Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bushwick Book Club Covers Frankenstein, Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Annoyed" is how most of the songwriters at the Bushwick Book Club described their feelings about the novel Frankenstein. I think mostly it was a reaction to the character Dr. Frankenstein. Having not read the book since I made my way through about half of it in college, I really can't comment except to say that annoyance came up several times during the night.

A number of the songs had to do with love....Susan Hwang's asked "why don't you love your monster" which I took to mean 'why don't you love your creation...your offspring.' Pearl...whose last name I didn't get but was making her Bushwick Book Club debut similarly wrote about love...saying "love is what you learn....teach love." Rachel Devlin and Dan Costello did a very cool 1950s style-number which I later gathered was in the style of Frankie Valli. There were lots more folks who always I was impressed by Phoebe Kreutz's amazing rhymes. Her song urged parents to keep their kids away from science. Sweet Soubrette said to Dr. Frankenstein hey "why didn't you just knock up some pretty girl instead." And the Up Against the Wall String Band sang a funny song about how the book really is not too much like the movie. Justin Remer read a long short story that was sort of a modern day Frankenstein tale. Other interesting songs were written and performed by Mark Palermo, Anna Leuchtenberg, Corn Mo, and Joe Crow Ryan.

I'm always impressed at how much interesting stuff comes out of these Book Club sessions. Lots of times the songs are rough or at least roughly assumes these artists' own creations were in development up until the last minute, but it's always interesting to see fresh new songs being born and how much solid songcraft comes out of these monthly meetings. Congrats as always to Susan Hwang for putting on a good show.

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