Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Underground comic book artist, Moldy Peaches friend and cover designer, and anti-folk musician Jeffrey Lewis was born in New York City in November of 1975. Lewis' beatnik parents didn't have a television in the home, so comic books and his father's blues records were early obsessions. Although his first album bought was Whodini's Escape, high school brought an interest in the Grateful Dead (he went to 40 shows) and Nirvana. After graduating from New York State University at Purchase (his senior thesis was on Alan Moore's graphic novel Watchmen), Lewis started making music on a guitar on loan from his father and was turned on to the more oddball sounds of the Fugs, David Peel & the Lower East Side, and the Godz. In 1998 he could be found playing open mikes and releasing Indie-Rock Fortune Cookie, a cassette packaged with one of Lewis' comic books. A CD-R compiled from the cassette landed in the hands of Rough Trade, courtesy of the recently signed Moldy Peaches, and the label issued The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane and Other Favorites in 2002. An appearance on the Moldy Peaches-compiled Antifolk, Vol. 1 followed, and a second album, It's the Ones Who've Cracked That the Light Shines Through, appeared in 2003. Lewis toured Europe with members of the Moldy Peaches in support of 4 Seasons, a box set featuring a comic book, a DVD, and two 7" singles. The 2006 album City & Eastern Songs was credited to Jeffrey and his brother Jack, while 2007's 12 Crass Songs featured a dozen songs originally written and performed by the British anarchist punk band Crass. In 2009 one of Lewis' illustrations was etched into the B-side of Cornershop's comeback single "The Roll Off Characteristics (Of History in the Making)." That same year his 'Em Are I arrived, featuring the single "To Be Objectified." Members of Dr. Dog, the Vaselines, and Au Revoir Simone appeared on his 2011 release A Turn in the Dream-Songs.