South By Southwest 2009 wrapped on Sunday, and we’re back in New York, picking through the hours of tape we shot, reminiscing about the good times (check out our favorite SXSW moments) and trying very hard not to fall asleep on our keyboards. This is proving more difficult than I had imagined.
Because after the week-long party that is SXSW, there’s the inevitable hangover. And, well, right now, that hangover is fierce — and I don’t even drink!
I slept 10 hours last week. On Saturday night, I didn’t sleep at all, as we wrapped production at 4:30 a.m., then headed right to the airport for our 7 a.m. flight. The scene at Austin-Bergstrom International was like something out of “Dawn of the Dead,” with bands, publicists and hipsters wandering around the terminal like zombies, shoveling breakfast tacos into their mouths. There were bodies sprawled on the floor, heads buried in hooded sweatshirts, sunglasses covering bloodshot eyes. It was like one gigantic commercial for Promises. And it’s only gotten worse since then!
I’ve been back for roughly 24 hours now, and — surprise, surprise — I still haven’t been able to sleep, since my body was coached into staying awake until 5 a.m. every night. I have gigantic bags under my eyes, my hair is wild, and I’m sporting a really nasty SXSW beard — basically I look like some dude who’d be hanging out at a bus station somewhere. Or Joaquin Phoenix.
And what’s worse, after writing so much, I cannot bring myself to write another word about SXSW … about the Decemberists or Metallica or Asher Roth or Kanye or BLK JKS. I cannot think of a witty thing to say about BBQ, or the weather, or Sixth Street. I am officially tapped. In the words of Steve Malkmus, “I need to sleep … why won’t you let me sleep?”
Still, duty calls. So here’s the final word (or words) on South by Southwest 2009: It was great. I had a blast. We all did. And we can’t wait to go back again next year. And if I can say that right now — in the midst of a soul-crushing SXSW hangover — I really mean it!
MTV News was Live & Mobile at the South by Southwest festival last week, with blogs, articles plus live and on-demand video of all the bands, gigs and BBQ!