Music: Best of 2011

Tobi Vail

Mecca Normal performing at Northern, Olympia, WA, 2010. Photo: Jack DeGuiseppi.

1 Mecca Normal, Malachi seven-inch (K Records) Vancouver, British Columbia’s punk-protest duo Mecca Normal have been changing the world with art and music since 1984. “Malachi,” the A side of their latest single, tells the true story of Malachi Ritscher, a Chicago man who, in 2006, immolated himself on the freeway during morning rush hour to protest the war in Iraq. By recording this story in song and performing it to audiences across the globe, Mecca Normal participates in the long-standing folk tradition of spreading political dissent through music.

2 Hysterics, Hysterics seven-inch (M’Lady’s) Well, it took thirty years, but finally there is a girl revolution happening in American hardcore—and it starts with Hysterics from Olympia, Washington. Lead singer Stephanie obliterates three decades of silence with six songs about gender, economics, depression, alienated

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