Category Archives: Photos

Montreal, 1996

Patti Schimdt

Peter Jefferies, Jean Smith, Patti Schmidt (host of CBC Radio’s seminal music program Brave New Waves) and David Lester.

This must have been 1996, when we were in Montreal for the show that’s being released as a live album in the Brave New Waves series. Mecca Normal with Peter Jefferies on drums.

Oh, this is also 2 Foot Flame, who will also have a live album in the same series. Dave played guitar with us on that tour.





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Live album out March 22, 2019

MN-poster-in-Montreal-1996-WEB-version CORRECT spelling JEFFERIES

Mecca Normal live in Montreal (1996) album (LP, CD, extra tracks on BandCamp) will be released in early 2019.

2017: Dave found the tape last week and we took it into a studio yesterday to listen to it. Finally, a live album from that era, and it sounds incredible. Until now, not releasing a mid-90s Mecca Normal performance has been one of my biggest regrets.6878

LP tracks

1. Water Cuts My Hands
2. Prize Arm
3. Don’t Shoot
4. Tower Island
5. Revival of Cruelty
6. The Dogs
7. Drive At / Peach-a-Vanilla
8. Ribbon
9. Man Thinks Woman / Strong White Male / I Walk Alone
10. Armchairs Fit through Doorways
11. Are You Hungry Joe?

Rough mix


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SEATTLE Museum of Popular Culture (formerly EMP) Saturday, April 22, 2017, 5:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

16 minute film by Jean Smith for PopCon 2017, introduced by Evelyn McDonnell (Associate Professor of Journalism and New Media and Interim Director of Journalism at Loyola Marymount University in LA).

PopCon 2017 theme is music and politics.

The annual EMP Pop Conference, first held in 2002, mixes together ambitious music discourse of every kind in an attempt to bring academics, critics, musicians, and dedicated fans into a collective conversation.

Jean 1

Jean 2

Stills from the film. Jean Smith performing “The Dogs” outside Pages Books on Queen Street in Toronto circa 1993. Jean Smith being interviewed by Much Music inside Pages, talking about feminism and the increase of women in bands.

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Artist Residency, Miami, 2013

For more information on these photos see Jean Smith’s Magnet Magazine column History, Vol. 381 July 9, 2016

17Jean Smith in front of a blank canvas in the corner of the main room at the Artist Residency. Jean Smith’s current paintings


Christian Nerf with his art.


Christian Nerf’s work with obstacles at the Artist Residency Open House, February 15, 2013.


Judith Page and Simon at the Mikesells’ house.


Philip Topolovac at the Open House at the studios.


Jean Smith performing “Odele’s Bath” at the Open House in front of “No Coal” #1 and #2.


Philip Topolovac at the Open House.1

Carlos, the Surfboard King of Miami, taking photos in the liveliest of studios. Love his wave-riding stance!


Christian Nerf talking to a group of art lovers and collectors assembled at the Artist Residency.


I did not put the sign there. The sign was removed.


Phil installing his work.


Hew Locke and Christian Nerf at sunrise in Miami.


Phil Top through the flower.


Christian and Phil in the backyard.


View of the main room from my corner of it.


Hew and Phil at the Mikesells’ house.


The back yard.







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Magnet Magazine Vol. 328

Images and music referred to in the July 4, 2015 column of the ongoing Mecca Normal collaboration on Magnet Magazine


David Lester outside 333 in Vancouver
Jean Smith outside 333

Katayoon (from Horses Records and Other Jesus) and Jean outside the venue.


Lt. Frank Dickens played songs off his new cassette release “Sunburned” on Horses Records.
Album on BandCamp
Horses Records SoundCloud
I made a video for “Glide” – debuting here!




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Video: RSD at Horses Records

Horses Records, Vancouver, B.C. on Record Store Day 2015

Video by Wendy Atkinson

Horses 2

Dan, Katayoon, Jean and David


Katayoon and Jean


Summer Tour 2014 Photos

David Lester, Calvin Johnson, Jean Smith, Tobi Vail in Portland at the Red and Black Café.


More Boating with Clyde photos




More photos from the Summer Tour

Duo-Fest III Review

Secret Carrboro Ninja Patrol reviews Mecca Normal at Duo-Fest III


Under the cover of dark a folklore legend took the stage and proved the point that dynamite comes in small packages. Front woman Jean Smith of Kill Rock Stars artist Mecca Normal ran the lengths of emotion and took her audience with. Side splitting laughter at her dirty jokes one minute and heart wrenching sorrow in her stories the next, I became mesmerized by her sheer magnitude of presence. I’ve always said that I like to listen to songs told by people who have been more places I have been and seen more things than I have seen and suffice to say, these were them songs. Jean Smith is the more enlightened among us and captivates the crowd with her worldly prominence. With wisdom abound, it was interesting to note that the majority of her songs told stories about her own life and times as a single woman dating and living in Seattle as opposed to imparting political or cultural theory. She sang in the moment and placed as much value on personal virtue and being happy as we anticipated that she would place on cultural change. This performance was a rare treat.

Inspired Agitators & the Pantomime Horse

Xeno Gallery 3

David and Jean in March, 2004 at the Xeno Gallery show, the beginning of the “Inspired Agitators & the Pantomime Horse” art, music and workshop tour in B.C.


“Playbill” by David Lester


“Playwright’s Intention” by David Lester


“Horse and Rider” by Jean Smith


“Empty Rooms in the South of France” by Jean Smith


“Inspired Agitators” by David Lester


“Inspired Agitators” by David Lester

“We’re Here Now. Everything Is Ours. Too Bad for You.” by Jean Smith



May 7 – Burnaby – Burnaby Central High School
June 11 – Vancouver – The Butchershop Floor
June 17 – Nelson, BC – Charlotte’s at the David Thompson Cultural Centre
June 18 – Grand Forks, BC – Grand Forks Art Gallery
June 19 – Kaslo, BC – Crooked Cafe
June 20 – Kelowna, BC – Bean Scene
June 21 – Vernon, BC – Vernon Public Art Gallery
June 24 – 27 – Olympia, WA – exhibit at Bryce’s Barber Shop as part of the Olympia Experimental Music Festival
June 27 – Seattle – Left Bank Books
July 16 – Portland – Disjecta Gallery
July 17 – Seattle – Counterfeit Gallery group art show
July 18 – Anacortes, WA “What the Heck” Festival – Department of Safety with art by Jean and David in the Absent Album Art Exhibit
July 24 – Victoria – Fifty-Fifty Space
July 27 – Denman Island, BC – Community Hall
July 28 – Hornby Island, BC – Wild Indigo Theatre Summer Production with Sylo
July 29 – Duncan, BC – Garage Showroom
July 30 – Victoria – Ministry of Casual Living – 6:30 reception, art show runs until August 5
July, 30 – Nanaimo, BC – Dizzy’s
July 31 – Cumberland, BC – The Abbey
August 2 – Vancouver – Cafe Deux Soleil – Poetry Slam
August 7 – Vancouver – Interurban Gallery – Books to Prisoners Art Auction
September 2 – Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design – Orientation for Foundation students, a multi-media Mecca Normal presentation
September 10 – 12 – Yeah! Fest, Olympia

A play in the form of an art exhibit. Moving a concept into production, from vision to presentation. The pantomime horse is the duo in collaboration… arguing… working together. Unison. Tension. Rebellion. The theme of the play is the production of art with political content. Limitations. Folly. Freedom.

The art exhibit is hung as a linear stage play with beginning and end points. Static images form a flexible narrative.

The playwright grapples with presenting political content – how much does he need to reveal to make his point? Literal content is represented by David’s series of posters “Inspired Agitators” and by Jean’s paintings “Playwright’s Vision” and “We’re Here Now. Everything Is Ours. Too Bad For You.” – which humourously depicts an RCMP officer confronting a group of people, presumably First Nations, with his version of reality. The semi-obscured people respond with, “Maybe He’s Lost.” This scene is painted twice – once to represent the playwright’s original vision of the scene, and again as the actual scene. Here, the Pantomime Horse replaces the image of a real horse; the trees are cut-out shapes on the edge of the stage.

Several pieces show a negative audience response to the play, leaving the playwright to anguish over the difficulty of presenting political ideas. The inclusion of these behind-the-scenes reactions extends the boundaries of the exhibit to include the viewers’ concerns – one might relate to the playwright or the audience, or both. These reactions introduce the issue of artistic success and failure – do either the play or art exhibit succeed at what they are attempting to accomplish?

Mecca Normal performing “No Show” (unreleased) at Bryce’s Barber Shop, Olympia WA, 2004. Film by Marilyn Freeman.