
** w/ Gaslamp Killer


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Sic Alps





Sic Alps are playing January 9th at the Wiltern with Sonic Youth.

Photos: Lila Schaffler
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Melt Banana @ Troubadour 12/16

Photo: Lila Schaffler
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Best of 2009 lists GUY BLAKESLEE

BEST OF 2009 list
by Guy Blakeslee of THE ENTRANCE BAND

V/A- I Woke Up One Morning in May (Mississippi Records)
Abner Jay- The True Story of Abner Jay (Mississippi Records)
Bishop Perry Tillis- In Times Like These (Mississippi Records)
Joseph Spence- Good Morning Mr. Walker (Mississippi Records)
V/A- Mortika (Recordings from a Greek Underworld) (Mississippi Records)
V/A-String of Pearls (Jewels of the 78 rpm era, 1918-1951) (Mississippi
Fred McDowell- S/T (Mississippi Records)
Nirvana- Live at Reading DVD (DGC)
Kurt Vile- Childish Prodigy (Matador)
V/A- Fire In My Bones (Raw+Rare+Otherworldly African American Gospel,
1944-2007) (Tompkins Square)
Group Bombino- Guitars from Agadez Vol. 2 (Sublime Frequencies)
Group Doueh- Treeg Salaam (Sublime Frequencies)
Animal Collective- Merriweather Post Pavillion (Domino)
The Growlers- Are You In or Out? (Everloving)
Fool's Gold- S/T (I Am Sound)
Sonic Youth- Live performance in Birmingham, Alabama @ Sloss Furnaces

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Gallery is here. All SLITS photos here taken by Angel Ceballos in San Francisco.

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Noise Pop 2010

Magnetic Fields, Mark Kozelek, Rogue Wave, Atlas Sound, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Four Tet, John Vanderslice,
We Were Promised Jet Packs, Wallpaper, Zee Avi, The Limousines & Foreign Born

The 18th Annual Noise Pop Festival Will Take Place February 23 through March 1, 2010
Industry Noise Will Take Place On Saturday, February 27th, 2010 At The Swedish American Hall

Click Here To See Pitchfork Premiere Noise Pop 2010 Lineup

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The Slits @ The Echo SUNDAY

Gallery is here. All SLITS photos here taken by Angel Ceballos in San Francisco.

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Top Twelve Gigs of 2009

NUMBER ONE! October 6th: Fever Ray @ Glass House

This was an amazing gig. It was underattended. It was a special night.

NUMBER TWO - October 2nd: Thom Yorke + friends

I still can't believe I was at this show.

NUMBER THREE - Sept 10th: Nine Inch Nails @ Wiltern

The final gig. He played for three hours. Everyone looked pissed off.

NUMBER FOUR - June 16th: Bat For Lashes + Hecuba @ El Rey

Great show. Harder than hell to get in.

NUMBER FIVE - April 16th: My Bloody Valentine @ El Rey

Another amazing night and can't believe they let me in.

NUMBER SIX - March 21st: Black Mountain @ Echoplex

First time I had seen these guys, so it was a special night.

NUMBER SEVEN - August 29th: The Dead Weather @ San Diego Street Scene

If you went to one show this year, you should have saw these guys.

NUMBER EIGHT - July 2nd: Amazing Baby + Band of Skulls @ Hammer Museum

This gig was hilarious for all the nonsense surrounding it.

NUMBER NINE - Feb 27th: St. Vincent @ Great American Music Hall

This was the surprise show of this year's Noise Pop 2009.

NUMBER TEN - Oct 21st: The XX @ Mercury Lounge

People were lined up hours before the gig, and I was one of the last ones let in. This gig featured all four members.

Honorable Mentions:

NUMBER ELEVEN - Feb 24th: Antony and The Johnsons @ Nob Hill Masonic

Another great Noise Pop show. Only time I have been to this venue.

NUMBER TWELVE - May 27th: The Prodigy @ Hollywood Palladium

First time I have seen The Prodigy. Worth noting.
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Dot Allison "Paved With A Little Pain"

Paved With A Little Pain single - plus elxclusive hand written lyrics
Dot's second single 'Paved With a Little Pain' is now available to buy digitally from all the usual places. The song is taken from her critically acclaimed album, 'Room 7 1/2'
Buy Paved With A Little Pain (Radio Edit)
7 digital
There are also some beautiful, framed, hand written lyrics for Paved With A Little Pain, available exclusively as a one-off from hmv
Cry Remix Competiton Still Open
The remixes are starting to come in at a rapid rate ahead of the Decmber 31st deadline. You can listen to them all via the soundcloud player on Dot's MySpace or on the group Soundcloud page
Download the parts from the song 'Cry' from Dot Allison's acclaimed new album 'Room 7½' and create your own personal remix. Win this competition and you will have your own remix selected and commercially released with Dot Allison's album version of 'Cry'. Your mix will be featured alongside another original remix and the winner will be hand picked by acclaimed Scottish dance stalwarts Slam.
All the parts can be downloaded now from Dots' soundcloud page: http://soundcloud.com/dotallison/sets. The closing date is December 31st 2009.
Triangle Soundtrack
Dot recently collaborated with Christian Henson for the horror movie Triangle. Dot's voice is a large part of the original score.


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Gallery is here. All PEACHES photos here taken by Angel Ceballos in Seattle.

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Mumford & Sons



New York, NY -West London indie rock quartet MUMFORD & SONS is set to release their critically acclaimed US debut album, Sigh No More, March 2nd on Glassnote Records. They will play several headlining dates in North America in early 2010 in support of the release (dates below.)

On their debut, Mumford & Sons have created a gutsy, banjo-driven, old-time sound that marries the magic of Crosby, Stills & Nash with the might of Kings of Leon and the harmonies of Fleet Foxes. Sigh No More was recorded at Eastcote Studios, where Arctic Monkeys, Brian Eno, Tindersticks and Laura Marling have honed their sound. The band teamed with producer Markus Dravs who has worked with such superstar acts as Arcade Fire, Bjork and Peter Gabriel. Sigh No More was recently released in the UK to critical accolades. The album debuted in the UK iTunes Top 10 recently and is being lauded by tastemaker publications such as NME ("A band who know they're onto something not just good, but spectacular") and Q Magazine ("A record that swings from arresting fragility to hearty dynamics.") The first single, "Little Lion Man," is already being boasted as "The Hottest Record In The World" by Radio 1's Zane Lowe, and the band has been longlisted for the BBC Sounds Of 2008 Poll, which features the most promising new music talent.

Formed in 2007, the band's goal since day one has been to make music that matters. Before recording their debut, Mumford & Sons self-produced three EPs and toured the UK extensively, bringing their rootsy rock across the country. The band recently wrapped a handful of well-received performances during the annual CMJ Music Marathon in New York, which left TIME OUT NY to comment, "The Brit combo has a spine-tingling way with harmony."

Mumford & Sons are Marcus Mumford (vocals, guitar, bass drum, and tambourine strapped to his left foot and right,) Ben Lovett (keyboards,) Country Winston (banjo, dobro, electric guitar) and Ted Dwane (bass.)

Tour dates for Mumford & Sons:

2/9 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour

2/11 - San Francisco, CA - Popscene @ 330 Ritch

2/15 - Toronto, ONT - El Mocambo

2/18 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom

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APTBS + The Big Pink



03/10/10 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
03/12/10 Seattle, WA
@ Neumos
03/13/10 Vancouver, BC
@ Venue
03/14/10 Portland, OR
@ Doug Fir Lounge
03/18/10 Minneapolis, MN
@ First Ave
03/19/10 Madison, WI
@ Turner Hall
03/20/10 Chicago, IL
@ Metro
03/22/10 Newport, KY
@ Southgate House
03/23/10 Cleveland, OH
@ Grog Shop
03/24/10 Toronto, ONT
@ Mod Club
03/26/10 Montreal, QUE
@ Cabaret
03/27/10 Boston, MA
@ Paradise
03/28/10 Hoboken, NJ
@ Maxwells
03/30/10 New York, NY
@ Webster Hall
03/31/10 Philadelphia, PA
04/01/10 Baltimore, MD
@ Rams Head Live
04/02/10 Chapel Hill, NC
@ Cats Cradle
04/03/10 Atlanta, GA
@ Masquerade
04/05/10 Tallahassee, FL
@ Club Downunder
04/07/10 Houston, TX
@ Warehouse Live Studio
04/08/10 Austin, TX
@ Parish
04/09/10 Dallas, TX
@ Granada
04/10/10 Lawrence, KS
@ Bottleneck
04/11/10 Denver, CO
@ Bluebird
04/12/10 Salt Lake City, UT
@ Urban Lounge
04/14/10 Phoenix, AZ
@ Rhythm Room
04/15/10 San Diego, CA
@ Casbah

A Place To Bury Strangers and The Big Pink will hit the road on a North American tour March 10th, 2010 in San Francisco. The tour sees the bands hitting select U.S. and Canadian cities before heading back to the west coast to end the tour April 15th, 2010 in San Diego. The kindred bands have been neighbors on many of 2009’s year end best of lists and The Big Pink proudly uses APTBS frontman Oliver Ackermann’s Death By Audio pedals.

A Place To Bury Strangers’ sophomore album “Exploding Head” was released on Mute October 6th, 2009 and debuted at #1 Most Added at College Radio week of release. In their 4.5 star review of the album, Alternative Press says "Like Sonic Youth before them, the trio have perfected the fine balance of loud and quiet, the result being one of the finer melody-driven noise-rock records in recent memory." “Exploding Head” continues to rake in the praise, making a nomination for Best Band In New York from the New York Press.

And the Philly Daily News writes of their live show; "Foot pedals lined the stage, lending the band their signature mix of blissed-out shoegaze and dramatic new wave. The band barely spoke, but poured their passion into the tunes, with front man Oliver Ackermann hunched over his guitar like an animal, swinging his arms wildly. His vocals—when audible—sounded a bit like Ian Curtis, and the whole thing—when viewed primarily in flashes of strobe light—seemed overwhelming and surreal. Welcome to an alternate reality. Welcome to APTBS."

A Place To Bury Strangers are Oliver Ackermann (vocals/guitar), Jono MOFO (bass) and Jay Space (drums). They release “Keep Slipping Away,” the second single from “Exploding Head” December 7th, 2009. Stay tuned to Myspace this weekend for the “Keep Slipping Away” video premiere!

“Keep Slipping Away Tracklist
Keep Slipping Away (Radio Edit)
Hit the Ground
Keep Slipping Away (South Central Remix)
Keep Slipping Away (Cereal Spiller Remix)
Keep Slipping Away (Maps Remix)
Keep Slipping Away (Richard Fearless Remix)
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More top ten CDs of 2009: Gliss, Zaza

Victoria Cecilia (Gliss)

1. Peter Doherty: Grace/Wastelands
2. The Warlocks: The Mirror Explodes
3. The Big Pink - A Brief History Of Love
4. A Place to Bury Strangers- Exploding Head
5. The Horrors - Primary Colours
6. Graham Coxon - The Spinning Top
7. Bon Iver - Blood Bank
8. Camera Obscura -My Maudlin Career
9. The Morning After Girls – Alone
10. Choir of Young Believers - This is for the white in your eyes

Jennifer P. Fraser (Zaza)

1. In and Out of Control by the Raveonettes
2. Two Suns by Bat For Lashes
3. Fever Ray by Fever Ray
4. Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride by The Black Ryder
5. Rewild By Amazing Baby
6. Does You Inspire You By Chairlift
7. Veckatimest By Grizzly Bear
8. Midnight Boom By The Kills
9. Exploding Head By A Place To Bury Strangers
10 The New Sarena Maneesh record
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