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Friday, February 22, 2008

Critically Overlooked: Jeffrey Lewis - 12 Crass Songs

posted by on February 22 at 12:19 PM

crass.jpg

Sometimes things fall through the cracks here at the Stranger. There just isn’t enough room in the paper to cover everything, and some album, artist, or show gets critically overlooked. To this week’s list of Rainydawg Radio and Monotonix, you can add Jeffrey Lewis.

Jeffrey Lewis hails from Portland by way of New York’s anti-folk scene. His live shows sound pretty cool, but what’s been burning a hole in my brain lately is his most recent album, a recording of twelve Crass songs perplexingly titled 12 Crass Songs. The liner notes include a cute, full-color comic strip detailing Lewis’ love affair with the seminal British anarcho-punk band, from introduction by way of a skinhead roommate to the eventual recording of this album. Lewis’ Crass covers are either a great introduction to Lewis, or to Crass, or to both, depending on where you’re coming from. His versions are simple, mostly acoustic renditions, aided by occasional percussion, group vocals, or tape shenanigans, that highlight the undeniable strength of the original songs while improving admirably on many of the actual recordings.

His selections:

1. “End Result”
2. “I Ain’t Thick, It’s Just a Trick”
3. “Systematic Death”
4. “The Gasman Cometh”
5. “Banned From the Roxy”
6. “Where Next Colombus?”
7. “Do They Owe Us a Living?”
8. “Securicor”
9. “Demoncrats”
10. “Big A, Little a”
11. “Punk is Dead”
12. “Walls (Fun in the Oven)”

Jeffrey Lewis opens for the Mountain Goats tomorrow night at Neumo’s.

(of course they fucking do!)

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Jeffrey Lewis will also be playing at dearborn on woodland (myspace.com/dearbornhouse) on Sunday night. And I will be interviewing him on Hollow Earth Radio on Sunday at 3pm (www.hollowearthradio.com)

Posted by whprwhil | February 22, 2008 9:58 PM

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