10 Songs to Celebrate 420 (That Aren’t Mary Jane)

Hello world! Efrain here from Drive All Night: The Songs of Tori Amos Podcast. Today my grandma told me weed is a gateway drug, and I had to tell her that was just empty rhetoric and all a political construct. So I decided to make* this playlist for all the stoners, potheads and recreational smokers I love dearly!  So whether you want to just lay back and zone out, or if you prefer a more intellectual high, these are the tunes for you. And remember, this playlist was meant to be listened to, so click a link below and start feeling it. Also, while you’re at it, check out our Tori Amos Podcast and please consider making a contribution to support the work we do! (*several weed smokers were consulted in the making of this playlist)

Ten Tori Amos Songs To Celebrate 4/20 (That Aren’t Mary Jane) on Spotify
Ten Tori Amos Songs To Celebrate 4/20 (That Aren’t Mary Jane) on YouTube

We start our playlist with this lush electro number from Tori’s tenth solo album Abnormally Attracted to Sin.  It’s no surprise that Tori and Matty Chamberlain know how to lay down a groove, and this is one of their grooviest. Give lays the foundation, and all you have to do is close your eyes, sink in, and absorb into it.  (Key lyric: Do I have regrets / Well, not yet)

(^^Tori learning to play a strange musical instrument)

Now that you are relaxed, let Tori catapult you into the ether. The opening track from Tori’s fifth album To Venus and Back does just that. With its tear drop drum loop, and textural feels for days, it’s likely you may never come back. (Key Lyric: lately, I’m into circuitry / what it means to be / made of you but not enough for you)

Flying Dutchman
From its iconic opening riff to a string finale that will leave you soaring, this bee side from Tori’s first album Little Earthquakes is sure to keep you high above the clouds.  By the final chorus, if you can’t look down and see the world below, you are definitely not high enough. (Key Lyric: Take a trip on a rocketship, baby / Where the sea is the sky)

Sister Janet
This bee side from Under the Pink is intellectual fodder if there ever has been any. Is it about a drug trip? An otherworldly experience? An argument can even be made that this song stems from an ayuhuasca journey (HERE). Whatever the genesis though, don’t try to figure it out now, just live in that haunting melody line for as long as you can. (Key Lyric: Master Shaman, I have come / with my dolly from the shadow side)

Smokey Joe
The sole entry from Tori’s 2007 album American Doll Posse will sink it’s venomous teeth into you as it wraps its dark, deadly arms around you. With its contrapuntal structure, dense vocal layering, and enough ambient guitar to cause more than just a little earthquake, your best chance for survival is to tilt your head and let Smokey Joe kiss your neck, nibble your flesh, and be on his way. (Key Lyric: Smokey Joe hey can you pass the pipe / you have been blessed now go be wise)

Scarlet’s Walk
For this track from 2002’s Scarlet’s Walk, we actually take our cue from American Doll Isabel. It’s no  secret that Isabel and Tori both love to pass the peace pipe (ALLEGEDLY), and this song was generally the highlight of Isabel’s set. So friends, pass the peace pipe and remember, your path is yours to carve and the land truly belongs to no man. (Key Lyric: What do you plan to do with all your freedom)

Liquid Diamonds
For those times when you have gotten so high that you’ve traveled up through the sky and back into the water, from the ocean floor side.  This cut from Tori’s 1998 album From the Choirgirl Hotel will keep you swimming forever. (Key Lyric: I’m liquid running)

Zero Point
The first song in our To Venus and Back grand climax double feature technically comes from Tori’s 2006 collection A Piano. Though it is Venus era, it took years for this song to be ready. Through its constant and evolving loose repetition, Zero Point reminds you that nothing is guaranteed and you may actually never want to come back down. (Key Lyric: I gotta way to get to you / Honey Nina in your sleep)

With a strange chord structure and a nearly incomprehensible time signature, the second song in the To Venus and Back grand climax exists in a world completely its own.  If you’re on this journey, Datura tells you, it’s one of textures and colors. A garden of sounds, no place for logic or rational thought. (Key Lyric: Dividing Canaan / piece by piece)

After orbiting the earth, we land with a sweet twinkle of the piano and a riff that suits the journey we have been on. Gorgeously phrased and sensually played, Alamo seems to know what we’ve been through and is perfect for a come down. Pulled from the recently remastered edition, this cut is a bee side from Tori’s 1996 masterpiece Boys for Pele. (Key Lyric: Heard that the stars were in order / Got yourself dealt a hand with two Queen of Spades / and blues on the way)

We can’t help but think that Tori would be so confused and maybe furious with us if we didn’t put this track from Abnormally Attracted to Sin on our list. So from our Dr tetrahydrocannabinol pure isomer dronabinol to yours, we bid you be free and smoke weed all day! Every day! (Key Lyric: She even bakes / these odd brownies)

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