Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists determined by our favorite artists. This week: New York psychedelic vets Psychic Ills and New Jersey instigator Sarim Al-Rawi.
Listed: Psychic Ills + Liquor Store
Third eye warriors Psychic Ills have been blending Eastern vibes and downtown chic since 2003, when the New York band pressed their own 7” and started releasing music through The Social Registry. In 2006, the Village Voice named the group the best psych rock act in the city, which isn’t exactly suffering from a lack of applicants. In the years since 2009’s Mirror Eye, Tres Warren, Elizabeth Hart and Co. reined in the improvisational jams and focused more on intentional songwriting. The result was last year’s Hazed Dream, released on Sacred Bones Records. You can sense the increased influence of popular song in Warren’s contribution to our Listed series.
1. Spirit - Spirit
I listen to this one a lot and Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, too. I’d be hard pressed to explain what’s so special to me about this band, but they just put me in that place. “The world’s a can / for your fresh garbage…”
2. Phantom Payn Days - Phantom Payne Daze
I’m glad De Stijl dug this stuff up. I’ve worn mine out and dug deeper into Juergen’s stuff since finding out about it last year. I like the short semi-pop songs, bedroom vibes and direct to four track guitars and keyboard sounds.
3. Neil Young - American Stars ‘N Bars
I’ve been listening to this record a lot lately. Actually, I think I’ve just been listening to "Bite the Bullet" over and over. Anyway, I like the disparate feel—some country and some rock—two different backing bands. I like the Dean Stockwell cover art, too.
4. Ravi Shankar - Transmigration Macabre
This is a psychedelic record. Ravi Shankar soundtracking an art film. Playing outside of the Indian classical paradigm—well, sort of. Feedback, percussion experiments, and so much reverb that it sounds like it was recorded in a swimming pool. Still haven’t seen the movie, though.
5. Roky Erickson - Never Say Goodbye
This is some intimate acoustic stuff from the early ‘70s. Some was recorded at home and some at the psychiatric hospital. Liz is a big fan of this record. It hits me, too.
6. Dolly Parton - My Tennessee Mountain Home
The record starts with a two-minute monologue of a letter she wrote to her parents. That’s like some Mickey Newbury level concept stuff. And if you need any proof about her chops, check the YouTube where she’s finger pickin’ through "My Tennessee Mountain Home" with three-inch nails—no joke.
7. John Phillips - John, the Wolf King of L.A.
Another Lou Adler deal, like the Spirit record. I’ve been on a John Phillips kick for a couple years now—all the way back to The Mamas and the Papas. After I found myself reading his bio, I realized I was getting a little excessive with it. But this record still sounds real good to me.
8. The Sir Douglas Quintet/Doug Sahm
Liz and I got to arguing over Sir Douglas Quintet + 2 = Honkey Blues, Mendocino and Doug Sahm and Band, so we just said all of it. Its hard to explain this stuff Tex-Mex stuff objectively, so I’m not gonna try. But if you hear it, it’s not a hard of sell.
9. John Cale & Terry Riley - Church of Anthrax
I don’t listen to this record as much as maybe say five years ago, but whenever it’s on, I’m listening. I’ve seen both of them live, but can’t imagine what seeing them playing together around this time would have been like.
10. The Rolling Stones - Goats Head Soup
This is the one for me (for now). “Sometimes I’m up, sometimes I’m down / Sometimes I’m fallin’ on the ground / Why do you hide, why do you hide your love?”
So here’s the thing: There’s bands that rock, and then there’s bands that think they rock, and then there’s Liquor Store, who just plain out blow the fuck out of both. Ringleader Sarim Al-Rawi is a bit of a hard man to pin down, when he’s not raising mayhem on tour, he’s continually starting shit on Terminal Boredom. Now a guitarist, he used to play drums in Titus Andronicus, Home Blitz and Live Fast Die. Dusted’s Doug Mosurock called their albumYeah Buddy the most unabashedly crude and unassumingly genius album of its kind to come out since The Dictator’s Go Girl Crazy more than 35 years ago. For this week’s listed, Al-Rawi gives us his list of Liquor Store’s top “69” road jams. Buckle your seat belt.
1. Body Count - S/T
Me and Bones had a grand old time blasting this after we all got strip searched by drug dogs in shit-pile of nowhere Tennessee. Everybody else was trying to sleep because they had too much fun dancing their dicks off to Tom Petty while frolicking around a salt-water pool all night in Atlanta. The next day we went to a McDonalds that had a sign that said "never been to McDonalds? Then welcome to paradise!" and watched a redneck dude in hiking boots, short-shorts, tucked in tank top, Oakley blades and a whiteboy trucker doo-rag freak the fuck out while holding a case of dew and a giant bag of don’s cuz he overextended himself, shit the bed and smashed his smoothie all over the floor. "MOTHERFUCKER!!!"
This is easily number one in the van, possibly tied with Waka and Ross the Boss. We got intercepted by a couple of skinhead night-rider, storm troopers in Tennessee who had bullet proof vests that said "DTF" real big on both sides. They pulled me behind the car and started playing mind games about who is good cop, who is bad cop and asking where the weapons were. He checked my ID and then told me he’d been to my family’s village in Iraq. Motherfucker. I gotta call ‘em up and tell ‘em they’re slacking off over there. That’s when I looked down and noticed he had a giant tattoo of a peace sign on fire. What the fuck does that mean? Both of these fuckin’ jamokes looked like the bass player of sublime after 12 cycles of steroids and kept referring to the car as a "vee-hickle." All the weed was in Block’s stomach but we gave ‘em the apple pipe and told ‘em "a really weird guy" left in the car. They didn’t get it at all and made us throw it in the bushes. Then they made us stand in the grass ("careful there’s snakes down there") while they did a little fuckin’ song and dance routine with the dogs that looked like a fuckin’ lame-ass fake swat team reenacting the New York city ballet version of "best in show" then tore the car apart and found all our porn and a rotten banana peel that had been stinking up the car for days. Thanks dudes! Their dog was such a pussy too; not sick at all. We knew they didn’t have shit on us. "So do you guys know what DTF is?" "THATS NOT WHAT IT MEANS!!" the whole time this was going on Akon was blasting on the stereo because nobody bothered to turn it off.
4. Waka Flocka - Flackavelli
We used to play this as our intro music before every show until one night in Canada where we lost the IPod at the sickest club ever. They gave us food, beers the size of wine bottles, a plastic bag full of 200 cigarettes, shots of Jager, 4:20 friendly, "Thanks bro!" "No problem, any of you guys need a line or something too?" "Nah I’m cool bro" Thats when I looked over and saw the barback blowing his face off. Later on that night somebody quapped a hummer in front of Canadian parliament in a snowstorm. "Winning!"
3. Buffalo - Volcanic Rock
This record got a real workout on billion hour, midnight runs across the desert crankin’ out road sodas. Especially sick when getting’ quapped on "bud heavy" (not a cool thing to say) plowin’ through a lightning storm somewhere in New Mexico at 3 in the morning, upper-deckin thirties. in New Mexico they sell Jager at gas stations. Totally redefines the car bomb. Quapped directions to a sick shortcut to Phoenix from a sick local dude after he told Block he had "sweet ink." Then took the main road after watchin the dude buy 6 tall cans of joose and confirming with one of his paisans that the shortcut was a piece of shit and would take forever. the cover is a chick gettin banged out by a volcano so you know its gonna be a good one. bones says: "dead forever is sick too"
69. Juan De La Cruz Band - Live Shit/Super Session
It don’t matter how little Philipino you speak to scoop to this shit after doing knife hits with Russians in a snowstorm and throwing your amp across the room. These motherfuckers can shred.
667. Thin Lizzy - Desperado
Everybody’s all up in arms about Jailbreak and Bad Reputation and Live And Dangerous. Those are great records but this is by far the best Lizzy record. Brian Roberston and Gary Moore are a dynamite combo, easily the best axe team Lizzy ever assembled, and clearly the pinnacle of shred for such a serious guitar band as Thin Lizzy. Not to be outgunned, Lynott is clearly at the peak of his own funky game, it seems almost incomprehensible that he could pull of such virtuosic yet tasteful and fluid bass work while still belting out all the songs the way he does here, virtuosity which probably reaches its peak in the breakdown of "at your back." "Whisper" is easily the heaviest ballad they ever pulled off, and "Beat Street" is a classic Lizzy rocker. "End of the Line" is hands down their best song ever, easily better than "Cowboy Song." if you thought Gary killed it on that, the shit he perpetrates here makes that shit sound like those weird bitches from New Hampshire everybody thought were so fuckin’ great way back whenever. Obviously every single one is sick as fuck, but if you own one fuckin’ Thin Lizzy record, this is it right here.
911. Black Sabbath - Volume 4
My friends got the sickest copy of this record ever with this gatefold book with all these sick fuckin’ pictures in it. His dad was at a nightclub back in the day and there was a huge shootout between a buncha mob dudes over a coke deal or some shit. The whole place got destroyed and there were dead dudes and blood and broken glass and bullet holes and coke and whatever other shit all over the place. For some reason he was the only jadrool who didn’t fromp the fuck outta that bitch, so when the smoke cleared he crawled out from whatever fuckin’ couch he was hiding under and saw this album layin’ on the floor, grabbed it, and fuckin’ bounced. Shit was sick as fuck, just ask Bill Ward, his brain was there.
311. Sleep - Holy Mountain
"Alright! alright! alright!" me and Block got another band called Smokeshow. We were getting’ gas by Block’s house one night and we pull into the delta and this huge mechanic motherfucker with a giant ‘fro was sitting on the hood of his Camaro shredding the bass sick as fuck out of a sick stack he rigged up in front of the garage. We said what’s up and he told us his name was Rhino and wanted to start a band. We gave him this CD. He asked us if we wanted to play music so we figured he could play bass for Smokeshow. I haven’t seen him since then but the sick guy who pumps the gas says he’s a sick fuckin’ mechanic. Look out for Smokeshow: Smokestack b/w Stoneman out soon on Smokestone records.
1986. Mountain - Climbing
Leslie West just got his foot cut off ‘cuz he’s a lazy fuckin’ son of a bitch. Then Leslie West went on the radio and told tons of jokes about it. Leslie West does solo shows every year in Woodstock. Leslie West plays electric guitar by himself and still shreds all the solos. Sometimes Leslie West’s boy gets up there and plays bass with him. Felix Pappalardi’s wife shoulda shot Leslie in the foot instead of Felix in the head. Then Felix coulda went on the radio and told jokes about it. This record is always sick no matter what’s goin’ down. One time we listened to this record while driving down the side of a mountain. Some people climbed up a hill that was on the mountain but I ate too much San Francisco chocolate and don’t really have any experience dealing with nature or the woods so I just chilled. I wasn’t exactly sittin’ on a rainbow if you know what I mean. They said there was deer and butterflies up there but I think they were full of shit. Then we saw some seals, almost got killed by a tidal wave, and I burned my ass on a campfire. Fuck nature. Mountain is sick as death.
5. Blues Creation - Demon and Eleven Children
Felix Pappalardi produced this record before getting’ the final quap from his wife. "These japs can really rock!" when they do "Mississippi mountainside" I wonder if they had any idea what that was like. Maybe they just stared at Mount Fuji and filled in the blanks. Best Japrock record of all time? Just ask that dandy little limey schoolboy whatshisfuckinface with all the free time.
By Dusted Magazine