The Beatles left Liverpool for Hamburg in August of 1960. By the end of the 39 weeks they played there on four trips from 1960 to December 1962, Beatles biographer Mark Lewisohn estimates, the band played about 1,110 hours. On one trip to Germany, the band played 415 hours in 14 weeks.
That's a dream job for a bunch of teenagers. But it was still hard: The early Beatles' shows were raucous, and they didn't like to repeat themselves on stage. Lewisohn's new book -- Tune In, an engaging, detailed narrative of the Beatles from before birth to the eve of their big break in 1963 -- offers revelations as to what helped the band with this exhaustive work schedule: prellies, an upper that has since been removed from the market.
Are ravers the modern day hippies? There are plenty of parallels, from the flower imagery to the PLUR mentality. Then, of course, there's the idea of using drugs as a path to enlightenment. (Or at least, amazing vibes.)
But when it comes to drugs there's a key difference: The hippies were safer. From their weak-ass pot to their LSD, their preferred recreational drugs were less likely to kill you.
Today is a big day in the history of weed, with Colorado becoming the first state in the nation to have legal recreational marijuana. All across the Centennial State, fluffy buds twinkling with crystals are being loaded into swirled glass pipes and sparked in celebration. There is no pretense of medicine. People are getting stoned, as they have for years, but now it's legal under state law.
Coloradans and the rest of Marijuana America are smoking some of the best nugs in the history of ever. This is pot that's been lab-tested, groomed, pruned and doled out in a sterile room. This is the kindest bud. Today is a high point for weed. But it's a damn shame no one smokes schwag anymore.
See also: Hip-Hop's 25 Best Weed Songs
Even experts need to kick out the jams while they cook up the rock
Where there be drugs, there be songs. The Velvets will rhapsodize their smack, Redman will tell you How to Roll A Blunt... musicians just can't help writing odes to the junk that messes 'em up. But where is the Meth songbook? The charts aren't exactly packed with serenades to the meth experience. Maybe crystal doesn't have the same rock n' roll cache enjoyed by your cocaines and your heroins (facial scabs and bad teeth don't get you a Rolling Stone cover). But by some estimates, the speedy little crystal is America's third favorite drug (after booze and weed). So let's give meth its moment in the musical sun. We did some digging and found the 10 best songs to enjoy whenever you want to kick back, smoke rock and break very bad.
It's not officially summer until a former tween star does something that sparks outrage across the world. This summer, Miley Cyrus is making a major comeback as the source of that anger with her new single "We Can't Stop," the Mike WiLL produced, beach-friendly jam that sounds more like a slowed down and inferior version of "Party in the U.S.A." than something strikingly new from the former Disney star. While the song's sound itself is tame, it's the lyrical references that have been cause for some concern, namely the hints at poppin' Molly ("So la da da di we like to party / Dancing with Molly / Doing whatever we want") and snorting cocaine ("And everyone in line in the bathroom / Trying to get a line in the bathroom").
Ever heard of ayahuasca? It's an ancient medicinal plant that has become trendy of late.
It's not uncommon to overhear ladies at Soho House discussing their transcendental experience with the substance, which is consumed as a thick, almost chocolatey tea and comes from the Amazon, where it has been practiced as a spiritual ceremony for thousands of years. Ayahuasca is increasingly popping up in music, having been name-checked by everyone from Father John Misty to Alchemist to Ben Lee. What's the big deal?
Ultra Music Festival pummeled Miami's Bayfront Park last weekend, motivating innumerable fist pumps over thirty hours of music, but it was the brief speech by a 53-year-old woman wearing a shirt emblazoned with the letters "MDNA" that has prompted disbelief within parts of the electronic dance music community. That woman is Madonna, who as part of the scorched earth roll-out for her new album MDNA introduced headliner Avicii and incited the overwhelmingly young attendees with the question: "How many people in this crowd have seen Molly?"
In the last 20-plus years, filmmaker Kevin Kerslake has amassed a mind-boggling list of music-industry credits, not only shooting videos for Sonic Youth, Prince, Green Day, R.E.M., the Rolling Stones, but also directing the visual treatment of Nirvana's "Come As You Are" and the MTV VMA-winning Ed-Sullivan-homage "In Bloom." So it's something of a genre departure that Kerslake--who will begin working on the film adaptation of J.G. Ballard's Running Wild starring Samuel L. Jackson this spring--is the man behind Electric Daisy Carnival Experience, a feature-length electronic-music concert doc released on DVD this month and produced by EDC founder Insomniac Productions.
"I did a film back in 2000, with [Insomniac CEO] Pasquale [Rotella] on Electric Daisy Carnival, but this was all conceived as a three-part series," explains Kerslake. "This is the first attempt to really put it out to a wider audience, and to turn people onto what the scene is all about."
Many people think the scene is all about is drugs--at the 2010 EDC in Los Angeles, which drew more than 180,000 people and where this film is primarily set, a 15-year-old died from injuries related to a drug overdose and more than 100 people were sent to the hospital. Compounding EDC's negative publicity woes, there was a mini-riot at last summer's Hollywood premiere of Kerslake's film Electric Daisy Carnival Experience, which caused Regal and AMC Cinemas to cancel their upcoming national screenings. But Kerslake insists that's hullabaloo is only one part of the story, and a tiny one at that. "There are negative aspects of anything that I might endeavor to do," he says. "But I don't choose to focus on those." We spoke with him recently from the West Coast.
American Juggalo: The scene with the smoking Juggalette
Commercial director Sean Dunne brought a six-man camera crew to this year's Gathering of the Juggalos, Insane Clown Posse's annual psycho-porn amusement park, and returned with footage of predictably lowbrow hedonism: Juggalos drinking, inhaling, whoop-whooping, hallucinogenic tripping, shooting fireworks, sucking on nitrous balloons; a green-haired Juggalette too messed up on Ecstasy and vodka to get out of a car; a pregnant Juggalette smoking. Naturally, the 23-minute web doc went viral--the biggest surprise about American Juggalo was that it took someone this long to make it.
Dunne admits that he was hesitant to be so late. "When I thought of this idea it was before the Gathering last year," the Greenpoint resident insists. "The shit hit the fan last year with Tila Tequila. And it made me be like, 'God, do I want to be this guy who goes in there and does this still?'" Since he decided to be that guy, we spoke with him about getting pulled over the cops outside the Gathering, why there may be an Illinois arrest warrant out there bearing his name, and why people should give Juggalos a break.
Tomorrow night, Insane Clown Posse headlines Hammerstein Ballroom. Tickets are still available here.
Dashiki rolecall: La Otracina at Brooklyn Psychfest #1
Bootstrapped Broadway venue Party Xpo tends to specialize in punk/noise/muffled-acoustic hijinks, but this Saturday, the still kicking-and-screaming show space amusingly floats off into yoga-studio territory with the second annual Brooklyn Psychfest. A 12-hour space-jam marathon organized by Lady Bree, who's best known for her booking accomplishments at Don Pedro's, the eight-band bill of tambourines, organs and at least one sitar is either the perfect hook for a trend piece about Brooklyn's burgeoning psych scene--it's there, brah, just pull the rental figures on Enter the Void--or maybe it's a sign that our local DIY spaces can be a little more genre-porous than one might expect.