This is the official site of Birdsong Micropress, a lil publishing outfit located in Williamsburg (not the historic one), and is comprised of an array of serialized zines and one-shots by various birdsong writers/artists, and the interview series Five on It. Contributors comprise The Birdsong Collective.

Five on It– with Scott Lindenbaum

Posted on by Tommy

This Friday is the launch party for Electric Literature no. 5 at HousingWorks Bookstore in Soho.  As I hold the print issue in front of me (which, it should be mentioned, is POD), what I notice almost as much as the bloodshot, naked man (presumably) playing video games on the cover,

fingering the joystick

is how few stories the issue contains. Just five! One of my main gripes with literary magazines is that they are too damn big. More doesn’t mean better, in fact more means more things get overlooked. So what’s the point? To get people reading or to give writers a publishing credit?  It’s like people buying condos that nobody lives in– so damn wasteful.  SO I’m immediately appreciative at how attainable reading through the whole journal seems. The excess has been considered, and so have I, as a reader.

Also… they pay their contributors $1000.00 a story. That is simply the best.

Electric Literature co-founder Scott Lindenbaum, recent coverboy of the L Magazine (with yrs truly), agreed to answer the five birdsong questions for me this week, as he prepares for Friday’s launch party.

1. What’s the last song you listened to?
Scott: This morning I revisited The Books‘ album Thought For Food. That first track, “Enjoy Your Worries, You May Never Have Them Again” is one of the most heartbreaking things in my iTunes. Every time I put it on, I get a feeling of triumphant collapse and my stomach tingles a bit. There’s a sample of a neurotic woman talking about her life that starts around 1:26 and accelerates while pitch-shifting until the two minute mark when the track literally slaps it from the composition and a man in the background yells “stop!”

2. What did you want to be when you were ten?
SL: When I was ten I wanted to be a professional snowboarder and I used to cut out pictures of this Norwegian snowboard legend, Terje Haakonsen, and hang them on the ceiling of my bedroom. Incidentally I got pretty far in snowboarding. I was sponsored around age 11 and spent most of the next ten years riding for Burton snowboards as a halfpipe competitor. A bunch of kids I grew up with now have Olympic medals. They’re heavier than you would think, the medals I mean.

3. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
SL: One day you stop asking why and you just start doing.

4. What’s the last thing you were obsessed with?
SL: Jay-z’s career. Still obsessed with it. I also carry a torch for David Gates‘s novel, Jernigan, with which I am perpetually obsessed. That shit will haunt your dreams, and if you’re not careful turn you into a gin drinker.

Oh, and this video. (Attn: poets, watch this to the end, the punchline is perfect.)

5. What are you afraid of?
SL: Cancer, the tea party, side impact collisions.

Scott Lindenbaum is the Co-Founder/President of Broadcastr, a social media platform for geo-located audio. He is also the Co-Publisher and Editor of Electric Literature, a new publisher dedicated to using electronic media and innovative distribution to keep literature a vital part of popular culture. In 2010 he Co-Founded Electric Publisher, an iPhone/iPad app creation company dedicated to helping publishers of all sizes build multimedia enhanced book apps for mobile devices. The Washington Post has called his efforts “A refreshingly bold act of optimism,” and the New York Times has said that Electric Literature publishes “The countries best writers,” including Pulitzer Prizewinner Michael Cunningham, MacArthur “genius” grant winners Colson Whitehead and Lydia Davis, literary heavyweights Jim Shepard, Rick Moody, and J Robert Lennon among others. For almost ten years Scott was a half-pipe snowboard competitor, sponsored by Burton Snowboards. It was only after a near-fatal collision with a birch tree in 2001 that reading, writing, editing, and technology became central in his life.

Release Party for Electric Literature no. 5
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
126 Crosby St.
New York, NY

About Tommy

Tommy was born and raised on the Viejas Reservation of the Kumeyaay Nation, near San Diego. Now he lives and eats in Brooklyn.

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