Mecca Normal's tour diary, Toronto to Atlanta during September of 2001:
"September 17, 2001: This is not a good time to present new songs. Audiences want to talk. I understand, but it's hard to perform in this situation. My songs overwhelm me—introspection weighed down by irrelevance. I would like to be useful. Maybe we are some kind of rallying point."
This diary entry is part of The Art of Touring, a book of essays, photos, drawings, and other items created by various musicians while on the road (edited by Sara Jaffe of Erase Errata and Mia Clarke of Electrelane). In support of the book, Fontanelle Gallery is showing an exhibit of tour photos from the collection's contributors.
While many of the photos are records of tour life, others show the musicians' memories of the places they pass through. Hannah Mae Blair's "Deer Processing, Crystal Springs, MS" is funny but dark, a photo of a mural on a slaughterhouse wall, displaying a smiling cartoon deer, cleaver in hand and a bullet flying toward it from behind. Another one of Blair's photos, titled "Margaret's Grocery, Vicksburg, MS," captures a dilapidated storefront with a series of hand-painted signs directing the reader to "Go. To. Church."
On Saturday, August 22, at 6 pm, Fontanelle will host readings and performances by Jaffe, Rebecca Gates, Tara Jane O'Neil, and Julianna Bright.