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‘Acid Eater’: Incredible, ultra-psychedelic marbles
08:19 am



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.


More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Short animated film depicts the agony of alcoholism
07:35 am



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.


Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
This Leonard Cohen show was going badly until he dropped acid
05:28 am



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.

“So Long, Marianne”:

After the jump, the end of the Jerusalem show…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
The Electric Kool-Aid Architects: Astounding, lysergic Iranian temple photography
06:42 am



Nasir al-mulk Mosque. All images © Mohammad Domiri
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.

Aligholi agha bath—Isfahan

Ceiling of Alighapu
More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Feeding ‘Fear and Loathing’ to Google’s Deep Dream software
03:59 pm



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.

Here are the nightmarish results… Heavy meta!

Via Gizmodo

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Getting high with my AK-47: Massive blunts that look like guns and other weapons
07:33 am



AK-47 blunt lit up
AK-47 blunt

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.
Revolver blunt
Revolver blunt

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.
Double barrel shotgun
Double barrel shotgun blunt
Double barrel shotgun blunt
Sawed-off shotgun blunt
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
The Grateful Dead guide to dealing with a bad LSD trip
12:24 pm



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.”

For a larger image of the guidelines, click here.

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.


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.

via Death and Taxes

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Cocaine In My Brain’: The greatest cocaine anthem of the ‘70s is NOT by Eric Clapton
06:26 am



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

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Robert Mitchum gets busted for ‘reefers,’ making weed seem hip to middle America
07:19 am



The cops were hiding in the bushes outside a bungalow at 8443 Ridpath Drive, peeking in the windows scoping actress Lila Leeds in her scanties having her hair styled by her roommate, dancer Vicki Evans. The cops, Det, Sgt, Alva Barr and Det. J. B. Mckinnon were working on a tip-off that tonight there was gonna be a reefer party with some big name Hollywood bad boy whose arrest would deliver them kudos down the precinct and a shitstorm unto the Studios.

The LAPD was being squeezed to crack down on the drug use rife among the Hollywood’s boho cognoscenti. Every two-bit actor and lounge room muso was getting high on some kinda illegal DOPE. This had to be stopped, it was sending out a bad influence on middle America.

Lila Leeds was bottle blonde perfection, the sort of girl who left men drooling. She was pitched as the next Lana Turner, but being pitched as someone else is never the same as being pitched as yourself—it meant you were a copy and a copy is always expendable. Add in a few cat fights at the Mocambo and an accidental overdose to her resume and Lila knew she was on her last chance to make it big. Then she met Robert Mitchum—tough handsome Bob Mitchum with the sleepy-eyed look that gave girls goosebumps. Lila figured with Bob things might just be on the way back up. Mitchum was in a temporary split from his wife—she’d moved back east with the kids leaving Mitchum to his own devices in Hollywood—working hard and making the most of his time alone.
‘It’s a bust!’: Mitchum and Leeds arrested.
September 1948, Mitchum was out house-hunting, getting the tour from part-time friend and real estate agent Robin Ford. Mitchum had seen Lila a couple of times—they’d hit it off as both liked to party, both liked to booze, and both liked to smoke weed. Mitchum suggested a reefer party some night and a date was set. Lila told Vicki about the plans. Mitchum told Ford. One of them snitched.

As Vicki fixed Lila’s hair, Mitchum phoned to say he was on his way up. Lila had two new boxer puppies who scampered out to meet Mitchum and Ford as they pulled into the drive. Lila put the puppies out on the closed-in back porch. Mitchum asked for the lights to be dimmed, said he thought he’d seen someone prowling around the bushes out front. He checked but saw nothing. Detectives Barr and Mckinnon had moved when the boys had arrived, taking up position at the back porch, just itching for the back door to be opened so they could make their arrests.

Mitchum dropped a pack of smokes on the living room table. Lila opened it up—brown and white, she said, before lighting them up. Later she recalled how Vicki Evans hadn’t taken a smoke when offered, only asking “Will they knock me out?”

Out back the pups started yapping at the cops lurking in the bushes. Vicki said she go let them in. As she opened the back door, Barr and Mckinnon burst in. Mitchum picked up a table and got ready to hurl it at the intruders. “Police officers! Freeze!” Mitchum froze. The spliff in his fingers was smoked right down and it burned his fingers. No one moved, only Vicki said, “Gee, it’s just like the movies!”
Mitchum and Leeds up before the judge.
Mitchum, Lila, Vicki and Ford were taken downtown. Their statements read as if they’d been written by a B-movie screenwriter. Mitchum supposedly said:

“Yes, boys, I was smoking the marijuana cigaret when you came in. I guess it’s all over now. I’ve been smoking marijuana for years. The last time I smoked was about a week ago. I knew I would get caught sooner or later. This is the bitter end of my career. I’m ruined.”

While Lila Leeds is quoted as saying:

“I have been smoking marijuana for two years. I don’t smoke every day. I was smoking that small brown stick when you came in. I’m glad it’s over. I’m ruined.”

Even Ford ‘fessed up to being “ruined.”

The cops were all yukking it up and back slappin’ that they caught their big tough guy movie star. This bust at the hillside “reefer resort” was going to put an end to drugs in Hollywood and the pernicious influence of bad boys like Mitchum on godly American youth. The truth though is that hardly anyone knew Mitchum smoked weed—certainly no one in the hinterlands of smalltown America had any inkling about the actor’s penchant for “reefers.”
‘Just the facts, Bob…’
As if to signal a job well done, the Chief of Police went on a fishing holiday. But it didn’t go exactly as the cops had hoped.

More Mitchum and marijuana after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Monster vibrations, snake universe hallucinations’: Allen Ginsberg endorses LSD in the Paris Review
07:42 am



In June 1965, Allen Ginsberg was interviewed by Thomas Clark for the Paris Review. Back then, to be interviewed by the Paris Review was a sign a writer had made the major league, joining the team of previous interviewees which included T. S. Eliot, Graham Greene, Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker and Truman Capote

Ginsberg was known as a poet, a key figure in the Beat movement—alongside Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs—and for his collections Howl and other poems and KaddishThough then hitting middle age, Ginsberg had revolutionized poetry and was a countercultural icon to the generation that blossomed during the 1960s, as he spoke out against war, and in favor of drugs and free love.

During the Q&A with the Paris Review, Ginsberg was asked about his use of drugs, in particular hallucinogens. As a man who saw no bar on discussing any subject no matter how personal or intimate, Ginsberg said that on hallucinogens he had visions “of great scaly dragons in outer space they’re winding slowly and eating their own tails.”

Sometimes my skin and all the room seem sparkling with scales, and it’s all made out of serpent stuff. And as if the whole illusion of life were made of reptile dream.

Hallucinogenic experiences had been “states of consciousness that subjectively seem to be cosmic-ecstatic, or cosmic-demonic.” However, his tolerance to hallucinogens (“Lysergic acid, peyote, mescaline, psilocybin, ayahuasca.”) was badly reduced and he no longer enjoyed them.

I can’t stand them anymore, because something happened to me with them very similar to the Blake visions. After about thirty times, thirty-five times, I began getting monster vibrations again.

So I couldn’t go any further. I may later on again, if I feel more reassurance.

When the interview was published in the Spring 1966 issue of Paris Review, Ginsberg wrote a letter to journal giving as footnote to the interview his regret over the “unedited ambivalence” to LSD and his endorsement for the drug.

June 2, 1966

To readers of Paris Review:

Re LSD, Psylocibin [sic], etc., Paris Review #37 p. 46: “So I couldn’t go any further. I may later on occasion, if I feel more reassurance.”

Between occasion of interview with Thomas Clark June ’65 and publication May ’66 more reassurance came. I tried small doses of LSD twice in secluded tree and ocean cliff haven at Big Sur. No monster vibration, no snake universe hallucinations. Many tiny jeweled violet flowers along the path of a living brook that looked like Blake’s illustration for a canal in grassy Eden: huge Pacific watery shore, Orlovsky dancing naked like Shiva long-haired before giant green waves, titanic cliffs that Wordsworth mentioned in his own Sublime, great yellow sun veiled with mist hanging over the planet’s oceanic horizon. No harm. President Johnson that day went into the Valley of Shadow operating room because of his gall bladder & Berkley’s Vietnam Day Committee was preparing anxious manifestoes for our march toward Oakland police and Hell’s Angels. Realizing that more vile words from me would send out physical vibrations into the atmosphere that might curse poor Johnson’s flesh and further unbalance his soul, I knelt on the sand surrounded by masses of green bulb-headed Kelp vegetable-snake undersea beings washed up by last night’s tempest, and prayed for the President’s tranquil health. Since there has been so much legislative mis-comprehension of the LSD boon I regret that my unedited ambivalence in Thomas Clark’s tape transcript interview was published wanting this footnote.

Your obedient servant


Allen Ginsberg, aetat 40

The letter was thought long lost somewhere deep in the Paris Review archives, but when it was recently re-discovered, the journal published it along with the following erratum:

The Paris Review regrets the error. May the record hereafter reflect Allen Ginsberg’s unequivocal endorsement of lysergic acid diethylamide.

Below Ginsberg reads William Buckley a poem written under the influence of LSD.

Via the Paris Review

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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