Bushwick Book Club presents UNFAMILIAR FISHES by Sarah Vowell

by The Bushwick Book Club

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about

Photos by @lippemfg
Thank you, Ani, for doing sound that night.
Thank you, Julie Lamendola for the flyer.
Thank you Frying Pan for hosting us.
Fryingpannyc.com
Thank you, Riverhead Books for donating the amazing Sarah Vowell gift tote for our raffle!

credits

released 18 August 2015

All songs recorded live at The Frying Pan in NYC, August 7, 2015.
This was the second show of our Bushwick Book Club AQUATIC SUMMER. All shows floating all summer.
Visual art of Hawaiian royalty and Sarah Vowell by Tommy Cheng: www.facebook.com/TommyChengArt?fref=ts

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about

The Bushwick Book Club Brooklyn, New York

We started in January 2009 playing songs written in response to Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions. We haven't stopped since. We've written & performed songs inspired by everything from "On The Origin of Species" to Dr. Seuss to Raymond Carver. There are BBCs popping up nationwide now. Bushwick Book Club Seattle started in 2010 & is run by Geoff Larson. Our nerdy dare-devilry knows no bounds. ... more

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Track Name: Jessie Kilguss - When The Big Wave Comes In
There once was a lush garden
On the other side of the world
The people there were happy
Loved and took care of the earth

Worshipped many gods
Everything was in balance
Some white uptight people arrived
And were received without malice

When the big wave comes in
Strange and unfamiliar fishes
Will ride in on the dark ocean
And they will devour us

The missionaries came
To pray them all to death
Rip apart the ecosystems
Stop siblings from having sex

They squashed and squandered
Everything that was unique and true
Til Hawaii was just like New England
All Red White and Blue

When the big wave comes in
Strange and unfamiliar fishes
Will ride in on the dark ocean
And they will devour us

When the big wave comes in
Strange and unfamiliar fishes
Will ride in on the dark ocean
And they will devour us
When the big wave comes in
When the big wave comes in
When the big wave comes in
Track Name: Susan Hwang - Mixed Plate
The mixed plate lunch is quintessentially Hawaiian
It’s the result of people being curious and trying
their neighbors’ native delicacies around the 1880’s
when work on plantations brought folks from all nations
to sweat and toil a bunch and now we have the mixed plate lunch!

Two scoops of rice a scoop of macaroni
a place for appetites, not just yours only.
Hungry for power, control, position
not to mention loco moco or teriyaki chicken.
Hungry for variety, at least 2 kinds of piety.
And the one that starts all the fights --
the appetite to be right.

How does anyone ever agree at all
like is it decent to praise the royal genitals
should history be told with your hips
should women eat fruit that are phallic
Should sailors be denied their intercourse
Should America take over other nations by force
Should non-white males get the vote
Is American self government a joke

Hawaii didn’t mean to be a mixed plate
but the unfamiliar fishes had appetites to satiate
Everyone was so hungry, we all get so hungry

And what is more human than needing to eat?
Wanting a taste of that other guy’s unknown treat.
Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese and Korean
Add Filipinos and soon you’ll be seeing’
rice and macaroni on the same plate
hamburger with egg what do you know it tastes great

I guess no one needs roughage
Just more portuguese sausage
Everyday doesn’t have to be the same
Today chow fun, tomorrow chowmein

Kalua pig and lau lau to satiate you right now now
beef teri chicken katsu for you know you gots to

follow your hunger, your appetite,
On this plate there is no fight
Just have what you want and pile it on high
the plate is mixed for you to try

And it's safe on the plate.
nothing dire.. like the Hawiian population decreasing to 1/6 of what it was in 1778 because of respiratorry illness, measles and VD.
Track Name: Susan Hwang - Finding Hawaii
In the kids performing hula down the hill from Malo’s grave,
in the arms of men rowing canoe below Queen Kaahumanu’s cave,
in an old man pointing to ancestors’ names with his fingertip,
in every hello, touching the nose, breathing each other in.

Here we find Hawaii.
Still we find Hawaii.
Track Name: Mark Lessereaux - You Look Unfamiliar to Me
You Look Unfamiliar To Me

You Look Unfamiliar To Me
You Look Unfamiliar To Me
Counting headstones in the sand
Where the Taro marks the last stand

You seem to know how things should be
You must be a missionary
With a red book in your hand
And your flagpole on sacred land

White teeth in white heads
Eating my Sandwich
Without my permission
What are you doing here? (Who do you think that you are?)
What are you doing here? (Who do you think that you are?)

If I'm missing the boat excuse me
But You Look Unfamiliar To Me
I see you've made yourself at home
Where the mongoose and the pig roam

Doing the 2 step
And The Watusi
All to a waltz beat
What are you doing here? (Who do you think that you are?)
What are you doing here? (Who do you think that you are?)

Oooooooh
Oooooooh
Oooooooh
Track Name: Sweet Soubrette - Oahu
Oahu

In the dreamy little swindle where the strangler fig holds sway
They have made the queen a prisoner and they took her crown away

Oh oh oh oh ah Oahu

She's locked inside her palace where she sits and sews all day
In a skirt of downy feathers and a yellow colored lei

Now she plies her needle to embroider every bird
On a quilt of silk and satin that will cover up the world

You can gather up the idols you can put em in a fire
You can burn em into cinders but the ancient gods don't die

There will come a moment when a wave will wash away
All the saints and all the strangers it might even be today

When we meet we'll touch our noses and we'll breath each other in
With the breezes full of flowers and the sunshine on our skin

(for Queen Liliuokalani)