Everyone knows that music sounds better on drugs, right? Right. Sure, some drugs make music sound better than others, and some music is better suited to particular drugs. I can’t imagine a heroin user sitting back, shooting up and slapping on the latest happy hardcore vinyl, for example, but in general, music and drugs are regarded as an excellent combination.
A very similar improvement in my appreciation of music [compared with art] has occurred with cannabis. For the first time I have been able to hear the separate parts of a three-part harmony and the richness of the counterpoint. I have since discovered that professional musicians can quite easily keep many separate parts going simultaneously in their heads, but this was the first time for me. Again, the learning experience when high has at least to some extent carried over when I’m down.
Since there’s such an obvious synergy between good music and good drugs, I thought I’d put together a littler series of posts reviewing some music that I reckon is essential to listen to while high. I’m not sure yet how it’s going to work — it might be single album recommendation, the odd collection of awesome tracks or focusing on one particular genre. I’m also not sure how frequent posts in this series will be. I’ll try to keep them pretty regular, but other more important stuff might crop up. I’ve created a new Music On Drugs category for these posts though, so they’ll all be in there.
This is the first post in that series, but today I’m not going to be suggesting any music — there’s a lot of preparation work to do before that!
Getting Your Shit Together
Before you can get the most out of your music, you’re going to need to spend a bit of money. Your auditorium (bedroom) needs to not only sound good, but also be comfortable and look great too. Luckily, you don’t need to spend a fortune to really improve the atmosphere.
This is important — you can’t get stoned sitting on a bar stool, so get yourself some kind of massive bean bag or reclining chair if your bed isn’t suitable. You’ll want to be lying down so you can just focus on what you’re listening to.
If the only lighting options in your room are having a harsh energy saving bulb either on or off, then consider getting some other lighting before we begin. You can spend hundreds on amazing lighting technology, or you can get yourself a red light bulb for a couple of quid. Here are a tonne of options roughly ordered by price:
If you play music through your computer, you might want to get yourself some great visualisations for whatever media player your using. I’d recommend G-Force.
You can NOT listen to any of the music I’ll be reviewing through shitty little PC speakers or built-in laptop speakers. You might think that they’re fine because you can hear all the words to your favourite Afroman song, but you are wrong. Luckily, you can get some adequate speakers for under £50. So long as you’ve got a subwoofer (or sub; a giant speaker who’s job is to pump out the kind of bass that’s inaudible through laptop speakers), you’ll be OK. I’d recommend these Logitech X-230 speakers, which will plug straight into your PC or laptop.
Great, so you’ve got some speakers. Now you need to arrange them so they sound good. First pick out where you’ll be sitting to listen to your music, then arrange the left and right speakers symmetrically in front of you. Next, put your sub on top of a blanket or something. This will stop vibrations from the sub travelling through your walls or floor. Not only will this make the bass sound better, but it also won’t piss off the neighbours anywhere near as much, so you can turn it up even louder. Finally, make sure your speakers aren’t buried away at the back of your desk behind a load of crap. If sound waves have to navigate past old crisp packets, unpaid bills and ounces of weed, then the sound quality won’t be as good. If you’re going to spend the money on decent speakers, I’d also recommend actually buying (or at least illegally downloading) the music talked about. YouTube quality will not do it justice.
You’ve got at least a week to get yo’ shit together. In the mean time, here’s some more from Carl Sagan: