Carly Fisher is a James Beard Award nominated journalist, essayist, and author. Her first book "Easy Getaways in the Hudson Valley & Catskills," was released this past April, followed by the launch of her latest project, The Weed Witch, a journal devoted to edibles, escapism and esoterica. She is the former edibles columnist at Merry Jane, a cannabis astrologer at Leafly, and a regular contributor at GQ. For this week’s Weedsday playlist, she shares five songs on heavy rotation that take you from Brian Eno to ABBA to Dinosaur Jr.
1. Dinosaur Jr - Freak Scene
After being trapped in my apartment for the past few months where time has become its own construct of a painfully low depression pit that even weed couldn't fix, I found myself missing garage rock shows specifically because I had way too much pent up energy. Then I remembered all the times I stood cross-armed straining my neck to see behind the sea of towering men and realized I was OK with enjoying the song in the comfort of my own home.
I went down a bit of a nostalgia trip and remembered this song after coming across the most adorable photo of J. Mascis playing music with his son. It reminded me of the last time I saw Dinosaur Jr. in 2016 at Coney Island, which was right after I broke my foot. I ended up getting a shirt, lighter and saddling up in the nosebleed section drinking a beer and smoking cigarettes. They were opening for Jane's Addiction, and J was wearing this neck brace, which made me feel like we were kindred broken bodied spirits. The whole venue and show was really poorly orchestrated where they saved all the flashy lights and AV for Jane's Addiction, so the performance felt like a warm up hosted in an empty Costco and I could tell he was supremely annoyed because the audio was so shitty.
By the time Jane's Addiction went on, I didn't really want to stay because I came for the Dinosaur Jr. show, though I caught a glimpse of Dave Navarro's abs, which are still present, and their backdrop was still backed by younger replicas of hot babes of the Carmen Electra kin. I got a hot dog and walked along the boardwalk where there were rows of guys with souped up motorcycles. I guess the whole thing really was a mishmash freak scene that embodies modern Coney Island.
2. Arthur Russell - Make 1, 2
Last summer, I spent a couple months in a small town in Ireland where I listened to Arthur Russell again after a long break. I had just submitted my manuscript for my book, threw all my shit in storage and decided to go live out of a suitcase while trying to figure out what I wanted to do next. It was really weird writing about cannabis at that time, because I was six hours ahead of New York and 10 hours ahead of California, so I felt really disconnected from everything that was going on and kept having horrible communication issues with everyone.
The internet is different there, so it was kind of a lonely and frustrating period. I didn't really get what was going on with the memes or what "Hot Girl Summer" was and so I had to forge my own sense of place. During the day, I would often smoke a joint and then try to go for long runs along as far as my legs could carry me. One day I ended up in this really beautiful 17th century garden and estate surrounded by flora and fauna without another soul around.
It was really magical, and I specifically remember this song playing. It's strange because I had never really considered the lyrics until recently: "Someone tried to call me up/But I don't even have a phone/She could ask me what's up/But I'm waiting for your call to end." As soon as I came back, I began resenting all forms of technology and really just wanted to become a luddite immersed in print. Still working on that!
3. Brian Eno - I'll Come Running
I credit my childhood friend and goth nurse, Lindsay, for introducing me to about 90% of my coolest music tastes. My freshman or sophomore year of college, I visited her in Montreal at McGill, where we immediately smoked hash and pretty much spent the whole weekend high, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in her dorm room and most of our spare cash on shitty beer, record shopping and karaoke. At the time, we were both on a really big '70s glam rock phase with a heavy Roxy Music rotation.
If you're not familiar with Brian Eno, one thing to know about him is that he's a complete genius: "An art school graduate who cannot read music and has little skill playing it, he relies on a deck of oracle cards he developed with painter Peter Schmidt, his 'Oblique Strategies,' for advice to get him out of situations, although he decided that they more often got him into trouble" according to MIT (who loves the shit out of him, by the way). His whole body of work is rooted in experimentation, processes, and abstract thinking, which to me, is the epitome of why I use cannabis in my own creative practices. It's also just a great song if you don't want to get that granular about it.
4. Björk - Venus As A Boy
Pretty much any Bjork song is really fun to watch and listen to when I'm high — or not. I'm stupidly romantic and always daydreaming, even as a grown ass woman. When I listen to this song it just reminds me of the excitement of having crushes that utterly consume you. It's easy to forget what it's like to be enthralled by the prospects of love and infatuation, which is why I enjoy this song that amplifies the inherent sensitivities I appreciate in men that society often shoves down as a result of antiquated ideas of toxic masculinity. This song is so poetic and really tickles my cerebral cortex.
5. Abba - Chiquitita
This was the year of divorce and break ups. If you found love this year, it was in a hopeless place —congrats! I was healing from my own heartbreak and sense of loss, and spent many hours crying over this beautiful and uplifting song. It just has the sweetest little melody; a soul song rooted with so many perpetual truisms. I guess everyone has their own breakup song (one of my best friends swears by White Snake's "Here I Go Again On My Own") but this one always tugged at my heartstrings with a wave of optimism whenever I felt sad, scared, embarrassed or uncertain.
"Chiquitita, you and I know/How the heartaches come and they go and the scars they're leaving/You'll be dancing once again and the pain will end/You will have no time for grieving/Chiquitita, you and I cry/But the sun is still in the sky and shining above you/Let me hear you sing once more like you did before/Sing a new song, Chiquitita/Tryonce more like you did before/Sing a new song, Chiquitita."
Man, I just really love the shit out of ABBA's Voulez-Vous album and could listen to that on repeat forever.