Oregon wasn't the first state to legalize marijuana, but maybe that's because we were too busy making heavy, trippy, funky or otherwise mind-expanding music to remember to mail in our ballots. Some of that music (especially in Eugene, where Sublime cover bands rule the day) is just awful. But here in Portland, the smoke seems to seep into just about every album we make, often with very listenable results. Here are some Portland records with an exceptionally stoney streak.
I Am the Fun Blame Monster
Portland trio Menomena hit the ground running on its debut album in 2003, but there was still some tightening to do, which means that I Am the Fun Blame Monster (an anagram for "Menomena's first album") has some weird musical tangents that seem designed exclusively to fuck with totally ripped listeners.
Stoniest track: "Strongest Man in the World," a manic, piano-led banger with a dub fetish and plenty of sexy man-on-man harmonies.
The local MC drops plenty of references to getting high on Future Classic, but it's the hypnotic production that will really appeal to sativa-soaked listeners looking for summer jams.
Stoniest track: "All or Nothing," a stream-of-consciousness rap from the perspective of a narrator staring at himself in the mirror, spread out over some freaky jazz-fusion beats.
The Dandy Warhols,
Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia
You probably think you hate the Dandies, but if you get high enough, the band's blend of shoegazey production, British Invasion catchiness, and Burt Bacharach arrangements all starts to make sense.
Stoniest track: "Nietzsche," a near-formless, six-minute space jam that feels more like a soundcheck experiment than an actual song.
OK, Rastamerica isn't a particularly weed-centric record, but Madgesdiq's music is a hybrid of hip-hop and reggae, so the target demographic is pretty much stoners.
Stoniest track: "Burn Fyah," a song about getting high exactly when you wanna, which recalls KRS-One's "Sound of da Police."
Illa Killa Yellow Space
The only album on this list that features pan flute, thanks to doob-loving local multi-instrumentalist David "Papi" Fimbres, and Jesse Munro Johnson's excellently weird Boomarm Nation label.
Stoniest track: Opener "Glacial Palms," which is a crazy mix of electronica and traditional Peruvian music.
You can't kick a Hacky Sack without hitting a stoner-metal band in Portland these days, but this genre-spanning 2002 release from Agalloch is a particularly ambitious entry point for the aspiring metalhead.
Stoniest track: "In the Shadow of Our Pale Companion," a 15-minute epic replete with Spanish guitar and spooky, whispered vocals.
Ruban Nielson has a third eye tattooed on his neck (hard not to stare), and his excellent band is what classic rock might have sounded like if the hairy dudes behind it had shown a little restraint once in a while.
Stoniest track: "Faded in the Morning," a funky riff-rock tune overdubbed with laughing-baby sounds.
Accept No Substitutes
The band that taught the world there were black people in Portland came out extra-skunky on 1976's Accept No Substitutes, and you can bet the album is being blasted in some hotboxed North Portland (or deep East Portland, the way things are going) man cave at this very moment.
Stoniest track: "Theme for the Moonchild." 'Nuff said.