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Old Friends: Legacy Collects Simon & Garfunkel Discography

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Simon and Garfunkel - Albums CoverPaul Simon met Art Garfunkel in the halls of Queens, New York’s P.S. 164 in the sixth grade, with both young men cast in a school production of Alice in Wonderland. They soon bonded over a mutual love of music, and by 1956, Simon and Garfunkel were performing locally as “Tom and Jerry,” modeling themselves on the Everly Brothers, with whom they would later collaborate. Though he and Simon briefly split in the early 1960s, they reunited for 1964’s Wednesday Morning 3 AM, a low-key collection of folk songs, including a number of originals penned by the precociously talented Simon. It was lost in the shuffle of the British Invasion, however, and Simon retreated to England while Garfunkel resumed his studies. When Columbia Records decided to reissue Wednesday Morning’s “The Sound of Silence” with electric overdubs in September 1965, Simon and Garfunkel were presented with ample reason to reform: the song was climbing its way to No. 1, hitting that coveted spot on New Year’s Day, 1966. Their second album, Sounds of Silence, was recorded in December 1965 during that heady time when “Silence” was making waves in the music industry. The rest is history. Though 1970’s Bridge Over Troubled Water remains the final Simon & Garfunkel studio album to date, the subsequent decades have been marked by numerous reunions. As long as both Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel are performing, chances are another reunion will eventually take place. For now and always, though, their legacy exists in the small but vital catalogue they’ve left behind.

On November 24, Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings will issue Simon & Garfunkel’s The Complete Albums Collection, a 12-CD Box set containing:

  • All five of Simon & Garfunkel’s stereo studio albums released between 1964 and 1970, newly remastered from first-generation analog sources;
  • First-time remasters of The Graduate soundtrack and 1981’s The Concert in Central Park;
  • 1972’s Greatest Hits album (which contained some unique performances unavailable elsewhere); and
  • Live concert albums from 1967, 1969 and 2004, as first released in 2002, 2008 and 2004, respectively.

Hit the jump for more details on this new collection including pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 2, 2014 at 14:51

Release Round-Up: Week of January 7

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Scratch My Back and I'll Scratch Yours

Peter Gabriel, Scratch My Back and I’ll Scratch Yours (Real World)

In 2010, Peter Gabriel released Scratch My Back, a new set of cover songs. The plan was to pair them up with covers of his own work by the artists he covered; some of them were released as B-sides but others never materialized. (Radiohead, David Bowie and Neil Young declined to contribute.) This version combines the original album with those covers (also separately released today), including cuts by Arcade Fire, Paul Simon, David Byrne, Brian Eno, Bon Iver and the late Lou Reed.

2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Blood Sweat and Tears - Singles

Blood, Sweat & Tears, The Complete Columbia Singles / Bettye Swann, The Complete Atlantic Recordings / Samuel Jonathan Johnson, My Music /Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 10 – Winterland Arena December 29, 1977 (Real Gone Music)

Real Gone’s first batch of 2014 features a double-disc singles anthology from Blood, Sweat & Tears with original single mixes (and the first eight tracks in mono), obscure ’70s soul from Bettye Swann and Samuel Jonathan Johnson and a vintage Dead set from 1977.

BS&T: Amazon U.S. Amazon U.K.
Bettye: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Samuel Jonathan Johnson: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Grateful Dead: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Written by Mike Duquette

January 7, 2014 at 12:22

Back to Black: Legacy Unveils Record Store Day Black Friday Exclusives From Simon, Dylan, Davis, Nilsson, Hendrix & More

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Record Store Day Black Friday

It’s that time of year again!  Though Black Friday has taken a backseat in recent years to the once-unheard-of Thanksgiving Day sales, the folks at Record Store Day still hold the day after Thanksgiving in high esteem.  News has begun to trickle out about this year’s RSD Back to Black Friday exclusives, and the team at Legacy has certainly put together a collection of special vinyl releases – and a handful of CDs, too – that look back to recent releases from the label and forward to future titles.  All titles are available in participating Record Store Day locations on November 29!

Classic rock releases, naturally, are at the forefront of the Legacy slate:

RSDproductShot(*) denotes numbered edition

Cheap Trick, The Classic Albums 1977-1979 * (Epic/Legacy) – A new box set of five 12” 180-gram LPs includes the first five Cheap Trick records: Cheap Trick (1977), In Color (1977), Heaven Tonight (1978), At Budokan (1978) and Dream Police (1979), all newly mastered in 2013 from the original analog tapes and packaged with original album artwork.

Clash - London Calling

The Clash, The Clash / Give ‘Em Enough Rope / London Calling / Sandinista! / Combat Rock (Epic/Legacy) – These five classic Clash albums, included in the Sound System box set, are released separately as vinyl-replica CDs.


Bob Dylan, Side Tracks * (Columbia/Legacy) – The two-disc set of non-album material from The Complete Album Collection Vol. One is available as a numbered, 200-gram vinyl triple-LP set.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Fire b/w Foxey Lady (Live at The Miami Pop Festival) * (Experience Hendrix/Legacy) – This 7” single contains two performances from the Experience’s previously-unreleased set at the Miami Pop Festival in 1968, which is coming to CD very soon from Experience Hendrix and Legacy.

Still Crazy - Paul Simon

Paul Simon, Paul Simon / There Goes Rhymin’ Simon / Still Crazy After All These Years (Columbia/Legacy) – Rhymin’ Simon’s first three post-Simon & Garfunkel studio albums, recently on CD as part of The Complete Albums Collection, all arrive in remastered 180-gram LP editions, each also containing a download card.

After the jump: Legacy gets funky with Sly and the Family Stone, plus vintage rock and roll from Roy Orbison, classic pop from the one and only Harry Nilsson, Miles Davis in mono, and more! Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Paul Simon, “The Complete Albums Collection” and “Over the Bridge of Time”

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Paul Simon Complete coverI. Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

More than 45 years ago, Paul Simon dramatized a journey “to look for America” in the song boldly and simply called “America.”  Over 3-1/2 gorgeously elegiac minutes beginning with hymn-like vocalizing, Simon abandoned conventional song structure and rhyme to portray two young people searching for the heart of this promised land.  The conversational lyric is both deceptively simple and densely packed.  Optimism (“Let us be lovers, we’ll marry our fortunes together/I’ve got some real estate here in my bag”) cedes to weariness (“’Kathy,’ I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh,’ Michigan seems like a dream to me now/It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw/I’ve come to look for America…’”), and humor is tempered with a darkness bubbling just under the surface: “Laughing on the bus/Playing games with the faces/She said the man in the gabardine suit was a spy/I said, ‘Be careful, his bow tie is really a camera…’”  But with the climactic, shattering proclamation that “I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why” Simon expands his purview from two-character intimacy to something far more universal.   “Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike/They’ve all come to look for America,” he and Art Garfunkel repeat with a probing urgency.  What does America mean to those masses?  Would Paul and Kathy – and their generation – ever find it?  Could the dreams implicit in the country’s promise ever be fulfilled?

When a landmark album arrived almost two decades later, one could have wondered: had Paul Simon finally found America?  On the title track of 1986’s Graceland, the singer-narrator makes a pilgrimage to the home of Elvis Presley, where he and his son “will be received.”  But he’s also travelling in search of a state of grace.  On “Graceland,” memory, history, fantasy and reality all melded into a whole both earthy and spiritual.  The song encapsulated Paul Simon’s art: looking inward and outward, forward and back, for America.  Paul Simon’s America isn’t just the New Jersey Turnpike or Memphis, Tennessee, but Bleecker Street and Corona, Queens, the Mardi Gras and Puerto Rico.  He’s cast his net wider, too, to Brazil and Africa.  But wherever he’s sojourned in song, bringing new characters to life, it’s been with an intellect’s curiosity, a poet’s sensibility and a rock-and-roller’s attitude.  Those travels are well-documented in a new box set from Legacy Recordings.  The 15-CD Paul Simon – The Complete Albums Collection collects in one package Simon’s twelve studio albums and two live concert recordings, and it’s the most comprehensive look at the artist’s ouevre yet.  It’s joined by a 20-track anthology, Over the Bridge of Time: A Paul Simon Retrospective.  For the first time on a single disc compilation, Bridge draws on Simon’s solo material as well as that of Simon and Garfunkel.

Both releases trace Simon’s musical evolution.  From heroes like Little Anthony and the Imperials and the Everly Brothers, he gleaned how to merge his own voice with that of partner and pal Art Garfunkel into a powerful whole.  But where did he learn the tools to become one of the sixties’ most literate and mature tunesmiths? Simon’s songs eloquently mused on the dissatisfaction of his generation, and though some accused the young man of being “too serious,” he frequently utilized a wicked sense of humor to skewer those persons and institutions he felt deserving. He tapped into something even greater with 1970’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and followed Simon and Garfunkel’s break-up album of the same name with a solo work that brought the focus back to the personal. Since then, the singer and songwriter has never stopped pushing his own envelope to create new ways to synthesize sounds from around the country and the world – even if the songs always end up sounding, thankfully, like “Paul Simon songs.”

Join us after the jump for a closer look, won’t you? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 15, 2013 at 10:31

Release Round-Up: Week of October 15

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Unplugged ExpandedEric Clapton, Unplugged: Expanded and Remastered Edition (Reprise/Rhino)

The guitar god’s ’90s comeback was done on an acoustic. The Grammy-winning, best-selling album and the acclaimed episode of MTV Unplugged from which it was taken are paired up and considerably expanded, more than two decades later. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

King Crimson, The Road to Red (Panegyric)

Holy crumbs, this 21CD/1DVD/2BD set is a massive tribute to King Crimson’s Red album, including new stereo and surround mixes of the album and 16 soundboard-quality live sets in a box that puts the deluxe edition concept in its place. (Amazon U.S.Amazon U.K.)

Paul Simon Complete packshotPaul Simon, The Complete Albums Collection / Over the Bridge of Time: A Retrospective (1964-2011) (Legacy)

American tunes shine on both this exhaustive box set of Simon’s solo career, featuring expanded editions of all of his studio albums (including the U.K.-only The Paul Simon Song Book from 1964 and both Rhino and Legacy-era bonus tracks on Graceland), as well as the double-live Paul Simon’s Concert in the Park and 2011’s acclaimed So Beautiful or So What. A single-disc compilation boils his career down to its basest elements, from Simon & Garfunkel to the present.

The Complete Albums CollectionAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Over the Bridge of TimeAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

James Booker - ClassifiedJames Booker, Classified: Remixed and Expanded (Rounder)

One of only two releases in the short but incredible lifetime of this New Orleans pianist, the man who mentored Dr. John and Harry Connick, Jr. is the focus of a new documentary – and this, his last proper studio album, is greatly expanded and remixed for a new generation to enjoy.

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Ring Ring DeluxeABBA, Ring Ring: Deluxe Edition (Polydor/Universal U.K.)

The legendary dance quartet’s first album gets expanded with a DVD of rare performances and a host of even rarer pre-ABBA songs. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

ZTT Organization of PopVarious Artists, The Organization of Pop: Music from the First Thirty Years of ZTT Records (ZTT/Razor & Tie)

A double-disc compilation – the first in ZTT’s new U.S. distribution deal with Razor & Tie – featuring hits from Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Buggles, The Art of Noise, Seal and more. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Al Hirt - Sound of ChristmasAl Hirt, The Sound of Christmas (Friday Music/Relayer)

The trumpet virtuoso’s 1965 holiday album, expanded and remastered by Friday Music, its first time on CD in over two decades. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Taylor Dayne PlaylistBasia / Deborah Cox / Taylor Dayne / Exposé / Lita Ford / The Jeff Healey Band / The Jimi Hendrix Experience / Incubus / MercyMe / Mobb Deep / The Alan Parsons Project / The Partridge FamilyPlaylist: The Very Best Of (Legacy)

Another wave of the ol’ reliable series from Legacy. Key points: rare original single mixes abound on Basia, Deborah Cox, Taylor Dayne and Exposé’s volumes; Hendrix’s is a converted version of the famed Smash Hits compilation, and Partridge fans will enjoy the first-ever release of “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” in stereo. All Amazon U.S. links are posted above!

Deep Purple Rhino boxDeep Purple, The Complete Albums 1970-1976 (Warner Bros./Rhino)

This ten-disc set compiles all of the band’s original Mk. II, Mk. III and Mk. IV-era studio and live albums. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

American Tunes: Legacy Announces Complete Paul Simon Box, New Single-CD Anthology [UPDATED 9/24]

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Paul Simon Complete coverUPDATED 9/24/13 [UPDATES IN BOLD TO ORIGINAL POST OF 8/19]: And here’s to you, Mr. Simon.

There isn’t much that Paul Simon hasn’t accomplished in his 50+ years as a professional musician, singer, and songwriter.  Born in Newark, New Jersey and raised in Queens, New York, Simon has racked up 12 Grammy Awards, an Emmy, a Kennedy Center Honor, the first-ever Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, and Academy Award, Golden Globe and Tony nominations.  That’s not to mention being one-half of the most famed pair in American popular song and recording twelve acclaimed solo studio albums.  He’s also had his songs recorded by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Emmylou Harris, Harper’s Bizarre and The Bangles.  Surely an artist with such a C.V. could rest on his laurels, but that’s not the scrappy Rhymin’ Simon.  Still, there’s something so right about taking a look back on a storied career even when future chapters are yet to be written.  Hence, on October 15, Legacy Recordings will issue The Complete Albums Collection on 15 CDs, bringing under one roof all twelve of Simon’s studio recordings plus two live albums and 37 bonus tracks.  That same day, the label drops Over the Bridge of Time: A Paul Simon Retrospective, a 20-track, 1-CD career overview tracing Simon’s oeuvre from his Simon and Garfunkel days through 2011’s So Beautiful or So What.

Nearly a decade ago, in 2004, Rhino and Warner Bros. Records released The Studio Recordings 1972-2000 encompassing nine studio albums and thirty bonus tracks.  This box covered the period between Paul Simon (1972) and You’re the One (2000).  As Simon has released two more studio albums since 2000 and overseen reissue of more of his back catalogue, Legacy’s box is both an update and an expansion of that original box set.  The new Complete Albums Collection rewinds to 1965, when the young folk troubadour recorded an acoustic LP on a sojourn to London.  The Paul Simon Songbook kicks off the new box, reprising the two bonus tracks (alternates of “I Am a Rock” and “A Church is Burning”) which debuted on Legacy’s original 2004 CD reissue of the once-rare album.

What exactly will you find in the new box and on the new anthology?  Just hit the jump, won’t you? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 24, 2013 at 12:31

In Memoriam: Phil Ramone (1934-2013)

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Phil Ramone 1Today, The Second Disc remembers Phil Ramone.

The multiple Grammy-winning producer, 79, died on Saturday, leaving behind a legacy of song from artists ranging from Barbra Streisand to Paul McCartney, Barry Manilow to The Band.  Yet unlike so many of his contemporaries, Phil Ramone didn’t have a signature style.  Instead of molding a band or singer to a preferred sonic specialty, he was a true architect of sound, tailoring each production to the individual artist.  Ramone was equally comfortable with pop, rock, jazz, R&B, and the worlds of Broadway and Hollywood, not to mention classical – the genre in which Ramone started his love affair with music, as a Juilliard-trained violin prodigy.

Phil Ramone modestly titled his 2007 memoir Making Records, because that’s precisely what he did, from the day he and partner Jack Arnold opened the doors of New York’s A&R Studios in 1959.  Prior to that, he had been mentored by Charles Leighton at JAC Recording.  At A&R, Ramone perfected the art of engineering.  He earned his first Grammy for Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto’s immortal Getz/Gilberto, and soon A&R was the preferred destination for producers Burt Bacharach and Hal David to craft their movies-in-miniature with Dionne Warwick.  Ramone’s eclectic C.V. as an engineer and later, producer, took in pop princesses (Lesley Gore), folkies (Peter, Paul and Mary), jazz legends (Tony Bennett), superstars (Barbra Streisand), Beatles (Paul McCartney), Geniuses (Ray Charles), and Chairmen (Frank Sinatra), as well as everyone in between.

Chicago, Phoebe Snow, Kenny Loggins, Carly Simon, B.J. Thomas, Liza Minnelli, Rod Stewart, and of course, Paul Simon and Billy Joel all logged studio time with Phil Ramone at the console.  With Simon, Ramone helmed such beloved albums as There Goes Rhymin’ Simon and Still Crazy After All These Years, still cornerstones of the singer-songwriter’s catalogue.  With Joel, Ramone embarked on a seven-album, nine-year partnership that remains one of the most successful in rock history.  The duo also hold a place in the history books, as Joel’s 52nd Street, produced by Ramone, became the first commercially released compact disc when it hit stores in Japan on October 1, 1982.

To every project, Ramone brought an understated, subtle touch of class that squarely put the emphasis on music and sound: making each musician and singer’s contribution heard, cleanly and resonantly.  Even a partial list of songs with Ramone’s involvement is staggering: “Times of Your Life,” “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” “It Never Rains in Southern California,” “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” “Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star is Born),” “Loves Me Like a Rock,” “Just the Way You Are,” “Afternoon Delight,” “Poetry Man,” “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” “Maniac.”

Phil Ramone could have ushered in 2013 basking in the glow of acclaimed recent albums from Dionne Warwick and Tony Bennett, but he remained active.  At the time of his death, he was working on a variety of characteristically diverse projects with artists such as George Michael and Glee star Matthew Morrison.  Bette Midler eulogized him as “kind beyond words,” echoing the sentiments of so many others.  Ben Folds called him “brilliant, generous, talented,” while Tony Bennett noted his “wonderful sense of humor and deep love of music.”  To celebrate the career of the legendary Phil Ramone, Mike and I have each contributed a playlist of ten favorite projects on which he worked.  These aren’t necessarily his most significant, or his most famous, though some might indeed be.  Taken together, they simply represent twenty slices of the versatility, dynamism and sheer hallmark of quality that made Phil Ramone an in-demand talent, and sympathetic collaborator of so many, for over fifty years.

If there’s a rock-and-roll heaven, you know they’ve got one helluva band, true.  But now there’s one helluva producer sitting at the desk.

Hit the jump for two interactive Phil Ramone Top 10s! Read the rest of this entry »

The Year in Reissues: The 2012 Gold Bonus Disc Awards

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Gold CDWow!  Was it just over a year ago when a rather dubious report began circulating (that, shockingly, was picked up by many otherwise-reputable publications) that proclaimed the death of the CD was secretly scheduled by the major labels for 2012?  Well, 2012 has come and (almost) gone, and it might have been the most super-sized year in recent memory for reissues, deluxe and otherwise, from labels new and old.  Here at the Second Disc, we consider our annual Gold Bonus Disc Awards a companion piece to Mike’s own round-up over at Popdose, and we endeavor to recognize as many of the year’s most amazing reissues as possible – over 80 worthy, unique titles.  We also hope to celebrate those labels, producers and artists who have raised the bar for great music throughout 2012. As we’re literally deluged with news around these parts, these ladies and gentlemen prove, week after week, the strength and health of the catalogue corner of the music world.  We dedicate The Gold Bonus Disc Awards to them, and to you, the readers.  After all, your interest is ultimately what keeps great music of the past alive and well.

With that in mind, don’t forget to share your own thoughts and comments below. What made your must-have list in 2012? Without further ado, let’s celebrate 2012′s best of the best. Welcome to the Gold Bonus Disc Awards!

Which releases take home the gold this year? Hit the jump below to find out! Read the rest of this entry »

On the Last Day of Second Discmas…

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Here at The Second Disc, the holiday season is the perfect time to do what we love to do best: share the gift of music. For the second year in a row, we have we reached out to some of our favorite reissue labels and we’ve teamed with them to play Santa Claus to our awesome and faithful readers. It’s called – what else? – Second Discmas, and it’s going on now through Christmas!

Christmas Legacy Fb banner

For our final day of Second Discmas, we’ve saved some of the biggest and best for last! Unwind after a busy season by entering to win this great care package from our friends at Legacy Recordings – including Michael Jackson’s Bad 25 box, Elvis Presley’s Prince from Another Planet set, CD/DVD editions of Paul Simon’s Graceland: 25th Anniversary Edition and Rage Against the Machine’s Rage XX, and compilations including Giant Single: The Profile Records Rap Anthology and Johnny Cash’s The Greatest! Not a bad way to finish the season of giving!

As always, winning is easy! Click on the graphic up top to head over to Contest Central for the complete rules! And thanks to all our wonderful fans and associates who’ve made our dream of Second Discmas a wonderful reality!

Written by Mike Duquette

December 24, 2012 at 08:30

Review: Art Garfunkel, “The Singer”

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The first-ever 2-CD anthology of the collected works of Arthur Ira Garfunkel is titled The Singer (Columbia/Legacy 88725 45816 2, 2012).  In a life and career that’s also seen Garfunkel as an actor, poet, author, athlete and student, “singer” seems the most apt appellation.  Indeed, he is not just a singer, but The Singer, in longtime service to the art of the song.  Garfunkel was an anomaly in the young world of 1960s rock, leaving the songwriting to his partner Paul Simon while still lending his voice to a generation as a purely interpretive vocalist.  It’s apropos, then, that this set bookends Simon’s 2011 Songwriter.  But the other half of “Simon &” has continued to create and sing, long after the duo’s break-up.  He has now compiled, sequenced and annotated this collection’s 34 songs (including two all-new recordings), making for an invitingly personal, disarmingly intimate journey in music via hits and deep tracks alike.

The non-chronologically-sequenced The Singer opens with “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” written by Paul Simon and recorded by Simon & Garfunkel from the 1970 album of the same name.  Though The Singer should go a long way in reminding listeners of a sometimes-overlooked solo career, Garfunkel smartly acknowledges his much-dissected relationship with Paul Simon head-on with the opening selection of “Bridge.”  All told, their enduring partnership has yielded eight of the tracks here (nine, counting a non-S&G track on which Paul appears), or a little more than one quarter.  The songs on which Garfunkel served as muse for Simon’s deepest ruminations still form the backbone of both men’s discographies.  “Bridge” has been rightly lauded as a valedictory for the 1960s itself, but its most remarkable gift to culture may be its undiluted power to inspire in the face of crises.  But where to go, then, from a vocal that’s one of the greatest in the entirety of popular music, on a song so ingrained in our consciousness that it’s still impossible to believe it was written just over 40 years ago?  Does Garfunkel give up his best at the very start?

We answer that question, and more, after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 28, 2012 at 12:55