We’re excited to get the Culture Blender site off the ground and bring you content about the music that enriches our lives. Hopefully this offers an outlet for you to find something that enriches your life as well.
We figured in honor of the high holiday, today would be no better time than to introduce our debut installment of our bi-weekly Cannabis Cuts playlist because few things are quite as symbiotic as music and Mary Jane. We’ve selected 20 of our hand-picked, road-tested, toke favorites and written about why we think they’re top notch candidates to lift you to higher spirits:
“Wakin on a Pretty Day,” Wakin on a Pretty Daze, Kurt Vile
MC: My personal favorite track by indie rock’s current king of sleepy, stoned wisdom feels like one of the shortest nearly ten-minute tracks I’ve ever laid ears on. This psychedelic-folk guitar epic breezes through its lengthy run-time and the title is incredibly on-point as the perfect track to bask in the sunshine to along with good company and a good spliff.
“JBS,” Star Stuff, Chaz Bundick Meets the Mattson 2
MC: This absolute psych nugget off 2017’s overlooked collaboration between Chaz Bundick (Toro Y Moi) and jazz duo The Mattson 2 is loaded with guitar tones and riffs that feel like you’re watching a desert sunrise – not a bad way to do some mental traveling while sheltering in place. Also the Mattson 2 hail from Cardiff, so big shout out to them for representing San Diego music in a way that shows we have more to offer than white guys who play reggae!
KG: The ending of “JBS” explodes out of a brief psychedelic respite, giving us a faint impression of what the Beatles might have sounded like if they time travelled to modern psychedelia.
“Summertime,” Begin Here, The Zombies
KG: “It’s summertime/And the living is easy”, one of the smoothest lines in music history, was popularized in the 90’s by Sublime. But this rendition offers its own summer motif, pairing Colin Blunstone’s haunting voice with a sauntering keyboard that leaves listeners calm as could be. Enjoy this toke track on a sunny porch, and let the living be easy.
MC: Damn…I thought Lana Del Rey invented that line.
“Liquid Sunshine,” Kpm 1000 Series: Voices in Harmony, John Cameron
MC: This song is proof that occasionally Spotify’s Discover Weekly can work a little bit of crate-digging magic for you. Written by composer, John Cameron, who worked primarily in scoring film and TV, this three-minute instrumental is as smooth as they come. Kick your feet up, relax and enjoy some peak psychedelic lounge music.
“High Time,” Workingman’s Dead, Grateful Dead
KG: Haha! You actually thought we were gonna make a 420 playlist without any Dead songs. That would be like leaving Joe Pesci out of an Italian mob movie… you just don’t do it, you fuckin’ jackass.
“Desert Raven,” Gentle Spirit, Jonathan Wilson
MC: Had the pleasure of discovering this modern flag-bearer for the Laurel Canyon sound when he played this song while opening up for Tame Impala who were touring behind Lonerism back in 2013. Then, I only knew him as “the guy who opened up for Tame and sounded like jam-band Tom Petty,” but ever since, he’s gone on to produce two Father John Misty albums, play the role of David Gilmour in Roger Waters’ Us + Them Tour, and maintain a reputation as one of LA’s premier musicians. How’s that for a resume?
KG: Stellar resume, someone find this man on LinkedIn.
“Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder),” Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys
KG: Fun fact: besides Brian Wilson, no other Beach Boys’ member worked on this song. It is a tremendous composition, highlighted by a gorgeous string section, that lulls you into a cloudy haze of stoner’s paradise. Wilson’s falsetto is incredible. And to think, somehow, somewhere, Mike Love is probably trying to find a way to take credit for this song! (We haven’t forgotten Kokomo, Mike).
“Life’s a Bitch (feat. AZ & Olu Dara),” Illmatic, Nas
KG: Nas released the greatest hip hop album ever at 21 years old. I transferred out of a community college at 21 years old. “Life’s a bitch and then you die, that’s why we get high/’Cause you never know when you’re gonna go.” Hey, let me get a hit of that.
“SpottieOttieDopaliscious,” Aquemini, OutKast
MC: Those horns, those horns, my goodness those horns. I’d be hard-pressed to find a more triumphant sound than those horns emerging out of this night-ride through Atlanta brought to you by Big Boi and Andre 3000. The dubby bassline and the laid-back, psych-funk production make for a top tier track to roll the windows down to. This is peak storytelling and peak production by the greatest rap duo of all-time.
KG: This song is the epitome of cool. Didn’t think you would do my guys Macklemore & Ryan Lewis dirty like that though.
“Lady and Man,” Con Todo El Mundo, Khruangbin
KG: The amount of different ways I’ve heard Khruangbin pronounced is actually astonishing. It’s like a birthmark, everyone has their own unique version. I’ve probably botched it a thousand times. Alas, the alternating surf-y guitar riff and mesmerizing bassline on this track will be stuck in your head for days to come.
MC: Incredible track by Krangybangy.
“I’m Her Daddy,” Just As I Am, Bill Withers
MC: Spark one up for the late, great Bill Withers with this deeper cut from his debut album. The spacious percussion, jazz influenced guitar, and smooth vocal delivery make for an absolute groover.
KG: Losing Bill Withers hurt. Not many voices have been able to evoke such a wide range of emotion. Did you know that “Ain’t No Sunshine” was his debut track? Oops, here is one of the greatest songs ever written. This dude was TALENTED from the get go. Rest easy, Bill!
“If You Don’t Know Now, You Never Will,” Raw Honey, Drugdealer
MC: This slab of rose-tinted, 70’s soft-rock perfection comes from one of the most consistent songwriting projects of the last five years. True to Michael Collins’ project’s namesake, these songs sound like they were written by a guy who dealt weed to Carole King and Harry Nilsson in exchange for pop songwriting secrets.
“Down by the Seaside,” Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin
MC: Ever wondered what a Neil Young song would sound like done by Led Zeppelin? Probably not, but this track from their phenomenal double-album Physical Graffiti was written with Young’s influence in mind. A song about the simple joys and peace of mind of being next to the ocean, this makes for one of Zeppelin’s more calming and melodic tracks. Coupled with the underwater-sounding tremolo effect on Page’s guitar, this is some tasty ear candy for the stoned soul.
“Rolling Stoned,” Sketches of Brunswick East, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard / Mild High Club
MC: Rolling STONED, Mild HIGH club…is this too on the nose? Either way this little ditty features two modern favorites of the psychedelic world teaming up for a meandering and trippy interlude.
“Farewell American Primitive,” Mature Themes, Ariel Pink
KG: Ariel Pink makes very eclectic music. Instrumentation, lyrics, vibe. There is a 15 second interlude in the middle of this song that presents itself as the perfect opportunity to pack your bowl to the brim, in preparation for the ripper of a guitar line that finds its way nestled on the other side.
“I’m Glad,” Safe as Milk, Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band
KG: Captain Beefheart pulls at the heartstrings. He’s glad about the good times, and you should be too. Enjoy a wonderful, stoney, 4/20 wherever you are and remember that the Magic Band will always have your back.
MC: This one’s an absolute belter. Who ever thought a dude named Captain Beefheart would have so much soul?
“Speaking Gently,” IV, BADBADNOTGOOD
KG: Jazz saxophone. Psychedelic keyboards. Hip-Hop drums. What do you know, this song is awesome! Toss this bad boy on once the sun goes down. Take a rip, close your eyes, and envision yourself gently drifting into a vibrant cavern of kaleidoscope colors. Pretty nice, huh?
“A Greater Love,” Heaven to a Tortured Mind, Yves Tumor
MC: Easily the most recently released track on this playlist, this track off Yves Tumor’s fantastic new album drifts along coated in a funk and psychedelic sound that sounds like Yves has been possessed by the spirit of Prince. If you dig this track, I’d highly recommend giving the full album a go.
“Cadet Limbo,” The Ooz, King Krule
KG: Am I floating through space? Is that Princess Leia? Hey look, it’s my alien friend, King Krule! This soundscape is a brooding daydream through the cosmos, and Krule’s muffled growl is your pilot. Max and I have been in love with the ghostly keyboard that enters at 2:52 since the first time we heard it. And by the way, how the hell did Princess Leia survive floating through space?
MC: As bizarre as it may sound, following Archie Marshall’s lead to a hazy, grimy, and dank space saloon that exists in the far corners of your mind is an experience that you’ll want to revisit over and over again.
“On the Beach,” On the Beach, Neil Young
KG: One of Neil Young’s many epics, “On the Beach” yearns to be enjoyed at its namesake; deeply snuggled in a Tommy Bahama beach chair, shady floral umbrella blocking the sun, baseball-bat joint in hand. Socially distanced, of course.