Live at O’Leaver’s
Let me set the scene for you. It was a little more than 2 weeks into my Manifest Destiny Tour. I was on my way to Omaha, NE from St. Louis, MO. Originally my travel plans involved bussing from St. Louis to Chicago and then from Chicago to Omaha, which if you’re looking at a map you’ll notice is a weirdly indirect route to take. So a newly-made friend of a friend who was heading out to Colorado heard me talking about my buses for the next day and generously offered to take me along with him on his journey west. Not only did I have a wholly pleasurable car ride with this man (there are almost no words for the luxury of good company and the comfort of a car when you’ve been living on a Megabus), but I ended up making it to Omaha 9 hours earlier than scheduled!
Because I was so early I was able to attend an awesome bonfire with my friend Tim Maides (who by the way makes incredible soap). As I’m relishing being so instantly welcomed into this small community of friends, a guy named Ian Aiello asks me if I’m the Alexa Dexa playing House of Loom the next night. He had read the small interview I had done with Tim McMahan for The Reader and wanted to know which venue in Austin I was talking about as being my worst show experience to date. Then he starts telling me about the live sessions he puts together as the engineer at O’Leaver’s (which is just the bar that Cursive owns no big deal. No really, it’s no big deal to anyone in Omaha, that’s how cool the community is) and consequently offers me the opportunity to come in to do a Live at O’Leaver’s session. I was utterly thrilled because this was the very first time I’ve ever gone somewhere in America and been asked to participate in something unplanned musically. That alone was enough to make Omaha a clear tour favorite notwithstanding the incredible people I met there. Sidebar – some people think California is the capital of chill. These people have never and I repeat clearly NEVER been to Omaha, which in my humble opinion takes the cake as the chillest place on Earth.
Two days later I find myself setting up my toy piano and bells on top of the most appropriate rug of all time – a life-sized horse. (I think I need one probably.) I laid out two new songs – “Focus” and “Tie Yourself to Me” and an old favorite “Skipping Lanterns (Mikey D Remix)” – all in one take.
Here’s the awesome blurb Ian wrote about the session:
Alexa Dexa’s massive and soaring productions are brought back to earth by tiny instruments. Known as a ‘toychestra’ consisting of a toy piano and hand bells, Alexa Dexa’s performance defies convention. With a huge vocal range that navigates descriptors like pop diva and indie songstress and veteran soul singer, Alexa manages to blend several genres into one. Hers. The first song, Focus, is electrifying and and lyrically brutal and could be added to your “Angrily Walking Home Past The Old House You Shared With Ex” playlist.