Cover Story: Girls and Boys, Dancing Together

Local 'hipsters' find a home once a month at Plush

May 30, 2002 at 2:06 pm
Matt Borgerding

Mikey Roesch (left) and Puck Dunaway are trying to turn Cincinnati into Manchester, England circa 1984 ... and we like it.

It's a Saturday night in the close-quartered upstairs lounge above Carol's on Main that's appropriately titled Plush. Local Indie Pop/Rock faves The Tigerlilies mingle after a solid set, while a guy who looks a lot like Jarvis Cocker of Pulp — black shirt, white tie, moppy hair — sways through the packed dance floor, gliding to the sounds of the Stone Roses, Blur, T. Rex and Suede. The Glam Rock film opus Hedwig and the Angry Inch plays, sans sound, on the various video screen around the club, which is at capacity.

Welcome, boys and girls, to "Girls & Boys," the Brit Pop/Mod/Indie/Glam dance night that takes place at Plush on the last Saturday (and occasional Friday) of each month. The highly successful event, which mixes spun tunes with live sets by fitting local bands, was founded by Mikey Roesch and Puck Dunaway of the Cincinnati band The Seventies (the duo spin sounds under the name Boy Radio). The concept was admittedly stolen from a club in New York City, where the hosts briefly lived.

"One of the reasons I moved to New York was for the cultural and musical diversity," says Roesch. "Upon arrival I discovered the city offered a couple dance nights devoted specifically to Brit Pop, one of my favorite genres. To hear the music I loved, and only heard in my bedroom back in Cincy, at maximum volume in a club environment — and see other people dancing to it — was, admittedly, one of the best experiences of my life."

Tonefarmer, Ruby Vileos, The Tigerlilies and Color Test have performed at "Girls & Boys" so far, while Clabbergirl, Opi Yum Yum and The Seventies are slated to play at upcoming events.

The hosts say they might try to expand their performances to other clubs and more nights, but for right now they like the idea of making it a more special happening by featuring 12 bands in 12 months.

The duo — who, due to the success of "Girls & Boys," have been offered gigs as DJs opening for local bands — say they had a little trepidation at first about how well such an event would fly in the conservative confines of Cincinnati. Things that work in the Big Apple often don't have a chance in hell of working here.

But their dedication, coupled with Dunaway's promotional magic — he also books and promotes shows at Cody's Café in Corryville — has paid off.

"In truth, we were almost more confident that it wouldn't work," Dunaway says.

"I know there's a scene here, and I know there are more 'hipsters' in this town than most people realize," adds Roesch. "It's just that there aren't that many places or events that cater to Indie tastes and styles. We're hoping our 'place' will provide that for some."

"Girls & Boys" happens the last Saturday night of each month at Plush, the upstairs lounge at Carol's on Main, 825 Main St., Downtown.