MusicMusic Features

Athens Musicians Pick Their Favorite 420 Songs

No 420 expedition would be complete without a playlist. We invited some of Athens’ finest local musicians to tell us their favorite tunes to put on when it comes time to burn one (or two).

Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers):

Sun Kil Moon: “Dogs”

Although the song is essentially a list of Mark Kozelek’s teenage sexual attempts, it is thematically set in the age and era of teenage weed smoking (and of Pink Floyd’s “Dogs”)—plus, it sounds great when baked.

Pink Floyd: “Dogs”

Which leads us to the song itself. Of all of PF’s great stoner anthems, this is the most stoner of all, and was Vic Chesnutt’s personal favorite. Vic and I bonded by playing this song over and over in a motel room in St. Louis and smoking multiple “fatties.”

Neil Young: “Cortez the Killer”

Despite the temptation of going with Neil’s “Roll Another Number for the Road,” “Cortez” is the true stoner anthem of all time, as well as possibly my all-time favorite song.


Deafheaven: “Dream House”

Probably a curious choice and not for the light of heart, this nine-minute black-metal composition is a transcendent, emotional powerhouse of an experience. The blast-beat drums, swirling mix of distorted and clean guitars, angst-filled vocals and heart-wrenching lyrics all come to true fruition when stoned. In the final three-and-half minutes, the song collapses into a triumphant half-tempo finale. As you lie back and soak in this climactic refrain while lead singer George Clarke powerfully expresses, “I’m dying/ Is it blissful?/ It’s like a dream/ I want to dream,” allow yourself to become enveloped by the most surreal bittersweet emotions imaginable.

Gene Clark: “Strength of Strings”

From his cult masterwork No Other, it is unbelievable just how much sheer power is packed into this haunting track. The emotional heft is especially apparent amidst certain movements of the song where only vocals, meandering strings and wandering percussion are present. The irregular pacing, how it unfolds in such an unpredictable yet beautiful pattern and the vocal arrangement all serve to wonderfully complement the deceptively simple yet profound lyrical content: “Notes that roll on winds with swirling wings/ Brings me words that are not the strength of strings.” Still not convinced? Roll a doobie and give it another go.


Drake: “Hotline Bling”

We love Drake. He’s always dressed in such soft fabrics. Really, his whole look is just so good right now… He’s got the beard. He’s bulked up some. I don’t know, he just looks so inviting and huggable… Like I just want to hold him all the time and feel his wonderful, cozy self against me. And his high-end sweats really give off a classic, unassuming “off-duty uncle” vibe, which we adore. He is great. We really just love Drake.

Bryan Rucker (The Norm):

Sublime: “Smoke Two Joints”

“I smoke two joints, a dime apiece, and two the time before/ I smoke two joints before I smoke two joints/ And then I smoke two more”

Incubus: “Aqueous Transmission”

“I’m floating down a river, oars freed from their homes long ago/ Lying face up on the floor of my vessel, I marvel at the stars and feel my heart overflow”

Red Hot Chili Peppers: ”Under the Bridge”

“I don’t ever wanna feel, like I did that day/ Take me to place I love, take me all the way”


Devin The Dude: “Doobie Ashtray”

This ’02 Devin classic goes over what happens when the party finally ends. Off of the underground style album (for the underground style chiefin’) Just Tryin’ ta Live, we suggest you find company with the nerve (and the funds) to put the herb in the doobie ashtray this coming Wednesday.

Mad Ace: “Sticky Herb”

This little nugget by local “urban” artist Mad Ace is pretty upbeat. It’s not a sink-into-your-couch-and-crush-a-season-of-“X-Files” kind of song, more like a go-to-Kroger-and-awkwardly-run-into-your-ex-boss song. Looks like someone’s been blowing on that sativa.

DJ Screw: “Smokin and Leanin”

R.I.P. Screw. This Dirty South gem is best served with a side of cheese grits and Rohto.

Matt Anderegg (Mothers):

Lifetones: “For a Reason”

A deep grip of dub-slush for any lawn-mowing occasion.

Phelan LaVelle (Shade):


Electric Wizard: “Vinum Sabbathi”

This is so, so sick. I listen to this song walking my dog around and it always makes me way higher than I already am. It makes me excited in this very optimistic way. In my headphones, I pass by people in the street with the bulging secret that I am deeply lost in another world.

The Grateful Dead: “Candyman”

This is another one of those songs I’ve played so profusely I wonder if there isn’t something wrong with me. But I’m high, so that’s always something right :). The chorus literally makes my special parts tingle.

Steely Dan: “Any Major Dude Will Tell You”

Ahhhhhhh sooooo gooood. I believe some of the dopest lyrics ever written were written by Steely Dan. When you’re on The Vibe they can filter in like sunlight through rocks at a very certain time of day down into a cave and reveal an exquisite room you’ve never been to before.

Sleep: “Dragonaut”

Again, makes me higher than already. Like, I’m listening to it and I realize I’m holding my breath. So heavy. Shade covered this one time and I realized it’s way hard to play stoner metal like this where it’s slow and everything repeats so many times. It’s hard to keep track of because it’s designed to get lost in.

Cassie Chantel:

Bob Marley & the Wailers: “Positive Vibration”

My meditation process has to have positive vibrations, and Bob Marley has one of the strongest frequencies of all time. I love listening to “Positive Vibration” when I take off.

Damian & Stephen Marley: “All Night”

When I’m not using the herb for its medicinal powers, I’m exercising its energetic effects. I love dancing. If I really want to go crazy, I turn on “All Night.” I consider myself Rastafari, so reggae and a little dancehall are the main ingredients to my musical vibes.