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“Some say I’m wrong and I’ll die and go to hell / But I’d be happy just knowing there was a point so it’s just as well”. So sayeth Jeffery Lewis, New York anti-folker, friend to the Moldy Peaches, comic book artist. Lewis announced his arrival with an album called The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane and the proceeded to make sure he was noticed with a tune called Williams-burg Will Oldham Horror in which the author ended up being tied up and raped by Bonnie Prince Billy! Like so many great comedians, Lewis has a very maudlin side; unlike many he seems comfortable placing the two side by side. This balancing act is never an easy one, a slight misjudgement and the fall on either side is a steep one. Thankfully on Em Are I (get it?) he stay on his feet. Tunes about eco-warriors hitting the road to save both “our marriage and the manatee” provide plenty of wry smiles along side those about the break-down that comes after a relationship breakdown – Broken Broken Broken Heart. After-all, keeping it simple is the key: “It’s hard to get too bored / When you pick the right two chords.” While he may not be, as Jarvis Cocker boldly contended “The best lyricist working in the US today”, he is a well-kept NY secret that deserves to be shared.

*** 1/2