Cash Only’s 420 Recs: Sean Yeaton of Parquet Courts

The “deranged bassist” of Parquet Courts, aka the brilliant Sean Yeaton, talks about his beloved grinder, Rubik’s cubes, and Joseph Kittinger jumping out of a balloon from the edge of space.
Yeaton
Courtesy of Cash Only

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Sean Yeaton is nothing short of brilliant. The way his brain works—under the influence of weed or otherwise—should be an inspiration to all other musicians and artists out there. Some people say tomato, some say tomatoe… Sean’s like, “big red hand fruit.” The way this man thinks is inimitable!

Yeaton is the bass player for beloved rock band Parquet Courts, as well as a sonic maestro in his own right. He’s also a writer and damn good storyteller, who will melt your mind if you’re lucky enough to hear him spin a yarn.

Fortunately for us, the man is here to discuss his relationship with all things 420. When first asked if he’d be game to participate, Sean wrote, “I’m the only game in town, sweetie <3.” Hell, yeah.

Below, Yeaton highlights what strains he likes to smoke and discusses his beloved grinder. Then he spirals out about why we need a documentary on the Reese’s HQ in 2022, the merits (or lack thereof) of being able to solve a Rubik’s cube, and why he likes to watch a video of Joseph Kittinger “jumping out of a motherfucking balloon from the edge of space in 1965.”

There’s also an extended meditation on trails, slugs, and Robert Moor that gave my brain whiplash. I can’t even explain it. Yeaton just has that effect.

Sean Yeaton in Parquet Courts’ video “Walking at a Downtown Pace,” directed by Daniel Arnold

What’s your favorite strain and how do you like to consume it?

Sean Yeaton: I’m currently sipping on this Casey Jones—and Jack Herer some hours before that. I’ve found they complement each other nicely, in that my mind is buzzing with conceptual insights. Playful but weirdly deep, with potentially abysmal thoughts… like a Todd Solondz movie or something—that’s where Casey Jones and Jack Herer take me.

Some effects these strains have on me: Lots of great texting material undulating, the desire to stretch, waking earlier and with more !zhuzh! in the mind, lots of epiphanies—very Adam Curtis vibes.

Side note: I feel like there needs to be a documentary about whatever the fuck is going on at Reese’s HQ right now. New Reese’s releases have rivaled the original shit and with zero fanfare…

What’s your current favorite weed product?

Truthfully, my grinder. Just a simple, stylish, metallic-red magnetic grinder—kind of an impulse buy from the local head shop where I usually buy my papers. I rarely buy new pieces these days, but I’m curious about new trends in paraphernalia. So if I go out of my way to interact with a wook in a non-Spencers Gifts or Bonnaroo situation, chances are I’m at least prepared to drop a little extra money on something special, should it catched my eye.

I was way more into the ritualistic stoner process of having a sensibly-curated inventory of shit to smoke weed out of in college and I do sincerely just want to own a gas mask bong again… but more as a conversation piece. I have two little kids, though, and it’s hard enough finding a space at home to put my music shit and, like, cool tour ephemera. I mean if you walked into my house, you’d have no idea a mid-level indie musician lives there. I guess I’ll have to hold off on putting a gas mask bong over the mantel until I’ve managed to sneak at least a framed Parquet Courts poster on the wall or something.

Anyway, my grinder is tight as hell—easy turn, four chambers, nice hand-feel, and it grinds very quickly, very well. Definitely on the smaller-side of grinders at 2.2”, but it works for me and I find that the kief chamber fills up really fast, which I like a lot. Oh, and it came with one of those fun/funny little kief shovels. Always fun finding a free accessory with anything, I don’t care what it is! Lol.

Also, I think I wanna get a Protopipe… I love my little red grinder, though.

Sean Yeaton, photographed by Zach Sokol

What activity do you like to do after you’ve gotten stoned?

Goddamn, this is a tough one. There are a lot of great places to hike, snowshoe, swim, run, and fuck around out where I live in rural Pennsylvania, so any of that shit is great. I’m on tour a lot, though.

That said, here are some things I especially appreciate when stoned:

Reading: When I’m the right type of stoned—maybe I’m nursing a hog leg or something—there’s nothing like a great read. Books are tight but so is Wikipedia, Yelp reviews, Reddit, etc. I think any book, at the right time, regardless of genre or date of publication, can be transformative when read with a cannabis sidecar. Even just the notion and process of reading at all is a worthy curiosity to explore stoned, in my experience. I could go on forever about that, but here are the Wikipedia pages for aphantasia and hyperphantasia, which are cool places to start lol.

Rubik’s Cube: This was my “sourdough starter” at the beginning of COVID. I became obsessed with solving a Rubik’s Cube that first pandemic spring/summer. I felt the need to start adding some new shit to my setlist as a human person in reality so as to impress and amaze people and ensnare them in the emotional thrill ride of being friends with me forever!

I spent something like three months twisting and turning this thing, charting moves I’d made to get to certain stages successfully every time… until one piping-hot day in July it all came together. It was a real personal triumph to say the least! But also to say the most because honestly no one gave a shit at all!

I think it’s only impressive to people when they see some sort of gifted child solve one in under 30 seconds. I’m proud to say I can solve a Rubik’s Cube, but it’s still not really a party trick or anything unless you hate parties! If you hate parties and see me at one, bring me a Rubik’s cube and pull up a chair because I’ll keep you company for the entire party without a doubt.

Zelda Breath of the Wild: I love this fucking game so much! I’ve logged an embarrassing amount of hours playing it on the Switch. I am genuinely proud of how good I am at this game. Don’t ever @ me.

Drawing: Love to draw when I’m stoned. I’ve always loved doodling and whatnot, but when I’m stoned and in the mood to draw, I’ll spend hours letting my mind drift slowly and purposefully to the limits of my imagination—like on some gravitational slingshot shit—all so I can draw a picture of, like, a skull or a little horse or just a bunch of weird random shit lol.

Yeaton
“Yeaton’s Treat,” a Cash Only fantasy weed strain we created in Photoshop. This product does not currently exist, but we hope to see it on dispensary shelves one day!

Can you recommend something to watch while stoned?

Oh my god, this is very tough because it all really depends on my mood, I guess. I don’t want to spend too much time thinking about this or else I’ll be here all day, but my very first inclination is to suggest this video of Joseph Kittinger jumping out of a motherfucking balloon from the edge of space in 1965. Smash this link because I know it has that U.N.K.L.E. track featuring Moby that works so well with the footage—the John Malkovich sample from Alive is chilling, and even though I’d say thematically that Alive and the Kittinger space jump are kinda different, the pairing really works for this.

Here’s the part of the video where the mf actually jumps in case you aren’t a patient person:

And, for the Alive-heads out there, here’s a very weird video using Google Earth to see the VERY REAL crash site where the VERY REAL survivors of the Uruguayan rugby team ate the dead bodies of their VERY REAL friends and loved ones. The music is chilling in a way different manner for this one, though:

What do you like to listen to after smoking?

I’m firing on all cylinders for this question, my friend. I’m spurting out my two favs THIS VERY SECOND and also because I really miss Bryce! Love you, Bryce! Peep Bryce Hackford’s Bandcamp here.

Also love you, Claire Rousay (but we’re not BFFs yet). Check out her stuff here.

Can you recommend something to read once really baked?

On Trails by Robert Moor.

I wasn’t expecting to love this book; I picked it up because my coolest friend was reading it and I wanted to be cool. I read this book during the first COVID summer when all the bitchin’ trails I’m blessed to live so close to were busier than the goddamn TSA line at JFK. Everyone was a hiker all of a sudden. I’m not Reinhold Messner or anything, but I’m experienced enough to remember when it was gauche to chuff bubblegum vape clouds on a nature preserve.

Anyway, it was the right time to be reading about trails, even if outdoor recreation was new to you.

I love reading and all; crazy to look at squiggly shapes in a line and be like, “Holy shit! My brain is scarfing this down and getting hornier and hornier!” But for a book to really click with me, I like for it to feel almost like a targeted ad, like FATE was conditioned for me to be reading the words in front of me!

On one hand, this is great because I can honestly fuck with any kind of reading without clear classification when it comes to, like, genre and sub-genre. I’ve read instruction manuals I’d recommend to people as a sort of pulp… and if you ask me, reading the Wikipedia page for Alf is better than watching Permanent Midnight. But I really fuckin’ digress here…

On Trails kicks ass because it’s more than a book about paths through the woods and way more than adventure hippie porn! You don’t really have to give a shit about hiking or the outdoors at all to appreciate this book and it’s perfect for the STONED MIND. Each chapter recalls some experience the author has had with a sort of “trail adjacent” thing or individual.

I was first pretty hooked on this book when I read the bit about how the interstate system in the U.S.—not to mention railways and just about every other artery that links living beings to one another and what they need to survive—was at least initially based on the deep, hard-packed trails made by the fucking marvelous BISON! There’s also a chapter about a deer hunter that’s great. Really every chapter is great, but it all builds up to how the way the internet works and how our minds work and how flight paths and other shit that has nothing to do with buffalo at all follow the same sort of logic that links all trails ever for as long as they’ve been getting carved into time and space!

The whole book about trails is about trails to trails to trails! By the end of the book, the title becomes a double entendre and a eureka moment. When I’m high, this book is a chef’s fucking kiss!

There’s also a bit about slugs in this book that I won’t spoil for you, but… holy shit! Slugs don’t fuck around!

I also want to recommend Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth by Avi Loeb.

Jesus Christ, what a book! I’m gonna try to limit my rambling on this one since it’s pretty hard to imagine anyone is still reading this. If you are, prove it by DMing me on Instagram @yeatons a picture of your favorite alien from popular culture.

If nothing else, this book is great if you’re on the fence about whether or not Neil deGrasse Tyson is kind of a poser. If Neil deGrasse Tyson is The Sex Pistols to you, then Avi Loeb is Chumbawamba. One is essentially, like, the manufactured results from a focus group. You smell me?

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