Normal History Vol. 576: The Art Of David Lester

Every week, 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 36-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

“Smith verges on dark poetic license. Consider this from ‘Medieval Man,’ off their latest Matador disc, Who Shot Elvis?: ‘When the candle flares/In a draftless room/I can only assume/It’s the gasoline on your breath.’ Not typical radio fodder. And Mecca Normal couldn’t care less.” —Drop D 

“Medieval Man” from Who Shot Elvis? (Matador, 1997) (download):

Normal History Vol. 575: The Art Of David Lester

Every week, 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 36-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Putting together paintings for the Jean Smith $100 USD Paintings show at Land Gallery in Portland in May. Thrilled that the folks at the gallery are supportive of my objective to open the Free Artist Residency For Progressive Social Change. Mecca Normal plays the opening May 9.

“Gravity Believes” from Sitting On Snaps (Matador, 1995) (download):

Normal History Vol. 574: The Art Of David Lester

Every week, 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 36-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Recording “Cyclone” in Germany in the ’90s was one of the more chaotic situations Mecca Normal has ever ended up in. And when I say ended up in, I suppose it was my fault. After Peter Jefferies and I met at a festival in Holland, he made his way to southern Germany by train to play piano in our spontaneously booked (me again) recording session. I wanted our tour manager Dirk Hugsam to play acoustic guitar and, as basically a non-guitar player, he somewhat reluctantly obliged. Then I had to dream up some lyrics. Whether it all works is debatable, but it is a document of an exciting time for all of us. Touring and recording in Europe in the ’90s. Der Spiegel and Rolling Stone running in-depth pieces on our doings.

A different kind of cyclone struck in January as my paintings sales increased unexpectedly. Details here!

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

Normal History Vol. 573: The Art Of David Lester

Every week, 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 36-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Turns out Bikini Kill are in fact “the band the world needs now,” as stated in the recent issue of a national music magazine. I’m sure their leadership in cancelling shows at a crucial juncture in the pandemic guided others in making difficult decisions regarding gatherings, travel and other containment strategies.

The two Olympia, Wash., shows were benefits for a homeless shelter in Olympia that was counting on that money.

“Beppo’s Room” from Sitting On Snaps (Matador, 1995) (download):

Normal History Vol. 572: The Art Of David Lester

Every week, 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 36-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Photos from our Vancouver show!

“Pamela Makes Waves” from Sitting On Snaps (Matador, 1995) (download):