I remember my first Rub at Southpaw. It was in early summer of ‘06. I was twenty and had driven up from College Park for the weekend after borrowing my parents car without their knowing that I was taking it on a road-trip. Caps and Jones had played at Savalas the night before, where I had taken a photo with Kyp Malone. Emil and Bo - my friends from Philadelphia and DJ buddies of the Rub - came with me and we were given instructions on how to get into Southpaw despite my under-aged-ness. I was wearing a too-short denim skirt with a dotted black tank-top and a long gold necklace. (I think I was trying to emulate Amanda Blank around then. Actually, I definitely was - that’s around the time Tom Breihan wrote a Staus Ain’t Hood post on the “Hollertronix Quadrant.”) Bo was wearing a Phillies hat, which I only remember because there are photos of me in it. Mike Forty was wearing a shirt with Tony the Tiger on it because he was So Into Streetwear. I met Benny B and Leigh and Ian Meyer that night, though I wouldn’t really remember that until a year or more later. The other day, Mike Famous remembered that era of the Rub with me, when the people we vaguely knew started becoming our closest friends: “They didn’t know what to do with us, a bunch of wild kids trying to start a mosh pit to rap.” It’s true - for me, most of that night is a blur of dancing my face off and being given tallboy after tallboy by whoever happened to be closest to me.
Almost six years later and the Rub is something I try to go to as often as possible. I called it “The Best Party To take Anyone To” in my round of nightlife awards for the Voice last year because it’s just that: A diverse mix of people at a venue that seems made for it, no pretense, incredible music / guest DJs, and guaranteed good vibes. And, obviously, most of that is thanks to the people who run it. Ayres and Joe have become great friends of mine in the past few years and I see the amount of love they and Cosmo pour into that thing every single month. I don’t mean to make this sound like a eulogy - The Rub will thrive at Bell House and I’ll be certain to be there for the inaugural event in March. I guess I’m just getting a little emo/nostalgic. Thanks for the memories, Southpaw.
“Southpaw was an oasis for Brooklynites who didn’t want to go to Manhattan and spend half a paycheck on bottle service while some asshole played The Strokes off an iPod. And they didn’t just invest in the neighborhood, they invested in three DJs who were dying to find a big room were we could play cool shit for a crowd who loved music as we did. We were talking about it the other day, and Mikey put it in perspective when he said “remember, when we opened, you could still smoke in bars.” This was just six months after Bloomberg took office – before mash-ups, before 50 Cent, before Serato, before all-over print and skinny jeans, before any of us had gone on tour or released a record. If you were there in the beginning you remember Roger, and Uncle Moe, and Marissa, and Bill, and Alex (RIP). You remember when Mark Ronson Djed on Halloween in face paint, when Diplo and Low-Bee played in a blizzard, when DJ Premier dropped in for a surprise DJ set and when Dave Nada tore the room wide open with Baltimore club.”
Also, when Dave Nada dropped “War Pigs” and stage-dived into the crowd. R.I.P. The Rub at Southpaw. Looking forward to Bell House times. - Gillian