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There are no better cosmetics than a severe temperance and purity, modesty and humility, a gracious temper and calmness of spirit; and there is no true beauty without the signatures of these graces in the very countenance.
Many plays - certainly mine - are like blank checks. The actors and directors put their own signatures on them.
Banks are so protected from liability they would have to really do something that was their mistake in order for them to be liable for it. Banks don't look at signatures. They're processing millions of checks and they have very little liability.
I didn't understand key signatures or anything, you know. I'd say silly things at the top of a trumpet part like, 'Note, when you play B naturals, make the B naturals a half step lower because they sound funny if they're B naturals.' And some guy said: 'Idiot, just put a flat on the third line and it's a key signature, you know?'
But there's actually a lot of punk bands out there that go out of the norm, use odd time signatures, or a lot of different tempo changes in a song.
As president of Common Cause, I joined a coalition of groups ranging from the Christian Coalition to Consumers Union, and we went to Congress with over a million signatures asking that Net Neutrality be made law.
I've always been a fan of instructional videos. The bass-player ones are insane. The music on them is fascinating. It's not something you hear on CDs or would really ever play in bands. You listen to it and are like, 'What is happening?' It's this blizzard of notes in weird time signatures, and they're trying to teach you that.
Zappa was very technical and impressed by things that were musically challenging - weird time signatures, strange keys, awkward chord sequences. Zappa was important to me as an example of everything I didn't want to do. I'm very grateful to him, actually.
I have certain signatures, certain cutting principles. It could be a raw-edged seam; it could be leaving the lining of sheepskin exposed so it's not perfectly finished. I invent new ways to do it, but the end goal is always the same.
What I love is this idea of a wardrobe, the idea that we're establishing certain signatures and updating them, that a change in colour or fabric is enough.
My office walls are covered with autographs of famous writers - it's what my children call my 'dead author wall.' I have signatures from Mark Twain, Earnest Hemingway, Jack London, Harriett Beecher Stowe, Pearl Buck, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, to name a few.
One of my favorite stories is from Obama's first campaign: Michelle Obama was out there every day, collecting signatures and supervising the other people who did. If you were supposed to get 300 signatures and you only got 299, you had to face the wrath of Michelle.
Most people don't really need to hear a six-minute guitar solo that modulates between five keys and time signatures. What they want is a good song.
I learned to play by ear before I learned music theory. For me, that makes sense. After all, children learn to speak before they read and write. The more you understand of music - how harmony and time signatures work, and what chords and inversions are - the more you'll enjoy it.
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