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Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees © kobbydagan, used under license

Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees performs on stage at the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival Village on September 20 in Las Vegas. Photo © 2014 by kobbydagan and used under license.

Tyler Glenn just released a new song and video, “Trash.” Tyler’s a gay Mormon who had a faith crisis after the LGBT policy change last November. One of the things that most fascinates me is why people leave faiths, and the process people go through, as it’s usually a difficult change that upends a significant part of their lives.

An excerpt from the Rolling Stone piece by Brittany Spanos about his new song and recent life:

At the time Glenn came out in 2014, he was still a believer in the Mormon church, having been raised in the faith, gone on a mission and continued to be a member of the community in Salt Lake City, where he remains. “I always tried to make being gay and being Mormon work,” he says. Glenn had hoped he’d become an ambassador to his church on behalf of more progressive views, until the church confirmed that they would excommunicate members who participated in same-sex relationships. Now, he sees himself as a different kind of ambassador.

“The big problem here is that they claim it’s the only truth,” he says. “There have been over 40 suicides within the church as a result of this policy. These aren’t just grown men and women. Many are children. It’s backwards. It’s not of God. I needed to make this statement to artfully show the pain of a faith crisis and the darkness of doubt, but also that there’s ways to reclaim what is yours.”

One commenter said, “I haven’t witnessed this much righteous anger and passion in a song since Hozier’s ‘Take Me To Church.’

Part of Tyler’s situation is that several months ago, a fifth definition of apostasy was added to the LDS Handbook of Instructions, section 6.7.3. Note that it’s numbered item 4 even though it was added fifth:

LDS apostasy definitions

…[A]postasy refers to members who:
4) Are in a same-gender marriage.
Priesthood leaders must take disciplinary action against apostates to protect Church members. […]

Tyler hasn’t resigned, and he’s likely to be excommunicated for a combination of his song and his recent Mormon Stories podcast (linked below). As an example of recent LDS church actions, Bruce Holt was reportedly excommunicated for this single FB post. (more context here)

Tyler said in this interview:

“No, and I won’t resign,” he said. “I think it’s important if they decide to excommunicate me, that they do it in the proper way… I want to see change. I don’t hate the Mormon church, I’m really upset with the system and the idea that they claim it’s from God.”

Trash Video

Video’s here in the Rolling Stone Interview.

For those of you who are LDS and who may be offended by the above video, you may also watch David A. Bednar’s “Choose Not To Be Offended talk on

Purchase/Streaming Links

Tyler Glenn’s Mormon Stories Podcast Episodes

John Dehlin, founder of the Mormon Stories podcast, did a several hour episode (in three parts) with Tyler Glenn recently.

It’s one of the few episodes I’ve listened to in full, and it really talks about what it’s like to be fully in and then have the door slammed in your face like Tyler did last November.

My Interest in Tyler’s Story

As a Californian, one of the things that’s angered me since 2008 is the participation from Mormons in Utah (and the LDS church itself) in passing Prop 8. Back then, Rick wrote an essay on why—even if you agreed that gays shouldn’t marry—it was so difficult to clearly define “male” and “female.” Sex biology is far more complex than most people realize.

Those of us who are LGBT/QUILTBAG or allies are quite horrified about some of the stories coming out about LGBT Mormons and the struggles they face. Earlier this month, 22-year-old Lincoln Parkin took his life. I was heartened to discover people like Virginia, a commenter on the above story:

We are mormons too and I have two gay children who are one of the most wonderful people I know. I thank God everyday for giving them to me. We are 100% behind them for support and love. They are God’s children too. I hope that people can give unconditional love like Jesus did.

If you know LGBT Mormons, or Mormons who have LGBT family, it’s a good time to help ensure that those in faith crises know there are people there who care. People growing up, especially in the Morridor where Mormons are a high percentage of the population and therefore, given LDS values about LGBT people, may not have adequate support systems in place.

Other LGBT Mormon Stories Episodes

Other Mormon Stories podcast episodes featuring other LGBT Mormons and their stories. Note: some of these have some truly dark times in them, and several discuss suicide ideation or attempts.)

There is also the Gay Mormon Stories podcast.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

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Sad Puppies

Sad Puppy • Photo by Amber West

For those who don’t know, a “filk” song is a science fiction/fantasy folk genre, generally adding new lyrics to an existing tune. Though many filk writers also write original tunes, as I pay tribute to in this post.

The rest of this post is written by my husband, Rick Moen.

People who’ve been on SMOFS for a while might remember Well, I’ve gone and done the dirty deed a second time.

Sad Puppies Aren’t Much Fun

(With apologies to Ogdel Edsl and fond memories of Dr. Demento.)

Sad puppies
Sad puppies
Sad puppies aren’t much fun.
They all fight for silenced voices,
By crowding out all other choices.
Sad puppies aren’t much fun.

Inclusiveness means broader picks,
Yet Three Body Problem gets a ‘nix’.
Sad puppies aren’t much fun.
Wright’s novellas mustn’t be ignored,
But his rocket points straight at Noah Ward.
Sad puppies aren’t much fun.

Sad puppies
Sad puppies
Sad puppies aren’t much fun.

Sad puppies
Sad puppies
Sad puppies aren’t much fun.

Sad puppies
Sad puppies.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

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The Road to Hana, site of a recent Zayn Malik / One Direction fangirl moment

The Road to Hana, site of a recent Zayn Malik / One Direction fangirl moment.

I have a little One Direction story. Earlier this month, we rented a car on Maui and drove on the Road to Hana. There are a lot of roadside stands there, people selling home-made goods. We stopped at one where the radio was playing. As I waited for my grown-in-Hawaii coffee, I started singing to “What Makes You Beautiful.”

The woman behind the counter did a doubletake. I’m an unapologetic lover of pop music, and I gauged from her reaction that she’d been made fun of for liking the song. (She was a bit older than the stereotypical 1D fan.) Eventually, she started singing along with me.

Another car pulls up, and a woman older than my mother gets out. The woman behind the counter stops singing again, but then the older woman starts humming along. So the younger one does too.

Three generations of women who just happen to like the song, sharing a moment.

As much as the song is overplayed, I think it’s a really important song. Teenage women (in particular) don’t have a lot of messages that they’re beautiful without makeup, that they’re beautiful for who they are. Instead, they’re assaulted by constant messages that what they look like is never enough, the clothes they have are never enough, their weight is never right, etc.

Zayn Malik’s Departure

Zayn Malik

People burn out from time to time (I burned out as a software engineer twice before leaving in 2013). Zayn’s leaving, and a lot of fans are taking the news badly. I don’t even need to tell you what the #cut4zayn hashtag is for. Or that some people are making fun of them.

Preach it, sisters.

All I want to say to the mourning 1D fans: you are beautiful. Don’t forget that.

Also, Zayn may be leaving 1D now, but that’s not necessarily a permanent choice. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that people do come and go, and bands get back together. It’s never guaranteed, of course.

He’s still alive, he’s still young, and there’s still time.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

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Ledward Ka'apana and his guitar

I’ve decided to turn my love of world music into a regular Friday feature, with Ledward Ka’apana being my first. In general, I’ll be featuring a few videos or songs from each performer, and, for vocals, I’ll emphasize performers who do not sing primarily in English. The other aspect is that this will be popular music in various genres.

I remember back when I worked at Classic Vacations on the Hawai’i desk being thrilled that I finally was able to use my love of Hawai’i in my day job. I went to a local Hawai’ian store, Sun Jose Hawaii (sadly now closed), and went to their music room.

“I learned all my slack key in Kalapana because in Kalapana, we never had any electricity. Yeah, everything was run by kerosene.” (dramatic pause) “First guitar I had was run by kerosene.” —Ledward Ka’apana

Even though most of the wording was in English, and I knew some Hawai’ian, I might as well have stepped into a music shop on another planet. I had no idea who any of these people were, and no idea how to find what I was looking for.

There was an instrumental section, and in that section, there was an album of Slack Key Guitar Masters, offering a smorgasboard of amazing artists. I picked up both volume 1 and 2. Out of all of those songs, I really fell for “Radio Hula” by Ledward Ka’apana. The following is a medley of it with another song (“Yellow Ginger Lei”):Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

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DJ, photo by Jacob Tyler Dunn

DJ, photo by Jacob Tyler Dunn

Six months ago, I was in Phoenix for Overwerk, and I heard lots of interesting stuff.

The third DJ played something that stuck with me that I kept meaning to find. Rick reminded me of said song tonight when he and I were talking about the great MentalFloss piece about why clocks were set to 10:10 a little while ago, and I said that clocks were set to 10:10 to raise the little clock roof.
Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

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I’m selling my first gen iPod Nano, which is a white 4G model in an adorable kitty case. It’s been in the case the whole time I’ve owned it, so it should be in great shape.

But why would you want it without the case?

$50 opening bid, or $79 buy-it-now, which is (amazingly) an estimated $20 under the typical going price.

Shipping is free in the US and I’ll ship to most countries, though there’s no way to exclude only the problem ones. Sigh.

Here’s the eBay auction.

If this one’s not your cuppa, I’ll probably be listing other iPods later, but I only have this one with the kitty case.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

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On one of the facebook groups I’m in, someone posted this video the other day:

Kuzu Kuzu song purchase links: (iTunes) (Amazon)

Tarkan’s an extremely popular Turkish singer, sometimes called the Turkish equivalent of Elvis, but perhaps a better description would be the Bad Boy of Turkish Pop.

The above video’s from 2001, but he broke out in Turkey almost ten years earlier. His first breakout video’s generally considered to be 1994’s “Hepsi Senin Mi?” It’s not as strong as his later work, but it was considered daring and rebellious. It’s also catchy as hell. It was later re-reorded and retitled Sikidim with different orchestration.

Hepsi Senin Mi? song purchase links: (iTunes) (Amazon)
Sikidim/Hepsi Senin Mi? song purchase links: (iTunes) (Amazon)

2001 also saw the release of the controversial video for “Hüp” (quote is from Wikipedia):

Another scandal broke out when the video for the single “Hüp” was released. The Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council considered banning the video, directed by Ferzan Özpetek, from television broadcast, as some viewers complained that the scene in which Tarkan kisses actress Sinemis Candemir was too “explicit” and “pornographic”. The case was reported through Europe by the BBC.[31] There was no ban, and fans had their say by voting it the video of the year in 2001 at Kral music station’s video awards.

Hüp song purchase links: (iTunes) (Amazon)

In 2014, Tarkan’s been in two videos with other artists, and I like both of them quite a bit.

Hop De’s a song by İskender Paydaş:

Hop De song purchase links: (iTunes) (Amazon)
Hop De music video purchase link: (iTunes)

And here’s a concert rehearsal video for Hop De, before a concert series in Istanbul:

The other video’s quite different, contrasting the energy of the video with the relatively limited movement of the female singer, Nazan Öncel:

Hadi O Zaman song purchase links: (iTunes) (Amazon)
Hadi O Zaman music video purchase link: (iTunes)

I’ve gotta say, listening to all these with a bum hip is a particular form of torture.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

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Delia Derbyshire wrote some of, and played all of, one of the most famous—and earliest widely-known—pieces of electronic music ever. Not only that, she did so before the advent of the first commercially-available synthesizer.

(Brian Hodgson composed the tardis sound.)

She was a kid in Coventry during WW2, hearing all the weird and haunting sounds of air raids and all-clear signals.

Decca Records told her that they did not employ women in their recording studios. So she joined the BBC. Delia said, “I was told in no uncertain terms that the BBC does not employ composers.”

Seeing the footage about her contributions to the Doctor Who theme was really the highlight of the Doctor Who Experience. As a Torchwood fan (and not really a Doctor Who fan), I felt left out for the most part.

There’s a great page about the history of the theme song.

On first hearing it Grainer was tickled pink: “Did I really write this?” he asked. “Most of it,” replied Derbyshire.

Yet, even though Grainer wanted Derbyshire to receive credit and a share of the royalties, it didn’t happen that way due to BBC red tape (no doubt assisted by the fact that Delia was female). Thus, she became uncredited and without royalties for something that has been heard by millions of people.

Bitter, she left the industry, became an alcoholic, and later developed breast cancer. Though she did get back into electronic music in the 90s, toward the end of her life, she died of kidney failure in 2001.

I find it curious that the BBC created an exhibit for her in the Doctor Who Experience—but still never managed to correct the credits or royalty situation.

If you’d like to learn more about her, here’s a bunch of YouTube links, but you probably want to start with Sculptress of Sound

Her name was Delia Derbyshire, and she loved listening to thunderstorms.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

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I found this beer bottle mockup last night, and thought I’d have fun with it.

Catch is, this particular product would probably be better vended in something stranger—like a Klein bottle. Oh well.

Click for full size:


It’s an homage to a Tom Smith song of the same title:

There’s many drinks you’ll drink, me lads, but this one beats them all.
One hundred fifty-three and one-half percent alcohol,
A beer brewed in a tesseract, it’ll shoot you through the roof,
And if you don’t believe me, I’ve got lots and lots of proof.

Graphic Element Credits

Font: Veneer by Yellow Design Studio I love this font, use it all the time.

Logo font: Trend Handmade by LatinoType

(Both of the above via Design Cuts, as usual.)

Beer Mockup: Original Mockups

Logo: 12 Sci-Fi Badges from VoxelFlux

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

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Zoë Keating’s husband has had mysterious ailments for several months. As of two weeks ago, that’s no longer mysterious: he has stage 4 lung cancer with mets.

On May 13 an MRI found 20 tumors in my husbands brain. On May 15 he could barely breathe and was in a lot of pain. A CT scan that day revealed he had a softball-sized tumor in his lung, tumors in his other lung, his liver and possibly his bones. On our way home from the imaging center our primary care doc called and told us to turn around and get to the hospital right away. My husband was admitted and they promptly removed more than a pint of fluid from his lungs, which helped him breathe better. We were there for 6 days while they performed a bronchoscopy, did more scans, gave him drugs to stop his brain from swelling and administered emergency chemo.

Anthem Blue Cross has denied coverage.

Zoë’s a pretty amazing cellist. If you’re so inclined, I’m sure buying her music would help her family out right now. If not, spreading the word about her situation, including aiming the Internet Rage Machine at Anthem Blue Cross.

Or, as Zoë asks:

Please, don’t send any condolences. Send strength and love and positive energy, healing vibes, prayers, chants, interpretive dances…all of it.

And since my new album will remain unfinished for a while longer, if you want to help us in ways other than good vibes, you could buy some of my music. Listen to it, give it to a friend and think of us.

Joel Richard tells about seeing her perform.

Wil Wheaton wrote about Anthem’s denial here.


Originally published at You can comment here or there.

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Last year, Rick and I took the non-stop to Frankfurt, where it took literally 1-1/2 hours to get from the gate we arrived at to the Lufthansa club nearest the gate we’d be departing from. Then we lazed about in amazing chairs for a while before catching our flight to Istanbul.

Our flight lands in Istanbul at 1:30 in the morning, though it was closer to 2 before we managed to pay our visa fees at the airport, get our passports stickered, and wander over to the immigration queue.

We took a cab to our hotel. The cab driver liked a genre I’m not generally into: light jazz.

Until the next song started. I remember driving along parallel to the Bosphorus, the famous bridge in the distance, mere days before the protests started up.

The song changed, and suddenly, I forgot where I was, completely involved in the music. I pull out my phone, launch SoundHound and ask it to figure out what song it is.

Yachts (a man called Adam mix) by Coco Steel & Lovebomb.

It had been used in the opening scene of Fairly Legal Season 2 and somehow I’d assumed it was incidental music written for the show. When we got to the hotel, I bought the song off iTunes.

Here’s part of that scene:

I started using SoundHound in 2011, and it’s really been great for finding songs that remind me of places and times. First song I bought after finding the tune with SoundHound? I was in New Orleans over the holidays.

Tootie Ma Is a Big Fine Thing by Tom Waits and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

When Rick and I were in Puerto Rico having a great dinner, SoundHound found a song playing in the restaurant, Gilberto Santa Rosa’s Amor Mio No Te Vayas.

So. Check it out. I especially like the fact that you can have it listen for a clip, then save that for later so you can search when you have bandwidth. Perfect for international travel on sippy cup (or nonexistent) data plans.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

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Remember that awesome Air Tahiti Nui video? (If not, you really should watch it. Amazing stuff.)

The guy who did the techno soundtrack, Edmond Huszar aka OVERWERK, is a Canadian who’s up for a 10k music prize. He’s currently leading in voting, but others have been pulling in their fans. Voting closes in two days. Here’s the link if you’re so inclined.

Most of his work is at this link on Soundcloud. My favo(u)rites are: Daybreak (used in the Air Tahiti Nui video), Conquer, and his remixes of Werk Me and Space Junk.

Because of the video and his music, when Rick and I rented a car for the day in Tahiti, we spent the whole day listening to Overwerk.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

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So, Google had been annoying me with the “Do you want to link this YouTube account to your real name?” crap for eons. It was like a bad date who wouldn’t take the word “no” seriously, you know?

Usually, I’d log out of YouTube, then reload the damn page to watch the video. As my friend Jason is so fond of saying, “Because fuck you.”

So I went to favorite a video today, and I had no favorites list. None. Zero.

I thought I’d lost my carefully-kept list of Ryan Johnson clips. I haven’t put fan videos featuring his work on that list, but my favorite of the ones I’ve found is this Fairly Legal one featuring Duffy’s “Mercy”. I think maybe it’s time for a second playlist here….

Anyhow…what happened. My YouTube account split. I now have my old persona and my new persona. All two of my uploaded videos are goners, but at least I still have what mattered most: my favorites.

So, without further ado, here are ten of my favorite YouTube clips.

  1. Jessica Biel can actually sing. I love this song, love her performance. Colin Firth steals the movie, but her music is, in my opinion, the real star.
  2. Ilio the Surfing Pig. For real. I first saw this segment on TV, and there was more of Ilio surfing then, but only “Part 1″ has been uploaded. If anyone finds a better link, I’m all ears.
  3. Salvador Dali on the 50s TV show What’s My Line?
  4. Jordan, the Royal Tour. Visit the country of Jordan, guided by a former Star Trek actor who also happens to be the head of state. (This is several YouTube videos long and is definitely worth watching if you’ve never seen it.)
  5. Daylight Robbery, a show featuring extreme squirrel obstacle courses.
  6. Star Trek/NIN “Closer” mashup. Exactly what it says on the tin. Original series slash at its finest. All clean except for the (non-bowdlerized) song.
  7. TED: Bonnie Bassler, The Secret Lives of Bacteria. Quorum sensing bacteria is just such an amazing thing to me.
  8. Boney M, “Rasputin.” Love this video. Though it is their official video, the male singer isn’t the person at the microphone as this is the non-live version of the track with live footage carefully cut.
  9. Sean Penn gives us all a lesson on how to answer awkward questions about one’s ex. Major props to him for a really winning approach that leaves nowhere to go and is hilarious at the same time.
  10. Extreme Sheep LED Art. Welsh farmers with a truckload of LED lights and a bunch of sheep. Hilarity ensues.

So, there you go. Hope you enjoyed.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

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20 Feet From Stardom is an awesome documentary about backup singers and their trials and tribulations.

It has some awesome interviews, awesome footage, and, well, if you needed to think Phil Spector was any more of a bastard than you already thought, this film will provide you with a different kind of rage.

There are amazing performances. While it’s not exclusively about backup singers who are either women or people of color, the film focuses on the careers of six women of color. The youngest of the six is Judith Hill.

It’s this kind of movie that makes me really sad that I never really figured out what I wanted out of a musical career back when I was a teenager and in my early 20s. I never had a clearly-enough defined goal that I had something to aim for. Plus, I loved rock music and played (mostly) alto sax, but wanted to sing, and it just seemed all too confusing — like I had the wrong skill set.

In high school, I was in band (alto sax), marching band (alto sax and piccolo), orchestra (viola and oboe), dance band (baritone sax), and choir (first soprano) at the same time. I studied sound recording (audio and film) in college.

Despite a phone call with the man, one of my greatest life regrets (of which I have a handful) is not taking up Malcolm McLaren’s offer of an audition when he was trying to put a band together. I don’t think I would have gotten the gig, but I’ve always regretting not having the nerve to fly to London and have a go at it.

A couple of years later, I was offered a gig as a motion picture sound intern on a friend’s project, and I turned down a gig (a sure thing) to go to France to work on the film.

Those of you who know me will say, “Wait, Deirdre, that doesn’t sound like you at all.” Yes. That’s true. Regret changes you.

Each of the amazing women in this film have had victories and setbacks, and they’re interesting to hear about. Highly recommended.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

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Kate showed me this video of an an audition.

Not just any audition. One where a comedian with a character as a geek gamer crashes a music video dance audition and acts like a goofball (and specifically asks for a rules exception). Despite no formal dance training (but impressive dance skill despite that), he gets the gig.

It’s about rules, about expertise, about genius, about knowing when to throw away something perfectly usable and go for memorable instead.

There are a lot of solid, good dancers in the audition. No question. One comment, though. When people ask what reading slush is like, I point to the guy who does a solo right before Keith at around 47 seconds in. Imperfect execution, some solid grasp of concepts, but not able to stand out from the crowd.

For both of these, may be NSFW due to adult themes, but worth watching when you can.

And the resulting video, clearly re-written to take advantage of their new dancer…..

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

In Bruges

Oct. 9th, 2012 11:10 am
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When we were in Bruges, I heard what I thought was a pipe organ and headed for the campanile.

No pipe organ, just some awesome buskers. Enjoy. Sorry about the length of the clip — it had already started before I got there, and I was running out of space on my phone.

I think my single biggest regret of the entire trip is not picking up one of their albums.

Toccata & Fugue, Bruges from Deirdre Saoirse Moen on Vimeo.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

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Sound designer Diego Stocco plays a dry cleaner as an instrument.

Diego Stocco – Music From A Dry Cleaner from Diego Stocco on Vimeo.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

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This is [ profile] niamh_sage's fault, and I mean that in a good way. I love this song, though I'm not generally a Rammstein or industrial fan.

The Rammstein original can be found here. Obligatory Wikipedia entry about the song's translation.
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I mean, seriously, Brian May has been one of the people I've always envied. I may have to learn to love badgers now.

"The shrubbery rustles and shakes, then Brian May falls out of the rhododendrons, dusts himself down and stumbles towards five fox cubs at play in a clearing. In the landscaped gardens of his historic home in the Surrey hills, the Queen guitarist looks every inch the semi-retired rock star: huge curly hair on gangly frame, black trousers, immaculate white Pumas and a dangerously unbuttoned white shirt."
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My favorite version of this song is the Mary Black version, but this one by Lynn Hilary will do.


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