Last Call: You should read Michael Pollan’s book on psychedelics and listen to Dinosaur Jr.

Illustration for article titled Last Call: You should read Michael Pollan’em/ems book on psychedelics and listen to Dinosaur Jr.
Image: Alexandr Gnezdilov Light Painting (Getty Images)
Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

How To Change Your Mind

Illustration for article titled Last Call: You should read Michael Pollan’em/ems book on psychedelics and listen to Dinosaur Jr.
Photo: Kate Bernot

Michael Pollan has a new book out, and it’s not about eating plants or how pollination works. It’s about tripping balls, man! (Okay, Pollan would really object to that characterization.) The book, whose full title is How To Change Your Mind: What The New Science Of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, sets off first to explore how and why mainstream science is slowly warming to research on psychedelics. Pollan is scholarly, objective, journalistically detached. But as he finds more and more compelling evidence that psychedelics are changing people’s lives not just medically but spiritually, he begins to wonder: Are there benefits to drugs like LSD and psilocybin that even healthy, “normal” people could enjoy? I appreciated the strong current of skepticism that runs through the book, which compliments rather than clashes with Pollan’s evolving openness to the unknown. And yes, he drops acid, mushrooms, and DMT in the process of researching the book. [Kate Bernot]

Dinosaur Jr.’s “The Wagon”

Update on my summer concert season: They say if it’s too loud, you’re too old. Well, Dinosaur Jr. might have finally broken my ears, if not my rock spirit. Even with ear plugs (thank you, benevolent Thalia Hall bartenders) the wall of sound delivered via amps taller than the performers was like a solid presence attacking us all in the crowd. Still, I loved it—especially with the original Dino Jr. lineup of J Mascis, Lou Barlow, and Murph—and the show convinced me more than ever that “The Wagon,” off of 1991’s Green Mind is the greatest almost-five-minute-indie-rock song ever in the world. Fight me. [Gwen Ihnat]


Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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You buried the drug lede on the Pollan book, he smokes frog venom (which is as far as I currently am in the book). That said, it’s a fascinating read, especially the parts detailing his personal experiences.