//High Notes

The first Monday of every month, we explore the connection between music and drug culture.

HIGH NOTES: An Acid Trip on a Third Date, in Music

J and I met on Tinder and developed a relationship equal parts unconventional and beautiful. Our first date was vegan food and a late night beach walk, our second was mushrooms, and our third, perhaps the richest with meaning, was acid. J had a few hits left over from a prior trip, which he was [...]

By |2019-11-04T16:01:43-05:00November 4th, 2019|COLUMNS, High Notes|

HIGH NOTES: 7 Songs About MDMA, Because It’s MDMAzing

Madonna in an MDNA era shoot by fashion photographers Mert Alaş and Marcus Piggott. MDMA has long been closely intertwined with music. It's many festival and nightclub-goers' drug of choice, and for good reason: it has a way of making every song sound infectious and every flashing light look vivid and brilliant. It's [...]

By |2019-10-04T14:32:55-05:00October 7th, 2019|COLUMNS, High Notes|

HIGH NOTES: 7 Songs About Heroin, Because It’s Not So Passe

Heroin is not a drug you fuck around with. It is not a drug you joke about. But it is a drug you can sing about — and one that many people have sung about, in fact. From 50 Cent to the Rolling Stones, here are some songs shedding light on all the different dimensions [...]

By |2019-09-09T12:38:19-05:00September 9th, 2019|COLUMNS, High Notes|

HIGH NOTES: Can Music Calm Your Nerves Before Surgery?

I was a week away from getting LASIK to correct my near-sightedness when I caught wind of a recent study on the use of calming music before medical procedures. The University of Pennsylvania researchers found that soothing music was just as effective as sedative medication to reduce patients' anxiety. They studied 157 people about to [...]

By |2019-08-06T11:16:17-05:00August 5th, 2019|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

HIGH NOTES: 7 Reasons Panic! At the Disco Are Unsung Psychedelic Rock Icons

Having analyzed how LSD influenced The Beatles, my understanding of psychedelic rock music may appear sophisticated. But I have a confession to make: my favorite psychedelic rock band is actually Panic! At the Disco. Yes, you heard me right. I just called Panic! At the Disco a psychedelic rock band.  This discovery started my freshman [...]

By |2019-07-02T03:13:53-05:00July 1st, 2019|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

HIGH NOTES: 7 Songs About Cocaine That Will Make It Hard to Feel Your Face

When you think of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, cocaine is probably at least one of the drugs you think of. Celebrities, musicians included, have a reputation for snorting coke at their Hollywood parties, as well as in their daily lives — and they’re not afraid to sing about it. Here are some of [...]

By |2019-06-03T08:52:36-05:00June 3rd, 2019|COLUMNS, High Notes|

HIGH NOTES: Healing With Sound and Cacao

Two weeks ago, I was checking out a yoga class in Ubud, Bali when the sole other student observed that I kept tripping on steps. "Not a good step day for you, huh?" he asked. We got to talking, and I asked what he did. "I help people find their life purpose." "Sounds like something [...]

By |2019-05-06T14:46:23-05:00May 6th, 2019|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

HIGH NOTES: The Sound of Iboga

“This life is just a dream. It’ll be over in the blink of an eye. Remember who you are. Remember what you are.” Omkara’s “Remember” filled the dimly lit, sand-colored living room of my Venice Beach apartment. I was on the cusp of a discovery, or perhaps a rediscovery. The following day, I’d hop on [...]

By |2019-04-04T07:50:35-05:00April 1st, 2019|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

HIGH NOTES: How to Return to Your Life After a Wild Festival Weekend

A weekend of partying at a music festival may leave you feeling like the human equivalent of these overflowing Glastonbury trash cans. Most people don’t spend music festivals worrying about how they’ll feel after all the shouting, head-banging, and (if you're into that sort of thing) drug use is over. That’s something you [...]

By |2019-03-19T13:39:13-05:00March 4th, 2019|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

HIGH NOTES: Why Drug Testing Works — and Why More Festivals Don’t Do It

An at-home drug testing kit available via DanceSafe If you grew up in the US, you probably heard “say no to drugs” in middle school health class, but you probably didn’t learn how to reduce harm if you did use drugs. And, chances are, you didn’t follow DARE’s advice. The majority of American [...]

By |2019-02-25T20:38:50-05:00February 4th, 2019|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

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