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***August Thirty First Two Thousand and Seventeen***



Instagrams -

Shit machines.  Cary, NC.

Lola put Burt to bed.  Cary, NC.

Old Dirty Bastard's biggest fan.  Cary, NC.  


Other Pics -

Somewhat recently refound scans from our Cambodia trip in February of 2008.  Not sure I posted them previously...the scans
were pretty
shitty, took a bit of tweaking even to make these few presentable.  


Videos and Such -

Somehow I went most of my entire life without seeing
Hard Ticket To Hawaii, and for that it hurts all the way down to
my soul.  So much insane dialogue, so many nutso acting performances, so many...boobs.  Lots of boobs.  

Lakai released their new video "The Flare Video," which I haven't seen but luckily Thrasher has been releasing the
"Extra Flare" clips for some/most/all the riders (not sure yet), which are sort of the "raw" files showing the struggle &
glory as each dude filmed their part.  Every one I've seen so far has been gold, with
Simon Bannerot getting my pick
as most amazing and
Raven Tershy as most enjoyable.  Plus Manchild and Jon Sciano ain't nothing to sneeze at

After a prolonged period of riding flow despite having already been pro for another company in the past, Chocolate
finally pulled the trigger and not only put 
Yonnie Cruz on the team, they bumped him straight back to the pro ranks
again.  Well deserved.  

Only one photo journal entry, some band photos from my extremely sparse show attendance these days.


With Waxahatchee and Ex Hex

I go from having never seen a show at the North Carolina Museum of Art to seeing two in two weeks...not only that, but
two of my all-time favorite bands.  Life is weird like that sometimes. 

Superchunk might be on my Mount Rushmore, but the band I was most excited about was openers Ex Hex.  I've seen
them a few times, but it had been a little while because apparently Mary Timony had been focusing most her time on
the Helium reissues and reunion shows.  In that time my love of their album "Rips" has only grown stronger - for my
money, the best power pop record of the last decade at least.  Just like every other time I've seen Ex Hex, they did not
disappoint - their short set was a mix of most of "Rips" plus a couple of new tracks which leaves me hopeful that their
sophomore effort will be along shortly.  It's rare I give a shit about the playing prowess of a guitarist, but Mary is just so
talented and fun to watch that in her case it's worth a mention - she is completely mesmerizing.  On top of that, their set
also featured both a drum solo and a bass solo (complete with hammer-ons!) that was totally awesome and not
annoying/indulgent like these things usually are.  Everyone pray to the god of your choice that there is a new Ex Hex
record in the near future, along with a tour to support it.  I need this.  The world needs this. 

You ever have one of those bands that you think you'll probably like, but you just need to spend more time listening to
their music?  Waxahatchee is one of those bands for me.  It's unclear to me if Waxahatchee is technically just front-
woman Katie Crutchfield and the rest are hired guns, or if it's an actual band, but either way her sister Allison (formerly
of the amazing Swearin') is now playing with her.  This information has no bearing on anything except to give me an
opportunity to remind everyone that they should be listening to Swearin'.  Anyways, here is my half-assed review of a
band I know nothing about...the five-piece was all female, and was wearing matching suits - except for Katie, who had
this flowing white dress thing that would have looked right at home on the stage of the Grand Ol' Opry in 1975.  From
a technical angle, the whole lot of them was damn talented.  Their upbeat songs, which was at least 2/3rds of their
set - I was feeling it.  Not entirely sure what to compare it to though, which drives me crazy - maybe a little bit like Jenny
Lewis? That's probably a fairly shit comparison but my music review OCD requires a comparison to something.  The
mellow songs I could have done without...they made me think of Lillith Fair, which makes me think of Sarah McLachlan,
which makes me think of sad puppies and kitties, and I hate thinking about sad animals.  At the end of their set I felt
the same as at the start - I need to spend more time listening to their music.

I'm not going to spend a lot of time on Superchunk - I've written about the group so many times before, likely more
than any other band by a long shot.  Their shows are always kinda the same - they play a ton of songs I love, Mac
jumps around a lot, Jon and Jim make the occasional witty quip, and I enjoy the hell out of myself - it's why I keep going
back again and again.  Here are my few notes that were, um, noteworthy: there was a lot of political talk from Mac,
which isn't surprising given the current climate.  They thanked pretty much every town in the Triangle sans Cary - pro-
bably an intentional omission, but shitting on Cary is just what the Triangle does.  Jon specifically noted he wanted to
thank Fuquay, but not Varina.  Given the show was outdoors and all ages, there were a number of kids there, and
specifically there was a 5-6 year old boy in the very front air drumming along with the songs that delighted me to no
end.  Given the impending remastered re-release of their first self-titled record, they played a bunch of songs off that
one.  Finally, and most importantly, the encore was two of my very favorite jams of all time: "Cast Iron" and "Detroit
Has a Skyline." 

I enjoyed the hell out of myself.  I look forward to seeing them again and again. 


Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble
Cat's Cradle Back Room

I've been listening to a metric shit ton of Stereolab this summer, so Laetitia Sadier releasing a new album under the
name Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble and going on tour could not have happened at a better time.  No, she/they
didn't actually play any Stereolab songs, but it was close enough - and getting to hear that deep, soothing voice of hers
sing anything was more than ok with me.  As for that voice - Laetitia might have aged (as have we all unfortunately), but
she sounds as perfect as the first time I heard her 25 plus years ago.  I can't say a lot about the set list because I don't
know her solo songs on that level, but I'm pretty sure a goo chunk of them was from their the latest album "Find Me
Finding You."  A few other observations:

 - Laetitia not only plays her guitar left-handed, but with the strings upside-down aka "Jimi Hendrix style."  I have no
   idea if calling it "Jimi Hendrix style" is actually a thing.  I probably made this same observation (at least mentally) the
   last time I saw Stereolab, but that was a long damn time ago. 
 - Including Sadier, the band was a four piece - drums/bass/guitar/synths.  Actually, everyone but Laetitia had synths,
   and at a couple points they were all playing at the same time.  They all also provided backing vocals here and there. 
 - The drummer was a total bad ass, rocking beats with one hand that most drummers half-assedly do with two.  Not
    that he only had one hand, it was just often engaged with other percussion like them shaky egg things, or playing

Sure, like the rest of their fans I'd love for Stereolab to reform and record new music, but this is truly the next best thing. 
While at the show, there were even a few moments where if I closed my eyes I could convince myself it actually was
Stereolab...with her voice, anything she does is going to invite the comparison, but she seems more than able to stand
up to her own legacy. 


Belle & Sebastian
North Carolina Museum of Art

Seeing Belle & Sebastian is always noteworthy, as they're the wife's favorite band (as well as one of mine), a band
we've traveled to different states and countries in order to see them perform live.  But not since our days in the Bay
Area have we been able to see them where we live, and that made this gig particularly special.  They performed at
the outdoors amphitheater at the North Carolina Museum of Art - I'd never seen a band play here before, and as
always I was skeptical of an outdoor show as the sound is usually garbage, and summer weather in the south isn't
the most conducive to standing in a crowd.  This place is great though - the sound was excellent, the sold out show
was full without being packed, and by sheer dumb luck that almost never happens around here in July, the weather
was perfection - low humidity and not too hot.  Perhaps best of all, there is a general admission standing area right
in front of the stage, leading to us getting the closest we've ever gotten to B&S live. 

Enough logistics though, how was the actual show?  Great, it's even possible for them to have a bad
performance (I may be slightly biased here)!  No string section this time, but they did have a local dude playing the
various trumpet parts (they typically recruit local folks for this role to cut down on touring costs, plus it's gotta be a hoot
for whoever gets to be in the band for a day).  As always they played plenty of hits ("The Boy with the Arab Strap," "I'm
a Cuckoo," etc); they also performed a couple of new ones, including the (supposedly) live debut of their new single
"We Were Beautiful."  The real story of this particular gig was how many older deep cuts were on the set list...hell, they
played five or so tracks from "The Life Pursuit," probably more than they did when they were actually touring to support
that record.  And they didn't even manage to play "Funny Little Frog," the one song from that record they play all the
time!  You can see the full set list here, but it's impressive the number of songs they haven't played at all in the last
decade, or only a handful of times. 

So, a damn fine time was had by all.  Hopefully the turnout and the enthusiasm the Triangle showed Belle & Sebastian
will translate in them playing again here the next time they tour the States...or at least within driving distance!


"If you wanna smear mud on your ass, smear mud on your ass - just be honest about it. Look, Gene, I've never told
anyone this before, but I can suck my own dick, and I do it a lot."

Cause Co-Motion! - Only Fades Away.  This band should have been bigger...they really understood a pop hook.  
Which Way Is Up?

David Bazan - Both Hands.  I don't know what prompted David Bazan (aka Pedro the Lion) to go eighties new
wave, but I ain't mad about it.  It actually goes well with his somewhat monotone voice/sound.  
With You

The Bob Seger System - 2+2=?  Bob ain't just pap such ala "Like A Rock" -  the dude knew how to write some 
damn good songs, especially in his early days.  
Ramblin' Gamblin Man

The Clean - Crazy.  The great thing about the Clean and really only becoming a fan in the last few years is they re-
leased a lot of material and I'm constantly finding great old material that is new to me.  
E Motel

I have a shitload of cover songs saved in a folder on my computer.  Here are a few a like that have nothing in common
other than I didn't scroll past the letter "B" looking for something to post.  
Ryan Adams - Revelator (Gillian Welch cover)
Animals - Bring It on Home to Me (Sam Cooke cover)
Beck & Emmylou Harris - Sin City (Gram Parsons cover)
Black Box Recorder - Uptown Top Ranking (Althea & Donna cover)
Blonde Redhead - Le Chanson de Slogan (Serge Gainsbourg cover)
Bush, Kate - Sexual Healing (Marvin Gaye cover)

***July Thirty First Two Thousand and Seventeen***

A rough visual approximation of what it's like to take a baby on vacation to Maine.  



Albino alligator named Luna.  Fort Fisher, NC.

BFFs.  Cary, NC.

Ford Falcon.  Durham, NC.

Celebrating her 23 month birthday with a celebrity.  Cary, NC.  

Clouds.  Wrightsville Beach, NC.  


Other pics:

All from our cross country drive, late winter 2008.  Taken with my old Yashica tower medium format.

Death Valley NP.

Southern Utah near Zion NP.  

Zion NP.  

Zion NP.  


It took me a couple of months to get around to this Pyramid Country vid - I blame all the short videos and single parts,
it's hard for me to commit to anything over 10-15 minutes these days.  This one is worth it though...really feeling the
work Tyler Franz is doing, and any Ryan Lay footage is good footage.  Note to all skate video creators: if you're
going to insist on lofi filming equipment, at least do us the favor of putting everyone's footage in it's own distinct part
so we can tell who the hell is doing what.  Actually, that just applies to everyone, regardless of footage fidelity.  

I'm not sure I ever thoght the world needed another Brandon Westgate, but here comes Mason Silva to show me that
you can never have too many dudes who skate this fast and pop this high.  He turned pro with this "Red Balloon" part,
and it's incredibly well deserved.  

Spent most of my website time this month editing and creating five entries in the photo journal from our trip to Maine.
It was a fun trip.  Going on vacations is a pretty great thing to do, right?

No show reviews...Hopscotch looms large a little over a month from now though.  Did post a couple of music reviews.  
The new Spiral Stairs is great.  


"Everybody panic! Oh my God, there's a bear loose in the coliseum! There will be no refunds! Your refund will be
escaping this deathtrap with your life! If you have a small child, use it as a shield! They love the tender meat!"

Badly Drawn Boy - A Minor Incident.  A couple of BDB songs from the "About A Boy" soundtrack.  At the time I
always thought he was a little overrated, but then he dropped out of sight so fast he's probably underrated now.  
Something To Talk About

Baroness - Shock Me.  I've listened to the 2015 album "Purple" a shit tom over the last couple of months...both mel-
odic and heavy, a combination that rarely works but this is one of those exceptions.  
Try To Disappear

Brad Pot - Dipped in Batter.  Pretty straight-forward australian punk, who have been dominating the world at this
genre for the better part of a decade.  Possibly the best part though is Itunes listed the artist name as Brad A. Potts.  
Hit Me

Nick Drake - Pink Moon.  Stop me if you've heard this one before...

Perfume Genius - Longpig.  PG's second album "Put Your Back N 2 It" is still his masterpiece, but the other slabs
have good songs too.  
No Good

Prince Buster - Al Capone.  Ska classics, as occasionally featured on beer commercials aimed at white fratters.  
Take It Easy

Wu-Tang Clan - Da Mystery Of Chessboxin'.  I'm pretty sure these songs require no blurb.  I will say that as a
middle aged white dude, I have no idea how to appropriately handle writing the name of the last song - add asterisks?
Remove it entirely? Leave it listed as the Wu intended?  I went with the last option, but I'm not comfortable with it.  
Protect Ya Neck
Shame On A Nigga

***June Thirtieth Two
Thousand and Seventeen***

The republicans keep going on and on about immigrants stealing our jobs, but you never hear nary a peep about
human bankers being replaced by horses!  HORSES ARE THE TRUE ENEMY PEOPLE, WAKE UP!!!


I'grams -

Lazy butterfly that let me get too close.  Cary, NC.

Dodge Town Wagon.  Charlotte, NC.  

Countryside.  Wake County, NC.  


Links -

Manolo's Tapes, FTC Revisited
- this cat Manolo took the first two FTC videos and chopped them up a bit, throwing
in some unseen footage.  I watched the originals so many times the number may not be quantifiable by modern science,
so this one is a no-brainer.  

New Balance: Solo Brasileiro - the filming on the New Balance vids is so good that it almost doesn't feel like skate-
boarding any more...but anytime you get to see footage from Tom Knox and Jack Curtain and pretty much this entire
team you gotta stick those petty concerns in your back pocket and just watch.  

Two new entries in the photo journal - beach photos from our trip to Emerald Isle, and a collection of randomness.


Spiral Stairs
With Mac McCaughan
Cat's Cradle Back Room

Hey, I saw  Mac McCaughan play again!  For those keeping track at home, you're doing better than me - I've lost
count at this point the number of times I've seen the Superchunk frontman in his various forms.  He played sitting down
with an acoustic guitar, which seems normal but I feel like most of the times I've seen him solo he's played an electric. 
There were a couple of new songs, some of his solo songs, and of course a few Superchunk songs - "Driveway to
Driveway," "Sick to Move," "Digging for Something," the rarely heard but awesome "Rope Light," and "Nu Bruises,"
which Mac noted might be the first time he's ever played that one on an acoustic guitar.  Given that I've gone to see
this man play dozens upon dozens of times, is it even necessary to point out that it was great?  Well, it was, as always. 

Back in my Bay Area days, I got to see Scott Kannberg's first post-Pavement band Preston School of Industry a few
times since he was also living in the area at the time, and it was always delightful - more understated/less bombastic
than the work Stephen Malkmus was putting out by himself, but just as catchy.  Soon after he started performing under
the name
Spiral Stairs (his nickname on the early Pavement records), but his sound remained the same.  And then
after the release of "The Real Feel" in 2009...he disappeared.  Yadda yadda yadda, it's a few years and some random
festival Pavement reunions later, he puts out a really good new platter called "Doris & the Daggers," goes on tour, and
luckily I get to see him play again for the first time in at least a decade.  They kicked off their set with a cover of Roxy
Music's "Flesh and Blood," which reminded me to listen to more Roxy Music (I have this same thought every time I
hear Roxy Music).  After that, it was lots of tracks from the new record, and towards the end they even tossed in a
couple of Preston School of Industry gems.  This was all great, don't get me wrong, but my inner fanboy ecstatic he
was ending the show with a few Pavement jams.  Looking at his set lists from other gigs this is pretty common, but you
know what's not common?  Pavement drummer Steve West was at the show as a spectator, and actually got behind
the kit for a four-song pseudo-Pavement reunion: "Hit the Plane Down," "Date with IKEA," "Kennel District," and the
one that unsurprisingly got the biggest sing-a-long, "Two States."  It was a little sloppy, as I don't think Steve had played
these songs in ages, but that just added to the charm.  It was a great night all around, and hopefully it's not another
decade before Spiral Stairs decide to do this again.  Also, a full reunion Pavement tour would be totally fine with me. 


Iron Maiden
With Ghost
PNC Music Pavilion

As you could easily guess from my show history, I don't go in for these types of huge concerts at arenas or amphi-
theaters or in this case, pavilions.  Sometimes though, you just decide you've never seen
Iron Maiden and they aren't
getting any younger, so why the hell not? 

The opener was Ghost from Sweden.  The singer dresses like a demented pope and the rest of the band is wearing
masks.  I know this more from seeing photos of the band than what I saw on the stage, because we were so damn far could kinda make out the pope hat at best.  They sounded pretty good - much more melodic than I was ex-
pecting based on their look (you always expect a demented pope to shade more to the black metal descriptor, right?). 
There were a lot of Ghost shirts in the crowd, so clearly this was a pretty popular opener - I give them the thumbs up as
well.  Still, it's weird watching a metal band when it's still daylight outside.  Pretty sure they played the Lincoln Theatre
not too long ago, I'd be down to see them again in that more intimate setting. 

While there was no shortage of the expected white trash and rednecks at the show, the percentage was much lower
than expected.  And speaking of percentages, I figured the crowd would be at least 70% male, but in reality I'd put that
number closer to 80-85%.  It was a real schlong city.  The guy behind us spent a long time giving dating tips to a seven
year old, threatening to beat someone's ass over the phone, and referring to someone as "a sack of chicken wings
sewn into human form."  The guy that was briefly in front of us took his shirt off, threw it into the crowd, and then walked
away never to be seen again.  I would bet at least 50% of the crowd was wearing Maiden shirts - I gotta think that band
makes more off of merch than they do music and concerts combined. 

Speaking of Maiden, eventually they took the stage just as it was getting dark.  It was everything I hoped it would be -
huge "Indiana Jones" set, flash pots going off left and right, crazy lights and smoke, different Eddie banners for every
song, and most importantly, the band sounded great.  Probably the most impressive part was how active and agile the
band was, especially singer Bruce Dickinson - pacing the stage, jumping off of monitors, up and down from the multiple
tiers of set - I bet he covered five miles easy, not bad for a man nearly sixty years old!  Long story short on the set, the
highlights were "The Trooper" and "Number of the Beast," but they didn't play "Run to the Hills" much to my chagrin -
something I would have known if I had looked at their set lists before the show, as they've been playing the same set
for this entire tour.  The lack of that song was my only complaint from an otherwise stellar show.  Next time I'm splurging
for better seats though. 

Oh, and then as we left, I saw more people so drunk they were walking leaned back at a 45 degree angle than I've ever
seen in my entire life.  Which was especially impressive because all the beer was shit and it cost twelve bucks a can. 
Some of those folks must have spent their whole paycheck to get to that state, that's dedication. 

(Photo found online, as far as I know Miley Cyrus was not at this concert.)


"Can you feel the tension? I can. I can feel down in my plums. Getting a nice, bluish hue. Getting ready to take them
down to the farmer's market."

A chunk of classic early nineties hip's like being back in high school all over again.  Every single one of these
songs is an all-timer.  
Da Lench Mob - Guerillas in the Mist
Eric B & Rakim - Let the Rhythm Hit'em
Nice & Smooth - Sometimes I Rhyme Slow
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Appreciate

Royal Headache - Another World.  Stylistically this band is all over the map, hopping genres on nearly every song.  
This is usually a sign of groups not being able to do anything well, but that's not the case here.
Love Her If I Tried
My Own Fantasy

Run The Jewels - 2100 (feat. Boots).  What the hell can I tell you about the new Run The Jewels that everyone else
hasn't already said?  It's awesome, obviously.  
Legend Has It
Talk To Me
Thieves! (Screamed The Ghost) (feat. Tunde Adebimpe)

Superdrag - Keep It Close To Me.  Revisiting the third Superdrag album "In The Valley Of Dying Stars," which is
damn near pop perfection.  If their first record gets a 100 (and it does, don't argue with me), this one is at least a 95.  
Lighting The Way
Some Kind Of Tragedy
True Believer

***May Thirty First Two
Thousand and Seventeen***

Sex kinks are getting weirder and weirder every day.  I can't keep up with all of them.  


Instant Grams -

Vintage Land Cruiser.  Morganton, NC.  

This cat ain't right.  Marion, NC.  

Decaying castle.  Glen Alpine, NC.  

Cow watching.  Raleigh, NC.  

Sunset.  Pine Knoll Shores, NC.  


Other photos -

Some scanned film shots from the time I saw King Khan at the Local 506 not long after I moved back to North
Carolina...summer of 2008 probably.  Long exposure plus hand-held, manually triggered flash gives the laser results,
which was my style at the time.


Lynx -

Real Skateboards put out a banger of a joint part featuring Chima Ferguson, Davis Torgerson, and local hero
Justin Brock
- that nollie over the huge street gap by Davis is WHOA.  It's crazy what people just thrown into a web
part these days, but then again almost every part released is a web part these days.

Numbers released another team edit - I'm still not sure I'm fully backing this team, something about it rubs me the
wrong's definitely not the skating though.  He might be a kook in real like but I still get happy watching Eric
ride on a board.  And my god, Antonio Durao...what he can do makes no goddamn sense.  

I didn't do shit as far as photo journaling goes.  


Redd Kross
With Maple Stave
The Pinhook

Much to my delight, the Pinhook moved the start time of this show back one hour at some point between my leaving
the house and it actually starting...I guess the upside is I got to catch up on all of those news articles I had saved on my
phone as I stood around waiting for that hour.  The downside is...I had to stand around for that hour.  It's not watching
paint dry that is the true measure of time moving slowly, it's waiting for a show to start. 

The lone opener was Maple Stave, a local band that's been around for a while, but that I had somehow never seen
before.  This trio was some good, old fashioned late-nineties-style math rock - angular rhythms, no bass, aluminum
baritone guitars, some vocals but mostly instrumental, small tinges of Jawbox, larger tinges of Hurl and Dianogah...
they sounded like an act My Pal God would have released if Maple Stave had existed in 1997 (the band is old, but not
that old).  I would have literally shit my britches to have local talent like this twenty years ago, but these days this type
of music just doesn't get my juices flowing like it used to.  By no means am I saying Maple Stave was bad - they were
actually impressively strong musicians - it's more that my tastes have shifted, as they often do when you age from 20
to 40.  I wasn't mad about seeing them though, and I'm glad bands like this still exist out in the music world.  

Let's move on to what motivated a lazy asshole like myself to drive over to Durham and walk a few blocks in the rain to
get to the Pinhook...Redd Kross.  The most noteworthy difference this time around - the Melvin's Dale Crover was the
guest drummer on this tour.  The songs still sounded pretty much the same, but the drums definitely felt heavier, or at
least were being hit much harder.  Most of the set was a mix of old and new, including a few songs from the (somewhat)
recent and (very) excellent "Researching The Blues" - specifically, they played my favorite song "Downtown," and the
gig goes down in the book as a success for that track alone.  Somewhere around the middle of their performance they
played their 1984 record "Teen Babes From Monsanto" in full from start to finish, to commemorate their recent re-
release of the title.  What can you really say about vets like Redd Kross that haven't been said so many times before? 
They deliver an arena-worthy performance no matter the size of the room, and the packed crowd ate it up.  Standing
at the front of the stage to take photos, I could see their set list was nearly Guided By Voices in length - I lasted about
three quarters of the way through before that extra hour of standing around waiting spoke up and told me enough was


"Look, you think I want to be wasting my prison phone time on you? I could be calling a joke hotline."

Cornershop - Call All Destroyer.  A recent nostalgia trip reminded me how much I used to love the Cornershop
record "Woman's Gotta Have It."  Very fond memories of a show they played with Seaweed opening and Superchunk
as the headliners, one of my all time favorite live line-ups.  
Hong Kong Book Of Kung Fu

Mikal Cronin - Control.  It took a little while for the third Mikal Cronin record to grow on me, but I got there eventually.
Made My Mind Up
Turn Around

Mount Moriah - Calvander.  Speaking of third records by bands on's another one.  As always, love love
love Heather McEntire's voice.  
Chiron (God in the Brier)

Preoccupations - Monotony.  This band has sort of a Magazine vibe...that's a good vibe to have.  

Reigning Sound - Can't Hold On.  A couple of tracks from the free EP the band released via Scion called "Abdi-
cation...For Your Love" that's damn good and the whole thing might be available if you scour the Scion music site.  

Watching My Baby

I'm pretty sure I don't have to talk about this particular collection of classic REM songs, they more than speak for them-
(Don't Go Back To) Rockville  

Driver 8
It's The End Of The World As We Know It
Radio Free Europe


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