Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Jacob Erikson for Blissblog Times

Published: January 12, 2010

Mark McGwire's admission yesterday that he used performance-enhancing drugs during the early recording career of Emeralds sent shock waves rippling through the music world. But according to industry insiders, this kind of substance abuse is an open secret on the so-called "hypnagogic pop" scene.

"It's par for the course," said James Farrero, in a phone interview from his home in San Diego. "A lot of people are getting a little, shall we say, help. And everybody knows it. The competition on this scene is so fierce and if you think the other guy is doing it, you can't let him have that advantage."

"Each decade you have a guy that comes along that sets new standards and you say O.K., now I’m going to have to take it to the next level," said Daniel Lapotin, in an interview conducted at his rehearsal space in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. "You just can't get the kind of results that everyone is looking for without some kind of boost."

Lapotin explains that the wide range of synthetic and so-called "natural" substances that some musicians resort to have a variety of uses, from inspiration to stamina (recording schedules can be punishing on the hypnagogic scene, with artists releasing as many as twenty cassette tapes a year). Then there are the so-called QCDs, which stands for "quality control diminishment" and refers to drugs that precisely target the area of the prefrontal cortex that governs aesthetic discrimination.

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Readers' Comments
"I personally feel he could have went
further to apologize for his actions
and to stress how bad of an example
this set for youth who idolize(d) him."
John, Virginia
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Caren Crass contributed reporting.