MENUEZ ARCHIVE PROJECTS IS LIVE!

After the last 48 hrs non-stop without sleep we launched this afternoon with about 2500 images in a BETA site. It’s still under development as we will be rolling out features and adding stories and images from the archive. Any feedback much appreciated. Now for vodka and deep sleep. Happy Valentine’s Day!

You can access through Doug Menuez and selecting STOCK or the site directly:

http://menuezarchiveprojects.com/

Menuez Archive Projects

Sunday
14
February 2010

APERTURE 3.0 IS HERE!

I make no apology for the lovefest review to follow. The tools we use make or break us, and I have been working with this digital stuff for a long time, always looking for ways to get back to the comfortable metaphors I grew up with in the wet darkroom and with film. Aperture 3.0 incorporates a lot of that tradition while providing all the latest technology to actually make me more efficient. Yes, they feature me in a nice video of how I use it, and that’s great, but seriously, my motivation for participating in beta testing and marketing is that I am just looking for the best tool to solve my problems. When I find something like Aperture I want it to succeed so I’m pushing hard for people to try it.

In all the years of working with software and hardware I’ve rarely if ever seen such a quantum leap in features in an upgrade. But these are not just features to add marketing punch, these are serious workflow improvements that take a program we love and use on a daily basis to a level pretty damn close to perfection. We asked them to merge libraries, so we could have a main archive in studio and bring the shoots back easily, we asked them for flags and labels, and unlike a lot of companies, Apple listened. And did it. And then they added tons of other cool and useful things such as Faces– face Rrecognition, and Places– geo taging, and more importantly, the shockingly productive new retouching tools. To me, what has been accomplished goes all the way back to some of the precepts Doug Engelbart spoke about in the 1950′s, about computers being able to leverage our brains. Because this is non-modular, I can work in a truly intuitive creative way on several levels as I’m editing and retouching. I can do several things at once throughout the program. This is a dream. You won’t believe it. Amazing. Check it out:

Apple – Aperture – In Action – Doug Menuez

Doug Menuez featured in Apple’s “Aperture in Action” video series « Stockland Martel

Tuesday
09
February 2010

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MENUEZ ARCHIVE PROJECTS LAUNCHES VALENTINE’S DAY

After several years of work, Menuez Archive Projects will open on February 14th, followed by a launch party on the 18th at our new studio in West Chelsea. Working virtually non-stop over the last four months since we got partners, we have been editing and vetting my archive of over a million images, and now scanning the selects. We’ll be making these images available to advertising, editorial and educational users through a new web site as well as through my agents at Stockland Martel. And we can now continue the preservation of my historic material shot in Silicon Valley that is housed at Stanford University Libraries.

I’ve been alluding to this upcoming launch and inviting folks to our blow-out party, but now that we’re in the homestretch I feel comfortable myself mentioning it here. MAP is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and chance to leverage all my years of work, and create a solid new platform to build on for the future phases of my career. The development of this project ties in with all the stuff I teach in my workshops in Santa Fe (March 7-13) and Woodstock (Aug. 7-8) and so I’m actually walking the talk. Not so easy, but what I do feel good about is that I’m proving this merger of art and commerce and getting paid to shoot what you love can be a reality; if I can do it, others can.  I think photographers all have to explore whatever they can in this harsh environment in terms of new business models, but the bottom line will always come back to what you see that no one else does and then supporting that vision with a solid business plan. Or marry well.

The most fun thing of the past few weeks though has been a chance to shoot a whole new library of images in Miami documenting various stories of real life—just as I would on my own—but the beauty part is these are all released.

Here’s a link to more info about our project on Stockland Martel’s blog, if you are interested in joining us for the party:  Party invitation: Come celebrate Menuez Archive Projects on Feb. 18 « Stockland MartelOf course, we are taking large risks, and no new venture is without risk. Over my career, I’ve experienced both successes and failures, and the clearest path to a more satisfying creative life goes straight through risk territory. What the hell, life is short.

Here’s the last shot I made at the end of our week in Miami. Through my talented nephew Max we found an intriguing electronic hip-hop band having a house party. As we were leaving, my young war photog friend Dan McCabe, who was helping out with video, alerted me that some of the kids from the party were hurling beer bottles at the train going through the yard across the street. By the time I got there,  the vibe and attention had shifted to more important matters:

House Party Kiss, Miami, 2010. ©Doug Menuez

House Party Kiss, Miami, 2010. ©Doug Menuez

Thursday
04
February 2010

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WORKSHOP IN SANTA FE

ART vs. COMMERCE

Doug Menuez
March 7 – March 13, 2010

REGISTER ONLINE » at link below
For more information or to register by phone,
call (505) 983-1400, ext. 11.

My upcoming workshop at the amazing Santa Fe Workshops is still open for sign ups and I welcome anyone who thinks they may benefit to go for it. Times are tough and it’s hard to justify that extra expense when survival is paramount, but I would argue this expense is crucial. The issues we delve deeply into are exactly those required to fine tune your skill set to not only survive, but thrive.

Photography Workshops | Santa Fe Photographic Workshops Santa Fe, New Mexico

From the catalog course description:

Photographers often find it difficult to reconcile the desire to follow one’s passion with the need for financial security. Doug Menuez figured out how to get paid for shooting exactly what he loves to shoot, and he shares the logical steps toward finding your own answers, based on his real-life experience.

Participants return home with a newly defined vision of themselves and their work, and with the tools to create the life in photography they have always wanted to lead. Join us and build a better foundation for your future.

Sunday
24
January 2010

DENNIS STOCK 1928-2010.

Dennis Stock & Susan Richards after exchanging wedding vows in 2006.

Dennis Stock & Susan Richards after exchanging wedding vows in 2006 at their house in Woodstock, NY. ©2010 Doug Menuez.

Dennis Stock has died at the age of 81. He began his long career at Magnum in 1951 shortly after winning first prize in the LIFE Magazine young photographers contest. Widely known for his intimate portraits and coverage of James Dean, Dennis covered a wide range of stories for all the major magazines,  publishing at least 16 books. He was always finding the heart of the subject matter and making compelling, beautifully composed photographs that everyone of my generation grew up remembering. He was a living link to what he often called a “golden” age of photography and an inspiration to me and countless others.

Dennis made pictures that get into your head and never leave. Simple moments that articulate a whole culture. His work in jazz and covering the hippie movement are great examples. He did this with passion and grace and with an open mind and heart. This was a man who lived and breathed photography and exemplified the life well lived.

He was also a dear friend and mentor and his gift to me was a constant vigilance and questioning of what I was doing or planned to do. He helped me immensely at a time when I was at a crossroads with very generous advice. He sometimes had a harsh style and could be intimidating, but that was because of his tremendous passion and belief in his ideas. He was old school, and unwilling to tolerate the least amount of bullshit from anyone. But he had a heart of gold and cared deeply about people, the world in which he lived, and his friends and family.

In my last conversation with Dennis a few days before he died he had just been diagnosed with inoperable cancer and given two months to live. Yet it was not really a sad conversation and we made plans to visit this weekend. He was too fierce to give up and I certainly could not accept the diagnosis as any kind of reality. But it was definitely the gentlest, easiest conversations we’ve had. Usually we debated the many issues we disagreed on. We even debated the ones we agreed on actually. But in this conversation he talked lovingly of his dear wife, the bestselling author and memoirist Susan Richards, who met and married Dennis three years ago. She brought him immeasurable happiness and balance at the very end of his long life, a blessing. He spoke of his “brilliant” son and grandson and their families. He was immensely proud of his offspring and described their considerable and impressive accomplishments. We talked about his years with Magnum, about his mentors and inspirations, his longtime colleagues he admired such as Elliott Erwitt, and his battles and frustrations.

An example of the kind of thing we would talk about a lot was compostion.  During our last talk, without any sense of bragging or ego, Dennis said, “for whatever reason, I was given the ability to frame anything. I can make a great composition instinctively.” He was stating a fact. Just look at his pictures. He also deeply believed in the precepts of HCB in regard to it not being enough to capture the moment, you had to also frame that within a pleasing geometric composition. For Dennis, this is how you catch the eye of the viewer, and this is how you make your pictures memorable.

We talked about his early days and I asked him about Eugene Smith. He told a few Smith anecdotes and the story about how Smith hired and fired him and sent him to Gjon Mili. We got on to the subject of the uncanny portrait taken by Andreas Feininger that graced the cover of LIFE after Dennis won the award in 1951. Dennis mentioned that a few years back one of his workshop students came to him and asked if he could recreate that portrait of Dennis. Although Dennis was a skeptical of the idea he consented and was quite amused and happy with the result in that he had this sort of bookend set of portraits at the beginning and near end of his life.

We once had a show at our former Woodstock Gallery of his Hollywood work, which was a rare and crazy priviledge. In general, except as I said for this last conversation, Dennis kicked my ass almost every time we spoke– constantly, urgently talking to me about what I was doing, or what he thought I should be doing, with my work and my life. That was a gift I can never repay. I was truly lucky to meet him and have him in my life, even briefly.

Dennis was the real deal. He will be sorely missed.

Wednesday
13
January 2010

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TED X SAN FRANCISCO TALK

Several friends and family have asked so finally for those interested here’s a link to my recent talk I gave at the amazing TEDX San Francisco on my upcoming project “FEARLESS GENIUS.”

http://www.menuez.com/data/web/1-

FEARLESS GENIUS is a film and book documenting the leading innovators in Silicon Valley during the 1980′s and 1990′s. The work began with a LIFE Magazine assignment from Picture Editor Peter Howe to cover Steve Jobs building the NeXT computer and continued for 15 years, ending with the collapse of the dot com era. Now housed at Stanford Library, it is being edited by Karen Mullarkey, former picture editor of Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone, and with Brian Storm of MediaStorm who is producing the feature length documentary film and multimedia piece. We are launching a new non-profit for education, Backlight Media Group, to make this project a catalyst and inspiration for the next generation of engineers.

I’m especially grateful to the organizers for having me join such an esteemed group of speakers, I was inspired and awed. You can see and learn more about TEDX here: TEDxSF

Wednesday
30
December 2009

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

©2009 Doug Menuez.

©2009 Doug Menuez.

New Yorker’s always find the upside in any situation. Yeah, tough, but kinda optimistic too. Wishing you lots of NY attitude this holiday season.

Wednesday
23
December 2009

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NOT DEAD YET: MORE NOTES FROM THE ROAD

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed a lack of words being generated in this space over the last month. Or not! I’ve been overwhelmed with the various projects we are pursuing. Regardless, it has been a pleasure to share my stories, thoughts and experiences with younger photographers making there way, and with the veteran shooters with whom I can commiserate. I have learned a lot from both groups. And that is one clear benefit of all this social media: a community has truly been created and is communicating big time. So even if my missives are more random in the coming year, I will continue to try to engage. Here are some random notes from my recent travels and projects:

PARADE MAG: FORMER PRES GEORGE BUSH ETC: I’m starting to get back into editorial which is tremendous fun, and recently shot a gig for Fast Company and then President Bush and Barbara Bush for Parade. We flew to Kennebunkport and were very welcomed. Although I’ve been a lifelong democrat I quickly went back into apolitical journalism mode for a few hours. I am a history junkie, so meeting a former President is a big deal (I had met and photographed him during a campaign in ’88) and instructive once again of some of the better features of our democracy. There is a fair amount of plasticity that remains at play in our system. Advertising: then spent two weeks in LA shooting massive campaign which started with 52 shots for ads, then expanded into a library shoot.

STOCKLAND MARTEL PHOTOGRAPHERS DINNER: Bill Stockland and Maureen Martel invited me to join the family of shooters they have built, whoever was in LA or lives out West, at an annual dinner they host. It was a rare chance to meet some photographers I’ve idolized and admired, young and older, such as Walter Iooss, Kwaku Alston, and Hans Gissenger. I also got to chat with Vincent Laforet and his lovely wife Amber and see beautiful images of their kids. But the whole thing was so cool and such a good idea. Photographers are typically pretty isolated and competitive and bringing everyone together, especially the young and veterans into the same room, was so smart because it inspired everyone there. We all felt part of a larger unit which gives you confidence and courage to keep fighting the fight.  As one of the newer members, it made me quite proud and happy to be part of it. Then I stole away early with the talented writer and editor Kristina Feliciano– she writes the SM blog among other projects– and begged her to help me hone my TED speech. We worked till 3 in the morning and then I went off to prep my ongoing shoot.

TED X SF: I arrived from LA for the most terrifying talk I’ve had to give in years with little sleep and an outsized case of stage fright. I’m always nervous when I talk but this was the first time I was presenting my images from my 15 year documentary in Silicon Valley project to actual people from Silicon Valley. I wasn’t sure if anyone I’d shot would be in the room either. It was a test also because I was given only 18 minutes. Those who know me understand this was draconian. In Portuguese I believe the term my wife applies to me is “bocao” or big mouth. Had to keep it…short. And the other speakers were a seriously brilliant collection of deep thinkers and activists so I had to raise my game. (Videos will be up in a few weeks on the www.tedxsf.org site or at  youtube searh for ted talks and tedxsf). I’d like to thank Suzie Katz and PhotoWings  http://www.photowings.org/pages/index.php for bringing me to TEDx SF  http://www.tedxsf.org/ organizing committee attention. I also must thank the organizers I met: Jason Johnson, Christine Christine Mason McCaull, Taylor Milsal, and all the others who busted out the hours to make it happen and made us all so welcome.

©2009 Doug Menuez

©2009 Doug Menuez

As some of you may know, I shot this work behind the scenes in the 80′s and 90′s with unusual access of the leading innovators of the day.  Stanford has been preserving the work but now with the help of the amazing picture editor Karen Mullarkey we are beginning again to edit the 250,000 images. What I have been able to show from that era is taken from less than 3000 images Karen edited some years back. But the work touches on the every aspect of the digital revolution and the rise of the internet and now we believe we can create a film (produced by Brian Storm of MediaStorm with our archive President Dave Mendez) and book (with text by Paul Saffo, design by Michael Rylander) that can ultimately provide educational value. Not only to deliver lessons learned for the next wave of innovation, but to help inspire the next generation of engineers.  We have formed a new non profit (Backlight Media Group) to produce the project.

My talk basically described how I got from shooting AIDS, and famine in Africa to Silicon Valley to cover the story of the human side of tech development. It was an explosion of creative innovation that began in the 80′s, building on the previous decades breakthroughs which had set the stage, and gained speed until an even greater explosion of innovation led to the rise of the internet and the dot com era. This of course came crashing down with the collapse of the dot com bubble. I ran out of time and was unable to deliver my observation (not original) that when this crash occurred in 2000, this was also the end of the last era in which America led the world in innovation. Tom Friedman and many others have been arguing for years that China and India, and now Brazil are eating our lunch and that we have to recapture that energy and spirit. The brilliant entrepreneur Judy Estrin argues that the investment model that was created and solidified during the dot com era, in which investors must get their money out in 18 months, actually put a brake on innovation. We may think we are still super innovative and creative but innovations such as Facebook and Twitter are just software apps that have leveraged what came before. They are not massively scalable technologies that can employ millions of people in factories across the globe such as was the case during the information/computer revolution. For that level of breakthrough, we must look to the coming wave, perhaps from green tech. But industry leaders such as Rob Walker, co-founder of LSI Logic argue that even if you find that magic, scalable green tech, we don’t have enough engineers to populate the industries that will rise from it. At least not here in America. Less than half the engineers here in America are American he points out. And under Bush we cut the visas available to bring in foreign engineers. Rob says the Americans are not innovative enough because they are not hungry enough and he would not hire them. Where does that leave us? With a soft, fat delusional culture in my opinion. So it’s worth a try to get a few kids excited about math and science and to push our educational system to serve these kids.

But it’s also about wonder, and imagination and the sheer joy I saw in the engineers I met in the early 80′s who truly believed they could make the world a better place with their technology. During the dot com era that shifted to a basic human feeding frenzy based on doing IPO’s for products that were not really ready for markets that did not really exist– enter Wall St. and the sub prime mess, all built on tech and innovation run amok. But the marketing was great!  True creative innovation does not happen in 18 months. Investors have to start going long term and we have to better educate our young to make it to the next big wave of innovation.

©2009 Doug Menuez

©2009 Doug Menuez

TECH MUSEUM, THE TECH AWARDS: http://www.techawards.org/

From there my wife Tereza and I were invited to go with Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt to the superb TECH Museum in San Jose where we got to see one of the best slide shows I’ve ever seen, produced by the TECH’s  brilliant David Whitman and with editing again by the incomparable Karen Mullarkey, and which had images from Salgado, Jose Azel, many Magnum images and a host of other great photojournalists. In that context, where they were giving cash awards to innovators in the third world who are struggling to bring energy, health care and education to the most impoverished people in the world, it was a powerful display of the continuing importance of photojournalism. You could hear the Silicon Valley movers and shakers commenting on the images. One gains hope for a “dying” form of communication where one can. But photoj’s not dead, not by a long shot.

After the slide show Al Gore gave a speech and got an award which although failing to move the few Republicans around us, impressed me as one of his best. The smartest line: “Oh, the earth will be just fine.” In other words, Mother Earth doesn’t give a shit what we do, she will survive. We humans have a little problem.

I ran into Steve Wozniak  and his wife Janet. I shot Woz back in the 90′s showing one of the first Gameboys to John Sculley, then CEO of Apple, both of whom will be in our book and film. I told Woz that I had reminded my audience at TEDx that before “Dancing with the Stars” he had co-founded a little company called…Apple. He remains a lovely, generous person who happens to be one of the true fearless geniuses of our time.  John and Marva Warnock were also there, and John and I discussed the latest big format digital cameras with 64 mp size files that look like 8×10 or bigger film and how all this has changed the game again. I was documenting John when he was starting Adobe in the 80s and he will also be featured in our upcoming project. You had the Guttenberg Press and for 500 years not much happened. Then John Warnock and Chuck Geshke created PostScript, and later Photoshop (with the Knoll bros.) PDF Acrobat, InDesign, Premiere, etc etc etc…

©2009 Doug Menuez

©2009 Doug Menuez

FEARLESS GENIUS/Stanford: I followed up the TECH with meetings about our non-profit and how to get the funding we need to produce the film and book and educational materials. I’m very excited to be working with Stanford Library on this as they have offered their support and access to their priceless collections. I had various meetings in the valley also and got a lot of strong interest and commitments to help. Documentary films typically don’t make money, so our hope is that by going non-profit we can attract those who are passionate about education and technology and want to help preserve their own legacy.

News Flash: We got our first small donation from some insanely creative thinkers doing great work at the Palo Alto Institute. http://www.paloaltoinstitute.org/ Just meeting Joon Yun, wth my old friend Devi Kamdar, and hearing their plans (with Susan Oshinsky) and ideas gave me great hope for the future. And I came away convinced that our Fearless Genius project is going to attract wide support. The timing just feels right.

Photographers with book or film projects have to really act as entrepreneurs. There are so many grants out there and people with money who want to support the arts. If you can create a solid plan you can get funded. I talk about this in my workshops and I’ve done it several times in the past. But every time I do this I learn something new. And honestly, I’m not that great at it because I’m a photographer, not a businessman. Although many may confuse me with being a business guy because I write about it and share my experiences. I don’t pretend the money arrives magically.  But that is because I think too many shooters hide behind their fear of taking control of their own lives and destinies. The price for doing that is learning the basic ways in which the world works and how money flows around. It’s a high price to pay for any artist, I grant you that.  But the reward is doing your best work. Read Andy Warhol’s bio people.

STUDIO/ARCHIVE: Tomorrow I will get to see all the hard work our incredible team have been putting out in our new studio and archive. Moving our studio from Kingston to West Chelsea in Manhattan has been a real test of willpower, as anyone who has moved their studio can attest. But phones and printers and lights and shelves and desks and all that good stuff seem in place. I’m starting to get this wierd feeling that just maybe I will actually be able to put down roots again, for the first time since Sausalito, and I sure hope so. I don’t want to move again. Ever. Well, for a long while anyway. But thanks Dave, and Chris, Josh, Whitney, Matt, Karen, Lindsay and Peter and Dan for all the kick ass effort. I’m being coy here in that we are cooking up something new and fun there in the new studio but I don’t want to put the cart before the horse is fed and ready to march. More on this spectacular team and Menuez Archive Projects in this space soon.

FOR INSPIRATION:

©2009 Peter Turnley

©2009 Peter Turnley

PETER TURNLEY: Peter has always been a great inspiration and his generous spirit is a lesson in how to live well and do good work.  He is now offering some of his limited edition master prints for sale and the prices are unbeatable. I highly recommend spending your savings on these masterful images. Here is an excerpt from his note:

“As the holiday season approaches some people have asked me about the possibility that I might offer a significant discount price on one or more of my signed collector photographic prints. Below I have included information pertaining to an exceptional holiday season discount to the usual gallery price of my signed 16 x 20 silver gelatin archival collector prints of my photographs.

My black and white photographs are printed by the great Parisian master printer, Voya Mitrovic, who has printed for 40 yrs for photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Josef Koudelka, Sebastio Salgado, and Rene Burri. His traditional silver gelatin prints are of stunning quality and make wonderful wall pieces.  Every black and white print will have my signature on the front as well as both Voya’s and mine on the back.”

welcome to peterturnley.com

CLIVE BOOTH: An old friend of mine who used to be a client and built a stellar career as a graphic designer for global brands such as Toyota, is now building a second career as a fashion photographer. Clive has a documentary style that is humanist in tradition, but modern in application with his use of shallow depth of field and attention to foreground detail. His work is just beautiful and shocking for how timeless he renders the world of fashion,  a world of pop culture ideas and products not known for lasting much beyond a season. Clive is also now directing short films for amazing clients across Europe and in NY and you will soon know his name and work. He is a true star with deep talent that we can all be inspired by. Check out his site:

http://www.clivebooth.co.uk/

©2009 Clive Booth

©2009 Clive Booth

Now for brief Thanksgiving family break then off to Brazil for two weeks of shooting…tudo joya…ate breve!

Sunday
22
November 2009

TED X SF TALK NOV 17

NOV 17: TEDx SAN FRANCISCO Talk: “FEARLESS GENIUS: When Silicon Valley Innovation Transformed the World, 1985-2000″

I’m very pleased to confirm I will be at TED X San Francisco showing images from and discussing the work in progress from my 15 year documentary behind the scenes with the leading innovators and companies who brought us the digital revolution and the internet. Please join me at this amazing event. Tickets are available at their web site and it’s not too late!

TEDxSF


Welcome to TEDxSF serving the TED community of the San Francisco Bay Area.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx, a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxSF, where x=independently organized TED event. At our TEDxSF events, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.

To learn more about TEDx, please visit ted.com/tedx.
Monday
26
October 2009

PLAN YOUR MOOD: THE DAILY MOOD REPORT!

HEY!! NEW PUBLIC SERVICE FROM DOUG MENUEZ FOR CREATIVES: THE DAILY MOOD REPORT!

Advisory: Cotton Coulson may or may not be using this product. Photo©2009 Doug Menuez

Advisory: Cotton Coulson may or may not be using this product. Photo©2009 Doug Menuez

As so many of us are aware, there are many studies showing the relationship between madness and creativity– a fine, sometimes manic, line between an artist’s free flight or funk. And to me it seems that so much of what Facebook, Twitter, and social networking is about is a not so subtle mood report; those everyday activites and comments about sharing cool suff and whatever catches our eye, really reflect how our day is going and how we’re doing.

So as a public service to semi-crazed artists, creatives everywhere, and anyone who could benefit from an emotional forecast on the day ahead I thought it would be useful to publish a daily weather report for the soul.

Please look for my collective unconscious DAILY MOOD REPORT on Twitter and Facebook and get your mood properly sorted out before the day’s events rush in.

Of course we’ve had top research scientists, Jungian analysts and Joseph Campbell studies PHD candidates carefully gathering the data points from creative sources worldwide, and then advising on our report. We are 100 percent confident the DAILY MOOD REPORT will in fact be fairly accurate, provided you’ve already dropped a few hits of four way sunshine!

Wednesday
21
October 2009

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