Another wonderful Jeffrey Lewis show. The first time I’ve seen him with Peter Stampfel. Lots of great tunes including rousing covers of Hawkwind’s ‘Orgone Accumulator’ and ‘Surfin’ Bird’ by The Trashmen, and a moving reminder of the importance of Pussy Riot ‘What Would Pussy Riot Do?’. The song-poem got the loudest applause of the night…
“Pussy Riot went to prison, just to make some people listen…these woman are my heroes, and the world needs punk rock heroes”. The message was aimed at all of us, and especially those bands that are more interested in getting their songs used in advertising, and cashing in. The final question: ”So at least I can ask me and you can ask you, What would Pussy Riot do?”
Touring to mark the release of their second release - a full-length 13-song CD - the collaborative team of Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel released “Hey Hey it’s… The Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel Band” on 15th May, 2013. The band also includes bass by Isabel Martin, drums by Heather Wagner, and mandolin by Spencer Chakedis. The touring band also featured Franic of The Wave Pictures.
Needless to say I snapped up the new album from Jeffrey straight after the show. Here’s some info about Peter and Jeffrey that you probably already know, but if not, through the wonders of copy and paste….
Peter Stampfel is now celebrating 50 years of NYC folk-madness album-releases. Peter Stampfel is an original Holy Modal Rounder as well as being an early member of the Fugs, and musical collaborator with Gary Lucas, Yo La Tengo and many others.
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, restlessly exploring a stylistic swath from contemplative folk narratives to distortion-fueled garage rock to soundscape abstractions and more. 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 Creeping Brains to Jeffrey Lewis & The Jitters, Jeffrey Lewis & The Jackals, Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard, and others, in 2013 becoming Jeffrey Lewis & The Rain. These various formations (often in the past featuring Jeffrey’s brother Jack on bass and Bronx-native David Beauchamp on drums) have toured the world from Los Angeles to London, Berlin to Beijing, Melbourne to Moscow, 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 six albums worldwide on Rough Trade/Beggars, the most recent of which is 2011’s ”A Turn in the Dream-Songs” which was recorded at an all-analogue studio in Manchester, UK and features musical cameos from Dr. Dog, Au Revoir Simone and The Vaselines among others. Jeffrey has been self-publishing a comic book series called “Fuff” since 2004, has lectured around the world on topics such as theWatchmen 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. As of 2013 his most recent projects have been creating the soundtrack for the film Radio Unnameable (distributed by Kino Lorber), illustrating Jaimee Garbacik’s academic book Gender and Sexuality For Beginners and writing/drawing a 9-page comic book biography of Woody Guthrie for the Paul Buhle-edited book Bohemians.
Few more photos here.