Shows in NY and LA for Jonathan Ames’ YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE.

March 5th, 2018

In March and April, Bushwick Book Club will be presenting shows inspired by Jonathan Ames’ new thriller YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE.  The book is being published March 20th by Vintage Books, and the movie based on the book, starring Joaquin Phoenix and directed by Lynne Ramsay will be be released April 6th and has won Best Actor and Best Screenplay at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.  We’re excited to be celebrating the book in new original music, film, visual art, cocktails and snacks.

**Author, Jonathan Ames will be giving a reading and signing books, which will be on sale at the show**

Join us March 29th at Mirror in the Woods- 575 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215 (7:30-9:30pm).

Our musical response to You Were Never Really Here continues in Los Angeles on April 28th at the beloved The Last Bookstore.

The Mirror in the Woods show in Park Slope will feature performances by BBC Founder, Susan Hwang, Jessie Kilguss, Charlie Nieland, Richard Alywn Fisher, Gates Callanan (visual art), Ellia Bisker, Jim Andralis, Katie Fricas (visual art), Krystal Hawes, John Brodeur, Henry Tenney, Ray Brown, Dawn Kang, Space Meow, Nicola Yvette (dance), Lisa Barnstone (film), and Sung Uni Lee (snacks).



UK Praise for You Were Never Really Here
“Ames is an adept purveyor of the very noir, particular scenes of violence. He achieves more in less than 100
pages than most crime novels three times the length do” —The Times, Crime Books of the Year 2016

“A striking and powerful noir debut that can be consumed in a single sitting. . . . Ames reveals himself here
as a stylish thriller writer”—Daily Mail

“[A] fast-moving, agreeably violent and perfectly pared-down novella”—Spectator


Our February show: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen

February 12th, 2018

Special Double Event for Valentine’s Day/month! Extend the romance and dance your ass off. Jane Austen would want you to.
First: Sparks fly as The Bushwick Book Club presents Pride and Prejudice with songs, video and more inspired by Jane Austen’s romantic classic. FEBRUARY 17th, 7:30pm at Little Skips in Bushwick (941 Willoughby Ave.)!

Performers include:

John S. Hall
Joanna Kelly
Toby Goodshank
Phoebe Kreutz
Charlie Nieland - Lusterlit
Susan Hwang - Lusterlit
Ray Brown
Mark Lesseraux
Dawn Kang
Preston Spurlock - Video
Teresa Toro
Timothy Dark
Hannah Garner with
Storm Garner
Ellia Bisker
Ben Foley

Then: The Lusterlit 7″ Record release Dance Party
Susan and Charlie will premiere their new vinyl single pressed byBrooklynphono, “Flight” and debut the the new remix version.
There will be a short live set with Lusterlit and then the dance-your-romantic-ass-off party with DJ Prettyfluffy spinning the rest of the night!



First Show of 2018 – Vonnegut’s PLAYER PIANO

January 4th, 2018

Our first show of 2018 is inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s PLAYER PIANO.BBCplayerpiano.copy   If you don’t know us, you may not know that we have a thing for Vonnegut.  We don’t go on and on about it, but we do start each year with new songs inspired by one of his works.  It’s a long story that begins in 2009, but why think about that year, when we have a brand new one right here.  2018.  It presents to us that thing we’re obsessed with–the glorious unknown, which is also the reason we write songs about books.  And the reason we wake up each day.  To find out what happens.

Come join us January 30th at new, Brooklyn venue MIRROR IN THE WOODS.  We have some favorite contributors performing as well as some who are brand new to Bushwick Book Club.  We promise literature inspired songs accompanied by an original Vonnegut cocktail from BBC mixologists — Deb and Jason.  There may still be a book-inspired SNACK ARTIST in the wings.  We’ll keep you posted.  However, this we can be sure of — performances by:

ELLIA BISKER – Charming Disaster, Sweet Soubrette
SUSAN HWANG – Lusterlit,
CHARLIE NIELAND – lusterlit,
DON RAUF – Life In A Blender
HENRY TENNEY – Jackson Pinks, Cheese Beads

**Flyer by Julie Lamendola**


Our November Shows – 3 Shows, 3 Cities, One Book

October 23rd, 2017


Bushwick Book Club is presenting new music (and snacks!) inspired by Chuck Palahniuk’s new coloring book novella, LEGACY: AN OFF-COLOR NOVELLA FOR YOU TO COLOR.  Come see the shows in three different cities this November.  Palahniuk will be at the Portland show, officiating games and prizes!

BYO crayons.

Brooklyn, NY -  November 7th at Barbès – 356 9th St., Brooklyn, New York (7:30-9pm)

Portland, OR - November 11th at the Billy Webb Elk’s Lodge – 6 N Tillamook St, Portland, OR (5-8pm),

Los Angeles, CA - November 16th The Last Bookstore – 453 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013


The New York show will feature performances by BBC Founder, Susan Hwang, Jessie Kilguss, Charlie Nieland, Juliet Garrett, Terry Radigan, Casey Holford, Timothy Dark, Joanna Kelly, Storm Garner, Jennifer Devore and Earl Maneein. FB:

The Portland show will be hosted by Amy Faust of Mike and Amy in the Morning on the Wolf 99.5 and will feature NYC performers, Susan Hwang, Jessie Kilguss, Charlie Nieland, Larry Krone and Portland participants, Mike Danner, Alan Kanning, Ian MacKintosh, Jetty Swart, Matt Schulte and Don Rauf.  Tickets: FB:

The LA show will feature BBC Founder, Susan Hwang and Charlie Nieland as Lusterlit from NYC, BBC L.A. founder, Stacy Rock, Nicole Tourtelot, Justin Remer, writer Deenah Vollmer, Dr. Sherri Canon, Molly White and others TBA.  FB:


Bestselling author Chuck Palahniuk has written 14 novels, sold more than 5 million books in the United States, written a New York Times bestselling graphic novel and an acclaimed coloring book and had multiple books adapted for film—and now Palahniuk‘s prose will be inspiring musical performances across the country.  LEGACY: AN OFF-COLOR NOVELLA FOR YOU TO COLOR featuring colorable illustrations by Steve Morris and Mike Norton, is on sale from Dark Horse Books on November 7.

“Over time, my books have inspired music by Panic! At the Disco and Scissor Sisters and even Brad Pitt’s version of “This is Your Life,” said Palahniuk. “I can’t wait to hear what the Bushwick Book Club brings to the mix!”  Palahniuk will appear as a special guest at the Portland show on November 11th, where he’ll be organizing games and prizes.

Legacy: An Off-Color Novella for You to Color is a hardcover book, accompanied by a cover illustrated and colored by Duncan Fegredo and designed by Nate Piekos. Two acclaimed artists provides colorable illustrations throughout the novella: Mike Norton, the creator of the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning webcomic Battlepug, and Steve Morris, who’s best known for his art for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic books. LEGACY: AN OFF-COLOR NOVELLA FOR YOU TO COLOR goes on sale from Dark Horse Books in both comic book stores and bookstores on November 7, 2017.


What Jonathan Ames said and our new songs about YOGA.

October 10th, 2017

“I was so honored that the Bushwick Book Club made music in response to my writing.  All the arts are about communication — if one is to make grand summarizing statements — and to have two of the arts communicating with each other, prose and music, like birds in a tree in Bushwick, is a brilliant concept that the Bushwick Book Club has invented and continues to practice with great joy and exuberance and beauty.  And to repeat myself — I’m so pleased that my writing caused this lovely group to burst into song. Because what’s better than bursting into song? Very little!” – Jonathan Ames, 

We played songs for Jonathan Ames’, Wake Up, Sir! in April 2014.  You can listen to all the songs here:

And you can listen to Jonathan speaking about being moved by BBC, singing a lullaby and demonstrating an authentic Harry Call right here:

Our next show is Tuesday, October 10th, 7:30pm at Barbès in Park Slope, Brooklyn, the same room where Jonathan Ames enacted that boyhood warning call and where the Lenape tribe partied for centuries.  The book inspiring new songs is yoga master, B.K.S. Iyengar’s LIGHT ON LIFE.

You know what is funner than doing yoga?  Well, just about anything, but definitely, listening to songs inspired by yoga.  Listen to new, original, songs from:

John S. Hall - poet, songwriter, KING MISSILE
Frank Rathbone, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, SicTic
Jessie Kilguss - songwriter, musician, vocalist
Pearl Rhein - actor, songwriter, ”Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812!”
Charlie Nieland - producer, engineer, songwriter, LUSTERLIT
Susan Hwang - songwriter, BBC founder and host

Bushwick Book Club meets regularly on the edge of literature-inspired art.

October 10th, 7:30pm
376 9th St. (@6th Ave.)
Brooklyn, NY (7th ave stop on the F train.)
Door – $10 recommended donation
FB event:


TIME CHANGE for Show on the 17th! We start at 8:30pm

September 16th, 2017

Venue is the same, but we’ll be going on at 8:30pm!  That is the MEAT CAKE hour!!  Author DAME DARCY will be there!  So will all these fine musicians and songwriters, filmmakers, snack makers:

Susan Hwang - songwriter, BBC founder and host
John S. Hall - poet, songwriter, KING MISSILE
Charlie Nieland - producer, engineer, songwriter, LUSTERLIT
Jessie Kilguss - songwriter, musician, vocalist
Lisa Barnstone - Filmmaker
Annie McCain Engman - songwriter, vocalist
Mark Lesseraux - songwriter, band leader – MARK LESSERAUX AND THE CITIZENS
Tom Lackaff - songwriter
Jim Andralis - songwriter, JIM ANDRALIS AND THE SYNTONICS
Mallory Feuer - songwriter, GRASPING STRAWS
Pearl Rhein - songwriter, actor, “The Great Comet of 1812″
Henry Tenny - songwriter, writer, producer

Bushwick Book Club meets regularly on the edge of literature-inspired art.


Our Next Show: MEAT CAKE BIBLE by Dame Darcy for Brooklyn Book Festival Book End Events

August 14th, 2017


Author Dame Darcey will be there to hear all the songs and to speak with the audience about the ”neo-Victorian horror/humor/romance comic” MEAT CAKE as we explore it through the creativity of local Brooklyn musicians, artists and culinary creatives.  Dame Darcey will also give a special performance of her own songs along with new work from:

Susan Hwang
John S. Hall
Charlie Nieland
Jessie Kilguss
Lisa Barnstone - Filmmaker
Annie McCain Engman
Mark Lesseraux
Tom Lackaff
Ellia Bisker
Jim Andralis
Mallory Feuer
Terry Radigan

and others!


Tuesday’s show inspired by Steve Martin

June 5th, 2017

FullSizeRender (41)Born Standing Up and Cruel Shoes by Steve Martin.

TUESDAY’s show is at Barbès in Park Slope.  June 6, 7:30pm, 376 Ninth St., (@ 6th Ave.) in Park Slope Brooklyn. You get to see, hear and taste Born Standing Up and Cruel Shoes by Steve Martin.  It’s a great excuse to watch some of the footage of his seminal stand-up if you don’t have time to read.  In addition to the songs and comedy, here’s the MENU from our contributing chef, Jonathan Dressler:

Pre-Show Snacks 
“Vinyl Vest Pocket” from How to Fold Soup
- chips & onion spread

 ”Months One and Two” from Dr. Fitzkee’s Lucky Astrology Diet
- boiled egg & raisin salad w/ cumin and cilantro

After Show Dessert 
“Month Three” from Dr. Fitzkee’s Lucky Astrology Diet”
- pumpkin pie w/ whipped cream and chocolate sauce

* Comedy from Tabitha Vidaurri
* Visual art from Kat Flannery and Julie Lamendola!
* Songs from Susan HwangCharlie NielandJohn S. HallKrystal HawesBen FoleyNessa GrasingStorm Garner
and Janelle Maire!
* FB event HERE

Introducing our book-inspired chef!

FullSizeRender (43)
Jonathan Dressler used to be decent at trombone and trumpet, is still is ok at drums and synthesizers, is good at audio engineering and electronic music programming and is getting closer to being decent at cooking one day.Instead of attending culinary school, Jonathan has opted to work at several top New York Restaurants. He hopes to one day have a restaurant which can combine health and wellness with indulgences with the wonderful world of celebratory foods. Like pie.

The Podcast

June 1st, 2017


The podcast about new things made in response to books is here!  We have two episodes already.  The most recent features our latest performances and creations for AMERICANAH by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie for the mayor’s One Book, One New York initiative!  Listen on iTunes and Soundcloud!

Join BBC founder, Susan Hwang in her kitchen with songwriters, John S. Hall, Charlie Nieland, Jessie Kilguss, Krystal Hawes and Jennifer Devore for AMERICANAH-inspired cocktails and the cookie you don’t get for reducing racism.  The songwriters discuss their participation in the first One Book One NY initiative and the impact of AMERICANAH in their music and lives.  Enjoy songs from those at the kitchen table, plus performances from Karen Kuhl, Jim Flynn, Juliet Garrett, Janelle Lawrence, Annie McCain Engman, Terry Radigan, Swan Drsti and Iyvon Edebiri.  Kat Flannery‘s AMERICANAH-inspired painting is featured, but of course you can’t see it.

Subscribe to the podcast here:


Our next show: AMERICANAH by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, May 12th for ONE BOOK, ONE NY

April 23rd, 2017

Our next show:
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
May 12th at City Winery

More literature inspired times are ahead for the whole city as New York becomes one, big book club.  Is there a record for largest book club ever?

Song, dance and art are in the making right now, in response to the One Book, One NY choice - AMERICANAH by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  This is an Official One Book, One NY Event!

Friday, May 12th, 8pm
City Winery

155 Varick St.
New York, NY 10013
Door: $10 / ticket link: HERE

Writing and performing:
Susan Hwang - co-host and songwriter
Jessie Kilguss 
- co-host and songwriter
Charlie Nieland - producer,
Karyn Kuhl - singer/songwriter
Annie McCain Engman - songwriter, musician, actor
Terry Radigan - singer/songwriter
Jia Jung - podcast - Play It Back, writer, songwriter
Nicola Yvette Hughes - choreographer
Krystal Hawes - songwriter, musician, vocalist
Juliet Garrett - songwriter, actor, Psychobaby
Jennifer Devore – cellist, composer, Zentripetal
Ben Foley - singer/songwriter
Jim Flynn - harpist, songwriter
Swan Drsti – dance, multi-media – radio - INK AND WORM
**visual art by Kat Flannery**

More info on the Mayor’s One Book, One NY initiative: