This was a big week for all of the humans who happen to enjoy both marijuana and music (read: all of you). Whether it was marking the anniversary of one of the world’s most beloved bands picking up pot or one of this generation’s favorite new songwriters suffering a rare cannabis-related injury — kind of — the closing week of August had a little something for everyone.
I’d be remiss to begin this, however, without first recognizing the end of a tremendous run for someone whose name you may not know but whose work you’d surely recognize. After 27 years of loyal dedication to a dying artform, Alf Clausen has been fired from his job as composer of “The Simpsons.” In an era where the long-running cartoon is one of the last shows to utilize a full orchestra while scoring each individual episode, the move was viewed as a cost-cutting maneuver by the show’s producers ahead of its 29th season premiere in October.
For the better part of three decades, the two-time Emmy Award-winning Clausen provided a rich musical soundtrack to many a smoker’s nighttime spark session. Even if you’re more of a “South Park” fan than a Springfield devotee, you can still most likely appreciate the fine work Clausen did in scoring Dave Chappelle’s stoner cult classic “Half Baked.” After facing an immediate wave of angry backlash from their loyal fans, Simpsons showrunners announced that Clausen would indeed still have an “ongoing role” on the show going forward.
So, yeah, they just don’t want to pay for a full orchestra every week when they can have somebody score the show from an iMac. Take some much-deserved time off to stop and smell the jazz cabbage, Alf!
This past week marked the 53rd anniversary of The Beatles discovering their love of the devil’s lettuce, which means people have been simultaneously smoking marijuana, listening to The Beatles, and smiling for well over a half-century. That unto itself is something to celebrate, but the manner in which Liverpool’s finest initially came upon cannabis is the icing on their bread pudding.
In August of 1964, after finishing up a show, The Beatles headed to their suite at the Delmonico Hotel in New York City. The group was introduced to fellow future rock icon Bob Dylan, who immediately sent someone for “cheap wine” before asking the Fab Four if they wanted to share a joint with him.
Ringo Starr, unaware of the universal “Puff, Puff, Pass” mantra of smoking with friends, finished the entire joint. Dylan promptly rolled another.
“I don’t remember much what we talked about,” said John Lennon of the infamous smoke sesh. “We were smoking dope, drinking wine and generally being rock’n’rollers and having a laugh, you know, and surrealism. It was party time.”
A few years ago, a Marijuana.com forum contributor asked other members of the community which Beatles songs they loved to play while smoking. There were a ton of responses, so I decided to compile the most frequently mentioned songs into a playlist for everyone to enjoy at home. May I suggest pairing the playlist with a nice Strawberry Kush?
Rising superstar SZA is in Ctrl of her own destiny now that her phenomenal debut album has hit the streets, but that doesn’t mean she always has a grip on reality.
SZA arrives at Chelsea’s SIR Studio on a recent Tuesday evening with a plastic baggie full of weed, a black eye, a cell phone photo of her new gun, and a buzzing, electric energy that borders on mania. About the black eye: “I fell out of a treehouse. I couldn’t hold the blunt and the rope at the same time.” About the gun: “The world is scary. I’m a gun-toting, weed-smoking American. ‘Cause multiplicity. It’s a human right.” And about the mania: “Jesus, I haven’t slept yet. My flight [from L.A.]was this morning at 6am. Sleep is a funny concept, it’s like, ‘What is that?’ I can go days without sleep.” Soon she’s passing a joint among her bandmates and somehow managing to only get more manic. “I’m not gonna remember anything I said to you,” she tells me, convincingly. “If I say anything crazy, just be like, ‘Bitch, calm down.'”
You killed your album and are in the middle of a huge nationwide tour, all while participating in field interviews and radio segments every day — go ahead and smoke that whole joint by yourself. Doesn’t being rich and successful mean that everybody in the squad gets to roll personals? You don’t need to calm down, just avoid trying to smoke blunts while you do physical activities that require both hands — namely ones that take place high off the ground.
British Grime artist Stormzy and American singer Kehlani try to stay one step ahead of the authorities as they operate their cannabis business of questionable legality in the video for “Cigarettes & Cush.”
Last night on Tom Scharpling’s “The Best Show,” David Crosby made a surprise call to the station and quickly found a way to spice things up. During the call, which you can hear at the 11:30 mark of the episode, Crosby admits that the dumbest thing he ever spent money on was “five dollars worth of pot in the Village…[which was]an envelope full of oregano.”
LCD Soundsystem released a 13-minute instrumental track to tease their long-awaited upcoming American Dream album, though the brand new “pulse (v.1)” won’t appear on the new set. That’s enough time to have an entire smoke session with one song playing. Find your perfect strain pairing and bless me with it in the comment section or on Twitter if you would be so kind.
Fans who had been waiting for Lil Uzi Vert to release the sequel to his breakout 2015 project Luv Is Rage finally got to unleash Uzi’s signature shoulder bop to some new music this week. One track on Luv Is Rage 2 stood out in particular, as it featured stellar production and other-worldly vocal contributions from Pharrell Williams. The infectious “Neon Guts” exemplifies the prismatic vibes both artists put out constantly, never being caught without a huge grin and a wildly colorful ‘fit. Plus, all my blunts have neon guts, too.
Have you heard of Brockhampton, yet?
The stars of Viceland’s “American Boyband” show have had a blistering release schedule this Summer, unleashing Saturation II this week not even three months after its predecessor. The sequel arrived to rave reviews from fans and critics alike and even offered some elite-level bars for the smokers out there. Ameer Vann, Brockhampton’s street rap savant, can be found dropping swaggy weed quotables on pretty much every song, though he and fellow lyrical wonder Dom McLennon really shine on “Gummy” and “Sweet.” Go listen to both albums, watch all the videos in their catalog, tell your friends you found them on your own during a deep internet dive, and take all the credit.