Normal History Vol. 790: 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 41-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

For myself, as a lyricist starting out in the 1980s, I had a handful of approaches that I developed for the next 35 years or so. The very clear, the poetic, the abstract and the story.

If this song’s lyrics were a painting, maybe it would be a very large Helen Frankenthaler abstract featuring giant sections of warm color with firm edges interrupted by cloudy smudges of cooler colors. In the middle of the song (and the painting), there’s a small section that’s very literal, like Andrew Wyeth illustrating a Raymond Carver story.

Man Thinks Woman” from Jarred Up (K, 1993) (download):