WreckdoM turns ten

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WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Geoff WreckdoM » Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:46 pm

I'm revisiting each entry as I write these, some I haven't listened to in some time. I've also encouraged Richard WreckdoM to dust off his message board id and chime in, I'm sure he remembers some stuff I don't. I've forgotten a lot.

WreckdoM - Isaac is a friend from back home in Ohio I've known since 1995, maybe 94. He inadvertently introduced me to songfight by sharing MC Stephen Hawking's website with me. I was instantly fascinated with songfight. When Isaac moved in with me and my girlfriend at the time we continued drunken discussions about how great it would be to form "Austin's worst band" and we would name it "Pukahnus", and also about how great it'd be to send submissions into songfight. I had already thought of the name Wreckdom and really liked it, and actually wanted to save it for something with more promise than just me and Isaac goofing around with funny sounds on a computer. I don't know how or why we wound up using it instead of Pukahnus. We really liked that name. Isaac got Fruity Loops on the recommendation of his friend Colin, who was kind enough to come over and show him how to get started with it. When we decided it was time to submit, for reasons I can only blame on inebriation and enthusiasm, we convinced ourselves we would submit to every fight (three a week at the time) every week for as long as we could. If it took barely any more time than the the song's actual length to write and record it, than so be it, we would be in the fight. We were equally driven by this strange, self imposed endurance test as we were in expressing ourselves creatively, and I think that remained the case for most of that first year. I can't tell you why that was exactly but I will certainly admit to a prankster element. We both really liked the idea that even though we weren't musicians we were still free to enter and compete, and that we had somewhat of a captive audience. We would be like a goofier Lightening Ear Fart or Catknife Horsebomb, and even if everybody hated us it would still be rewarding, and most importantly, fun.

Blueberry Hassle - You're basically listening to self taught Isaac's first attempt at fruity loops. One reviewer actually said something like "that's not how you use fruity loops" and we were shocked this person could tell what we used. Everything you hear was it's own turntable, and the song is him turning them on and off live while recording. The song's length is determined by the theremin track I did, which is played exactly twice in the song both forwards and backwards simultaneously. I'm the high pitched "blueberry"" Isaac is the low one, he slowed the speed of his down I think. He took his mp3 recorder to work and got several coworkers to say something about blueberries into it, including, at 1:55, Ike making his first of many appearances as a WreckdoM member. I remember hearing his uncanny Ahnold voice and wanting him back, he was also immediately fascinated with songfight and wanted in, and was in our very next song. We were very pleased with this song, it was definitely the one we worked on the most and the one that took the longest to finish that week.

Lizard Wizard - Mostly something Isaac and Ike did, I remember walking in the house and those two were huddled around the computer wearing huge smiles, them playing it for me and I was really impressed. They asked me if I wanted in and Isaac just recorded the first thing that popped in my head, first take. That's how Isaac liked to do things, that was his philosophy as a producer, hit record, use it all. He also liked to not record when you thought you were doing a take but that was seldom intentionally. So we had a lot of laughing and off the cuff comments, starting with this entry. I really like this song. That's Ike with those deep vocals and as far as I know he wrote what he's saying, I'm sure I didn't. He could do this super deep, creepy voice but it tore his throat up something awful. That's Ike and I on trumpets, Isaac saying other random stuff. You also hear my dog Dixie make her first of many WreckdoM appearances, sometimes we sampled her but mostly her barks were live as they happened, as she liked to talk to us a lot and was especially fascinated with music making. Oh yeah, and we decided right away we wanted the "blueberry" sample to be in every song. That didn't last long.

Upcoming Downtime - I mentioned Colin giving Isaac his first tutorial of fruity loops, I don't know if the backing track of this song is something he made while showing off fl or if it's something he had already made and put on Isaac's computer. Again, Me, Isaac and Ike were hanging out, probably immediately after wrapping and submitting Lizard Wizard. Isaac plays this for me and I start talking about pants pooping in an old man voice and he insists we record it immediately. You can hear them both laughing at me. I don't know why, incontinence is no laughing matter. When we submitted our songs we screwed with the punctuation each time, one was "WreckdoM", one was "WRECKDOM" and one was "WrEcKdOm" or something like that. I'm grateful to the fightmaster that picked for us, he chose the best one. That was one of many times we were inadvertently a total pain in the ass to those guys. I don't why they didn't tell us to just piss off, I would sure have been tempted to if I were in their shoes, looking back on it.
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Generic » Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:55 pm

This is neat. A Wretrospective!
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Geoff WreckdoM » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:32 pm

Silent Pipe - This song features Isaac's girlfriend at the time, Rachel. Rachel had a rockabilly thing going on with tattoos and all, she was not the type of lady Isaac usually hung out with. I remember I liked her at first, especially since she'd record stuff for us, but I never quite felt the same about her after she told us she once got rid of both her cats because they had ringworm which she was very allergic to. This would've made more sense if she didn't then get new cats. I mean, her cats didn't want ringworm either. It's not genetic, it goes away with treatment, same as people. It was off-putting. Anyway, here she is whispering stuff I wrote for her, and that's Isaac and I talking backwards. I'm very interested to know what we are saying, but I don't know how to play this song backwards to find out. We use backwards talking alot and I think we got pretty good at saying stuff in a way that sounded cool backwards. I guess this is my first time writing lyrics for WreckdoM, since Upcoming Downtime was all off the cuff.

Here Comes my Dragon - This is a song Isaac did all by himself. I think I had given up on the idea of submitting to all three fights and just wanted to make sure we were in one a week, and Isaac stayed up late one night, and the next day I got an email with this song and him saying "what do you think? already submitted!" If he didn't say that with this entry I know he did on some other. But anyway I know I didn't do anything on this song at all, it just existed one day.

Across the Dusty Plains - This song was never posted on songfight, and I think it may no longer exist. Someone might have it floating around somewhere but I sure don't and haven't heard it for years. I remember I played this concertina we had, and we recorded a bunch of our friends who were over one night just for weekend partying or what have you, and convinced them to all sing these four silly lines I had written. It was like "Across the dusty trails / Along the twigs and leaves / We go marching up the trail / along the twigs and leaves" and they sang that twice. Rachel was also sampled from some random time calling Isaac an asshole while he was recording her, probably because he was recording her. It was very slapped together, and when I sent it along in an email I said something to the affect of "Even we feel bad about this one" which suggested to the fightmasters that we were trolling rather than expressing ourselves creatively with this entry, and that we didn't really believe in it, so they didn't post it. It was a good lesson for us to learn, we were very much in a "Hey, look at us, we're on the internet!" mindset. Our public discussion about it with the fightmasters led to a big row on the message boards about submitting to more than one fight a week. We decided not to do it anymore. It had never occurred to me that someone was footing the bill for this website and maybe they didn't really want us putting BS on their tab. I remember Abominominous especially upset with us because he liked submitting songs to all 3 fights and now, thanks to us, it was taboo. What a great first impression this was for us to the community, we went over like a lead balloon. Filled with poop.
Last edited by Geoff WreckdoM on Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Geoff WreckdoM » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:50 pm

Danger Bus - There's actual guitar and bass on this song, thanks to house guests coming over and being coerced into playing something for us. The two things didn't match at all, they both were completely different and when we listened to them afterwards I remember thinking I had no idea how we were going to use them. I wish I could say who was responsible for them but I have no idea. A bunch of people were over, I remember being asked what it was we wanted and just saying to do whatever. I don't think Isaac even played a beat or click track for them to play along with. Everything I'm screaming is made up on the spot. Initially I wanted to write lyrics but they weren't coming, so it was decided to scream wildly some of the themes we had been discussing for lyrics. Just went crazy with it, maybe I was still a little chapped about songfight chastising us so thoroughly. Probably I was little tipsy, too. I remember Rachel saying they were really dark, but she still went along with doing some samples for us. I also heard in the background Isaac quoting Hubert Selby Jr. from his cameo on "Requiem for a Dream" saying "Mash Potatoes", we later sample the heck out of Hubert for the song "Minister and Man". The sampled screaming laughs at the end of this song were and still are my favorite part. We laughed and laughed while working on this, and loved the finished product.
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by RangerDenni » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:33 am

this is great, I love this thread! I forgot to send you your photos from your show! Eeek! This would be a good time :)
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Geoff WreckdoM » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:29 am

Nicely Toasted - I know I've said we liked what we were doing, but never were we so pleased with ourselves as we were with this song. I still dearly love and enjoy listening to this. We didn't have or know how to play keyboards, this was done with the tones already available with fruity loops, I guess? I described that "doop doop deep deep" thing to Isaac and this is what he came up with. Listen to me try my hardest to keep up with it and stay on beat and fail utterly. Ike can't do it either, it's like too fast for that many words. Ike and I also play mouthharp for the first of many times. Ike brought two mouth harps with him every time he came over. We recorded them in the hall and when my girlfriend saw these two hairy hulks huddled next to each other in the narrow hall banging away at mouth harps she cracked up. There's another instrument in there I can't quite place that wound up in many more WreckdoM songs. Nothing subtle with these guys, I tell you. Those crazy echoes and laughing are left over from the gang vocal recording of "Across the Dusty Trails". Isaac and I were so drunk by the end of one evening working on this song that I heard him saying he was changing something, and then he just started erasing and moving stuff haphazardly, so I stopped him as soon as I realized what he was doing and got him to leave it til the next day. This one is lucky to be alive, and riddled with happy accidents. When Ike was done recording his part we knew we wanted more Arnold, and I think it was Isaac who had the idea of him pretending to be kidnapped. Dixie barked as if somehow knowing she had to get a last word in, she was a very intuitive collaborator. This song is the best. For a very long time it was my favorite of ours and became the essential example of what I wanted to do with WreckdoM. I was kinda crushed when it got 3 votes, one of which was certainly Isaac's, and another one was probably Ike.
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Geoff WreckdoM » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:54 am

Zombie Son - This is one I was dreading revisiting. I'm remembering now this recurring feeling I had of having an idea for a song and that idea getting drowned in our limitations, and something weird and not together memorable would sometimes come out instead, and when the song was finished feeling a little disappointed. When people came over to the house and we forced a bunch of WreckdoM songs on them, this was never one of them. Hey, it's really not so bad though. It's creepy. I wrote this poem about the Zombie Son, Ike did that tear up his throat voice to echo it. Isaac recorded a lot of atmospheric stuff all the time, conversations and whatever other noises, he carried that recorder with him constantly. He'd clip a mic to his shirt to record conversations and no one would know. This features actual rain from outside our back door, I hear the screen door to this house slam at the end of the song. For those listening along this one is in the archive under "Geoffrey Glass" because I forgot to include our band name in the email I sent them. We didn't say anything on the boards and someone recognized us. I think it was Karl's Mom and the Delicate Flowers. I was stoked someone had picked us out. Mogosagatai of that band was our first ever songfight fan. And we wound up collaborating with him a few times. He was our first sf collab too, I think. Well, this song is nowhere near as bad as I remembered it, I kinda like it. We wound up doing creepy a lot too.
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Geoff WreckdoM » Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:15 pm

RangerDenni wrote:this is great, I love this thread! I forgot to send you your photos from your show! Eeek! This would be a good time :)


If you got some, we'll take them! That video was awfully nice :)
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Geoff WreckdoM » Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:38 pm

She's on my mind - It's a country song, obviously! Our intention was to make a country song. The two vocal takes did not come close to lining up or following the same rhythm, again, I don't know if I was recording to a click track or not, but probably not. Isaac just set them next to each other and left them as is. But we did try to make a country song, with mouth harp, theremin and a sample from Captain Beefheart's "Sho'nuff and yes I do", and with this title obviously we would write about a man's actual brain being stepped on. We loved to go for the most obvious, literal interpretations. Ike thought my lyrics were funny, but I recall he didn't like the finished song. Ike would tell us he didn't the song was it was done sometimes, and I always appreciated that. I knew he was being honest. That clicking percussive sound is difficult to do for a long time. I can't recall if it's live the whole song or a loop, but I know I did it a long time, and so did Ike I think. This is pretty playfully weird, and that was when we were at our best.
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Albatross » Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:56 pm

Generic wrote:This is neat. A Wretrospective!

I agree. Highly Wreckdommended.

I've always found WreckdoM's evolution as a band one of the more fascinating things to watch on Songfight. And I'm looking forward to the stories behind "Punk Bartender" (their first win, which was freaking hilarious) and "Not Exactly Normal" (which p++ covered).
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Geoff WreckdoM » Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:17 am

Here is me and Isaac 10 years later! We had lunch Yesterday with Colin for Colin's bday. I would've gotten his picture too, but he hates having his image recorded, and it was his bday, so I let it go. when I get to a point in these recollections where he joins the band I might try to get a pic then. Also I fb'd Ike and hope to meet up with him soon

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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Billy's Little Trip » Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:06 am

Congrats, eh. Keepin'er real for 10 years, for frig sack. Hope to see another 10 years, boys.
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Paco Del Stinko » Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:15 am

Great stuff, fellas. Congrats on ten years and for doin' what gots to be done!
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Geoff WreckdoM » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:13 pm

Dinga Da Donga - Another instance where I wrote with a clear idea of a song in my head that Isaac and I were completely incapable of realizing. These are verse-chorus-verse-chorus lyrics, but up against our wall of noise treatment that was our one and only specialty at the time. Isaac sampled himself grunting, and me going "oooh" and "aaah". Jim of Seattle was assigned to cover this in an original flavor coverfight and I was super excited to hear him realize the rhythmic and musical qualities I had wanted these lyrics to have in the first place. Instead he did a wall of sound with his daughter on vocals and everybody loved it and had no reservations declaring it head and shoulders above the original. As you can imagine, I felt kinda shit on, clearly the community was capable of liking wall of sound, just not OUR wall of sound, and to be perfectly honest, while I didn't mind JoS's cover, I didn't see what was so much better about it. It was noisy and non rhythmic too. So I felt alienated, more so than usual, and in fashion that was typical for me at the time, I responded to these negative feelings with complete silence. I don't think I ever said one thing to JoS about his cover after I heard it. Pretty dang rude. If you're reading this Jim, I apologize. He even said he didn't mind our wall of sound cover of his "Field Day". Man, I can be a real rude, narcissistic bastard sometimes. So, our Dinga Da Donga does show some progression in production savvy, what with the radio sound on the response vocals. Geez, we musta done multiple takes and everything. The sample comes from the "Gremlins" story time 45's you could buy at Hardees, and is accompanied by more trumpet. This is not a song I revisit too often.
Last edited by Geoff WreckdoM on Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Geoff WreckdoM » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:29 pm

A Very Unlikely Occurrence - We wrote these lyrics down and were reading them off the paper huddled together, hence the at times awkward delivery. That's me, Isaac and Ike explaining what would happen if we ever won songfight. We recorded the vocals with no idea how the music would be. I went back home to Ohio before it was done, I remember Isaac telling me he was going to sample the Godfather music, I don't know why. I heard the finished product for the first time streaming from SF while back home, meeting my first nephew for the first time. I think I was disappointed at first but really I kinda like this. We got a kick recording these lyrics. The hooting and hollering at the beginning is us imagining winning, we really wanted to someday. Ike and I laughed at our surfboard adlibs quite a bit after the fact. We sure amused ourselves, alright. I still laugh at these lyrics, especially mint juleps, "we got fat" and "then we died". Good stuff.
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Geoff WreckdoM » Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:40 pm

Talk about your feelings - After coming back from being out of town, it didn't seem like we could line stuff to put a song together. I think I had resigned to just miss this fight, and then Isaac churned this one out on his own in one night. My guess is he made it after a night at Barfly's, and that the song is about a conversation he had at Barfly's. Sounds like he's telling someone it's OK to see a therapist. I think the opening sample is from the Weird Al movie UHF.
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Geoff WreckdoM » Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:49 pm

There are so many possibilities - I've watched the movie Casino over and over, maybe more so than any other Scorsese film. It's not my favorite, I just find it extremely revisitable. I'd wanted to use those Pesci samples for a while. The other samples come from an educational cassette tape about how to read people's body language. I can't say which one of us decided to use beatboxing, but it's not live. I did some beatboxing and Isaac cut it up and used the loops to make a backbeat that's actually pretty rhythmic. He was getting pretty good at cutting up samples. We didn't often stick to this consistent a tempo and beat, and I think Isaac really chose to screw the beat up, or maybe half that, half accident. Anyway, Colin and I have frequently marveled at Isdaac's inherent anti-rhythm. It's uncanny. This is another stand out song from 04. I love this song.
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Geoff WreckdoM » Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:16 pm

A Promise is a Promise - The idea behind this one is that I would record one half a conversation, making it up as I go along, and then record the second half while listening to the first half for the first time. After recording the first part Isaac liked what we had so much he wanted to leave it as is. The phone rang while we did the take and it was my friend Edy, the drummer for the band I was in at the time, Rubber Robot. He was confirming our practice that night at 630. I continued to ham it up, Isaac laughs a little in the background. So we did then need to have someone on the other line and we probably could've done better than a return from Mr. Poop Pants, seems like sheer laziness on my part. Isaac really liked self reference, he was always putting snippets from previous entries in new ones. That's me on trumpet, I don't actually know how to play trumpet, but you slap some echo on there and it sounds like I know what I'm doing, right? The guitar samples come from a Gam song, I believe. Isaac's production skills were getting better every week.
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Geoff WreckdoM » Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:50 pm

So Kind, Stacey - I believe that Isaac was keeping Colin aware of WreckdoM while we were doing it. I'm not sure exactly when I met Colin officially, we figured out much later we'd met socially a few times. My earliest memory of him is him coming over with Steel Reserve, a malt liquor I had never had before. I don't think I've ever had it since either, but to this day Colin will sing it's praises. Anyway, I bring him up not because he was in this song, but this was a song in particular that he really liked. This probably was instrumental in him joining WreckdoM. I believe he became the guitar player for Rubber Robot first (we were practicing without a guitarist at the time) but the two were practically synonymous. Colin and I were fast friends, I believe the same was true of Isaac and Colin. So anyway, what I can say about this song is that, again, Isaac was getting better at building songs all the time. The theremin is sampled, likely from a different song. I think I recorded the lyrics first, before there was any music, and the two don't really line up. Back then, that was our specialty.
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Caravan Ray » Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:12 pm

Pretty sure that So Kind Stacy by Wreckdom was the first songfight song I ever heard - after randomly stumbling across the website one night. It didn't frighten me away
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Geoff WreckdoM » Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:26 pm

Say the word - This song was no overnight thing, we definitely worked on this several times throughout the week. I wanted Ike to sing the lyrics because I had no confidence in my abilities as a singer. Everything we did before this was talking or goofy not singing, "So Kind Stacey" was really as close to singing as I'd done, and Isaac pitched shifted those vocals pretty heavy. I had a very specific cadence and style in mind for the verse and chorus and I didn't want it to go the way of "Dinga Da Donga", so I tried to communicate these ideas to Ike and have him perform them. He liked the lyrics, he thought the part about bumming smokes was about him, as he did bum the hell out of your smokes, but it wasn't. So he sang and played his acoustic guitar on the same track. Later on, we're working on it, trying to get it to fir with this other part we making that included the song title, and it's just not working the way we want it to. We needed Ike to do it again, but this time to a click track and with vocals and guitar on separate tracks. See how professional we were getting?!! We needed guitar and vocals to be on separate tracks, and to a specific beat! We scheduled a time for Ike to come over to do it, and for some reason I couldn't be there. I remember repeating to Isaac "Make sure we get guitar and vocals on different tracks" Professional! Well, that's not what they did at all. They replaced the problem track with a new track that had the exact same problems. All Isaac could say in his defense was that Ike was determined to play guitar and sing at the same time, and that he couldn't do it along with a click track. I was kinda ticked. I told Isaac to do whatever he had to but I wanted to submit a song. So he sped it up and I it sounded great. Ike did not care for it, he was not shy in telling us so. We liked it though. It got far and away more votes than any other WreckdoM song had before, and we were so jazzed by that. 2nd place! We were convinced we could win some day. On more than one occasion people expressed incredulousness at the aspect of us getting a decent amount of votes (or more than the person griping, anyway), but you know, sometimes weird sells. I've learned a lot from being in WreckdoM, and one of the things, though not on this song, I don't think, was to relax and not be so much of a control freak, go with the flow and something cool will still happen, don't fall asleep, but, you know, don't be so bossy either. Share in the creative flow. I'm still pretty bossy, though.
"perhaps the most offensive and disturbing image I've ever heard in a song" - Hans Gruber
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Geoff WreckdoM
Rin-Tin-Tin
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Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:13 pm
Instruments: Theremin
Recording Method: Pabst Blue Ribbon
Location: Awestin, TX
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Re: WreckdoM turns ten

Post by Geoff WreckdoM » Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:28 pm

Caravan Ray wrote:Pretty sure that So Kind Stacy by Wreckdom was the first songfight song I ever heard - after randomly stumbling across the website one night. It didn't frighten me away


Wow! Well I am also very glad we didn't scare you off! That's neat!
"perhaps the most offensive and disturbing image I've ever heard in a song" - Hans Gruber
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