Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mecca Normal... hm!

Not that I want more things to listen to, but it looks like I'm teetering on the verge of becoming a Mecca Normal fan. Last night at the Sinking Ship gig, Jean Smith offered observant, funny, sung poetic narratives, pretty easy to access but with many a clever phrase (which she would usually repeat a couple of times, 'cos she's smart) and many moments of quirky, engaging observation of human psychology and life... as David Lester played guitar, doing these odd moves where he'd raise the neck over his head, either for dramatic emphasis, undetermined musical effect, or because he's got some sort of tic. It was again accessible without bein' dull - a music of the thinkin' everyman/woman, and I found myself goin', "Hmmm... maybe I should buy MORE of their music while they've got a suitcase full of it over there." I'd enjoyed my chat with Jean, and I *was* tempted - there's a good reason why this band have managed to keep their fans interested for some 25 years - but I stopped myself (I'm trying to stop myself, lately, since I've been on a vinyl-buying binge). I contented myself with Sitting on Snaps, a 1995 LP Jean recommended as a favourite of hers, and their newest recording, The Observer. I almost winced when she handed it to me, since, she explained, "it's about online dating;" and I've been on and off PlentyofFish these last few years, coming back to try again and again with the frustration of a losing slot machine player determined that THIS NEXT BET well pay off. ("How can I lose again?"). I didn't know if I was ready for a CD's length of commentary by on the topic - particularly not from a woman's perspective, since I find my OWN sense of my behaviour online tedious and disappointing enough...

Anyhow, I've just caught myself lyin' in bed on a lazy Saturday morning, laughing aloud to one of her lyrics. I thought I'd share - you can find these and more, including those from last night's set, here:

I'll Call You

I want cold and impersonal sex
during which I'll be pretending I'm with someone else
I only care about my satisfaction
I will jerk you around
to get as much for myself as I can
If you object -- I'll be on my way

If you dare to communicate with me after I've let you know
where you stand
I will belittle you
I will disrespect you with comments
that I call 'joking' --
if you don't get it
you need to lighten up

You will play by my rules
and I'm not into telling you what my rules are

I'll call you
I'll call you

I'm very highly evolved
I'm very attractive
I have a lot of options that I am keeping open
so don't expect me to treat you as if
you're someone special
-- you're not

I'll call you
I'll call you

I'll let you know when it's your turn again
until then, let's be friends

I'll call you
I'll call you

...I hope Jean Smith doesn't mind my posting these! Though obviously the ambiguity of gendering is deliberate, I rather presume that the first couple of verses represent the male in the situation while the last represents the female. Maybe that's just the kind of women I've been hanging out with.

At one point, Smith sighed and chuckled, between songs: "I'm not bitter. I'm just single... which is probably for the best, given the options." And believe me, I know exactly what she means.

I felt the slight urge to direct her to my PlentyofFish profile (Pemmican), but thought better of it, and made my escape. People are so much easier to take when filtered through the lens of art... If you agree, you should probably go snap up Mecca Normal's The Observer. I presume it isn't that hard to find around town - and bear in mind that they have a gig coming up March 28th at the Vinegar Factory.

I'm not sure where that is, either.


ammacinn said...

Jean, David -

Well, I tried to send you a message via Myspace and was spamfiltered to death, so I presume it never arrived. Hope you're okay on my having printed these lyrics here. If you have a gig poster for the Vinegar Factory show (JPEG, please) and/or press photos to accompany them, I will happily post them here - I can be reached through this blog.

Jean, you should definitely go see WENDY AND LUCY, by the way.


Jean Smith said...

Well, good morning.

No, I don't mind you posting lyrics -- although, since you mentioned it, I'll add that the song "I'll Call You" is entirely from the male perspective.

Thanks for writing about the show. It was a good evening. I'm glad I got a chance to talk with you.

I'll add details of the Vinegar Factory show soon -- it's ourlecture, art exhibit and performance event called "How Art & Music Can Change the World" -- March 28.

petals on the pond ...plenty of fish...

Jean Smith