Shows

Mecca Normal will be in Portland, Oregon on July 16 and Anacortes, Washington on Friday July 18.

Mecca Normal will open for The Julie Ruin in Vancouver at Fortune Sound Club on July 23.

Check our FaceBook page for updates and details.

Newsletter March, 2014

David Lester poster and Jean Smith 7″ record cover art in 2014 Whitney Biennial, March 7 to May 25, New York City

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Exhibit at the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

Click here for the online Press Release

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Download poster FREE 

Malachi (18 x 28″) poster by Mecca Normal guitarist David Lester is included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

The exhibition also includes a recording of a live set performed by underground rock duo Mecca Normal, and both sides of the cover of the Mecca Normal 7″ record that includes the song Malachi about war protester Malachi Ritscher.  

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Exhibit with listening stations at the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

Whitney installation

Exhibit in the vitrine at the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

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The painting on the record cover is called “Discovering Utopia”
by Mecca Normal vocalist Jean Smith.

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Back cover with “Malachi” lyrics by Jean Smith.

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Photo of Mecca Normal by Malachi Ritscher.

These four artifacts – and a photo Malachi took of Mecca Normal after he recorded the set at the Empty Bottle in Chicago in 2002 – are part of Public Collectors: Malachi Ritscher an exhibit curated by Chicago’s Marc Fischer about American activist and music documentarian Malachi Ritscher (1954 – 2006) who self-immolated on a freeway median outside of Chicago to protest the war in Iraq. Ritscher made a video of this action that was not widely seen.

“It was Malachi’s intention for the video of his protest, his death, to reach people through mainstream media, to jar them from complacency, to have them raise their voices to end the war. But that wasn’t what happened. The video was not released in that way. When we added our song – and the poster – to our performances and classroom events, we regarded them as extensions of Malachi’s intention. We had created documents about the documentarian whose final statement on war was not heard. We created art and music because Malachi’s voice was not heard.” – Jean Smith, from the 2014 Whitney Biennial catalog

“Art and music can express outrage, inspire action, or soothe and distract; please think about priorities and be involved in things that matter.” – Malachi Ritscher, from his website

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Mecca Normal recorded an acoustic version of “Malachi” with KRAMER on bass and organ.

Download mp3 FREE “Malachi” (acoustic) on BandCamp

 

1 NEW March-2014

NEW ALBUM

Empathy for the Evil will be released on M’lady’s Records
on September 16, 2014.

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Jean Smith: vocals, piano, sax, guitar. David Lester: guitar, KRAMER: bass, mellotron, vibraphone and organ. Produced, mixed and mastered by KRAMER. Recorded by Rat Bastard at the Laundry Room, Miami Beach.

Lyrics

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1. Art Was the Great Leveler 2:32
David Lester guitar, Jean Smith vocal, KRAMER bass
2. What’s Your Name? 3:30
David Lester guitar, Jean Smith vocal and sax, KRAMER bass
3. Wasn’t Said 4:26
David Lester guitar, Jean Smith vocal and piano, KRAMER bass and organ
4. Between Livermore and Tracy 10:19
David Lester guitar, Jean Smith vocal and piano, KRAMER bass, organ and mellotron
5. Normal 4:50
David Lester guitar, Jean Smith vocal, KRAMER bass and organ
6. One Man’s Anger 3:35
David Lester guitar, Jean Smith vocal and piano, KRAMER bass
7. Naked and Ticklish 5:50
David Lester guitar, Jean Smith vocal and guitar, KRAMER bass
8. Maisy’s Death 7:51
David Lester guitar, Jean Smith vocal, KRAMER bass and organ
9. Odele’s Bath 5:43
David Lester guitar, Jean Smith vocal, KRAMER bass

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David Lester is a visual artist and the guitar player in the rock duo
Mecca Normal from Vancouver, Canada.

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Jean Smith is a writer, a painter, and the lyricist/vocalist
in Mecca Normal.

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The photographer didn’t show up so Jean took this.

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Photo of Jean Smith and David Lester by Sean Raggett.

UPCOMING SHOWS:
Friday July 18th, 2014 – Anacortes Unknown Music Series

3-day festival in Anacortes, Washington.
More shows to follow. Portland, Olympia, Seattle.
Any ideas for venues or bands to play with are welcome!
meccanormal@hotmail.com

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a classroom and art gallery event

 

New Photos

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Photos above by Sean Raggett, late January, 2014.

 

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The photographer didn’t show up so I took these. – Jean Smith, January 17, 2014

More

2014 Whitney Biennial

poster

Mecca Normal artifacts about American war protester Malachi Ritscher will be in the 2014 Whitney Biennial

Press Release: 2014 Whitney Biennial

Public Collectors: Malachi Ritscher

David Lester’s “Malachi” poster will be in the 2014 Whitney Biennial along with the cover of a Mecca Normal 7″ about American war protester Malachi Ritscher. The exhibit, by Chicago-based Public Collectors, also includes a live Mecca Normal set recorded by Malachi Ritscher at Chicago’s Empty Bottle in 2002.

New Album

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The new Mecca Normal album Empathy for the Evil will be released on M’lady’s Records in September, 2014.

Mladysanddrums

Jean Smith vocals, David Lester acoustic guitar, KRAMER on bass and keys. Produced and mixed by KRAMER. Recorded by Rat Bastard at the Laundry Room, Miami Beach in November of 2012.

November 3, 2013

In November of 2012, Mecca Normal recorded an acoustic version of “Malachi”. It didn’t end up on the new album, but it gives a good indication of what the album sounds like. Video by Jean Smith.

FREE mp3

Jean Smith vocals, David Lester acoustic guitar, KRAMER on bass and keys. Produced and mixed by KRAMER. Recorded by Rat Bastard at the Laundry Room, Miami Beach in November of 2012.

“Malachi” is a stand-alone track from the “Empathy for the Evil” sessions.

Mladysanddrums

The album “Empathy for the Evil” will be released on M’lady’s Records in September, 2014. KRAMER plays bass on all songs with keys and organ throughout.

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Poster by David Lester from the Inspired Agitators series about activists and actions that intend to create progressive social change.

FREE poster

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David Lester is the author and illustrator of The Listener graphic novel (Arbeiter Ring, 2011) – the story of Hitler’s rise to power correlates to questions about the power of political art. A painter, graphic designer and guitar player in the underground rock duo Mecca Normal, David Lester lives in Vancouver, Canada.

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Paintings in the “Malachi” video are by Jean Smith from the series “No Coal” protesting the Raven Coal mine on Vancouver Island.

Video by Jean Smith.

Malachi Ritscher (1954-2006) was an anti-war activist who made high quality recordings of musicians — often free jazz and experimental — performing live in Chicago.

After the U.S. invaded Iraq, he became a vocal opponent of the war. Like monks opposing the Vietnam war, his final act of protest was self-immolation.

“If I am required to pay for your barbaric war, I choose not to live in your world. I refuse to finance the mass murder of innocent civilians, who did nothing to threaten our country. I will not participate in your charade — my conscience will not allow me to be a part of your crusade.”

“Malachi” by Jean Smith

And camera goes click as you press record
and you hand the document to the jazz musician
after they perform

And you talk and you listen
and you protest this war

And there is pain and it instigates change
And there is frustration that your voice is not heard
when you protest the war –
with a sign above your head — in words

And your camera goes click as you press record
and the can of gasoline is there on the ground
for this final document – your protest against the war
and some of us understood
you know the history well

And your camera goes click as you press record
and you pour the gasoline
and Malachi you light match
that ends your life
in this final statement
and some of us heard your final words

and Malachi you light match
that ends your life
in this final document – your protest against this war
and some of us understood
and some of us heard

your final word

FREE “Malachi” poster by David Lester

Malachi-Poster-by-David-Lester-WEB

Download FREE poster by David Lester

Download FREE mp3 of Malachi (acoustic) on BandCamp

 David Lester – author, illustrator, musician

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