John Coltrane Was the Second Coming of Jesus Christ

If you ever want to commune with God, listen to A Love Supreme with complete and undisturbed attention.

The shrill passion, intensity, resolve, and grandiosity may take your spirit to celestial heights. “Acknowledgement,” the first part, orients us to the common blue-ness found within every being of humankind. The nebula of harmony. “Resolution,” the second movement, is the fusion of stellar nuclei throughout the cosmos. “Pursuance,” the third part, an urgent call to divine consciousness. “Psalm” is a final, ineffable musical interpretation of spiritual text.

Call me a romantic, but I must say that John Coltrane is the closest figure we’ll ever have to Jesus Christ in the modern world.

Upon one interview, Coltrane identified the calling of every man and woman as growing into the “best good you can be.” Self-actualization, the uppermost piece of Maslow’s hierarchy. What Coltrane did, however, was live this experience through music. He certainly didn’t live the ultimate righteous life, but he produced music that’s a miracle every time it’s played.

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After Coltrane’s death, a congregation called the Yardbird Temple in San Francisco began worshiping him as God incarnate.

A Love Supreme, a divine response to LSD

A Love Supreme was released in January of 1965. At this time, LSD use was on the rise. In 1966, Timothy Leary stated that LSD could be of benefit to mankind, and could even cure homosexual “perversions.” Counterculturists were turning to the experimental substance to find God. A behavior that Buddha himself advised against.

John Coltrane created A Love Supreme to connect with the mysterious and divine through a way that doesn’t require chemical alteration: through harmony.

Again, Coltrane wasn’t the emanation of righteousness. God knows he did his share of heroin and LSD. But Coltrane was a savior in times of spiritual confusion. He provided the medium that was there all along, but needing the right arrangement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

No musician (since Beethoven) ever presented harmony in such a way that evokes universal brotherhood so resonantly. The music from A Love Supreme was purely inspiring. It was what the entire world was needing in order to advance existentially. But, like the Gospels, many will go through an entire lifetime with experiencing a single exposure.

A Moral Decline

Coltrane later went on to produce the album Om and other bouts of cacophony. With his increasing drug use, his sense of beauty deteriorated. He died in 1967. The 1980s came later, and it seemed that the general population of America lost sight of what is beautiful and transcendent as well.

What do we have now? Crack cocaine, the grave of Leonard Bernstein, Scientology, methamphetamines, bro-country, and Rob Kardashian.

What do we have to get through it? A Love Supreme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the epic spiritual poem from the album (performed musically in “Psalm”), both in visual and text format:

Source: Ramsey Castaneda

A Love Supreme

I will do all I can to be worthy of Thee, O Lord. It all has to do with it. Thank You God.

Peace. There is none other. God is. It is so beautiful. Thank You God.

God is all. Help us to resolve our fears and weaknesses.In you all things are possible.Thank you God.
We know. God made us so.Keep your eye on God.God is. He always was. He always will be.
No matter what… it is God.He is gracious and merciful.It is most important that I know Thee.
Words, sounds, speech, men, memory, throughts,fears and emotions–time–all related…all made from one… all made in one.
Blessed be his name. Thought waves–heat waves–all vibrations–all paths lead to God. Thank you God.
His way… it is so lovely… it is gracious.It is merciful–Thank you God.One thought can produce millions of vibrations and they all go back to God… everything does.
Thank you God.Have no fear… believe… Thank you God.The universe has many wonders. God is all.
His way… it is so wonderful.Thoughts–deeds–vibrations,all go back to God and He cleanses all.
He is gracious and merciful… Thank you God.Glory to God… God is so alive.God is.God loves.
May I be acceptable in Thy sight.
We are all one in His grace.The fact that we do exist is acknowledgement of Thee, O Lord.Thank you God.
God will wash away all our tears…He always has…He always will.
Seek him everyday. In all ways seek God everyday.Let us sing all songs to God.To whom all praise is due… praise God.
No road is an easy one, but they all go back to God.
With all we share God.It is all with God.It is all with Thee.
Obey the Lord.Blessed is He.
We are all from one thing… the will of God…Thank you God.
–I have seen ungodly–none can be greater–none can compare Thank you God.
He will remake… He always has and He always will.It’s true–blessed be His name–Thank you God.
God breathes through us so completely…so gently we hardly feel it… yet,it is our everything.
Thank you God.
ELATION–ELEGANCE–EXALTATION–All from God.
Thank you God.

 

Amen.

                                                
John William Coltrane
 (1923-1967)

Three-Word Reviews of 51 Performers

1. Jane’s Addiction 

Phenomenally wild time.

2. with NiN

Poor show outdoors.


3. Iron Maiden

Best metal show.


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Alice Cooper

4. Alice Cooper

Classic and wonderful.

5. with Warrant,

Not really recommended.

6. Slaughter,

Not very memorable.

7. and Dokken

Very good performance.


8. The Decemberists

Incredible Heart cover.


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9. Stanley Jordan

Mesmerizing guitar tapping.


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Ron Carter

10. Ron Carter

A classy time.

11. Deep Purple

Rocked socks off.

12. with Dio

Band was tight.

13. and Motorhead

Amped my testosterone.


13. Judas Priest

Had crowd going!

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Rob Halford of Judas Priest.


14. Talib Kweli

Not too shabby.


15. KISS

Gimmicky but rocked.


16. Neutral Milk Hotel

Dream come true.


17. The Black Crowes

Could’ve been better.

18. Ms. Lauryn Hill

Late but great.

19. with Common

Freestyle was amazing.

20. B.B. King

An entertaining night.

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A legend, R.I.P. (1925-2015)


21. Sigur Ros

Pre-recorded tracks distracted.

22. Katy Perry

Sexy pop extravaganza.

23. with Tegan and Sara

Not that entertaining.


24. Reverend Horton Heat

Guitar on point 👌


25. Santana

A Hippie Indulgence.


 


26. Colbie Caillat

Pleased the wife.


27. Stone Temple Pilots

Full of energy.


28. José González

Very well-rehearsed.

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The gifted performer, José González


29. Motley Crue

Fun and depraved.


30. Barry Manilow

Not too bad.


31. Cage the Elephant

Singer went nuts.


32. Black Sabbath (original line-up)

Surreal and unbelievable.


33. Jeff Mangum

(In 2015) Better than ever.


34. TransSiberian Orchestra

Dragged on sometimes.

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The Pixies performing in 2004


35. The Pixies

Best reunion ever.


36. Queensryche

Kind of embarrassing.


37. The Strokes

Pretty damn good.

38. with Elvis Costello

Not as good.


39. Kid Rock

Suprisingly amazing show.


40. Ted Nugent

Greatness despite arrogance.

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Edgar Winter


41. Edgar Winter Band

Jaw-dropping solos.


42. Saves the Day

A mediocre show.


43. Mindless Self Indulgence

Raucous and superb.


44. Foo Fighters

They killed it.


45. Girl Talk

A total blast.

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Reel Big Fish in Santa Cruz


46. Reel Big Fish

Many good covers.


47. Sublime (with Rome)

Sounded like original.


48. Brand New

Pretty disappointing time.


49. Far East Movement

Glad that’s over.

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Far East Movement a.k.a. “Overhype”

50. Bright Eyes

He was drunk.

51. Dropkick Murphy’s

Exciting and interactive.



Tweet us any question you have about any of these.

Music Feature: Narkatta

“Consciousness in contemporary music is expanding exponentially. The number of artists in my musical family that help critique each others’ works of art and support each other has been steadily increasing since we started creating. Same with the number of musicians in my scene with the environmental positivity.” – Narkatta, IDM artist

Our generation is defined by a melding of diverse influences, styles, cultures, and concepts. Take, for example, the world of American cinema. The top grossing films of 2013 included an animated musical drama set in Scandinavia (Frozen), a Marvel comic-book hero installment (Iron Man 3), and a dystopian novel (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) brought to life with the help of a pseudo-rock icon (Lenny Kravitz). It’s cliché to point out effects of globalization and the internet, but necessary.

There are instances when this cultural agglomeration is highly embraceable. Mix a dance track that features David Bowie and Indian raga themes, and I will swing like a gibbon. The blending of great music is a refreshing gift, a shaking of proverbial dust off old records.

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I remember being at house parties early in the night with Narkatta spinning. Good music came along with every flawless transition. Recognizable Notorious B.I.G. tunes would blend easily into Dead Prez. Jimi Hendrix would meet Wu-Tang within carefully planned beat parameters.

Narkatta deviates from conventions, but still manages to make you dance. His wide range of styles bring about a special groove and charisma. His most recent work has aimed to incorporate deeper relevance to his productions. MalLabel Music describes the latest EP, Cosmic Currency – EP, as follows:

His newest EP, Cosmic Currency is a shining example of how that light illuminates each of his pieces as an artistic expression of the divine. ‘Divine DNA’ opens the EP with a glitchy exploration within ourselves while ‘Genoeconomics’ explores a multi-faceted journey of Eastern tones. ‘Decommodification of the Modified’ guides us through various elements of consciousness and finally, ‘Chrematophobia’ closes the EP with an almost confusing amalgamation of textures over a subtle Eastern rhythm meant to reflect the idea that the existence of money in society only confuses our purpose.

This would ordinarily evoke critiques that the music is pretentious. However, when you listen to the tracks, you can tell that a lot of effort and thought went into each creation.

I sat listening to the track “Invocation of Lakshmi,” trying to figure out who would be a good comparison to Narkatta’s work. The truth is, I couldn’t do it. This is a good thing. There are times when artists are so blatantly imitating or contriving, it’s a noticeable distraction. Such is the case with the band Jet (that’s a whole other argument). Narkatta is pure and idiosyncratic. The music draws from unique concepts and great sampling work. In “Funkraum” (labelled Dispatch 003 mix), Lauryn Hill precedes “Respect” by Aretha Franklin. This is a combination that’s polar yet intuitive. Two powerful feminine souls from two very different generations. His blending and melding is an aptitude that can keep your attention for hours.


On a final note, Narkatta gives his Zarathrustrian take on artistic endeavor.

“There are two massive forces of darkness and light that are consistently at odds with each other, and the stronger the darkness may be right now, the light is just a strong and equal. It’s all about which side one chooses to perpetuate.”

Narkatta can be found on SoundCloud, Facebook, Bandcamp, and more. His Cosmic Currency – EP can be found on Amazon.com as well.

We suggest these NoonTec ZORO HD headphones when listening to Narkatta.

Some tracks have now been featured on the #HMPYG Spotify playlist.

Remember to like #HMPYG on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

Sponsored by:

Elamor Sports Armband

An Evening with P.H. Naffah (of Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers)

The guys from the RCPM (Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers) are true class. The whole context for this article began when a couple of members, P.H. Naffah (drummer) and Nick Scropos (bassist), took time out to help with the Wedding Therapist‘s music therapy group (for Higher Octave Healing). She relayed to me how helpful and enthusiastic they were, and also that they invited us to a Strolling Bones event.

P.H., Nick, Josh Kennedy (of the Black Moods), Marc Norman (Ghetto Cowgirl), and Thomas Laufenberg (Ghetto Cowgirl) comprise the Strolling Bones, an exciting overdrive-fueled Rolling Stones tribute band based in Phoenix/Tempe.
The Strolling Bones performed a nice eclectic compilation of Stones songs, from popular hits like Brown Sugar to lesser-known gems like Monkey Man. The delivery was energetic and dynamic. A Crossroads-style guitar duel was a nice injection into the set. Roger Clyne took to the stage to join them for a heart-pumping rendition of Jumping Jack Flash. The entire event was put on to benefit GiGi’s Playhouse, an organization dedicated to the well-being of people with Down Syndrome.

After the show, P.H. has some words to say to #HMPYG:

“Thanks for listening if you know who we are. I don’t blame ya if you don’t (smiles). But, give us a listen and you might like us!”

You gotta love the modesty. As the man said, if you’ve never checked out RCPM, do so now. I’ve added a few tracks to our Spotify playlist (Mekong has been a longtime favorite of mine). A special thanks to P.H. for his kindness and generosity!

 

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The Wedding Therapist is a wedding planner/music therapist based in Phoenix, AZ.

What Causes Trance States in African Drum Rituals?

Rhythm-induced trance is one of the many documented modes of altered states of consciousness. It has been subject to much scrutiny in research, and often coincides with spirit possession in sacred African dance rituals. Spirit possession, where one experiences spirits controlling his/her mind and body, is a common feature in cultures worldwide. Is the trance state caused by spirit possession, or can it be explained by science?

The context of trance possession varies between different ceremonies and cultures. Steven M. Friedson (1996) describes, in detail, his experience in Malawi with the Tumbuka people, a Bantu speaking group known for their expertise in healing. Their healing rituals are characterized by all-night sessions with continuous drumming and singing. A learned healer is commissioned to facilitate these sessions, and oversees spirit possessions occurring in the group. Friedson describes the ritual as follows:

This kind of spirit-possession trance [in which the conscious will is taken over by the spirit] usually occurs during the treatment phase, when the particular drum modes are sounded. Following homeopathic principles, the drum modes resonate with the particular mode of the vimbuza spirit, heating it past a critical threshold into the world of living. It is during this musical treatment that the vimbuza takes over the personality of the patient and “comes out,” expressing themselves through the vimbuza dance. – Steven Friedson, Dancing Prophets, p. 114

A possession ritual in Liberia, however, looks pretty different. Ceremonies may last only a couple of hours. It is much more based in Christianity, where congregates dress in all white, chant psalms after possession, and claim to be in contact with God. The rhythm on the drum is monotonous, and doesn’t use specific modes as in the Tumbuka ceremony. What this ceremony does have in common with the former is the trance state itself. People convulse, dissociate from themselves, and feel a loss of conscious control.

Some say that trance states are the result of drumming’s effects on the central nervous system. Andrew Neher, a researcher from the 60s, is one of these people. The point is made that multiple frequencies of drums activates multiple neural pathways, similar to light frequencies. Rhythmic light induces similar brain patterns to drumming, where brain waves respond to amplitude and frequency of the stimulus (aka visual/auditory driving). Brain wave frequency is noted to be in between 8 and 13 cycles per second, varying between individuals, but stays constant in the individual himself. Several ceremonies in Africa are noted to have rhythmic frequencies between 7 and 9 cycles per second. The rhythms in these ceremonies are often slowly increased, eventually matching everyone’s individual brain frequencies. The body’s stress increases the release of adrenaline and decreases blood glucose, resulting in the release of adrenochrome, a substance chemically related to hallucinogens.

These trances can also be a result of highly focused attention. Long term potentiation (LTP) is the continuous activation of neural networks that strengthen and reinforce cognitive processes. Different states of consciousness activate different sets of neural networks, or tunings, made possible by LTP. In this interpretation, trance possession is not translated as a reduction in brain activity, but rather as an alternative brain function. This is comparable to REM sleep (dream sleep), where the brain shows patterns of working thought despite an individual being asleep and not fully conscious.

Though we have these theories, scientists are limited in their understanding. One reason is because you can’t really put on an African dance ritual in the lab. Also, there are limits in our knowledge and understanding of the human brain. Though many theories have been put forth, such as the “tuning” of neural networks, they are difficult to test. New theories are coming out often to debunk previous ones and there is no absolute true theory to human brain science.

But maybe the trances are the work of spirits?

For a full research analysis, Advocating for an Interdisciplinary Approach (for Studying Trance States in African Drumming Rituals) is available in PDF. Please consider donating $6 for this download.

Also, I recommend that you blast some funky rhythms with these speakers:

Edifier M3200 Multimedia Speakers

Music Feature: Jon Bellion

Mix pop music with a few doses of angst. Sprinkle production generously. Stir in some pseudo-rap. You get one of two artists: 21 Pilots or this Long Island Native…

Music Feature: Jon Bellion

Jon Bellion’s Music

I was introduced to Jon Bellion by a therapy client. He was so excited to show me a track, and I could see why. With introspective lyrics, honest rawness, and catchy hooks, Bellion is prime for today’s music market. He was the brain behind Eminem/Rihanna’s “Monster” hook. The music is becoming increasingly relevant.

But is it good?

That really depends on who you are. If you’re over 35, you might as well stop reading right now. His music has a very post-millennial feel to it. It just doesn’t match up to the pre-Imagine Dragons era of White Stripes, Jay-Z, Linkin Park, Coldplay.

If you’re drawn into quick-changing elements, pampered vocals, and wondering why you’re paranoid while getting high, then check out this track:

 

Jon Bellion is better than 21 Pilots by a negligible degree. I say this because they are pretty similar, but Bellion’s music has a slightly more interesting sound. You can observe this within this track:

Within a 30 second-interval, you hear a multitude of captivating sounds. Take the electronic trumpet-like run at 0:43. It’s refreshing and unique.

Overall, Bellion’s instrumental tracks steal the show. His lyrics are genuine, but lack vivacity. The voice singing the words is fairly forgettable. The production, however, is remarkable. This raises a concluding question about his music. Will it die and fade because of the lack of substance, or grow and thrive with the advent of style?

 

 

 

Check out #HMPYG’s Spotify playlist here.

 

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Experiencing the Strangeness of Eternity (@NYC)

Imagine walking around TriBeCa, NYC, on a Saturday and hearing a faint buzz. You walk up to a seemingly ordinary apartment and get rung in. You then walk up three flights of stairs and enter a room. Imagine, then, being surrounded by rays of purple light and wisps of incense. The buzz is now an enormous, complex drone that is unchanging. You take a seat on the carpeted floor, and witness nothing other than purple walls, shadows, and this fixed drone.

You stay seated for an hour, and nothing really changes. It’s the same sound, same light, same shadows. However, the shadows dangle a little bit, and the sound changes when you move your head. After being here for a while, you notice minute intricacies of the drone and light. The sound and light are complex, though fixed in time and space. People come and go, sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours.

I was at the Dream House three years ago. As I write this, the sound and light is still being generated. Here I am three years ago, getting buzzed in:

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I’ve changed, the Dream House pretty much has not.

The Dream House is a concept by La Monte Young and his wife Marian Zazeela. It dates back to 1966. Young is credited as the “grandfather of minimalist music.” His work spontaneously inspired a generation that involves Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, John Cale, and plenty of others. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then think of the general  art scene of downtown Manhattan during the 60’s. Some of La Monte Young’s counterparts include Yoko Ono, Andy Warhol, and Lou Reed.

La Monte Young’s main goal was to have people experience sound inside of it. He wanted us to appreciate sound in the physical sense, and witness the objective harmony of noise and waveform. He was also concerned with the concept of eternity. He was fascinated with machinery and tortoises, both being symbols of prolongation.

What I appreciate about Young’s work is that it’s pretty straightforward. It’s not art that you spend days contemplating and laboring to understand, just to conclude that the meaning was that there is no meaning. Young’s work has a meaning and it’s simple: each moment is a representation of eternity. And though this is simple, trying to experience this eternity with full and uninterrupted awareness can be quite challenging. It’s what Zen practitioners spend years trying to master (through the ironic method of not trying).

This is not to say that Young’s works aren’t bizarre. They are. One of his works is entitled Map of 49’s Dream The Two Systems of Eleven Sets of Galactic Intervals Ornamental Lightyears Tracery. A recorded portion of this work, 31 VII 69 10:26-10:49 PM, is 23 minutes of voices and sine waves.

Drones can drive some people crazy. And that’s okay. You don’t have to like it. You do have to understand, though, that the drone itself has no intent. It’s your mind and thought that is driving you crazy. The drone simply is.

Take a look at some pictures, and if you decide to go, visit the website for more information. As a weirdo/New York state native, I highly recommend it.

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