Paul Sevigny: Spin Doctor

To Celebrate Record Store Day, A Tour of the Nightlife Impresario’s Collection

Deejay Paul Sevigny invited NOWNESS to his East Village apartment for a private look at his staggering stockpile of albums. Over the last five years, Sevigny has opened a succession of New York City's buzziest spots, including seminal boîte The Beatrice Inn with Matt Abramcyk and Paris graffiti artist and nightlife king Andre Saraiva, and Kenmare with Rose Bar creative director Nur Khan. His latest venture with Saraiva is louche Hollywood club Paul & Andre, one of LA’s most talked about destinations thanks to its iron-clad door policy. A former pro skater and sailor who has also worked on Wall Street, Sevigny began spinning records at friends’ parties in 2000. His eclectic punk and rock sets quickly caught on with the fashion crowd, winning him clients including Chanel, Marc Jacobs and Vogue. To celebrate tomorrow’s Record Store Day, the Connecticut native, who is also keyboardist for A.R.E Weapons (and the older brother of actress Chloë Sevigny), took time out to talk shop.

What are the merits of buying music in a store versus online?
If people ask for my top ten, or what I’m listening to, I try to list songs that aren’t available on iTunes. People call back and ask, “Do these really exist? I couldn’t find them on iTunes.” That’s the point—that’s why you’re asking me. Downloading my whole collection in two days, which took me 20 or 30 years to amass, takes away some of the sportingness of it. There’s nothing better than finding that track that you’ve been seeking out for ten years, going through dusty old crates and stumbling upon something.

How many records do you have?
I have about 7,000 records, but nobody needs to have that many. I probably have 3,000 that I don’t need. Is there really any reason for somebody to have more than 1,000? I doubt it. Part of the reason I have so many is because there are so many hip-hop 12-inches in there, and hip-hop moves at a brisk pace.

How are they arranged?
They’re in a state of disarrangement.

Name your most exciting recent acquisition.
I just recently found a Johnny Thunders “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory” 12-inch limited-edition pink vinyl single on the Real Records label, which is pretty rare.

Tell us something we don’t know about but need to hear.
There’s a 60s band called Index out of Grosse Point, Michigan, who were on DC Records. [Their first LP, The Black Album] could be the earliest hipster record. It’s garagey, psychy crossed with early Joy Division that came out pretty amazing.

What’s your favorite deejay venue?
Inside the Egyptian tomb at the Metropolitan Museum. But nothing’s better than five or ten friends in an apartment playing records and smoking weed.

What’s a guaranteed floor filler?
Nat King Cole’s “L-O-V-E”––that will get them dancing every time.


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Conversations (1)

  • David J.
    i really want to go to paul & andre, but don't think i'll get in. i'm telling my cooler friends to go
    • Posted By David J.
    • April 29, 2011 at 1:11AM
    • Share Comment:

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