Podcast 2022.12 No Room For Squares

Two hours of psychedelic/stoner/garage rock tracks that have all been released in 2022. The tracks in this episode come from Europe, the US and Canada, and one track from Australia, “Dark Patterns” by Night Rites. One of the most notable tracks featured in this episode is a collaborative effort between an American band, the Striped Bananas, and the Ukrainian band Nameless called “Newest Age Man”. A few weeks ago I did an episode of Turn Me On Dead Man where I focused on garage, stoner and psych bands from Ukraine, and “Newest Age Man” was released just after I posted that episode. Nameless works with the charity foundation Musicians Defend Ukraine which directly helps Ukrainian musicians and artists who joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces in response to the Russian invasion.

Another notable track in this episode is “Invisible Hammerblow” by Mienakunaru–notable because it comes from the compilation We Love You Junzo. In February Suzuki Junzo fell from a train platform in Tokyo and that resulted in some serious injuries. He’s in a rehabilitation hospital now and is unable to tour or record music. We Love You Junzo is a benefit for Suzuki Junzo to support him financially but they also call it a “giant get well card”. Mienakunaru is a collaboration between Junzo and Mike Vest with Dave Sned on drums. I played a track by Mienakunaru on an episode of Turn Me On, Dead Man last year.

The last set in this episode opens with “Montjuic” from East and West Rendezvous, a group of musicians from Edinburgh, Scotland, who played an improvisational set drawing on spiritual jazz and psychedelic rock. Listening to this got me to thinking about an experience I had recently in the parking garage of Walmart in Washington DC. My feelings about Walmart are complicated, I guess you could say. A few years ago they built four stores in DC and they’ve genuinely been positive additions to the neighborhoods they chose. Still, it’s Walmart and I probably wouldn’t go there except that my teenage daughter loves shopping there. I bought her a mirror and I was having trouble getting it into my car. If you ever happen to be in the parking garage of the Walmart on Georgia Ave in Washington, DC, one of the first things you’ll notice is that it’s really hot–I mean the ventilation must be terrible–so I’m always anxious to get out of superheated noxious Walmart fumes. I was really getting frustrated trying to get this mirror into my car and this guy just appeared out of nowhere with a clipboard. I’m not sure what he said but all I said to him was “Whatever it is I’m not interested” before noticing he was wearing a T-shirt that said “Love Thy Neighbor.” I’m usually not rude to people but I was having a difficult time. He was nice about it and went away, and, of course, I felt shitty about it after that. There’s very little chance that he would hear this, but I’m playing the track “Montjuic” by East and West Rendezvous as a sort of message of atonement to the universe for being rude to someone who probably just wanted to tell me the good news.

00:40 The Mango Furs – Seeker
04:17 Night Rites – Dark Patterns
08:33 Melting Palms – Orchard’s Lie
14:18 The Striped Bananas & Nameless – Newest Age Man
18:18 Mienakunaru – Invisible Hammerthrow
22:03 The Dry Mouths – Den-Dro Sum
25:34 Birds Flying Backwards – Surrender to The Void I, II & III
30:11 Abronia – Night Hoarders
36:10 Golomb – Western Threshold
39:55 JIRM – Liquid Covenant
46:48 Dialing In – Blooming Wire
54:54 Acid Barretts – Heartlock
57:45 Vanishing Trace – Pierce My Brain
1:02:51 Bad Liquor Pond – Painted Daisies
1:05:51 Thee Mean Reds – Vessel
1:10:58 Underground Mountains – In Search of Highs pt. 1
1:16:52 Shane Hartman – Presence
1:23:10 East and West Rendezvous – Montjuïc
1:35:43 Sendero Luminoso – Sacred Bones
1:41:30 The Spanish English Dictionary – Hard To Find
1:45:31 Floating Witch’s Head – 911
1:47:59 Omaha Haze – Snow White Ferocity, Snow White Feral City (only setuar)

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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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