Liner Notes

1 NEW March-2014

Album cover by Jean Smith

In November of 2012, David and I took a chance and flew to Miami to record with KRAMER at Rat Bastard’s studio, the Laundry Room. We’d never met either of them, but, over the years, KRAMER and I emailed back and forth about the idea of working together.

Jean Smith vocals (with some piano, guitar and sax), David Lester acoustic guitar, KRAMER on bass, mellotron and organ. Produced by KRAMER. Mixed and mastered by KRAMER at Noise Miami. Recorded by Rat Bastard at the Laundry Room, Miami Beach in November of 2012.

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Back cover of LP. Painting by Jean Smith.

Click through for high rez.

KRAMER’s notes for listening to the album

“Please listen to the entire LP as ONE WORK OF ART before you dissect individual tunes for “mix issues”. It’s important to me that you hear the flow of it all first. It does seem to me that what you two do is as much symphonic (the songs being more akin to  “movements” in a symphony than “songs”… small parts of a whole) as it is a collection of individual statements/chapters.

Perhaps I can say this better… I’ll try; this LP, to me, seems to be more like LEAVES OF GRASS (meaning an “epic poem”) than a collection of brief haikus (for lack of a better comparison) with no interconnecting motif. Between the lyrics, the music, the instrumentation, and the SEQUENCE of the individual parts, it just seems to me like a novella with 11 (or 12) chapters, as opposed to a collection of disparate “singles”. Of course each song is a separate THOUGHT, but they are all of the same MIND, and that is what I wanted to convey in the final results. More like a great gig, than like someone sitting down in front of their record player with a stack of singles. ONE WORK.”

LYRICS

Songs about grand gestures and chance meetings that dramatically alter and derail lives.

Most of the lyrics are from two recently-completed novels by Jean Smith. Obliterating History – a guitar-making mystery, domination & submission in a small town garage and The Black Dot Museum of Political Art in which a museum curator cures narcissism with abstract art.

1. Art Was the Great Leveler 2:32
Lyrics directly out of “The Black Dot Museum of Political Art”
David Lester guitar, Jean Smith vocal, KRAMER bass

2. What’s Your Name? 3:30
David Lester guitar, Jean Smith vocal and sax, KRAMER bass

3. Wasn’t Said 4:26
Lyrics directly out of Jean Smith’s novel “Obliterating History – a guitar-making mystery, domination & submission in a small town garage
David Lester guitar, Jean Smith vocal and piano, KRAMER bass and organ

4. Between Livermore and Tracy 10:19
David Lester guitar, Jean Smith vocal and piano, KRAMER bass, organ and mellotron

5. Normal 4:50
Lyrics directly out of “The Black Dot Museum of Political Art”
David Lester guitar, Jean Smith vocal, KRAMER bass and organ

6. One Man’s Anger 3:35
Lyrics directly out of Jean Smith’s novel “Obliterating History – a guitar-making mystery, domination & submission in a small town garage
David Lester guitar, Jean Smith vocal and piano, KRAMER bass

7. Naked and Ticklish 5:50
Lyrics directly out of Jean Smith’s novel “Obliterating History – a guitar-making mystery, domination & submission in a small town garage
David Lester guitar, Jean Smith vocal and guitar, KRAMER bass

8. Maisy’s Death 7:51
Lyrics directly out of “The Black Dot Museum of Political Art”
David Lester guitar, Jean Smith vocal, KRAMER bass and organ

9. Odele’s Bath 5:43
Lyrics directly out of “The Black Dot Museum of Political Art”
David Lester guitar, Jean Smith vocal, KRAMER bass

Mecca-Normal-CD-back-cover-art

 CD back cover. Still image from a video by Jim Hall at Radio Active Records
in Fort Lauderdale right after we finished the album.

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Inside CD (left). Painting by Jean Smith.

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Inside CD (right). Painting by Jean Smith.

KRAMER by David Lester

Rat-Bastard-revised

Rat Bastard by David Lester

During the three days of recording, Mecca Normal performed at Churchill’s in Miami
and at Radio Active Records in Fort Lauderdale. On the fourth day, Rat took Jean and Dave to Shorty’s Bar-B-Q.

David, Rat and KRAMER.

Jean waiting for a pulled pork sandwich at Shorty’e Bar-B-Q.

Vocals at the Laundry Room. Neumann microphone.

After the recording was finished, Rat drove us up to  Fort Lauderdale to do a show at Radio Active Records.
Jean Smith, KRAMER, David Lester, Laundry Room Squelchers and Steven Toth.

Jim Hall 2

Radio Active Records in Fort Lauderdale. Photo by Jim Hall.

Jean Smith and David Lester of Mecca Normal performing “Odele’s Bath” from “Empathy for the Evil” live at Radio-Active Records in Fort Lauderdale. November 9, 2012.

Filmed by Jim Hall

“The lyrics are an excerpt from my recently-completed novel “The Black Dot Museum of Political Art” in which a museum curator cures narcissism, a personality disorder widely-regarded as incurable. In this section of the story, the protagonist’s past in examined for clues as to why he is a narcissist. ” – Jean Smith

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