Bookshelf Report: An Unhypothetical Library of Goodness

The Bookshelf Report is an ongoing series where we ask 5 questions and share 5 pictures of a bookshelf  belonging to a Bushwick reader. Today’s bookshelf comes from Elizabeth Cohen, author of the new book The Hypothetical Girl, a delightful collection of short stories that captures the magic within the wonderfully awkward world of online dating.


What’s your favorite book on the shelf?

My favorite book is The Black Cauldron, by Lloyd Alexander. A kid’s book that was incredibly important to me as a child and into adulthood – a coming of age story about an assistant pig keeper (that he was an “assistant” was important to me, who became, of course, a king of a magic land). I was read it by my dad and then read it alone and later had a series of “assistant” jobs in which I often thought of that book.

The job does not define the person. That was my little life lesson I somehow need to cling to. Read more

This Week in Books & Music: Bumbershoot and More!

It’s a busy week with an assortment of events that will satisfy all interests, no matter what they might be! (Well, maybe not if your interests involve ASMR videos on YouTube, but you can do that at home!) You’ve probably heard that Bumbershoot is this weekend, but you might not know that some of our very own Bushwick performers are part of the lineup.  Read more

Bookshelf Report: The Case of the Missing Photography Books

The Bookshelf Report is an ongoing series where we ask the same 5 questions and share 5 pictures of a bookshelf  belonging to a Bushwick reader. Today’s bookshelf comes from Seattle photographer Morgen Schuler. For the past 5 years Morgen has been using her camera and creative eye to put her own artistic spin on Seattle’s music and arts community.


What’s your favorite book on the shelf?

Ender’s Game is my all-time favorite book and always on my shelf. I’m a big sci-fi nerd and I gobble it up like Thanksgiving Dinner. Ender’s Game was one of the first sci-fi books I ever fell in love with and every time there’s a drive at a bookstore where you buy a book for young readers, I get them Ender’s Game (it’s too bad the author, Orson Scott Card, is a huge jerk… crazy to think someone so horrible could write something so heartfelt). Read more

KBCS 91.3 FM Bushwick Radio Segments Now Available for Download

Every day last week KBCS 91.3 FM broadcasted a radio segment featuring a Bushwick artist performing music inspired by Michael Pollan. In case you missed the original broadcast, those segments are now available for download. Enjoy! The links are below. Read more

Concert of a Lifetime: New Kids on the Block Part I

My best friend Zandra and I have an uncommon addiction for most 35-year-old women. We are and have always been obsessed with boy bands. We listen to their music and talk about them frequently. We email pictures of our favorites back and forth. We spend copious amounts of cash going to their concerts and buying their merchandise. We often fantasize about what a boy band music festival in the same vein as Lollapalooza or Sasquatch would be like. Picture New Edition and the Backstreet Boys on the main stage and less popular boy bands like O-Town and High-Five on a secondary stage. In the corner, a tent stage would feature tertiary groups like O-Town cast-offs LMNT and my personal favorite, Five. We figured that this summer’s “The Package” tour with New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men would be the closest we would ever come to this dream so we quickly scooped up tickets. Read more

Borrowing, Stealing, and Copyright Infringement

New artists imitate, great artists steal.

(I was asked to write a post explaining the basics of copyright in music. This is not really that post.)

An original musical work is protected by copyright law the instant that the artist (or artists) first records it or writes it down. An unrecorded session doesn’t create any lasting rights, copyright-wise at least. After a first recording, a musician has a protected copyright in both the song as a musical composition and the recorded version of the song as a sound recording. This assumes the songwriter and performer are the same. It seems strange now, but back in the old days music had to be put in notational form to gain copyright protection. In practice, a musical composition and a sound recording are typically owned by different people and different sets of rules and rights apply to each. Read more

Listen to Bushwick On The Air Every Day This Week

The Bellevue the Library was the last stop of our recent King County Library Systems: A Place at the Table tour, where Bushwick performed original music inspired by Michael Pollan’s The Botany of Desire and The Omnivore’s Dilemma. KBCS 91.3 FM was on hand to record this event and interview the artists. They put together some fun little 10 minute radio segments of each artist and every day this week at 4:20pm they will be broadcasting a new Bushwick segment. Yay! The schedule is posted below. Read more

Bar 4 Is Shutting Down: How A Tiny Bar in Brooklyn Changed My Life

As one often does these days, I discovered the news on Facebook. After trying to decipher a series of posts in my newsfeed, I finally found the one that made them all make sense: a press release announcing that Bar 4, in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn was closing. I started crying.

“Friends and family,

It is with great sadness that we announce that after 14 years as a neighborhood institution, music venue and beloved Slope staple, Bar 4 will be permanently closing its doors on August 15, 2013.”

And not like wimpy crying. I was sobbing so much. I felt embarrassed about it even though I was alone in my apartment. I couldn’t stop, couldn’t calm down and couldn’t rein it in. I know this sounds overly dramatic (I DID do all the plays in high school), but I would love to tell you why a tiny bar in Brooklyn impacted my life to such a significant degree. It also relates to The Bushwick Book Club Seattle; I promise. Read more

The Music of Language: Phone Calls and Inspiration

One wonderful aspect of the Bushwick Book Club: it conducts art across fields, generating new creation. From textual to musical, prose to lyrical. Inspiration via artistic translation and cross-pollination is a wonderful phenomenon with a rich, varied history.

I heard my own favorite example of this occurrence at a Seattle performance years ago. Back when Consolidated Works was a happening venue, the pianist Jason Moran (a recent MacArthur Award winner, deservedly in my estimation) came to town and used mesmerizing artistic translation in a solo piece.

The video below is the same song he played that night. Check it out–I’ll bet you’ve never heard anything quite like it. (Although this version is with a trio, you’ll get the idea even if you only listen for a minute). Do you know Turkish? In addition to piano, bass and drums you’ll hear a woman in Istanbul chatting with her mother on a cell phone. What to listen for? Hint: the night I heard this tune my friend turned to me, noticed my furrowed brow, and said: “He’s playing a note on every syllable.” This ordinary conversation becomes the tonal palette for Moran’s composition. Read more

Bookshelf Report: Book Piles Are the Best Kind of Piles

The Bookshelf Report is an ongoing series where we ask 5 questions and share 5 pictures of a bookshelf  belonging to a Bushwick reader. Today’s bookshelf comes from Hollie Young, Bushwick Book Club Seattle volunteer extraordinaire and all around sweetest person to ever exist EVER


What is your favorite book on this shelf?

My favorite book on the floor is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. This book is mysterious and  captivates me in a way I have yet to experience from any other book. It is weird and intriguing. The characters are greatly developed and complex. I also love that you need an active imagination to truly see how the story unfolds. Read more