Buskers: The On-the-Streets, In-the-Trains, Off-the-Grid Memoir of Two New York City Street Musicians

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Soft Skull Press, Jun 7, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 192 pages
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Frustrated by the indifference of the music industry and the stacks of homemade CDs gathering dust in their closets, brothers Heth and Jed Weinstein made the radical decision to bring their music directly to the masses. They began playing on street corners, in subway stations, and wherever else they could connect with a live audience. To their surprise, far from this being the terminal stop of a dead-end career, busking turned out to be just the beginning as crowds of stressed-out commuters gathered around, cheering them on, subscribing to their mailing lists, and actually buying some of those stockpiled CDs—40,000 and counting.

In Buskers, Heth and Jed recount their turbulent, drug- and crime-filled adolescence in the nowhere-land of Livingston, New Jersey, their valiant attempts to achieve rock ’n’ roll success through traditional channels, and their unexpected path to circumventing the outmoded music industry. They divulge fascinating details about the technical and legal aspects of street performance, New York busking culture, and the lives of their fellow troubadours.

A world of possibilities opens up when the brothers take it to the streets, proving the value of their music to themselves and anyone who’ll listen. Read their story, and your commute will never be the same.

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Introduction In the Shadows
1 Background Check
2 Daddys Weed
3 Our First Taste of New York
4 The Great Escape
5 DeadEnd Jobs and Confused Guitarists
6 Communication Breakdown
7 Paid to Practice
9 Subway Series
Electric Boogaloo
11 The Year of No Sleep
12 Cosmic Intake Valve
13 Fat of the Land
14 Future Memory

8 Urban Frankenstein

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About the author (2011)

Heth and Jed Weinstein play 200 busking shows annually. In 2006, they earned a coveted spot in the MTA’s Music Under New York program, which provides sanctioned subway-station performance space. Previously featured in Gothamist.com, The New York Daily News, The New York Sun, New York Metro, and Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve, they live in New York City.

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