Tired of Waiting

The center of the musical universe, Austin welcomes the beautiful and the ugly

But how does that satisfy that desire within all music fans to be kicked in the ass by the undiscovered gem, the thrill of laying claim to that new New Thing before anyone else? It doesn't, which is why some 800 nobodies were also in town, hoping not to be signed, just to be noticed--to be wanted, even for the 30 minutes it took to plug in and freak out. You just want to leave SXSW with one band to talk about, to tell your friends about, to warn the world about. Universal Recovered, Restart Records labelmates of At The Drive-In and Belknap and Defacto, may not be that bandday after tomorrow, but on Friday night, they were it--so loud they became a lifestyle, so cranked-up and messed-up they took a sonic shit on the Atomic Café and made it smell like a rose bed. When someone in the crowd yelled, "Louder! Faster!" guitarist Ralph Jasso (bearing a 'fro so big he seemed off-balance) couldn't believe his surely deaf ears. "Louder? Faster?" he responded, shocked because no such thing was actually possible. But he and bassist-singer Greg Sosa tried anyway, until the songs began sounding like a sustained roar--a solid slab of evil.

Robyn Hitchcock, as much a SXSW perennial as barbecue at the IronWorks or free beer at an afternoon party, showed up to play with the re-formed Soft Boys.
John Anderson
Robyn Hitchcock, as much a SXSW perennial as barbecue at the IronWorks or free beer at an afternoon party, showed up to play with the re-formed Soft Boys.
The Toadies capped off the weekend with a rousing set of songs from the just-released Hell Below/Stars Above. But it was the first time all weekend you wanted the soundman to crank it up.
John Anderson
The Toadies capped off the weekend with a rousing set of songs from the just-released Hell Below/Stars Above. But it was the first time all weekend you wanted the soundman to crank it up.

"To the beautiful people, stay beautiful," Jasso said as the band wound down, as if. "To the ugly people, stick with us." It was the best invitation of the week.

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