Ginger Perry and Michael Trundle on That '80s Night, their new night at Beauty Bar
Eighties dance nights are a tradition stretching all the way back...well, to the '80s. Whether you're a 21-year-old feeling nostalgic for a time you never lived through, or a crimp-haired, stone-washed new-waver who never got over the Talking Heads breaking up, the music of the 1980s spans cultures and generations to bring the he-men and she-bops out on the dance floor.
No cover for That '80s Night this Saturday, April 21, at Beauty Bar.
Lately, Denver has been lacking the drum-machine glory of '80s dance nights; thankfully, Ginger Perry and Lipgloss co-founder Michael Trundle (aka boyhollow) have come to the rescue with That '80s Night, their new night at Beauty Bar. We recently chatted with the two DJs about the glory of one-hit wonders, the dread of Lady Gaga and why the '80s are a genre unto themselves.
Westword: How did the idea of a strictly '80s night come about?
DJ Boyhollow: It was Ginger Perry who originally started it -- I came down to the first one on St. Paddy's Day, and she asked if I wanted to do it with her. I'd been wanting to do an '80s night for some time, and I was like, "Shit, let's do it!" Because there isn't really a solid '80s night in this city. DJ Rockstar Aaron used to do one at Rock Bar -- but it wasn't strictly '80s; he would throw on a lot of modern stuff. He didn't play the new wave and R&B from the '80s.
I play a lot of '80s songs at Lipgloss, and they all have done really well -- but I try not to drop more than two or three of those, at the most, in a night. Because then that's all people will want to hear, and I like playing more of a variety. I like having freedom at Lipgloss -- but to have a night where I play only '80s, it's fun for me, because that's one of my favorite genres of music.
Eighties nights have been going on for a while, but there has been a lack of them in town lately; did you want to fill a gap that was missing in Denver with That '80s Night?
Ginger Perry: Kinda -- I love '80s! It's fun, people always dance so hard to the '80s.
Could any decade work as a retro dance-party theme, or is there something special about the '80s?
GP: Well, if you build it, they will...
MT: I think any decade could be special -- you could always do a '60s or a '70s or a '90s theme -- but I think the '80s was the last generation where Top 40 was delivering some really solid music. It wasn't all these corporate-created, diva-type situations. You had the Cars and the Talking Heads. And I graduated in 1990, so this was my music. And, you know, people really don't do '60s nights or '70s nights -- but they do '80s nights. When you say the '80s, people automatically know what you're talking about. If you say "I'm going to do a '90s night," people are like "What is that? What are you going to play -- grunge music?" The '80s had a really consistent feel.
What music do you have in store for That '80s Night?
GP: I never reveal my playlist -- zing!
MT: Oh, some Depeche Mode, some New Order, Men at Work -- and then the one-hit-wonder stuff like Peter Schilling's "Major Tom (Coming Home)."
How does putting on a dance night at Beauty Bar compare with Lipgloss at La Rumba?
MT: I think it's a different crowd. At Lipgloss, we don't get a lot of walk-ups; people don't show up randomly at La Rumba and say, "Let's see what's going on here." People who come to Lipgloss are coming for Lipgloss. So they usually have an idea of what they're getting into. Whereas at Beauty Bar, we have a fair amount of people that just show up, because Beauty Bar is just a place to go, even if they don't know what the music will be or what's going on.
And that's what's exciting about doing an '80s night there. Almost anyone who walks into that bar without knowing what the night is will be happy with an '80s theme. That's the power of the genre. If you're doing a hip-hop night or a dubstep night or an electro night, a certain amount of people are going to be like, "Nah, this isn't what I wanted to hear tonight." I have a hard time imagining the majority of people feeling that way about an '80s night.