Normal History Vol. 296: The Art Of David Lester

Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 30-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Mecca Normal Tour Diary
NYC, Sept. 26, 2014

Walking along Bleecker Street after John’s Pizza (where I asked for the same booth we sat in back in 1984), we stopped at Starbuck’s to replenish the coffee supply for the stovetop espresso pot I’m using on a hotplate at the motel. I was informed that they don’t sell half pounds. Idiots. We continued along Bleecker until we both slowed at a storefront of some intrigue. What caught my eye were the burlap bags in the window into which a guy was plunging a metal scoop and extracting something that was then put onto an old-fashioned scale. Porto Rico Importing Co., established in 1907. It was a coffee bean store! Inside, coffee in burlap sacks dominated the floor space. I asked the guy for a half pound of the darkest decaf and then a half pound of Sumatra for Dave—both ground for espresso. And now, today, outside Boston, we’re enjoying coffee with Boston cream donuts from the Dunkin’ Donuts next door to the Motel 6 where they stuck us on the third floor directly below the construction they are doing on the roof. With four hours sleep, we’ll drive to the Providence Motel 6 where we’ll sleep some more before a lobster dinner and then before the show in Providence! Tonight, it’s the Thalia Zedek Band and 75 Dollar Bill.

Great to see Thalia Zedek with her new project E last night. Haven’t seen her since we did the Suffragette Sessions tour together with the Indigo Girls in 1998 when her band Come released Gently, Down The Stream on Matador Records the year after Mecca Normal released its final album on the same label.

“Will He Change?” from Calico Kills The Cat (K, 1989; Matador, 1991; Smarten Up!, 2003) (download):

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