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.
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.”