Monthly Archives: September 2016

“Standing Rock Water Protectors”

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“Standing Rock Water Protectors” (acrylic on birch panel 20 x 24 x 1.5″) September, 2016. $600 USD plus shipping. 15% donated to Red Warrior Camp at Standing Rock.

Standing Rock 800

“Standing Rock Water Protectors” (acrylic on watercolour paper 11 x 14″) September, 2016. SOLD. 15% donated to Red Warrior Camp at Standing Rock.

Standing Rock 800 #2

“Standing Rock Water Protectors #2″ (acrylic on watercolour paper 11 x 14”) September, 2016. SOLD. 15% donated to Red Warrior Camp at Standing Rock.

Standing Rock 800 #3

“Standing Rock Water Protectors #3″ (acrylic on watercolour paper 11 x 14”) September, 2016. SOLD. 15% donated to Red Warrior Camp at Standing Rock.

Standing Rock 800 #4

“Standing Rock Water Protectors #4″ (acrylic on watercolour paper 11 x 14”) September, 2016. $100 USD plus shipping. 15% donated to Red Warrior Camp at Standing Rock.

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The Message

Vol. 392 of Normal History (September 24, 2016) Jean Smith and David Lester’s weekly column in Magnet Magazine

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The Message from Mecca Normal’s album The Observer (Kill Rock Stars, 2006)

Mother Africa walking along with Stephen Lewis. The dancers are dancing towards the camera. Hips moving real fast. A young woman in a school uniform, standing in front of the choir, singing a song perhaps she wrote for this occasion, this television opportunity. Make no mistake; it’s directed at you and me.
She sings, “Why me? Why him? Why her?”
But the real question underlies the theme. We know you have the drugs. You keep them under lock and key in the west away from us and you choose who lives, who dies.
Mother Africa takes off her large lens glasses and wipes her eyes. Stephen Lewis doesn’t look like he’s gonna cry. He takes the message back. Takes the message back to where it’s heard.
Why me? Why him? Why her? And do we choose who lives, who dies? Who dies?

 

A brief history of Mecca Normal

A brief history of Mecca Normal in TV news clips and live footage to give background and context to Jeans Smith’s ongoing $100 painting series.

“I made this for Dan Seward’s Bunnybrains event during TBA: 16  at PNCA (Pacific Northwest College of Art) 511 Gallery in Portland, Oregon on September 15, 2016.” – Jean Smith

Part of Makeup on Empty Space, curated by Kristan Kennedy. Co-presented with PNCA’s 511 Gallery & Director of Center for Contemporary Art and Culture, Mack McFarland.

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Video: all the paintings

Jean Smith portrait paintings

No Hat #79 800

“No Hat #79” (acrylic on canvas board 11 x 14”) August 21, 2016. SOLD

Below, in the video, all the paintings in Jean Smith’s ongoing series of $100 paintings. As of September 3, almost 80 of the nearly 170 paintings have sold. Paintings currently available

Music by Mecca Normal (Jean Smith and David Lester), from the album Empathy for the Evil (2014, M’Lady’s Records) “Wasn’t Said” and “Between Livermore and Tracy” (both produced by KRAMER who also plays bass on these tracks)

At the very end (after the credits) Jean gives a brief visual demonstration of how Mecca Normal got started.

Mecca Normal‘s “Man Thinks Woman” (1987) was recently (August 8, 2016) included in Pitchfork’s story of feminist punk in 33 songs with a great write-up by Douglas Wolk

“Mecca Normal break rules like they never noticed them in the first place. The Vancouver-based duo of singer Jean Smith and guitarist David Lester are anarchist-feminist activists and constant experimentalists, implying a rhythm section with negative space alone. Always an intense presence onstage, they’ve become the most tenacious of D.I.Y. road warriors, touring and recording for 32 years now. In the early ’90s, they popped up on most of the biggest American indie-rock labels (Sub Pop, K, Matador); by their 25th anniversary, they were on the road with a performance-and-lecture project called “How Art & Music Can Change the World.”

Smith’s lyrics often foreground her political perspective; their anthem “Man Thinks ‘Woman,'” released in 1987, started out as a barbed dissection of gender normativity: “Man thinks ‘woman’ when he talks to me/Something not quite right.” The song kept expanding its radius from there, encompassing both bitter poetics and a disarmingly funny account of a drunken makeout gone weird. Kathleen Hanna has cited Smith as an early inspiration: “When I saw her,” she told The Fader, “I was just like, that’s it. I’m done. I’m sold.” – Douglas Wolk

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