NEW ALBUM / Pre Orders / Shows



PRESS KIT: Photos, Videos, Lyrics, Liner Notes

1 NEW March-2014



NYC — September 23, Trans-Pecos with Mount Eerie
NYC — September 24, le poisson rouge with Mount Eerie
Boston — September 25, Lilypad with E
Providence — September 26 at AS220 with Thalia Zedek Band and 75 Dollar Bill
Easthampton — September 27, Flywheel with 75 Dollar Bill
Hudson, NY — September 28, John Doe Records with 75 Dollar Bill
NYC — September 29, Troost with 75 Dollar Bill and Arrington de Dionyso
Philly — October 1, Random Tea House
DC — October 4, Back Alley Theater
Vancouver — October 18, Wrong Wave Festival, SFU
Vancouver — November 15, Media Club with Mirah

Seattle, July 14 Boating with Clyde
Seattle, July 15 at Hollow Earth Radio
Portland, July 16 at the Red and Black Café
Olympia, July 17
Anacortes, Washington, Friday July 18 at the Unknown Music Series

Check the Mecca Normal FaceBook page for updates and details.


Video: live in Seattle

July 15, 2014

“Super Valu Logo” was recorded at the same time as the new Mecca Normal album “Empathy for the Evil” (M’lady’s Records, September 2014).

PRESS KIT: liner notes, videos, lyrics, photos, liner notes

The lyrics for “Super Valu Logo” are directly out of Jean Smith’s novel “The Black Dot Museum of Political Art” (literary fiction). Jean Smith is represented by the Carolyn Swayze Literary Agency

Video by Jerry Massie

Boating with Clyde Photos

July 14, 2014. Lake Washington, Seattle.

Mecca Normal performs five songs from the new album “Empathy for the Evil” for an episode of Boating with Clyde. Lyrics for most of the songs on the album are directly out of two of Jean Smith’s recently-completed novels.









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


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.


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


Back cover with “Malachi” lyrics by Jean Smith.


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


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


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


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.




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

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

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.

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Photo of Jean Smith and David Lester by Sean Raggett.

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!

Mecca Normal FaceBook

Mecca Normal Archives

Newsletter Archives

How Art & Music Can Change the World
a classroom and art gallery event


FREE “Malachi” poster by David Lester


Download FREE poster by David Lester

Download FREE mp3 of Malachi (acoustic) on BandCamp

 David Lester – author, illustrator, musician

Mecca Normal FaceBook

Mecca Normal Archives


How Art & Music Can Change the World classroom and art gallery event

How Art & Music Can Change the World

Classroom and Art Gallery Event

In 2002, How Art and Music Can Change the World was developed as a lecture, art exhibit and performance event for university classrooms, bookstores and community centres. Jean Smith and David Lester of the underground literary rock duo Mecca Normal intend to inspire audiences towards considering political content in their creative self-expression. In 2011, using what they’d learned presenting How Art and Music Can Change the World, Jean Smith created an adaptation of David Lester’s graphic novel The Listener.

Art Exhibit

“Who cares if there’s underground culture or not? Gap-Coke-Sony-Time-Warner satisfies our needs… don’t they?”

Referring to their extraordinary 25 year history in music, art and publishing Jean Smith and David Lester illustrate the reality of being artists and cultural activists, by revealing the behind-the-scenes workings of their long-standing D-I-Y collaboration. Jean and David de-mystify the work methods and philosophies that define their collaborative partnership, touring, writing and publishing, making art and music.

“How Art and Music Can Change The World” combines a seasoned performance-based pedagogy with a raw emotional and lyrical intensity — a culmination (so far) of the rock solid artistic integrity that has made Mecca Normal into an underground legend in its own time. –Ron Sakolsky — a scholar covering the intersection of music, revolution and radio. Read his entire review for Fifth Estate Magazine, spring 2011.

October 2013

Later this month, David Lester’s graphic novel The Listener will be presented at Promoting Social Justice and belonging in the Classroom with Canadian Literature, a three day conference in Edmonton.


Jean Smith is selling vintage clothing on Etsy at Total Score Vintage, CRAZY Mac’s, Estate Sale Vintage and Vintage 604. The 1940s blouse above (modeled and photographed by Jean) is at Estate Sale Vintage.

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Read the story behind the Mecca Normal song “Attraction is Ephemeral” on Smashpipe.

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Index of Jean Smith’s online dating stories and illustrations for Smashpipe.


Mecca Normal The Observer is now in BandCamp.

Joyland Returns! at the Railway Club in Vancouver, June 9, 2013. Jean Smith reading “Odele’s Bath” – an excerpt from “The Black Dot Museum of Political Art” and a Mecca Normal song. Introduced by Kevin Chong.

New Mecca Normal – “Wasn’t Said” recorded by KRAMER at the Laundry Room in Miami Beach, November, 2012. KRAMER on organ. Video and photos by Jean Smith.

“Odele’s Bath” – live – Radio Active Records, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, November, 2012.

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