When you think of dancing in Denver, your mind may immediately go to the EDM club scene. Or, if you are of a “certain age” and/or temperament, it may drift to live music venues over dance clubs. If you are of the latter pool, you may be wondering where to go for a non-live-music but nevertheless enthusiastic night of dancing that privileges music over the scene and being seen (or getting laid). But you shouldn’t wonder too long, for Lipgloss is there to meet your bust-a-move needs.
While Denver has some well-known clubs, such as Beta (voted top club in North America by DJMag.com), the scene more commonly speaks to the lowest common denominator. Big clubs that pull in the beautiful people are popular; the music played there is secondary. (And for those of us with crowd anxiety for whom a continually pounding bass line is akin to torture, the scene is not tempting.)
Lipgloss, however, appeals to a different demographic. Founded 13 years ago by Michael Trundle (DJ Hollow), Tyler Jacobson, and Tim Cook, it is an indie dance party that occurs every Friday night at Beauty Bar (608 E. 13th Avenue, Denver). It strives to provide an alternative to the club scene and appeals to a more diverse crowd, music-loving crowd. This Friday marks its 13th anniversary and features guests Leah Shapiro of Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club and Scott Von Ryper of the Black Ryder. (It’s also Von Ryper’s birthday!)
Lipgloss’s eclectic appeal goes back to its origins lo those many years ago. Originally housed in the former 60 South (now Three Kings), a lesbian-friendly club, the event drew primarily from that crowd. The party continues to bring in the LGBTQ crowd, but it’s really more a matter of music lovers congregating together to enjoy an evening of fun music and dance.
Part of the draw of Lipgloss is the range of music it spans. Packaged as an indie dance night, the music evolves through alternative, rock, soul, and retro—or any music that is “just a truly infectious example of a genre that doesn’t typically get played in clubs,” says co-founder Hollow. People go to it to hear music they can recognize—and dance to.
The current resident DJs for the weekly event, Hollow and DJ Tower (Tim Alexander), see Lipgloss’s success in its eclectic music and fans, its draw for national DJing talent (such as Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce of the Smiths, a favorite memory for Hollow), and its distinct brand. Says Tower, “We cater to the people who love music and love to dance to good music.” Most of all, success is measured in everyone having a good time.
This provides a foil to the usual club scene that is geared more toward dancing to see and be seen, to get wasted, and to hook up—no matter what music serves as the soundtrack. The “traditional” club scene isn’t necessarily bad; it’s just a much different vibe and not appealing for everyone.
So what does the future of Lipgloss hold? Dance nights come and go with amazing frequency, and even with the longevity Lipgloss already boasts, nothing lasts forever. However, a brand this strong will continue for the foreseeable future. Ideally, an heir-apparent will arrive on the scene to continue to mold the vision into the next 13 years. Says Hollow, “I’d love to see that perfect combination of true talent, true love of music, and true understanding of what Lipgloss is about to come along.” In the meantime, Hollow and Tower will keep spinning the tunes for music lovers.
Tonight’s anniversary party, sponsored by Twist & Shout Records and PBR (that perennial Cap Hill favorite) starts at 9:00 at Beauty Bar. Pre-sale tickets are highly encouraged and are available at www.denver3.com.