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Soda Citizen: Sean Thomson loves satanic crabs

August 07, 2018 - Sean Rayford: If you participated in organized crime, what would your role and nickname be? Sean Thomson: Something bor...
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About Last Night: Confederate Fagg at Art Bar

February 19, 2018 - Celebrating his retirement from the U.S Army, Confederate Fagg drummer, Packer, and bandmates Teabag Balzac, Spanky Swat...
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Photos: Mardi Gras Festival Columbia, SC

February 11, 2018 - A show at the Elbow Room was my alibi on two occasions in 1998. The first instance occurred when my neighbors in Preston...
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Soda Citizen: Alex Strickland of Abacus/Bathe

January 31, 2018 - Sean: Do you believe in aliens? Alex: No. I want to, but I just don't. Do you believe that they don't exist or just ha...
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Photos: King Day at the Dome - Columbia, SC

January 15, 2018 - The South Carolina NAACP hosted the annual King Day at the Dome this morning in Columbia, SC. Following the statewide pr...
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Photos: '68, Whores at New Brookland Tavern

December 07, 2017 - '68, Whores, Alistair Hennessey (not pictured) performed at New Brookland Tavern last night in West Columbia, SC. The t...
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13 Practical and Affordable Holiday Gifts for Photographers [$10-$250]

November 23, 2017 - One of the best things about photography - and most creative endeavors - is the unending process of learning. In celebra...
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Photos: Susto at The Music Farm Columbia

November 20, 2017 - Charleston's Susto performed at the Music Farm Columbia and will be heading back out on the road during the month of Dec...
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Photos: First Week at Catitude Cat Cafe

November 16, 2017 - PHOTOS AND WORDS BY SEAN RAYFORD University of South Carolina grad Andres Ortega had a nice job in corporate America.
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Photos: Elmwood knows how to Halloween

November 01, 2017 - Children laughing in every direction. Music coming from three. A shriek from a frightened skeleton wearing a tutu and an...
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Photos: Third Eye Blind last night at Music Farm

October 28, 2017 - The last time I saw Third Eye Blind my friend Fred punched my not friend Larry at a stadium show in D.C. It rained durin...
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Photos -The Making of The Theta Girl

October 24, 2017 - NOT SUITABLE FOR WORKPLACE VIEWING - Adult content ahead When I walked into the bathroom my friend Jaime Clark was pain...
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Photos: Protests against Richard Spencer - Gainesville, FL

October 20, 2017 - Three Texas men with extremist ties have been charged with attempted homicide after firing at a group of protestors yest...
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Photos: Anti-Trump Rally in Greenville, South Carolina

October 18, 2017 - Dressed as Lady Liberty, black tape sealing her lips, Miranda Anderson stood next to Brent Hutcheson on Monday night in...
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Photos: Jam Room Fest with Guided by Voices

October 15, 2017 - You know something’s afoot when a dude walks past you on Main Street in Columbia wearing a Merge Records t-shirt and you...
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Photos: Last night with Manchester Orchestra & Tigers Jaw

October 07, 2017 - Atlanta's Manchester Orchestra booked their first out of town gig in Columbia, SC and singer Andy Hull, along with his b...
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Photos: Friday night at Hoechella - Columbia, SC

August 27, 2017 - So far this weekend, I’ve made photos at an Apache helicopter team’s deployment to Afghanistan, a youth golf skills tour...
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Photos: Sneak attack finishing move on the dance floor

August 24, 2017 - It was a sneak attack from behind. Energized by the crowd’s appreciation for his jive, sporting a black fanny pack and a...
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Photos: Party at the Library - Columbia, SC

July 01, 2017 - “Sarah created this amazing sea monster that was grabbing a boat and it was delivering it from the sky. Our monsters… mi...
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Soda Citizen: Tyler Morris Listens to Phish

June 16, 2017 - Sean: If you are eating peanut butter, how or with what are you putting it in your mouth? Tyler: With a spoon. Or in a...
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Photos: Antiwar Protestors Piss Off Old Man

April 13, 2017 - I wasn't out in front of the South Carolina Statehouse again for a another protest. The antiwar protestors just happene...
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Soda Citizen: Josh Bumgarner vs. the Giant Duck

December 13, 2016 - Sean: Would you rather fight one donkey-sized duck or 100 duck sized donkeys? Josh Bumgarner: I’d probably go with the...
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Soda Citizen: Aaron Graves on What Makes a Good Donut

December 12, 2016 - Sean: What makes a good donut? Aaron Graves: A good yeast donut or a cake donut, you can dunk it. The cake or the yeast...
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Capitalist at house show convinces photojournalist to change career goals

August 08, 2016 - When I ran into Summer Ruisseaux on Friday night at New Brookland Tavern she was a bit apprehensive about hosting a hous...
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Photos: A dissident, cameraman, po-po shit sandwich - On the streets at the RNC

July 20, 2016 - "NAZI SCUM!...OFF OUR STREETS! NAZI SCUM!...OFF OUR STREETS! NAZI SCUM!...OFF OUR STREETS! I can hear protestors in the...
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In Photos: Soda Citizens Celebrate Famously Hot New Year

January 01, 2016 - I felt for the folks last night celebrating New Year's Eve when I watched a girl finish a Bud Light at the front of the...
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Photos in the News: November 15-21, 2015

November 23, 2015 - A week ago this morning, I was preparing to cover a student organized walkout and protest at the University of South Car...
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An Instagram Guide to the Soda City: Columbia SC - Vol. 2

June 16, 2015 - If one were to judge my travels in and around Columbia, SC by this edit of Instragram photos I've made during the last t...
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About Last Night: Of Montreal at Music Farm - Columbia, SC

May 16, 2015 - I'm balancing between a Red Bull table and a metal stool during Of Montreal's headlining set when Tyler Morris of E.T. A...
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About Last Night: Toro y Moi at Music Farm Columbia

May 14, 2015 - What are we going to complain about now that Columbia has a venue to accommodate it's very own hometown indie rock super...
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Welcome to the EasterCat Columbia Alley Cat Race/Crawl/Hunt

April 05, 2015 - I knew this wasn't your average sporting event when my friend Katie showed up and showered a participant with champagne...
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About Last Night: Defeater at New Brookland Tavern

April 03, 2015 - There are 7,070 miles between Columbia, SC and the hometowns of the five bands who visited New Brookland Tavern last nig...
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An Instagram Guide to the Soda City - Columbia, SC - Vol. One

February 19, 2015 - I love Instagram. I mean come on, if you told me 10 years ago that I'd be able to walk around with camera technology lik...
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The Angry Whale's Year in Music - Photos - Vol. Four - 2014

December 31, 2014 - For me, 2014 has most resembled the journey our elementary school kickball used to take during homeruns and when someone...
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The Angry Whale's Year in Music - Photos - Vol. Three - 2014

December 31, 2014 - It's the morning of the final day of the year and we've only reached June of 2014 in this 365 day music narrative. That...
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The Angry Whale's Year in Music - Photos - Vol. Two - 2014

December 30, 2014 - Welcome back. If you've been following along with the narrative, we're about a third of the way through 2014 and picking...
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"This is just a perpendicular line to the grain"

December 04, 2014 - As a freelance photographer, I end up shooting for a lot of different entities. From the university, a greek organizatio...
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Vista Lights Reminds Us it's Time to Buy Gifts

November 21, 2014 - If you were traveling around downtown Columbia last night and were detoured from your usual route, you can blame the ann...
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South Carolina State Fair Gracefully Kicks Off 2014 Season

October 09, 2014 - Fascinated by the organization of shapes and colors and avid observer of human behavior - the fair for me is heaven. The...
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Soda Citizen: Bakari Lebby at Diarrhea Planet

September 14, 2014 - I met up with Bakari before the Diarrhea Planet show at Art Bar the other week. Before I could get the questions rolling...
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50 Awesome Moments from the Dixie Youth World Series - Lexington, SC

August 16, 2014 - I had forgotten the implications of being an out during the last inning when your team is losing an elimination game or...
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Soda Citizen: Curt Heiny of Archnemesis

August 07, 2014 - A few weeks back I got a phone call from Curt Heiny, an EDM producer from Columbia, who makes and performs under the mon...
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Soda Citizen: Dylan Dickerson of Dear Blanca

August 02, 2014 - I tracked down Dylan Dickerson of Dear Blanca at last night's Arts & Draughts to not talk about their new record or the...
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Ending an Era - Final Regular Season Game at Capital City Stadium

August 01, 2014 - “The bassoon is one of my favorite instruments. It has a medieval aroma, like the days when everything used to sound lik...
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About Last Night: Oathbreaker, Cult Leader and Steely Dan

July 30, 2014 - Just before Steely Dan took the stage last night at the Township Auditorium, I had a conversation with a venue employee...
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Regulators Throttled by Greensboro Roller Derby

July 21, 2014 - It was a pretty close match at the Columbia Armory on Saturday evening between the Richland County Regulators and Greens...
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"For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" Happy Birthday Josh Scogin!

July 17, 2014 - I've been photographing and working shows involving different projects from Atlanta musician Josh Scogin for most of my...
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"The only reason for making honey is so I can eat it"

June 23, 2014 - Just on the inside of the the doorway to the runway it was like a colony of bees. Make-up artists and hair professionals...
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"Bizarre Celebrations" - Soda City Gets Weird with Of Montreal

April 20, 2014 - For a few minutes on Thursday night, patrons at the Columbia Museum of Art were teleported to Antarctica with a large he...
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Street Rat in a Ball - SC at SXSW Part Two - Photos

March 25, 2014 - "Street rat in a ball," said the young man wearing a knit cap on Sixth St. in downtown Austin on a Wednesday night durin...
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Someone's Mom Rips Beer Bong at St. Pat's Festival - Photos

March 17, 2014 - "MOM! MOM! MOM!" I could hear the chant behind me funneling through the chaos of St. Patrick's Day in Five Points, Colu...
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13 Lucky St. Pat's Moments with Humans Posing for the Camera

March 17, 2014 - Sometimes the humans react in strange and awesome ways when they see me with a camera. A long time ago (think Jesus time...
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Welcome to The Live Music Capital of the World - Photos - SXSW 2014

March 11, 2014 - "It's about to get real windy out here," says the dude carrying the leaf blower on the deck of the Javelina Bar at 69 Ra...
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Mardi Gras at City Roots - Soda City Style 2014

March 04, 2014 - As the sun crashed across the City Roots Farm near Owens Field Airport on Saturday, groups of children played on piles o...
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Can't Remember the Weekend - Ep. 4 - Rainbow Pooping Unicorns

March 03, 2014 - The premise of this photoblog is a pursuit of rainbow pooping unicorns. Saturday morning I came pretty close, when I sho...
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Can't Remember the Weekend - Ep. 2 - Hump Mountain Roller Derby

February 10, 2014 - On four Friday nights each year Soda citizens gather downtown at the Columbia Museum of Art to listen to live music, dri...
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"Two Star Hotel" A Book of Photography by Sean Rayford

August 09, 2013 - My favorite photography medium to work in is now "book" - followed closely by buttons. I'm happy to announce that...
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Nuke Facility Employees Try to Bully Photojournalist - Fail

July 24, 2013 - "Don't you know what you are doing is against the law?" shouted the Westinghouse Nuclear facility's rent-a-cop from the...
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Weird Al Yankovic Ruins Birthday Party

June 21, 2013 - "Was it dark or light beer?" "That's awesome if that is your first question - and it was a PBR." So begins my phone co...
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Soda City Salutes Legendary Rockafellas' Music Club

May 20, 2013 - I saw three notable bands at Rockafellas' during my freshman year at USC before the music venue shut it's doors: Machine...
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Unicorn sighted at Kenny Chesney Concert - Photo

May 13, 2013 - I spent the Saturday before last hanging out at Williams Brice Stadium photographing the Kenny Chesney concert. Most of...
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Guitarist John Vail Suffers from Bangover - Photos

April 29, 2013 - "The Bangover lasts about three days. The first show, you lose your mind [onstage]. And then the next two you are in ago...
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Drunk Guy at the Festival & Hula Hoops - Photos

April 23, 2013 - The drunk guy at the festival has always been a side attraction for me, orchestrating a ballet of intoxication that is o...
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Clowney Catches TD Pass - South Carolina Spring Game Photos

April 14, 2013 - Jadeveon "Hammer of the Gods" Clowney was standing next to me on the sideline in sneakers and shorts when the quarterbac...
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Go Fish! Springtime in the Soda City - Photos

April 09, 2013 - I'm experiencing a strange personal dream episode of MSNBC's Lock Up. It's as if the hand of god has reached down throug...
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Mardi Gras in the Soda City - Columbia SC - Photography

February 15, 2013 - I would compare Columbia's third annual Mardi Gras Festival held at City Roots, to the long running St. Partick's Day Fe...
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Welcome to the Soda City: Jan 16-21 - Columbia, SC

January 23, 2013 - I found out about last Wednesday night's show at Cult Classic after running into a band from Miami outside of Drip Coffe...
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How the Soda City Rocked in 2012 - Part 3 of 3 - Concert Photography

January 02, 2013 - "Could you take my picture - cause I won't remember." -'Take a Picture' by Filter (1999) Can you blame me? Here's th...
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How the Soda City Rocked in 2012 - Part 2 of 3 - Concert Photography

December 26, 2012 - Shoot for the Moon. Hopefully, Santa was able to fit that 400mm AF f2.8 down the chimney the other night and you woke u...
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The Final Days of the Soda City - Columbia, South Carolina - Photos

December 21, 2012 - I spent the final week before the end of the world wandering around Columbia observing how my fellow citizens of the Sod...
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How the Soda City Rocked in 2012 - Concert Photography by Sean Rayford - Part 1 of 3

December 17, 2012 - Columbia, South Carolina By my rough estimate - come New Year's Eve - I will have seen over 600 bands play this year an...
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Aiken County Slurtoth vs. Serbian Zastava M70 AK47 - Photos

December 04, 2012 - After the recent acquisition of another AK-47 by a co-worker at the music club, it seemed like an opportune time to revi...
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Almost Halloween in the Soda City - Photos

October 27, 2012 - It's not quite Halloween in Columbia, South Carolina but it's Friday night and we're living in Zombie Town Soda City sty...
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Scared Shitless: The Diving Pig at the South Carolina State Fair

October 23, 2012 - Friday - October 19, 2012 - Columbia, SC "Awe come on pig. Just jump in the darn water," pleaded the former strip club...
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Ghostface Killah Headlines First Night of Cola Con 2012 - Photos

October 06, 2012 - Columbia Museum of Art - Friday, October 5, 2012 - Cola Con I spent most of the evening at the Rock 93.5 Fall Out Festi...
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Photos - The Sheepdogs at New Brookland in West Columbia, South Carolina

September 26, 2012 - I didn't expect to see anybody at New Brookland Tavern when I dropped by mid-afternoon on Tuesday to double check my wor...
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South Carolina Gamecocks Defeat Clemson Tigers - Soccer - Sept. 19, 2012

September 18, 2012 - College sports rivalries are so much fun, especially when your alma mater comes out victorious over those nasty orange h...
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Photos - Famously Hot Music Festival - Day Three - Columbia SC

August 27, 2012 - August 26, 2012 - Columbia, South Carolina Sunday was the final day of the Famously Hot Music Festival at Finlay...
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Photos - Famously Hot Music Festival - Day Two - Columbia SC

August 26, 2012 - August 25, 2012 - Columbia, South Carolina I have come to the conclusion that some of the happiest people on earth ar...
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Photos - Famously Hot Music Festival - Day One - Columbia SC

August 25, 2012 - August 24, 2012 - Columbia, South Carolina As I walked across the perpetually soaked concert lawn of Finlay Park yest...
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Welcome to the Soda City: Columbia, South Carolina - Part 2

August 16, 2012 - Columbia, South Carolina: July 31 - August 11, 2012 A few months back I moved over to the west side of town, a mere 9...
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"Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

July 25, 2012 - From here on out I will be naming my cameras after Hall of Fame baseball players. I'm thinking that if I can give the tw...
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Click. Click. Clunk. It's Dead... 10 Ways to Cope With the Death of Your Camera

July 18, 2012 - Monday, July 16, 2012 - Columbia, South Carolina I stood at the top of the South Carolina state house steps and looke...
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Cult Classic Punks - The Hottest Day Ever in South Carolina

July 05, 2012 - June 30, 2012: Columbia, South Carolina It was the hottest day known to history in the state of South Carolina. Here in...
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Guns & Ammo: Hunting the Slurtoth in rural South Carolina

June 25, 2012 - June 22, 2012 My co-workers from the New Brookland Tavern like shooting guns and one of them just got an AK. It's also...
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Flaming boobs at the Pretty Things Peep Show

May 22, 2012 - Monday, May 21, 2012 - New Brookland Tavern - West Columbia, SC You may recognize the Pretty Things Peep Show from NY I...
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Gin Blossom's singer: "Take a picture of that girl's legs"

May 07, 2012 - Rosewood Crawfish Festival - Columbia, SC - May 5, 2012 I'm pretty sure it was mid-song, during an instrumental interlu...
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La Dispute, Balance and Composure, All Get Out and Sainthood Reps

May 01, 2012 - Dudes in vans. Sunday, April 22, 2012 - New Brookland Tavern I have been bartending at New Brookland Tavern for too lon...
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"I lost my job today and that's worth celebrating" -Tim Barry

April 23, 2012 - April 17, 2012: New Brookland Tavern On a hobbled picnic bench in a parking lot next to an abandoned motorcycle co-op g...
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What I did yesterday instead of filing my taxes

April 18, 2012 - I filed an extension yesterday and decided to use the time I would have spent dealing with our unreasonably complex tax...
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No Unicorns at the Mt. Airy Castle

April 03, 2012 - While visiting my old stomping grounds from the grade school days a few months ago during the Christmas holiday in Mt. A...
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When Unicorns Poop Rainbows - An introduction to the Angry Whale

February 27, 2012 - I've heard people talk about unicorns dropping out of the sky and then pooping rainbows. You might say those people are...
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