Monday, 6 September 2010

Stoner Songs - My Top 10

DISCLAIMER: I have never inhaled, ingested, injected or any class of illegal drug. I've never bought into the notion that drugs fuel creativity. Why rely on the insertion of an external agency to access what's already in your noggin, no matter how deeply buried? Put the requisite perspiration in and unlock it yourself. If you want to, you know like connect to other consciousnessness, trying casting far and wide into your imagination to see with different eyes while still remaining on terra firma.

But having said all that, there does seem something particular to the rock and roll artist, whereby within its own terms, some supreme art can be wrought from the introduction of aides de memoire-cum-amnesia... Here's a top 10. Please feel free to comment your own suggestions

1) "White Rabbit" Jefferson Airplane.

The grandmammy of them all. Yeah Jim Morrison referenced Huxley while Gracie tips her hat to Carroll, but boy does she belt it out with feeling. "Keep your head" when all around are losing theirs indeed.

2) "Supernaut" 1000 Homo DJs (aka Revolting Cocks)

The sampled radio godjock lends this a political slant as Ministry were always falling foul of the authorities, for um prodigious consumption among other things. But there's no disguising the song's Black Sabbath bombastic riff and the politics get swept up in the general gleeful defiance. The full gamut of stimulants are seemingly on show here, from the drop out to the in your face confrontational. "I find the distance melts away with the spoon"

3) "Come Down Easy" Spacemen 3

"It's 1987 and all I wanna do is get stoned/ All I want for you is to take my body home". In line with my disclaimer, this band make me loathe myself the most for actually liking them, since they had no other reason to exist other than to laud drug use. Their second album was called "The Perfect Prescription". The demos were released retrospectively and titled "Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To" which incisively sums up the introspective circle of it the whole rigmarole. But they had a wonderfully mellow vibe and Sonic Boom before he crawled into his addiction, was a marvellous musician. His lyrics had a with a religious tint to his spiritual quest as witnessed in songs like "Walking With Jesus" which I also highly recommend, whether you allow for such elision of the scared with the profane or not.

4) "Blinded By The Light" The Streets

Quite simply the best song about Es ever. The narrator is waiting for his mates so has one foot in alertness looking out for their arrival, while the drug slowly kicks in to alter his state of mind. The narrator's commenting on the goings on in the club around him, giving it the authentic druggie patter, griping that the drugs aren't doing anything, other than skewing his vision. "My eyes are rolling back, I'm rubbing my thighs with my hand". When he sights his mates, he no longer cares that they're doing the dirty on him. A brilliant tale of drug-induced deracination of the senses. The video's great too.

5) "Police In Helicopter" John Holt

A tale from the socio-economics drug frontline in Jamaica, delivered with the white hot rage borne from implacable strength of conviction. This slice of roots reggae starts with the class deference of "Yes boss, yes, boss, yes boss" but ratchets up the stakes with the simple vow "But if you continue to burn up de herbs, we gonna burn down the cane fields". And cannabis is supposed to be a becalming drug?

6) "Yu Gung (Feed My Ego)" Einsturzende Neubauten

"I'm 6 metres tall and everything is important/ I'm 9 metres tall and everything is more than important/ I'm 12 metres tall and everything is inconceivable" sums up the inflated self mistaken for greater perception. The music manages to syncopate the sensation of the drugs flowing around the bloodstream.

Non-German speakers hoping for an English version in Pussy Galore's cover version, sadly I don't think the band were able quite to render all the song's lyrics, but it remains a wonderful messed up acid blues tribute all the same.

7) "Out Of My Mind On Dope And Speed" - Julian Cope

Mad as a box of frogs, induced by drugs or shacking up with Courtney Love at a formative age, it's hard to say...

8) "No Xmas For John Quays" The Fall

This early Fall track lambasts the withered imagination of the junky, but doubles up with Mark E Smith apparently slating his band in the lyrics of the song recorded as live. The driving brittleness of the music suggests that speed was the drug of inspiration behind this song.

9) "Cocaine In My Brain" Dillinger

"A knife, a fork, a bottle and a cork/ That's the way we spell New York" I always thought corks were associated with heroin scripts, but what do I know? Still a great song though

10) "Smoke Some Weed" - Ice Cube

I love the tone of this, half bragging, half paranoid, half stoned (yes I can do the maths!). The music is perfect for a room shrouded in plumes of heavy, blue smoke and you're slumped on the floor, back against the wall - whadya mean you don't know what I'm on about?

3 comments:

Carrie said...

Heroin - Velvet Underground
Anything by the Doors (lol)

Umm, there's a ton of others...

Sulci Collective said...

Yeah, I actually prefer "Waiting For the Man" by The Velvets. But yeah, there are an almost infinite number of songs. Should we do a similar thing for works of literature?

Carrie said...

It is possible...lists are definitely your thing. Haha. I just kind of stumble around in the dark when it comes to reading. Fiction I mean. I'm an avid non-fic reader.