Wednesday, September 30, 2015

{PLAYLIST} best of september 2015

Fall is upon us and we're moving on in to October! But before we exclusively consume pumpkin-flavored products, we want to stop and take a look at all of the best parts of September (and there were a lot of them). This month, we:

And in September, we were listening to:

"Harrison Ford" - Darlingside
I've said it before and I'll say it again -- this band is just darling.
"Don't Be So Hard On Yourself" - Jess Glynne
From Labor Day weekend to the basement of U Hall -- Jess was our bestie this month. 
"Black Magic" - Little Mix
I've said it before and I'll say it again: totally under this song's spell.
"Marvin Gaye" - Charlie Puth (feat. Meghan Trainor)
Guilty pleasure or not, I'm obsessed with this song.
"Aquafina (feat. GoldLink and Chaz French" - Falcons
Between these two rappers, this song was SO FUN live at Hopscotch Festival!
"Last of Our Kind" - The Darkness
If you're still stuck singing "A Thing Called Love," it's time to move on. We suggest this jam.
"Harder to Lie" - David Ramirez
My musical kryptonite. Perfect for cooler weather.
"Awake" - Tycho
The most beautiful and interesting lyric-less music for your workday. 
"Love You Better" - Oh Land
This Dane is simply mesmerizing.
"Yellow Eyes" - Rayland Baxter
Love love love love.
"Sweet Serenade" - Pusha T
King Push, people. 
"Si Tu Vois Ma Mère" - Sidney Bechet
Such a fab recc from our new fave, May.
"19 You and Me" - Dan + Shay
Holding on to summer just a little bit longer with some country.
"No Words" - Erik Hassle
Coped with missing Landmark Fest by dancing to this jam a lot. 

CHVRCHES take on the biebs

CHVRCHES has done it once again. Their cover of Justin Bieber's "What Do You Mean" is, unsurprisingly, amazing. Listening to this over and over and over again. And their commentary on their reaction to the original song is prettttty spot on.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"i wish i could find my taylor swift"

The Knocks and Matthew Koma finally state the one wish that we all truly share deep down -- that we could find our very own Taylor Swift.

Hard hitting stuff right here.

{CREATIVE} may leong

Our latest creative person of whom we are in complete awe is May Leong, who completely won us over with her leafy James Bay illustration. Read ahead to learn about May's creative inspiration and more!

Who are you and what do you do that's cool and creative pursuit. 
Hello all! I’m May Leong, a day dreamer who loves creating cute things on the daily. I also draw people that inspire me -- my family and friends, musicians and may I add, the casts of Game of Thrones. You can find my whimsical creations on my Instagram account called @hey_missmay or cruise by my store for fun, quirky greeting cards at

How do you define creativity? 
Creativity comes from the very heart. It is a means of story telling for me. I draw from every day living. My bestie and my "unidentical twin" in this life, Stevie Ugov, would often say the most cray cray things that would crack me up. I would take that one inspirational word or in fact, the whole sentence and turn them into work of art or cute little greeting cards.

What do you listen to (or watch or read!) when you're looking for inspiration? 
Totes going through a nerdy phase right now, reading Game of Thrones for the second time around (looking for "hidden" clues leading up to super fan theories) and doing a Star Wars marathon (because I can). Besides all that, I adore Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, especially the selection of soundtrack that comes with, my favorite would be Sidney Joseph Bechet’s "Si Tu Vois Ma Mere." Excuse my French, as it’s quite a mouthful to pronounce. Topping the list of inspiration is Karaoke! One night, my friends and I went out and sung our hearts out. Everyone was so into it, jumping up and down, turning the room upside down. We had a blast and I came home with a million ideas.

My favorite go-to blog at the moment is; I feel like the need to read random facts. "Why I’m Always Late" cracked me up last time (being consistently late throughout life in general), and I adore how the writer, Tim Urban, spun it around and said “optimistic-people-have-one-thing-in-common-always-late.”

Click ahead to read more about how music influences May's art, what pulls her out of a slump, and more!

Monday, September 28, 2015

{RECAP} oh land and of monsters and men

TIOJ Concert Correspondent Alix trekked up to Merriweather Post Pavilion last week to check out long time faves Oh Land and Of Monsters and Men -- read her recap below!!

I’ve seen Of Monsters and Men once before, so not gonna lie: I knew I was in for a great show. But before I get to the main attraction, there’s Oh Land, the opener. I wasn’t familiar with Oh Land before the show, and I ended up really enjoying her performance.

She has a powerful voice, which held its own with all the synthetic instruments she and her band played. My favorite song, though, was “Love You Better,” which feature vocals and guitar without all the other instrumental noise. Oh Land played a polished set (more polished than some openers tend to be -- they could headline their own tour!) and was a fun and lively opener.

Then there was Of Monsters and Men who were, simply, fantastic. The last time I saw them was in a pretty small space, but (not surprisingly), they can definitely rock a huge venue like Merriweather.

Their show was fun -- they’re laidback and relaxed onstage, while also delivering an upbeat and energetic performance with each song. They played a mix of music from their debut album, My Head is an Animal, and their new album, Beneath the Skin. The newest songs were in a similar style to their earlier music, with poetic lyrics and solid vocals that are complemented (and, amazingly, never upstaged) by the seemingly hundreds of instruments on stage. One of my favorite things about OMAM is this ability to include a lot of different sounds in their music (trumpet is one of the most noticeable -- the woman who plays trumpet got a huge cheer during a solo in “Little Talks”), but never overdoing it to the point where the vocals or flow of the song are lost.`

The newest songs were definitely not a disappointment, but the band got the crowd on our feet with fantastic renditions of old favorites; I most enjoyed “King and Lionheart” and “Dirty Paws.” No question, Of Monsters and Men can back up their great music with a fabulous live show.


Thank you to Alix for this rave review!! Up next: Krista checks out Neon Indian on 10/13!

{GIVEAWAY} mac demarco @ howard theatre

Our beloved summer vibe king Mac DeMarco is bringing his chill jams and goofy antics to our nation's capital next month and we think that you need to be there! Since we're nice like that, we're giving away a pair of tickets to Mac DeMarco's SOLD OUT show at Howard Theatre on October 14.

Enter via Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

p.s. Want more Mac? Listen to this cover or watch this documentary

Saturday, September 26, 2015

{WATCH} toro y moi on creativity

We've been talking a lot about creativity lately on TIOJ and we're keeping it coming with these two videos from Toro y Moi. Watch as Chaz Bundick talks about his creative interests outside of music. He's too cool.

Thanks to Caleb for the find!

Friday, September 25, 2015

weekend thoughts...

It's the first weekend of fall!! We hope you have apple picking and pumpkin spice lattes on your schedule (AND Landmark Festival). Enjoy enjoy!!

Your Weekend Jam: We dare you not start dancing to this mashup of EVERY dance scene in a movie pretty much ever set to “Uptown Funk” -- just in time for fall wedding season :)

TIOJ Thoughts: 

If you’ve been watching Seinfeld on Hulu as much as me, this is hilarious.

Love this +1 episode of All Songs Considered.

A petition to get Pope Francis to bless DC metro -- if only.

An Oh Joy post from 10 years ago -- an ode to potatoes.

Ticket purchasing via Facebook? 

Free! Have you checked out Amazon’s free music download page? Do it to it!!

DC Happenings: LANDMARK MUSIC FESTIVAL. Need we say more?

And in case you missed it: We’re enjoying the last bits of summer country music with Dan + Shay, who really really remind us of classic Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban.

{PLAYLIST} landmark festival 2015

Holy moly, are we jazzed for the inaugural Landmark Music Festival!! We are so pumped for this hometown festival (and SO bummed we're not able to go), and we are over the moon that this is supporting such a good cause -- the National Mall is in dire need of some TLC.


If you're from out of town and you're going to Landmark, WELCOME TO OUR HOME! For you DC kiddos, enjoy it for us!!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

{THROWBACK} "rocket man"

We just love it when tour mates collaborate and Toro y Moi and Astronauts Etc. are going above and beyond (literally) as they're not just collaborating, but they're doing it on a rather epic cover of Elton John's "Rocket Man." Take a listen below to the chillwave cover that's too dreamy.

And we would be remiss not to give you Sir Elton's in it's original glory:

Toro Y Moi and Astronauts are skipping DC on this tour but you can try to catch them in Baltimore or Richmond in early October!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

{IF YOU LIKE} rascal flatts, keith urban

(via 1/2/3)
We think of summer as country music time, and we have a few weeks left of true summer -- so we're holding on with the tightest grasp to all of our favorite windows-down country (while actually enjoying windows down). And our newest favorite country artist is Dan + Shay, who have a very familiar sound -- think Rascal Flatts in their heyday plus a bit of pre-American Idol Keith Urban. Aka, not quite real throwback country, but just a few years of a throwback.

Fun fact that makes me love Dan + Shay even more -- their song "Stop Drop + Roll" was in Nashville.

Monday, September 21, 2015

{GIVEAWAY} pure bathing culture @ dc9

As we move steadily into fall, we're feeling the need of mellow, calm concerts -- and we have the perfect one to send you to. We have long been obsessed with Pure Bathing Culture, and we would love nothing more than to send you and a friend to see them at DC9 on October 7. (Pro tip: this would be a most wonderful date night!)

Take a listen to their latest, "Pray for Rain," now, and get convinced if you're not already:

Now enter below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you just can't wait, buy your tickets here!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

happy birthday KRISTA!!

Happy happy day, Krista turns 27 today!!! To culminate her Kanye-themed birthday week, no song was more fitting than 2 Chainz' and Kanye's "Birthday Song."

The jury is still out on whether or not this is the best birthday gift for Krista... maybe for 28.

Friday, September 18, 2015

weekend thoughts...

Happy Friday! We hope you all have a lovely weekend enjoying the last few official days of summer with time outside at the farmer's market and catching up on the last few pages of your summer reading. Check out some fun finds below to kick off this weekend!

Your Weekend Jam: TIOJ faves Great Good Fine Ok are finally back with new music -- get your desk dancing on pronto, friends!

TIOJ Thoughts:

Find out if you’re an official hipster with this Spotify feature.

Updated children’s book classics for millennials.

The TV friend group you belong in.

All of Taylor Swift’s concert besties.

Free! The Hood Internet mashed up The Weeknd’s chart topping hit “Can’t Feel My Face” with Daft Punk -- download this track for your workout playlist ASAP!

DC Happenings: Street Festival season is here with H Street Festival on Saturday!!

And in case you missed it: We recapped our first time to Hopscotch Festival -- stay tuned for the recap video on Monday!

{PLAYLIST} so long, summer

We're in this weird weather limbo these days -- cool, fall-ish mornings and hot, summery afternoons. And not gonna lie, we like it. We're holding on to the last bits of summer (since we know we'll reeeeeally be missing it come January) but also looking so forward to fall and all things overly basic (read: pumpkin everything).

Press play and enjoy this limbo with us:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

{THROWBACK} "i want you"

Savage Garden's "I Want You" has been around for nearly 20 years (WHAT HOW), and when it popped up on the radio the other night, I found myself trying to figure out all of the words, other than "chicka cherry cola." Again. I've been doing this since 1997. Help.

{RECAP} hopscotch festival 2015: the video

As promised, we're so excited to share our video recap of our time at Hopscotch Festival this past weekend. As always, Caleb killed it capturing our weekend exploring Raleigh and obviously, me hopscotching.


Don't forget to check out our written recap as well!

{THROWBACK} "flashing lights"

So my birthday is this weekend and in a moment of particular inspiration (or delusion, whichever you prefer) I decided that there would be no better to ring in my 27th year than with a party themed off of Kanye West's 2007 jam "Flashing Lights."

I bought a disco ball off Craigslist and plan to play this Songza playlist on repeat. It's gonna be a good one.

Holler at your girl if you have any good ideas for what drink I should serve -- I'm debating a Taylor Swift-inspired beverage with vodka, pink lemonade, and something fizzy...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

emma mai and pretty pink are my (german) jam

Sometimes you don't need to understand the lyrics to a song to know that the song is your jam. Such is the case with "Blütenstaubromanze" by Emma Mai and Pretty Pink. While Google Translate's translation of the song as "Pollen Romance" means nothing me, I do know that I can't get enough of the beat of this song that so effortlessly ebbs and flows -- striking the perfect balance between keeping you focused enough to churn out one more report at work while also raising your energy levels enough to consider saying yes to your friends birthday at Public this weekend.

Take a listen to this jam if you're need of some serious toe tapping and/or have the urge to try and pick up a little German this afternoon.

p.s. While I don't speak German, I DO parle français -- check out some of our favorite French jams.

{RECAP} jess glynne

On Monday night, by some miracle I scored last minute tickets AND got out of class early enough to catch rising British pop star Jess Glynne at U Street Music Hall. Jess has been a one-to-watch on TIOJ for a while thanks to her feature in the impossibly perfect dance hit "Rather Be" by Clean Bandit that seemed to be on every commercial this winter. She's proven that she's a force to be reckoned with as she's quickly broken out on her own -- so much so that now it's HER song that's all over the latest Coca Cola TV commercials.

All that is to say that Jess's first solo American tour stop at U Hall on Monday night was a complete treat for the sold out crowd. She kicked things off with "Ain't Got Far To Go" and immediately had the crowd dancing. Her humble demeanor and charming accent won over the giddy crowd as she continued to belt out song after song with a lively band and back up singers.

via @inplayruns
Jess played primarily songs off her recently released debut album I Cry When I Laugh that seems to embody the "happy indie pop" that we often use to describe the "vibe" of this blog. The album's poppy, positive hits mixed with heartfelt and honest ballads are the perfect combo to guarantee her success in the future. Songs like "Don't Be So Hard On Yourself" are the guilty-pleasure yet self-affirming jams that I think everyone could use just a bit more of in their life.

Throughout her set, I couldn't help but to liken the evening with Jess Glynne to Sam Smith's first DC show in that same basement on U Street. As I said then, you could tell you were in the presence of a star about to explode that evening and I certainly had rumblings of that same feeling last night.

Keep an eye out on this pop star, people -- I'll bet everyone here a whiskey ginger that the next time she's in DC she'll be performing to a sold out 9:30 Club.

Next Up: Alix is heading up to Merriweather Post Pavilion on Sunday to catch Oh Land and Of Monsters and Men!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

darlingside is just darling

Even though it's still 90 thousand degrees this week, it's September and school has started, which is making me think of fall. And with fall comes even more folksy-tinged music so I can think about apple picking and crunchy leaves and bonfires. And the perfect band for that is Darlingside, who describe themselves as "an eclectic blend of 60s folk, clever wry wit, classical arrangements, soaring harmonies, and a modern indie-rock sensibility." AKA, exactly what I like (all the time, not just in fall).

Monday, September 14, 2015

{RECAP} hopscotch festival 2015

I’m so excited to share our recap of our first ever trip to Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, NC! All in all, Caleb and I were super impressed with Hopscotch – from the stellar range of venues to the eclectic selection of performances to the general organization of the festival, Hopscotch was easy to navigate and enjoy. The bands we saw were slightly out of our typical TIOJ “comfort zone” of indie pop, leading us to discover some beautiful instrumental bands, rising hip hop stars, and punk stars from our own hometown of DC.

Read ahead as we dole out superlatives for some of the stand out performances of the festival.

Best Dance Party/One To Watch: GoldLink
Our last show of the festival was arguably the most fun. Hosted in the Contemporary Art Museum, DC’s own GoldLink put on an energetic performance that was half hip-hop concert and half DJ set (including an “I love white people” head banging dance break to “Smells Like Teen Spirit”) and the crowd LOVED IT. He commanded the crowd’s attention with his rap mastery (that dude can rhyme) and the perfect hint of pop and inclusion that will guarantee him success in the future. You better believe that we will be at every upcoming GoldLink show in the DMV.

Best Discovery: Tycho
I’m slightly upset that we hadn’t heard of Tycho before this festival because they’re SO.GOOD. This ambient music producer based out of San Francisco put on a performance that was half concert, half art piece and it was fucking awesome. Tycho’s music, while lyric-less, never leaves you want for lyrics. It is epic, building, and beautiful – so much so that the band lost power twice throughout their set because they were rocking so hard. Coupled with gorgeous visuals behind the performers, Tycho’s set was truly a highlight of this festival and felt especially profound as the sun set on Friday night.

Click ahead for the rest of the list!

{GIVEAWAY} the darkness @ the fillmore silver spring

If you believe in a thing called love, or just happen to love neo-80s glam bands, boy have we got the giveaway for you. The Darkness is coming to the Fillmore in Silver Spring on 10/25 and we are giving away two tickets to a lucky TIOJer!

c/o publicity please
If you need more convincing, check out these Brits' most recent release "Last of Our Kind." So wonderful.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you just can't wait, buy your tickets here!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

{WATCH} goldlink x chet faker

In a recent dive into the deep end of YouTube, Caleb and I discovered the Songs From Scatch series on the fabulous Yours Truly YouTube channel. My favorite video was (shocker) featuring falsetto-king Chet Faker and rising hip-hop star GoldLink. Check out the video below as the two musicians collaborate to come up with a song in one session with impressive results.

If you're not yet familiar with GoldLink, I highly recommend checking out more of his music pronto! With any luck, Caleb and I will be seeing him at Hopscotch this evening so expect to be hearing much more from us on this guy.

Friday, September 11, 2015

weekend thoughts...

Happy weekend! Have the best time with all of your adventures, from checking out Hopscotch Festival to starting to think about pumpkin spice lattes.

Your Weekend Jam: Faves Freedom Fry are back at it with “Tropicana” -- can’t get enough of this jam! (And it makes us want some orange juice.)

TIOJ Thoughts: 

Love this interview with CHVRCHES.

Taylor Swift: A Socratic Dialogue.

Life Size 2?!?!

New fall TV!! 

The worst lyrics of 2015.

Free! Impending fall weather is perfect for bluegrass! Grab The 2015 LA Bluegrass Situation Festival mixtape now!

DC Happenings: Head to the new Whino on H St. for an awesome street art show! RSVP here.

And in case you missed it: We featured the amazing designer Virginia of DeNada in our latest Creative interview!

Plus! We celebrated our darling KRISTEN’s birthday!!!

{PLAYLIST} hopscotch festival 2015

The big thrust of summer music festivals may be behind us, but there are still a few more incredible lineups to be explored before the 2015 festival season comes to a close. And exciting beyond exciting, this one is going to be covered by TIOJ! Krista and A/V Director Caleb are heading to Raleigh this weekend to Hopscotch Festival -- one that has been on the outskirts of our radar for a while now. Thankfully, we'll be able to check it out and check it off our list.


We're crossing our fingers that those two catch these acts -- what else should they add to the list?

For all the festival action you can get, be sure to follow This Is Our Jam on Instagram at @thisisourjamdc and NEW! follow us on Snapchat!!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

{THROWBACK} "miss independent"

With Kelly Clarkson on a cover-song roll lately, up-and-coming band Palehound took a cue from Kelly herself and covered her 2003 hit "Miss Independent."

Don't miss the original from K. Clark. Shoutout to all of the early 2000's fashion trends in this video (RIP skinny scarves).

DC! Palehound will be playing at Rock & Roll Hotel on 9/26 -- grab your tickets here!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

dance, dance, dance to this cover

If you know TIOJ, you know that we love dancing and songs about dancing. So it was with great delight that I stumbled upon this charming cover of Lykke Li's "Dance, Dance, Dance" by Saxsyndrum. Saxsyndrum is an experimental electronic duo from Montreal and we just cannot get enough of this delicate and creative cover of this lovely tune -- particularly those sporadic horns, be still my heart.

Note: There is a sliiiight chance that I may love this song so much because it reminds me of the Millionaire Matchmaker episode with Prince "I love to daaaaance" Max.

{CREATIVE} virginia arrisueno

Up next in our Creativity series is Virginia Arrisueno, owner and lead designer of DeNada. We met Virginia when she collaborated with Meg Biram, and we were so intrigued by her creative process. Read ahead as Virginia tells us about the music she listens to for inspiration, which ranges from somber composers to show tunes.

Who are you and what do you do that's cool and creative? 
My name is Virginia Blanca Arrisueno, and I am the owner and lead designer of DeNada, a knitwear and knit accessories for women and men. Our collections are designed locally in our Washington DC workspace, and handmade in Peru, SA.

photo by emma mcalary
How do you define creativity? 
Creativity to me is the ability to think outside the box, and create "something" whether it's music, art, or design in a beautiful and expressive form.

Click ahead for more!

Monday, September 7, 2015


Today is not just Labor Day, it's also one of the arguably most important days of the year -- KRISTEN'S BIRTHDAY!!

Because we aren't the most talented of singers, we called in a favor from one of Kristen's all-time favorite singers to help wish her the happiest of birthdays!

We hope you have a wonderful birthday love, xoxoxoxoxo.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

{WATCH} 30 for 30: straight outta l.a.

I'm assuming you guys have all seen Straight Outta Compton by now. If you haven't, get on it. I'll wait.

Ready? Well, if you're still craving more from N.W.A. then I highly recommend checking out the Ice Cube-directed ESPN documentary 30 for 30: Straight Outta L.A. The hour-long documentary recounts the history of the Raiders as they moved from Oakland to L.A. and the impact that the team had on hip hop culture and N.W.A. specifically.

With commentary from Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, MC Ren, former Raiders players and Al Davis himself, it's a super interesting account of the impact that this team had on pop culture.

Stream the documentary on Netflix!

Friday, September 4, 2015

weekend thoughts...

At long last, a long weekend us upon us and we could not be happier to sit back, relax, and sip on a frosty beverage. We hope you savor your last few moments of sunny summer this Labor Day!

Your Weekend Jam: Get your toes tapping into the long weekend with “Break” by newcomer Party Nails!

TIOJ Thoughts: 

As TV show about DC millennials? Color us intrigued.

Reasons to have your phone on your person every single moment.

The 50 states in emojis.

If this rumor is true, Nickelodeon is our hero.

Fall entertainment generator? Yes please.

Free! This mixtape is making us want to take a pilgrimage to the Pilgrimage Music Festival in Tennessee.

DC Happenings: The best dive bars in DC (according to the District’s best chefs!)

And in case you missed it: We recapped August's finest for your listening pleasure.

{PLAYLIST} labor day 2015

If Labor Day is not your favorite holiday, you should rethink that choice right now. It's a holiday totally centered around laziness, having fun, and celebrating just how hard you work the whole year round, after all -- it's pretty damn fabulous. No matter if you're boating, sunbathing, or brushing up on your beer-pong skills, we've got the perfect playlist for you.


Grab your favorite floppy hat and your SPF 30 and press play as you enjoy the last bits of summer!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

{THROWBACK} "change the world"

Oh, Mac DeMarco, you never cease to delight us with your antics and chill summer vibes and this cover of Eric Clapton's "Change The World" only makes us love you more.

Can we take a moment to appreciate how awesome the original was too?

p.s. In case it slipped your radar -- Mr. DeMarco will be playing at The Howard Theatre on October 14!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

david ramirez is my jam

I am oh so into David Ramirez this week -- from his harmonica to his rich voice. I can hear hints of Bruce Springsteen, which you know is my kryptonite, and some similarities to Jason Isbell, which is my slightly lesser version of kryptonite (does that exist?). This Austinite is definitely one to put on your radar -- including if you are up for an October 7 jaunt out to Jammin' Java in Vienna.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

a little "black magic" for your ears

Honestly, I had no idea who or what Little Mix was until Zayn Malik broke up with Perrie Edwards and all my fave gossip rags reported on it ad nauseum. (Thanks, People.) But I have to say, "Black Magic" has unequivocally become my end of summer jam.  These preternaturally attractive Brits are adorable and also intimidating in how on point their eye-makeup game is.

rayland baxter is my jam

When I saw the artists that Rayland Baxter was likened to on Noisetrade, I stopped everything and took a listen. Houndmouth, Dawes, Paul Simon, The Head and the Heart, and Shaky Graves? Um, duh. And Rayland Baxter? Yes. Add him to this list. Listen to "Yellow Eyes," and you'll be on board too.

Rayland is touring with the one and only Grace Potter this fall, and though they're not stopping in the DMV proper, there are plenty of shows within driving distance. Road trip, anyone?
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