The Ole Miss Motel is not on the Ole Miss campus. My motel room has a king-size bed with three pillows labeled soft, medium, and firm. The light in the bathroom makes the room shake, but it’s too dark when it’s off. There’s a refrigerator and a microwave and a television that makes a video game noise when the power’s turned on. The Ole Miss Motel is only three blocks from the square.
Everything is walkable in Oxford. The Lyric Theatre has a beautiful entryway, with a black-and-white paisley vaulted ceiling jutting against a stark red wall. Amy LaVere’s upright bass makes me shiver. Joey Lauren Adams is a good reader. Silas Reed has a velvety voice and a hefty horn section.
Some boys who play in bands like to hang out at the City Grocery on weeknights. These are the kinds of boys who will take you to Checker’s to get a snack when you’re hungry and your friends are fighting and you need to be walked the three blocks back to the Ole Miss Motel. These are the kinds of boys with manners, who will try to hold your hand but won’t lean in for a kiss at the end of the night. A grizzled, bearded man says the next day that he overheard someone saying how crazy City Grocery was the night before—there were girls pissing in the men’s room.
Bouré is a nice restaurant to go and eat chicken carbonara for lunch in between naps and watching television at the Ole Miss Motel. All the waitresses wear gingham shirts and have sweet-tea voices and bright pink lipstick. The Double Decker Festival can be seen from the balcony of a new friend’s apartment, or the balcony of a new friend’s friend’s apartment. The people at this apartment play songs like “Holiday Inn” by Chingy and dance like they’re not trying to impress girls, which is the only real way to impress girls. There’s an industrial cooler filled with beer and there are two cats roaming around. At one point, a redhead named Virginia starts kicking people out of the apartment, claiming there are too many people there who she doesn’t know. I am allowed to stay.
DAY ONE: Thursday
Inside The Lyric
Still inside The Lyric
The irrepressible Tyler Keith onstage at Thacker
The multi-dimensional Silas Reed onstage
Mary Elizabeth Cochran
Julie Anna Murphy
Outside The Lyric
Alex Warren, Dent May, Tyler Keith, and Scott Rorie
Print Chouteau of Flight
Scott and Finley Hughes
Lindsey Else, visiting from Minnesota
DAY TWO: Friday
Sterling and friend
Print and John Barrett of Bass Drum of Death
DAY THREE: Saturday
OA columnist Jack Pendarvis caught, once again, in reflection.
Cary Hudson with OAer Meghan Tear Plummer