“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is a founder member of the extraordinary Canadian punk rock band Mecca Normal. Favs of VS when we a paper zine back in the 90s, they were a key riot grrrl touchstone, with records on some ace labels like K Records and Matador, and we’ve been lucky enough to have singer Jean Smith on these pages since we returned as a blog. To complete the circle we’ve got guitarist David Lester, whose spiky sounds offer the nail like bed on which Smith lays her gymnastic vocals. Last time around, we caught Jean shortly after the death of her friend Vi Subversa, whose band Poison Girls had been on the same bills as Mecca Normal, and this time (no spoiler intended) David is still on a Poison Girls tip which is another welcome foray into their much underrated world. But first here’s a taster of a tune from a new live album from Mecca Normal and welcome to VS, the inestimably skilled David Lester!
I asked David about the news on the new reckid:
“FYI: Mecca Normal came out with an album earlier this year… Mecca Normal: Live in Montreal 1996, Brave New Waves Session (Artoffact Records):
And once you’ve bought that and without further ado, here’s David’s “song for ewe”…with admirably forensic track detail.
“Artist: Poison Girls
Track: State Control And Rock And Roll
Album: Chappaquiddick Bridge (hidden track)
Record label: Crass – 421984/2PG
I’m on a crowded bus headed across town as I write these words. A light rain touches the windows on this Vancouver morning. “State Control And Rock And Roll” by Poison Girls is a song that retains its truth to power.
Vi Subversa’s spectacular voice transcends mere singing. I listen to this at times to be reminded of the social power found when rock and politics mix. Poison Girls never played by the rules and 39 years later this song remains resolutely radical. It has not aged into nostalgia. Art as defiance never sounded so good or so relevant.”
THANKS SO MUCH DAVID!
Just in case you missed it up there, you can get: Mecca Normal: Live in Montreal 1996, Brave New Waves Session here…
And here, choosing a different Poison Girls tune is Jean Smith’s “song for ewe”…