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HEALTH/John Maus New Year's Eve show canceled as booking agent comes under fire.

Denton County Improper? Local Booking Entity is Enduring Commitment Woes

After hearing rumors firsthand and seeing the occasional Tweet or Facebook status update regarding the alleged inability of local booking organization Denton County Proper to fulfill its financial obligations, today it appears to be official: The big triple headliner show that was announced for New Year’s Eve featuring HEALTH, John Maus, Quintron and Miss Pussycat has been canceled, leaving a gaping hole in Denton’s options for the biggest entertainment night of the year. And that’s just one of what appears to be several problems for Denton County Proper’s Matthew Gray, who handles the organization’s dealings.

Earlier today, the Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios Facebook posted this unflattering update:

Do you know Matthew Gray? If so, do me a favor: ask him why he thinks it’s ok to stiff bands. He guaranteed BLEACHED $500.00 when they played RGRS, and so far has refused to honor his end of the contract. Not cool, Matthew Gray. Not cool at all.

I contacted Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios’ Josh Baish after seeing the strongly-worded post and asked about the Bleached show in question. The band — which features former members of well-regarded LA punk outfit Mika Miko — performed at the venue on October 11th.

Says Baish:

He booked Bleached with a $500.00 guarantee plus food buyout, and never showed up to pay the bands, telling me his “assistant,” someone by the name of “Tim” would be there to settle. No “Tim” ever surfaced, leaving me there to deal with it. He promised to wire them the money, and so far, has yet to do so.

Baish added that he heard of Gray engaging in similar practices with other venues, but didn’t list specific examples. When asked if Gray had other upcoming shows at Rubber Gloves, his response was direct: “F*** no.”

While acknowledging that it wasn’t his venue, I asked Baish about his feelings regarding Gray’s well-promoted New Year’s Eve show. He offered this:

His NYE has been pulled by the bands’s respective agents. I offered to have the show moved over to RGRS, but he had a (get ready for this) $30,000.00 (!!!) guarantee (including airfare/ hotel rooms/ etc) for the package. No plans set @ RGRS as of yet, we’ll probably just end up getting some local bands/djs.

After hearing this bad news reiterated for the third time, I finally decided to ask Michelle Cable of New York’s Panache Booking whether or not the event was still on, since Panache books for HEALTH and Quintron and Miss Pussycat specifically. She confirmed:

Yes, the show was canceled due to disorganization on the promoter’s part, but we’re def doing Indian Jewelry/Prince Rama @ Rubbergloves.

Indeed, Baish mentioned the restructuring of booking contacts. Gray had originally booked the show, but Baish has taken over:

Michelle pulled him handling the Indian Jewelry show at RGRS, and turned it over to me.

So what does Mr. Gray have to say about all of this? As of posting time, he is still updating his promotional info for other shows he has booked, such as Owen’s appearance at Hailey’s on Thursday. I contacted Gray as well of course, however he requested I give him a “few days to sort some things out here.”

11 comments on “Denton County Improper? Local Booking Entity is Enduring Commitment Woes

  1. why is everyone ignoring the other glaring fact about this douchebag:
    MATTHEW AND THE ARROGANT SEA SUCKS!!!!!

  2. This is typical Matt Gray. As soon as John Oates was announced to play at hailey’s with local openers my first thought was “don’t get your hopes up kids. Check the name on the booking contact”. Dude is a compulsive liar and habitual agreement breaker. Goes back to 2007 – when will people learn?

  3. yup i can remember the old MATAS crap about his supposed record contract. major flake.

  4. Yeah… everyone seemed to forget about that time he lied to everyone in town about his multi-million dollar record deal and all the bands that he was going to take on his European tour. Oops.

  5. This is unfortunate. It doesn’t reflect well for the entire community here. As it is already, enough bands just skip Dallas/Denton and go straight to Austin. Thanks Matthew, for making our city’s reputation that much worse.

  6. Maybe it’s time to bring back the antiquated practice of tar-and-feathering. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving fellow.

  7. Also worth mentioning:
    Even though the Owen show did happen, Matthew Gray never paid Mike Kinsella the contracted amount for the show, and gave him the “I’ll wire you” lie that seems to be his M.O. This is sick, it really hurts fan’s chances at getting these acts to return to places like Denton. And Mike is also telling the story to Kevin Devine on twitter – also asking for people to “punch Matthew Gray in the gut”. Someone needs to…