Author Archives: Sam Smith

Eastman House Lion, Rochester New York

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Notta Comet at the Mile High House

Notta Comet

Notta Comet (Eli not pictured)

Saw Madison’s band last night in the basement of a rowhouse, one block west of Temple University. We were easily thirty years older than the other hundred or so people in attendance. No one called the cops on us, because they thought we were the cops.

The sound in the basement was quite good. The balance was good, the drums were clear, and the vocals were not muddy.

I heard one song I hadn’t heard before. Madison said they had not recorded it yet. “The Warehouse Song”. One of their songs that sort of dares the audience not to get impatient, as they drift into jagged pulses of sound traded between the three of them.

The closing was excellent. “Colonial Authorities”. A thumping riff, nearly moshable. Again they played with expectations, stretching out the ending beyond the expected rave-up. An ending Beethoven would have loved.

Notta Comet Tour Blog

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Flinching from History

From a history of Southern Baptists:

When Baptists in this country formed the first of their three national societies in 1814, many of their leaders recognized that there were numerous social, cultural, economic, and political differences between the businessmen of the North, the farmers of the West, and the planters of the South. These differences had already brought much rivalry between the several sections of the new nation. Each section continued to revive old colonial disagreements and wrestled with questions about how the new constitution should be interpreted, what constituted the final legal power, and similar problems.

Perhaps most critical of all was the slavery issue. This practice had been forced upon the colonies by England early in the seventeenth century against the protests of Northerners and Southerners. Northern merchants, however, soon sought the profit involved in importing slaves from Africa. Southern planters, the only ones able to use large numbers of unskilled laborers on large plantations in a relatively warm climate, helped to prolong this evil. At the height of this system, however, two-thirds of the white families of the South owned no slaves at all, and Baptists (who were generally of the lower economic status) were probably less involved than this.

The same moral blindness that caused a minority of northern businessmen to purchase and import slaves from Africa and finance their sale to southern planters was displayed in the South in continuing this evil institution.

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by | November 9, 2014 · 12:01 am

Prosperous Georgetown Lions

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3301 N St NW, Washington, DC 20007

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LionSpotting at the Inn At Dupont Circle

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Lions at the Inn At Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.

1312 19th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036

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Hating Arnold Schoenberg, part 3

Every composer has his aura; the aura of Arnold Schoenberg is, for me, the aura of subtle ugliness, of hatred and contempt, of cruelty, and of the mystic grandiose. He is never petty. He sins in the grand manner of Nietzsche’s Superman, and he has the courage of his chromatics. If such music-making is ever to become accepted, then I long for Death the Releaser. More shocking still would be the suspicion that in time I might be persuaded to like this music, to embrace, after abhorring it.

 

From Ivory, Apes, and Peacocks, by James Gibbons Huneker, 1915

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by | October 11, 2014 · 2:56 pm

Hating Arnold Schoenberg, part 2

Never before had music been composed that had begun to abandon the precepts of tonal harmony employed through out time in all civilizations, the very laws of nature which allow music to express harmonious and positive emotions. With these compositions, Schönberg began to compose music that was not completely based on the harmonic laws of music: natural, vibratory frequencies of nature, and instead entered into emotionally dark regions that no music dared express before….This is the music that will fill the homes and motion picture theatres of America during the last half of the Twentieth Century. It is music of terror, suspense, and fear.

From Arnold Schönberg: The Father of Negative Music

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by | September 22, 2014 · 5:37 pm

Capital Grille Lions

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The Capital Grille

1338 Chestnut St,

Philadelphia, PA

These were the lions that inspired this blog. I used to work across the street from this building, and I was fascinated at how pissed off the lions were.

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Affluent Chestnut Hill Lions

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422 W. Moreland Ave.

Philadelphia, PA

No closeups for lions at rich people’s homes

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Migrating this site to Bluehost

I am moving this blog to Bluehost, so I can use some plugins for Google Maps. We’ll see how this goes.

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