Jeffrey Lewis “Time Trades” – “Anxiety Attack” Comic

Jeffery Lewis’ thoughtful lyrics are without peer.  One of his most provocative songs of the past few years in this regard is “Time Trades.”  When he plays it live the whole audience – no matter how rowdy they may be going before – quiets down and intently listens as he moves them into reflection.  It is truly amazing to be a part of (and I’m not the only to think so)….

…which is why it’s awesome that Galapagos Presents.com captured this performance and added to their youtube channel on February 27th. 

“Time Trades” lyrics are below, followed by a comic Lewis – also a talented illustrator – recently created for the NY Times about one of his signature songs, “Anxiety Attack” – “One day in 2003, around the time I was practically living on a foam mattress on the floor of a tiny, windowless room in Brooklyn, listening to the first American bombs drop on Iraq over the radio, I wrote a song… just a rhyming list of some things that were keeping me up at night, terribilia meditans with a Casio beat.  I must have chosen the title — “Anxiety Attack” — because it was obvious and self-explanatory (though, come to think of it, “My Surly Thoughts of the Early Aughts” could have worked).  Now, nine years later, the war in Iraq has been officially declared over, but “Anxiety Attack” is still surging…: (read more here)

Lewis also recently wrote a story about poetry, taxes and Thurston Moore for The Guardian

Time is gonna take so much away
But there’s a way that time can offer you a trade

Time is gonna take so much away
But there’s a way that time can offer you a trade

You’ve gotta do something that you can get nicer at,
You’ve gotta do something that you can get wiser at,
You’d better do something that you can get better at
‘Cause that’s the only thing that time will leave you with

‘Cause time is gonna take so much away
But there’s a way that time can offer time a trade

It might be cabaret, it could be poetry,
It might be trying to make a new happy family,
It could be violin repair or chemistry,
But if it’s something that takes lots of time – that’s good

‘Cause time is gonna take so much away,
But there’s a way that time can offer time a trade.

Because your looks are gonna leave you
And your city’s gonna change too
And your shoes are gonna wear through

But there’s a way that time can offer you a trade.

You gotta do something that you can get smarter at,
You gotta do something you might just be a starter at,
You better do something that you can get better at

‘Cause time is gonna take so much away

But that’s the way that you can offer time a trade

And maybe that’s why they call a “trade” a trade,
Like when they say you should go and learn a “trade”
The thing you do don’t have to be to learn a “trade”,
Just get something back from time for all it takes away.

It could be many things, it could be anything,
It could be expertise in Middle Eastern traveling,
Something to slowly sorta balance life’s unraveling

You have no choice you have to pay time’s price
But you can use the price to buy you something nice
Something you can only buy with lots of time
So when you’re old you blow some whippersnapper’s mind.

It might be researching a book that takes you seven years
A book that helps to make the path we take to freedom clear
And when you’re done you see it started with a good idea
One good idea could cost you thousands of your days
But it’s just time that you’d be spending anyway

You have no choice you have to pay time’s price
But you can use the price to buy you something nice

So I’ve decided recently
To try to trade more decently

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