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VOL. 126 | NO. 55 | Monday, March 21, 2011

Fareveller to Honor City’s Present, Future

JONATHAN DEVIN | Special to The Memphis News

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Brandon Herrington appreciates Memphis’ musical legacy – Elvis Presley, Sun Studios, Stax – but he says the city’s musical present is at least as important as its past.

Morning Teleportation is one of the headliners at the inaugural Fareveller Music Festival, to be held March 24-26 at venues around town.

(Photo: Courtesy of Morning Teleportation)

To bring Memphians a taste of what’s happening in music today, Herrington has organized the inaugural Fareveller Music Festival, to be held March 24-26 at various venues around town.

Where, exactly, did the name Fareveller come from? Herrington said the word is the made-up title of a song his band in high school wrote.

“Us being a little pretentiously artsy back in the day, we named one of our songs ‘Fareveller’ and it was one of my favorite of our songs,” said Herrington, who now plays guitar and sings for the local band This is Goodbye.

And hey, there was no copyright on the name, and no one had the domain already.

Herrington had wanted to plan a festival for a while when a friend, Seth Fein, who has produced the Pygmalion Festival in Illinois for several years, said the time is now.

“(Fein) said, ‘Why don’t you pick a date and let’s do it,’” Herrington said. “He gave me the golden rulebook and helped me work through it. He’s also become our talent buyer.”

But again, Herrington had a purpose in mind, namely to remind Memphians that music didn’t die with Isaac Hayes. Instead, the indie scene in town is ready to explode with new talent.

“In the past what’s been missing and what’s changing is that Memphis has been really focused on our legacy,” Herrington said. “That’s a great thing, something we should never let go of, but what Memphis has lacked is a lot of initiatives to promote the current scene of musicians.”

Because the current scene is youthful, Herrington wanted venues that allow people as young as 18. He also raised enough money to offer multiple nights.

“It’s supposed to be grassroots, it’s supposed to be local and it doesn’t need to be huge the first year,” he said. “I’d decided that no matter what kind of budget we came up with, it had to happen this year.”

Also, he purposely planned his festival in the weekend after the hugely popular South by Southwest (SXSW) music and film festival in Austin, Texas, because he knew lots of good bands would be in the region looking for more gigs.

Among those he found the band Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s from Indianapolis with five albums of folk/indie rock from Mariel Recording Co. The group will headline the Thursday night show at the Hi-Tone Cafe.

Guitarist Damien Jurado of Seattle is also on the lineup, playing Friday night at Young Avenue Deli.

“That’ll definitely be a more chill evening,” said Herrington, noting that Jurado plays for the same label as Soundgarden, Nirvana and Pearl Jam. He’s produced more than 10 albums since he got started in the mid-1990s.

Another headliner, Morning Teleportation, will heat things up Friday night at Newby’s.

“I imagine that’s going to be one of the more crazy shows,” Herrington said. “They’re definitely an upbeat show with a bunch of young guys. From what I’ve seen and all the reviews I’ve read, they’re a band to see.”

Those three groups have never performed in Memphis before, but Herrington also wanted lots of local talent showcased. Bands like PEZZ, The Subteens, JD Reager, and Holly Cole & the Memphis Dawls are all in the mix. About 40 bands in all will perform.

“I want to give people in Memphis something they don’t have,” Herrington said. “I personally feel like Memphis is experiencing a revitalization of its music scene. People are making some really good decisions and doing some good things. Places like the Hi-Tone and Minglewood Hall are bringing in some really good music.”

Visit www.fareveller.com for ticket prices and complete schedule.

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