Deluna Fest 2012: TheBlueIndian.com’s “Schedule Slugfest”

TheBlueIndian.com crew is more than eager to get back to one of our favorite festivals, Deluna Fest in Pensacola Beach, Florida, and the 2012 lineup picks up right where 2011 left off. As the case with any lineup with a bunch of heavy-hitters, you’re going to have some set crossovers that could pose some potential problems for the ambivalent festival-goer (there’s such a thing). So, we let two of our writers who will be attending the festival go head-to-head in a piece we like to call the “Schedule Slugfest”. At TheBlueIndian.com, we feel like everyone’s a winner, but you can choose from their remarks who you’ll wind up seeing (they chose 6 bands, there’s over 70 to choose from). Check it out, purchase your tickets for Deluna Fest 2012, and say hello to these guys if you see them.

Meet The Writers

Everett Verner was born of the regal aristocracy of Savannah, Georgia, where his family, an elite group of movers and shakers, bred both bulldogs and alligators and exploited their efforts to amass great wealth all while compromising the once peaceful, mutual disarmament between Florida and Georgia. Mr. Verner developed his charmingly miserable personality through his years of living on the beautiful (“miserable”, according to Mr. Verner) Georgia coast, honed the misery at Mercer University undergrad, and has become an artful master of lament and detestability through years of working for “non-profits” stealing land from impoverished Maconites with the powerful hand of the local government. Mr. Verner is most proud of his dozens of devoted followers: tramps that troll his Spotify account, his fifteen cats, and his uncanny ability to laud and at the same time condemn every artist ever to put out a record, ever. He puts these skills to task many times a year as he traverses the festival circuit, judging away at all of the artists who perform. Now you get to read his musings on a blog. You’ll love it. (He’ll hate it).

Born to parents living on corporate welfare, tiny David “Dick” Dorer spent his childhood roughing it in the suburbs with all the local color that came with that. His musical interests were piqued when he met his High School band teacher Shay Tuchmebad who as Dick would later fondly reminisce, “She taught me how to do a lot of things and stuff.” As his love of music grew following high school Young Dick got his records sealed and has worked in the industry from starting a label and doing production work, to now blogging and talking about music at the bar.       Now Dick is a little bigger and as a recent graduate of Mercer Law School, he enjoys practicing law and listening to his favorite Puddle of Mudd record in his leisure time.

It should be noted that we requested the writers complete bio’s for each other, not use their authentic ones. As you can see, it’s going to be a tough matchup. 

Round One – Dwight Yoakham vs. Dumpstaphunk

Dwight Yoakham – Friday, September 21st @ 8:30pm – WindCreek Stage

Everett – Ivan Neville, son of Aaron Neville and subsequently nephew of the rest of the legendary Neville Brothers. This man was born to play funk and play funk he does. Formed in 2003, Dumpstaphunk has grown from a one–off side show to be labeled as “The Best Funk band from New Orleans”. I find the “from New Orleans” part to be redundant and unnecessary because as far as I am concerned Dumpstaphunk is the best funk band around, and who tries to compete with New Orleans for funk status?

With cousin Ian Neville (son of Art), the pedigree reaches into the Meters as well as the Neville Brothers and the rest of the cast hardly falls short either. With a few legendary level cover sets (a staple at the past 3 Wanee Music Festivals) of full album run downs of Sly Stone, James Brown’s Sex Machine, and P. Funk all in appropriate funk attire, there is no question that they can absolutely bring it. They do not just channel the greats fortunately and their original work is what truly makes them the best. “Put it in the Dumpsta” should be enough to win this battle, but this is about seeing Mr. Yoakam vs the torchbearers of funk in their prime, and that is a tough call, so here is my final push.

While I suspect this to be a more traditional set largely playing originals, I still expect some covers. They will go anywhere with covers, so don’t be surprised if they funkify some classics you just aren’t expecting. Dumpstaphunk sets are alive and force you to move along with the band; I recommend not fighting it and just getting funky. There are other funk bands out there, but none should be too surprised if Dr. Funkenstein hands the keys to the Holy Mothership over to Dumpstaphunk when the time comes, and I will most gladly go for a ride with them.

Dumpstaphunk – Friday, September 21st @ 8:30pm – Heritage Stage

David – Dwight Yoakam, like Ivan Neville, is a veteran in his own right: Yoakam is unquestionably the pioneer of the “anti-Nashville” country scene. The difference between these two contenders is that the joy of seeing Sir. Yoakam at DeLuna is not the nostalgia of him performing his earlier works. The real treat of Dwight’s performance is his career of progressive ambition to push country into new realms. A whole new album, 3 Pears, will be released the day both of us stop paying attention at our jobs the week before the festival: September 18, 2012.

I’ve heard this new record (don’t ask how, I won’t tell). While it is littered with Yoakam’s staple minimalist “hillbilly” instrumentation and heart-stopping, emotive lyrical content, the feel of the record is different. It’s modern. It’s edgy. The drums are dirty and garage as hell. The single, “A Heart Like Mine”, co-produced by Beck, has a tonal quality of that new-grit-garage rock-and-roll.  Listen to Diamond Rugs; imagine Dwight Yoakam singing: It’s amazing.

Let’s be clear, no one likes a performer only belting out new jams that most folks haven’t had time to memorize. While Dwight Yoakam has new material for the first time in seven years, the hits surely will be there in all of their hillbilly glory. I personally plan on being front row, face pressed against the speakers, so I can hear that Telecaster through that Silverface Fender loud as hell. I’ll toast my beer to guitars, Cadillac’s, etc., etc. 

Round Two – Joan Jett vs. Anders Osborne

Joan Jett – Saturday, September 22nd @ 6:15pm – WindCreek Stage

Chicks that rock and have continued to rock are few and far between.  Plenty have come and gone, but very few can sustain that ability to balance being a lady and the sense that they are the person to avoid in a bar fight. Joan Jett happens to just keep kicking ass. With The Blackhearts backing her up, like the good Lord intended them to be, this is sure to be a rock’n’roll thrashing of a set.

With some classic 70’s and 80’s hair band awesomeness to their roots, tracks like “I Hate Myself For Loving You”,  and “I Wanna Be Your Dog” even a novice can see that they take their blackhearted-ness to extremes and with that comes the rock! While it is their cover of “I Love Rock’n’Roll” that they are most known for these days, the fundamental excitement behind that song belongs to Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

I say carrying the moniker “Queen of Rock’n’Roll” around for a few decades should be enough to win this duel for your schedule, but just in case it isn’t just know that Joan will be celebrating her birthday during this set and there is no way that can be a bad thing. Go tell her happy birthday by crowding as close as possible and be sure to throw in a few “Long Live the Queen” chants! 

Anders Osborne – Saturday, September 22nd @ 6:15pm – Heritage Stage

Anders  Osborne is made to be listened to loud. Really loud. I’ve cranked several of his albums as loud as my speakers will go in the last few weeks, it only seemed prudent. It’s essentially riff heavy bluesy rock and roll, with hints of stoner sludge metal, all with the gnash of a solid, road-worn, R&B frontman with a beard of a goddamn Neanderthal.

It reminds me of passing out between philosophy classes in my pickup truck blaring Dead Meadow, Black Mountain, or The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Read between the lines if you must: Anders Osborne is going to be a fantastic outdoor festival show.

His repertoire is a bit schizophrenic. The songs are simple but intense. Lyrics are meaningful but almost unnecessary (he could say “pumpkin” over and over, it would still be good). Where it contextually makes sense, he swoons with a beautiful tenor vibrato singing classic rock and roll. Conversely, other songs will feature a distorted, lo-fi, Osborne vocal belting out a lead that peaks the V/U on all busses. His guitar work has the same anomaly. At times it is technical and jazzy while others it is overdriven and face-melting. This adds to the appeal: not knowing what to expect builds the anticipation. We’ve all heard the “Queen of Rock and Roll.” We know what to expect. 

Round Three – Fitz & the Tantrums vs. The Wood Brothers

Fitz & the Tantrums – Sunday, September 23rd @ 6:00pm – Deluna Stage

Fitz and the Tantrums have been festival fan favorites since the release of their 2010 debut LP Pickin` Up the Pieces. With the promise of a second LP in the works and no signs of slowing down their Avant-garde soul pop performances, this performance is surely going to be great! I am personally a sucker for a good front person and not only does Fitz (Michael Fitzpatrick) really destroy the stage when he gets going, he has the striking Noelle Scaggs to double down on the front of the stage! Energetic, soulful, and reminiscent of what I can only hope it was like to be a part of the Beat movement of the 50s. 

Fitz and The Tantrums are worth seeing in just about any situation, but I highly recommend getting a few of their tracks in your head before heading down. Check out the “Moneygrabber” if nothing else, but you won’t be disappointed if you dig deeper.

While Fitz and Noelle are absolutely worth watching, and could validate this choice over the Wood Brothers, it is worth mentioning the rest of the Tantrums fill it out this high octane sound with deft precision.  This performance heavy set is one you won’t regret, and while I might be biased at this point, I think they could easily be the standout performer on Sunday. Heavy handed, yes, but I dare you to prove me wrong! 

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The Wood Brothers – Sunday, September 23rd @ 6:00pm – GoPensacola Stage

The Wood Brothers are probably the mellowest act in this melee, but that doesn’t mean they can’t fight. Their laidback folk tunes have so much layered musicality that they are destined to be one of the coolest shows at DeLuna.

Take a listen to their recently released live albums (Sky High and Nail and Tooth). They really speak for themselves. The Brothers start out with a quiet, simple folk acoustic song, add tight vocal harmonies, very funky rhythms, then all of a sudden you are swimming in electric guitar solos and smashing cymbals. This climax is followed by a dénouement of near-silence. A single instrument (melodica, harmonica, upright bass, et. al.) then builds the experience into a completely different style, rhythm, and pace. Rinse. Repeat.

Funk, soul, R&B, blues, and folk. All at once. With slide guitar. That’s the best way I can describe what this live show is going to be like; and, the best advocacy for their championship in this battle that I can make. If you go to music festivals for the music, you have to see the Wood Brothers.

When we started writing this we swore we’d take the side of the artist that we really wanted to go see. Through our numerous discussions at the Hummingbird, we’ve convinced each other several times. We will try to cover as much as possible while we’re in Pensacola and report back with the best experience anyone is having in September on 52 miles of white sandy beaches. 

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