Mecca Normal

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Formed by Jean Smith and David Lester in 1984, Mecca Normal is a two-piece indie rock band from Vancouver, Canada. Smith writes lyrics and sings in a style that is often confrontational and laced with feminist themes; Lester's melodic yet dissonant guitar swirls and loops around her vocals. Merging the personal with the political in their songs and art-related activism, they helped define the sound and spirit of the early diy/ indie rock/riot grrrl movement alongside bands such as Beat Happening and Bikini Kill.


In 1985 they formed their own record label Smarten Up! to release their debut album. Since then, Mecca Normal are perhaps the only band to have full-length releases on three of the largest indie labels of the 90s, with albums on K Records, Kill Rock Stars and Matador Records and a 7" single released by Sub Pop. Smarten Up! later merged with Lester's small press publishing company Get To The Point to form the label Smarten Up! & Get To The Point on which they released an album in 2003.

Much of Mecca Normal's most recent album The Observer (Kill Rock Stars, 2006) is inspired by Smith's experiences using online dating websites.

Other activities

Smith is a novelist and painter, and Lester is a graphic designer and painter whose work includes "Inspired Agitators" - a series of posters profiling specific left-wing activists.

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