Tokin’ tunes

Music and marijuana is always a classic combination. So we asked you, our devoted readers, to send us mini-reviews of the top five albums you like to hear when high.
We now present some of the best responses we have received so far. Keep those entries coming! All of the chosen music lovers will receive a Cannabis Culture T-shirt and bud grinder.

> Hard Hitters

Kyuss: Welcome To Sky Valley

The liner notes include instructions to “listen without distraction.” If David Gilmour and Tony Iommi got together with some studio time and mushrooms, they couldn’t equal the trippiness or heaviness of this album. Three tracks, 10 songs, and a weird bonus track.

Desert Sessions: Volumes 1 and 2

The beginning of a “jam metal” scene or a musical one-night-stand from members of Soundgarden, Kyuss, eARTHLINGS, Monster Magnet, and Queens of the Stone Age. More heavy grooving music from Joshua Tree, California. Worth looking for if you like a little Sabbath in your trip.

Tool: ?nima

After Metallica helped thrash metal achieve mainstream acceptance with One, there were few bands that survived the 90’s unscathed. Tool’s ?nima is to the metal world of the 90’s what Master of Puppets was to the 80’s. From the crushing Stinkfist through to the bonus track sampling late comedian Bill Hicks, it is a ride that must be taken stoned, if only to deaden the intense, sweet pain.

Mark Farina: Mushroom Jazz, Volume 1

Mark Farina spins together several jazzy songs over some relaxing beats. I played this for a friend who described this album as “music to listen to when coming back from a rave,” and I can see the therapeutic benefits, but I prefer to smoke some kind and relax in my living-room to this.

Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon

A classic album any way you slice it, Dark Side of the Moon will get you thinking about life and what’s really important.

-By Chris M, Los Angeles

Guitar wizard Carlos Santana.Guitar wizard Carlos Santana.> Dreamscape vibrations

The Moody Blues: On the Threshold of a Dream

This album is good to listen to if you enjoy a very spiritual stone. Side one begins with a cool sci-fi scene. Side two is especially well-grooved. The music kicks into a groovy jam with smooth vocals chanting, “lovely to see you again my friend, walk along with me to the next bend.” Sweet lead guitar ripples throughout, while the drum and bass train steadily steams forward. A rocking song for young and wise on side one is To Share Our Love.

Smashing Pumpkins: Gish

This album was always in my cassette player when I was 18. Now I’m 30. My point is that this album rocks, every song. Heavy guitar riffs chant ancient vibrations. The vocals cut through the sound as a separate instrument into a flowing body of light. Eastern rhythms trail throughout. This album should be in any music connoisseur’s collection.

Santana: Santana

A latin, tribal, funk, blues explosion led by guitar wizard Carlos Santana. This album is premium Santana when they were at their peak, the Woodstock stuff. “You got to change your evil ways, baby!” For those of you who have never listened to a Santana album, this would be a great place to start. It’s jazzy with the vintage synth leading the funky rhythm section while Carlos’ sweet, soft, twangy chords truck along. His leads are a guitarist’s Playboy magazine, full of beauty.

The Clash: Combat Rock

This album was one of the first bands to incorporate the Jamaican ska stylings into their own punk-influenced rock and roll. The herb was definitely an influence in the creation of this album. The songs here have a personality of their own.

The British accents confidently chant about their surroundings in London, such as in Car Jamming. Mick Jones’s alto voice complements Joe Strummer’s rough baritone, like ying and yang.

This music represents a critical period of our recent history ? the Cold War. The Clash express their political beliefs, touching on the conflict between Muslim fundamentalism and western culture. They also sing about popular cinema such as Scorcese’s Taxi Driver. It’s an even better album after a cool bong hit.

The Police: Zenyata Mendata

This album uses a lot of Jamaican music to supercharge this three-piece sound engine. Sting’s soulful voice entwines in his generous bass riff. Stuart Copeland’s percussive genius drives this machine. The guitar work complements the bass in a flowing, rocking work of art. The lyrics are full of meaning, highlighting human emotion, politics, relationships, and philosophical questions. Whenever I listen to Walking on the Moon I feel 100 feet tall.

-By Rob B, Florida

> Jazz hypnosis

Portishead: Dummy

This album is like drifting off into a smoky, sultry jazz club. The only single, Sour Times, offers a nice taste of modern Brit-pop mixed with their signature jazz stylings on guitar and drums, with DJ Geoff Barrow lending some sampling to the group, while the lustrous, sexy voice of Beth Gibbons is like pillows on your eardrums.

Pedestal and It Could Be Sweet will also put you in a state of hypnosis while you just melt into your couch and sip espresso. Anybody who loves to sit back and indulge in a good spliff and a good disc should invest in this one.

Soulive: Next

The essence of live performance is what the jazz quartet Soulive is all about. Even in their studio recordings, Soulive try to keep the same feel of a live jazz show by improvising and never succumbing to the cut and paste method in the editing room that so many artists use.

They slow it down and blues it up a bit on tracks such as Alkime and Joyful Girl ? which borrows the vocal stylings of Dave Matthews, whose voice melds into the smooth saxophone and B3 organ like it was made for jazz. Next fulfills all the needs for stoned music appreciation.

Beck: Odelay

Mixing hip-hop drum beats, slide guitar, a DJ, and anything else that comes out of his head is what makes Beck a genius at what he does, and also what makes Odelay an oddly catchy disc that is very easy to groove to, especially when you just finished a big phatty. The whole album is easily danceable and will even make your parents tap their feet. Check it out for a good disc to start off your weekend and your party.

311: Transistor

Anytime is a good time to listen to the funkalicious hip-hop grooves of 311, especially when you’re stoned out of your gourd.?Transistor, their fourth studio album, is an extra special treat to the avid 311 listener, or even someone who is just experiencing the sweet, laid back style that 311 has brought to the table ever since their induction to the music world.

The disc starts off with some tracks that old 311 fans will find easily loved, up until the midpoint when the band starts getting a little more experimental, and you could swear the band was under heavy influence of cannabis, and it makes for a nice downhill ride the rest of the CD. It will put you in the mood for the couch, and some sweet sweet chiba.

Saves the Day: Stay What You Are

This is the fourth album from the pop-punk-emo quintet. Amazing musical talent shines through as they sing songs of love, heartache, and just plain happiness, plus days gone awry and just drifting off into a better place, no matter how down you are.

This is definitely the album to listen and shake your hips to if you’re feeling blue. For a warm, bright spring day, I recommend you get this disc and go dance with a loved one in the park, on your break at work, or anytime you just want to feel great.

-By Josh P, Michigan

? Jazz, reggae, classical, rap, or rock n’ roll, whatever sounds you like to smoke to, we want to hear about it. Send your top five album reviews to our general mailing address, or email us at: [email protected].