I was record shopping the other day, and a kid came into the store and asked at the counter, “Yo, can I get the new Jeffrey Lewis?” I, being a Jeffrey Lewis fan and one who tries to keep abreast of new releases (hey, what else is TMT for?), had to admit to myself that I didn’t know about anything more recent than ‘Em Are I, his 2009 album as Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard. The guy behind the counter was none the wiser.
Well, imagine my surprise when I looked into the matter. In January, Lewis released a digital album with the 72-year-old folky Peter Stampfel, a name that should drop some jaws if you’re into important figures in psych-folk history (Stampfel played in The Holy Modal Rounders and The Fugs, among other groups; he even contributed to the liner notes for Harry Smith’s Anthology of Folk Music, for Pete’s sake!). The album is called Come on Board and you can purchase the digital download here, or order a physical CD from Olive Juice Music. The album is equal parts Jeffrey and Peter, and meshes Lewis’ anecdotal style (“I Spent the Night in the Wax Museum”) with Stampfel’s fiddle, banjo, and indisputably old-but-awesome-dude voice (see him wail in this video — can your grandfather do that?).
As always, Jeffrey Lewis is just as active as a comic book artist, and Fuss #8, his newest book, is now in stores. If you know much about Jeffrey Lewis, you know he’s also a comic historian (familiarize yourself with his complete history of punk rock in the Lower East Side, if you’re not). Well, the History Channel has picked up on Lewis’ talent as a pedagogue, and their official website now features 10 of his “illustrated low-budget documentaries” for the edification of young and old everywhere. (Like this one, for example.) Way to make us proud, Jeffrey!
Keep an eye on Lewis’ website for spring tourdates, as some are still being finalized. Here’s what there is so far:
03.30.11 - Charlottesville, VA - Magnolia
03.31.11 - Greenville, NC - Tipsy
04.01.11 - Durham, NC - Duke Coffeehouse
04.02.11 - Harrisonburg, VA - MacRock Fest afterparty
04.04.11 - Baltimore, MD - Bell Foundry
04.06.11 - Annandale-on-Hudson, NY - Bard College
04.07.11 - Poughkeepsie, NY - Vassar College
04.08.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Silent Barn *
* The Beets, él-g
• Jeffrey Lewis: http://www.thejeffreylewissite.com