Defining Five: Carrie Neumayer, Joey Flispart, Allison Cross, Chris Johnson and Nik Vechery discuss songs that have had an impact on them

Mar 18, 2016 at 6:29 pm
Defining Five: Carrie Neumayer, Joey Flispart, Allison Cross, Chris Johnson and Nik Vechery discuss songs that have had an impact on them

Defining Five is a series at Haymarket Whiskey Bar, where, each month, five people from the Louisville music community pick five songs that have moved, inspired or impacted them and then play them during a DJ set. After each event, LEO Weekly will publish an interview with all four people to get some context as to why each song was selected. (The next Defining Five event will be held on April 12 from 6:00-8:30 p.m. Stay tuned to Haymarket’s Facebook page for updates.)

Carrie Neumayer (Co-founder Louisville Outskirts, Girls Rock Louisville, Second Story Man)

“Breather X.O.X.O.” by Unrest from the album “Perfect Teeth” “This song has always made me feel really calm. I like how the guitars become the rhythm and the drums kind of take the lead. Unrest was a band who operated in the D.C. punk rock scene but made music that was melodic and had pop sensibility, and they sort of broke down the punk, tough-guy exterior in a way that was still every bit as powerful and interesting.”

“Sangre” by Rodan  from the album “Fifteen Quiet Years” “Rodan was the first band that I saw that I truly fell in love with music, and I saw them on stage when I was about 13, and I connected to what they were doing deeply. They were a band that, when I saw them, I felt like I could do it myself — their music was really dark and pretty and delicate and aggressive. All of Rodan’s members have made a strong impact on my life ever since.”

“Saints Around My Neck” by Come  from the album “Gently Down The Stream” “The song is really dark and gritty, and it kind of feels like a punch in the face. The lyrics are a lot about superstition and clinging to hope. Come is one of the most underrated bands of the ’90s, I think.”

“Merchandise” by Fugazi  from the album “Repeater” “This band, when I heard them, was the first time that I really understood — this was as a teenager — that music could affect change in the world, both in being protest music, but also in making individuals rethink their ideas about things. This song is specifically about capitalism and materialism and that you are not what you own. That was really powerful to me and it still holds up.”

“Star Bellied Boy” by Bikini Kill  from the album “Pussy Whipped” “Bikini Kill really shifted the way I thought about the world. It made me look through a feminist lens in my own personal relationships and friendships. This song is about disillusionment. When you are handing your trust and vulnerability to someone, who you think gets it, then you end up disillusioned and disappointed and frustrated. I really connected to this song when I first heard it. Bikini Kill still also holds up today.”

Joey Flispart (Founder of Smithsmas,

“Dare To Be Stupid” by Weird Al from the album “Dare To Be Stupid” “When I was a kid, that was basically all that I listened to, besides what my parents had in the car. I really learned a lot about being absurd and funny through that. And that’s always lasted with me, and I don’t think that I would found out about comedy, as much, later on.”

“Tender” by Blur  from the album “13” “That was the first CD that I really owned — it was actually my sister’s, and I took it from her. We were both homeschooled, so I got to listen to music while I was doing schoolwork. I had a portable CD player, and that was probably the only CD I played for about a year and a half straight. That songs has always stood out to me. I finally got to see them live last year, and getting to see that song live, or anything they’ve done, was amazing. And, an even better treat, I got to play ping pong with Damien Albarn, and that was just mind-blowing.”

“See You” by Saves The Day  from the album “Stay What You Are” “That was the first Saves The Day song that I ever heard. Before that, I basically just listened to oldies, Weird Al and Blur, so it was kind of a big change, and it was just something that I really like, and I listened to that whole album after that.”

“Lost” by Morrissey  from the album “Maladjusted” “I could probably talk for days and days and days about Morrissey — and I had to choose very carefully between Morrissey and The Smiths. I chose Morrissey because I found him first through watching the Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn religiously. They were so excited to have Morrissey — they had a countdown, they had all the writers involved, they did skits. I had to listen to more. Then, he did a show at the Louisville palace — I think I was 17 at the time — and I didn’t really know him that well, but I knew I had to go or else I would regret it. I went that one time and now I have seen him 67 times, and there’s not looking back.”

“New Year’s Kiss” by Casiotone For The Painfully Alone  from the album “Etiquette” “I had to choose the fifth song very carefully, and there was a lot of stuff that I wanted to choose. I got involved with Backseat Sandbar, the music blog, in 2009, and I had always wanted to write about music and I reached out the people at Backseat Sandbar, and started writing for them, and I didn’t even know these guys. The first time that I met them was when Casiotone played a show at Skull Alley.”

Allison Cross (Billy Goat Strut Revue, DJ Alli)

“(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” by Ottis Redding from the album “Dock Of The Bay” “It’s important to me, because it’s been an important song at work. It’s an effective song, it hits on many dimensions of the human condition. It’s a good summer song, but it’s also a depressing song.”

“One Nation Under a Groove” by Funkadelic  from the album “One Nation Under a Groove” “This is music that was at home, siting around the stereo. It makes me think of home.”

“Hotel California” by The Eagles  from the album “Hotel California” “I guess that’s a throwback to high school and weird cycles of addiction. Just living and having friends and being there for them.”

“Killing Me Softly With His Song” by Roberta Flack  from the album “Killing Me Softly” “On my 7th birthday party, we were in the driveway, writing the words to Lauren Hill’s version of ‘Killing Me Softly.’ I’ve always loved this song, and Roberta’s version is classic.”

“I’ll Be There” by The Jackson 5 from the album “Third Album” “’I’ll Be There’ is kind of the same as ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay’ — an important song at work. Classic Michael Jackson, in the prime of his life of his life that never really reached a prime.”

Chris Johnson (Projector, Kindred DJs)

“The Mav” by Second Story Man from the album “Screaming Secrets” “It’s my favorite Louisville band of all time. I’m not from here originally and I started seeing them when I was 15 — I’m from about an hour north of here. Everybody who has ever been in that band is fantastic for the community — great musicians, who have tons of projects. One of the reasons that I moved to Louisville is for the music.”

“Alphabet Town” by Elliot Smith  from the album “Elliot Smith” “There’s just so much connective tissue between Elliot Smith and friends of mine from high school or even now. His arrangements on the first few album were just so fantastic, but when he got with Jon Brion and other famous producers, he could really make a depressing song sound beautiful. And his writing about his use of drugs, and tying that into relationships, is a lot more dense than it seems on the surface."

“Silence” by Portishead  from the album “Third” “‘Dummy’ from Portishead is my favorite album of all time, but you can’t go 12 years without releasing an album and come out with an album this fantastic. I remember that I bought this album the day it came out in 2008 not expecting a whole lot, and the reason that I played the first song, is that, when I got back to my apartment and played it, I was like, ‘Holy shit, they still reinventing themselves.’ They definitely proved themselves to be one of the bigger Bristol sounds, which is easily my favorite era of music.”

“Child of Rage” by Oneohtrix Point Never from the album “Garden of Delete”  “It’s kind of the culmination of all of his styles up to this album. I think it’s his best album, but it’s very different from everything else he’s ever done. But, if you listen to this song, you can definitely catch every thing he has done his entire career wrapped up in one song.”

“Snookered” Dan Deacon  from the album “Bromst” “Going back to the community aspect of moving to Louisville and wanting to live in a place where music was thriving. Going to a Dan Deacon show is really interactive with people you don’t know. He’s one of the best showman that currently exists. It’s a really, really emotion, in-touch song but he still manages to make it accessible for a crowd to dance to. And I don’t really dance at shows, but when I go to a Dan Deacon show, it’s extremely important to participate.”

Nik Vechery (photographer) 

“Coffee” by Aesop Rock from the album “None Shall Pass” “I picked people for all of my songs, so Aesop Rock is for my roommate Chris, because we drove to New York on Valentine’s Day last year, and I left my girlfriend for the weekend. Me and Chris have really bonded over Aesop Rock.”

“New Year’s Day” by U2 “War” “That’s for my friend Ian and my mom. My mom introduced me to that album, and me and my friend Ian listened to the shit out of that album. The drums are so fantastic — it almost hurts to listen to it.”

“Re:Stacks” Bon Iver  from the album “For Emma, Forever Ago” “That’s for my girlfriend because through four years she hasn’t left me yet. The song’s beautiful. And, once we moved here, and she explained to me the metaphors in that song, that song just expanded … that whole album expanded for me. So, I’m very thankful for her introducing that to me.”

“Just As Astral” by The Party of Helicopters  from the album “Mt. Forever” “That’s for friends Cory and Ian back in Akron. Without finding that band and the whole Kent art-punk scene, I wouldn’t have gotten into anything else, and I don’t think that I’d be here right now.”

“Doin’ The Cockroach” by Modest Mouse  from the album “The Lonesome Crowded West” “I found that song about the same time I found The Party of Helicopters and I didn’t know people were making music like that. I found that song in 2001, and 15 years later it still hurts as much as it did back then. It’s such a great song.”

After all five people play their songs at each event, a Defining Five alumni will return for “The Best Year” — a one hour DJ set playing music from a single year:

Sam Sneed, 1977

“The reason why I choose 1977 is because its the year that punk kind of went from England to America, with bands like The Sex Pistols and The Vibrators. That was the year CBGB was going strong. It was an iconic moment in New York City where a lot of punk bands were playing — bands like Television, The Talking Heads, The Ramones, The Clash, The Damned. They were all my favorite bands growing up, so that’s why I choose 1977.”