Friday, May 18, 2007

10 Spankings For RGRS

Rubber Gloves kicks off a two night celebration this evening to commemorate their 10th anniversary. They’ve had a great run, filling the considerable void left after The Argo closed and writing their own history with the kind of quirks and humbling predicaments that endear a venue to people like us. The free festivities continue tomorrow night and are making the Weekender a real bitch.

To mark the occasion, we invited some locals to share some of their experiences at Rubber Gloves. Several responded with some great stories.

Peter Schmidt:

i'm sure i'm a little older than you guys and the drive to Denton has gotten a little less appealing with each passing year so i'm afraid i haven't been out to Rubber Gloves in quite a while.

but i have seen some great shows there. Enon, Melt-Banana , Ted Leo (minus one Pharmacist that night for some reason)... even Trail of Dead managed to impress the first time i saw them there. and i don't really care for Low but hearing them duet with the passing train was something special. tons more but the recall isn't what it used to be.

as far as shows that i've played there, two stand out:

1) Rock Lottery, i'm guessing about 8 or 9 years ago. i can't remember the names of everyone in my band (Joe Butcher for sure though) or even the name that we chose for the band but i do remember that by about 2 o'clock that afternoon i was seriously regretting my decision to participate. the rehearsal was sucking and i was preparing myself for major embarrassment. but as practice time was winding down we mysteriously started to gel. the songs were pure noise but a pretty rockin' noise. at show time everyone actually remember their parts, we played better than we had all day and we seemed to go over with the crowd. my favorite part though was after about 15 minutes of atonal discord we somehow managed to pull off a semi-credible version of Miles Davis' `Round Midnight. in my memory at least, the crowd got very quiet and we achieved a couple of minutes that approached genuine beauty. one of my favorite music memories bar none.

2) Four or five years ago The New Year (with whom i play guitar but don't sing) started a week long tour at Rubber Gloves. the band all live in different parts of the country and we were glad to have a show in familiar territory before we headed out to the west coast. we had two days of practice before the tour and on the second Matt, the main singer, lost his voice. we debated canceling the Rubber Gloves show and just starting the tour in New Mexico but eventually we decided to heavy-up the set with songs that Bubba sang and have a couple of us who didn't normally sing (in the New Year anyway) tackle a few of Matt's songs. the show must go on and all that ya know. now i've been in the New Year since the beginning of the band and i've known the Kadane brothers since the very early 90's but i am still a HUGE fan of the Kadane brothers songs. so it was pretty surreal for me to sing my favorite New Year song "Newness Ends" on the Rubber Gloves stage while Matt just sat back and played guitar. i was still trying to memorize the lyrics and trying to think of excuses to not sing until the minute we went on. it's a testament to the Kadanes strong writing that even my poor voice couldn't do too much damage to the song.

Shiny Around the Edges:

What sums up RGRS best for us is when Heather took a chance on us promoting one of our first shows a few years back. We invited our friends The Hex to come down from Oklahoma City for a show as they had just set up this really successful one for us up there. Unfortunately, despite a ton of promoting, the resulting turnout for our show was roughly eight people, maybe a few more... maybe a few less. The Hex were great, but it was a real downer that not many people were there to see it. Jen and I felt horrible at the close of the evening because Heather (and Brett, Josh, and all the others involved in RGRS) took a chance on us, and, well... eight people does not pay the rent, much less the lights, A/C, etc. Despite the poor turnout, Heather came to us and expressed her thanks for putting the evening together, and then said how bummed she was that more people didn’t show up for a show she liked. We were amazed. Since then, we have worked with Heather, Brett, and Josh to put together evenings at RGRS that have hopefully helped to continue the venue’s legacy as an indie-rock corner bar that takes risks and helps to develop local artists. For this, we are ever thankful to the kind folks at RGRS - past, present, and future.

Of course, there is also the time we were playing with a band called Les Masseurs Du Rock. For some reason, a wheelbarrow appeared, and as this was back when they had the Big Ass Beer plastic cups all the time, we all were well on our respective ways to being fairly loaded halfway through the evening. Hijinks ensued and everyone had wheelbarrow rides through the bar while slurring French obscenities in faux accents until they politely kicked us all out at some point past 2 AM.

Aaron from Tame Tame and Quiet :

My top five favorite memories of Rubber Gloves:

5) My first two visits there consisted of some combination of these bands, playing on the outdoor stage. My introduction to Denton's live music scene. I think it was:

The Gunga Din Royal Trux Jetscreamer Mandarin Low (a train went by at some point and drowned them out beautifully, and they kept playing)
Hot Water Music (some guy hung from the rafters taking photos throughout the show)

4) The Boy Division reunion show with Hogpig. Security escorts with Mag-Lights led the Boys through a crazy throng of fans to woo everyone in the sexy way that only they can.

3) Security Breach!!!
a) Finding out what sort of hand markings RGRS was giving for a sold out Modest Mouse show. Going to the grocery store for orange highlighters to put an "X" on my hand and sneak in. Very sweaty, very packed, very awesome.
b) Driving my ass out to Denton to see a sold out Unwound show. No chance of sneaking in, so we partially scaled the back fence, held ourselves up, and watched and listened through the opened back door. Incredible!

2) The Microphones/Calvin Johnson/Get The Hell Out Of The Way Of The Volcano (now the much more succinct, The Blow):

This show had theatrics (I got to be a blood covered plane crash victim), costumes, song trading (including the greatest cover of Beat Happening's "Grave Digger Blues" by The Blow), and when Phil Elvrum took over for a while and led everyone present into the parking lot out back for a campfire sing-along, everything was going well. Then a seemingly endless train rolled by, but the only visible cargo was a continuous series of tanks, one after another. The songs stopped. Everyone just turned and stared. When it had passed, though everyone felt a little taken aback by the absurd surrealism of what we just saw, it was back to what we were originally there for. To hear songs. But that image really stood out to me. Songs being sung out into the night for no one in particular, with a succession of tanks floating by.

1) Lightning Bolt/Yeti...I don't know how long ago:

I had heard about the greatness of Lightning Bolt from a friend, so with Fort Worth greats Yeti opening, it was an easy sell. As Yeti performed, their overpowering drone apparently made me oblivious to the fact that Lightning Bolt was setting up on the floor beside me. As Yeti's set faded out, a rumbling erupted from the floor beside me, and I turned to see a circle forming around where LB had clandestinely set up. All I saw once they launched into their first song was a wall of Dentonites, densely packed and bouncing like I've never seen Denton kids bounce. My wife and I repositioned ourselves to stand, first up on the stage, then we moved up to stand on the merch booth to get a better view. It was this night in particular that I saw evidence of life and excitement present in live music again.

Here's Chris from The Baptist Generals:

Hmm --recollections and ruminations -- a list:

1. Since the demise of the Argo there wasn't really a place for indie or punk music for quite a while. There were house shows, but there wasn't a place for bigger touring bands to play. There were some businesses in Denton that helped pick up the slack giving local bands places to play but they weren't spaces best set up for music. Other than that you had to tread your way into Rick's (now the Inferno)--which was fratboy hell most nights except on the occasions when they would book something alright. I remember this period being really dark for music in Denton. How could Denton begin to claim a scene when it couldn't even support a respectable alternative venue?

2. A very early memory of what would later become the show room: Jason Wortham and his wife Memory were renting this old concrete factory to live in. I'd been hired by Slobberbone's label to produce a promotional video for them. I'd just gotten to know Jason and Memory and they let us use that room to shoot some fancy footage of the band practicing. That room was fucked up. Conduit ran everywhere up and down and across the cinder block walls. There were power boxes, odd gauge boxes and meter boxes everywhere, yet there was no power to tap. Still, I was still worried I was going to get fried. We all figured it had been a machine room. The whole point of me explaining all this is if Jason had told me he was going to turn that place into a room for shows I think I would have laughed at him in his face. The room needed lots of work.

3. The first show I went to in there was a Good/Bad Event. Baboon played on the floor. I remember it was this room without a stage and there was a glass-front coca-cola fridge and you had to bring your own beer and you could keep it cold in there. The room kind of felt like a church basement.

4. My favorite shows in no order:
Will Oldham on the Patio. I finally got to see that freak.

The night the Riverboat Gamblers played and Woebe did a ceiling walk and effectively disconnected a gas line on the wall. Everyone got out of the room, real, real quick.

The first time Jonathan Richman played--I think it was a Valentine's day show. The room was packed out but people got very, very quiet.

The night Lil' Grizzly played their last show. The place was packed and everyone was in a sad but familial mood.

From the hassles with getting the drink licenses, to the dynamic, explosive fallout of the different personalities that have gone through that place, man I'm glad Rubber Gloves has weathered all that. When that little club started it was still questionable whether one live independent music venue could survive in Denton. Ten years later it appears on better nights Denton could support 3 or 4 venues of the type. This is no knock against Denton's other established venues, but Gloves has an identity that would be difficult for any other venue in town to come close to touching. The place embodies the rich culture of original music here. It has remained scrappy, and hungry, and low-rent. Affordable and approachable. Best of all--in all the club's ups and downs Gloves has stayed young and supportive of the new bands that emerge in town each year. Maintaining that kind of relevance has got to be the best kind of suspended animation for a local music venue, and Rubber Gloves has oozed with that kind of relevance for so, so many years, simply because it has had to live so lean for so many years. Here's to 10 more reasonably lean and healthy years.

As for me (Wildcat), I used to love the open-mic big-ass-beer nights. I spent a lot of time in Denton during college summers and big-ass-beer night is the reason I now like to drink beer out of plastic cups even when I’m at home. The hands-down most peculiar memory I have is, ironically, characteristically typical of the kind RGRS has churned out over the past 10 years: watching Will Oldham pause mid-show to call someone—a friend or relative?—with a speaker phone on the old outdoor stage. The person he called just got out of jail, so the audience was treated to this phone call in which Oldham congratulated some guy on his first night out of jail.


Blogger Sam Machkovech said...

This is really great. Thanks for posting.

1:30 AM  
Blogger DTC said...

awesome, but im almost kinda shocked no one mentioned lift to experience doing a 4th of july show. it was hot as nuts in there, but loud enough to rattle your teeth out of your head.

1:54 AM  
Anonymous shq said...

Rubber Gloves is the beating heart and soul of Denton music.
True belivers in the power and passion of music.

2:32 AM  
Blogger aaron said...

Whoops. Forgot to email my memories:

I broke my hymen at J&J's, but RGRS is where I learned to cum.
Big Ass Beer open mic night, the breeding ground for many self-righteous budding songwriter/musicians, is where I started out. I owe a big debt to Heather and Brett for booking many a show with no real draw-band, and then booking us again. Them is good peoples.
I was with Aaron Bartz at the Microphones show. I didn't get dressed up/messed up but the part out back with the singalong and the procession of tanks being carried by on train cars was utterly surreal and foreboding. It was the beginning of the Bush II reign of terror and the same feeling of "oh shit..." moved through the encircled group.
Another memory involves an incident where a band I'm in completely covered every surface of the club in beer. Admittedly, I started it. I poured a beer on my band mate's shirt, he poured his on my head. Then I sneaked up behind various people and poured beers on their heads, vice versa. It was retarded and I caught hell for a good month. Rumors of being banned yadda yadda... Good times.
Then there's the time Mike Melendi gave me head in the outside bathroom, the one with the broken toilet containing teddy bear covered in 3 year old vomit.

Here's to another 10 years and hopefully better and better memories.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous wanz said...

The Falcon Project rehearsed at Rubber Gloves for about 5 years. That was when it was me, Sean Kirpatrick, and Will Kapinos still playing together.

Smoking out with an up and coming band at the time called At the Drive In. We were practicing and they were loading in. Same thing with Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. They heard us rockin out to Theoretical girls and hung out in our room with us for a while. Opening for Royal Trux, Broadcast and countless other good bands.

Winning the 1st annual Rubber gloves chili cook off. Lots of good memories of The Gloves. Not too many recent ones(hint,hint). But when I lived in Denton still I spent more time at the Gloves rehearsing and hanging out than I did at home. Good Times. Good memories.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Eric Grubbs said...

Of all the shows I've seen there, Jimmy Eat World/At the Drive-In/Post From Vermont in '99 was one of the best.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A. let's get back to record reviews, m'kay??
B. samuel's thanking someone for something? A-fucking-mazing!!
C. see you real soon.
D. dat's about it.

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jimmy eat world. are there really enough words in the english language to disparage that crap with?

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not tooo take away from rgr's or the argo.. but when j&j's was mr. gatti's who remembers the rancid show with gals panic in the basement..

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I put the teddy bear in that toilet. FOR REALZ!

11:13 AM  
Blogger aaron said...

teddy bear also has bum shit on it. mugzu took a band picture there.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anyone remember robin, aka daughter entertainment???? it sucked for the local bands when she was there, but omg the road shows were fucking awesome. i miss those days!!

10 years? im assuming thats when memory and jason started it? how long has josh owned it?

12:15 PM  
Anonymous scenekid3 said...

uh, daughter just moved to haileys. go see the clientele there.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And she still sucks for local bands.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And she now works with AEG.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AOL / Time Warner

12:51 PM  
Blogger josh said...

Wow, I'm getting a little choked up.
Thanks for posting this, we really are humbled. Some great memories from all!
Please come out and join us sometime over the next 48 hours, whoever and wherever you are, Dallas to Denton, Ft. Worth to Granbury, House parties to House of Blues, it don't matter. Let's stop the hating & dissing, moaning & pissing for the next two days, and celebrate 10 years gone with us!

Again, thank you all very much for the support.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous daniel said...

715 panhandle tonight

daniel folmer
sparlin, jessels
sara bollinger

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one more time: moaning and pissing is wsjr, is that alright with you, professor positive??

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

scene daddy!

5:44 PM  
Anonymous mc said...

Wow, Newness Ends has got to be the only Kadane song ever that's tailor-made for Peter Schmidt ... not to mention one of their very best. Would have loved to have heard that. Some kind of crazy Mad Hatters special.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Franklin said...

I guess there will always be people that have to complain about something. Robin has been booking in this area for over 10 years. She has consistently brought in some great national bands and allowed local bands a chance to play in front of crowds they might not have had the chance to otherwise. All while actually paying those local bands a solid amount of money ($50-$100 in most cases). Terrible indeed.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous mc said...

OK, here's my real Rubber Gloves story.

My Rubber Gloves story is fairly recent vintage, but it’s pretty hard to beat. That’s because my first time ever at RGRS was also my first time ever onstage as a performing artist. No J&J’s, no open mike, no high school talent show … I think I maybe played something in front of class on the recorder in the sixth grade, but other than that, the debut of iDi*amin at RGRS in late November 2005 was the live debut of Michael Chamy, 30-year-old virgin. Somewhere in the middle of the feedback-addled fury caused by a combination of my out-of-control oscillator and my nervously out-of-control twisted innards, I sensed that something was coming together on this fun little eve-of-Thanksgiving gathering. iDi*amin's awkward/furious/challenging/uncertain debut was followed by You Are the Universe! and (most impressively by) Notes From Underground, and lo and behold I was in the middle of something with a capital S, something that may not have been birthed that night, but something that was definitely furthered and consolidated that night, a certain spirit and freedom and adventure that was in serious uprising mode then, and today is just running wild in the streets of Denton, made in large part possible by the (blind?) trust Rubber Gloves had in us. I’m not sure the yahoos with oscillators made too much impression other than “damn, they were brave to get up there and do what they did,” but this truly greatest of nights couldn’t have had a greater conclusion than my post-postset-drunken-binge/purge whiplashed body being possessed head to undertow by the skullcrushing maelstrom of one Notes From Underground.

Thanks RGRS!!!!!!

Michael Chamy
iDi*amin/Zanzibar Snails
Mayyrh Records

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When did Skulkie The Spy book there?
Thats when I remember seeing bands like Record Hop and other locals starting to play there.
Whatever happened to her?
Did she move to Portland or something?
Whatever happened to Misplaced Semicolon? I loved their posters.
Didnt they get big in the art scene or something?
Are they with the And/Or Gallery in Dallas now?
I love RGRS.
I don't get to Denton often enough now, but if I do I always want to see whats happening at the old gloves.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone have a review/personal anecdotes from last night?

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not so much

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heather(Skulkie) is still in town and occasionally books at SHQ. She's part of the brains behind Goth Valentine's Day and I think she's gonna' start booking on more of a regular basis least at SHQ.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I guess there will always be people that have to complain about something. Robin has been booking in this area for over 10 years. She has consistently brought in some great national bands and allowed local bands a chance to play in front of crowds they might not have had the chance to otherwise. All while actually paying those local bands a solid amount of money ($50-$100 in most cases). Terrible indeed."

Yep, she usually pays out locals a guarantee, from what I've heard. And I'm sure she tries to get local openers on. A lot of touring acts bring along support or have a say in who opens. So if there's no local opener, it may not be her doing.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah right. Who said that? Josh Baish? The original quote AND 7:30 PM. Josh Baish? Someone who works at RGRS at least?

3:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

misplaced semicolon is heather and brett at rubber gloves.

5:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i doubt it was josh--josh and robin hate each other.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SHQ does a great job booking.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She made him a ton of money at one point though. This was written a while back I believe. Like 5 years ago maybe?

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who are you talking about?

8:00 PM  
Anonymous t858t said...


8:18 AM  

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