MP3 At 3PM: Lucille Furs

2018 is finally here, and it’s time we bring you one of our latest indie-band obsessions. Hailing from the Windy City, Lucille Furs are a quintet known for making lyrical psych rock. Or is it baroque pop? Either way, the group recently released its self-titled debut album, and today we are bringing you one of the LP’s most zesty tracks. Download and/or stream “The Fawn Of Teal Deer” below.

“The Fawn Of Teal Deer” (download):

Normal History Vol. 460: 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.

David recently showed me the fantastic illustrations for his chapter in a yet-to-be-published book about radical labor history. I was totally amazed by this particular work!

I have my moments of creating political art, but I definitely factor in David’s fearlessness as an inspiration. I find it completely incredible that he continues to come up with thought-provoking and beautiful political cartoons for this column every week. Maybe it’s time for a Best Of David Lester From The History Of Normal book.

“Rose” from Jarred Up (K, 1993) (download):

MP3 At 3PM: We Are The Willows

Just more than three years ago, we brought you “Picture” by We Are The Willows. This month, the Minneapolis sextet is back with the first in a series of singles recorded in different Midwestern studios with different producers. “One Body,” out today via Honeytone, was produced and engineered by Patrick Boland and Mark Zbikowsk last summer at Neenah, Wisc.’s Honeytone Studio. Says frontman Peter Miller of “One Body,” “The song is about the terrifying vulnerability of loving, being loved and cost of not endeavoring to love at all.” Download and/or stream “One Body” below.

“One Body” (download):

Normal History Vol. 459: 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.

Back in mid-December, I finished answering questions in an interview I’d been emailed that would at some point appear on the Reality Sandwich site with the title “Artistic Independence And Social Media: Interview With DIY Multimedia Icon Jean Smith,” but I didn’t know that at the time. I’d gone long on most subjects because my painting studio is at home and I live alone. That is to say, I don’t talk very much, and I don’t write as much now that I’m painting full time.

I turned the interview in and within a couple of hours it went live with an intro that said it was the second of two interviews about “cutting edge” artists using Facebook to broaden their reach to those who might not expect to see them functioning there, basically. I’d written about my paintings and given an update to the Mecca Normal situation, but I hadn’t totally been aware of the “artists on Facebook” angle—which is all fine. Nothing happened. No problem. It’s just that it was pre-Christmas and I was ignoring it all by watching documentaries about ancient Egypt and then on Voyager, which I’d totally spaced on back when it launched (pun intended). Between Egypt and outer space, I took a look a documentary on UFOs, but fairly quickly decided the testimony of men who looked like that guy on Trailer Park Boys wasn’t doing it for me, so I moved on to the formation of the universe. Other people have booze and drugs, friends and lovers, rituals and traditions to deal with at Christmas. I just wanted to lay low until the whole thing blows over, hoping to avoid things in my small family blowing up like a volcano on Io (one of Jupiter’s 69 moons), then, all of a sudden, I was a cutting-edge artist successful grappling with Facebook as a utility vehicle to connect with … well, everyone. While reluctant to burst my documentary-induced state of mind, I slide farther down the rabbit hole and began analyzing that success.

“Days” from Jarred Up (K, 1993) (download):

Normal History Vol. 457: 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 33-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

I’ve recently been writing about song lyrics on my Facebook writer page. Actually, I started here, with Normal History and have carried on over there willy-nilly, reflecting on songs as they come into my awareness. You wouldn’t think there’d be much to say about a song as simple as “Throw Silver” … yet.

“Accidentally” from Jarred Up (K, 1993) (download):

MP3 At 3PM: The Incredible Vickers Brothers

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been nearly 10 years since the Incredible Vickers Brothers invited us into “their” world with debut album Gallimaufry. Since then, there’s been heavy silence from the power “duo” of Rob and Bob Vickers and much talk of an anticipated follow-up LP. Today, we’re proud to share with you “their” latest single, “Mirrors,” from new album Torch Songs For Swingers, out March 9. Filled with infectious guitar melodies and head-nodding rhythms, “Mirrors” is a must listen for you today. Download and/or stream it below.

“Mirrors” (download):

Normal History Vol. 455: 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 33-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Turns out Gina Birch of the Raincoats loves this song! As a huge fan of the Raincoats, this is really exciting! She asked me what the music was (on Facebook) in a video of my currently available paintings, so I listed all five songs and she said she hadn’t gotten past the first one, that she’d been playing it over and over. I got her email address and sent her the mp3. She also loves my paintings—says she’s gonna buy one! I’m not gonna try and hide my excitement here! The Raincoats were hugely important to the formation of Mecca Normal. It’s hard to imagine what we’d be doing if the Raincoats’ records weren’t around in 1984 or so—and much earlier for Dave, who lived in London (squatting!!) in the late ’70s and saw them play a Rock Against Sexism show in Hackney.

“This Is Different” from Jarred Up (K, 1993) (download):

MP3 At 3PM: Italian Beaches

Take some time out of your day today to check out one of our latest favorite groups. Italian Beaches is a trio hailing from Lexington, Ky., that creates a lovely combination of sizzling electro-pop and haunting vocals that somehow flow perfectly with each other. Below, we’ve shared “Tornado” from the band’s self-titled debut album on Desperate Spirits. Download and/or stream it below.

“Tornado” (download):