A teeming congregation of hipsters crowds the dance floor at Spa’s rock-and-roll party, “Big Bad Dodgey Disco.” Pulp’s “Common People” is throbbing. Strobes are flashing. Suddenly, the speakers begin blasting the Misfits’ scratchy 1978 thrasher anthem “Last Caress” – a far cry from the slick Britpop of a minute ago. The dancers are at a loss. Then they raise their fists in the air and pogo about with new fervor. “I haven’t heard this since high school,” says one happy headbanger, waving toward the D.J. booth. “Paul is so fucking punk!”
Just when hipsters are tiring of the Jackson Five and Jay-Z, Paul Sevigny, brother of actress Chloë, has arrived with a furious punk-metal soundtrack. Before he took to the turntables, the Waspishly handsome 29-year-old native of Darien, Connecticut, who goes out with Cheap Date editor Bay Garnett (pictured with Sevigny), was the vice-president of Dana Giacchetto’s Cassandra Group. “It’s not that everybody wants to be a D.J.,” says Sevigny. “It’s that everybody has figured out that they can be a D.J.” His own epiphany took place last March at Serena, after his friend Audrey Bernstein, who runs the party “Velveteen,” asked him to fill a guest-D.J. spot. When the crowd went berserk over his Sex Pistols set, his P.R. pals began brainstorming. Within three months, Sevigny had D.J.’d at a Surface magazine party, the Ghost store opening, and Jade Jagger and Dan Macmillan’s party for the Phillips auction house; he was even competing with Mark Ronson for a $5,000 Gucci gig.
If Ronson has introduced hip-hop to Park Avenue, then Sevigny will take Park Avenue to CBGB. “I prefer listening to hip-hop when I’m out partying,” Sevigny admits. “But that’s all we need – another skinny white boy spinning Big Pun.” (Ronson could not be reached for comment.)
While Sam Shaffer, an owner of Serena’s, has been known to complain about his ear-shattering decibels, Sevigny’s toughest critics cite his firm grasp on his sister’s coattails. “Sure, he’s a good D.J.,” says a fashion editor who was at the Ghost party. “But he’s also Chloë’s brother.” “He’s just another celebrity-family D.J.,” grumbles a disgruntled Britpopper at the Spa party. “Big deal.” “Well, we share a very similar taste in music,” Sevigny says pragmatically of his beneficial bond. “Which would lend itself to making me one of her favorite D.J.’s. It’s obvious,” he admits, “that it’s not working against me.”