Please Please You presents Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts, with Meabh McDonnell and Me & My Bro at The Crescent, York on Monday 29 August.
Photo credit: Jacob Blickerstaff provided courtesy of Rough Trade
Born and raised a New Yorker, Jeffrey Lewis leads a double-life as both a comic book writer/artist and a musician (or is that a triple-life?). His band also has a multi-faceted existence, exploring a stylistic swath from contemplative folk narratives to distortion-fueled garage rock to soundscape abstractions and more, usually all within any given ten-minute period.
Most often a trio (though occasionally just Jeffrey solo, or as a duo, and on some tours as a four-piece), the Jeffrey Lewis group has shuffled its name a number of times over the years, from Jeffrey Lewis & The Jitters to Jeffrey Lewis & The Jackals, Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard, Jeffrey Lightning Lewis & The Rain, Jeffrey Lewis & The Jrams and others, in 2015 becoming Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts. These various formations (often in the past featuring Jeffrey’s brother Jack on bass) have toured the world from Los Angeles to London, Berlin to Beijing, Melbourne to Moscow, Houston to Ho Chi Minh City, blowing minds all along the way and sometimes sharing stages or full tours with the likes of Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Devendra Banhart, Devo, The Mountain Goats, Thurston Moore, The Fall, The Vaselines, Roky Erickson, Pulp, Beth Orton, Frank Black, The Fiery Furnaces, Daniel Johnston, Scout Niblett, The Moldy Peaches, Cornershop, The Cribs, Dr. Dog, Kimya Dawson, Adam Green, Akron/Family, Black Dice, Au Revoir Simone, The Television Personalities, Jarvis Cocker and many other luminaries.
Live shows often incorporate “low budget videos,” Jeffrey’s large illustrations displayed to accompany certain songs, such as Jeffrey’s educational multi-part “History of Communism” or flights of fancy like “The Creeping Brain.”
In 2001, Jeffrey Lewis signed to the venerable Rough Trade Records label (home to The Smiths, The Strokes, and many more alternative legends) and has since released seven albums worldwide on Rough Trade/Beggars, the most recent of which is “Manhattan,” released at the end of 2015.
Jeffrey has been self-publishing a comic book series called “Fuff” since 2004, has lectured around the world on topics such as the Watchmen comic book and independently produced music, and in recent years his work has been featured by the History Channel, the New York Times, the Guardian, NPR, and elsewhere. Recent projects include a one-man art show at LPR in Manhattan, creating the soundtrack for the film Radio Unnameable (distributed by Kino Lorber), illustrating Jaimee Garbacik’s academic book Gender and Sexuality For Beginners, writing/drawing a 9-page comic book biography of Woody Guthrie for the Paul Buhle-edited book Bohemians, writing/illustrating/publishing three installments of Sonnet Youth (an attempt to rewrite the discography of Sonic Youth in sonnet form), and finally publishing Fuff # 11. Jeffrey has also been organising annual tribute concerts to Tuli Kupferberg of the Fugs (annually in late September), and Lou Reed (annually in early March).
Tickets are £10adv/£12otd, available from pleasepleaseyou.com
Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts, Meabh McDonnell and Me & My Bro will play at The Crescent on Monday 29 August 2016, doors at 7.30pm.