If you won’t be able to make it down to Austin this weekend for the music extravaganza at the annual South by Southwest Interactive Festival, have no fear, because King Camel’s Jeff Brown is bringing Austin to you March 12.
This is the fifth year Brown has put on the SX Foreplay Festival, and it stands to be his biggest festival to date.
It started with the combining of two different shows, one thrown by Brown and another by Derek Kutzer of Pale Dian, and the concept was pretty simple.
“I always saw a bunch of post SXSW shows being thrown,” Brown remembers, “but there were so many bands coming through Dallas on their way that I figured it might be kind of cool to catch them on the way in while they're still fresh.”
This is a big year for SX Foreplay, the second year at two venues — a free four-band lineup at Armoury D.E. and a six-band lineup at Three Links with a $10 cover. Brown says he had “been wanting to move the fest to Deep Ellum for the last couple years, and with the closure of my previously used venue [Crown & Harp] it was the perfect time to push it to a bigger stage.”
Brown notes that the cover is to help these touring acts out as they make their way through our state and back home. “It's an opportunity to help some bands lesser known to the area grab some quick cash on their way down to Austin," he says.
King Camel has built a reputation in the Dallas area for getting the word out about local artists in the hopes of spreading it across a broader stage. SX Foreplay is an opportunity for Brown to change up his strategy a bit.
“I'd say it's just a longer King Camel joint,” Brown says. “In the past I've done two or three locals because I always want our scene to be mixed in with whatever I'm doing, but with the added costs of moving it to a better venue I really only wanted to add one local. One of the main points to this venture is to help these bands catch some quick cash, especially since many of them are playing shows in Austin for free during SX.”
Sealion was chosen to be the one local act in this year’s festival because of their powerhouse performances and Brown’s musical discussions with singer and guitarist Hunter Moehring.
“Hunter was the person who introduced me to Adult Books,” Brown says of his introduction to the stars of Monday night’s festival. “He hooked me up with them the first time they came through Dallas, so it just seemed right to keep it in the family.”
For Brown, SX Foreplay is as much about showcasing great artists to the Dallas music scene as it is about showing off his beloved city to bands that do not come here often. “A lot of these artists never get a chance to play Dallas for whatever reason,” Brown says, “and it's just the perfect opportunity for both sides to experience something new and fresh.”
As big as this festival has become, Brown already has plans for an even bigger future. “I'd really like to see some growth so I can add more bands,” he says. “I get tons of emails from bands coming through, but I only have so many spots for them.”
His vision is just as much about us as it is about them. “I'd like the opportunity to see it grow,” Brown says, “merely to have a larger show full of an even more diverse array of artists so they can see how awesome the DDFW scene is.”
The lineup is certainly diverse. Here is a list of bands, hometowns and genres you can expect to hear:
Adult Books – Los Angeles – Post-Punk
Stuyedeyed – Brooklyn – Garage Rock
Big White – Sydney, Australia – New Wave
Sealion – Dallas – Surf Punk
Sun Voyager – Brooklyn – Heavy Psych
Bethlehem Steel - Brooklyn – Rock
Yazan – New York – Alt-Folk
awakebutstillinbed – San Jose, CA – Emo
Washer – Brooklyn – Indie Rock
Tracy Bryant – Los Angeles – Alt-Rock