Podcast 2022.01 Eat Some Soylent Green and Calm Down

The movie Soylent Green was released in 1973 and offers a dystopian view of the future, set in our current year, 2022. (Spoilers ahead) In Soylent Green’s vision of 2022, the world is overpopulated with a permanent heat wave from greenhouse gases. The Soylent company controls the food supply and they start producing a “miracle food” that they claim is made from plankton but as Charlton Heston discovers, it’s really made from human beings. In other words things get so bad by 2022 that cannibalism becomes the order of the day. As Tony Sokol points out in Den of Geek, Soylent Green did anticipate some of the darker features of our current world: face coverings, meat substitutes, climate change. Cannibalism, though? I don’t know, we’re not quite there yet but who knows? Anyway, in our timeline 2022 is already starting off with great psychedelia. All of the tracks in this episode have been released in the last month.

00:00 Turn Me On Dead Man – Intro
00:19 Solilians – Old Schmeckled Hen
06:13 Lamp of the Universe – Return as Light
10:49 Clyde Von Klaus – Concede
13:40 Turn Me On Dead Man – Break
15:12 Ogua – Waves
24:03 Waylon Thornton – Blown Princes
26:11 Barbican Estate – The Divine Image
31:01 Elephant Stone – La fusée du chagrin
34:40 Los Árboles – Bebe Jesús
38:55 Thee Tabs – Carrier Pigeons
41:27 Parker Sprout – Milk in the Sun
44:02 Monte Meteoro – Contra
50:41 Aeon – Five
53:23 io audio recordings – Awaiting The Elliptical Drift


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Podcast 2021.27 Seven Days on the Road

It’s the last day of this eventful year. New Atlas calls 2021 a “landmark year” in psychedelic science. The Wall Street Journal‘s podcast The Future of Everything looks at “How Psychedelic Drugs Are Making A Comeback To Treat Depression.” Under consideration in these studies is how much to ascribe to the placebo effect. Another question recently raised is “How Should Psychedelic Medicine Handle ‘Flashbacks’?” And what about “Animals That Eat Psychedelics And Enjoy The Trip: From Reindeer On Mushrooms To Jaguars On Yagé“? Several studies of therapeutic applications of psychedelics for mental health care are ongoing, as barriers to this kind of research are being removed. Johns Hopkins was a awarded a $4 million grant by the Nation Institutes of Health to see if psilocybin can be used to treat tobacco addiction. Centers to study psychedelics have been established at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and NYU. Psychedelics are being tested to assess their effectiveness in a variety of conditions, from treatment-resistant depression to addiction, PTSD to chronic pain.

The potential for therapeutic psychedelic treatments appears to be great, and so the commercial potential for psychedelic drugs is great, as well. Natan Ponieman points out, “If 2020 was the year psychedelics companies were placed on the map, 2021 was when they began expanding their territory and entering the realms of big finance and mainstream capital.” The title of the article asks, “2021 Was The Year Psychedelics Conquered Capitalism…Or Is It The Other Way Around?” In an article in Leafie, Bethan Finighan makes the point that, “Drug policy should be based on scientific evidence, not politics. We’ve already let half a century of research slip through our fingers, so we must now put our trust in modern science to end the war on drugs.” A number of celebrities have revealed their use of psychedelics. The most recent was comedian Bill Burr.

I’ve already posted my “best of 2021” lists and podcasts. As 2021 comes to an end, I’m including a couple of recordings that made on my “best of” list.

00:00 Turn Me On Dead Man – Intro
00:25 White Manna – Light Cones
06:04 The Myrrs – Buggy Chawnker
08:03 Dislocated Flowers – Renaissance Three Two Zero
14:00 Magoodin – Prisma
16:20 Melt Plastic Group – The Birdman Explodes
21:33 StarBath – StarBath Jam 1
27:54 ST 37 – Over and Over Again
33:08 Den Osynliga Manteln – Vortexlöpare
39:17 Moshi Moshi and the Moist Boys – Fluorescent Eye Part 1
43:03 Sonic Delays – Coast
46:44 Frozen Planet…. 1969 – Diamond Dust

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Podcast 2021.26 One Foot in the Grave

As we enter the season of advent, Reality Sandwich outlines the shamanic origins of Christmas. One type of mushroom, Amanita muscaria, has some interesting similarities to Christmas imagery. In our times mushrooms are “finally having a moment,” according to Lucy Jones in The Guardian, and illustrator Brian Blomerth celebrates the history of mushroom lore in a new book.

In the past couple of episodes of Turn Me On, Dead Man, I’ve mentioned that the use of psychedelics has been a topic of conversation for Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith and their son, Jaden Smith. It may or may not have been because of their candid discussion of taking psychedelics, but recently a petition has been circulating online to “stop interviewing Will and Jada Smith“. Writing in Psychedelic Spotlight, Emily Jarvie asks the question, “Celebrities: Are They Helping or Harming the Psychedelic Movement?

A number of states (Florida and California among them), as well as the city of Toronto, are discussing or moving forward with legislation to decriminalize psychedelics. The website MDLinx cites “breaking the psychedelic ceiling” as one of the top medical breakthroughs of 2021. Discussions at the Wonderland psychedelic conference were optimistic that psychedelics are to be the next big development in mental health treatment, and the Australian ABC podcast All in the Mind devoted a recent episode to “Psychedelics for mental illness.” Even though barriers against using psychedelics for treating mental health disorders are still substantial, the market for these drugs could be huge. Some worry, however, that if legal psychedelics are dominated by big pharma, it could enrich large corporations rather than a broader community benefitting from these developments.

The music in this episode ranges from psychfolk to lo-fi garage to experimental psych and concludes with an extended jam by Wizard Beast. One of my standard questions for the artists is “What record changed your life?” I’ve been impressed with the wide range of influences the artists cite, but The Velvet Underground and Nico gets mentioned quite often. Here it takes on new meaning through the lens of “Cold Equations”.

00:00 Turn Me On Dead Man – Intro
00:38 Thee U.F.O. – Putrefied Block
03:46 Pancho and the Wizards – Dog With two Masters
07:02 Meatbodies – Reach For The Sun
13:33 Cheval Sombre – Althea
21:14 The Yellow Blackness – Gift of Illusion
24:37 Constant Smiles – Run To Stay
27:07 Sons of Zoku – Lovers Trance
34:40 Anti-Corn League – Let Me Begin
37:25 Alice Tambourine Lover – Forse Non Sei Tu
41:54 Wizard Beast – Pathways of the Magical Mind part 1

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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 2021.23 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 2021.20 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 2021.17 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

Podcast 2021.12 After The Crash

This episode of Turn Me On, Dead Man features several recent psychedelic releases. All released in 2021 except Davi Rodriguez di Lima’s Fantasma, which is from 2020. The breaks in this episode come from the educational (maybe?) film What’s The Big Hurry? This 1974 short film was the sort of car crash gore movie they used to show in driver’s ed, only in this film the accidents are audio only. The visuals in What’s The Big Hurry? show the process of dismantling wrecked cars in a salvage yard–an interesting process but lacking the visceral impact of the human carnage-driven fare favored by driver’s ed teachers. The really interesting thing about this film nine-minute film is the electronic music score by Louis Barron. The cover is a nod to Zen Arcade.

00:00 Turn Me On Dead Man – Intro
01:12 Shirese – The Glue Murder
03:50 Cult of Dom Keller – Cage The Masters
09:21 Some Pills For Ayala – Some Weed For This Samaritan
13:56 Davi Rodriguez di Lima – Fantasma
18:16 Pseudo Mind Hive – Holy River
23:27 The Silk Railroad – A Caustic Rhythm
29:10 Dark Fog – The Statue
33:21 Mdou Moctar – Chismiten
38:04 Long Slow Dissolve – Sour Bush
43:49 Andrew Thomas Jacobs – Love and LSD in the USA
48:58 Mythic Sunship – Maelstrom

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Podcast 2021.11 Cosmic Hum

Voyager 1, launched in 1977, has traveled out of the solar system but it’s still sending back data. It detected a hum in deep space–a sort of constant background noise caused by plasma waves. Voyager 1 also contains the Voyager Golden Record, which is an analog disc and it contains a broad selection of music and representative sounds from Earth. Quite a challenge for a single disc. This episode isn’t quite that ambitious. Here you will find a playlist of recent psychedelia. 

00:00 Turn Me On Dead Man – Intro
01:29 Thee U.F.O. – Having Faith In And Outside
04:03 Diagonal – Anticipation
08:36 Acid Rooster – Stereofuzz
13:54 Codex Serafini – Time, Change & Become
17:27 The Myriad Dharma – Love Town Singalong
20:43 Technicolor Blood – Last Night
24:55 Modern Stars – She Comes Now
27:54 MK8ULTRA – Rhythm Inside
31:27 Free Machine – Cursive Moon
35:24 Smoke Monolith – Embracing The Tide
38:51 La Otracina – Woke On Waves

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