Jeffrey Lewis w/Wooden Wand

When: Tue., March 6, 9 p.m. 2012

We saw it happen just last year: LMFAO parlayed self-deprecating humor set to a club-y four-on-the-floor beat into a bona fide mainstream hit. Anti-folk singer-songwriter and comic book artist Jeffrey Lewis has been at the self-skewering game a lot longer than them, and with far more verboseness and sophistication. But it’s clear that he — unlike the Gordys — is prepared to keep on laboring in semi-obscurity for the long haul. His songs — musically minimal works that revolve around detailed lyrics and receive willfully shaky, artfully deadpan deliveries — magnify the fractures in the ego of the DIY performer, and that approach is just too close-up and neurotic for the masses. Take “Cult Boyfriend,” a four-chord folk-rock shout-along from last year’s A Turn in the Dream-Songs. In it, Lewis does a phenomenal job of articulating what it’s like to earn obsessive affection from a precious few: “If I’m really all that awesome, wouldn’t more people think so?” That’s the indie question of the ages.

Jewly Hight


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