'Great Gatsby'-Inspired Tunes Come to Bushwick Book Club

By Meredith Hoffman on May 14, 2012 1:44pm 

Performer Phoebe Krutz sang at a past Bushwick Book Club event at the Slipper Room.
Performer Phoebe Krutz sang at a past Bushwick Book Club event at the Slipper Room.
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Bushwick Book Club

BUSHWICK—The Roaring Twenties' flappers, speakeasies, and slim cigarettes are dashing into Bushwick this week, with a "Great Gatsby"-themed party.

The musical performance group Bushwick Book Club is taking the stage for their monthly alternative book group event at the bar and art space Goodbye Blue Monday with songs inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel about New York's glamorous 1920s scene.

The three-year-old organization — whose past book club performances ranged from classic novels like Vladimir Nabokov's "Despair," to Kurt Vonnegut's the "The Sirens of Titan", to more recent hits like George R.R. Martin's "Game of Thrones" — will get book lovers into the swing of things with "Gatsby"-style drinks while performers sing of characters Daisy Buchanan and Nick Carraway.

"We hadn't assigned anything classic in a while, so I thought it would be a good time for Gatsby, finally!" said Susan Hwang, the group's founder, who noted that growing up she had missed the chance to read the book in school. "It was great timing for me personally — such a treat to read something so beautifully written."

Hwang, who co-hosts the club's monthly shows each inspired by a different book, said this Thursday's performers include regulars like the Emmy-award-winning Phoebe Kreutz, who penned songs for "Sesame Street," the electro-folk band Dan and Rachel, musician Natti Vogel, indie artist Emily Einhorn and Johnny Dydo of the band The Wowz

Her co-hosts are puppeteer Ben Folstein and his puppet character Cory — the first time a puppet has helped host the popular club's event.

Hwang, a musician who used to bartend at Goodbye Blue Monday, said she got her inspiration to start the book group after writing songs about zombies inspired by the "Night of the Living Dead" movies in 2008.

"I wanted to create a night of original music inspired by narrative," she said. "I wanted to see if songwriters would write songs inspired by books. Turns out they will."

The group will perform at the bar and art space on 1087 Broadway Thursday at 8:30 pm. Admission is by donation.

The Bushwick Book Club is performing songs inspired by the
The Bushwick Book Club is performing songs inspired by the "Great Gatsby" Thursday.
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Bushwick Book Club

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