The Bushwick Book

Beacon Hill musician Geoff Curtiss Larson visited a nightclub in Bushwick, Brooklyn (during a temporary 2009 move to NYC), where he was surprised to see a whole barroom full of folks having a blast in the name of Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. It was the monthly meet-up of the Bushwick Book Club, organized by his friend Susan Hwang, where a select lineup of songwriters performs a tune inspired by that month's reading selection. Larson saw a nugget of an idea that he knew Seattleites would eat up. Upon returning home last year, he gathered together a dozen fellow musicians and assigned them his "favorite book of all time," Slaughterhouse-Five. The first October show at the Can Can drew a crowd of 20 or 30. The monthly shows proved so popular that they've since moved to larger venues including the Century Ballroom, Chop Suey, and Conor Byrne. Larson's cast of songwriters is constantly rotating. And growing: from the original 12 to some 100 performers who now ask to participate. None of the night's dozen-odd performers knows their timeslot—Larson pulls names from a hat. Each gets 10 minutes to perform one or two songs. "It's great," says Larson, "because everyone is excited to share their songs, but they're also secretly trying to one-up one another. For the audience, all they need to do is have a great time reading a book, then sit back and watch people's reactions to the book through song." Tonight's text is Alice in Wonderland. BRIAN J. BARR

Fri., Jan. 6, 8 p.m., 2012

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