In honor of April 20, the legalize pot and unofficially official stoner holiday (and coincidentally my birthday) I will make a playlist accordingly. Today, I give you songs about the ganja. I don’t mean to glorify drug use, lord knows some brilliant minds were wasted being wasted, and since it’s illegal I’d never encourage you to do anything that could land you in jail (and forfeit all your cool stuff). However you know I need playlist themes, and it’s so hard to ignore the one in front of my damn face. So I give you my Stoney Davis Junior top 10.
I debated about these first few, because it seems so friggen obvious, of course you have to include Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, but it’s so cliche. To not include them is just plain rude. So here’s the first two artists to satisfy your soul. My favorites by Bob and Peter.
Robert Nesta Marley and the classic, Stir It Up, featuring very young Bob Marley and the Wailers. It’s probably impossible to listen to Three Little Birds and not feel better. My personal favorite is Redemption Song.
Peter Tosh – My favorite version of the reggae classic Get Up, Stand Up, a song that played every Sunday morning on the local ‘new wave’ music station, and brought two hours of reggae music. A show I give credit for expanding my musical horizons. It probably helped to feed my rebellious streak. I attended my first protest rally because I heard about it during that radio show. Equal Rights and Justice had such a profound impact when I heard it the first time. The simple, honest lyrics “I don’t want no peace, I need equal rights and justice” was a revelation to me.
One of my favorite record labels back in the day was On-U-Sound, Dub Syndicate was always a favorite, especially Wadada (Means Love). Who can resist the Jim Morrison + Motown + Dub beats in Stoned Immaculate
Now some will talk of Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues and a whole slew of classic rock songs. I don’t mean to harsh your buzz, maybe it’s a generational thing. I know my uncles would scream Hendrix and Black Sabbath but I’m gonna pass. My Frisbee playing dog named Toke and I will be over here listening to these tunes.
No matter which concert I go to, I seem to end up near the “interpretive dance” area. At the Dead shows, I’d go looking for the guys wearing tie dye skirts. :) I wish I could remember if in the dozen or so times I saw the dead they played this song… lol It’s one of my favorites, cause of the bass line of course. The Grateful Dead’s Shakedown Street. I had to add a few more songs after dancing around the room. My much loved Scarlet Begonias, Sugar Magnolia and St. Stephen.
It’s not music for your head if The Beatles aren’t included. Here are my favorite transcendent Beatles songs. Tomorrow Never Knows, sure it’s got a sitar, some backmasking and seems just MADE to be trippy, but what gets me every damn time is the hypnotic bass & drums. You could strip everything else in the song out and that groove would still make my eyes close and my head roll back. Speaking of great drums… A Day In The Life… I cannot resist playing air drums on this song. And lastly, possibly my favorite Beatles song, Across the Universe.
To end on I give you three songs that are so profoundly beautiful and inspired it reminds me why humans made music in the first place. To touch the divine. A pair of songs from Peter Gabriel’s album Passion. In case you wanted to hear the full album (which I often do after hearing a part of it).