My design firm Lewis & Dizon is in construction over at the 174 Rivington Street space, which will open mid-November as Red Velvet. Up to now the owners of Red Velvet, Cole Bernard and Jason Lawrence, have given me, the writer, only the red light. In other words, the designer Steve couldn’t speak to the writer Steve. (This sort of inner confusion happens a lot when I’m dating.) Red Velvet will be done in a true “let them eat cake” way — modernized Rococo-Transitional with giant oil-painted images of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette on the ceiling. Those ceilings are low — not Beatrice low, but low — and the paintings can only be realized by traveling through the space, or if you are seated. Red Velvet will feature an alcohol-laced cupcake of the day which can be paired with a cocktail. These cupcakes are a collaboration by Baked By Melissa and cocktail star Charlotte Voisey. The walls will be rows of decorative moldings which will create the feeling that you are residing within a giant framed Versailles painting. Cocktail tables will be based on cake stands. It’s a real fun project, even though I’m not getting a lot of dough for it … ouch.
This past Friday was a party celebrating the Pacha residency for Chus + Ceballos. From the press release:
Hailing all the way from Spain, CHUS + CEBALLOS are the newest dynamic DJ duo to hit Gotham and are poised to bring Pacha NYC into a new era of brilliant beats with their trademark Iberican Sound. This unique sound retains a clear latin influence, a heavy and dense afro-tribal feeling, a great rhythm component, coupled with expert professional technique that inject their sets full of energy and good taste. The charisma and authenticity of their talents, the feeling exuded from the booth and the resulting groove is 100% Pure House, 100% Iberican Sound! Chus + Ceballos share their thoughts on their connection to the New York scene, “We are SOOOO excited about it because Pacha is the place to be in New York. After having a really successful year in the city, this residency comes at the right time to finally make a solid C+C night in the Big Apple. One of the reasons for this is the open character and Latin influence in our music- we love the groove and the beats so does the New York crowd. In the club, we are the first ones to have fun and because of this the people get infected automatically- people love when they see the DJs smiling and enjoying it. This global feeling of celebration that you can find at our parties is really welcomed by the New York crowd, the grade of connection is at maximum and we see that gig after gig the crowd is growing and the expectation is bigger.”
Chus + Ceballos are evangelizing their Iberican sound across the globe. Their residency at Pacha will probably consist of about eight dates in 2010; DJs like Tenaglia and Jonathan Peters play primarily on Saturday. While many New York DJs are going through a minimal phase that’s huge in Europe, Chus + Ceballos recognize that at the end of the day, NYC has always been about drums, and their sound is a natural fit at Pacha. They’ve been together for about a decade. Their early gigs in NYC were as a favorite guest of Danny Tenaglia at Vinyl. Rob Fernandez of Pacha says of the duo:
Since then, they’ve built their fanbase in the NYC area the old fashioned way — one fan at a time — by spinning all over the area and turning it out every time. Oh and they’re a lot of fun and they get it. For last weekend’s Pacha gig, Chus suggested a flyer with them dressed as the Village People — Chus as the cop, Pablo Ceballos as the Indian, doorman Jermaine as the cowboy, Anthony Lamont as the army guy, I was the leather man, and Pacha honcho Eddie Dean as the construction worker. They love New York and New York loves them. It’s funny … they come to town so often, it’s not like they are foreign DJs anymore. They seem like local DJs . By coming here so often, they have made a commitment to NYC. Pacha is making a commitment to them — we see them joining that exclusive club of Tenaglia, Calderone, Morillo, etc. Not too many new names have joined that list over the years. When Junior Vasquez reached real superstar status — I don’t think it was at Soundfactory but rather at Arena. Factory was underground … at Arena you had everyone in NYC together under one roof. A lot of different crowds all respond to C+C. They have the potential reach those kind of heights.
Friday’s event has house heads yapping. One gal close to the action told me,” Chus + Ceballos are the real deal.” Pacha remains the city’s only large world-class music venue. Mansion has the size and a commitment to great music, but it lacks the international chops Pacha and small-room rival Cielo has. Webster Hall is still a great concert environment, but it’s so poorly managed that it doesn’t figure into any legitimate equation. You can only go there if a truly great act is booked. To paraphrase Yogi Berra, that place is so crowded that nobody goes there anymore. Pacha has weathered the storm and continues to provide musical relevance to NYC on the world stage.