Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: San Fran psychsters Wooden Shjips and Canadian Americana stars The Sadies.
Listed: Wooden Shjips + The Sadies
San Francisco psychedelic quartet may seem a few years late for the hippie resurgence of "New Weird America," but don't think anything less of them for it. After releasing a series of praised 7"s, their self-titled debut, released earlier this year on Holy Mountain, is one of the strongest releases the genres have seen in modern times. Culling from influences that span the 70s, their powerfully droning, and epically repetitive songs ebb and flow as well as any of their predecessors. Wooden Shjips is out now, and the band is playing selected dates around the country.
To start I’d like to point out that these are all contemporary bands, making records and playing shows right now (and most have MySpace pages, so have a listen). These are just ten records I picked up in the last year, but it could have been a list of twenty or thirty. Times are good for music lovers (at least we have that, right?).
1. Los Llamarada – The Exploding Now (S-S Records)
After only hearing a few songs online (and seeing a couple of great YouTube videos:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt4s6ZpHl6w), I blindly volunteered to pick these guys up at the San Francisco airport. They had come up from their hometown of Monterrey, Mexico, for a mini Bay Area tour. I hate the airport. But they’re that good, and live they were better. Plus they’re super nice folks. The 7”, also on S-S, is great too, with a Brenda Lee cover to boot.
2. Blues Control – Puff (Woodsist)
We were privileged to play with Blues Control in Austin earlier this year. This may be a lazy comparison, but one way I might describe side one of this is “Terry Riley in slow motion”. It’s much more fucked-up though. Maybe “Terry Riley on 8oz of Robitussin”. But then it gets even more tripped-out, with an almost Schroeder-esque piano riff, and then the guitar kicks in and I think maybe I need to lie down and take some deep breaths. That’s just side one. The Holy Mountain album is also tops.
3. Der TPK – Harmful Emotions (Siltbreeze)
I don’t know anything about this band. I don’t know much about the Fall either, but to me this sounds like the Fall, recorded in German Oak’s bunker. In German. If that means anything to you, then go ahead and buy this record while you still can.
4. The Bad Trips – S/T (Rocketship Records)
I’m still waiting for Monoshock to get their due. But never mind that now. The Bad Trips has Grady Runyon of Monoshock on guitar, which is enough for me. Recorded by him at Grady’s Record Refuge (!?) in Ventura, this is a much looser and groovier animal. Wholly instrumental, and seemingly improvisational, to me this is dance music of the highest order.
5. Vincent Black Shadow – S/T (Heart Break Beat)
This is what I always wanted Steppenwolf or Deep Purple to sound like. Yeah, I like some of their stuff, but most of it sounds too Professional. Anyway, VBS, they’re from beautiful Baltimore and they sound like it (don’t confuse them with a Canadian band with the same name). I think my vinyl even has a faint smell of beer and gasoline. And I swear there’s a Beefheart riff buried somewhere in there too.
6. Expo ‘70 – Animism (Kill Shaman)
I’m not going to mention the K-word, but I will say that I listen to a lot of German music from the early 70’s. Hell, I probably listen to Ash Ra Tempel more than any other band (If anyone has that live stuff from ’73, I’d love a copy). Expo ‘70 shares many traits with music of that time and place, but this is no derivative. Sublime, floating, trance music, indeed. This music needs to be toured with a full band and light show.
7. Nothing People – Problems 7” (S-S Records)
Another stellar release from S-S. Psych-punk? New, New Wave with a twist? This is exactly the kind of genre-defying brilliance that used to doom a band to obscurity (until rediscovered by a European DJ 20 years later). Thank god for the Interweb. For no good reason I don’t yet own their new 7”, also on S-S.
8. Up-Tight – Five Psychedelic Pieces (Static Records)
I imagine these guys get compared to Les Rallizes Denudes a lot, but I’m not going there. Well, they do bring the long, long searing guitar jams, but rhythmically they have their own thing going on. And that’s half of everything in my book. This is not their most recent release, but it’s my favorite. They’re touring the US in November. Don’t miss the chance to see one of Japan’s finest.
9. Panel of Judges – No Scandal, No Future, In Heaven (Gothic Pharaoh Records)
This may be the first band that I managed to discover entirely on my own on MySpace. I don’t remember how I stumbled upon them, but they’re from Australia, and they write some of the best three-chord rock songs I’ve heard in a while. It’s more jangly than I usually prefer, but there’s something about the songs that rub me the right way. Check their MySpace page for a couple of their best. Someone needs to distribute this in the US.
10. Tinariwen – Aman Iman (World Village)
I’ve spent some time in Morocco, and I really like North African music. Tinariwen are from Mali, but they remind me of the best electric gnaoua music, fusing traditional rhythms and instruments with electric guitars and a mysterious, almost Classic Rock cool. I like to imagine they’re big Zeppelin fans. They just played in SF and it was magical.
The Sadies are a Canadian indie rock/alternative country band from Toronto, Ontario. The band consists of Dallas Good (also of Phono-Comb), Travis Good, Sean Dean and Mike Belitsky. Dallas and Travis Good are the sons of Bruce Good, a member of the Canadian country group The Good Brothers. In addition to their own recordings, the Sadies often collaborate with other country-rock artists, such as Blue Rodeo, Jon Langford and Neko Case. (Wikipedia)
Dallas Good's list:*
1. MC5 - High Times
Congratulations MC5; all three records are great. This very self-indulgent and seemingly easy job is making me insane. I have imposed many rules on myself to create this list without cheating, while still ensuring that I'm absolutely right. Therefore, there's no particular order to these 10 selections. Also, punk rock has been eliminated completely, so sorry to The Damned, Black Flag, Discharge, Pussy Galore, The Pack, Youth Youth Youth, The Angry Samoans, the Dead Kennedys and The Ramones, who would have just clogged up this list.
2. Captain Beefheart - Safe As Milk
Safe as Milk is on my list. It's a little bit silly, but it's right.
Another rule … R&B and C&W would clog my list too, otherwise this list would just consist of Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Bo Diddley, Hank Williams, Chuck Berry, Andre Williams, John Lee Hooker, Louvin Brothers, Roger Miller, and there's even more on that top ten.
3. Link Wray - Link Wray
This record took me years to understand. Link's inclusion on my list also marks the exclusion of all instrumental records and soundtracks so sorry Ennio, Ventures, Shadows, Pink Floyd, Doc and Merle, Monkees, Meters, MGs and Hawkwind.
4. The Can – Monster Movie
Monster Movie is in the top ten, but it's clearly not as good as Easter Everywhere by the 13th Floor Elevators.
5. The 13th Floor Elevators – Easter Everywhere
This record is the best record. It eliminated anything I could compare to it, so goodbye list cloggers: Beatles, Stones, Buddy Holly, CCR, Love, The Bantams, Simply Saucer, and even my precious Kinks, who still made the list with Arthur.
6. The Kinks – Arthur
The Elevators are so great.
7. The Everly Brothers – Two Yanks in England and Bobby Darren – Born Walden Robert Cassotto
Thse are perfect records that were created as experiments. The Everlys denounced their record and Vegas denounced Darren for his.
8. Dr. John – Gris Gris
Gris Gris is a very dangerous record. It can hurt you or help you, depending on how you use it. Just be really careful and think moderation. Also, there are no live records or bootlegs on this list so I won't be listing The Yardbirds, AC/DC, The Dutch Outsiders, James Brown, The Who, Seeds, Willie and Family, Gene Vincent, The Byrds and Bob Wills.
9. The last place is a three-way tie. I didn't forget The Coop with his tremendous effort, Pretties For You, which tied with The Fall's complete discography and The Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground.
* list approved by Ronald Thomas Clontle
By Dusted Magazine