September 3, 2006

Audible Althouse #64.

After a two-week hiatus, I've done a new podcast.

I talk about reality and unreality, song lyrics that might be about drugs or religion (like "Crystal Blue Persuasion"), the life of the mind and conspiracy theorizing, how the 1960s transformed America and me, how my parents savored the adult life (it had something to do with Playboy), why the students today don't do anti-war demonstrations, how Alan Turing and Kurt Gödel killed themselves, they way you might know but not know that the food is tainted, and whether you'd rather hear a writer tell you what he's really like or have him cook up his loathsome characteristics into a tasty piece of fiction.

Stream it right through your computer here. But the crystal blue listeners subscribe on iTunes:
Ann Althouse - Audible Althouse


Stephen B. said...

...and all was right with the world.

XWL said...

While thinking about songs with hidden 'drug' or 'god' references, My Boyfriend's Back by The Angels was playing.

I heard the song with new ears, suddenly it was so clear that this song was about the end of the great occultation of the Mahdi.

'My Boyfriend' is really the Hidden Imam, and when she sings in that snotty way, 'and you're gonna be in trouble' clearly she is admonishing the non-believers to repent and convert before it's too late, cause the Mahdi is 'going to save my[her] reputation', along with the souls of all those that believe.

Who knew the writers of that song, Robert Feldman, Gerald Goldstein, and Richard Gotterhe, were such devout Mahdaviat.

As far as druggie songs go, usually if a song is meant to suggest a particular drug (whether implicitly or explicitly), the song should in some way reflect the experience of taking that drug. Therefore Crystal Blue Persuasion couldn't be a song devoted to a stimulant like Meth.

The slippery timing of Bebop was influenced by the time slippage associated with heroin. The thumping disco beat was perfect for Coke. All that 'serious' head music of the 70s was made for Quaaludes and pot (or were Quaaludes and pot made for that music?). 90s rave music was shaped by E. And without psychedelic drugs, there is no psychedelic music. And don't even get me started on beer and polka music.

Yet most of the artists who found temporary inspiration in a drug, also found personal destruction. Reading good books can be equally inspirational to song, and much less destructive.

Ann Althouse said...

Excellent! I think all songs need to be tested this way. And I'm back to thinking "Crystal Blue Persuasion" is about LSD.