Every week you get a new song from Mike Votava. How cool is that?! It’s super cool!

This week’s song of the week is called Beyond the Grave. It was inspired by Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation. The book is a wacky, weirdly enthralling exploration of the first three U.S. presidential assassinations. It’s a fun book, I recommend it.

Mike Votava Song of the Week: Beyond the Grave



I wrote the song specifically to be performed at a Bushwick Book Club Seattle event. The recording is representative of how it was played at the show — no bells and whistles, only acoustic guitar and sparkly vocals filling out this track.

I’m writing a song inspired by this book for the next @bushwickbookclub show. Sept 28th at The Royal Room

A photo posted by Mike Votava (@mikevotava) on

And although my performance that night mysteriously received no critical acclaim or reviews of any kind, I will have you know that I killed it. (There was some mild clapping.)

Speaking of killing it, Beyond the Grave is kind of about dying, or rather the decision of what do with yourself after you die.

In the book Sarah visits the Mütter Museum in Pennsylvania to get a peek at a piece of John Wilkes Booth. She starts chatting with the curator about the museum exhibits, about the stories behind how some pieces end up where they end up, and about death. As sort of a joke, Sarah asks the curator what she’s planning on doing with her own remains after she dies. The curator casually replies that she will most likely want to become an exhibit in the museum. Apparently this is a fairly common practice among curators.

Sidenote: The Mütter Museum is also home of the megacolon.


So wouldn’t it be fun to become a permanent fixture at The Bushwick Book Club Seattle after kicking the bucket? Every show they would have to wheel my dead body to the stage so I could introduce the show via a pre-recorded message. Also, I would be frozen in carbonite.

Yes! That DOES sound like a ton of fun. Sign me up.

Beyond the Grave
By Mike Votava

Tell me more about
About the megacolon
How in the world did it get so big?
Is it dangerous?

A piece of John Wilkes Booth
Floating in a jar
On display at the Mütter Museum
In Pennsylvania

She’s still debating how to answer the question
It’s not uncommon to join your collection
When the vacation’s over
At times it was stressful
You can relax now that you are gone

Roll me to the stage
Pre-recorded message
Introduce the Bushwick show
From beyond the grave

Frozen in carbonite
Next to the beers in the green room
Somebody drew a mustache on my face
I bet it was probably Geoff