//High Notes

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

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 |2018-09-06T15:35:53-04:00September 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 |2018-08-09T22:36:08-04:00August 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 |2018-08-09T17:04:11-04:00July 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 |2018-08-09T17:04:16-04:00June 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 |2018-08-09T17:04:26-04:00May 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 |2018-08-09T17:04:31-04:00April 2nd, 2018|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

HIGH NOTES: 9 Drug References in Lyrics You Probably Sang as a Kid

When you’re a teenager, you start to realize that a lot of the songs you liked as a kid were about sex. Then, when you reach your 20s, you start to realize many of them were actually about drugs. A lot of drug terminology can fly right over your head if you’re not a user and [...]

By |2018-08-09T17:04:43-04:00March 5th, 2018|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

HIGH NOTES: 10 Female Artists Who Reference Drugs in Their Music

When you hear the phrase “sex, drugs, and rock and roll,” you usually picture male musicians: Lou Reed croaking out the words to "Heroin" or "Waiting For My Man;" The Weeknd's famously numb face; Kurt Cobain finding God in "Lithium;" The Beatles on LSD; Neil Young's coke booger immortalized in The Last Waltz. Stereotypes about [...]

By |2018-08-09T17:04:48-04:00February 5th, 2018|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

HIGH NOTES: A Music Festival, Post-Ayahuasca

When I arrived in Mexico for my first three ayahuasca ceremonies, I had a checklist of questions to address: What repressed childhood memories were shaping who I was? Why did I hate my mother so much? Could I stop lying? What was wrong with lying if I didn’t get caught? So, I was surprised that [...]

By |2018-08-09T17:04:55-04:00January 8th, 2018|COLUMNS, High Notes|

HIGH NOTES: What Music Is Like on Every Popular Drug

Drug culture and music culture have long overlapped, from the psychedelics at 60s and 70s rock festivals to the MDMA, cocaine, and ketamine in modern nightclubs. People bring drugs to these settings not just to facilitate social interactions but also to appreciate the music on a new level. In fact, 69% of 21 to 29 year [...]

By |2018-08-09T17:05:08-04:00December 4th, 2017|COLUMNS, High Notes, Monthly Mondays|

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