Bands I Saw @ SXSW (non-NPR edition): The Ugly Beats

The Ugly BeatsI am horrified. I had no idea when I wrote my pair of posts about Wild Flag and tUnE-yArDs at SXSW last week that both bands (both!) had been prominently featured in NPR's coverage of the event. To make up for that oversaturation, here's a band that's received criminally little coverage but that were my favorite personal discovery of the week.

The Ugly Beats have been kicking around since 2003 and are hardly unknowns in their hometown of Austin, even playing at SXSW last year. That they never pinged my radar may be because they are on Get Hip, a label that I consistantly underestimate. Get Hip specializes in 1960s garage rock revivalists -- modern day bands that worship at the feet of the Seeds or the Troggs -- and how many of those bands do I need to hear, really? And yet, Get Hip manage to grab the pick of the litter so that, whenever I do bother to drop the laser to the silver, I'm always impressed.

Any, boy howdy did the Ugly Beats impress! Perhaps inspired by an introduction from Fleshtone Peter Zaremba, or just the friendly hometown crowd, they brought an energy to the Easy Tiger Patio stage that was addictive and infectious. Between that energy, great songs, a keyboardist with a killer smile (and great vintage dress) and a drummer that looked like he stepped off the set of Mad Men, I couldn't take my eyes or camera off them.

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