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Wednesday April 16th 2014

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You Know How To Pick ‘Em

There’s  a lot of music on the DeLuna Fest line up that the IN staff is excited about — like you couldn’t tell that already, right?  But just in case you are tired of hearing us go on and on about how much we love Grouplove, we decided to ask a few of our friends and neighbors what they are going to be checking out at the Fest.

We asked a local bar owner who also happens to be a hip hop aficionado of sorts. We also asked a music fan from the great city of New Orleans, who’s been to just about every other music festival in the country at least once — most recently Austin City Limits.  We also tracked down two members of Team DeLuna Fest (which really wasn’t that hard given that we’re neighbors) and asked them a very important question: Which bands are you going to try and sneak away from your job to watch?

Here are their picks for the weekend.

▶Meg’s Picks
Cut Copy In a music world where electronically-produced music is ruling the market, Cut Copy actually gets it right. Their latest album “Zonoscope” weaves together a tightly knit storyline of love and loss where tracks flow seamlessly to the next. Get ready for all dance hell to break loose at their live show.  If you’ve never been “that person” who dances at shows, just wait until about two minutes into “Lights and Music.”  Your life just might be changed forever.

Matt and Kim I would consider myself a generally happy person about 95 percent of the time.  But even my enthusiasm is nothing compared to music duo and real life couple Matt & Kim.  They produce a hell of a sound with only a drum kit and a synthesizer.  Add that to the contagious energy of Matt, the outrageous things that come out of Kim’s mouth, and crowd participation like you’ve never seen before, and you might just be in for the most fun you’ve ever had in one hour’s time.

Cold War Kids When Cold War Kids burst onto the scene in 2006 with their debut album Robbers and Cowards, there was one thing that you could not ignore: that voice. “Hang Me Out to Dry” is undoubtedly their biggest hit (and for good reasons), but you can’t deny that tracks like “Hospital Beds” and the later hit “Something is not Right with Me” really force you to stop and listen to Nathan Willet’s powerful vocals.  While their third studio album wasn’t as commercially successful as their first two, the songs still resonate with longtime fans and newcomers alike.  Just listen to “Audience of One” for the catchy hooks and amazing sound that you know and love.

Manchester Orchestra True Story:  When I got satellite radio for the first time (shameless unpaid endorsement for the awesomeness that IS satellite radio), Manchester Orchestra was the first band that really caught my ear and made me stop and appreciate all the music out there I didn’t even know existed.  I fell in love with “I’ve Got Friends” because it’s damn catchy and shows that these guys have some crazy, actual talent.  They have maintained a level of excellence in every album they have released, up to the 2011 release of  “Simple Math,” in which the title track explores beautiful melodies reminiscent to the early days of Band of Horses.  Oh, and also, BIG BUSHY BEARDS!

Givers You guys might say I’m partial to Givers because they are from Louisiana and I’m from Louisiana, and you know what, you may be right.  But just listen to “Up, Up, Up” and I dare you not to fall in love with these indie darlings.  They bring a refreshing twist to the scene, playing catchy tunes influenced by the Cajun and zydeco music of their native Lafayette.  If being happy is your thing (and if being happy is not your thing, then what?), then give “In Light,” their debut album, a good solid listen.  Then, after you catch their set at DeLuna, you will see why they deserve every ounce of success they receive.

Meg Travis is a NOLA girl who is making the trip over for DeLuna. She’s an avid show and festival go-er, a DeLuna Defender on Facebook and a House of Blues New Orleans employee — so she knows her stuff when it comes to music. She’ll be in the front row at Cut Copy if you want to say “hi” during the Fest.

▶Ed’s Picks
Stars One of those cool indie-pop bands that is influenced by a variety of its contemporaries. Yeah, that sounds like something you’d read from a critic. Truth is, their music touches my soul. Their lyrics make you think and reminisce and miss someone.

A-Trak Just caught him at a free show in NYC. It was free, but I still had to wait in line for two hours. It was worth it. A former battle DJ, turned Kanye West’s DJ, turned producer. A little on the hipster side, but his show is dope. By the way, he won every DJ competition imaginable before he was 15 years old.

Girl Talk You won’t get it in a blurb. Girl Talk challenges what you think you know about intellectual property and copyright law. Sounds boring, but its not. Plus, his show is amazing. If you want to know more, watch the documentary “RIP: A Remix Manifesto.”

The Shins An indie rock band. Big surprise here? Its an indie-rock festival, after all. At any rate, they have a song called “Caring is Creepy.” Need I say more?

Diplo DJ, music producer and former school teacher? Diplo is most famous for working with critical artists MIA and Major Lazer. Diplo usually plays huge festivals. Its one of those things — it’s like, if you know you know. I’ll say this though: heard of Beyonce’s “Run The World?” Yeah, he did that.

The Hood Internet A Chicago-based production duo. They specialize in hip-hop mash-ups and they DJ their mixes live. Again, too much to blurb. Ask your kids or get on YouTube.

Nico Vega LA-based rock band. If you like The White Stripes, you’ll love this band. The lead singer is sexy in that PJ Harvey way. Her vocals sound somewhat Janis Joplin-esque. Its one of those bands that says something about you when you listen to them. Also, good music for singing in the car or shower.

Edwin Banacia is a local bar owner, local bar patron and former music industry executive.  And he knows Beyonce ~ so that alone makes him & his music picks worthwhile to us.

▶Liz’s Picks
Trombone Shorty He is amazing … no need for a 5 o’clock cocktail because his show is like the smooth glass of wine I would love to be drinking.

AWOLNATION My absolute favorite song in the entire world right now is “All I Need.” I will be the groupie in the front row gazing into Aaron Bruno’s pale blue eyes when he sings this song.  If he sings it early in the set, I will run to see the end of the Givers set and hope they sing my favorite song, “Up Up Up” last.

Weezer Hope they play Island In The Sun; it’s kind of old, but perfect for the beach. I will be the one chanting “Hip Hip.”

DLP My favorite band is playing Sunday. These guys rock AND have fabulous day jobs. Every time I see them play I usually lose about two pounds from dancing like a maniac.  I might be a little more reserved since they play in broad daylight.  Maybe I’ll just stare at the drummer’s calves; he’s got the best calves of any Supervisor of Elections I know.

Constellations Awesome party band, love the songs “Perfect World” and “Felicia.” The lead singer looks like Roger Daltrey crossed with Axl Rose, but with a much lower voice.

Liz Biggs is the DeLuna Fest Director of Sales.  And just like most of you guys—she’s pretty torn up about having to pick between Stars and Cake.

▶Scott’s Picks
Cake I saw Cake at Slugggo’s back in the ‘90s and it was one of my favorite shows ever. A must-see for me again, obviously.

Kermit Ruffins One of my personal favorites of all time. Doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen him (and trust me — it’s a lot) Kermit is always on my “don’t miss” list.

Girl Talk Can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m a recent convert to the electronic world, in general, and in particular Girl Talk.

Grouplove I want to see a band that’s got a number one single on the Alt Nation chart and guess what? Grouplove is that band.

JJ Grey & MoFro This band is a pleasant surprise for me. I think they are going to put on one of the sets people will be talking about all weekend long.

Scott Mitchell is the Managing Partner of DeLuna Fest. These picks are what he would check out at the Fest, if he wasn’t busy running the Fest. He was also too busy for a photo.