Category Archives: FREE MP3s

Normal History Vol. 314: 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 31-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

The winter 2015 issue of Geist magazine features an article by Connie Kuhns called “Strange Women” about Vancouver’s music scene in the 1970s—”a time when it was a radical concept to claim a musical space for women, when coming out as a feminist was a daring admission … ”

On page 45, there’s a reference to the singer in the Moral Lepers meeting David Lester in Vancouver after she’d seen his “large, colorful” Emma Goldman poster “in every single anarchist squat in London.” Currently (nearly 40 years later), David is working on a graphic novel about Emma Goldman’s life in Toronto, where she died in 1940. I made a video about the storyline of the new book. Mostly I made the video because he’s the kind of person who works on his projects with such intensity that I’d never get to see the guy if I didn’t barge in with a project of my own. Interviewing him on video.

Before the Emma Goldman book comes out, his fantastic comic The Battle Of Ballantyne Pier will be published in 2016 in a compendium of labor-related graphics. David created the Ballantyne Pier project as a challenge within a set amount of time. I was totally amazed with the excellent drawing and the fact that he put the whole thing together in some crazy amount of time—like five days or something. While mere mortals are catching a movie or tidying up the garage, he created this 12-page comic about his grandfather’s experiences during a time of labor strife on Vancouver’s waterfront in 1935.

“Drilling” from Dovetail (K, 1992) (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Les Limbes

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French outfit Les Limbes will drop their debut self-titled EP on April 17 and now offer powerful new single “Hypersonic” for free download. Les Limbes mix atmosphere with energy to create an exciting new sound. “Hypersonic” moves at a fast pace with a thick, muddy bass droning underneath the fast melodies and skilfull drums. Download the track below.

“Hypersonic” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Thad Kopec

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Nashville singer/songwriter Thad Kopec readies for the release of his cinematic indie-folk EP, The Ridge, due out May 19 and now offers the serene first single, “Every Drop,” for free download. The acoustic offering, serving as the opening track on the record, is a good introduction into the ethereal world of Kopec’s imagination. Download “Every Drop” below.

“Every Drop” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Dot Dash

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The Washington, D.C., indie rockers in Dot Dash are back with fourth studio album Earthquakes And Tidal Waves and offer fun new single “Rainclouds” for free download. Drawing influence from punk and pop, in addition to keeping a strong indie-rock base, Dot Dash makes playfully intriguing music with impressive vocal harmonies and raging guitar solos. Download “Rainclouds” below.

“Rainclouds” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Trans Van Santos

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Trans Van Santos is the new musical project of Mark Matos, known as former frontman of San Francisco psych/folk collective the Family Folk Explosion, psychedelic anti-band Os Beaches and desert rockers Campo Bravo. He recently released Moon Mirage and now offers first single “The Flight” for free download. Staring out dark and gloomy, the track ventures into even creepier territory when sounds resembling screaming sirens start to slowly rumble under the music. Download “The Flight” below.

“The Flight” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Jeremy Bass

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After a period of isolation, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Jeremy Bass returns with two new albums. The first, Winter Bare, will be released April 14, and Bass now offers hopeful single “Lift Me Up” for free download. His vocal harmonies are soothing and his music is reminiscent of the calm mood of Tom Waits. His use of instruments, such as using brass instruments at the end of the track, show the talent of this young musician and what he wants to bring to the world. Download “Life Me Up” below.

“Lift Me Up” (download):

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Normal History Vol. 313: 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 31-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Imagine Picasso and Dora Maar on a panel discussing surrealism, let’s say. Someone asks Pablo—”What’s it like living with another artist?” Not that I can really imagine that coming up in 1930-whatever. What would Pablo have felt and how would he have responded? I tend to think he would have diminished her and her work. I think he would have described her as his lover, confidante, subject, muse, but I doubt he would have taken the opportunity to express his enthusiasm for her work and his respect for her as an artist. Did he actively encourage her creative impulses as she evolved? Did Pablo consider Dora’s work with an eye toward a new reality where women were regarded as the creative geniuses they are and not the models, muses and playthings for egotistical men? I can’t quite see that.

Any thoughts on this? Or any other male/female artist pairings?

“Once” from Dovetail (K, 1992) (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Nugget

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London-based jazz trio Nugget readies for the release of their newest EP, WaterColour, due out in May. Until then, the band offers a free download of smooth new single “Cheese Meister.” The trio is instrumental, and the musicianship exceptional. Though this type of jazz fusion and math rock is sometimes less than accessible, Nugget’s music is easily enjoyed. Download “Cheese Meister” below.

“Cheese Meister” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: Josh Gilligan

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Nashville-based singer/songwriter Josh Gilligan readies for the release of his debut full-length, Steady On, and offers first single “Old And Tired Ground” for free download. The peaceful track stays at a steady pace as vocal harmonies break through and horned instruments join the mix. His style of country makes for easy-listening music and shows his talents. Download “Old And Tired Ground” below.

“Old And Tired Ground” (download):

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MP3 At 3PM: The Corner Laughers

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California pop quartet the Corner Laughers prepare for the release of their new album, Matilda Effect, due out June 12, and offer a new single for free download. “Fairytale Tourist” is a jumpy, twangy pop track with impressive use of a ukulele. As busy as this song can get, it doesn’t fail to stick with the laid-back formula the Corner Laughers center their music around. Download “Fairytale Tourist” below.

“Fairytale Tourist” (download):

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