A while back, I wrote a short list of trippy little activities that you can try paired with a mind-motivating strain. Of course, there are plenty of other things you can pair with cannabis, and my favorite activity is to turn down the lights, turn up the stereo, and listen to music specially chosen for the evening.
For me, that’s mostly popular music. (And J.S. Bach.) But I don’t limit myself to what’s popular right now. Listening only to what’s selling today (as this is written, the big artists are The Weeknd, Drake, and Fetty Wap) is like only reading the first page of a novel. There’s so much more to experience!
What I’m going to suggest here is for you to treat your mind and give a listen to music that was good a long time ago and is still good today. The recording quality of some of the cuts is indicative of the times during which they were recorded. Keep in mind it’s the music that has withstood the test of time. And, of course, you don’t have to alter your consciousness in any way to thoroughly enjoy them (although should you want to, there are plenty of strains to choose from).
I have a zillion suggestions, nearly all of equal merit, but I’m going to include only a few here, from diverse genres, to get you started. If you like what you hear, I encourage you to begin your own journey of discovery.
All the Things You Are – Artie Shaw
This great Jerome Kern song includes at least one chord built on every note of the 12-tone scale. Jazz players love it and have made it part of the standard repertoire, perhaps to rub it in the face of lesser musicians. Here it’s played by a guy I consider the Jimi Hendrix of clarinet, Artie Shaw, with vocals by Helen Forrest.
Kentucky Waltz – Don Rigsby
Great pop songs are sometimes popular only within a certain genre. But nearly all share common characteristics such as whistle-able melodies and heart-touching lyrics. Such is certainly the case with this Bill Monroe classic. It is a marvelous example of the “high lonesome sound” that characterizes the best bluegrass. This rendition, by Don Rigsby and Midnight Call, is enthralling in its high level of musicianship and superb singing.
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered – Ella Fitzgerald
One mark of a great pop song is the number and caliber of artists who cover the tune. The list is long and illustrious with this 1940 Rogers & Hart number. I'm particularly drawn to the Ella Fitzgerald interpretation she performed at the Chicago Opera House.
Friday on My Mind – Easybeats
All hail the one-hit wonder. This irresistible little confection is wonderfully filigreed with clever, fast chord changes and marvelous backup singing.
Una Furtiva Lagrima – Enrico Caruso
It could be argued convincingly that the world’s first entertainment superstar was Enrico Caruso. He was the first person to sell a million copies of a recording (in 1904) and was a global celebrity. This was all before television and even the popular adoption of radio. "Una Furtiva Lagrima" is a true classic — enjoy!
I Only Have Eyes for You – The Flamingos
“Haunting” is the best word I can use to describe this great pop song. Its timelessness, peculiarity, and beauty make it one of those rare tunes that could serve equally well as a soundtrack to a peyote-fueled dream quest in Joshua Tree as to a first date at Mel’s Drive In. Shhbop, shhbop.
What are some of your favorite classic songs to play during your cannabis sesh? Share your picks in the comments below so we can build the ultimate playlist!
While you wait for the songs to roll in, try these three silly (and fun) activities to motivate your mind: