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September Sucks: 10 Psych-Rock Gems to Hide Away With

Every recluse worth their beard (or leg hair, if you're a lady) has a soundtrack to hide out to. 

Now it's September. The summer's over, leaving us only the tail end of brain-meltingly hot temperatures, unpredictable torrents of rain, a hangover, and a mess to clean up. As we slog through the political bullshit toward November, the desire to spend a bit of time hunkered away in a state of seclusion to recharge is strong.

Our preferred seclusion sonics are of the psychedelic variety: You can get lost in the sounds, regardless of whether or not you're in a state of chemical enhancement. Here are a few of our favorite psych-rock burners to keep you company in the dark. Don't do anything stupid. 

10. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - "Vampire Circus" This band hates selling albums. They're British, use fake names, and press their vinyl in extremely small batches. That said, they're fantastic and pull off an authentic late '60s sound better than just about anyone else currently making records. Both of their releases,Vol 1 and Bloodlust, are winners from cover to cover.

9. Scorpions - "I'm Going Mad" Here is an extremely rare clip of the Scorpions (yes, the "No One Like You" Scorpions) showing us just how badly bands can stray from radness over time. Unfortunately, the other tracks that accompany this ace on the band's debut aren't nearly as strong.

8. The Black Angels - "Deer-Ree-Shee"
The Black Angels are one of the more popular bands to come from the recent psych rock revival, and for good reason: like Uncle Acid, they've got the authentic goods. This track was selected because, well, how are you going to fuck with that sitar? You're not. You're going to stare at the wall and think deep thoughts. Sonic peyote.

7. Pink Floyd - "Echoes" A Pink Floyd tune is an obvious choice here, but the hits -- though valid and wonderful in their own right -- have been beaten deep into the ground by Clear Channel radio, and it'd be a cliche music journalist move to drop a Syd Barrett period song here: We don't want to be like that asshole you know that thinks the Stones died with Brian Jones. All 24 glorious minutes of this track, taken from the Live at Pompeii performance, serve as argument for the dominant nature of the post-Barrett era Floyd. 6. Black Mountain - "Wucan" Eerie female vocals, smart riffage, and a steady beat. What more could you want? Oh yeah, a '70s synthesizer solo! Black Mountain, from Vancouver, have got you covered! And they toured with, uh, Coldplay. Weird, right?

5. The Amboy Dukes - "Flight of the Byrd"Before Ted Nugent went completely insane, he played in a really great psych band called the Amboy Dukes. Ridiculous politics and bat-shit commentary aside, the Nuge is and always has been an exceptionally good guitarist, and this song (named after his Gibson Byrdland guitar) is a great example of the fire young Teddy played with.

4. Thee Oh Sees - "Robber Barons" This track is lazy sounding in all of the right places, and in a sea of really terrible "lo-fi" acts, Thee Oh Sees stick out in a way that is refreshing and authentic; perhaps this has something to do with why Keith Morris (OFF!, Circle Jerks, Black Flag) name-checked this group in every interview he gave in 2011.

3. 13th Floor Elevators - "You Don't Know" Hailing from Texas, the 13th Floor Elevators were one of the most important strands making up psych-rock's DNA. Roky Erickson, the band's leader, has a tragic history of mental illness including forced shock therapy treatments. But Roky's a classic. The band had an electric jug player, as if things weren't weird enough already.
2. Queens of the Stone Age - "Going Out West" (Tom Waits Cover) While most artists really should stay away from covering Tom Waits' music (as it is next to impossible to elaborate on any of the man's incredible musical statements) Josh Homme and co. really pulled it off with this track.
1. The Brian Jonestown Massacre - "Anemone" We will end our isolation with the group most fans of the psych-genre think of first when it comes to modern psychedelia. The track speaks for itself, so we'll shut up now.

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David Von Bader

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