When I was a young punk going for broke in a small town on the outskirts of the armpit of America, one of my favorite pastimes was getting stoned with the old timers in the neighborhood, and then kicking back while those crazy bastards told me stories from back in the day and tuned me on to music from their vinyl collections.
One guy in particular, he was probably one of the most die-hard music fiends I have ever met, not to mention a member of the Hell Angels, and an extremely well-disciplined alcoholic that would suck down a fifth of Jack Daniels every night, but he’d never take a single drink or even smoke a bowl, until after 4pm. That is what he said separated the degenerates from the true professionals, and oddly enough, his philosophies are still burned into my lunatic brain to this day -- especially when it comes to music.
Those stoner afternoons helped to transform me into a vicious music critic, one that has gone so far as to actually shun certain individuals because they may have mentioned at one time or another that they enjoyed the music of Kid Rock.
Therefore, when the editors at HIGH TIMES asked me to write a few musical recommendations for the young stoner nation, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to finally spread the word about some important music, rather than leave the job up to some clueless intern that would surely screw it up by making the piece about jam bands.
Here are five records that will undoubtedly take your toking to the next level…and perhaps even fry your brain:
Fantomas, Delirium Cordia
This record is certainly not recommended for the first time marijuana user on a personal journey to discover some level of spiritual revelation in between smoke and song. Delirium Cordia is the truest Mike Patton masterpiece: it is a psychotic, mind-altering offering of sonic paranoia that can only be found in the harshest realm of the beast, one that is best described as a rotten trip into the cutthroat intellect of Jack the Ripper.
Yet, for a nation of stoned youth, a cult of weed whippersnappers searching for something cool to get high to: this record may be too intense for you to handle on even the weakest pot.
Nevertheless, we encourage you to try it anyway.
Miles Davis, Bitches Brew
Jazz legend Miles Davis may have been destitute and strung out on brown dope for the majority of his music career, but that in no way stopped him from composing some of the finest interpretations of American stoner sounds ever to be recorded.
Bitches Brew (The Complete Brew Sessions) is over four hours of what is often described as electric jazz, and is reportedly the end result of Davis locking himself away in his apartment for months, strung out on heroin, and channeling inspiration from the music of Jimi Hendrix.
Now, this is another one of those recordings that is bound to inflict a nasty bout of cold sweats and hot flashes on the pothead wannabe. The horns hit pitches that have the capacity to collapse the spinal column and render a large majority of a person’s involuntary reflexes incapable of function… and that is sans weed.
Again, we highly recommend it.
Mr. Bungle, California
For the stoner that isn’t necessarily interested in the possibility of reaching the breaking point of their delicate psyche, but still has a sadistic curiosity to push the limits of their buzz, well, allow us to introduce you to Mr. Bungle.
While the previous two records on this list have the power to trick a person’s perception and make them believe they are getting more stoned the more they listen, the California record will actually get you higher. Even though we have not seen any clinical studies that suggest this to be a documented fact, we believe Bungle tunes have a way to infiltrating the mind, and those that listen are as close as anyone has ever come to achieving the eternal buzz.
It also worth mentioning that Bungle’s other two records, the self-entitled Mr. Bungle and the cult classic Disco Volante, are worth checking out…both for different mentally unstable reasons.
Be warned: Getting too high and listening to “The Bends” featured on Mr. Bungle’s Disco Volante may result in you swallowing your tongue. Trust us, we know a guy!
Pink Floyd, Meddle
It might seem cliché to include a Pink Floyd record on a list aimed at recommending music for stoners, but this mellow masterpiece deserves to be included because it seems that only the true die hards have any knowledge of its existence.
Now, while this record may not have had the commercial success as other popular Floyd classics like Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall, this record offers something special for the stoner that their radio hits don’t have: a 20-minute epic called “Echoes.”
In fact, after you get cartooned faced on the best weed your city has to offer, go ahead and skip ahead to the last track on this record - “Echoes” -- and somewhere around the 11:18 mark, prepare to be catapulted into full-blown sonic schizophrenia.
Side Note: Remember to blink and swallow…very carefully.
The Melvins, Tres Cabrones
The newest record to find its way on this list of stoner hits is the latest from The Melvins called Tres Cabrones, which upon translation we discovered means -- “We are the epitome of stoner rock, if there exists such a ridiculous genre, which there doesn’t, so go fuck yourself” -- or “Three Bastards” for short.
Don’t worry about finding just the right spot in this record to start feeling the effects of its power, just fire it up and never let the smoke clear.