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Pretty tunes with sour, disassociated lyrics: a conversation with Jazz Butcher and Gentleman Adventurer Pat Fish

First let me say I’ve been a fan since Bloody Nonsense came to my attention as a teenager in 1986. “Caroline Wheeler’s Birthday Present”, in particular, made a huge impression. An album called Big Questions ended up becoming my favorite, and your latest, Last of the Gentleman Adventurers was a real work of art and […]

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With respect

A woman Harry knew had once asked Baba Ram Dass, a Harvard-trained LSD psychologist turned hippie guru who’d written a book called Be Here Now, what unified consciousness would look like, or something like that, and his answer had been something like billions of points of light on some kind of technological grid with terminals, […]

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20 % Amnesia

Which is better, friendship or wealth? Which has more value, love or kindness? Is wisdom stronger than happiness? Asking yourself these three was supposed to induce the mind’s natural questioning process and enact a more harmonious relationship with money as a medium of exchange, according to an email I received. I wanted a better relationship […]

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Smoking T with the Beat Generation in Denver

Address delivered at the Internat’l Church of Cannabis, Denver, 10/19/2018 On the Road by Jack Kerouac was published in 1957, detailing events in the author’s life ten years previously, bringing something called the “Beat Generation” to national awareness. The Beat Generation was composed of male and female writers from all over the country, expanding out […]

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Dark times pass: a conversation with Lisa Marie Basile

Lisa Marie Basile has worked as a creative writer in poetry and prose, an editor for multiple venues, and a journalist, on both sides of the page, in unlike styles, bringing something of herself to each role. “I’m so fortunate to have been able to work creatively in my personal and professional life, for the […]

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The devil’s advocate of Denver: Don Becker remembered

I met Don Becker when he was in his forties and I was in my late teens trying to revolutionize the Denver spoken word scene three or four times a week as Henry Alarmclock. Kids even younger than me liked his stuff: “Don Becker was the first one to make me think poetry readings were […]

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Pop Psy Ops & Fake News

Broadcast news is increasingly paid for, less and less objective. More people are turning to the social media landscape, a new Wild West where memes compete for attention, to get a reliable sense of the times. Truth and lies are equally abundant, obviating their former distinction. A common motif in this territory is unexpected drastic […]

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Not the kind of animals you think

Time is speeding up. American cultural configuration has evolved to the degree that old-style counter cultural behaviors no longer have cultural impact outside the microcosm. I met a lot of creative writers and musicians at the weekly variety show I hosted in Denver a few years ago. Some of the younger ones had no apparent […]

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Johnny Strike on CRIME, the San Francisco punk scene, and more

Having kicked off in the late sixties on the East Coast, with bands like the Stooges, the stateside punk wave came to San Francisco late, circa 1976. One of the standouts was a band called Crime, one member of which, Johnny Strike, relocated for a good spell to Tangier, Morocco, and has distinguished himself as […]

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Passage and healing with entheogens

An entheogen (meaning, literally, “generator of the divine within”) is a psychoactive substance – including peyote, psilocybin (mushrooms), uncured tobacco, cannabis, ayahuasca, Salvia divinorum (diviner’s sage), Tabernathe iboga, Ipomocea tricolor, and Amanita muscaria – used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual context for healing, transcendence, and revelation in a ritualized context for thousands of years. […]