Jeffrey Lewis is a comic-book artist turned scrappy songwriter. He hails from New York, was born to beatnik parents, and is happily a dork. He comes from the same 'anti-folk' collective that produced The Moldy Peaches, and, now that such a scene has been collectivised onto a play-at-home compact-disc, we can surmise, from hearing said disc, that Lewis could very well be the pick of this songwriting litter. His songs, in such, are smart and funny and sincere and entirely self-aware, routinely exploring songwriting and artistic output as topics within songs; essentially a musical extension of that autobiographical comic-story shtick you can trace from Harvey Pekar all the way through to Joe Sacco. Lewis's first album of this tune-penning type was called The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane and other favorites. And, here, on his second, It's The One's Who've Cracked That The Light Shines Through, we find a reciprocal song called No LSD Tonight, which was written as a counter to all those deadheads who came backstage at his post-first-album-with-wacky-title shows to offer him acid; Lewis seeing the great irony in that his bad-acid-experience song was taken as a pro-drug celebration. As if to evince his not-looking ways, his typically lively lyrics are filled with smart shit like: "I did try ecstacy one time/and one night I drank some codeine cough syrup. But I'm just a tender thing, I guess/I start to fall apart after a couple cigarettes". Later, there's a song called I Saw A Hippy Girl On 8th Avenue, where Lewis talks about growing out of his hippy threads, realising that he don't need "clothes as an identity crutch". His best tune, though, is Don't Let The Record Label Take You Out To Lunch ("because every sip of soup is gonna get recouped"!), where he offers wise advice based on what he's learnt as popular artist; showing a sage side of himself that's inspired and inspiring. With records as good as this, let's hope his 'career' rambles on for a long, long time.
Gravitygirl.shafted