Waking up early on a Monday morning isn't always the easiest thing to do, but I'm guessing if you had a strawberry alarm clock it would at least make waking up pretty dope. While taking online classes at ASU, I took a couple modern music history classes, which turned out to be some of the best courses I had ever taken. One of the eras focused on that captivated me was the psychedelic scene of the 1960's. In a time of so much hate, this entire group of people did not judge by race, gender, age, or social status, but then again it was probably because they were all on drugs. But it made for some pretty incredible music.
The Strawberry Alarm Clock
"Incense and Peppermints"
With a name like The Strawberry Alarm Clock you know they had to be on some crazy drugs to make them think of that name. But luckily for us, their lifestyle helped create this incredible album psychedelic sounds and peaceful lyrics. The first time I actually heard one of their songs was on the first Austin Powers movie, I knew the song just from that movie but had never thought to look it up. So when these guys popped up in my assignments, it was almost like their sound had never left my memory.
These guys formed their group in the Los Angeles area in the 1960s, and of the 20 members they have had come in and out over the 50 years they've been together, six men remain strong and continue to play together. On March 18th, they actually had a 50 year anniversary concert which they headlined to celebrate this historic album. Incredible to think that these dudes are still going strong after all these years.
The album is only 30 minutes long, but it makes for the perfect length for a car ride to work to get your mind in a more peaceful state. The album was named after the hit song "Incense and Peppermints" which is a hit that you have probably unknowingly heard in your life. It was a Billboard #1 hit at the time and it remained their biggest hit over their years together. The lyrics are somewhat relatable when you can put yourself in their shoes. Incense and Peppermints are what they used when they would smoke weed, so that they could mask the smell. But the song references not only their lifestyle, but how people should be able to express themselves however they want.
Incense and peppermints, the color of thyme.
Who cares what games we choose?
Little to win, but nothing to lose.
Incense and peppermints, meaningless nouns.
Turn on, tune in, turn your eyes around.
Look at yourself, look at yourself
There are only ten tracks on this album, but they all contain the same substance that represents this era of music greatly. Songs like "The World's on Fire" and "Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow" have also found their way into movies over the years. One song that still stands out to me is one that could still be a positive influence on our people today. "Tomorrow" contains simple lyrics, that remind us that we can make it if we stick together.
Things won't be the same
Life would be a different game
But right now I am with you, and
Together we can make it through
If you like The Beatles then I can guarantee you will like this album. If you don't care about anything created before you were born then you won't like it. But I encourage you to open your mind to this music and allow yourself to fall into an alternate state of mind. These guys are pretty far out man.
Look at these dudes swag bruh lol
The land of the free and the home of the brave has been pretty cowardly lately. We got a dude running the country with absolutely no political experience, so things are pretty screwed up right now. But man, we gotta believe in us man, we all we got. With the USA in the World Baseball Classic championship, going up against Puerto Rico (A claimed territory of the USA) we have a chance to come together as a people and cheer for a common love; Baseball.
In my lifetime, I've always felt like a lot of American people are "too cool" to have pride in their country. And for most of my life, I felt the same way. We're America, we can't fail. And if we do, it was another country's fault. That kind of mentality coming from our culture just makes us look like one huge group of cocky idiots. During this WBC championship game, we have a chance to represent our country in a positive way, in a time of so much negativity.
No matter what race you are, color of your skin, age, gender, whatever, people of our country love baseball. The Great American Pastime should be celebrated as such. This is the USA's first trip to the championship game since the WBC was founded in 2005. If its really our pastime, then why haven't we won? Probably because a lot of the top tier players have seen it as a pointless competition. But its not pointless, especially since we don't have baseball in the olympics, you'd think they would want to represent this country in a special way. But this team that USA has right now shows the mentality that our citizens of this beautiful country need to have.
They have found a way to get to the championship game without even having one of top rosters in the competition. Nobody gave them a chance to even get here, but here they are. A group of guys who showed an incredible amount of pride in their country when they threw on that jersey. We need to throw on our American jerseys and get back to appreciating everything this great country has given us. YES we are in a bad place right now. YES there is an incredible amount of social, political, and financial issues that we are facing. YES we are in a war with racism, terrorism, but most of all, we are at war with ourselves. But we are still here, aren't we?
We need to come together and take pride in this nation. When you see other teams play, their countrymen come out in herds and cheer for their country from beginning until after the game is over, win or lose. We need to celebrate our country the same way. We may fail and fall flat on our face, but how this country responds in this incredible time of immense adversity will define our future as a land. If we continue to point the fingers at the issues, and refuse to fight for a better future for our country, we will fail our children who will be born into our failures as people.
I'm not a politician, I'm not a scientist, I'm not a professor, I'm just a regular dude. But I ain't no "hoe ass" and I'm not gonna give up on my country in the middle of this crisis. I will cheer for us to succeed just like I will be cheering for team USA to win the WBC championship against Puerto Rico (who is, yes a part of this country as well). So cheer for your damn country. . . But if you don't thats cool because this is a free country and you can do whatever the hell you want . . .
Here is Adam Jones making the play of the WBC
Lyrics are overrated sometimes. Whenever we listen to music, however which way we listen to it, whether it be through the radio, Spotify, Apple Music, XM, or whatever other way there is to get it now, I'm guessing more than 90% of the stuff you listen to contains some artist either singing or rapping or talking on the track. But sometimes you just tryna feel the beat and roll with it. If you're tired of hearing other people spill their problems onto a song and you're just in the mood to mob to some dope instrumentals, then this group has something for you.
Usually I break down one specific album from artists on these things, but this week I'm saying screw it because I can do whatever the hell I want. Thats kinda how these guys make me feel after I listen to their music, like You know what? Fuck the norm, I'm going this way and y'all can go that way. The Glitch Mob has brought some dope beats to the table and have revolutionized the way remixing a track should be. Originating from the Los Angeles area, their music has spread worldwide and has left their fanbase constantly anticipating the next move. Justin Boreta, Edward Ma, and Josh Mayer have taken the road less traveled into the music industry, and have created a path for others to follow.
Their music sounds like something from the year 3999 with all of the electric sounds that they have created through the use of their technology driven mindset in instrumentation. They started in 2006 playing shows locally in the West Coast areas, bringing their laptops or even multi-touch screen controllers to showcase their unique style of how the sounds are formed in their minds. They actually had an instrument created just for themselves called "The Blade" which they now use at their live shows. As someone who has seen it in person, the best way I can describe it is a giant glowing piano/808 machine with lights and buttons and turntables that all three of the artists can control. Pretty freakin dope. Josh Mayer talked about the one of a kind instrument in an interview prior to the debut.
The Blade is our new instrument that we play, which also is a set piece and a visual element. We basically built it as one giant instrument. We play The Blade. All the instruments that we play are actually customized and built into it. It also houses tons of lights and it’s all been painted with tons of texture and detail. Actually, the guys that we designed it with also built huge movie sets in LA. When it came together, it was such an amazing thing. It really represents who we are and what we’re trying to say, and it’s just a functional thing that lets us play our music the way we want to play our music.
Their discography contains multiple full length albums, mixtapes, EPs, singles, and completely unique remixes to other artists songs'. Drink the Sea from 2010 was their first full length album, which created their huge following mostly through social media and the digital community. Songs such as "Drive it Like you Stole it" and "Between Two Points" had their fanbase dancing and begging for more. My personal favorite work from them is their sophomore album "Love Death Immortality" which was released in 2014 and debuted at #13 on Billboards top 200 albums. Every single song on that album is an absolute banger, and that is pretty much the best way I can sum it up. That album alone has left myself and many others highly anticipating their next moves as a collective.
My girlfriend introduced them to me way before we even got together, and I was always like Yeah this slaps but I was never like about it ya know. But once that Love Death Immortality dropped, and then I seen them in person, it was a wrap. She's the biggest The Glitch Mob fan in the entire world, and its not even close. It's always about who introduces you to new music that really sets it apart from just a website or magazine telling you. If you're reading this, then we're probably good friends, and I'm highly recommending to you that you listen to these dudes.
Here's a sick video of The Mob using The Blade live
Who would have ever thought the best meal to go with orange juice wasn't breakfast at all? An artist who would go on to be known worldwide made one of his works together before he even had the big record deal. A mixtape that would be released to the listener for free became one of the most successful moments in his career.
Kush & OJ
April 14, 2010
Wiz Khalifa, a young artist on the rise at the time, found a way to make the perfect bridge between good music and a way of life. I remember being 18 years old at the time and in my first year of college when this came out, and I had never smoked marijuana so I couldn't exactly relate to what he was talking about. But I could still feel his happiness that he was experiencing when he made this tape through the music that was being played in my 1989 Acura Integra. So when I came across this tape the other day, it gave me that nostalgic feeling and reminded me that this work is timeless.
Twitter was created in 2006 but really started to take off around 2008-'09, and Wiz Khalifa used this as his main platform to reach his fans. As one of the first artists to use Twitter as their main way to promote and stay connected to fans, he released the link to this mixtape which led to him being the top trending topic for days straight and was number one in Google's hot-search trends. Timing was perfect as he released it one week before 4/20 so that it could be enjoyed by everyone who participates in the annual unofficial holiday for weed smokers. The first single from the mixtape was "The Kid Frankie" which was a cover of an R&B song that was number one in England, with a life is good vibe.
Ain't nothin' to a G
Let your hair blow in the breeze
Roll some bomb-ass weed
Get high, cruise out at jet speed
Do it like I do it for TV
Before I ever picked up a joint, that was my favorite track. But as I got older and was introduced to marijuana, I was able to view things from the perspective of a young man who had seen a lot of things in his life but saw even more for his own future. This tape was created for anyone who just wants something to relax and appreciate the life you have for what it is. With some deep tracks that open up his emotions to the listener, he created a window that allows us to look into the past of an artist who now has millions of albums sold and fans all over the world. The track "Still Blazin" gives us a peek into the thoughts of a young artist who just wanted to make music and chill out.
Why can't everyone just smoke like me?
Just get up out my face and lemme roll my weed
Where ain't nobody in my business, don't nobody gotta know
Lets all learn how to roll and blow it by the O
I'm here but my minds gone
As someone who has listened to this tape before even knowing what Kush was, and has also listened to it years after its release while enjoying Mother Nature's sweetest scent, I can tell you that you can enjoy this music either way. If you're tired of hearing the same style of rap music that every single rapper is using now, put this tape on and relax your mind and think about that first car you ever had and how it made you feel when you played your music at any volume and nobody could tell you to turn it down. The weed may be loud, but the music doesn't have to be to vibe out.
Here's an old video of Wiz smokin' and rappin'
Just a man trying to make the most of his time on this planet.