Rubber Gloves 15th Anniversary Rubber Gloves Saturday, May 19
Ah, Rubber Gloves. I've been going to shows there since 2000, and it still has the most disgusting bathroom in all the land. But it's also home to some of my favorite memories, from the packed chaos of a Riverboat Gamblers show to the indie jazz of Karate to the gorgeous, complicated folk reflections of Smog.
After checking out Code Talkers on Saturday, I needed to get my fill of Tron in the back gallery. It is, as far as I know, the only Tron machine in town, and I was a little crestfallen to read a sign on the display screen that read: "Out of order. Sorry again, RGRS. Too many people sucked into grid." I settled for Karate Champ.
As Akkolyte took the stage, it didn't take long for people to start filing into the showroom, The duo is fearsome crust, the kind most Rubber Gloves patrons crave, and Stefan and Aaron Gonzalez screamed their way through a furious 20-minute set. The interim dance- pop offerings of Yeah Def made sense, but people started getting antsy as electrical problems delayed Year of the Bear for almost half an hour.
At this point, I ran into RGRS owner Josh Baish and we chatted while he pissed out in the back lot behind the venue, next to the train tracks. Among many topics, he talked about how much he loves the venue he purchased from Jason Wortham in 1999, even though it frequently leaves him in financial arrears.
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"I mean, you're catering to people who... they have a limited income, and they like music that's not mainstream. For lack of a better term, they're independent artists, and if we're featuring these acts X amount of nights a week, [patrons] are not gonna have the money to go out to every show."
We walk back inside; I check out Dove Hunter, and he helps the bartenders serve a rapidly growing crowd. Dove Hunter played like seasoned pros. No surprise there, given a cast consisting of Will Kapinos and the aforementioned Jason Wortham. Jokes were made on stage by bassist Chad DeAtley, in reference to the former ownership of Rubber Gloves running the place into the ground. Chris Flemmons played a solo set that was mainly him telling stories about some of his favorite RGRS memories, like back when it was a BYOB establishment. He closed with the beautifully sad "Red Wine," and emphatically told everyone to stick around for Slobberbone.
Brent Best's first priority was to divulge that he recently discovered he was hypoglycemic, and that no one should worry if he passed out onstage. This was probably a joke, as there was no apparent difference between this show's energy and all of the other shows Slobberbone plays. They got the audience dancing during "Top Five" and "Dunk You in the River," and both Will Kapinos and Batey Ray jumped onstage to sing backup, as they ended with Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer," perhaps a big fuck you to ASCAP and a salute to the spirit of Rubber Gloves. Fifteen years and still the worst bathroom in town.
By the way: Daron Beck, formerly of Pointy Shoe Factory, has a great newish band called Pinkish Black. The drum-synth duo played right before Dove Hunter and was a clear crowd favorite.