Since the 1980s, the Pogues have been fusing the tropes and melodies of traditional Irish folk music to the energy of punk rock while posing a serious threat to the continued functioning of their own and their fans’ livers, in the process releasing unspeakably awesome albums like Rum Sodomy & The Lash and If I Should Fall From Grace With God during their mid-to-late ‘80s high water mark. In a news release that should come as no surprise at all, it was announced that the band has aligned with West Cork Distillers to produce their own brand of Irish whiskey. Via The Spirits Business:
The Pogues Irish Whiskey is targeted towards 25 to 35-year-old drinkers and is said to be Ireland’s highest malt-containing blended Irish whiskey, with 50% grain and 50% single malt liquid.
The whiskey, described as having a “malty and floral” flavour with notes of mild chocolate and citrus, was developed by distillers Barry Walsh and Frank McHardy.
“We wanted to create an Irish whiskey with global appeal, which isn’t without its challenges,” said John O’Connell, co-founder of West Cork Distillers.
It may not take long to find it outside of Ireland, as the band and distillery plan to establish Pogues Irish Whiskey as an international brand. It’ll sell in the UK for £30 a bottle, which is about $45 USD, though import fees might jack that figure up a bit.
After the jump, some live footage of the Pogues from 1984…
Driving under the influence of alcohol has not always been so frowned upon as it is today. In fact, there was once a time when “too drunk to drive” referred to such a deficit of impairment, you pretty much had to be unconscious behind the wheel to even raise an eyebrow. It wasn’t actually until the late 1970s that the law started to take drunk driving more seriously, but even then the more stringent standards for sobriety were met with resistance; groups like MADD were perceived as a bunch of busybodies and spoilsports, and public opinion was slow to recognize that it took far less alcohol to compromise a motorist than previously thought. Obviously this made for a lot of goofy public service announcements!
In 1979, the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway and Safety Administration produced this little gem, which reworked the Star Wars cantina scene (complete with music) to promote the buddy system—“friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” Of course, they weren’t able to secure any major characters, but Wookieepedia informs me that the intoxicated alien is of the Talz race, while his Durosian friend keeps him safe from harm by taking the keys(?) to his YT-1300 light freighter and driving them both home.
Hear that? That is the sound of a million nerds finding plot holes in a non-canonical space opera-themed drunk driving public service announcement!
This is one of those situations where the limitations of the Internet present themselves. I really want to hold one of these incredible marbles by Mike Gong in my hand!! But I’m stuck with these paltry 2-D images…. even if they are pretty rad, they don’t do the marbles justice, I’m guessing.
Mike Gong hails from Venice Beach—big shock—and has dabbled in “flametossing” in addition to his impressive work with glass.
Gong’s remarkable marbles run several hundred dollars apiece; here’s an extensive gallery of some for sale, although most of them have already been sold.
Twelve-step programs have long achieved remarkable things using the simple technique of a single voice speaking with honesty and humility, and it is precisely this device that works so smashingly well in this animated short crafted by the production company Buck for Alcoholics Anonymous.
In “Doors,” the simple aural method of a multitude of voices detailing (necessarily incompletely) the abjectness of their situations is singularly effective, singularly moving, singularly powerful. The iconic and yet entirely fluid visuals in the short reminds me a great deal of the work of Eric Drooker, whose wordless novel Flood of some years ago evinced similar feelings of helplessness, dread, isolation, and desperation.
“I’m Justin H., I’m an alcoholic.” “I had no friends, I burned every single bridge, my family had cut ties from me, I was unemployable. ... All of those things because, you know, drinking was more important than anything else.” The snippets start out bleak but, inevitably, turn more hopeful as the narrative edges towards probably the planet’s most effective counter to dipsomania—Alcoholics Anonymous.
Just as AA meeting structurally resemble Moth storytelling gatherings, so too do these recorded clips remind one of This American Life—but so many right-thinking NPR addicts have become trained in empathizing with just such voices.
By the time the short had ended I was almost disappointed to see that it was, no matter how well executed, yes, a commercial for AA. But on second thought, that’s the best use for such a fine piece of work.
Leonard Cohen had a small meltdown onstage at the end of his 1972 world tour. Facing the audience at Yad Eliahu Sports Palace in Jerusalem, he only managed to sing the first three words of “Bird on a Wire,” falling silent when the crowd began to applaud.
I really, I really enjoy your recognizing the song, but… I’m scared enough as it is up here, and I think something’s wrong every time you begin to applaud. So if you do recognize the song, would you just wave your hand? I would really like to see you all waving your hands if you recognize the song.
I hope you’ll bear with me. These songs are kind of, uh—they become meditations for me, and sometimes, you know, I just don’t get high on it, and I feel that I’m cheating you, so I’ll try it again, okay? And if it doesn’t work, I’ll stop in the middle. There’s no reason why we should mutilate a song just to save face, but here it goes.
But the audience greeted the opening bars of “One of Us Cannot Be Wrong” with applause, too, and Cohen got ready to walk.
Now look, if it doesn’t get any better, we’ll just end the concert and I’ll refund your money, because I really feel that we’re cheating you tonight. You know, some nights, one is raised off the ground, and some nights, you just can’t get off the ground. And there’s no point in lying about it. And tonight, we just haven’t been getting off the ground. It says in the Kabbalah… that if you can’t get off the ground, you should stay on the ground. No, it says in the Kabbalah that unless Adam and Eve face each other, God does not sit on his throne. And somehow, the male and female part of me refuse to encounter one another tonight, and God does not sit on his throne. And this is a terrible thing to happen in Jerusalem. So listen: we’re going to leave the stage now and try to profoundly meditate in the dressing room to get ourselves back into shape, and if we can manage, we will be back.
Backstage, Cohen told his band and crew that the show was over and he was leaving. As Ira Nadel’s Various Positions: A Life of Leonard Cohen relates, though, all the singer really needed to clear his head was a shave, a cigarette, and a dose:
In Jerusalem, at the Yad Eliahu Sports Palace, there was pandemonium when Cohen stopped mid-performance and left the stage, agitated and in tears, saying that he could not go on and that the money should be refunded to the audience. Drugs and the pressure of performing the final concert of the tour in the holy city of Jerusalem had contributed to his state. In the dressing room, a distraught Cohen rejected the pleas of his musicians and manager to return to the stage. Several Israeli promoters, overhearing the conversation, walked out to the crowd and conveyed the news: Cohen would not be performing and they would receive their money back. The young audience responded by singing the Hebrew song, “Zim Shalom” (“We Bring You Peace”). Backstage, Cohen suddenly decided he needed a shave; rummaging in his guitar case for his razor, he spied an envelope with some acid from years ago. He turned to his band and inquired: “Should we not try some?” “Why not?” they answered. And “like the Eucharist,” Cohen has said, “I ripped open the envelope and handed out small portions to each band member.” A quick shave, a cigarette, and then out to the stage to receive a tumultuous welcome. The LSD took effect as he started to play and he saw the crowd unite into the grand image of “the Ancient of Days” from Daniel’s dream in the Old Testament. This image, “the Ancient of Days” who had witnessed all history, asked him, “Is this All, this performing on the stage?” Deliver or go home was the admonition. At that moment, Cohen had been singing “So Long, Marianne” intensely and a vision of Marianne appeared to him. He began to cry and, to hide his tears, turned to the band—only to discover that they, too, were in tears.
The concert comes at the end of Tony Palmer’s documentary of the 1972 tour, Bird on a Wire. While the full movie (which includes the shave, but not the acid-eating, as far as I can tell) is up on YouTube, German subtitles swim nauseously all over the frame. Instead, here are clips of that evening’s performance of “So Long, Marianne” and the tearful sequel.
When one thinks of the home of psychedelic architecture, Iran probably isn’t the first place that springs to mind. But here it is. It’s undeniable. Northern Iranian student Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji has recently documented the existence of these intricate structures in Iran with gorgeous HDR photographs, so incredible that the Western mind can barely grasp them.
Although these buildings seem to be tailor-made for the likes of Ken Kesey
or Timothy Leary, it’s probably best to keep in mind that any Western traveler who might suddenly decide to become one with the Universe while visiting these sites on LSD, will probably be executed immediately after it’s discovered that they’re using drugs in Iran.
So, just sit back and enjoy these rich hallucinogenic mandalas from the psychedelic Summer of Jihad in the comfort of your own home—and know that they’re out there…in Iran.
It’s hard to imagine what the intricate blueprints might have looked like for these buildings, but it’s fairly clear that the architects knew what to do with the windowpane.
Google’s “Deep Dream” artificial intelligence system works (more or less) by subjecting (I guess that’s the right word) an image to a layer of artificial neurons which will build upon certain aspects of said image (like a surface or pattern or edges or color) to turn it into something that it previously wasn’t.
So people are uploading their faces or their dog’s face or… whatever and watching them morph into something… unexpected. It’s fun. Think of it as a kind of a surrealism generator. Or an acid trip you can take during your lunch break.
But what happens when you present Google’s “inceptionism” algorithm with an actual acid trip, or at least the cinematic depiction of an acid trip? Using what’s probably the very best representation of an acid trip ever committed to celluloid, a user on Github fed this dream monster a taste of Terry Gilliam’s 1998 adaptation of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
It’s hard to tell how much actual weed master “bluntsman” ValleyRec420 packs into his blunts, but after looking through his mind-boggling Instragram, I think it’s safe to assume that it’s A LOT.
While his smokable designs run the gamut from animals like sharks and turtles, to helicopters and airplanes, I was most switched on by VR420’s collection of weaponized blunts. According to VR420 himself, his first attempt at a blunt that also doubles as a weapon was a revolver (pictured below) that looks like it was packed with about a half-ounce of the good shit.
VR420 will occasionally note how much weed (and even the strain) he packed into his fantastic cannabis creations, as well as how many “swishers” (blunt papers) he had to use for each project. The results are pretty incredible, especially when you consider that VR420’s weapons of choice are fully functional. In other words, if you got a blunt that looks like a sweet sawed-off shotgun, then you can actually smoke said sweet blunt. If this post has sent you running for your stash and a pack of old-school Tiparillos, then I highly (zing!) encourage you to paw through ValleyRec420’s Instragram.
This weekend, the Grateful Dead is playing their last shows ever in Chicago, so they won’t be needing these notably square-minded security guidelines as to how to deal with LSD, instructions that were recently “leaked” according to WAXQ-FM 104.3 radio station in New York City, also known as “the Q.”
According to the sheet, “Guests may ‘see’ images, ‘hear’ sounds, and/or ‘feel’ sensations that do not actually exist.” The flyer breaks down good versus bad experiences, with the latter, a.k.a. an “upsetting experience,” consisting of the following:
May be combative.
Pose a danger to themselves or other guests,”
Disregards the presence and personal space of other people.
Poor judgement, may misjudge distances, height, and strength.
May act on their increased sensuality (removing clothes, PDA, etc.)
Confused or disoriented to their surrounding.
Most importantly, “DO NOT TOUCH ANY GUESTS SUSPECTED OF BEING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF LSD.”
This flyer was clearly intended for security personnel and not regular concert attendees, but even so, it strikes me as a little bit judgy for a Dead show.
Interestingly, the flyer also states that you should not refer to people under the influence of LSD as “tripping”—they are experiencing “IPR” (intense psychedelic response).
I always figured that at Grateful Dead shows, they just showed everyone there President Carter’s solution for dealing with a bad trip, as embodied by Dan Aykroyd on Saturday Night Live in March 1977. Jimmy’s idea was, take some Vitamin B-complex and some Vitamin C-complex and have a beer. Then mellow out to some Allman Brothers or perhaps even….. the Grateful Dead.
There exists a rich musical history of recorded songs about cocaine use dating at least as far back as Victoria Spivey and Lonnie Johnson’s 1927 “Dopehead Blues,” or Dick Justice’s 1928 “Cocaine.” On one end of the spectrum are commendably classic tunes about nose-candy such as Johnny Cash’s “Cocaine Blues,” J.J. Cale’s (later made shitty by Eric Clapton) “Cocaine,” and Laid Back’s quirky “White Horse,” which advises the listener to ride the “white pony” (coke), rather than the “white horse” (heroin), and of course on the other end of the spectrum are absolutely dreadful blow anthems that will totally ruin your night at the club like Buck Cherry’s “Lit Up.”
Perhaps the greatest (or at least weirdest) joy-powder paean comes to us via Jamaican artist, Dillinger. 1976’s “Cokane in My Brain” from his CB 200 album is a funky slice of reggae/proto-rap, clearly recorded under the influence of—I don’t know—let’s say a kilo of the white stuff. The song’s “riddim” is based on the Gamble and Huff-produced Philly soul classic “Do It Any Way You Wanna” by People’s Choice. The refrain “I got cocaine runnin ‘round in my brain” comes from Reverend Gary Davis’ “Cocaine Blues” but the (apparently) nonsensical riddle about the correct way to spell New York:
“A knife, a fork, a bottle and a cork, that’s the way we spell New York, Jim!”
... comes from an actual Disney record!
Do go to the seven-minute mark and hit play. You will laugh:
“No matter where I treat my guests, you see they always like my kitchen best. Cause I’ve cocaine running around my brain.”
Incredibly, the song went to number one on the Dutch charts.
Here we have a video from the Dutch music program TOPPOP, broadcast in the Summer of 1977. TopPop was the first dedicated Dutch pop music TV show, broadcast weekly from 1970 to 1988. Hit songs were generally mimed by artists appearing on the show, but often times tracks were played to a dance routine by choreographer Penney de Jager and her troupe, as is the case with this particular clip.
TOPPOP choreographer, Penney de Jager
The feel of a ‘70s New York club is recreated here through a Dutch lens. The dancing seems a bit awkward, not through any fault of the talented dancers, but because the song itself is rather awkward in its coke-damaged delivery. Still, trust us, it’s an earworm you’re not likely to shake anytime soon.
A knife, a fork, a bottle, and a cork… That’s the way we spell New York