SXSW Dispatches: The O's Let Us Read Their Diary

[Last week, we asked a few bands to check in with us from time to time over the course of the week to tell us about their SXSW experiences. Now, with the fest over, those diatribes are starting to show. Here's The O's' take on SXSW...]

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Steve Visneau

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dear O's Journal,

It's 10:30 AM. For fuck's sake, John's running late again. I swear, he never is on time. He said we'd leave at 10:00. Geez. SXSW: Can we survive? It seems unlikely. If we can make it through without visible scars, a hospital bill, an injury sustained while saying, "Hey everybody! Watch this!," random bruises, dropping an entire pizza, sleeping, having people literally avoid me by walking a safe distance away by making a large circle, listen to "Stairway to Heaven" eight times (nearly in a row), get told to put my shirt back on (but what they really mean is put your dingle back into your boxers)... If we can make it through without those things happening, then maybe we will be OK...

Oh wait, what? We're going to promote; to work? Huh. Hmm. Stuff.

2:00 PM - Stopped at Czech stop. Kolaches taste good when you mouth them. We buy beer.

4:30 PM - Just left a magical place called Papa Joes; it's a killer honkey tonk in Lorena, TX. One may recall hearing of this highway gem from a recent assault charge against living legend Billy Joe Shaver who shot another dude for "talking shit about his wife" after saying these words: "Where do you want it?" The place is great; beer is ice cold. Usually we would stop at these other 'tonks also: George's, then Shade Tree, then Frontier, then Speedway Inn, then suffer through until Austin. However, we are in a hurry. Only one 'tonk today. John has a burn on his arm he doesn't remember getting.

6:30 PM - Walking down 6th St, we enter a bar called The Thirsty Nickel. Normally, I wouldn't note this, but upon entry, the bar man said, "Holy Shit! The O's!" And then he sang our song, "I Love You So Much." We drank a something called a Hideous Liquor. Then another, then another... eeks. When the band finished (Thirsty Nickel was part of a certain Pyramid Fest that most bands know of through an incessant barrage of email/myspace bothering asking bands to be a part of their battle of the bands and then fucking the bands over... in the butt) the bar man cranked "I Love You So Much" on the speaker system. Party.

12:00 - Midnight, I think? Taylor stumbles in to see Stax legends The Bar-Kays. They are badass! Icons! Those dudes blow everyone's minds. They are flawless. Taylor is happy. This is really why we come to SXSW, isn't it?

Pictures include: Taylor and John at Czech Stop, John laying on the ground, John confused after dropping an entire pizza, Taylor bro-ing down with a mannequin, etc.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dear O's Journal,

Wow. What the hell happened last night? Or yesterday for that matter? Did we see any music yesterday? Yes! We saw a band wearing chicken suits. Really? I think so, but I don't know--the picture is all blurry. Let's eat!

11:30 AM - Texas Chili Parlor. John had the chili sampler and Taylor had cheese and jalapeno burger. Yummy to tummy, dos cervezas and a margarita. I feel OK. You feel OK? Let's do this.

3:00 PM - Club De Ville. After attempting to go straight to Club De Ville, we stop by several bars to have a drink. I won't lie. This day is rough. We're a bit H.O.'d. We fight through as well as possible. The Hold Steady are playing. A friend asks John, "What are they all about?" John says "geek rock." Then we walk around the corner and the friend says, "Oh you mean actual geeks playing rock. I thought you meant hot dudes that wear Buddy Holly glasses."

3:45 PM - After John takes his boots off and lays on the ground, Taylor starts to party.

6:00 PM - We are at Sholtz's Beer Garden watching Doug Sahm's son play his songs. It's a gooooood time. Plus the bartender is a friend and the cocktails are FREE!!! Yay! Free Stuff! The last free stuff we got (some bag full of things that get you free stuff) we left at a bar the night before. Oops. Oh well. Come to think of it, I was told about all the free stuff we'd get at the SXSW bonanza, but I didn't get shit! WTF?

1:00 AM - Text from Hunter Hauk to John that says, "When Taylor says to leave him on the corner, should I believe him?" I reply, "Sure! He'll be fine." Hunter calls and the convo went something like this:

"Really? He was pretty [fill in word for good time]," says Hunter.
"Trust me, he'll be OK. He's the Taylor!"
"But he said to me, 'You go your way, I'll go mine.' Again he was really [fill in word for good time]."
"Bro, you got Tunderdogged! Good night!" I hang up.

Taylor catches the group, School of Seven Bells with Dallas via Brooklyn's own Ben Curtis on the guitar. They blow his mind. He likes the two girls in the band. He decides to save his moves on them for the tour next month when we'll be in NY. It's on! R N R.

1:30 AM - Taylor makes it home later after a cab driver calls and says, "Hey, uh, ya, uh, I'm trying to get your friend home. I need directions." Where's The Luke, our tour manager? Geez.

3:30 AM - Note to self: When staying at a friend's house, make sure they are cleared by a minimum of three psychiatrists. In our case, we got what we didn't pay for: A butt pain--wait I mean a pain in the ass. Our gracious host has blasted Led Zeppelin Live now for a couple of hours. I've heard "Stairway" five times. Can you fucking believe that? It's retarded.

3:58 AM - Stairway count : 6

4:30 - Stairway count : 7

(phone dead = no clock) stairway count : 8. I don't care what the cost is, we're getting a hotel tomorrow. Fuck it. This is stupid.

Pictures include : John laying down on the ground at Club De Ville after saying "Hey everybody watch this" and then someone stepping on his face; Taylor looking awesome doing stuff; John being force-fed vodka and soda 'mouth-to-mouth-style' by straw because he had no strength to drink; several of John with his head in his hands; Taylor, John, and John Dufilho bro-ing; others of us doing stuff and bro-ing down.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dear O's Journal,

12:00 Noon - John has brunch at Mi Madres. Not good. No matter. This is a big day for The O's. We have two shows. (Taylor is playing two other shows with THe BAcksliders around The O's shows. Geez.) Taylor is off to play the other show. John gets a hotel room. No joke!? Yay! How much? Let's not worry about that. It's worth it.

1:30 - Check into hotel. Play with the sleep number bed. Turn on and off the TV. Play with the shower curtain. Open and close the blinds. Turn the AC way up, then turn it way down. Turn on lights and then turn them off. Plug in Ipod and turn on Jerry Jeff Walker. Shit. I gotta go.

3:15 - Arrive at radio show late. Couldn't find the place because of Google maps. Those fuckers have done us in the butt yet again. They are NEVER right. Geez. Show goes GREAT! Yay! Check out Kaos Radio Austin. It's a coupla cool dudes. Taylor and I speak before the show and it goes a little something like this :

Taylor : I don't feel so good.
John : That sucks man.
T : Hey, I don't feel good."
J : I feel you bro.
T : After THe BAcksliders show, I walked off the stage and puked.
J : Ouch, I hate that.
T : I don't feel so good.
J : Did you Thunderdog anyone?
T : Don't think so, but I puked. It was gross.
J : That's how I was yesterday.
T : You puked yesterday?
J : Yeah, at Club De Ville. Ouch.
T : Party.
J : Totally.

Then John and Taylor hugged.

5:30 PM - Taylor and John show up at Mother Egan's to load in gear. We hang with bro-mates Beau, Seth, and Dylan who are totally righteous. We meet Angie our stage manager and she is awesome. Taylor unveils, "Thunderdog", the newest member of The O's family. It's a 900-inch bass drum that sounds like canons blasting. It is totally awesome.

6:15 PM - Go to hotel and giggle.

7:15 PM - Taylor learns that he is late for a BAcksliders show. John goes to bar town. Taylor sees what he claims as the worst band in the history of bands. "They sound like a giant beast screaming at everybody over music with no time signature. It was so shitty," says Taylor.

8:00 PM - John sees a band called Los Super Elegantes at Vice(?). A pregnant Mexican girl sings while wearing a bed sheet. The other singer is a douche wearing sunglasses. The drummer rips. The bass player plays a Prince bass. There is a trumpet player. Things. Taylor sends a message saying something about Thunderdogging and/or peeing in people's drinks. No, that was John. Sorry. R N R.

9:15 PM - Taylor is en route to Mother Egans for the show. John is slowly behind. We're trying to get there for Shibboleth, who are totally awesome and will blow your butt away to nowhere's land if you're not lookin'. However, John is at the moment watching a band called 'Two Wheels to Death(?)' or something like that at The Belmont. John thinks they are Canadian. They try really hard to kick ass. At the end, the bass player throws his bass to the ground with reckless abandon. They all Thunderdog the stage. They run off and hide behind a curtain for a minute. It's totally rock and roll to the maximus. (Beat.) Then they walk back on stage, heads down, and slowly pick up their stuff and wrap cables. R N R.

9:35 - Taylor is drinking a whiskey at Mother Egans. John shows up and says, "Bro! What's up?" Taylor says, "Dude, I can finally stomach something." Then John high fives Taylor to the max. R N R.

10:30 - 30 minutes until show time. People are actually here to see us! Yay! From all over the place. We see friends from Kansas to NY and from Austin to Canada. (How those were the places I chose to go to and fro I do not know.) Drink drink drink.

10:50 - We start early so we can play longer. We lunge into our set shredding so hard (acoustically of course). People start to pee on themselves. A pregnant lady gives birth. Chuck Norris has a karate demonstration on some ninja fans, a band of Hell's Angels are employed as security by the end, etc. Party.

12:00 Midnight - We cocktail and watch Little Black Dress. They rockis maximus.

1:00 AM - We cocktail and watch The Crash That Took Me. They rock so flippin' hard.

2:30 AM - Taylor gets a ride with Little Black Dress who help us with the two bass drums (no small feet to say the least) and merch. John sits on the street awaiting a cab with four guitars, a lowebro, and another case full of shit. Beau, the savoir, the one, the angel of Guitar Center, some say--he came to our rescue like a Dragon swooping down and killing an army of naysayers while grabbing us and protecting us like a baby in a basket. He dropped us at a hotel.

3:30 AM - I set my sleep number bed to 60.

Pictures include : A bunch of silliness, the side of the pregnant mexican girl, walking and crossing of streets, things and such.

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