Friday, November 10, 2006

"England Steals All The Credit, Thats How It Goes"

One of my favourites things about seeing Jeffrey Lewis live is his lectures in rhyme. The first time i saw him, at 93 Feet East, he performed a "low budget video" about the history of Communism in China (which i just found a awesome video of), which was just him standing on a chair, with a large, wonderfully drawn comic book in hand which he flick through while narrating it with witty and beautiful crafted poetry.
The History Of Punk On New York's Lower East Side, 1950-1975, is probably my favourite. Altho Jeff doesn't use a comic book to illustrate and compliment the words, he inserts snippets of songs from the artists he mentions, which makes for a very interesting listen. Having grown up in the Village, Jeff seems very passionate and knowledgable about this subject matter, The Fugs are one of his major influences. From Harry Smith's anthology of American folk, through The Velvet Underground, David Peel, The Stooges, The New York Dolls, all the way to CBGB's and The Ramones, Jeff covers it all, i don't know how he didn't stumble over any of the words. The last bit about England stealing the credit i'm not entirely sure on, as UK and US punk are quite different things or were at the time, but Mr Lewis sure does have the punk attitude of being totally unique. I can't wait to catch him in December!!!

Here's the lecture and some of the originals as well:
Jeffrey Lewis - The History Of Punk On New York's Lower East Side, 1950-1975
William & Versey Smith - When That Great Ship Went Down
The Holy Modal Rounders - Euphoria
The Velvet Underground - I'm Waiting For The Man
The Fugs - Nothing
Iggy Pop &The Stooges - 1969
Patti Smith - Gloria
New York Dolls - Personality Crisis
Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Blank Generation

If anyone's got any David Peel, Silver Apples or more of The Fugs, i'd love to have a listen, cheers.

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