Derby Music Roundup: Isnâ€™t there some horse race in town?
Like most things in the modern world, when examined discriminatingly, the fracas that Derby offers two weeks before the event is silly. A lot of people in Louisville realize this; much like Thunder, Derby run-up is just a dumb extended branding opportunity, a milieu of excess and nearly intolerable media attention.Alas, our collective meatheadedness packs a delicate dualism, one that begins each year around 8:30 p.m. on Thunder Saturday and lulls only until Oaks Day, when it rears up like a hungry falcon and consumes the next two days with unrecoverable madness and inhuman(e) pace. We have the distinct ability to stand there quietly dumbfounded by the sheer power of literally millions of dollars worth of fireworks while coolly criticizing city government, participating parts of the private sector and all those standing around us, all for being interested in getting dumb with fireworks. It’s two-faced thinking I’ve surely been guilty of; did it this year, in fact, as did a significant number of people I talk to both regularly and on occasion.Though critical we can (and will) be, there remains the fact that absurd amounts of foreigners will be on our turf for at least the next few days, wanting strong drink and entertainment, including live, loud music. So we may as well try and show ’em a good time. After all, this could be the first year of the last days of our Yummy! piece of sporting tradition.WEDNESDAYChow Wagon: Floridaze (11:30 a.m.); Speed of Sound (3:45 p.m.); Blowfly (8 p.m.)Coyote’s: The Roots, Common. $15; 9 p.m.; 21+.THURSDAYChow Wagon: Kentucky Blue (11:30 a.m.); Dalton (5:15 p.m.); Little Big Town (9 p.m.)Churchill Downs (infield): Better Than Ezra, Violent Femmes. Free with $2 track admission; Noon. LEO checked some promo tickets to make sure they’re not so nine years ago. Rest assured, they are current. Clifton Center: Bell Orchestre, Snailhouse. $13; 7 p.m. There are members of the Arcade Fire in Bell Orchestre. If you didn’t know this, you may have overlooked this show. Perhaps you should reconsider. Jazz Factory: The Don Braden Quartet with Sarah Stivers. $20; 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.Phoenix Hill: Strumbeat; Velcro Pygmies; Hip Kitty. Times vary; 21+.St. Andrew’s Pub: Zelazowa, Hash. $3; 8 p.m.; 21+.FRIDAYAir Devil’s Inn: Dallas Alice CD release show. 11 p.m.; 21+. Country rockin’ like it ought to be. Bluegrass Brewing Co., St. Matthews: Zongo, Groovatron. 21+. Go get your groova-on. Chow Wagon: Ask Bradley (11:30 a.m.); Alpha Q (3:45 p.m.); Big Rock Show (8 p.m.)Churchill Downs (infield): Everclear; free with $25 Oaks admission; 11 a.m. Is this a flashback? Digby opens.Fourth St. Live: Velcro Pygmies. Free; 9 p.m. This is the official CD release party for their newest, American Muscle, which we understand to be “over-the-top, larger-than-life arena rock,” according to frontman Cam Flener. Big hair, big rawk!Headliners: Sam Bush, Tim Krekel. $25; 8 p.m.; 18+. Keep fingering through the music section for the preview piece on Bush. Jazz Factory: The Don Braden Quartet with Sarah Stivers. $20; 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. Jillian’s: Staind, Hurt. Free; 7 p.m. Sponsors for this show are Velocity, Budweiser and WLRS-FM. Go emote in a nu-metal sort of way. Just don’t tell your friends. Staind should be a private listening experience, for the sake of the kids. Kentucky International Convention Center: Derby MusicJam is happening all day. Some of the performers are Jaheim, R. Prophet, Big Tuck, Leela James and Tum Tum. Along with music, there’s a celebrity basketball shootout, a panel discussion on hip-hop’s place in and effect on society, a step and dance showcase, a drum exhibition, a wheelchair rugby game and a car show. Check out www.derbymusicjam.com for full details. Lisa’s Oak St. Lounge: Ronnie Mack & the I’ll Beat Your Back Out Band, Bad Blood, The Teeth, The Defilers, Black Skies, Weapons, Iron Mullet. $5; 10 p.m. 21+. Sweet Jesus, that’s a big bunch of good Louisville bands. Except Black Skies. They’re from North Carolina. Main St. Lounge: VHS or Beta Dee-Jays. $5; midnight; 21+. Get hip. Phoenix Hill: There’s a Roof Garden bash where you’ll find Speed of Sound playing, among lots of others. 2-5:30 a.m.; 21+. www.phoenixhill.com. Rudyard Kipling: El Roostars, Slowpoke. $10; 21+. Classic rock and grunge, respectively. Nice. Seidenfaden’s: The Ladybirds, John Baxter & the Bottom Feeders. $3; 11 p.m.; 21+. Rockabilly ’til you puke. Spinelli’s Pizza: The First Annual Night of the Living Derby Party feat. Antikythera, The Glasspack, Ganthet, Bodies, live DJs all night. $10/$5 (if you dress like a zombie at the cemetery across from Phoenix Hill — oh, please do!); 10 p.m.St. Andrew’s Pub: Grindstone, Sow the Seed, Month of Sundaze. $7; 8 p.m.; 21+. Uncle Pleasant’s: Johnny Berry & the Outliers, Tyrone Cotton, Shinerunners. $10; 9 p.m.; 21+. Honky (tonk), please!Wick’s Pizza, Baxter: Juan Prophet Organization, Satellite Twins, Robby Cox, Neil Johnstone, Turn 3, All Over Jimmy. 7 p.m.; 21+. The JPO is an intriguing carnival sort-of band from Murfreesboro, Tenn. Worth looking into, to be sure. All Over Jimmy is a local jam-rock band that likes the riffs. If you do too, check ’em. SATURDAY18th & Broadway: The Mr. Wonderful Production Band. 8 p.m. It’s just there at the intersection. Fourth St. Live: The Rumors. 9 p.m.Gerstle’s: Digby. $5; 10 p.m.; 21+. Things will heat up when keyboardist John takes off his shirt.Headliners: Derby Fright with Unknown Hinson. $10; 9 p.m. Jillian’s: Tommy Lee, DJ Aero. $26.50-$30.50; 11:30 p.m.Lisa’s Oak St. Lounge: Phantom Family Halo, Vrktm, Slow Break. $7; 11 p.m.; 21+. Phoenix Hill: Hucks John. $15; 9:30 p.m.; 21+. There’s also a big party with tons of live music all night. Check out www.phoenixhill.com for details. If you arrive by 9 p.m. you’ll be OK. 21+. Old Louisville Coffeehouse: Fire the Saddle, Jeremy Podgursky, IamIs, Ben Purdom, DJ Clawdada, the Pancho Villa, Ronnie Mack, Scott Ritcher. Free; 1-9 p.m. Hell with the track. Right? Word. Rudyard Kipling: Second annual Derby Show featuring Lucky Pineapple, Venus Trap, Ultra Pulverize, The Dreamers. 10 p.m.; 21+. There will be CD-Rs with tracks from each band. Go early so you get one. It’s likely it’ll be worth the extra time. Seidenfaden’s: Johnny Berry & the Outliers. 11 p.m.; 21+. St. Andrew’s Pub: Inner Blue, Halfway Hollow, Subrosa. $5; 8 p.m.; 21+. Uncle Pleasant’s: The Tommy Womack Band, John Baxter & the Bottom Feeders. $8; 10 p.m.SUNDAYLynn’s Paradise Café: The annual after-party, starting at 2 p.m. Your body will hate you no more after this. *Make sure to check “Plugged In” for tons more shows happening. Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org