Normal History Vol. 532: 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 35-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Thrilled, inspired and grateful for the inclusion of “I Walk Alone” in the recent New York Times feature on riot grrrl. As cultural activists, it’s encouraging to be part of history in this way, and to be regarded as creators of work that is meaningful 35 years later. 

“Because of their geographic, sonic and political proximity, the Vancouver duo Mecca Normal got swept up in the categorization of riot grrrl, but in fact, Jean Smith and David Lester had helped inspire Hanna to pick up a microphone. They have also survived the moment, still collaborating to this day. ‘I Walk Alone,’ from their first album, set the tone for much of what was to follow. It’s the anthem of a woman staking her claim to independence, solitude, home, safety, the streets and freedom. Bold, blunt, raw and feminist, it remains timely and necessary.” —Evelyn McDonnell

“Arsenal” from The Observer (Kill Rock Stars, 2006) (download):