Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Rita Coolidge, Doobie Lady

Singer Rita Coolidge, known for her 1977 hit "Higher and Higher," has just, at the age of 70, published an autobiography called Delta Lady.

In it, Coolidge recounts her adventures touring as a musician in the swinging 1970s, when she dated Leon Russell, Graham Nash and Steven Stills, and married Kris Kristofferson.  

She also had adventures with marijuana, starting as an art student at Florida State. "We always had a lot of weed," she writes, "which we’d decided was vital to the creative process, thanks to this guy who came through Tallahassee every year, like Johnny Appleseed, to plant pot and would tell a couple of people on campus – in the art department, of course – where it was planted."

Later she noticed that in LA, "the drug menu was shifting from pot and LSD, which put people in a sharing mood" to cocaine, after which, "People just lost their moral base. It made criminals and liars and thieves out of people who previously loved and trusted one another."

After she and Kristofferson hooked up, Rita writes about them going to Disneyland with Willie and Connie Nelson after, "As it happened, I had just baked a really nice batch of marijuana brownies...."

Of Kristofferson, she wrote, "He was a heavy drinker and loved to smoke pot." Indeed, Kristofferson was probably the original hippie outlaw country musician





 

Friday, April 1, 2016

The New Americana, High on Legal Marijuana

Coached by Tokin' Woman Miley Cyrus, ex-medical student Moushumi survived a knockout round on NBC's The Voice this week by belting out Halsey's song "New Americana" with the lyric:

We are The New Americana
High on Legal Marijuana...

The wildly popular song is from Halsey's debut studio album, Badlands, released last year via Astralwerks, Universal's electronic and dance label. The artist formerly known as Ashley Frangipane cultivated her huge following with parodies of Taylor Swift songs posted on YouTube, and by uploading her song "Ghost" to Cloud. 

Halsey, who has used the term "tri-bi" (biracial, bisexual and bipolar) to identify herself, sings she was "raised on Biggie and Nirvana," and she's been compared to Lourdes and Luna del Rey.

In the song's dystopian video, Halsey smokes joints at the appropriate lyric (shown), and is soon hauled away by gun-toting thugs who try to (literally) burn her at the stake. Pot-puffing hippies look on passively, then save her with the help of a well-timed smoke bomb. It's a pretty bold statement from one so young. Did she connect that the witch burnings kept both women and herbal medicine suppressed in the West for centuries?

Here's something really radical: the city of Coalinga in conservative Fresno County, California is taking steps to convert a prison into a medical marijuana facility. Now, that's the New Americana.