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Album Review Highlights:

"Through 8 albums over 10 years, Mecca Normal have presented a consistent, evolving, and luminous challenge to the reigning social order."
-- Rolling Stone

"When the mix is between brainy lyrics and a meaty beat, between mind and body, pleasure and awareness, that’s when Mecca Normal revs up. Like Odysseus, they have a clarity of vision that’s rare."
-- Village Voice

"Long before Bikini Kill, the Northwest band Mecca Normal was churning out shards of minimal noise (no bass or drums) with a confrontational edge, and would eventually end up influencing many of Olympia’s current female artists."
-- Los Angeles Times

"Oh, what a lovely sparse sound"
-- NME

"Smith is damn near visionary"
-- San Francisco Weekly

"Smith creates an approximation of a childhood game. The imaginary egg is cracked and the yolk is running slowly down your hair."
-- Spin magazine

"David Lester and Jean Smith generate huge power with limited means."
-- Select Magazine (England)

"Mecca Normal has inspired a larger movement of feminists in their teens and early 20’s who call themselves Riot Grrrls."
-- New York Times

"Female punk rock fans become united by the feminist messages shouted by bands such as Mecca Normal."
-- USA Today

"I can’t think of anyone else who writes more powerful songs about what it’s like to be a woman in a world of violence against women."
-- Los Angeles Weekly

"Smith is angry with an evil world."
-- Der Spiegel (Germany)

"A two-person guerrilla campaign against apathy."
-- Melody Maker (England)

"More unsettling than four Ministry fans with a rack of samplers could ever be."
-- Kerrang (England)

"...stark and breathtaking."
-- Pulse (Tower Records)

"Forget Rancid, Offspring and Green Day. Forget the Sex Pistols. The most important punk band of the 90’s is Mecca Normal."
-- Sacramento News & Review

"Who Shot Elvis? simmers with captivating parables that knowingly portray regular folks and their deepest passions."
-- Raygun Magazine

"Neither Smith nor Lester has gone soft, yet the new "Who Shot Elvis?" is quieter and more nuanced."
-- Washington Post

"Without a doubt Who Shot Elvis? is my choice for best record of 1997."
-- Lois Maffeo, The Stranger


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Performance Highlights:
  • International Pop Underground (Olympia, 1995)
  • YoYo A GoGo Festivals (Olympia)
  • LadyFest (Olympia, 2000)
  • Shawnigan Lake Writers Festival 1998
  • Bumbershoot Festival (Seattle, 1998)
  • Sechelt Writers Festival 1996
  • Talk With Tomorrow (New York, 1995) Special performance for German Futurists
  • Fast Forward Festival (Holland)
  • La Quena Fiesta (Vancouver, 1987)
  • Ultimatum Poetry Festival (Montreal, 1987)
  • Opening for Fugazi in New York City, Olympia and Vancouver.
  • Opening for Poison Girls in London.
  • Opening for godspeed you black emperor! eight shows on the west coast. At the two San Francisco shows godspeed you black emperor! joined Mecca Normal on our last song, Beaten Down, off our first album, which we performed at our first show sixteen years earlier. "Ya, you fight the system when you’re 22, but we all grow up to be beaten down. Well maybe some of us will, and maybe some of us won’t, all grow up to be beaten down!"
  • Playing with beat happening
  • Touring with Peter Plate, Go Team, Some Velvet Sidewalk
  • Jean plays guitar with Bruce Russell in Christchurch NZ
  • First show ever: 1984 opening for DOA at the Smiling Buddha in Vancouver
  • 2 Foot Flame show with Sleater-Kinney at CBGB’s in NYC
  • The first show in Germany -- at the Pic in Kaufbeuren -- we thought Dirk was kidding when he said we’d have to play 2 hours!


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Television Highlights:
  • Vicki Gabereau Show (interview/performance CTV) 1998
  • Much Music (features/performances) 1998, 1995, 1993
  • KOMO News (feature Seattle) 1994
  • Jane Whitney Show (panel interview NBC) 1993
  • BCTV News Hour (feature) 1993
  • Imprint (performance TV Ontario) 1992

Radio Highlights:

  • BBC (interview: England)
  • CBC-FM (interviews: Nightlines, Brave New Waves)
  • Bavarian State Radio (interview: Munich, Germany)
  • NPR (interview: USA)
  • Austrian State Radio (interview: Vienna)
  • International college radio (interview/performance/chart listings of albums)
  • Australia and New Zealand (interviews and performances)


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