Locals Only: : Beat Surrender

Creators of the "Girls & Boys" Dance/Rock night reflect on one year of BritPop and Indie boogying

Matt Borgerding

Mikey Roesch and Puck Dunaway of Boys Radio

One year ago, inspired by like-minded nights they attended in New York City, local musicians Mikey Roesch and Puck Dunaway decided to start a musical "happening" that would feature the music they loved. They hoped there would be enough people in the city that agreed with their tastes.

The DJ duo (then in the now-defunct Indie Pop crew, The Seventies) called their night "Girls & Boys," dug out the best from their extensive British and Indie Pop collection, added a set of live music from similarly flavored local bands and began the monthly affair at Plush, the cozy, lush Downtown space above Carol's on Main.

It was immediately an unqualified success, drawing a strong, regular crowd that would come for the spun Pulp, T Rex, Wilco and Blur, and stay for the local live originals from the likes of The Tigerlilies, Ruby Vileos, The Green Room, The Fairmount Girls, Culture Queer and Crosely (among others).

Their success at event-shaping has led to a regular Wednesday night at Northside venue, Jacob's on the Avenue, as well as some one-off gigs including spinning at the CD release party for local Indie faves, Readymaid, and at The Cavern on New Year's Eve.

CityBeat posed some Q's to the DJ pair who call themselves Boy Radio.

CityBeat: When you started "Girls & Boys," you talked about the idea of creating a kind of "hipster" setting, where all the cool kids go. Have you succeeded?

Mikey Roesch: Definitely. The "Girls & Boys" crowd has turned into precisely what we had hoped.

We had faith in Cincinnati as a cool town, contrary to national belief, and our expectations have been met. It was a matter of providing a place for these "hipsters" to go and be.

CB: How has Boy Radio "on the road" worked out?

Puck Dunaway: We've done (one) one-off show and that was for the Readymaid CD release party, which went very well. Nothing makes us happier than when someone approaches the booth and asks about a track, and that particular night we must have had at least 10 inquiries over less than an hour playing time. Readymaid's crowd has good taste. It's challenging, as well, to play for a different audience. That night we played a lot of songs that we normally wouldn't — it didn't need to be dancey, so we based our song selection on what people were wearing.

MR: Boy Radio at Jacob's on the Avenue is a good night to experiment. I usually play this alone, and it's exciting to try out new material. The music selection really depends on the crowd. I base what I play entirely on whose there, what they request or what I think they'll like based on attire or hairstyle.

CB: How did you come up with the name Boy Radio? It's the best band name in Cincinnati, and you're not even a band.

MR: Sonicnet used to have this terrific Web site where you could make up your own radio station by choosing artists from their database by genre, then they would choose the songs randomly so you'd never know what you'd get. That's what I like about radio and DJs — the surprise element. I listened to my station all the time and I called it "Boy Radio."

CB: Speaking of bands, what are you guys up to musically these days?

MR: I've been (the drummer) in Color Test for about a year now. We're in the process of recording in our studio and we should have either an album or EP/singles —we're deciding how to format the songs — out by the middle of summer.

PD: I'm focusing on putting together a French Pop band called A la Mode. The singing will be in French and, so far, so is our guitarist. We'll be playing mostly originals — I've got half the songs already written — and a few French covers by France Gall, Françoise Hardy and Serge Gainsbourg. I'm looking for a female vocalist who can speak French — anyone know of one, send her to me!

BOY RADIO rocks Plush on Saturday with musical guests Thee Shams.