Most of the at last count 8,550,405 million inhabitants might disagree. For sure Jeffrey Lewis would. Born and bred somewhere on the Lower Eastside squeezed in by the Crocodile Bar to Katz’s Delicatessen to the Nom Wah Tea Parlor and from the Continental Bar to Alphabet City. A humanistic, quirky NYer, he’s been a colorful figure on the downtown «anti-folk» scene for some time and he’s changed names more often than the schedule changes on the MTA subway. Like, Jeffrey Lewis &: The Creeping Brains, The Jitters, The Jackals, The Junkyard, The Rain, The Jrams and now, Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts. A folksy anti-folk punker and lysergic garage rock performer, his latest album for Rough Trade and you is fittingly named «Manhattan». Earlier on, risers by him were the Leonard Cohen tribute «The Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song» and «Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror».
Jeffrey’s also a comic book artist – drawing’s the only time he feels right, he says - and a writer with a literary pen as sharp and electric as his visual mind. When the NYTimes Op-Ed page invited him to write some essays on the topic of song writing he delivered some of it drawn in comic book form. Subsequently, the paper’s Ben Sisario wrote about him in a 2011 article «How to Become a Big Fish in an Indie Rock Aquarium». Fried or grilled, boiled or sauteed, poached or gefilte, everybody likes this crazy fish. His bouillabaisse of nihilism and hopeful cynicism netted invitations to perform or tour with the likes of Sonic Youth, Beth Orton, Scout Niblett, The Mountain Goats, Moldy Peaches, Devandra Banhart and Herman Dune and Thurston Moore.
Not only is a big fish jumping to our shore tonight but the secret mayor of New York City’s in town.