The Bookshelf Report is an ongoing series where a Bushwick reader or artist shares a little bit about the books that occupy their shelves.
Reggie Garrett often performs with the Bushwick Book Club and will take the stage at the upcoming 3-for-3; Music Inspired by Books; Books Inspired by Water event. He is currently working on a song inspired by Jim Lynch’s Before the Wind.
To get to know him a bit before the show, Reggie let us snoop around his bookshelves. Here we go.
Growing up, my family promoted a certain DIY aesthetic, particularly as a workaround in situations where the alternative was simply not having a desired thing (clever parenting, no?). Halloween costumes, for instance, were often whatever I could throw together out of paper sacks and tinfoil. My high school bandmates and their families still recall with fondness my first microphone stand (what teenager has the discipline to save $25?): a small birch log glued to a plywood base, hole drilled in the log, broomstick lodged in the hole, piece of pipe duct-taped to the broomstick, mic-clip fitted onto the pipe: voila.
I was an early member of The Bushwick Book Club Seattle, before I moved to Ithaca, NY in 2011. Before Bushwick, I hadn’t done much writing about books at all, and my first few shows were quite a challenge. Now, more than a decade into my career, I lean heavily on literature to bring new ideas and freshness into my writing. (I used up my quota of whiskey-swilling country songs in about 2005.)
Ithaca, much like Seattle, is a literary town. The two major employers in the area are Cornell and Ithaca College, and during school sessions there are as many students as locals. There is also a lot of turn over – people constantly moving in-and-out and every spring free piles of books pop up like crocuses. There is also a huge book sale that takes place twice a year over the course of three weekends. By the last weekend, they are giving away books by the bagful — a quarter a bag. Between those two sources, I have several books that have become trusty inspiration when I sit down to write: an old volume of Scottish songs, some contemporary Irish poems, an ancient hymnal, and a book of Sylvia Plath poetry. I also found and toted home three volumes of Tolstoy, Niezche, and James Joyce, but those are currently serving as coasters. One can dream.
By now you’ve probably seen Bushwick artist Tekla Waterfield sing her heart out at any number of Bushwick events. She’s been contributing beautifully crafted book inspired songs for a few years now and is without a doubt a musical force to be reckoned with.
Much like all our Bushwick artists, Bushwick is not her only current music related endeavor. Tekla has her own band, Tekla Waterfield and The Sweet Nothings, and they are all set to record their debut album due out sometime early next year.
I think that you should know that Bushwick artist Aaron Shay released a spooky new music video for his song Nightmare Blues just in time for Halloween!
..err… uhh… What do you mean Halloween was last week?
Well, that’s OK. You should still be able to enjoy his video post-Halloween style. And in all honesty, the video was officially released on October 21st, I’m just a little late to the party.