Better Know a Stoner Song – Linear High by Rick Bain & The Genius Position

You’ve almost certainly never heard of Rick Bain & The Genius Position. It’s not your fault. Let’s blame mass music marketing tactics, and the decline of the record label. I’m going to cover some Bain territory before arriving at the song at the bottom of this post.

Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Rick Bain isn’t much for consistency in releasing albums (2000, 2004, 2020) or touring. Perhaps it’s just that Mr. Bain requires that much time to build the sonic profile that nests between your ears, and plays on repeat to your brain for days at a time. Perhaps Mr. Bain just releases an album when he wants to intensify his experience of this planet. I know not, but I do know this is Rock & Roll, and that I like it. Here are a couple of things that I have observed (probably incorrectly on a few) about Rick Bain, from afar, over the last two decades:

  • Rick Bain looks like he’d grow some killer weed, and he makes damn fine neo-psychedelic rock, so I’m loosely connecting the two.
  • Rick Bain isn’t much for chatting. (see pic ->)
  • Rick Bain plays somewhere around 3 shows per year in Portland. Go.
  • Rick Bain has the best photo shoots.
  • Rick Bain mysteriously released one album as just Rick Bain (2004), making me wonder if he was trying out new positions. Why would you break from Genius?
  • Rick Bain got his start and some significant buzz when he thoughtfully rearranged and recorded his version of The Beach Boy’s “Pet Sounds” on a 4 track recorder in 1997.
  • Rick Bain writes super tongue-in-cheek lyrics that still make you re-evaluate life choices & lost loves.
Rick Bain & The Genius Position’s first album. 5 fucking stars, man.

Rick Bain & The Genius Position released their first full length studio effort in 2000, entitled ‘Crooked Autumn Sun‘, and is as turbulent as the album cover (pictured, left).

Virtual Heavy Pet was the 2004 follow up, spawning singles in my mind such as “Black Apple Orchard”, and “Comin’ Round”, which tallied what seems a million plays each, in my mind, and certainly several dozen on Spotify. (To be clear, I generally buy physical CDs if I see the band, and definitely any modern high quality vinyl output.)

Fucking off when you were 25 was fun, but Rick Bain’s music from that time peroid makes many regret their wasted time.

Fast forward to late 2019, and Rick Bain mysteriously drops a live album, followed quickly by “Keep It Glowing”, which features several amazing tracks ready for release in Wonderland, where they are likely to go bonkers with radio play due to relevance, cheekiness, and odd, yet beautifully melodic chord pairings.

I highly encourage checking each recording out in due time.

In the meantime, please check out the track “Linear High”, just below the sample of lyrics I’ve included. It’s pretty amazing, and it’s the cut that drew me in to Rick Bain & The Genius Position. Enjoy!

“Party scenes of martyrs & kings,

Take two of these to amplify your dreams

It’s not as easy as you make it seem

You’ll like it better when you’re high”

Lyrics from “Linear High”

Rick Bain fucking rocks.

Better Know a Stoner Song – Champagne & Reefer by Muddy Waters

Fans of Muddy Waters know his timeless voice from a mile away, but even given his hallmark vocal abilities and dirty southern blues licks, if you knew Muddy, you knew to just call him ‘Mud’.

Born April 4th, 1913, in Mud’s impact on music was one of the most long tenured and wide ranging of any artist I have previously read about. Consider, the following influences that Mud had on the worldwide music scene:

  • The Rolling Stones took their name from Mud’s 1950 song “Rollin’ Stone”
  • Eric Clapton was his best man in 1979, when he married his second wife
  • He won 6 Grammy’s in the 1970s, after White music noticed that he had dominated the R&B charts from the mid 1950s thru the 60s.
  • The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame cites 4 of his songs among the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock & Roll.
  • He played with legends such as Bo Diddley,
  • Formerly Seattle based Ian Moore famously covered “Champagne & Reefer” for the now out-of-print “Hempilation” (1995) CD.
Muddy Waters in Paris, France, 1976. Photo by Lionel Decoster, used with permission CC BY-SA 4.0

Mud penned (1980), then included the forward thinking “Champagne & Reefer” on his 14th and final studio album, King Bee, in 1981.

Mud clearly and loudly championed cannabis in this song, and clearly understood the fact that cannabis is the safest “let your hair down” recreational drug that the American public broadly employs. Further, he relates the effect to one I have long believed in – the manifestation of love and togetherness that sprouts from cannabis consumption. On top of all of that, it’s just an incredible song from an incredible musician.

“Well you know there should be no law
on people that want to smoke a little dope.
Well you know it’s good for your head
And it relax your body don’t you know.

Everytime I get high
I lay my head down on my baby’s breast.
Well you know I lay down be quiet
Tryin’ to take my rest.
Well you know she done hug and kiss me
Says Muddy your one man that I love the best.”

Lyrics from “Champagne & Reefer”

Though Mud died in late April of 1983, his music continues to be discovered by youth and all walks of life, to this day. His legacy is enduring, and as people find his music broadly available, they will end up coming across the gem “Champagne & Reefer”, which you can find just below.

One Sentence Weed Review (OSWR): OG Chem by Phat Panda

Strain (Chemovar): OG Chem
Disposition: Sativa
Farm: Phat Panda
Price Point: $40 – 3.5g

“Whether your are looking for a creative surge or a little relief, this sativa hybrid is for you!”

One Sentence Weed Review (OSWR): Chocolate Marshmellows by Creekside Cannabis

Strain (Chemovar): Chocolate Marshmellows
Disposition: Indica Dominant Hybrid
Farm: Creekside Cannabis
Price Point: $40 – 3.5g

“Take a drag of this with your morning coffee! Chocolate Marshmellows is a sublime mix of sweet, cakey chocolate, and a serene high ideal for sunshine and solitude.”