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No. 5, “Lipstick,” a hi-hat-heavy new-wave number that—true to the band’s name—aims to get kids dancing. Singer-guitarist Mick Coogan hails from College Park, but he sings with a British accent as he exhorts D.C.’s inert audiences to get moving: “You may go/Where you wish to go/But you can find me/Down and out at the disco.”
Coogan recalls that during a practice, lead guitarist Kevin Bayly announced that the then lyricless song should be called “Lipstick.” “From there I got the idea for this kind of metaphor about lipstick and how it is…something superficial, and that is what the song was created around.” More specifically, he took aim at scenesters who care more about looking good than having fun. “You should go for party cred more than you should go for indie cred,” he says.
Pursuing party cred is partly why it took several tries to get “Lipstick” recorded last fall. “Finally we got it together, went into the studio not ass-wasted or hungover,” says Coogan. “When that song was mixed and the version was done, we all started taking things a little more seriously because it was what we wanted.” One thing Coogan particularly liked about the final cut was the vocal harmonies. However, fans will have to get the CD to hear them—at shows these days, only Coogan sings. “We had this performance on the radio at the University of Maryland, and it was awful,” he says. “After we heard that on tape, we were like, ‘OK, we all don’t need to sing.’”
The Dance Party plays the Black Cat on Friday, July 27.