A Conversation With Jason Yamas

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After Jason’s world falls apart in LA, he moves to Berkeley for a fresh start with his kid brother. Just one problem: his long-closeted Adderall addiction has exploded into an out-of-control crystal meth binge. Within weeks, Jason plunges into the sprawling ParTy n’ ’Play (PnP) subculture of the Bay Area’s gay community. It is a wildly decadent scene of drugs, group sex, and criminals, and yet it is also filled with surprising characters, people who are continually subverting Jason’s own presumptions of the stereotypical tweaker.

Soon Jason becomes a dealer on the pretense of researching this tweaker world for a project that will carry him, like a life raft, back to the shores of a normal life. But his friendly entrepreneurial spirit and trusting disposition disarm clients and rival dealers alike. The money begins to roll in as demand increases to frightening levels. Suddenly, Jason is in control of the entire crystal meth market for San Francisco’s gay community, even as he finds himself nodding off behind the wheel of his car, or walking down the sidewalk. As friends and family work frantically to steer him towards recovery, Jason resists, chasing something else: a sleepless nirvana fueled by sex, drugs, and the Tweakerworld.

With painful honesty, Jason Yamas has crafted a landmark narrative that is not just a personal account of addiction, but a portrait of a vulnerable, largely undocumented community of people who, for many reasons, have been marginalized to the point of invisibility.

We take a diversion from our usual format by not introducing another guest or topic in this edition. To aid you in digesting this intense, and important conversation with Jason Yamas we’ve included a selection of “different” music. These diverse cuts could be the soundtrack to Tweakerworld. To begin, Play Echoes the title track from an exceptional album by Alexandra Hamilton-Ayres. This is a collaboration with Her Ensemble, the UK’s first women and non-binary orchestra formed during the pandemic. Alexandra saysPlay Echoes‘ represents childhood dreams come true and adult reflections made real.” After the conversation with Jason we go into a not-stop mix starting with Y (featuring Dorothy Carlos & Connie Li), this is from Yaz Lancaster’s debut LP, AmethYst. Violinist, poet, and composer Yaz is a Black transdisciplinary artist who works across the mediums of sound, written text, and visual art. Y’s pensive repeated melody includes a voicemail from Lancaster’s mother, “Just calling to check up on you” she says. Margaret  Sohn presents as  Miss Grit, the Queens-based artist’s LP,  Follow The Cyborg explores figuring out identity, gender, and basically self-exploration. Crackboy’s double-sided 12″ Off Track is courtesy of Krikor out of Paris, who says, “Sewer surfing and trash humping”, which sounds like a recommendation to us. Crackboy takes us back in time to the glory days of sweaty-shirts-off disco while jettisoning us into a hedonistic ecstatic future. Taking us to the close, UK Dub experts, Rockers Hi Fi. With a back catalog as long as your arm, you cannot go wrong with winding down the night with a super tasty slice of Dub. Disco To Disco (Rockers Remix) is, of course, a previously unreleased track. Enjoy!

 

 

  1. Alexandra Hamilton-Ayres – Understanding Now
  2. Yaz Lancaster – Y (feat. Dorothy Carlos, Connie Li)
  3. Miss Grit – Follow The Cyborg
  4. Crackboy – Off Track
  5. Rockers Hi Fi – Disco To Disco (Rockers Remix)

 

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