Ever wished you could dive deeper into your favorite book? Sure, there’s fanfiction and plenty of fan art. But what about a whole concert dedicated to it?
Say hello to The Bushwick Book Club — an event series that gathers groups of local musicians to write and perform songs inspired by all kinds of literature.
The event is named after Brooklyn, New York’s Bushwick neighborhood, where the first book club started in 2009. Inspired by one of its performances, Seattleite Geoff Larson launched the bookish concert series in the Emerald City in 2010. Since then, Seattle’s Bushwick musicians have written and performed songs inspired by books like The Dark Knight Rises graphic novel, Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower and local chef Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life.
Next Thursday, Bushwick will showcase songs inspired by Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. That’s the book about a fictional misogynistic America that sparked the hugely successful TV series starring Elisabeth Moss. And the book’s message “is very prescient for these times,” said Amanda Winterhalter, the Bushwick program director.
Bushwick performer and audio engineer Moe Provencher said The Handmaid’s Tale is all about “the patriarchy and white supremacy and being trapped,” and she’s enjoyed digging into those themes given what’s happening right now politically.
We talked with Moe to learn more about what she finds valuable about Bushwick’s shows.
Does the audience have to have read the book to enjoy the performance?
You don’t have to, but I think it’s extremely useful. Otherwise you’re missing sort of the beauty of the conversation with the artist and the author. If you’ve read the book, there’s an exciting community building part of the show.
Which show has been most memorable for you so far?
I did Lindy West’s Shrill in November. Lindy was at the show and that was really fun. [The book] brings a lot of very rich themes to mind, but I kind of settled on body image. I’d underwent a lot of physical transformation in the past year with weight loss and weight gain and I explored a lot of that in my song.
What’s it like as a musician to write songs about existing pieces of art?
For me, songwriting is a way to process my own thoughts, feelings, and emotions. So it’s awesome to be able to delve into a book more deeply. It’s an awesome prompt for me as a songwriter to do that.
Want to see Bushwick for yourself? Grab tickets to The Handmaid’s Tale show on May 24. Can’t make it? Bushwick will be performing tunes inspired by Norton Juster’s The Phantom Toll Booth on June 10. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for details. Plus, check out more of their past performances here and here.
Get yer tickets. Our iconic Paramount Theatre is turning 90 this year, hometown indie legend Death Cab for Cutie will headline its big birthday bash, and that’s not even the best part. The best part is that tickets to this June 23 show are free. All you gotta do to get ‘em is pre-register for tickets here by Friday, then snatch ‘em up quick when they’re released. (Seattle Weekly)
What’s the most common job in Seattle? If you guessed software engineer, you are relying on stereotypes, and you are absolutely right. 😃 There are enough software engineers in Seattle — 60,000+ — to fill up KeyArena three times over. And 80 percent of them are — you guessed it — men. Here’s FYI Guy Gene Balk’s look at the gender breakdowns of the 25 most popular jobs in our area. His big takeaway? “How few of these occupations come close to parity between the sexes.” (The Seattle Times)
Seattle’s movie mecca. If you’re a film buff and you haven’t walked the aisles at Scarecrow Video in Ravenna, get on it. Scarecrow’s got 131,000 titles and a 30-year legacy of serving Seattle movie fans’ every whim. But most impressively, it’s a brick-and-mortar movie video shop in the age of Netflix that’s still kinda thriving. In fact, Scarecrow’s curators want to bet that whatever you’re not finding on streaming services is probably just in the back. Watching movies at home not quite enough for ya? Check out the showtimes at the Seattle International Film Festival, which kicks off tonight. (GeekWire)
That’s a high bar. Ever wondered how long you have to live in the Northwest before you’re considered a local? According to one-fifth of Washingtonians, it’s, um, your whole life. But more of us — 27 percent — say it’s just half your life, so…that’s easier, right? 😬 (The Seattle Times)
She really likes them apples. Yesterday we told you about the Cosmic Crisp, a new variety of apple our state’s growers are stoked about. Reader Shemaiah Gonzalez got to try one two years ago, while it was still in development, and didn’t hold back. “It was the best apple of my life,” she wrote on Instagram. Wow. 🍎
And finally, thanks to reader Rachel Nielsen for catching an error in last Thursday’s newsletter. We mentioned a new report that claims we need to spend around $400 million a year to solve our homelessness crisis. But that estimate applies to our whole county, not just our city. Thanks for the heads-up, Rachel!
The Bag Lady is an urgent reckoning. She adorns her Black, queer, female body with trash bags—the accrual of discarded lives—and asks us to listen. Learn More ».
Promote something you ♥ here.
🍴 On Safari Foods: Sustainable Seattle Catering Offering sustainable ingredients, custom menus, and over 25 years of catering experience. Office lunches. Corporate parties. Special events. Weddings.
🙏 May 23: Meditate with the help of a brain tracking app at the next Impact Hub Lunch + Learn (Pioneer Square)
Want to partner on your event with us? Here’s how.
👋 Party with Seattle’s Norwegian community for Syttende Mai (Ballard)
🗣 Hear awesome, 5-minute stories at Ignite Seattle (Capitol Hill)
🍸 Sip on cocktails and visit a DIY mimosa bar (Downtown)
🍴 Take a walk and nibble on happy hour goodies (International District)
🎶 Unleash your inner emo kid at a sing-a-long (Central District)
🍿 Watch tons of good flicks at the Seattle International Film Festival — through June 10 (All over)
🎨 Dance to trap music and paint (Capitol Hill)
🍻 Cheers your beers to Bike Everywhere Month (Ballard)
🎟 See an “immersive installation of memory” about fighting erasure (Central District)
💡 Learn about the “adorable and unexpected” ways living things procreate & parent (University District)
🍴 Check out pop-up shops and food carts at a night market (South Lake Union)
🗣 Hear poems from Filipino Seattleites (International District)
🏞 Take a bike tour around the city and munch on doughnuts (Ballard)
🎳 Go bowling with the Seattle Sounders (West Seattle)
🎈 Take the family to play bingo with drag queens (Bitter Lake)
🎈 Hop on your bike to kick off Bicycle Sundays (Seward Park)
🏞 Run or walk a 5K, then splash around at the beach (West Seattle)
Going to one of these?
Is it your friends? Your job? A neighborhood you’re bound to? A person you love? Or something that’s become so much a part of you that you’re not even sure how to name it?
We’re saying happy 165th birthday to our city next week by sharing out your stories about what keeps you in this wild, amazing city of ours. And we’d love to hear from you. Got a couple minutes? Click here to send us your answer.
Have a good one, all. — The Evergrey