Denton County Problems: NYE Show with Health, John Maus is 86'd as Accusations Fly

That exciting triple-bill we announced back in September featuring Health, John Maus and Quintron & Miss Pussycat and slated to come to Denton's The Warehouse on New Year's Eve will now be a decidedly less exciting affair.

Mostly because it won't be happening.

The show, promoted by Matthew & The Arrogant Sea frontman Matthew Gray's talent-buying upstart, Denton County Proper, has officially been canceled. It no longer appears on any of the band's web sites.

Panache Booking, the booking agency for both Health and Quintron & Miss Pussycat, has formally pulled its bands from the bill this week in the wake of another Panache-handled band, Bleached, never being compensated for performing a Denton Country Proper-promoted show at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios earlier this month.

According to Rubber Gloves owner Josh Baish, Denton County Proper had agreed to pay Bleached $500 for its show on Monday, October 10, and, when it came time to settle up with the bands, Gray, whom Baish calls "a compulsive liar," was a no-show.

"I paid for their gas and drinks and spoke with their manager," Baish said. "But I just didn't have $500 to give them."

Gray is singing a different tune.

"It's complete fucking bullshit," Gray says this afternoon. "I booked the show while I was on the road. I'd agreed to split the cost of the show with Rubber Gloves."

Baish says that was never the case, that the band's contract stated otherwise, that he's had to spend the past few weeks patching up his venue's relationship with Panache because of Gray's improper handling of the show, and that his venue will now be taking over the promotional and fiscal responsibilities of the once-Denton-County-Proper-handled Indian Jewelry show set to take place at Rubber Gloves on Friday, November 18.

This news comes in the wake of an earlier announcement from Denton County Proper (which was initially launched as essentially a charitable organization) that its scheduled November 4 event at Hailey's Club featuring John Oates has been canceled due to low ticket sales.

Gray, however, insists that this is the end of his company's problems. Aside from his strained relations with Rubber Gloves and Panache, he says his other booking agency and venue relationships remain intact.

Upcoming shows scheduled to take place at Andy's Bar (including a November 11 performance from Eleanor Friedberger) and Hailey's Club (including a show this Thursday night featuring Owen) will go ahead as planned. So, too, Gray promises, will the Saturday, November 5, show at Hailey's featuring Here We Go Magic and Active Child, which Gray says will now also feature Georgia-based rockers Dead Confederate. DCP's slated February 10 "block party" featuring Akron/Family, Low, comedian Michael Showalter and another newly announced band, Murder by Death, is similarly moving forward, Gray says.

He also says he plans to announce in the near future a new headliner for DCP's New Year's Eve shows.

Then again, this is not the first time Gray has let his words get out in front of him.

Regardless, Gray for now appears unfazed by the kerfuffle at hand.

"I'm not giving up," Gray says. "I'm not shaken by this. Bring it on."

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