HBM034: The Grandmother and The Vine Of The Dead


Ayahuasca is one of the most powerful and most illegal hallucinogens in the world. It contains DMT. But, for as long as anyone can remember, it's been used by people who have wanted to know more about the universe.

These people have traditionally been involved with shamanic tribes of the Amazon Rainforest, but in recent years, more and more people have had access to Ayahuasca through ceremonies lead by shamans in countries near the South American Equator.

Ayahuasca (also called Iowaska, Yagé, Vine of the Dead, La Madrecita, El Abuelo, etc.) is not a party drug. In fact, it can be absolutely terrifying...Ayahuasca has a reputation for spewing up the taker's darkest fears in front of visuals of multi-dimensional cosmic weirdness and forcing them to confront every dark thought they've ever had. But it also has a potential for intense healing.

In this episode, producer Lauren Stelling visits her old boss Cherub, who was facing a lot of grief after her best friend's daughter, Zippy, was killed in a freak accident of nature.

Cherub was seeking alternatives to the common American treatments for grief, so, she flew away from her home in Washington State, down to a tropical rain forest where shamans guided her on a week-long Ayahuasca journey to find healing from her grief.

The episode was produced by Lauren Stelling. She's a photographer living and working in Seattle, Washington. Check out her beautiful photographs

If you liked this show, you'll also love HBM015: Jacob Visits Saturn.  It's about MDMA therapy and feeling small. 

Big thanks to Choque Chinchay Journeys, who provided the recordings of icaros for this episode.

Music:
Serocell ←New!
Monster Rally  ←New!
Half Ghost 

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HBM033: What One Does [EXPLICIT]

Ryan Beitz recently experienced a meteoric rise to fame as the Chairman of The World Speed Project, which aims to collect every single VHS copy of the 1994 movie SPEED (Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Dennis Hopper, Joe Morton, Jeff Daniels).

Please note that this episode contains strong language.

Ryan's presence is bizarre...he never wears pants. instead, most days, he opts for giant shapeless coats and tall hats and sorority girl sunglasses. And he's intensely funny. All this comes through loud and clear in his dozen or so segments on Good Morning America (ABC), All Things Considered (NPR), Vice Magazine, etc.

But I grew up with Ryan, and so I have reason to believe that he's a bit more nuanced than the "crazy guy does something crazy" box most media outlets squeezed him into for their reports.

In this extended interview, Ryan and I sit in his Moscow, Idaho treehouse and talk about German Romanticism, Lacanian Jouissance, Stoicism and the nature of anger, and how The World Speed Project is a rebellion against the "what one does" that society shoves our throats. Then we make nasty noise metal in his friend's basement.

Music on the show was made by Ryan and me.  See photo gallery above.

The World Speed Project is currently running a KickStarter to get their van painted like the bus from Speed. At time of publishing, the project is just $500 dollars short of its goal.

Donate $ if you can, or donate your old copies of SPEED. Otherwise, just enjoy the amazing KickStarter video...seriously.

HBM032: Fugitives of the Blue Laguna

Back when David was a nerdy Oklahoman teenager, he fell in love with Stephanie. They both had angst towards their overbearing, conservative parents and they both wanted out.

So, when the opportunity presented itself, they decided to run for it. They took David's blue 1976 Chevy Laguna and as much money as they could find and started driving to Portland to start a new life.

Stephanie's mom found out and hired a private investigator. She told the PI to break David's arms if he ever caught up with them.

So, they drove across the United States binge-listening to the the only cassette they had: The Cure's Standing on the Beach Singles.

They get arrested for stealing condoms and deodorant, they learn how to sweet-talk free food out of Taco Bell, and they create fake identities for themselves.

David and Stephanie make it to Boise, Idaho, where they move in with a bunch of Mormon punk rockers and assume a new life.

And then they find out the FBI's involved. Suddenly David's facing 30 years of prison time for kidnapping and statutory rape. And, what started as an adventure, turns into something really serious, really fast.

This week's show was co-produced and recorded by a good friend of HBM, Alex Kime. He's a writer and sound engineer living in Chicago, Illinois.

Original music on the show from Justin LaForte and Lucky Dragons

David now works as a professor of Sociology in Washington State at a community college, where lives with his wife (not Stephanie) and daughter. He was one of the founding members of the Infernal Noise Brigade.

This episode is sponsored by SquareSpace. Go to squarespace.com and use the code "monsters" to get 10% off your new website.

HBM030: Crickets, Cadavars, and Conventional Wisdom

This episode is a Grab-bag, it contains three segments that serve as follow-ups to the three most recent episodes of Here Be Monsters.

Part 1: Crickets on Tape

In this segment, Jeff takes apart his tape recorder and installs a knob to help him slow down the tape without using digital wizardry in attempts to de-muddy the waters after HBM029: Do Crickets Sing Hymns.  He bought some more crickets and slowed the cassette slowed down to 1/3 speed.  The results were telling, and surprising.

In that episode, we were talking about the confusion surrounding the bit of audio called God's Cricket Chorus by Jim Wilson.  In this segment we’ll clear up exactly what is known and exactly what is not about God’s Cricket Chorus and its derivative works.

Also, a correction to a mistake we made in Episode 29 about how digital audio is constructed for our ears.  In that episode we represented the final product of digital audio to be choppy, yet moving by too quick for our ears to notice its choppiness.  This is NOT the case.  In fact, digital audio is always converted back to analog before it hits our ears.  This is done with a device called a Digital to Analog Converter (DAC).  Here’s an article that explains this process very simply  (Page 4 is where the good stuff starts).  Big thanks to the two commenter s who pointed out this error.

Want to try stretching some crickets yourself?  Download this same set of cricket songs we used for the shows.

Part 2: Conventional Wisdom on the Future of the Four Humors

In HBM027: Balancing Act, Here Be Monsters producer Lina Misitzis delved into the rich history of the Four Humors, which was, for thousands of years, the way much of world understood medicine, the body and the universe as a whole.

While we never heard from Alain Touwaide in that episode, he was central to our research of traditional medicine.  He’s the director of the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions in Washington DC.

He spoke with Lina about the foggy past and likely future of Humorism. 

Part 3: The Resting Places of Medical Cadavers

In HBM028: Johnathan’s Cadaver Paintings, Johnathan Happ, a grad student at the University of Washington, visits one of the cadaver labs on campus.  He spends a lot of time there, studying the bodies, so that he can make paintings of them in his studio. 

While that episode has a lot of information about the cadaver labs themselves.  We never got the chance to talk about  what happens to those bodies after their 3 year rotation in the lab. 

So, in this segment, Jeff goes out to the Evergreen-Washelli Cemetery in northern Seattle, where most of those bodies come to rest. 

Special thanks to two employees of Evergreen-Washelli who helped out with a lot of the background for this piece:  Sandy Matthie (Reception at Columbarium) and Brian Braathen (Funeral Home Manager)

Music:

The Black Spot ||| Half Ghost  <-- New!

 

HBM029: Do Crickets Sing Hymns?

A bit of stunningly beautiful audio has surfaced online recently and it's riling up two different kinds of people--churchgoers and audio engineers. Some are saying that this music proves God's intention, others say it's a load of crap. The funny thing is that it's just recordings of bugs, crickets chirping, but with the speed turned waaaaaayyyy ddoooowwwnnn. Whatever it is, it's...undeniably "church-y".

But some have argued that it's not just bugs in the recording, that there's voices or guitars accompanying the insects...it's just too good to be true.

So, in this episode, audio engineer Toby Reif takes us down the rabbit hole of audio theory to help us understand how sound-stretching works, and the reasons why this long loop of cricket noises has touched so many.

Jeff also buys 50 crickets in this episode to see if they'll chirp. Tune in to see what happens.

Toby and Jeff originally heard the cricket audio from a Croatian Sound Cloud user who uploaded the sounds and mis-attributed them to the theater director Robert Wilson. (UPDATE: the Soundclouder who uploaded this has since corrected much of the misinformation that was formerly in the sound's description).

Toby and Jeff love Paul's Extreme Sound Stretcher. It's free. (Windows/Linux only. sorry Apple folk)

Music from: The Palisades ||| Phantom Fauna

Here Be Monsters is a proud member of the Mule Radio Syndicate, which distributes some other really great podcasts. Check them out at MuleRadio.net.

Check out Lina Misitzis of HBM fame singing Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen on our new favorite Mule Radio video podcast, It Might Get Personal!

This episode is sponsored by Squarespace, the easiest way to create a professional website. They’ve got a great deal for HBM listeners. Go to SquareSpace.com and use the promo code “monsters11” to get 10% off and a free trial.