At last year’s Brooklyn Book Festival, Joshua Clover and Ta-Nehisi Coates argued the relative merits of Roxette’s “Listen to Your Heart” and Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power.” The year before, Ian MacKaye (on a panel with Thurston Moore and Lupe Fiasco) decried the overuse of the phrase “Google it,” and Mary Gaitskill rapped along to Das Racist’s early meme/hit “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.” Below you’ll find the handful of music-related panels and events at this year’s installment, which takes place on Sunday at Borough Plaza. Bonus: Only one overlaps with the must-see Phantom Tollbooth 50th-anniversary conversation at noon.
Mary Karr (Lit: A Memoir) and Nelson George (The Plot Against Hip Hop) discuss their most recent books and music’s role in their creative process. (Borough Hall courtroom)
The Tokens return to Brooklyn for a 50th-anniversary singalong of their hit “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” (Main stage, Borough Hall Plaza)
Singer/songwriter Alina Simone (You Must Go and Win), poet/novelist Julian Gough (Jude in London), Israeli poet Shimon Adaf, and poet Kevin Young talk about the relationship about music, poetry, and prose, and read and perform their works. (Borough Hall Community Room)
Mark Yarm (Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge), Marisa Meltzer (Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music) and Marcus Reeves (Somebody Scream: Rap Music’s Rise to Prominence in the Aftershock of Black Power) discuss the intersection of the musical, the personal, and the political in a conversation moderated by Will Hermes (Love Goes To Buildings On Fire). (St. Francis Volpe Library)
Closing Night Party DJed by authors, including Kevin Young and Colson Whitehead and others. (No word on whether or not Gaitskill will make a surprise visit to drop a track from Relax.) There’ll be another singalong of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” too. (Brooklyn Bowl)