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Jeffrey Lewis

One of the most acclaimed and well-known musicians associated with New York City's anti-folk scene, Jeffrey Lewis writes sharp, literate, and sometimes hilarious songs about city life, everyday occurrences, history, and underground culture. Typically delivered in his signature deadpan vocal style, his songs frequently namecheck influences such as the Fall, the Misfits, and Will Oldham, and often have a rambling, shaggy-dog narrative or a punch line. On occasion, he's written songs detailing the entire history of certain bands or music scenes, as on his 2004 single "The History of Punk on the Lower East Side of NYC 1950-1975," and a series of songs he wrote about historical events (including the Cuban missile crisis and the French Revolution) was featured on the History Channel's website. In addition to his music, Lewis is a renowned illustrator and writer; he's written and drawn numerous graphic novels, had his work published in The New York Times, and designed cover art for bands such as the Moldy Peaches.

Jeffrey Lewis was born in New York City in November of 1975. Lewis' beatnik parents didn't have a television in the home, so comic books and his father's blues records were early obsessions. Although the first album he bought was Whodini's Escape, high school brought an interest in the Grateful Dead (he went to 40 shows) and Nirvana. After graduating from New York State University at Purchase (his senior thesis was on Alan Moore's graphic novel Watchmen), Lewis started making music on a guitar on loan from his father and was turned on to the more oddball sounds of the Fugs, David Peel & the Lower East Side, and the Godz. In 1998, he could be found playing open mikes and releasing Indie-Rock Fortune Cookie, a cassette packaged with one of Lewis' comic books. A CD-R compiled from the cassette landed in the hands of Rough Trade, courtesy of the recently signed Moldy Peaches, and the label issued The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane and Other Favorites in 2002. An appearance on the Moldy Peaches-compiled Antifolk, Vol. 1 followed, and a second album, It's the Ones Who've Cracked That the Light Shines Through, appeared in 2003. Lewis toured Europe with members of the Moldy Peaches in support of 4 Seasons, a box set featuring a comic book, a DVD, and two 7" singles.

The 2006 album City & Eastern Songs was credited to Jeffrey and his brother Jack, while 2007's 12 Crass Songs featured a dozen songs originally written and performed by the British anarchist punk band Crass. In 2009, one of Lewis' illustrations was etched into the B-side of Cornershop's comeback single "The Roll Off Characteristics (Of History in the Making)." That same year, his 'Em Are I arrived, featuring the single "To Be Objectified." Members of Dr. Dog, the Vaselines, and Au Revoir Simone appeared on his 2011 release A Turn in the Dream-Songs. Also in 2011, Lewis collaborated with Peter Stampfel of Holy Modal Rounders, releasing Come on Board that year, followed by Hey Hey It's...The Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel Band in 2013. He formed a band called Jeffrey Lewis & the Rain and recorded "WWPRD," a song about Russian anarchist punk group P**sy Riot, which accompanied a comic strip of the same name that was published in London newspaper The Guardian. Lewis assembled a new band called Jeffrey Lewis & the Jrams, who recorded an album in a single day in early 2014; the album included a spoken recital of "WWPRD," recorded live the previous year. Lewis returned to Rough Trade in 2015 for his next album, Manhattan, which was credited to Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts. ~ David Jeffries & Paul Simpson
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: A Turn In The Dream-Songs

1. To Go And Return

2. How Can It Be

3. I Got Lost

4. Boom Tube

5. Time Trades

6. Cult Boyfriend

8. Try It Again

9. When You're By Yourself

10. So What If I Couldn't Take It

11. From Draz

12. Water Leaking, Water Moving

13. Reaching

x

Track List: 12 Crass Songs

1. End Result

2. I Ain't Thick (It's Just A Trick)

3. Systematic Death

4. The Gasman Cometh

5. Banned From The Roxy

6. Where Next Columbus?

7. Do They Owe Us A Living

8. Securicor

9. Demoncrats

10. Big A, Little A

11. Punk Is Dead

12. Walls (Fun In The Oven)

Comments

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This is hilarious
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Lewis is the s**t. His wide taste in different sounds allows him to compose really dynamic albums. His appreciation for Crass is probably the main reason why I enjoy his music so much. I watched him live at a show at the Milestone in Charlotte, NC and it was probably one of the coolest experiences I've had at a show. He played punk is dead by crass and it was perfect, "something you can play to your dad" but still keeping the raw anarchistic message. The show was elaborate, and he displayed a ch
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Just discovered this artist listening to Daniel Johnston station. This is exactly what I've been looking for. An unbroken line from Dylan to Johnston to Oberst and now Lewis. This can obviously be fleshed out, but you get the idea. I definitely could have been part of this continuity of I had only stuck with the music instead of chickening out and getting a job. I'm sorry world.
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Great lyrics
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True expression, a true form of art. Makes the listener feel involved
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1. Kiss your left hand
2. Say your crushes name
3.pick a school date
4.post this on 15 more songs and your crush will tell you u that they like u on the date you picked
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chrissyotero
Moldy peaches !
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happybay468
Thanks Daniel Johnston Radio!!!! I love this artist too!
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SUNY Purchase is a 'Special Place'
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amye45
thanks Pandora - I got a new favorite
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Great lyrics, great sound, great artist.
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Awesome.
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Pretty cool...coupl a tumbsup!
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lucophox
You understand me
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The music reminds me of dead milkmen. Not the lyrics though. Pretty cool.
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very similar to cake ey?
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This reminds me so much of daniel johnston. love it all!
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Jeffrey Lewis did not design the Moldy Peaches album cover.
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brilliant.
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Why cant people like him be famous and not f**king jokes like lady gaga
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This guy is a genius
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I love this man and wish all of the world's fortune and fame for him
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Some of the best lyrics ever written are by this Mr. lewis.
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wow. you rule.
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Dude
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Meow
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i love you
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crazy_tweety _ g i r l
Love, love, looooove him!
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ameliamcisaa c
He's awesome.
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I love jeffrey lewis.
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Unf'nn believeble! So much fun Mr Lewis. Thankyou.
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love him.
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DUDE, Back When I Was 4 is AWSOME

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