“Gimme Derby Rock!”

You have a lot of options on Derby Week, but plan ahead for a free Thurby night of music at the new Germantown bar Kaiju. Rock icons Second Story Man are teaming up with a younger band, Bookshelf, for a night of pure Louisville. It’s a great place to hide from tourists like Kid Rock and Nick Lachey.

What’s the band been up to lately?

Carrie Neumayer, guitar/vocals, Second Story Man: After working together as a band for over 15 years, we really wanted to shake things up and try a new approach. Our longtime friend Drew Osborn joined the band on drums, Evan Bailey moved up to guitar/vocals full-time and Jeremy Irvin took over bass. I’ve remained on guitar and vocals. We’ve completely changed our approach to collaboration. Evan brings the majority of the song skeletons to the band and then we tend to rip them up and build them back up differently. The sound these days is darker and heavier and driven more by rhythm than it was before.
We’ve been in the process of recording a new album with Kevin Ratterman at La La Land and hope to wrap that up soon. Evan has been playing drums in Parlour, Drew has been drumming with Old Baby and Jeremy has been working on a solo record. My other band, Julie of the Wolves, has recently reactivated and I’ve been working with a crew of awesome folks on planning the second Louisville Outskirts Festival.

JohnBen Lacy, guitar/vocals, Bookshelf: We took a brief hiatus from playing out over the winter to record a few new songs in the basement. We’ve been taking our time mixing them, but are hoping to have them ready for release in the not-too -distant future.

SSMHow do you (and also the band) feel about Derby, and the whole month-long party of it all?

CN: I despise the winter months so much that I think we are celebrating the fact that it’s finally warm and beautiful outside more than anything. I’m really into the backyard party aspect of the Derby. I like eating Derby Pie and seeing people bring a TV set outdoors while beers get shot-gunned in the garage and everyone is passionate about gambling for one afternoon. I always bet on the pink horse.

JL: I love Derby time, more for how the city comes alive than the race itself. I’ve never actually attended, but I used to work at the track selling bets every year during and after college. Just last week, I was on a video shoot at Churchill, and I got to feed a horse a peppermint. Apparently they love them. Who knew? (Guitarist) Drew (Bagby)’s dreams of being a jockey were dashed by an untimely growth spurt as a boy, while (drummer) Chris (Martin) prefers mule racing. (Bassist) Tommy (Arnspiger) is allergic to horse dander, and he doesn’t trust them.

How many Brainjams do you predict Bookshelf will create in their lifetime together?

JL: Well, right now we’re on No. 197, so if you average that out over the course of the past two-and-a-half years, divide by the number of practices… I think the Brainjams are where the magic happens for us, and I’m excited that we’re starting to incorporate them more into our live sets. We’re always coming up with new exercises and formats for our Brainjams so that we can approach them in new ways. A lot of times we’ll try to recreate parts from within them, and every once in a while a song emerges this way, but as with any improvisation, great moments will occur that are entirely unreproducible. We’ll usually pull our favorite snippets, shoot some crazy video to slap on top and release them. I feel like they’re much more digestible in small chunks rather than just uploading the 40-some-odd hours of unreleased Brainjams all at once.

If I win a bunch of money at the track, what are some charitable organizations that you’d recommend donating that money to?

CN: There are so many great ones. Maybe you can split your winnings among the following local organizations: The Center for Women and Families, the Kentucky Health Justice Network, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, The Louisville Youth Group, Louisville Leopard Percussionists, Louisville Story Program, and the Louisville Outskirts Festival. I sure hope you win big! VT