Exactly 20 minutes with ND of ND’s Space
When you can actually get 20 minutes with Nicole “ND” Durr, you take it. The dynamic, German-born owner of Raw Talent Live and ND’s Space (coming this spring to the Palazzo) is in nearly constant motion. But she stood still long enough to give the Weekly an inside look at how her first foray into nightlife came about.
“I did not set out to open a lounge or a theater,” stresses ND, a former songwriter for top European artists, among her many other roles and projects. Last fall, ND explains, she made a presentation to top Vegas hotel and casino brass pitching them her high-energy show Fuego and the Ambient Entertainment Technology she had developed to pull her vision off. AET takes even the most high-tech notions of imagery projection to a whole new level, wrapping images entirely around objects and people, wholly pulling audiences into the action via projected surroundings.
After the presentation, it was the Venetian which gave ND the go-ahead to do whatever she wanted with the third floor of the Shoppes at the Palazzo. Not surprisingly, ND’s AET technology was snatched right up, but very surprisingly, the show wasn’t. Hence the creation of ND’s Lounge, as well as an intimate performance venue and the One Shot Espresso Experience. Inspired by the mingling and exchange of ideas that went on in the salons and parlors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, ND immediately set about tying the three venues together through traffic flow and by implementing her AET projection throughout.
Despite construction setbacks and the untimely onset of a recession, ND laughs, “I don’t call it a recession. I call it an irritation.” Accept it and move on. “The only constant is change. That’s our world, and that’s what we have to adapt to,” she says calmly. Mild irritations aside, construction now continues in the 21,000-plus-square-foot club. ND also has around her a cherry-picked retinue of talent, from GM Mike Milner to Operations Manager Natalia Badzjo and her own manager, Bernie Yuman. “I’m really blessed. I’m so honored that these people believe in me, hang in there with me, fight with me.”
And fight is a thing ND says she had to do as a woman coming into Vegas five years ago to install the controversial Cuban-American show Havana Night Club at the Stardust, a show she spent seven years developing. Establishing ND’s Space and Raw Talent Live, a Fuego spin-off, simultaneously has been no easy task. She blinks in disbelief, “I never planned to have two projects on the Strip at the same time!” But ND’s taking it in her own stylish, savvy stride all the same, staying involved in every minute detail just the way she likes it.
“It’s time to define for this town the new entertainment.” While she has yet to sell Fuego, Raw Talent Live, debuts September 13 at the Sahara. It will introduce audiences to the “Laptop of Life,” which holds the truth of whether mankind is mere machinery or human. “The question at the end of the show—a world without machinery. Will there be love, will there be peace, will we all have to be down on our knees?!” Her past, present and future being inextricably intertwined with technology, ND wonders aloud if it might not be the latter.
The douchebag phenom hits the airwaves
Douchebags are soooo hot right now. Well, at least in their own minds. In addition to the Hot Chicks with Douchebags book previously mentioned and extensively detailed in the Weekly, douchebaggery is running rampant and has garnered—as many rampant things do—its very own parody song. In rotation for a while at Area 107.9-FM, “Vegas Bars” aptly parodies the FloBots song “Handlebars.” The so-called BloBots version has become a hot and hilarious topic among the nightlife community.
With lyrics such as “Look at me, look at me/Pretending I’m on top/And my new tribal tattoo makes the panties go drop/My cocaine addiction, my cola is pure/My shirt is Affliction, my glasses Dior,” you easily get the mental picture of quite a few people who may be trying to scam on your bottle service.
But where did the song come from? And does it have anything to do with the aforementioned book? It doesn’t look like it, as the parody originally started out as “Scottsdale Bars,” the work of an Arizona radio host who has made slight variations in lyrics to suit multiple cities. But the timing couldn’t have been better.
Now suitably peppered with Vegas references (“Can I get to 215 with no DUI …/Then we can park at Treasure Island and both get high”), the timely spoof is Vegas-ready and satisfyingly trash-tastic. Our version is not available for download on iTunes or on the creator’s website, myspace.com/dixonpayne (yet—we’ve put in a request, though), but we don’t care—it still had us laughing so hard we almost shot vodka-cranberry out of our noses. Give it a listen at blobots.com.