Podcast 2021.25 Years of Lightning, Day of Drums

It’s interesting to reflect on how the renewed interest in psychedelics started. In the 1990s researchers at Johns Hopkins wanted to study the mental health benefits of psilocybin. Psychedelics were so stigmatized at that point, however, that they weren’t sure the FDA or even their own institution would approve the research. They managed to get approval for their research efforts and published their positive results in 2006, and the “psychedelic renaissance” has gained momentum since then.

A growing number of studies have shown the mental health benefits of psychedelics, and this has become an area of intense interest. Veterans are a group that has shown great interest in these studies, as psychedelics have been demonstrated to be effective in treating PTSD. Among others, veterans have been given new hope by these developments, and the New York Times points out that “Veterans Have Become Unlikely Lobbyists in Push to Legalize Psychedelic Drugs”. Some health insurance providers are starting to cover psychedelic mental health treatments, and private companies are now competing to develop treatment regimens to tap into this potentially huge market.

One interesting note emerged from a recent study where some attendees of an ayahuasca retreat were given placebos. The people who took placebos reported benefits, such as lower anxiety and depression, and using the measures devised by the researchers, these benefits were statistically similar to the attendees who actually took ayahuasca. The researchers acknowledged that there may have been mitigating factors in their study, but it remains a subject for future research.

The optimism about psychedelics is being felt in a variety of unlikely places. Benzinga writes about parenting aided by microdosing psychedelics in the article “Moms on mushrooms“. House Beautiful suggests that the popularity of decorating home decor items with mushrooms is “a side effect of—or even a sly wink to—the recent legalization of magic mushrooms in some parts of the world.” Big Think discusses research showing that psychedelics can change how users see the universe, leading individuals to adopt a more transcendental outlook.

More celebrities continue to make public their psychedelic experiences. I mentioned Will Smith in my previous podcast, but this time around more members of the family join in the discussion. Jada Pinkett Smith and their son, Jaden Smith, shared their psychedelic stories on Jada’s talk show, Red Table Talk. Mike Tyson has become a rather unlikely advocate for psychedelics, as he has been open about his life-changing experiences with 5-MeO-DMT, which is the venom of the Bufo Alvarius toad. L.A. Weekly is calling him the “New Face of Psychedelic Healing.”

While the music in this episode of Turn Me On, Dead Man is psychedelic, the theme is not. Today is November 22, 2021, which is the 59th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. A couple of days ago I made my regular trip to Joe’s Record Paradise and found a still-sealed LP copy of Years of Lightning, Day of Drums, a celebration of JFK’s life as a counter to the shock of his assassination. You can draw a direct line from the JFK assassination to our current polarized and conspiracy-theory-driven political environment, but I’ll leave that there for the time being. Right now I just want to enjoy the breadth and depth of current psychedelia.

00:20 Dope Smoker – NASDAQ
05:17 Electric Eye – Den Atmosfaeriske Elven
11:12 Bard’s Flying Vessel – Cut In Half
15:57 The Violet Mindfield – Stranger In The Mirror
18:50 Exnovios – Un Nuevo Día
22:10 Dead Horse One – Nevermore
25:22 Dead Otter – Eye Elevator
31:34 Yokujitsu – Yawarakai Tejou
37:27 Hanford Flyover – Golden
42:10 Kuunatic – Para Bennyà
48:28 Some Pills For Ayala – Space Octopus

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Podcast 2021.24 Further Experimentation

Investment in psychedelic medical treatments has been rising as liberalization of drug laws has expanded. Detroit became the latest city to decriminalize psychedelics, as voters approved the decriminalization of magic mushrooms and other entheogenic plants. As psychedelics become more accepted and the stigma recedes, research opportunities have increased and even though psychedelic therapy is still in its infancy, investors are putting money into companies focusing on psychedelic mental health treatments. Psychedelics are also being used to help people with end-of-life care. Rick Doblin, founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) was featured in GQ, and MAPS announced an upcoming event, Psychedelic Science 2023. Also, the Wonderland conference, the largest psychedelic medicine event of its kind, is currently taking place in Miami.

Despite all the optimism about psychedelic therapy, cautionary messages about psychedelics are also starting to appear in the popular media. An article in RealClearScience suggests, “Staunch Advocates of Therapeutic Psychedelics Need a History Lesson,” pointing out that excitement about psychedelics has reached this level before only to fade away. This was in part due to the “war on drugs” initiated by the Nixon administration, but also because the FDA imposed more rigid regulation on the pharmaceutical industry and tighter restrictions on research, as well. There have also been allegations of misconduct among psychedelic therapists, as detailed in the Forbes article “Psychedelic Therapy Is Hyped, But It’s Not Risk-Free: How Therapy Abuse Can Retraumatize Clients.” Also, an article in Vice, “The False Promise of Psychedelic Utopia,” cautions that the enthusiasm about psychedelics should be kept in perspective.

Recent TV shows and movies have demonstrated a psychedelic influence, such as Dune and Stranger Things. Far Out Magazine lists The 10 greatest psychedelic films of all time. The VW microbus, a symbol of counterculture. is making a comeback as an electric vehicle, and Volkswagen is previewing the new version with a “psychedelic wrap“. An ever-growing list of celebrities has taken ayahuasca. In the past few days, Will Smith and Lil Nas X have both made public statements about their experimentation with ayahuasca.

This episode of Turn Me On, Dead Man features a number of artists from Latin America. The opening set features The Slow Voyage from Los Angeles, Chile, Firefriend from São Paulo, Brazil, and El Universo from Mexico City, and this episode closes with Telephone Exchange, another artist from Mexico City. Other than Annunaki from Nanaimo, BC, Self-Immolation music from Leeds, UK and Shamaniacs from Berlin, the rest of the artists are from the US: The Sonic Splits and The Webbers from Oregon, The Mary Veils from Philadelphia, and the Poppy Seeds from Los Angeles. The breaks are from an episode of X Minus 1 called “No Contact”.

00:00 Turn Me On Dead Man – Intro
00:32 The Slow Voyage – Expansion
05:11 Firefriend – Poison Tree
10:29 El Universo – Monkeys & Apes
16:15 The Sonic Splits – Doors of Perception
20:00 The Sonic Splits – Like the Steady Flowing of a Stream
24:35 Self-Immolation Music – Remain Eternally Hateful
28:22 The Webbers – The Skinwalker
30:31 Shamaniacs – Dopamine – دوبامين
32:40 The Mary Veils – Home Video
35:41 The Poppy Seeds – Coming To Get You
38:40 Annunaki – The Cries of Hypatia
51:53 Telephone Exchange – Qué irresponsable


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Podcast 2021.23 The View

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about decriminalization or legalization of various kinds of drugs, including psychedelics. The podcast “The Argument” held a panel discussion on this topic in the episode “The World’s View on Drugs Is Changing. Which Side Are You On?” Oregon was among the first to experiment with decriminalization of drugs, but according to the website Governing, this has not resulted in connecting people with treatment. They point out, however, that COVID-19 may have impeded these efforts.

For the first time in the last 50 years, the federal government is funding a research study on the use of psychedelics to treat addiction. Three universities (Johns Hopkins, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and New York University) will be studying psilocybin to break addiction to tobacco. Psilocybin is also being studied as a treatment for chronic pain, and Psilocybin and MDMA are also being studied for treatment of mental illness. One study found that psilocybin improves major depressive disorder in cancer patients. Reality Sandwich warns, however, that psychedelics are being commodified in a way that diminishes their cultural value.

The biggest news in psychedelic music is that Earthless has announced that they will be touring this winter. Levitation (formerly Austin Psych Fest) will take place this week in Austin. And this episode of Turn Me On, Dead Man features several new psychedelic tracks, starting with the Altered Hours. The Irish Times praised their latest album, stating that they “inject doomed Irish romanticism into psychedelic rock.”

00:00 Turn Me On Dead Man – Intro
00:28 The Altered Hours – Radiant Wound
04:23 Strawberry Sleepover – For Tomorrow
08:05 Halo Noose – Journey to the Sun
12:15 Turn Me On Dead Man – Break
14:19 Chainsaw Rainbow – blonde with dark roots
17:57 Sly Fungi – Panspermia
23:12 The Squarevoyants – Motor Psychos (Ride)
25:02 The Wizard – The Wicked Messenger
27:52 American Cream Band – New Gods FM
31:47 Wah Wah Wah – Wormhole
36:10 Speck – The Metz Sessions

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Podcast 2021.22 Pure Thought

The world, or at least the US is opening up to psychedelics more and more. Psychedelic assisted therapy continues to gain acceptance and the legal market for psychedelics is growing quickly. MarketWatch called on Citigoup to cite innovative ideas that could transform society, and where to invest your money to take advantage of these changes. One of the “game changers” this group of anaylists listed was psychedelic drugs. The combination of psychedelics and psychotherapy is opening up new treatments, such as for patients with PTSD. One thing standing in the way at present is these drugs are still illegal in most places. An article in Nature, however, provides a “roadmap for wider acceptance and utilization,” and Scientific American offers a strategy to reschedule psilocybin. Right now the United States is far ahead in the psychedelic market as these drugs gain broader acceptance.

Not only are a growing number turning to psychedelic assisted therapy, particularly as the pandemic has exacerbated a mental health crisis, but studies are showing that psychedelics may have other benefits, as well. A study published in Nature finds that psychedelic use is associated with a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes. A study also found that magic mushrooms enhance our emotional reaction to music.

Seattle, as well as three cities in California, have recently decriminalized psychedelic drugs. The city council of Santa Cruz, however, voted to recriminalize peyote. They did this on behalf of Native Americans who use peyote in religious rituals. With use of peyote spreading, the move to recriminalize peyote is to protect “individuals who cultivate entheogens for use in religious, spiritual, healing, or personal growth practices.” Still, the psychedelic reform movement is expanding and Denver, a city that has already decriminalized magic mushrooms, is exploring further easing their restrictions in a couple of years.

And then there’s the music. Psychedelic music has never really gone away but the recent past has seen a steady stream of great psych, as this episode demonstrates.

00:00 Turn Me On Dead Man – Intro
00:45 The Oscillation – Forever Knowing
08:43 Swan Faucet – Wandering
14:56 Turn Me On Dead Man – Break
16:26 DDT – Set Alight
19:53 Dislocated Flowers – Temple
24:47 The Buzzards of Fuzz – Lonely In Space (Slight Return)
30:36 Andrew Thomas Jacobs – Parum Luceat
34:26 Mystery Egg – Gate Shrouded In Time
39:40 Wine Lips – Eyes
40:58 Apex Ten – Orbiting Jupiter (Extended Version)
52:30 Zodiac Rippers – Morningstar

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Podcast 2021.21 Mark IV

Back with another collection of recent psychedelia, ranging from stoner to psychedelic pop. There have been a couple of interesting items about psychedelic music in the past few days: In Dublin, the inaugural Stratospheres Psych night took place at The Grand Social on Sept. 25th, featuring some of Ireland’s best psych rock acts: Sun Mahshene, Tuath and Thee UFO. Stolen Body Records announced the dates for Astral Festival VII, April 30/May 1, 2022 at Strange Brew in Bristol. Australia has a thriving psychedelic scene, and Adelaide’s CityMag ran an article “Introducing Mystique Records: Founded by musician Harry Taylor, Mystique Records aims to bring Adelaide’s thriving psychedelic music scene out from the underground.”

Magic mushrooms now have their own holiday”: September 20th is Magic Mushroom Day, created by the 920 Coalition, and Entheofest, the first-ever psychedelic mushroom festival, was held in Ann Arbor on Sept. 19th. The popular press is starting to take notice of the use of psychedelics in treating mental illness. In the past week Newsweek ran an article on “The legality of magic mushrooms and potential use as treatment for depression”. Also, Forbes announced ‘The End In Mind’ Conference, in End-Of-Life Care Is The New Frontier In Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy. Decriminalization efforts have made progress recently: “Class A drug possession ‘effectively decriminalised’ in Scotland.”

00:27 Vulcanodon Phazer – Lemurian Thunder
07:10 Ogua – Iyan
12:39 Jeffrey Alexander & The Heavy Lidders – Beowulf’s Trip
18:49 Mort Rose – On part au soleil
23:06 Scatter Light – Leave Some Room Inside Your Mind
26:40 Psyconauts – Breathe The Love
31:24 Saucer Eyes – Out Of Vision
35:11 Acid Magus – Rituals
41:47 Black Magick Marching Band – Big Dead Everything
44:39 Su Evets – Arc Awakening
52:12 Maragda – Hermit

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Podcast 2021.20 Stereophonic Sound Spectacular

We are living in a time where we’re rethinking “forever wars” and that includes the war on drugs. Legalization/decriminalization drives, particularly for psychedelics, are underway in several cities and states across the US. Psychedelics are also under serious study for their mental health benefits. Alongside these developments is a resurgence of psychedelic music. The music featured in this episode comes from the US, Europe (Fairyport Convent from Poland and The Spacelords from Germany) and Latin America (Los Tabanos Experience from Chile and Khan Khan from Mexico). This episode opens with the Burning Balloons, a collaboration between Ben Bachman (High Tiny Hairs, Fuck Knights) from Minnesota and Raul Romero (The Flashback V, Psiconautes, Lola) from Barcelona.

04:22 The Burning Balloons – Drained
10:49 Fairyport Convent – Partizan Underground
17:09 Dark Fog – Floor Ceiling
22:53 Babe Ruthless – Aqua Cola
22:53 Los Tabanos Experience – The Wooden Curse
41:03 Evolfo – Zuma Loop
27:19 Khan Khan – Nubes de Mayo
27:19 Reality Cult – Close My Doors
41:03 The Electric Myrrs – Salvation (4 Miles)
41:03 The Spacelords – Liquid Sun remix

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Podcast 2021.19 This Is Where The Magic Starts

Time keeps marching on and it’s the end of the summer. The music of the summer will continue to reverberate, though. This episode features some pre-releases by The Venus Overload, the Kundalini Genie, Tibetan Miracle Seeds, and 10 000 Russos, and a host of tracks released throughout the summer.

00:21 The Kundalini Genie – Half In, Half Out
03:28 Tibetan Miracle Seeds – Boa Constrictor
08:14 Comet Control – Secret Life
11:44 Drowning Effect – Bright Lights
14:45 10 000 Russos – A House Full of Garbage
19:32 Bad Psychic – Man In Bed
22:40 Menk – Eyes (Глаза)
30:00 Wheels – Badlands
34:41 The Dolphins – Die in California
39:21 The Venus Overload – TSW (Canto XIII)
43:28 Temporal Marauder – State of the Station
48:40 Maha Sohona – Leaves

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Podcast 2021.18 Half Measures and Alibi Runs

A look at current psychedelia and a look back at life during wartime. A few more releases from prominent labels this time around. This episode opens with The Mountain Movers on the Trouble In Mind label, with tracks from Axis: Sova and Birds of Maya on Drag City as well as The Holy Family on Rocket Recordings. The artists in this episode come from the UK (The Holy Family and Longheads), Canada (Dark Bird and Dr. Joy), Australia (The Dharma Chain) and the rest from the US.

01:19 The Mountain Movers – I Wanna See The Sun
04:22 The Dharma Chain – So You Wanna Be A Spaceman?
10:49 The Holy Family – Inward Turning Suns
17:09 Axis: Sova – Fractal USA
22:53 Dopesoul – Karma Kaze
27:19 Dark Bird – Out Of Line
32:14 Dr. Joy – Signed, The Body Electric
37:47 Playing With Circles – Page 63
41:03 Birds of Maya – Please Come In
48:00 Longheads – One and a Half Each

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Podcast 2021.17 Burned To The Ground

A lot of people have experienced loss in the last year. Sometimes music can help in difficult times–old favorites and new favorites. In this episode I’m going to focus on new tracks by some of the leading voices of current psychedelia (and garage rock, too) released on some of the most prominent indie labels. This episode more than most demonstrates how we’re in a psychedelic renaissance.

01:18 Meatbodies – Reach For The Sunn
06:09 Night Beats – Shadow
09:04 Goat – Queen of the Underground
14:59 New Candys – Begin Again
20:00 Ty Segall – Pictures
24:32 Acid Mothers Temple – Free Your Infinity Desire
32:09 Cosmic Dead – Crater Creator
36:25 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Butterfly 3000
39:12 Darkside – Narrow Road
43:41 Wavves – Hideaway
47:31 Six Organs of Admittance – All That They Left You
53:51 King Buffalo – Burning

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Podcast 2021.16 Joy Ride: Reissues Released in 2021

A look at some of the reissues that have come out recently. The tracks in this episode come from every decade since the 1970s, but have been reissued in some form this year. Breaks come from the wonderfully awful 1976 short film Joy Ride about the dangers of trying to be a “hot shot” by stealing cars and trying to outrun the police. It’s all innocent fun until the inevitable crash.

00:00 Turn Me On Dead Man – Intro
01:25 Dead Meadow – I’m Gone
05:21 Goat – Alarms
08:25 Blair1523 – Fantasy of Folk
11:25 The Mushroom Club – Heroin Picnic
17:53 Lilys – Ginger
23:12 Foot – Rupert Turdoch
26:55 Views – Say It!
31:18 Black Rainbows – Hawkdope
40:21 Acid Reich – Revenge of Tim Boo Ba
48:29 Brant Bjork – Low Desert Punk
53:12 Guru Guru – Stone In