Normal History Vol. 484: The Art Of David Lester

Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 34-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

It seems like the type of work I was focused on as a cultural activist in the ’80s and ’90s is again at the fore, but I’m not included as a current figure because I’m regarded as being from a previous era. This is in part how the capitalist music business has functioned from the get go. Bring in the new and the young. Get rid of the old.

And, as a society, we’re not all that interested in women beyond looks and sexualized nuances. We’re still in a “hot or not” mentality, which feels like an accepted tactic to avoid having to give depth to women’s emotional, intellectual and artistic concerns.

Older women who did not achieve a fairly high level of celebrity in their youth are typically not afforded a platform to either continue their work or reinvent themselves.

“Only Heat” from Sitting On Snaps (Matador, 1995) (download):