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Mecca Normal aren't for everyone: David Lester's guitar accompaniment doesn't give you much of a buffer against the rough, quirky intimacy of Jean Smith's theatrical poetry, which gets so nakedly powerful it can violate your personal space with nothing but words. They've just posted two new songs on their MySpace blog, and one of them is about Chicago sound archivist, musician, and antiwar activist Malachi Ritscher, who recorded a Mecca Normal show in Chicago a few years ago. Stark and raw, the song has none of Smith's usual wryness. Lester also created a poster for it in the classic protest style.
For those of you traveling to the Pacific Northwest (or living there!), Mecca Normal will perform the new songs this weekend in Olympia and Portland; at the Portland show they'll also host an art auction to benefit Books to Prisoners.