Artist of the day: Jiblit Dupree
Jiblit Dupree is a legend of the local underground scene, a man of many monikers who has his toes dipped in many musical pools. His previous endeavors include (and aren’t limited to) Waterdigger, Users Of Crack, and Bleak & Black. Current projects include Heidlecrumbs, Dusty Twang and The Quantum Singularity, collaborations with noise enthusiast Hal McGee, and his ever-present solo work.
His music is an amalgamation of gritty punk, noise, altered vocals, humor, and tales of hookers, hoopties, heroin, and hurricanes. Atop of it all, Jiblit Dupree (a.k.a. Danny McGuire of Polk County) is the progenitor of the Bleak & Black music festival, which takes place at locations around Tampa Bay at random times each year.
Here’s an excerpt from our drunken evening together.
You seem to be deeply intertwined in the music scene, not only in Tampa, but also all over Florida. Every time I look on Facebook, you’ve either posted about show, are going to a show, are putting together a show/festival, or you’ve posted something you’ve performed or collaborated on with someone else. Years before that, in at least ’99 or 2000, I remember you making live recordings of bands at your own behest. I didn’t realize that you yourself were a musician.
I didn’t play at the time, when I first started going to shows. I don’t really know what made me start playing music to begin with. I guess I started f---ing around with four-track recordings.
What types of things were you recording?
Weird s---. I was good friends with Dave “Rat” Anderson, and he said he would be my drummer if I wanted to play some shows; and I never even thought of it before he said that. So that’s how I started: with Dave Rat at the Emerald.
Was that as Waterdigger?
That was the first Waterdigger. We opened up for the Unrequited Loves because Rebekah Pulley pulled out, so Mike O’Neill asked us to play. Mike says, “Hey, ya gotta band goin’, ya wanna open up?” I said “I reckon.” We really didn’t. We practiced one time and did it. So, blame it on Mike O’Neill bringing me into this music business. It’s also Rebekah’s fault for canceling.
What are some of your influences?
My music is a cross between Nirvana, The Dead Milkmen, and 2 Live Crew. Influences ... Jameson Williams: a bad-ass saxophonist from Jacksonville. Tom Waits: I worked at a bleach factory, and some idiot I worked with turned me on to the Bone Machine album. That album blew my mind. Frank Zappa ... Rolling Stones ... I’m influenced by work, and trying to rise above the system, trying to beat the system, trying to get past the system. I haven’t figured out how to do it yet.
How did the Bleak & Black festivals come about?
B&B is something I started, mostly bands I like ... I got the idea from St. Pete Institute of Noise: Make your own shows. They’re an organization that puts on noise shows. It’s more punk than punk. These people have no ego about trying to become something. They do what they do for the fun of it; they ain’t tryin’ to make no hits. The best noise is something you don’t wanna hear that pisses you off, but excites you. There’s no goals in noise, ’cause they ain’t gonna play it on the radio.
What does the future hold for Jiblit Dupree?
First and foremost, to keep on breathin’.
-- Aaron Lepley, tbt*