Lucky '13: Michael Trundle, Lipgloss co-founder and resident DJ
You always surprise me with your brave selections late at night. Jefferson Airplane, Oasis, The Stones, so many peculiar tracks for a 2012 dance club. Do you ever get nervous right before you drop these?
No, because I'm usually pretty drunk by then. And the crowd is, too. Those songs are usually for a little later in the night, when people are looser. Now that we have our underground crowd back, it helps. I trust that this crowd knows how to handle those songs. That's what we started off with; from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. that was all we played.
How has the change in neighborhood affected Lipgloss?
I think having the Cap Hill people out each night has had an affect. For them, Beauty Bar is a local bar. They tend to be college-age, indie-hipster type kids. They don't want the pre-packaged, Top 40 mix. People who lived near La Rumba didn't have much of an effect on us -- that yuppie, business crowd -- but being close to Vinyl and The Church did. And the Lipgloss crowd reflected that. People who were walking around that neighborhood were more club-type people.
When I first discovered Lipgloss in 2004, it was the perfect time for a dance night like yours, since the most popular music of the time were things like Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party, who were fusing dance beats with rock guitar. Though it feels today like that was a trend that has passed.
I think it was a fad in that it became so popular. Franz Ferdinand were one of the biggest bands on the planet for a while. It was huge for us, because when we started Lipgloss in 2001 very little of that was popular. At that time we were sticking to a lot of Britpop, where bands like Pulp had some of that beat. But we were a more rock-oriented night. So bands like Franz Ferdinand naturally creeped into our set. We started playing their stuff just before it blew up, and when it did, all of the sudden we were flooded. We were doing 600, 700 people a night, mostly because we were the only game in town playing that type of music. All the other clubs were still stuck in hip-hop and Top 40, so we really benefited from that type of music. I don't think it's really disappeared, but there's hardly anything new coming out from that scene.
Yeah, but who's paying attention to Bloc Party in 2012?
Yeah, pretty much. And if I want to play a dance-rock track today I have to play a remix; or at least with the current stuff. I could still play The Killers and The Rapture, but there aren't a lot of current bands that I could play a non-remix track and have the crowd love it. A lot of rock bands today have gone far into the electronic sound, making music like Cut Copy, who I love, but they're more an electronic band than a rock band. Franz Ferdinand were a rock band. No one would ever argue that they were an electronic band. There are exceptions, but many bands today have gone electronic.
It seems like you could get away with the dance-rock beat as a DJ playing Blondie or Gang of Four, but if you tried playing Franz Ferdinand today wouldn't people see it as yesterday's papers?
I still drop Franz Ferdinand today and people lose their shit. They love it. I drop the original album cut of "Take Me Out" around once a month. I think it does have somewhat of a dated quality, but people love it. Enough of my old crowd adores it, and the 21 and 22-year-olds that come in may not actually know that song. That song came out in 2004, when they were 14. If you play some of the gems from that era, they hold their own.
Do you think people are already nostalgic for 2004?
I was just thinking that. There are so many nights that are committed to bringing you the newest, freshest, coolest tracks, and that's great. For me, I want to do some of that, but I do like the idea of nostalgia. People don't always want something new. They want something they know and love. And that's how we started, back then we were playing so much Vietnam-era, hippie music. But the music doesn't have to be old, it doesn't have to be modern, it just has to be good dance music.
Michael Trundle DJ's under the name boyhollow. You can check out Lipgloss at 9 p.m. ever Friday night at Beauty Bar, located at 608 East 13th Avenue. The cover is $5. For more information visit www.denver3.com