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Local Listens: Mick Coogan of the Dance Party

Welcome to Local Listens, where we profile some of our favorite Washington musicians. This week, we shine the spotlight on the Dance Party.

The Dance Party is an ’80s new-wave, dance-punk, pop quartet. Don’t take the name lightly because the guys come with one motive: to make you dance. Singer Mick Coogan delivers high-energy vocals and catchy lyrics on top of synth-pop beats that have you wishing you’d busted out leg warmers before hitting the dance floor.

Backing up Coogan are Kevin Bayly on guitar, Drew Doucette on keys and synth, Jeff David on drums, and Danny Hoag on bass. The band’s debut full-length album came out in 2007, and since then the guys have been working on new hits.

“We have killer recordings in our possession, waiting for release,” Coogan says. “And we have hot jams in our pocket. We have what you want.”

Coogan’s favorite Dance Party jam is the new and addictive “Sasha Don’t Sleep.” With lyrics that go, “Gotta get up get up get up / It’s what she lives for / kissing on the dance floor / Sasha oh you’ve got your eye on me / Sasha Oh I know you don’t sleep,” the song describes a girl who lives to dance and that’s about it. It’s not earth-shattering content, but the song’s got a hook that your body can’t deny.

“Sasha Don’t Sleep” is posted in its entirety on the band’s MySpace page. Unfortunately, Coogan says there are legal implications for the band’s producer if they release entire songs anywhere other than on an album, so fans can only stream clips of other songs online. Bummer. But be careful where you listen, because a dance sesh could break out at any moment.

The best way to enjoy the band is to join in the dance party at a show. If you haven’t had a good make-out session in a while, Coogan says the band might give you the opportunity if you come to their next show. The guys will perform at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, December 27.

To tide you over until then, check out our Q&A with Coogan.

Name: The Dance Party.

Age: “Pretty young.”

Hometown: DC.

First song that made you want to play music:
“Def Leppard’s ‘Photograph’ is so awesome.”

First instrument:

Local spot to seek inspiration or write music:

Best local venue:

Best bar to hear music:
“T.G.I. Friday’s.”

Favorite local band other than yours:
“Middle Distance Runner, Bulldog Funk (Fugazi funk-fusion tribute band).”

Best thing about Washington’s music scene:
“The fans.”

Worst thing about Washington’s music scene:
“The good bands broke up.”

Craziest tour memory:
“We played a killer show in NYC and met some girls.”

Finish this sentence: “When not making music, you can find me. . .”
“. . . hanging out/talking on the phone.”

Rolling Stones or the Beatles?
Exile on Main Street #14 ‘Let it loose.’ ”

Digital download or hard copy?

Rolling Stone or Spin?
Tiger Beat.”

Club show or festival?
“Woodstock, definitely—the newer one with more expensive water.”

What musicians, bands, or other performers influence the Dance Party’s music?
“ ’60s—the Stones; ’70s—the Cars; ’80s—Van Halen; ’90s—Siamese Dream; ’00s—Washington Social Club; now—MGMT, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Hercules and Love Affair, Girl Talk, Iron and Wine, Conor Oberst, OMG, Animal Collective, Beach House, ummmmm . . . the new Kanye record, Vampire Weekend, definitely No Age, TV on the Radio, and Cut Copy.”

How and when did the band start?
“We started a few years back when we all decided it was time to rock.”

If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life which would it be?
“N.O.W. 13.”

What’s the best thing about being in a band?
“Making a difference and drink tickets.”

What’s your favorite music movie scene?
“I love that scene in Snatch when Brad Pitt (hunka hunka!) knocks out that goon and that “Golden Brown” song comes on and Tommy looks like he’s about to pee his pants.”

Previous Local Listens:

David Kitchen 
The Hall Monitors
The Moderate
Kitty Hawk 
Justin Jones