Episode 113: Jeffrey Lewis


I’m pretty sure I first heard about Jeffrey Lewis through his music. By the time I arrived in New York City, the singer-songwriter was already a veteran of the same Lower East Side antifolk scene that gave the world the likes of the Moldy Peaches. Turns out the guy also makes some really terrific comics as well. And better still, he takes every opportunity available to combine the two forms, as with with a series of comic essays on the songwriting process written for the New York Times, or the year we asked him to perform at Manhattan’s MoCCA Fest in which he combined singing with an easel baring drawings for a lo-fi multimedia storytelling experience. I ran into Lewis once again at this year’s MoCCA comics show and he happily agreed to an impromptu conversation on a scenic Chelsea rooftop overlooking the Hudson. It’s a relatively quick (by RiYL standards) conversation, due to the rapidly dropping rooftop temperatures and Lewis’s need to get back to his unmanned table at the show, but it’s still a wide-ranging and interesting chat on the nature of creativity from an artist who seemingly does it all.