Song of the Week: The Golden Key by Galen Green | Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland

This week’s Bushwick Song of the Week is a bluegrass tune written a few years back by Galen Green. It’s titled The Golden Key and was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s  Alice In Wonderland. Here is what Galen had to say about his inspiration behind the song:

I was listening to a lot of bluegrass and old-timey music at the time I wrote that song. Ralph Stanley, murder ballads, that sort of thing. I really enjoy the language in bluegrass music. It can sound fancy and flowery, but really plain at the same time. It usually has a strong narrative. Plus there are certain lyrical motifs and metaphors that always pop up, like traveling, alienation, despair, longing, salvation, damnation, the promised land, and of course getting really drunk. I thought Alice In Wonderland – a book about a young girl getting lost, eating magic mushrooms, carousing with disreputable creatures, finding a hidden magic kingdom, pissing everyone off, nearly being executed, and finally finding her way back home before anyone noticed she was missing – was a bluegrass song waiting to happen. After that, it pretty much wrote itself. The only problem was that I could fit just a single chapter of the book into my song, so it might work better as some sort of bluegrass-opera concept album.

— Galen Green

Did someone just say “bluegrass-opera concept album?!” That sounds incredible. I’m really hoping that happens at some point. But until then, check out Galen’s fantastic song below —  plus you can download it for FREE. It was recorded live on January 6, 2012 at the Fremont Abbey.

Don’t forget to download it. It is FREE! Just click on the blue “download” link below and you’ll be all set.

For more info about Galen Green visit his website —


Bookshelf Report: Dave Eggers and a Tiny Gun

Today marks the start of an ongoing series that documents reader bookshelves. We will ask the same 5 questions of  each reader who shares their shelf with us. 5 photos, 5 questions. My own bookshelf will start the series.

What is your favorite book on this shelf?

You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers. It’s a McSweeney’s first edition and it is beautiful. I bought it at The Strand and then had a chance to meet Eggers at a reading a short while later. He signed the inside by drawing me a picture of half of a three-eyed dog. [Ed.: Check our twitter for a photo.]

How do you organize your books?

I usually just put my favorites in the most prominent places, then try to alphabetize a little bit, then (maybe this is a girl thing) make them look pretty. I really hate a book that has an ugly cover. My husband’s Solzhenitsyn collection haunted my dreams for years. The back covers all have these giant-size photographs of the author. Not that he’s not a particularly unattractive man, but…

I think this shelf is a pretty good example of the marriage of two types of readers. My part of it is a mix of styles–poetic (Ondaatje) and terse (ol’ Papa), dramatic and comedic (Eggers), hell-raising (Kerouac) and meandering (Krauss). All the Faulkner, Camus and Kapuscinski, plus the nonfiction belongs to my husband. He’s also a huge Nicholson Baker fan. The shelf also has glass doors so our dog can’t eat the books and collectibles.

Be honest. What percentage of the books on this shelf have you actually read?

Ha! I actually figured this out. Of the books that are mine, I’ve read 57%. Not great, but not bad either. Also, I’m excluding books that I’ve only read halfway through.

What book do you plan to read next?

The book sitting on top of the shelf, which is an edition of Alice in Wonderland illustrated by Yayoi Kusama. She recently had an exhibit at SAM that was so mesmerizing–a wall of hot pink (and like, electric hot pink) with neon orange polka dots that you couldn’t look away from–that I had to get the book. Also, I’ve never read the actual text of the story.

Wild Card Question: What’s the deal with the tiny gun?

I got it in Georgetown. It’s an old cap gun. I have a couple others, one that is even tinier and one that is regular size and looks frighteningly real. 

Think your bookcase has what it takes? We’d love to take a look! Send us your photos!