Podcast 2022.09 Five Eyes

This episode focuses on recent Garage rock and psychedelic music from the US and Canada. I’ve recently done a show on psychedelia in the UK and another show focusing on Australia and New Zealand. So with this episode I’ve covered all of the founding member states of the Five Eyes alliance.

I’m not exactly sure of when I became aware of the Five Eyes but it just reinforced this fear I’ve had that we’re spiraling into an Orwellian future. I read 1984 many years ago, but I’ve started to wonder if the Five Eyes alliance is Oceania–and that we’ve always been at war with Eastasia. 1984 was certainly dystopian with a steady flow of disinformation, but even so I don’t think even Orwell imagined how people would be such willing participants in the spread of disinformation.

The music in this episode is divided roughly evenly between the US and Canada. This episode is longer than usual because I got sidetracked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. That got me to put together an overdue episode devoted to Psychedelic Source Records. I thought they hit exactly the right tone with Mantras For Peace. Then I put together an episode of garage/psych and stoner bands from Ukraine. All the while I kept adding tracks to the playlist for this episode. Rather than break it up I thought I’d go with the episode I had originally sketched out with a set devoted to music from the US and a set of Canadian music. The styles run the range from garage punk to minimalist/ambient psychedelia.

00:39 The Living Sky – Cylinder
04:31 Slow Dawn – See-Through
07:40 Night Collectors – One Thousand Years
14:39 Shimmer Bed – Signs
16:49 Supplemental Pills – Run On
23:50 Myrrs – When You’re Here
28:28 thefamilystoned – Deaf Church Choir
33:05 Skloss – Upper Attic
37:20 Fantastic Purple Spots – Blasting Into The Sun
40:40 Magic Shoppe – I Feel High
43:55 Daemones – Refractor
49:39 Fuguers Cove – Gust
52:12 Babe Ruthless – Dog Days
53:33 Lightning – Vallejo
57:07 Deadlights – Paralyzed
1:00:20 Groop – Belly II
1:04:13 Shimmer Bed – Fine
1:10:10 John Denver Airport Conspiracy – The Big Classic
1:13:32 Omissam – Hide
1:16:15 Cosmic Drifter – Chasing Shadows
1:20:57 The Gateless Gate – Helcaraxë One
1:31:02 Lammping – Everlasting Moor
1:34:35 Blume – It’s You
1:44:30 Spheroid – Transparent Radiation

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Podcast 2022.06 The Other Side

In the last few episodes I’ve been exploring psychedelia from various parts of the world. The playlist in this episode is made up of new psychedelic music from Australia and New Zealand. I’ve noticed over the last couple of years that Australia, in particular, has a thriving psychedelic scene and this episode really bears that out. Not to take anything away from New Zealand or anywhere else for that matter, it’s just that so much good music is coming out of Australia and it’s really been enjoyable corresponding with the artists.

The drops in this episode come from the 1959 movie On The Beach. In that movie a nuclear war breaks out and the only life left in the world is in Australia, but even they’re not safe from the cloud of radiation that will eventually arrive. It’s a bleak movie, and with the end of the Cold War a lot of people (myself included) thought that we had left this behind and that the risk of nuclear war was remote. The situation has certainly changed with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Things don’t seem to be going well for Putin and he’s made noises about putting Russia’s nuclear arsenal on high alert. Even before that the doomsday clock was already set at 100 seconds to midnight–the closest that its ever been–and the UN secretary general recently said “The prospect of nuclear war is now back within the realm of possibility.”

So anyway, having said that, enjoy the great music in this hour of Turn Me On, Dead Man and just think of the message in the closing frame of On The Beach that said “There is still time, brother.”

00:34 Human Rites – The Serpent and the Rainbow
05:15 Flower Children of the Apocalypse – Return To The Sun
08:00 Golden Sunbird – Voyage, Pt. 2
16:20 Frozen Planet….1969 – Glassblaster (Alternate Take)
20:14 Black Sand – Salutations To The Sun
22:57 Trigona – Petra
30:35 Sons Of Zöku – Yang Yin (Radio Edit)
34:45 Fuzz Meadows – Orange Sunshine
39:13 The Dharma Chain – Shoot Up Love
42:42 Legal Noise – Flashback
45:35 Fortress Europe & Moonflower – Organ Grinder
48:54 Robot God – Valleys of Primordia

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Podcast 2022.05 Beyond: Psychedelia in Asia

When I started making maps of the playlists for each episode I noticed that it was fairly predictable which places would be represented in the playlist. Given the history of psychedelia and the fact that I live in the US, the anglosphere has always been well represented in the playlists for Turn Me On, Dead Man. The US, the UK, Canada and Australia have vibrant psychedelic scenes. So do many European countries, and in addition to that, I’ve had no trouble finding great garage rock and psychedelia from Latin America.

For this episode I made an effort to establish an entire playlist of bands from Asia, and in the process I discovered a lot of great music that I would have otherwise missed. In addition to the wealthier countries of the pacific rim, active scenes exist in Thailand, Indonesia, and India. When you look at the music map for this episode it makes a great arc of port cities on the oceans bordering Asia. The major exception is Solar Zero, who close out the playlist with a 17-minute jam. Solar Zero is based in Tyumen, Russia, a city east of the Ural Mountains, which historically has been considered the dividing line between Europe and Asia. Given the shit that’s happening in Ukraine right now I wanted to include these guys. I corresponded with them a little and they’re very cool. When I asked them about what’s next for them and they said “Don’t know. If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” I corresponded with them before the invasion of Ukraine which makes that answer all the more poignant.

00:19 Pale Blue Sound – Just Like a Dream
03:58 ZeitGeistS – Juvenile
08:00 The Dude of Stratosphear – Dharma Wheel
13:32 Hebi Katana – Running in My Vein
17:11 Spacedays – Lucy’s Space Garden
22:13 Solid Liqui – Combo Miss
25:19 Kinder Bloomen – Brainless The Third, On A Cloudy Mission
29:51 落差草原 WWWW / Prairie WWWW – 轉來 Tńg​-​Lâi
35:48 Candydrain – Temptations
39:27 Jash Jhaveri – They Might Have Killed Me Back In Egypt
42:30 Bardia Haddad – Chaos as the Storm Tears it into Shreds
50:52 Solar Zero – Transcontinental Bus

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Podcast 2022.04 Sunday Stone

This episode focuses on psychedelia coming out of the various parts of the United Kingdom. The UK has long been at the forefront of psychedelic music with several key British bands among its originators. The musical styles in this episode run the range from pop to drones to soundscapes.

00:26 The Lee Rudes – Insignificant Man
06:16 The Lunar Fog Occult – Seaglass
09:09 The Web of Lies – Best Friend
12:33 Artifacts & Uranium – Dive Bomber
17:42 Melodrome Man – The Dead Planet
20:55 Permanent Rain – Street Song
24:27 The Galileo 7 – The man who wasn’t there
27:26 Necessary Animals – In The Twilight
31:19 My Opal Garden – Mind Wandering
35:19 Deep Hum – Thoughts of Cats
44:05 Organs – Furious Return
53:50 Empty House – Zanshin

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Podcast 2022.02 Trainspotting

Trainspotting has taken on a narcotic connotation because of the 1996 film directed by Danny Boyle, based on the novel by Irvine Welsh. Although that story was not about psychedelics, the film has its share of hallucinatory moments, the sequel less so. About the music in this episode, the playlist features psychedelia that starts out more in the hallucinatory vein but then becomes more meditative. Check out the music map below. A good illustration of how psychedelia has become a worldwide phenomenon. This episode features artists from the US, Canada, the UK, Norway, Israel, Guatemala, and closes out with a soundscape from Peruvian artist Chino Burga.

The title of this episode is from something my two-year-old and I have been doing recently. We’ve been going to an overpass nearby and wait for trains to pass. I’d never thought of myself as a trainspotter but I guess I’ve had a fascination since my childhood days staying at my grandparents’ home. Their house was about 100 yards from train tracks and I vividly recall the booming sound of the freight trains on summer nights when all the windows were open. So anyway, where my son and I go there are two sets of tracks, one for the DC metro trains, which comes above ground where we are, and one for the intercity trains. It’s always a jolt when we get the metro drivers to honk the horn.

00:19 Self-Immolation Music – Anhedonia
03:30 Helicon – Freakquency
07:46 The Orange Dots – Lost A Dream
12:29 A Crone’s Orchard – Worms
19:23 Solipsisme – Chimiosynthèse
23:31 The Midnight Vein – The Link
29:05 Carlton Melton – Hazel Heat
34:29 Ouzo Bazooka – Monsters
40:25 The Soundcarriers – Falling Back
44:02 The Groovy Nobody – Elevated
47:39 Baghdad Battery – Days Gone By
53:11 Chino Burga – Quien Como Dios

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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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The Best of 2021

It’s that time of year where we look back, take stock of everything that occurred during the year and try to make sense of it. I’m looking back on a year of loss–my mother died during the summer and my grandparents’ old house where I spent much of my childhood was destroyed in a fire. As if that weren’t enough, I lost two teeth (!) in 2021. Like 2020, though, music was a particularly bright spot in an otherwise challenging year.

As for my choices for the best of 2021, I made three lists. The first a Mixcloud compilation of some of the best tracks of 2021, followed by a list (in no particular order) of some of the best albums of 2021, and finally some singles and EPs that I managed to list in alphabetical order.

Last year I also posted a list of notable reissues but I didn’t try to keep up on all the reissues that were released in 2021. I was just happy to finally have The Beatles Let It Be box set, and to finally see the Peter Jackson documentary, Get Back. Really fun to watch.

 I’d just like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the artists for providing the world with such wonderful music. My picks for the best tracks of 2021:

00:00 Turn Me On Dead Man – Intro
00:29 The Dharma Chain – So You Wanna Be A Spaceman?
07:03 Mt. Mountain – Aplomb
11:31 Meatbodies – Reach For The Sun
16:22 The Mountain Movers – I Wanna See The Sun
19:21 Thee U.F.O. – Putrefied Block
22:28 Dope Smoker – NASDAQ
27:09 Grinding Eyes – When The Night Falls
31:01 The Holy Family – Inward Turning Suns
37:05 The Myrrs – Buggy Chawnker
39:11 The Slow Voyage – Expansion
43:14 Magic Castles – Sunburst
46:29 Chainsaw Rainbow – blonde with dark roots
50:05 Mantras – Sunlight Swell
53:54 Ogua – Iyan
59:17 Swan Faucet – Wandering
1:05:48 Raw Optics – Aqua Mundo
1:08:04 The Sonic Splits – Like the Steady Flowing of a Stream
1:12:42 Cheval Sombre – Althea
1:20:22 Hooveriii – Shooting Star
1:24:24 Firefriend – Poison Tree
1:29:41 Comet Control – Secret Life
1:36:37 Shirese – The Glue Murder
1:38:54 Broken Sky – California
1:41:41 Goat – Queen of the Underground
1:47:36 Chino Burga – Meditación

My picks for the best albums of 2021:

My picks for the best EPs and singles of 2021:

My picks for the best EPs/singles of 2021:

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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