Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden 1/24/19

My wife and I spent an extended weekend in New York City last week doing all the exact things you should do when you’re in the city that never sleeps. We went to museums, saw stand up comedy, visited Seinfeld-centric locations, and between each of those activities I collectively ate my own weight in a combination of pizza, deli meats, and hot dogs doused in the finest deli mustard man has e’er tasted.

The highlight of our trip was the only thing possibly more New York City then any of those things- we got to see the great Billy Joel play Madison Square Garden, not an empty seat in the house.

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The Piano Man is on the short list of my favorite musicians of all time and though I’d been lucky enough to go to a couple of his shows before, seeing him essentially play a home game in The Big Apple was a whole ‘nother experience- equal parts amazing and unforgettable.

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Our tickets weren’t cheap but we got incredible value for what we paid given that we were just a slight incline and 30 yards starboard of the Baby Grand that Billy belted out all but a few of the night’s tunes from. That wasn’t luck, but meticulous planning with the advantage of having been to MSG for a Knicks game a few years before, knowing the layout of the shows I’d seen years before in Dallas and Oklahoma City, and the extra effort of hunting down section specific concert photos from his other shows at the Garden.

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Given the strength of the Billy Joel catalog, it’s inevitable that any of his shows would be chock-full of hits, but the setlist that night seemed extra great and built perefectly. He dispersed a few deep cuts throughout including a B-side he’d never performed in front of an audience before, paid homage to his influences by covering rock gods and classical masters alike, and had every single person in the arena standing up, dancing on more than one occasion without ever having to coax us. Billy Joel at the Garden was as magical a musical experience as I’ve seen - check out the full set list below all for details.

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Billy Joel, Madison Square Garden 1.24.19

Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)

Pressure

Everybody Loves You Now

Vienna

The Entertainer

Sleeping with the Television On

**Derek & The Dominos cover - “Layla” (instrumental portion of the song used as interlude)

Moving Out (Anthony’s Song)

Say Goodbye to Hollywood

Allentown

The Ballad of Billy the Kid

Don’t Ask Me Why

New York State of Mind

House of Blue Lights (**Never previously performed B-side to WDSTF)

My Life (**with Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” as intro)

She’s Always a Woman

Only the Good Die Young

River of Dreams

**Eagles cover - “Take it Easy”

**Puccini cover - “Nessun Dorma” featuring a guest Opera Singer

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant

Piano Man

- ENCORE -

We Didn’t Start The Fire

Uptown Girl

It’s Still Rock N Roll to Me

Big Shot 

You May Be Right (**including a snippet of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll”)

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PS: My only complaint about the evening’s show is that having seen Billy Joel 3 times now, a live performance of my favorite song “The Longest Time” still eludes me.
For good measure and your listening pleasure…



Posted on February 6, 2019 .

Glass REVIEW

"What a twist!" I can't get through any M. Night Shyamalan movie without hearing that infamous quote from Robot Chicken in my mind, which is a spoof on his storytelling style (I think its a meme now). I had the opportunity to watch an advanced screening of Glass and can safely say that the quote continues to apply, but perhaps for different reasons.

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Let me preface by saying I missed the first 10 minutes of the film because I was unfortunately off doing "doctor things". You see, that is my alter ego when I am not busy geeking out about music and movie related things on the Internet. But seriously, shout out to the girl running the screening who gave up her seat so I could sit next to my wife despite being late.

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I remember when Shyamalan's Unbreakable, the first film in the trilogy, was released in 2000. I was stoked to watch a superhero origin film told from a different perspective. I admit I was a little weirded out Shyamalan decided to cast Bruce Willis as lead in yet another one of his feature films after his blockbuster thriller The Sixth Sense (I just couldn't picture Willis playing a superhero and was dreading the thought of seeing him in spandex). Willis plays boring security guard, David Dunn, who slowly pieces together he is not like other people after being sole survivor of a train accident. He gets help recognizing his superhero potential from comic book nerd, Elijah Price (played by Samuel L. Jackson). Price turns out to be the antagonist as well as the reason behind Dunn's brush initial brush with death. "What a twist!" The acting and storyline were great, and what I think made things more believable was the absence of CGI or silly superpowers like flying or talking to fish.

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Fast-forward through many Shyamalan flops (except Signs of course) to 2016, which saw the arrival of the random psychological thriller, Split. He introduces us to Kevin Wendall Crumb and his 20+ distinct personalities that come along with him. Crumb (played by James McAvoy) suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID), otherwise known as multiple personality disorder, and every time a personality "steps into the light", they take over Crumb. The personalities all appear to serve and worship a god-like personality they call "The Beast".  Although it may be somewhat hilarious to watch McAvoy step into character for some of his personalities, my favorite is 9-year-old Hedwig who loves hip-hop; the film still carries some serious undertones. For example, Crumb and the protagonist, Casey (played by Anya Taylor-Joy), both have traumatic histories of child abuse, which may be why they possess a deeper connection.  It seemed like Shyamalan got his groove back with this one. The end of the film is where we figure out that Unbreakable takes place in the same universe as Split when we catch a glimpse of Bruce Willis as David Dunn in a diner. "What a twist!"

Now for the scoop about Glass: it was bit of a let down. Before its release, I was pretty excited for this film given my thorough enjoyment of the previous installments. We get introduced to each character's superhero/villain persona rather quickly. Dunn is now "the Overseer". Crumb and his many personalities are collectively referred to as "the Horde". Price is the title character, "Mr. Glass" (named so because of his Osteogenesis imperfecta ). The opening scenes have vigilante Dunn pursuing Crumb who has once again managed to capture another group of young girls. Dunn has now teamed up with his son Joseph (played once again by Spencer Treat Clark) who it seems spends more of his time serving as his sidekick instead of actually attending high school. Both Dunn and Crumb face off early and find themselves evenly matched. The also find themselves captured by psychiatrist, Dr. Ellie Staple (played by newcomer Sarah Paulson), who puts them both in a psychiatric hospital. This is where the movie gets boring and we find ourselves watching over an hour of mainly dialogue taking place in a mental institution as Dr. Staple repeatedly tries to convince them they do not have superpowers. It all leads to the inevitable teaming up of Price and Crumb, which was a bit awkward. I am not going to spoil the eventual outcome of their collaboration or how Shyamalan eventually pulls a fast one on the audience. Unfortunately, I would have to say the biggest twist of this film in the end was that it was a bad movie.

Posted on January 17, 2019 and filed under Movie Reviews.

Eating at Bobby’s Burger Palace!!!

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After getting off the plane in Las Vegas to celebrate my lifelong friend, Erik’s, 40th birthday, I was feeling hangry. I wanted something with substance. I wanted a burger.  A quick check on Yelp led me to Bobby’s Burger Palace. The Bobby referenced is Bobby Flay so it better be good.   

While looking at the menu, the Green Chili Cheeseburger caught my eye. I’m a sucker for green chili’s. It consists of a cooked to order, all beef patty on a house made bun with white queso, green chili’s and pickled red onions. I couldn’t decide on what side to get and should’t you know it, the have something called the undecided. You get to choose 2 of there sides which are fresh cut fries, sweet potato fries and onion rings. I opted for the onion rings and fries.  

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Lets talk about the star of the show, the burger. I quite enjoyed it. The beef was cooked to a perfect medium and the bun, while thin and squished looking, was the perfect density to hold the burger together. The queso was great and the picked red onions gave it a nice texture and some acid to cut through the rich beef and queso. To be honest, the green chili’s got lost in the mix. They just didn’t pack the flavor I am use to. Not bad by any means, just overly muted. 

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The fries and onion rings were on point. Fresh cut fries can be hard to do and these guys nailed it. Very crispy and well seasoned. My only complaint about the onion rings, is how they are cut. While the thick cut rings look great, they are damn hard to eat! It’s ok, I’ll live. They were delicious! The subtle sweetness of the onion with the buttermilk batter are flavors made for each other.  

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All in all, this was the meal this tired traveler needed. Would I eat here again? You bet! Would I recommend it to others? Affirmative. 

If you happen to see a Bobby’s Burger Palace on your travels, stop on in. Tell them Doug sent ya. They don’t know who I am so it will be really awkward.

Posted on January 17, 2019 and filed under Reservoir Trips.

Young Justice Will Return in OUTSIDERS

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Today subscribers to the DC Universe video and comicbook app will get new episodes of Young Justice for the first time in six years. The cult hit was cancelled after a shortened 2nd season aired it’s finale episode in March of 2013 with Cartoon Network citing poor sales of the toy line based on the show as the primary reason.

Having seen other shows resurrected by exuberant fanbases Young Justice’s fans never gave up rallying behind the show,  forming Facebook groups dedicated solely to the show’s return, Twitter Campaigns, and organizing mass rewatchings of the show on Netflix in lieu of showing in the traditional ratings.

Their efforts were rewarded with the announcement in late 2016 that the show would return, though it wasn’t until early 2018 that its new home was revealed to be the brand new DC Universe App.

The fan-led #RenewYoungJustice campaign had given Warner Brothers concrete evidence of the show’s following and shown strong enough for it’s third season “Young Justice: Outsiders” to anchor the new app.

Subscribers to the DCU app have already been rewarded with exclusive Young Justice content before the show’s return by way of Season 1 & 2 episodes enhanced with added commentary from cast, creators, and fans plus a new comic to bridge the gap between seasons. 

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With the second part of the comic releasing today in advance of the show’s new season becoming available tomorrow, fans are primed and ready for the six year wait to come to an end.

As a middleground between Netflix spoiling us with full season drops and the week-by-week release of DC Universe’s only previously released original show “Titans”, Young Justice’s 13 episode “Outsiders” season looks to be dropping in four blocks with episodes 1-3 tomorrow January 4th, episodes 4-6 January 11th, episodes 7-9 January 18th, and a supersized finale of episodes 10-13 on January 25th. I for one will be waiting up at midnight for the first installment.

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Posted on January 4, 2019 .

Favorite Albums of 2018 - The Danny Edition

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Although for most people this year has been one full of many ups and downs, a lot of great music came out of this year and that makes my heart smile. This is by no means an all-inclusive list and it was pretty hard to narrow it down to just 10 albums. Anyway, without further ado...

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Various Artists - Black Panther: The Album
Arguably the best Marvel movie to be released this year (I'd say definitely better than Infinity War), Black Panther also delivered one of the best soundtracks of the year. The album was produced and curated by Kendrick Lamar and was released shortly after his chart topping and Pulitzer Prize winning album Damn. Lamar delivers some bumping collaborations with other major stars such as SZA in "All the Stars", or Jay Rock, Future and James Blake in "Kings Dead". If you have been unsure about checking out what the fuss was about Kendrick Lamar's rap style, this would definitely be a great introduction to his work. He is my favorite current rapper and I would designate this my favorite album of the 2018, hands down.

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Snail Mail - Lush
2018 has been a memorable year for amazing breakthrough female artists. The first that I believe should receive honorable mention is Snail Mail. Fronted by 19-year-old guitarist, Lindsey Jordan, the band delivers a sound that is grunge fueled but also contains elements of pop and catchy chorus effect driven guitar riffs. "Pristine" was the first single to be released and is a heartbreak anthem like many of her tracks on the album. The second single, "Heat Wave", might be touted as the fan favorite and brings along with it a music video where Jordan kicks some major ass in what I can only describe as a "hockey fight fantasy?" I have a feeling this band is just getting started...

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Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!
Pronounced "Par-kay Quarts", the band hails from New York City and, quite frankly, is bound to rock your face off. The band has been active since 2010 yet their latest album, Wide Awake!, will be what puts them on the map (in addition to an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show). I had the pleasure of seeing them live at Austin City Limits earlier this year and they did not disappoint. The band has somehow acquired the ability to not get pegged into any one specific genre by simply mastering multiple. The title track is their most popular song and a total dance-fest that also sounds like it should be the soundtrack to a soccer match. Other notable tracks include "Total Football" and "Almost Had to Start a Fight/In and Out of Patience" that each display their definite punk influences (I hear the Clash and Devo in some of their work). Check this album out, and then check out their earlier stuff.

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Leon Bridges - Good Thing
The follow up to Bridges' 2015 breakthrough album Coming Home provides a bit of a divergence from his previous MoTown/Sam Cooke-ish sound of before. Bridges lays the R&B on heavy with elements of jazz, funk and soul sprinkled throughout. Bridges has also matured with his lyric writing as evidenced by "Bad Bad News" (which also showcases amazing backing jazz guitar riffs.) and "Forgive You". You could definitely file both of his albums as "baby making music" and if you are not a fan of at least one of his albums there is probably something seriously wrong with you.

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Mitski - Be the Cowboy
Next on the list of amazing 2018 female artists is Mitski Maiyawaki. The artist, who goes by Mitski for short, has actually been around for several years yet I am just getting to know her now. Her music is a bit difficult to describe but can be likened to such awesome acts as St. Vincent or Florence and the Machine. My personal favorite track is "Nobody" which is a great demonstration of the haunting effect of her vocals can have on you and it literally gives me chills. I feel like that track in particular it is very reminiscent of an old Cardigans track. Her music makes a cameo in the independent film Hearts Beat Loud, another 2018 hidden gem that I would highly recommend that stars Nick Offerman as a record store owner who starts a band with his daughter on vocals.

Childish Gambino - This is America (single)
Though not exactly a full album per se, 2018 saw the release of the highly controversial Childish Gambino single, "This is America". The lyrics are meant to highlight what its like to be a young successful black man during times of great divide and fear of police brutality. The music video is perhaps more controversial than the actual song itself and it begins with Gambino executing an elderly black man (followed by an entire black choir later in the video). The video was ballsy in a time of increased fears of gun and racial violence. Altogether I can only sum it up as pretty fucking crazy and brilliant at the same time. Gambino has recently mentioned he may be stepping back from music to focus more on his acting career so appreciate what you can of his music for now.

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Thom Yorke - Suspiria (Music for the Luca Guadagnino film)
Another great soundtrack from 2018 was produced by none other than Radiohead front man, Thom Yorke. The movie is a remake of the 1977 Dario Argento movie of the same name and though I did not get a chance to catch it while it was in theaters this past fall, the original was scary as hell. The soundtrack is over 80 minutes long and includes both eerie instrumentals and occasional vocal backed tracks intermixed. "Suspirium" was the first track to be released and could easily be mistaken for a Radiohead B-side. At the very least, the album would make great Halloween party background music. Although this is Yorke's first feature film soundtrack, this is not the first time a Radiohead member has scored a major motion picture. Guitarist, Jonny Greenwood, composed the soundtrack to the 2007 film There Will Be Blood.

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Father John Misty - God's Favorite Customer
My embarrassing admission: before last year I did not know much about the work of Josh Tillman (AKA Father John Misty). All I knew were that the ladies loved him based off an episode of Master of None. The 2017 album, Pure Comedy, was my introduction and I remember thinking "holy shit this guy is dark and witty". He continues much of the same on God's Favorite Customer. I affirmed my love for FJM by watching him live twice this year including at the massive Sub Pop 30th Anniversary Party that took place at Alki Beach in Seattle, Washington. I am not sure why but he has some songs that somehow seem to remind me of the Beatles at times.

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The Beths - Future Me Hates Me
My favorite new band of 2018, New Zealand's The Beths delivered an amazing pop punk masterpiece this year. I stumbled upon their song "Happy Unhappy" this summer on a random iTunes radio station prior to the release of the full album. I immediately fell in love, yet I was also left waiting and wanting more. The full album eventually was released and did not disappoint. The title track has a catchy chorus that has a tendency to get stuck in your head for the remainder of the day. Come to think of it, every song on this album seems to have the same effect. Elizabeth "Beth" Stokes plays rhythm guitar and offers some catchy vocal hooks. She is also extremely sweet and goofy in person.

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Yuno - Moodie
I decided to round out my 2018 picks with a new artist who I felt deserves more recognition than he has received. Hailing from Jacksonville, Florida, Yuno signed to Sub Pop early this year and successfully blends sounds of emo, synth pop and hip-hop into one unique sound. The single "No Going Back" is catchy as hell and could easily be a radio hit if given the chance. The song "So Slow" sounds like the singer of Taking Back Sunday or a similar band might have sung it in a different life. Yuno not only bridges boundaries between musical genres but also of time periods (namely high school me vs. current me).

There you have it. There were definitely other great contenders out there but these albums in particular had heavy rotation on my headphones. Check them out if you have the time. What were some of your favorite albums that came out of this year?

Written by: Danny Zamora

Posted on December 31, 2018 .

Reservoir Geeks EP 16: Christmas Special

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Check Out EP16!

CLICK HERE TO HIT THE LINK AND ENJOY!

Chris, Andy and Doug get together in the NEW Reservoir Geeks studio to lay down some Christmas goodness. They talk all about their favorite Christmas movies, TV show and commercials and also reminisce about their best Christmas memories. As usual, it wouldn’t be a Reservoir Geeks episode if they didn’t go off topic a few times and these references are HYPER-local but still HYPER-relatable. ENJOY!

Posted on December 16, 2018 .

Rushmore At 20.

It might have been Bottle Rocket that introduced the world to Wes Anderson but it was 1998's Rushmore that let us know who he is.

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Though Bottle Rocket is and always will be my favorite film, Rushmore is my favorite Wes Anderson movie. I know that might seem strange but stay with me...

Anderson's sophomore film marks the point where he came into his own both storytelling wise and in style. Sure Bottle Rocket has the beats of a Wes Anderson film but he was proving himself to the industry that he is a key player, with Rushmore the training wheels were off and it was his to do with what he pleased. From the theater curtain cuts to the color and pace, it was the first full form of Wes Anderson.

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Not only did the film introduce us to Jason Schwartzman but it also reintroduced us to Bill Murray and breathed new life into his career, for both, we the audience are eternally grateful. Beyond the story, style, and cast, Rushmore is movie for the underdog in all of us. It delivers a message that life progresses and nothing (good or bad) lasts forever. It reassures us in insecure moments and it let's you know that, if you make the best of a situation, you will make be in the best situation. Max didn't need Rushmore to be successful, he needed self confidence and that is something we can all take to heart.

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So on this day that we celebrate Rushmore (and everyday for that matter), be more a Max and less a Ronny and Donny AND never forget, "take dead on the rich boys... they can buy anything but they can't buy a backbone".

Posted on December 11, 2018 .

Stranger Things 3 Teaser and Titles!

Netflix decided to top off the weekend with a teaser trailer for season 3 of Stranger Things.

Much like the teaser for season 2, the titles of each chapter or episode are named and while they might not cause as much as excitement as "Halloween", they do set the scene of Summer '85 in Hawkins.

1)Suzie, Do You Copy?

2)The Mall Rats

3)The Case of the Missing Lifeguard

4)The Sauna Test

5)The Source

6)The Birthday

7)The Bite

8)The Battle of Starcourt

For me, personally, I'm excited for "The Mall Rats" being a ridiculous fan of some good vintage mall footage and teased earlier this year with the Starcourt Mall commercial below.

While we don't have a definite release date yet, we know it's coming soon and I'm holding out hope that we get a late spring/early summer release. Fingers crossed.

So what are you most looking forward to in Stranger Things 3? Let us know!

Posted on December 9, 2018 and filed under Trailer Park.

Amazon Prime members can see DC's newest film in advance

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Amazon is flexing it’s comic book hero sized muscles again by showing it’s close relationship with cinemas. Prime members are offered the ability to see Aquaman 6 days early. If you’re a subscriber you will be able to purchase up to 10 tickets for a 7pm showing on December 15th. This isn’t the first time Amazon has offered this perk. In 2017, subscribers were invited to advance screenings of Jumanji, 12 days before opening night.

Jason Momoa was one of the bright spots in 2017’s less-than-spectacular Justice League movie. Hopefully, Momoa can do with Aquaman what Gal Gadot did with Wonder Woman. So far, Wonder Woman has been DC’s biggest success, earning high marks from both fans and critics. Aquaman is directed by The Conjuring franchise and Furious 7 director James Wan, supporting cast includes Willem Dafoe, Amber Heard, and Nicole Kidman. If you’re not a Prime member Aquaman opens on December 21st.

Left Dead 4 Ten Years!

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Ten years ago on, November 17, 2008, Valve released Left 4 Dead!
For Chris and me, it was an instant classic. We were way into zombie movies and Left 4 Dead gave you the opportunity to not only kill the living dead but also be part of a movie!

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The original game was split into four separate stories who themselves were split into four of five levels of their own. Each story could take up to an hour and a half to complete (about the length of a feature film) and even though the levels were limited you never experienced the same game play, no matter how many times you played them.
Our story is about four survivors; Zoey (the college girl) Louis (the business man),Bill (the grizzled old vet), and Francis (the biker), who are thrust together to survive the zombie apocalypse by making their way from safe house to safe house, to escape.
Beyond your run of the mill zombies who stand in your way for survival are ‘special infected’ that consist of a hoodie clad Hunter, rooftop strangler Smoker, bloated gerd stricken Boomer, roid raged Tank and the most frightening of all; a small sad girl called the Witch. All of that and eventual hordes, if you dilly-dally for too long.

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Despite already having the structure of a feature film, FOUR feature films, no studio propelled this amazing story onto the silver screen. Of course, they would want to make changes… maybe Zoey and Bill are married, or Francis is a girl… or Louis is white. Hollywood… Even though I would love to see a Left 4 Dead movie, I am perfectly fine seeing it though my gameplay alone.
Left 4 Dead went on to make a sequel (inferior in my opinion) and has spawned fan films, countless pieces of art, cosplay, it’s very own porn parody (Left 4 Head) and TWO podcasts from Reservoir Geeks. That’s a pretty great legacy if you ask me.

FAN FILMS

FAN ART

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OUR PODCASTS

COSPLAY

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Posted on November 17, 2018 .