In the nearly eleven years that Lipgloss has been adding spice to Denver's Friday nights, it has played host to some of the finest guest DJs in the music industry, from Mani of the Stone Roses and Primal Scream fame to the Go-Go's adorable guitarist Jane Wiedlin to members of Cut Copy and Franz Ferdinand. This Friday, May 25, Lipgloss will keep the celebrity train rolling with a guest spot by LCD Soundsystem's Nancy Whang. In honor of this dance-punk favorite's Denver cameo, we asked Lipgloss co-founder Michael Trundle (boyhollow) to rank and reflect on his five favorite Lipgloss guest DJs over the years.
5. Carlos D. (Interpol)
Carlos set himself as one of my favorites when he dropped Ministry's "Stigmata" in his set at our Lipgloss New Year's Eve party. I would have always thought of that song as too "hard" for our Lipgloss crowd, but they ate it up, and it made me realize that it was okay to drop something you're unsure of just to see how it works. He's played with us three times over the years, and there was never any bullshit to Carlos's DJ sets. He played whatever the hell he wanted and always managed to make the crowd love it. Carlos is an incredibly genuine guy, and he always called whenever Interpol was in town to make sure I had tickets and backstage passes. I always got to hang out on the Interpol tour bus after their shows talking about philosophy with him over some beers. Paul, Sam and Daniel are also all really great guys, and I always enjoyed their company immensely. But Carlos and I really connected over our goth roots, and I really missed that when hanging out with the band after their last show -- Carlos left the band prior to that show in 2010. (By the way: Carlos D. was tied with Cut Copy for this last spot in our favorite DJ list, so I flipped a coin...sorry, Cut Copy, tails wasn't on your side tonight.)
4. Miike Snow
I lucked out with this booking. I was already a big fan when I saw that they had been booked at the Bluebird Theater. I managed to secure the contract for the after-party DJ set early-on, and in the few months leading up to the show, Miike Snow blew up. The show sold out the Bluebird and got moved to the Ogden Theater, which they then proceeded to sell out. My girlfriend picked the band up from the venue. They crammed six people into a car that only had room left for four, since that was what we were told we'd be transporting, and they were incredibly gracious and polite about the whole thing -- no divas in that band! They played an amazing set to the almost 800 people we had in attendance, and we had a quick drink on their bus at the end of the night before they moved on to their next show. I gave them some T-shirts from a clothing label we were working with at the time, and saw from pictures taken at their next concert that two of them were sporting them onstage -- which was pretty cool. I'll be bringing these guys back one way or another.
3. Juan MacLean (The Juan MacLean/DFA Records)
Juan MacLean played for Lipgloss's ninth anniversary. He was one of the first national DJs who played for us who was strictly electronic and house based in style. I was nervous about how the crowd would respond since we usually incorporate a lot of rock, indie, '80s, soul, etc., into our sets, and I knew he wouldn't be doing that. But Juan absolutely destroyed it. I had, until that point, always been a little ambivalent about DJ sets built entirely out of house music, as I found them a little redundant and boring, but Juan threw down one of the most soulful, varied sets I've ever heard. The dude is a master at what he does. I had the pleasure of playing with him and Jamie Smith from the XX at Beauty Bar in Chicago for a Lollapalooza party shortly after, and in the city where house music is the heart of the club scene, the astonishment and excitement over Juan's set was evident in every face. I think it's pretty cool that when we host Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem this Friday, May 25, that we'll be coming full circle with The Juan Maclean, since she is the vocalist and only member of the band who hasn't yet played Lipgloss.
2. Andy Rourke (The Smiths)
Andy was also an easy choice. He's deejayed for us numerous times, five or six, I think. He's an incredibly nice guy, and I have a ton of stories about him -- from partying with him in Denver to partying with him in NYC, from passing out with him in his hotel bed while drinking a bottle of vodka and watching infomercials to Andy autographing one of my best friends with a sharpie so he could get the signature tattooed. But I think my favorite story is the one where Andy and I went to an after-party here in Denver after one of his gigs at Lipgloss. The taxi we called was taking forever, so we accepted a ride back to Andy's hotel from some dude at the party. On the entire ride to the hotel, the guy kept saying what a huge fan of the Smithereens his dad was since he couldn't seem to get straight that Andy was actually from the Smiths. About two blocks from the hotel, the car got a flat tire. The driver started crying because he didn't know how to change it. Andy and I got out of the car and changed his tire for him. Both of us were piss-drunk and exhausted, but we couldn't stop laughing the whole time. If you ever meet him ask about golden showers in a really bad British accent, he'll look terrified for a moment or two, but he'll laugh once he gets it!
1. Peter Hook (Joy Division/New Order)
Peter was easily my first choice. Joy Division is my favorite band of all time, so getting to meet a member of the band was incredibly thrilling for me. Even more exciting was that at midnight on the date that he played, I celebrated my birthday. Peter was a solid guy. He was very friendly, and one of the most professional and skilled of the rock legends we've brought into Lipgloss. I had the pleasure of hanging out with him for a short bit after his most recent performance in Denver, and we've exchanged a few emails since. It might be cheesy for me to think that's awesome, but I can't help it. It's just amazing to realize that I know a member of Joy Division. Peter signed a bunch of my Joy Division/ New Order paraphernalia -- much of it rare -- when he DJ'd at Lipgloss, and those things are among my greatest personal treasures.
Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem will guest DJ at Lipgloss this Friday, May 25 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7 presale and $8 at the door. Get presale tickets at Denver3.com.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music