By Akira The Don on Friday, May 2nd, 2014

What a beautiful, heartfelt jam this is. Super joywave video too. Ace on a hoverboard.

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— By Akira The Don on Friday, May 2nd, 2014

By Robert Core on Thursday, March 13th, 2014

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Rock and roll minus marijuana equals Cliff Richard. If that’s what you want, what are you even doing here? It’s a little more complicated than that of course, so in this post we’ll take a look at how the noble plant has influenced musicians across the years.

Early Daze

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Perhaps, around 30,000 years ago, Og the caveman chanced across a small weed bush and thought, “Ooh – herbs! I shall add that to tonight’s mammoth pie.” By midnight he was ripped to the Palaeolithic knackers, and had fashioned a rudimentary trumpet out of a length of tusk. By 2am he’d invented a kind of proto-jazz, and by 2.15 he was hungry again. By the following Tuesday he’d worked out how to grow his own marijuana from seeds.


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What we do know is that the recorded history of music and dope starts in 1930’s America, with jazz musicians like Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway. Armstrong was looking at six months inside for possession at one point, until the judge turned out to be a fan. He was free and playing in a club later that night. Jazz musicians found that smoking fatties improved their perception of how they were playing to the point where they were able to improvise freely over the top of whatever was written down; weed literally “jazzed up” the original tunes.

No Fun

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People were having too much fun, goddammit, so it was time for the government to step in and crack down, which has obviously worked so well in the intervening years that certain US states have given up in the War On Wastedness. Anyway, the next major milestone allowed rock and roll, which was ready to die of blandness in the early 1960’s, to be reborn. Bob Dylan met the Beatles in a hotel room in August 1964. He just happened to be in possession of some eye-wateringly powerful tetrahydrocannabinol, conveniently rolled into smokable form. Paul McCartney’s thumbs have not stopped being aloft since then.


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Before having their minds turned upside down by Dylan’s devilish doobies, The Beatles were releasing “nice” songs like All My Loving. Shortly afterwards we got all the chords in the world in Help! (1965). Things became increasingly weird (partly due to the increasingly naughty nature of the chemicals the Fab Four were ingesting) culminating in Sergeant Pepper (1967) via Tomorrow Never Knows, from Revolver (1966). The youth of an entire planet was officially corrupted. Hoorah!


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Things were also turning strange in the Caribbean. Fast, jumpy ska music had been mellowed into long, lazy, loping reggae by the madness that is reefer. Bob Marley and Peter Tosh sang of the joys of herb, and the vibes filtered through to white boy rock music, some of which was excellent and some of which necessitated the invention of punk, to blow away some cobwebs.

Do. Or Do Not

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These days it’s rap artists like Snoop who are keeping the, er, “torch” alight. Heroic quantities of pot have turned the Dogg into Snoop Lion, apparently christened thusly by a Jamaican rasta priest. Snoop Lion’s songs “No Guns Allowed” and “Smoke The Weed” exemplify his new reggae direction. These days, governments are beginning to realise that people who want to smoke, do. People who don’t, don’t. There’s little or nothing they can do about it.

(Images courtesy of stonerdays.com, wikipedia, spclarke.com, ultimateclassicrock.com, juantadeo.com, wikipedia, mtviggy.com)

— By Robert Core on Thursday, March 13th, 2014

By Akira The Don on Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Yo this is awesome. Going on Hancock’s logic I’m in  the abusive stage right now. MAN WAS ON THE CHEESE! YESSS!



— By Akira The Don on Sunday, June 30th, 2013

By Akira The Don on Friday, January 4th, 2013

From Smithsonian:

One of the chief arguments for the legalization of medicinal marijuana is its usefulness as a pain reliever. For many cancer and AIDS patients across the 19 states where medicinal use of the drug has been legalized, it has proven to be a valuable tool in managing chronic pain—in some cases working for patients for which conventional painkillers are ineffective.

To determine exactly how cannabis relieves pain, a group of Oxford researchers used healthy volunteers, an MRI machine and doses of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Their findings, published today in the journal Pain, suggest something counterintuitive: that the drug doesn’t so much reduce pain as make the same level of pain more bearable.

“Cannabis does not seem to act like a conventional pain medicine,” Michael Lee, an Oxford neuroscientist and lead author of the paper, said in a statement. “Brain imaging shows little reduction in the brain regions that code for the sensation of pain, which is what we tend to see with drugs like opiates. Instead, cannabis appears to mainly affect the emotional reaction to pain in a highly variable way.”

As part of the study, Lee and colleagues recruited 12 healthy volunteers who said they’d never used marijuana before and gave each one either a THC tablet or a placebo. Then, to trigger a consistent level of pain, they rubbed a cream on the volunteers’ legs that included 1% capsaicin, the compound found that makes chili peppers spicy; in this case, it caused a burning sensation on the skin.

When the researchers asked each person to report both the intensity and the unpleasantness of the pain—in other words, how much it physically burned and how much this level of burning bothered them—they came to the surprising finding. “We found that with THC, on average people didn’t report any change in the burn, but the pain bothered them less,” Lee said.

This indicates that marijuana doesn’t function as a pain killer as much as a pain distracter: Objectively, levels of pain remain the same for someone under the influence of THC, but it simply bothers the person less. It’s difficult to draw especially broad conclusions from a study with a sample size of just 12 participants, but the results were still surprising.

Each of the participants was also put in an MRI machine—so the researchers could try to pinpoint which areas of the brain seemed to be involved in THC’s pain relieving processes—and the results backed up the theory. Changes in brain activity due to THC involved areas such as the anterior mid-cingulate cortex, believed to be involved in the emotional aspects of pain, rather than other areas implicated in the direct physical perception of it.

Additionally, the researchers found that THC’s effectiveness in reducing the unpleasantness of pain varied greatly between individuals—another characteristic that sets it apart from typical painkillers. For some participants, it made the capsaicin cream much less bothersome, while for others, it had little effect.

The MRI scans supported this observation, too: Those more affected by the THC demonstrated more brain activity connecting their right amydala and a part of the cortex known as the primary sensorimotor area. The researchers say that this finding could perhaps be used as a diagnostic tool, indicating for which patients THC could be most effective as a pain treatment medicine.

Read more:

— By Akira The Don on Friday, January 4th, 2013

By Akira The Don on Tuesday, June 5th, 2012


Smooth shit right hurr.

— By Akira The Don on Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Friday, May 25th, 2012

It was fifteen minutes into the domestic flight from San Francisco to LA that I remembered some kids gave me some weed and I’d put it in my bag and forgotten about it. I decided not to worry. What’s the point? I drew some comics and investigated the magazines. It was only a short flight.

So short in fact, I didn’t even get to read all of the crazy in fight shopping magazine, that sells ancient-ass things like Vinyl To CD converters for $400, skeleton gnomes and amazing creations like “The Travellers Bed Bug Thwarting Sleeping Cocoon”, yours for a mere $79.99. It took longer to get out of the airport than it did to fly there. LA has little in the way of public transportation, so I got the “Shuttle” which is in fact a six seater taxi driven by a sardonic cabbie that takes multiple humans to their multiple destinations for a mere $25 each. Naturally I was last, which was excellent as I got a guided tour around the posher bits of LA, along with the most hilly and treacherous, narrated by a nice Jewish lady from Brooklyn, who informed me she could tell from looking at me that I was evidently a great musician, that I had a good energy, and that it is important to drive through cute areas as often as possible. “If your areas are cute, your life is better,” she philosiphised, enthusiastically.

Eventually I was alone with the sardonic cabbie, who proceeded to tell me his life story, which involved a lot of child support payments and two years in jail waiting to be deported. Eventually he was not deported, but if he ever leaves the country he will not be allowed back in, and now resides “in a big hot prison forever, spending all my money on that fucking bitch.”

He dropped me off outside Wade’s place in Hollywood, where I was greeted by a very friendly and excited concierge, who had a similar life story, but a sunnier outlook on it. “Shit, I’m just happy to be here,” he said. “Your buddy Wade is great people. It’s exciting to see him doing his thing, you know? They have amazing parties here. Amazing girls. Just to be around that gives me hope, now I’m back in the game. It’s a blessing, you know?”

Wade met me at the door of his vast and luxurious penthouse apartment wearing a baseball cap and a very serious tan, both signs of his thorough and enthusiastic Americanization. He made us meatballs and spinach, because he is still a proud half Swede, and filled me in on what he’s been doing in the past 10 months, since he got his Visa. Mostly he’s been running a successful and super trendy new nightclub, DJing, acquiring a tan, dating a parade of aspirational females, and getting into baseball caps.

I woke up to a somewhat homerian and inspirational 360% panoramic view of Los Angeles. Then Mocky came and picked me up, and took me on a tour of his new stomping ground. A former Berlin resident and underground scene captain along with Chilly Gonazles and Taylor Savy, Mocky recenty spawned, and relocated with his young family to the Golden Coast, for which he is its single most enthusiastic proponenrt. Mocky loves LA, he loves his new life in LA, and he was generous enough to share some of that with the visiting Don.

After a few entirely lovely hours spent munching on Tacos, sightseeing, smoking medical, and listening to the next Mocky LP – dystopian futuretronica spliced with a big wedge of TurboGFunk and Saskamodie‘s lush melodies and instrumentation – we sat around Mocky’s kitchen table to write a song. Less than an hour later, we had written a song. BAM!

It’s a Californian joy anthem, obviously. Lyrically it concerns my recent CA adventures, and the existential nature of putting oneself in the postion to experience Adventure. Mocky recorded me singing it over his FM radio instrumental into his phone, in the futuristic fashion. We’re going to record it properly either tonight or tomorrow.

That night Wade took me on a tour of some of his hangouts, including the notorious Chateou Marmont, a beautiful and opulent castle upon the hill, that was populated only with chain smoking young ladies, as the men had all fled like rats when the electricity briefly went an hour before our arrival. A tall blonde female, excited by my similarly bleached mane insisted on having her photo taken with me. This happens quite a lot here. The photo thing and the tall thing. God knows what they feed them.

After that went went to Wade’s joint, Smoke And Mirrors, which is a very beautiful and classy place with an atmosphere enforcing low ceiling and a goddamn PIANO. I sipped on bourbon and met all manner of interesting mofos, including some super safe anglo japanese half brothers, one of whom turned out to be local producer Rex Kudo, who shared a pair of expertly constructed medical sticks with the interloping british rap star, creating a nice trippy level of brain fluidity with which the young Don wrote some excellent raps in his wife’s Sony Xperia.

Cultural Differences Observation #257: American yoghourt is upside down.

Yesterday Wade took me down Melrose, where I copped some very fly garms, and observed a wealth of cultural glory, like that Wild Things graffiti above, and this My Little Pony gallery.

Wade and I shared a milkshake. “There’s nothing gay about two grown men sharing a milkshake is there?” enquired Wade. ”No, it’s maddeningly attractive,” said Twitter.

Here’s Wade doing some work. Wade’s work outside the cub seems to involve wandering around in a wifebeater making excitable noises into a telephone and occasionally looking contemplative.

When the dark drew in we went for a very delicious and fulfilling Mexican (PINCHES TACOS!), then he DJed at his club and I danced in the DJ booth and wrote about three songs worth of raps. It was Model Night, wherein by some queer magic a disproportionate mass of attractive young womenfolk fill the place to capacity and throw themselves around excitedly to Wade’s Kim Carnes and Snoop Dogg and James Brown records, while the roughly five menfolk that managed to get past security attempt to ply them with buckets of champagne.

Tonight I am told will be “more avante garde… some dudes in wigs and girls on rollerskates.”

I am going to go see the homies Fat Tony and Tom Crus first, as Mr Tony just hot me on G Chat and invited me to this shindig they’re playing tonight at the Broadway Bar. I will  wear my fly new hat. Look at my fly new hat! It is so choice. I also found the flyest shoes I have ever seen today. I am worried to take them back to London as everyone that sees them will commit immediate suicide out of sheer envy. But they are too beautiful to leave here, damnit.

Oh yeah, Wade and I constructed a desk this afternoon, like we used to back when we lived together and got all our stuff from the local Ikea… apart from the plants which we stole from rich neighbours under the dead of night. Such a manly feeling! Making a desk that is. Plant stealing was very fun and exciting though. We almost got caught one time. Oh god! One time we stole a stone owl, and put it on a plinth in the middle of the garden, then one day we woke up and it had make up on. We never did find out what the hell that was about, but we took it as a bad omen, and didn’t linger much longer in that place. It was far too nice for our hedonistic young selves. The last song on Unkillable Thunderchrist is about that period of my life. I will dedicate it to our neighbours, who were surprisingly tolerant and forgiving.

— Friday, May 25th, 2012