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In rotation: Jeffrey Lewis' 'A Turn in the Dream-Songs'

December 2, 2011 |  6:00 am

In rotation: Jeffrey Lewis' 'A Turn in the Dream-Songs'

East Village native Jeffrey Lewis is one of underground folk's success stories — and with the unlikely weapon of a wobbly, underdog voice that could almost belong to Peanuts' Charlie Brown. The singer and illustrator, who recently released his sixth major work, “A Turn in the Dream-Songs,” has cobbled together a decent living from his rambling poetry and rustic guitar picking, augmented by raggedy strings, flute and hushed percussion. And though there's worn charm to be found with his backing band, the Junkyard, his lyrics steal the scene every time.

Lyrics that at first might seem dashed off are actually tight ruminations on topics such as attempting suicide (the surprisingly jaunty “So What f I Couldn't Take It”), the benefits of being a “Cult Boyfriend” (not the mainstream show) and the best way to get revenge on time. “You better do something that you can get better at,” he advises in “Time Trades,” “because that's the thing that time will leave you with.” Lewis performs Wednesday at Origami Vinyl, and the same day with Emily Lacy at the Echo Country Outpost.

Jeffrey Lewis
“A Turn in the Dream-Songs”
Rough Trade

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—Margaret Wappler

 

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