//High Notes

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

HIGH NOTES: Do Binaural Beats Produce a Drug-Like Effect?

I’m all about gaining insight from altered states of consciousness. But I’m also all about putting your body through as little duress as possible. So, I’m always interested in learning new ways to expand my mind without substances. After achieving altered states through hypnosis, breathwork, and ecstatic dance, I thought I’d look into binaural beats [...]

By |2019-01-07T17:27:28-05:00January 7th, 2019|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

HIGH NOTES: Music Videos That Will Vicariously Get You High

Sometimes, artists drop subtle drug references in their songs that you wouldn't notice unless you carefully studied the lyrics. Other times, they put it right out there, with drug-inspired imagery splattered all over their videos. If you want to vicariously experience a trip, consider these videos your pathways into the brain of someone on drugs. [...]

By |2018-12-01T15:32:25-05:00December 3rd, 2018|COLUMNS, High Notes|

HIGH NOTES: 7 Songs That Were Inspired by Acid Trips

For decades, musicians have been known to experiment with LSD to stimulate their creative process. Because of the drug's effects on the serotonergic system, people tripping on it not only experience warped sounds and images that might inspire music and lyrics but also become more open to experimenting with different styles. The result of these [...]

By |2018-11-05T16:49:13-05:00November 5th, 2018|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

HIGH NOTES: People Share Their Favorite Music-Drug Pairings

Just as some wines are meant to be paired with certain cheeses and some shoes look perfect with particular outfits, some drugs go inexplicably well with certain kinds of music. Many report that drugs enhance their music-listening experience by drawing out the meaning of the song or helping them get lost in the sound. These [...]

By |2018-10-08T17:09:59-05:00October 8th, 2018|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

HIGH NOTES: Getting High on Ecstatic Dance

Usually, when I'm in Amsterdam, my plans involve drugs in some way or another. But during my latest trip (trip as in, excursion, I should specify), I had an impending ayahuasca ceremony, and taking other drugs in the days before you take ayahuasca is not advisable. On my search for a drug-free yet Amsterdam-typical experience, [...]

By |2018-09-06T15:35:53-05:00September 3rd, 2018|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

HIGH NOTES: People Share the Most Bonkers Things That Happened to Them in Ibiza

If you're looking for an adventure involving music, drugs, or (ideally) both, there's no place like Ibiza. The Spanish island is known for its collection of famous DJs and, thanks to the Mike Posner song "I Took a Pill in Ibiza," its abundant supply of recreational drugs. Largely for this reason, many people have had [...]

By |2018-08-09T22:36:08-05:00August 6th, 2018|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

HIGH NOTES: 7 Songs That Will Connect You to the Spirit of Ayahuasca

British-Portuguese musician Nessi Gomes had an artistic awakening after living in Central America; could her work contain thinly veiled references to ayahuasca? According to traditional belief, ayahuasca is not just a powerful psychogenic substance - it's a spirit. When you ingest the Amazonian plant, "Mother Ayahuasca" scans your body and soul for places [...]

By |2018-08-09T17:04:11-05:00July 2nd, 2018|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

HIGH NOTES: This Is What Music Does to Your Brain

On October 10, 2017, I was plotting my escape from my boyfriend's squished studio apartment. Everything about it made me want to scream: the way his beard felt on my face when he went weeks without shaving, the pizza boxes he'd carelessly strewn all over the kitchen, the obnoxious Homer-Simpson-like "doh" he emitted when he [...]

By |2018-08-09T17:04:16-05:00June 4th, 2018|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

HIGH NOTES: 6 Ways to Make a Music Festival Exciting Without Drugs

When I first started going to music festivals, drugs were among their main appeal. Then, my body started telling me it couldn’t handle drugs like it used to, so I had to get creative. Over several sober weekends, I developed methods to preserve festivals’ excitement without the illicit substances. That’s not to say, “Don’t do [...]

By |2018-08-09T17:04:26-05:00May 7th, 2018|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

HIGH NOTES: Music Can Completely Alter the Course of a Trip

I’m in a living room overlooking the water in Vinkeveen, The Netherlands, surrounded by a dozen people tripping on ayahuasca, when the ceremony’s leader approaches my bed. “This song is for you,” she says. “I’m being guided to come to you.” She sits down in front of me and looks into my eyes as Libby [...]

By |2018-08-09T17:04:31-05:00April 2nd, 2018|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

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