Category Archives: Tours

Tour in Northeastern US


NYC — September 23, Trans-Pecos with Mount Eerie
NYC — September 24, le poisson rouge with Mount Eerie
Boston — September 25, Lilypad with E
Providence — September 26 at AS220 with Thalia Zedek Band & 75$ Bill
Easthampton — September 27 at Flywheel with 75$ Bill
Hudson, NY – September 28 at John Doe Records and Books with 75$ Bill
NYC — September 29, Troost with 75$ Bill
Philly — October 1, Random Tea Room
DC — October 4, Back Alley Theater with Laughing Man

Vancouver — October 18, Wrong Wave, SFU downtown
Vancouver — November 15, Media Club with Mirah


Boating with Clyde

Mecca Normal live on Lake Washington (Seattle) at the beginning of a short tour on the west coast in July of 2014. Thanks to Clyde Petersen of Boating with Clyde for welcoming us aboard!

Mecca Normal performed songs from the new album “Empathy for the Evil” and debuted “Anguish/Misogyny” which has grown in intensity since that day. It must be the only sitting down debut Mecca Normal has ever done!


Tour 2014


Mecca Normal shows

Seattle, Washington, July 15 at Hollow Earth Radio
Portland, Oregon, July 16 at the Red and Black Café
Olympia, Washington July 17 at the Little House on the Perry
Anacortes, Washington on Friday July 18 at the Unknown Music Series

Check our FaceBook page for updates and details.

New album Empathy for the Evil
Press Release, Photos, Videos, Lyrics, Liner Notes

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David Lester Book Tour 2011

David Lester’s video at Type Book in Toronto, 2011. Featuring Canadian sensation  Robert Dayton.

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.

Video: Lenny Kaye on Mecca Normal

Lenny Kaye, guitar player in The Patti Smith Group, talks about how he first heard about Mecca Normal, and his interest in “The Observer” album (2006). Filmed in NYC at Bluestockings Books after our “How Art & Music Can Change the World” event on our 25th anniversary tour, 25 shows in 25 days in 2009.


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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.

Live Review

My City Paper review by Brian Howard

Dead Moon/ Mecca Normal

Nov. 19, 1997 Upstairs at Nick’s

Sometimes it’s frustrating to be a music fan in Philadelphia, like when small crowds turn out for underground legends and revered art-rockers are disrespected by club personnel. Wednesday, Nov. 19 was one of those times.

For some reason the biggest name on this bill opened the show. Vancouver duo Mecca Normal started its set at the relatively early hour of 10, serenading a handful of largely disinterested drinkers. To say Mecca Normal’s live show is sparse—with guitarist David Lester’s herky-jerky guitar strumming gymnastics beneath vocalist Jean Smith’s piercing, siren-esque contralto and cryptic, poetic lyrics—is profound understatement. But when indie-legend Smith was informed that she had just played her last song and requested one more, she was flatly denied by the sound man. “We came all the way from Vancouver,” sniped Smith. “At least you didn’t fall asleep at the sound board, which was my only other experience at Nick’s. And this will be my last.” (Editor’s Note: In actuality, Mecca Normal wasted time at the beginning of their set and were already well over the set time when they were stopped.)