March 16, 2009

Hi,

Jean Smith of Mecca Normal (Kill Rock Stars) here.

I wasn’t expecting to be impacted by the economic downturn when I was laid off from my retail job at an eco-friendly clothing store. The company decided to close the much-loved, quaint, creaky-old-floorboard store to concentrate on their wholesale and online business. As an almost fifty-year-old (single, debt-free) musician, novelist and painter, I am perhaps better equipped to deal with variations on the theme of employment and income, better than people who felt they had security. Rather than look for a new part time job, I’m hitting the road with Mecca Normal to present “How Art & Music Can Change the World” — an art exhibit, lecture and performance event in university and high school classrooms, bookstores, art galleries and music venues.

We want to connect with journalists, bloggers and radio people to inspire readers and listeners towards cultural activism — to fortify a new optimism that cultural activists can impact progressive social change.

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The event on Slim’s porch is a benefit for p:ear

Mecca Normal — 25th Anniversary Tour — itinerary at bottom

“Arguably the greatest rock band without a rhythm section ever, the duo of acid-voiced singer Jean Smith and guitar hero David Lester must be seen to be believed.” –Douglas Wolk

“How Art & Music Can Change the World” — Jean Smith and David Lester of the literary underground rock duo Mecca Normal intend to inspire audiences to consider adding political content to their creative self-expression, to fortify a new optimism that cultural activists can impact progressive social change. http://howartandmusiccanchangetheworld.blogspot.com  

“Who cares if there’s underground culture or not? Gap-Coke-Sony-Time-Warner satisfies our needs… don’t they?”

When I started my zine — Smarten UP! — back in 1984, I gave it the tagline “A How to Change the World Publication” — twenty-five years later we’re heading off on our “How Art & Music Can Change the World” lecture series.

The focus of the art exhibit is David Lester’s Inspired Agitators Poster Series and Jean Smith’s Self-Portrait Series (1973 to present).

I made a 9 minute film to represent our content. It would be great if you could embed it — if you do online stuff. The code below needs to be in plain text. I made the screen size quite small.

<embed src=”http://blip.tv/play/AeqrLwA&#8221; type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”320″ height=”255″ allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true”></embed>

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“How Art & Music Can Change the World” — 9 minute film http://blip.tv/play/AeqrLwA  

Lyrics http://meccanormallyrics.wordpress.com  
Newsletter http://meccanormal.wordpress.com  
Mecca Normal Links http://meccanormallinks.wordpress.com  

We don’t have new CDs or books out, but we do have new songs to perform and Smarten UP! Records has re-released two Mecca Normal albums in iTunes — Who Shot Elvis? (Matador, 1997) and Sitting on Snaps (Matador, 1995).

Jean Smith is the author of two published novels and the recipient of two Canada Council for the Arts Awards as a professional writer of creative fiction. David Lester is a small press publisher of fiction and award-winning poetry and the author of The Gruesome Acts of Capitalism. Together, as the legendary rock duo Mecca Normal, they’ve released 13 CDs (Kill Rock Stars, K Records, Matador).

The Observer was our last CD (Kill Rock Stars, 2006). I made a video for our song Attraction is Ephemeral — it was accepted at MTV and was included in a few film festivals. Here’s the code to embed it (in plain text):

<embed src=”http://blip.tv/play/AePOHwA&#8221; type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”320″ height=”255″ allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true”></embed>

Attraction is Ephemeral (Kill Rock Stars, 2006). A self-portrait film by Jean Smith.
http://blip.tv/play/AePOHwA  

New songs — demos — on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/meccanormal  

I’d be into communicating further, by phone or email.

Thanks,
Jean Smith
Mecca Normal
meccanormal@hotmail.com

Advertisements
Press for the tour:
Brooklyn Vegan
Magnet Magazine
Alienated in Vancouver

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Attraction is Ephemeral (Kill Rock Stars, 2006). A self-portrait film by Jean Smith – accepted at MTV and was included in a few film festivals.

Here’s the code to embed it (in plain text):

<embed src=”http://blip.tv/play/AePOHwA” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”320″ height=”255″ allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true”></embed>

Or you could use the link to the video: http://blip.tv/play/AePOHwA

 

 

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Jean Smith — vocals

David Lester — guitar

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Posters & Fliers

March 10, 2009

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text “A” — They agree on everything from abortion rights to reciprocal utopianism, but you don’t really know a person until Mecca Normal comes up.

March 10, 2009

April 2009 Tour Dates
– Vancouver — March 28 — The Vinegar Factory — “How Art & Music Can Change the World”
– Vancouver — April 1 — Windermere High School — “How Art & Music Can Change the World”
– Bellingham, WA — April 3 — Underground Coffeehouse
– Seattle — April 4 — Vera Project
– Battle Ground, WA — April 5

– Olympia — April 7 — All Ages Project — Dumpster Values — Bike ‘n Bike
– Olympia — April 8 — Evergreen State College — noon — Seminar 2 Room E4115 — “How Art & Music Can Change the World”
– Portland — April 8 — Holocene with Tom Greenwood, Magic Johnson
– Salem, OR – April 9 — Cherry City Music Festival — Cone Chapel — 6 PM
– Salem, OR – April 10 — Willamette University, Montag Den, 1 PM — “How Art & Music Can Change the World”
– Eugene, OR — April 10 — Wandering Goat
– Arcata, CA — April 11 — The Green House
– San Francisco — April 12 — Hemlock Tavern with Pillows
– San Francisco — April 13 — Modern Times Bookstore — 1 PM — “How Art & Music Can Change the World”
– LA — April 14 — CalArts — “How Art & Music Can Change the World” — 7 PM — Room A116 Center for Integrated Media
– LA — April  15 — Knitting Factory Hollywood — The Kris Special, Anna Oxygen, Itai Faierman
– Durham, NC — Duke Concert Series, Armadillo Grill — 5:30 — ”How Art & Music Can Change the World”
– Durham, NC – April 18 — DuoFest III
– DC — April 19 — The Red & The Black Bar with Picture Book and Northernmost
– New York — April 20 — Cake Shop with The 5 Cents and Franklin Bruno
– New York — April 21 – Bluestockings Books — 7 PM — “How Art & Music Can Change the World”
– Philly — April 22 – Nexus — 8 PM — “How Art & Music Can Change the World”
– Mount Holyoke College — April 23 — “How Art & Music Can Change the World”
– Turners Falls, MA — April 23 – Rendezvous
– Providence — April 24 — Rhode Island School of Design — 3 PM — Tap Room, Memorial Hall — “How Art & Music Can Change the World”
– Boston — April 25 — Megapolis Audio Festival — Pierre Menard Gallery downstairs — 4 PM — “How Art & Music Can Change the World”
– Providence — April 25 — AS220