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Stoned on Steel

West Perrine is rough. From the Circle Plaza Projects to the Dada 5000 fight compound, choppers, yard boys, and black flags rule. The population, locked in a vise-grip of poverty, drugs, and violence, begs for salvation. Every Sunday, on SW 168th Street, the scream of amplified steel rings out from Church of the Living God as Keith Dominion tries to save his congregation’s soul. The church, progenitor of worship music known as sacred steel, is part of an international Pentecostal alliance that rejects the secular world. The electric steel guitar dominates the services, and members describe the style as “taking the brakes off” because of the level of passion in the moment. Robert L. Stone, author of Sacred Steel, has documented the movement since 1992. At Books & Books this Thursday, he will speak about the music’s Hawaiian origins, its move into pop culture (Conan O’Brien’s Late Night has featured the style more than once), and the church’s tenuous relationship with such a dichotomy. Call 305-442-4408 or visit
Thu., Oct. 28, 8 p.m., 2010


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