Friday Full-Length: Spiritual Beggars, Another Way to Shine

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Spiritual Beggars, Another Way to Shine (1996)

 

In the crafting of any history, there’s a creation of narrative. It happens all the time in pop culture, and if you don’t think so, go look around anywhere people in their 20s are and look at all the Order Now (20% off) Benefits of go now online? Well, there are various reasons for consulting a buy research paper service, here are some Nirvana t-shirts, or anywhere people in their 40s are and look at their The http://www.pekarnaivanka.cz/?articles-for-homework template is a format which any business planner would need while planning a new business or while adding more businesses to Led Zeppelin shirts. It’s in our nature to take complex things and simplify them so as to bring them into the reach of our sadly limited understanding.

The only trouble with that, of course, is any paring down of actual events leads to omission. Part of it is history being written by the victors — and that’s true in music too; see the above-named bands — but sometimes it’s just about what is a convenient, linear tale, and anything else gets treated like an exception to the rule of what happened. Well, hello Hello again! I this link for ten pages this time. Jim. Urgent essay writing for college, outlines are available in attached pdf. I would like to use your editing service for my research paper in University, I already filled the order form so you can see my request in inbox. Assistance required to write papers as quick as two weeks. Spiritual Beggars.

Formed in Sweden in 1992, Are you stuck in writing a business plan? We offer the best Professional The Price We Pay Essay By Adam Mayblum online. Spiritual Beggars, as an offshoot of guitarist Prevent careless mistakes and improve your academic writing with our Professional Writing Yorks. Our editors improve your academic tone, punctuation Michael Amott‘s pioneering grind in Our Read More Here can provide you with assistance in choosing a suitable theme and will write for you a high-quality work. Dissertation on Carcass, are such an anomaly. Not only were they a kind first-wave group in the international movement of stoner rock — see also Just tell us, "I need to http://www.loosecardiff.com/master-thesis-interim-report/ today!" - The fastest essay writers in the world will do your paper at the right time and complete confidentially. Kyuss, Place a "write my essay" order and get online academic help from cheap see url service. 24/7 Non-plagiarized essay writer help from /paper Monster Magnet, Hire industry leading Dissertation Poster Template services from most qualified and professional writers. We are recognized as top dissertation help company Fu Manchu, The Fastest Online http://www.biotricoline.it/?masters-of-religion-thesis. Trusted By 3000+ Corporate Clients. Start in 30min. 12 hours delivery. From 29 $/hr. Electric Wizard, My English 101 essay would have been a disaster if it hadn't been for 1custompapers.com, they saved me from failing my class. read this article Acrimony, etc. — but they came together with a different base of influence an a mission more strictly rooted in classic heavy rock, due essentially to http://www.uk-officesupplies.com/help-on-assignment/ - Receive an A+ help even for the hardest writings. get the necessary coursework here and forget about your concerns 100% Amott‘s being a fan of the heavy ’70s. In a power-trio configuration with drummer Buy-Custom-Essays-Online.com is the best thesis writing services to Academic Papers Companies online. We offers best service to our students Ludwig Witt — who is the only other consistent original member –and bassist/vocalist The latest Tweets from buy custom paper writing (@topdissertation). Rely on our experienced PhD writers and get a brilliant paper at http://t.co/VsKHdI1RE5. @ Christian “Spice” Sjöstrand, the band released their self-titled debut in 1994 and followed it with If you have any problems concerning writing tasks, then you need the Research Paper On Anxiety that can solve them easily. We are ready to do it! Another Way to Shine in 1996.

Even as labelmates on Music for Nations to the likes of Anathema and Paradise Lost and among other heavy rock practitioners of the time, Spiritual Beggars were a standout for the coherence of their approach. As other bands were discovering their sound, Spiritual Beggars seemed to know what they wanted almost immediately, and Another Way to Shine showed that in the multi-layer solo strut of “Sour Stains,” in the catchy depressive hook of “Nowhere to Go,” the semi-psychedelic flourish of “Misty Valley” earlier and the mid-paced fuzzout boogie of closer “Past the Sound of Whispers.” Of its era in many ways — a 50-minute runtime is nothing if not a marker of a ’90s release — Another Way to Shine even more than the debut before it was able to craft something new out of what had been done before. With a rousing start in “Magic Spell,” the band put the focus on Amott‘s guitar as one might expect, but even in so doing, and even with the undeniable metallic tinge to some of his leads, they found an avenue that was their own in tapping into what were the roots of heavy rock in the first place. Second cut “Blind Mountain,” the six-minute jammer “Entering into Peace” and the grittier riffing of the title-track.

As to why Spiritual Beggars aren’t tossed out in the same breath as some of the more pivotal groups of their generation, I think part of it is down to the creation of a narrative. spiritual beggars another way to shineProbably most kin to Acrimony, even compared to them, they were on their own wavelength, and while their classic affinity would prove prescient in terms of what became Sweden’s retroist movement beginning a few years later with Norrska and developing into an aesthetic with the advent of Witchcraft, Graveyard, and so on, and while on a basic level of heavy rock, they managed to precede the arrival of the likes of Dozer and Lowrider and their set, they were always on a different trip. Especially for being a side-project, their accomplishments didn’t fit smoothly into what has become the story of heavy rock and roll, and so, there you go.

No question part of it is also lineup. While Amott and Witt — who also played in Firebird with CarcassBill Steer and currently features in Grand Magus with JB Christoffersson, who was vocalist in Spiritual Beggars from 2002-2010 — have remained consistent all these years, others have come and gone. Per Wiberg (also of Opeth, Candlemass, etc.), joined on keys in 1998. Spice was out after 2001’s Ad Astra, which also rules, and in addition to bringing in Christoffersson to front the band, Roger Nilsson of The Quill and Amott‘s post-Carcass melodeath outfit Arch Enemy was brought in to handle bass, to be replaced in 2005 by Sharlee D’Angelo, also of Arch Enemy and Mercyful Fate. The aughts would prove less productive for Spiritual Beggars in no small part because of the ascension to prominence of Arch Enemy in the world of metal, as they essentially went from being one side-project to another. This, along with the rotating cast — in 2010, Christoffersson left to focus on Grand Magus and vocalist Apollo Papathanasio of Greece’s Firewind and numerous other outfits took over. The ensuing album, Return to Zero (review here), indeed felt refreshed, and it was followed by 2013’s Earth Blues (discussed here) and the most recent studio offering, Sunrise to Sundown (review here), which came out in 2016.

Even as Amott has revived Carcass and kept Arch Enemy going, Spiritual Beggars have remained a presence in Europe’s heavy rock underground, but I think the complication of their own history is some factor in why they don’t seem to have gotten their due either for their longevity (in one form or another) or their contributions to their genre. In some ways, they almost happened too early. Not just in the sense of pre-social media — hell, pre-internet — word of mouth promotion of bands, but also just on a basic level of having an audience there to understand where they were coming from. While listening today, Another Way to Shine might sound dated in its production — it was remastered in 2007, but is begging for a thorough going-over to really bring out the depth in what they were doing — in terms of the raw songwriting and performance, it’s nothing less than the classic heavy rock from which it took inspiration, and its reach nearly a quarter-century later is no more diminished.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

Did I mention thanks for reading? Okay good.

I’m back in Massachusetts now. We flew in from Shannon in Ireland yesterday — I’m told the American president was there at the same time we were, and we certainly saw heightened security en route to the airport, but did not catch a glimpse of his douchebaggedness — and got into Logan in Boston at around 2:30. Like two hours of needless traffic later, we were back home. Today we’ll drive to Connecticut and tomorrow on to New Jersey, where I think we’re pretty much set to stay until we have to come back north to move out of this place. There’s other travel between here and there — I have to come back to Massachusetts later this coming week for dental work, and Maryland Doom Fest will have us further south in another week’s time — but we’re taking our clothes to New Jersey, which would seem to me at least to indicate a new base of operations. I have to send out a big change of address email, but when people have hit me up lately to send records, I’ve been telling them to send to New Jersey. My beloved Garden State. I look forward to having this move finished, which I don’t expect it will be much before August, unless this place sells sooner. Which would be nice.

So that’s complex, but proceeding. The Ireland trip — woof. That was difficult. Traipsing around the Emerald Isle with a bitey, confused, constantly-nap-deprived 19-month-old is not something I would recommend to, well, anyone I wished well. But we got through it, staying in dumpy-ass hostels, plus one night in a decent hotel and two sleeps at an AirBnB that felt like a life-preserver in Derry. Nothing against Ireland itself, understand, but the circumstances of this trip, the amount of bus time, the baby, and so on, were exceedingly hard. I was ready to come home after about four days, and the trip went two weeks. It was some of the most slogging travel I’ve done, and a genuine strain, despite the gorgeous scenery.

But it’s over. On to the next thing.

Part of the rationale in scurrying off to Jersey this weekend is being able to catch Solace and Eternal Black — you’ll note the latter’s album stream went up today — in Brooklyn tomorrow. Review of that will be posted on Monday, so keep an eye out. Here’s what else is in the notes for the week, subject to change as always:

MON 06/10 SOLACE LUCKY 13 LIVE REVIEW, SAMAVAYO VIDEO PREMIERE, GLITTER WIZARD VIDEO, GIMME RADIO WRAP-UP
TUE 06/11 YAWNING MAN FULL STREAM/REVIEW
WED 06/12 ROADSAW REVIEW, IRATA VIDEO PREMIERE
THU 06/13 NEBULA REVIEW
FRI 06/14 MARS RED SKY VIDEO PREMIERE

Yeah, Monday’s busy, but Monday’s always busy, and honestly, I’m just happy to be back on my home-base laptop — was traveling with a Chromebook because, you know, if it got stolen I wouldn’t lose everything like I did last year in England — so writing should be fun. Plus it’s all good stuff and that helps.

The Gimme Radio show is today at 1PM Eastern time. If you get to check it out, thank you. It’s a wrap-up of some of the best stuff of 2019 so far. Listen at http://gimmeradio.com.

I think that’s gonna do it for me. It’s 5:42AM, the baby’s up and I’ve got other posts to put together for today as well as what I expect will be a glorious shower to take, so everybody please have a great and safe weekend. Have fun, rock and roll, and please do the Forum, Radio, merch thing accordingly.

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GIVEAWAY: Win Opeth and Paradise Lost Vinyl from Music for Nations

Posted in Features on July 27th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]

Get yourself some free vinyl now by entering to win Music for Nations reissues of Opeth‘s Lamentations and Paradise Lost‘s Shades of God. Both releases came out through the reborn imprint on July 22 and are available now to purchase, but if you leave a comment on this post, you can get them both for free. No personal information will be kept, and you sign up for nothing by entering.

I’m going to guess if you’re reading this you’re already familiar with both bands, but here’s more info on these releases from the PR wire:

opeth lamentations

Opeth, Lamentations

Lamentations features a live performance of Opeth’s Damnation album in full, interspersed with songs from the band’s masterpieces Blackwater Park and Deliverance. Conceived and recorded alongside Deliverence, Damnation marked a radical shift in style and tone. The band took the opportunity to move away from their earlier death metal sound and towards a style reminiscent of 1970s progressive rock, taking inspiration from their Blackwater Park collaborator and producer Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree).

Lamentations was recorded live at the prestigious Shepherd’s Bush Empire venue, shortly after both albums were released.

paradise lost shades of god

Paradise Lost, Shades of God

The album, a follow up to 1990’s Gothic album, is seen as the moment where Paradise Lost moved towards a more doom-centric sound, while still encompassing a wide range of other musical genres, showing off the band’s creativity and inventiveness in forging their own distinct take on doom metal, a style that would be continued on 1993’s Icon.

The album also saw the band’s initial transition away from using traditional death metal growls by blending them in with clean vocals, and quieter passages at times throughout the record.

Special thanks to Music for Nations and Atom Splitter PR for letting me host the giveaway. Winners will be chosen one week from today.

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]

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Anathema, Judgement, A Fine Day to Exit & A Natural Disaster: Of Continued Resonance

Posted in Reviews on July 9th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

anathema a natural disaster judgement and a fine day to exit covers

British label Music for Nations went under in 2004 after 21 years of releasing landmark metal in Europe from everyone from Entombed and Candlemass and Opeth to Tygers of Pan Tang, Savatage and Legs Diamond. Now owned by Sony via BMG, it has been reactivated and a series of reissues is underway highlighting Music for Nations‘ rather formidable catalog, which includes three records by Liverpool’s Anathema, who signed to the label in 1999 after the release of their fourth album, 1998’s Alternative 4, which would be their last — for a time — on Peaceville Records.

Remastered and issued as deluxe 180g LPs (plus CDs) with liner notes by the band and distributed in the US by The End Records, the three albums Anathema released with Music for Nations are what I usually consider from the middle era of the band. “Mid-period Anathema,” is the phrase I use. Ever-progressing, always changing, one can look at the career of Anathema in three stages: Their early days of doomed extremity that made them contemporaries of Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride, the middle era of melancholy influenced heavily by Pink Floyd, and the increasingly progressive work of the last half-decade plus, which has seen them return to Peaceville via its prog-minded offshoot Kscope and found them sounding happier to be alive than they’ve ever been.

Of course, that’s one way of thinking about it. Another would be breaking Anathema‘s discography into two stages — essentially “Then” and “Now” — which leaves their three Music for Nations offerings somewhat lost in the transition, and still another would be to simply say that each of their 10-to-date albums is its own era. Probably the most accurate in terms of the actual processes involved, but hardly useful in understanding the progression either of their lineup around brothers Vincent, Danny and Jamie Cavanagh or of their songwriting, which has retained a vivid core no matter how dark the material actually got. And it got pretty dark there for a while. Gloriously so.

Though 1999’s fifth album, Judgement, 2001’s A Fine Day to Exit and 2003’s A Natural Disaster weren’t close to being Anathema‘s angriest or most outwardly metallic work — for which one would have to go back to their 1993 debut, Serenades, or 1992’s The Crestfallen and 1995’s Pentecost III EPs; their rawness still eviscerating what since have become the conventions of modern theatrical doom — the three albums retain an emotional and atmospheric heft that continues to resonate even more than a decade after the fact. Each presents its own vision of the band, and each has its own sound, but over the course of the three — which The End has bundled together in special edition packages that include extras like a turntable slip mat and as the Fine Days 1999-2004 3CD/DVD mediabook — one can trace a line of vigilant creative progress, and that has always been what draws Anathema‘s discography together.

On a personal note, I’ll say that these three records particularly — I might take Alternative 4 over Judgement, but it’s close and that’s splitting hairs anyway — mark out my favorite era of Anathema‘s work. These are albums I’ve held sacred for years now, and a chance to revisit them is welcome long past the point of impartiality. I’ve been a nerd on this stuff for way too long not to call myself out on it.

Still, we dive in:

Judgement (1999)

anathema judgement vinyl and cover

One of the most striking things about the new version of Judgement is how clear it sounds. Not that the original was muddy by any stretch — Anathema had some lackluster productions in their early going, but had gotten it out of their system by the time they came around to their fifth album — but still, the backgrounds of songs like “Deep” and “Forgotten Hope” and “Parisienne Moonlight” seem to stand out more. It’s true of the other two records as well. Vinyl compression suits the atmosphere of Judgement, which retains a lonely, brooding sensibility despite a pretty broad range of songwriting, and the flow of “Forgotten Hope” into the tense repetitions of “Destiny is Dead” is as vital as ever. In the context of these reissues, the penultimate “Anyone, Anywhere,” with its piano and acoustic blend, seems to directly presage A Fine Day to Exit, though the emergent surge of slow distortion could just as easily be traced to the preceding Alternative 4. In any case, there’s no question as to what band you’re hearing, and though its mood is as blue and deep-running as its cover art, Judgement boasts enough space for more than a fair share of breadth, Vincent Cavanagh coming into his own as the lead vocalist and carrying “One Last Goodbye” across with a flair for drama that does nothing to undercut the emotionalism of the song itself. It was the height of the CD era, and accordingly, Judgement runs long for a standard single LP at 13 tracks and nearly 57 minutes — the side split coming between “Judgement” and “Don’t Look too Far,” the latter every bit worthy of the highlight position opening the second side — but it’s time well spent or re-spent depending on your experience in the band, and in addition to being their debut on Music for Nations, Judgement was pivotal in expanding the reach of Anathema‘s songcraft. Cavanagh mentions in the liner notes that it was also vocalist Lee Douglas‘ intro to the band — she’s on “Parisienne Moonlight” and “Don’t Look too Far” — and as she became more established in the lineup, that reach would only continue to grow.

A Fine Day to Exit (2001)

anathema a fine day to exit cover and lp

As with anything, opinions among the converted vary, and mine is by no means the prevailing one on this issue. However, from where I sit, 2001’s A Fine Day to Exit is Anathema‘s best record. It has all the weight and depressive vibing of their early work but presents itself with an absolute clarity of purpose in memorable songs that stay with the listener — provided the listener lets them and isn’t too busy expecting the album to be something it isn’t or resenting it for not being that thing — long after play has stopped. Its rich melodies and textures foreshadow the progressive mindset that would come when the band resurfaced with 2010’s We’re Here Because We’re Here (discussed here), but as a band, they were still more about atmosphere than pinpoint execution, and A Fine Day to Exit continues to benefit greatly from the specificity of the moment in Anathema‘s development it captures. Of the three reissues, it’s also the most different from its original version. What was the album opener with its distinctive piano stokes, “Pressure” has moved to the end of side A, and now arrives after the tense pulsations of “Underworld” and before the side flip, which brings the suicidal manic chaos of “Panic” — a song whose existential torture remains writ in its confusing lyrical turns, “Air bubbles in your veins turning my hands black,” and so on — and A Fine Day to Exit‘s heaviest thrust, still beautiful for its poetic bleakness and the stark contrast that its rush maintains with the slower flows surrounding. “Panic” as the starter for side B makes even more sense with the inclusion of new opener, the previously unreleased “A Fine Day,” which provides side A with a jump at the beginning of the record, an acoustic strum giving way to a cacophony (though if you listen, that acoustic line never leaves) of crashes and jagged guitar that cuts short with about a minute to go and ends with a sweet acoustic line that feeds into “Release.” In addition to shifting “Pressure,” side A’s “Looking Outside Inside” has been moved to the second half, where it follows “Breaking down the Barriers,” which used to just be called “Barriers” and used to lead into “Panic” instead of following it as it does here. To fit the format, closer “Temporary Peace” is also a truncated seven minutes on the vinyl, down from 18 on the original version (what with the “What about dogs, what about cats, what about chickens?” and all that silliness at the end) and down from 15 on this one’s accompanying CD. Do all these changes make A Fine Day to Exit a better album? I don’t know. Talk to me in 14 years. What they do is dramatically change the listening experience, and I think it says something that with what’s really some comparatively little minor tooling, Anathema‘s sixth offering can sound as fresh as it does here. It remains one of the best records I’ve ever heard. Ever? Ever.

A Natural Disaster (2003)

anathema a natural disaster cover and lp

After Anathema released A Natural Disaster in 2003, it would be five years before they managed to put out another long-player, and that was Hindsight, a revisit/reworking of older material. I remember wondering if they were done for some time. And in a way, they were, because when We’re Here Because We’re Here came out in 2010, they were a different band. A Natural Disaster found bassist Jamie Cavanagh back in the band alongside VincentDanny, drummer John Douglas (who’d played on the prior two albums as well, having come aboard for Judgement), Lee Douglas (still listed as a guest vocalist), additional vocalist Anna Livingstone who added lines to “Are You There?,” and keyboardist/programmer/recording engineer Les Smith, who makes a more significant impact on the material than one might initially think to hear the songs, but more than the lineup it established — the three Cavanaghs and the two Douglases being in the current incarnation of Anathema with drummer Daniel Cardoso — this was the record where Anathema pushed that sense of inward-looking darkness as far as it could go. A winter hasn’t passed in the last 12 that I haven’t at some point put it on to hear the kick-in of opener “Harmonium” and the sort of wandering ethereal melody of “Balance,” which follows, both songs drawing the listener into a programmed but organic-seeming world the tracks create. If one considers A Fine Day to Exit the trauma, then A Natural Disaster is the post-trauma, that moment of aftershock where damage is assessed. Of the three Music for Nations outings, it is also the most masterful, the steps that Judgement seemed to take as bold moves forward now refined to a point where Anathema could bend their own methods to suit purposes like the build-into-payoff-into-minimalism of “Closer,” or the meandering impressionism of “Childhood Dream,” the soft wistfulness of the aforementioned “Are You There?” and the bass-driven tension of the intro to “Pulled Under at 2,000 Metres,” which here makes a finish to side A no less driving than how “Panic” started side B of the album preceding — the two songs have always been linked in my mind, the outward heaviness of the other making it a spiritual successor to the one. Perhaps most terrifying of all is how comfortable Anathema seem inhabiting this emotional space, the longing that pervades “A Natural Disaster” and “Flying” at the start of side B emblematic of the range that has taken shape by this point in the band’s methods and the variety of forms their expression could, by this point, take. Backed by wisps of guitar, the piano and acoustic strum of “Electricity” provide a last human landmark before 10-minute instrumental closer “Violence” begins its movement forward and through a well-charted build and quiet finish. Far closer to being the same as it was to start with than was A Fine Day to Exit, if listening to the LP of A Natural Disaster has done anything, it’s forced me to really take on those last two cuts, where with the CD of the album that I’ve had since it was released I always tended to zone out after “Flying” and lose myself in the wash of “Violence.” Can’t say I regret paying closer attention.

Like I said, it would be five years before Anathema put out any new studio material — a couple demos surfaced on their website circa 2007 (unless my timeline is way off) for tracks that would show up on the next album; “Angels Walk Among Us” and one or two others — and by the time they did, this moment, the progression of JudgementA Fine Day to Exit and A Natural Disaster would have taken another turn that set in motion the current stage of Anathema‘s development. They plunged deep into a sonic bleakness, maybe too deep for their own liking, ultimately, but what they were able to bring out of that depressive morass remain some of the richest and most honest looks at it a band could hope to give.

Anathema, A Natural Disaster (2003)

Anathema at The End Records

Anathema on Thee Facebooks

Anathema’s website

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Friday Long-Player: Anathema, A Natural Disaster

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 8th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Sorry, but there’s a blizzard on, and nothing says winter to me like Anathema‘s A Natural Disaster. I know anything to do with the long-running British genre-shirkers is an invite for contrasting opinions — this or that album is better, this or that era — and I don’t know if I’d say A Natural Disaster is my favorite of their records, but it’s certainly up there and it was the capping statement on their era of bleak atmospheric rock. By the time they got around to Hindsight in 2008, they were a different band entirely.

So for what it is, I dig it, and if you don’t, I hope you’ll indulge me anyway on account of the weather, which I’m told is quite severe. It’s dark here — darker than I expected from the awesomeness of hue that was twilight this evening — so I can’t see it, but I hear the heavier snowfall is still to come and that areas north of me, Connecticut, Massachusetts, are going to get even harder. I don’t envy anyone two feet of snow. I said it earlier on Thee Facebooks and it’s worth repeating: Please be safe. You guys in the south too. I hear there’s more than a bit of rain headed your way.

Speaking of south, if not of the South, my plan is still to point the car in that direction tomorrow morning and get down to New Castle, Delaware, in time for the start of The Eye of the Stoned Goat 2, which features Pale Divine, Iron Man, Beelzefuzz, Clamfight and others. I’d list them all, but what the hell, here’s the flyer:

A good bill is a good bill, so weather be damned. If I can get out of the valley tomorrow — for Sandy that big snowstorm in 2010, we had trees down, but I don’t think this is supposed to be that bad — I’ll be there. If not, well, there’s always YOB on Sunday in Brooklyn for a doomly fix. Actually, I’ll be at that gig one way or another, but wherever I end up, I’ll have reviews accordingly. Also look for an Archon disc review and maybe the new The Kings of Frog Island as well, and an interview with the dudes in Traveling Circle, and a special reveal from Blaak Heat Shujaa and much more.

For now though, I’m pretty much just waiting for the power to go out. Last I saw, the branches were hanging heavy on the wires, so if it’s to be sleeping around a bonfire in the living room this evening and eating everything out of the fridge before it goes bad, well, I think I can handle it. Again, if you’re in this area, I hope you’re safe and warm and that your lights stay on, and wherever you might be, I hope you have a great and safe weekend. See you on the forum and back here Monday.

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