The Ugly Beats aren't nearly as self-consciously cool as many of their Austin musical neighbors, because they don't need to be. Honed by a decade or so of near-constant gigging at 512-area nightspots such as Hotel Vegas, Beerland and the Carousel Lounge, the quintet's garage-pop is as sincere as it is spot-on. Soaked in reverb, surf licks, that eternal Byrdsian jangle and oodles of Farfisa, their songs celebrate the '60s without ever seeming stuck there, while the band keeps them coming at a good enough clip for three full-length albums now, most recently July's Brand New Day (Get Hip).
Lately their Houston visits have been increasing (they'll be back to play Rudz next month), a development most definitely to our liking. In fact, before they play the Big Top Saturday night, the Beats will do a 3 p.m. matinee at Cactus Music as part of the "Peace Love & Rescue" benefit for the no-kill animal-rescue program SMART Rescue. We asked the band's Joe Emery to pick out ten of his favorite rare '60s 45s by Texas bands, and he sent back the following list within 24 hours. That ought to get us all through the lunch hour. Good stuff below...thanks, Joe!
10. "Don't Hurt Me," Beefeaters (NK Records)
From YouTube: I was a roommate of some of the guys at The Eagles apartments on Stella Street in Denton...North Texas State University back then This was in '66 and '67. I helped drive and load their old black '56(?) hearse sometimes. Their equipment was stolen one night from the hearse and I especially remember a wild gig in Oklahoma one weekend... (dodiho65)
9. "Do Do Do," Commonwealth Jones (Columbia) Note: Early band featuring Ronnie Dawson, the late Dallas rockabilly legend known as the "Blond Bomber."
8. "I'm Gonna Love You." the Hangmen (Flo-Pin)
From doggonepresents.com: There was certainly a feeling amongst these Southerners that Canada was a hippy haven or perhaps a place for weird folks. Perhaps because of this idea, Texas entrepreneur Colonel Paul Beckingham decided to take his San Antonio group the Hangmen to the metaphorical north and change their name to the Five Canadians.
Perhaps it was just a cheap play on the Five Americans, another band from Texas who had achieved Top 40 success. Either way, these lads were Southern to the core.
7. "She Doesn't Love Me Anymore," The Five (Britian) From YouTube: "Awesome rare kid folk-rock from Dallas, TX"
6. ""Enough of What I Need," the Stoics (Brams) From YouTube: "Have this on a Texas CD set I bought in the nineties. Your version is much better!!!" [Bram Records was based in San Antonio - ed]
5. "Dream World/Look at Me Girl," Playboys of Edinburg (Pharoah) Emery: "Two-sided killer... impossible to choose one!"
From YouTube: Thanks for posting such a great song and so underrated for the time. I spent most of the '60s in a rock band in West texas playing organ and lead singer, my wife was a drummer in another rock band when we started dating. We have now been married over 44 years. ROCK AND ROLL FOREVER LONE STAR QUEEN (stillrockinat61)
4. "Bad Girl," Zakary Thaks (J-Beck)
From markprindle.com: "A high-speed, chord-driven doop-chick doop-chick hardcore punk song from 1966. Guitar distortion wasn't quite worth its weight in snuff at that point in time, but you play that song today with today's modern distortion pedal and see how many old people let you into their party! [Zakary Thaks were a four-piece from Corpus that became one of the regional garage scene's better-known '60s bands - ed.]
3. "We Sell Soul," The Spades (Zero) Emery: "Flipside of the great original version of 'You're Gonna Miss Me'"
From YouTube: This was Roky [Erickson's] first recording, at age 18. ["Miss Me"] received some local airplay [in Austin] and was a (very) minor local hit. However, just as it was "taking off," Roky was recruited to leave the Spades and join a new group, the 13th Floor Elevators. "You're Gonna Miss Me" was re-recorded, and "We Sell Soul" became "Don't Fall Down," with different lyrics. (RiotCity66)
2. "Going Out With the Tide," Freddy Fender (Norco) Note: Fender later recorded "Tide" as a duet with Louisiana swamp-pop pioneer Tommy McLain, but originally recorded it as the B-side to November 1963 single "Coming Home Soon."
1. "Never to be Forgotten," Bobby Fuller Four (Mustang)
From YouTube: Such a brilliant song, and so poignant given the premature death of Bobby Fuller. I can't understand why it wasn't a hit when it came out. I've loved it for years, and come back to it repeatedly. Thanks for posting it. (speedy45rpm)
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