This past Saturday was the final The Rub at Southpaw and I'm sad to see the party end at this venue.
Let me rewind it back a bit. Southpaw is a venue in Park Slope that I would only know about for probably two major reasons. The first reason is my boy Darth Fader lives down the street from it. (Yes, still; he moves like a block every year or so, like a fast glacier)
Okay, before I get to the second reason I have to tell you something. I'm going to shock some of you by telling you these facts but it had to come out sooner than later- I'm old and lame. I generally don't know about the "hip" venues and if I do, it's most likely because one of my friends took me there before. I'm just not that cool; I just know cool ass people. This brings me to the second reason I know about Southpaw at all. I went to a small liberal arts college in upstate New York that Darth Fader fondly used to call "Ass-ar." You can probably figure out what it really was called. Great academic institution that I didn't always utilize fully knowledge-wise. What I did invest a lot of my time in was the random campus parties and dancing in the basement bar of the main building called The Mug. That place and the ratio of women to men were two strong selling points for me to attend this bastion of higher education. ("That and the fine professors and the vicinity to your family back in NYC, right Sean?" Suuurrreee) This place gave me access to underage boozing, sweaty grinding and introduced me to a DJ by the name of Ayres.
Ayres was a cool blonde guy from down south who had impeccable taste in music- both old R&B and hip-hop. A few years ahead of me, I made sure that when Ayres started spinning in the city I would attend his parties. This is the other reason I knew about Southpaw and, ultimately, The Rub. Like I said I know COOL folks....folks.
So, me, Darth Fader and a few other like minded (read: drunk) individuals would attend these early Brooklyn fiestas and enjoy all the fine tunes.
We would grow to know everyone that worked there, particularly since these were the days before lines around the corner, three-people deep. It started with Ayres and then we met Eleven and Cosmo Baker, both extraordinary DJs and just good people. (Big shouts to the tall homie Eleven for helping me drink in Vegas and San Fran when we were there at the same time) Then came Rahnon, the lovely lady at the door; my boy Matt, always working the wristbands and cash; my cousin Jah for keeping things rocking there for The Rub and other SP events; Kenan, who was my favorite bartender there and, finally, all the security dudes. This family of folks made sure that things went smoothly, everyone danced and allowed me to put my ass-groove in to the top of the speaker padding near the front left-side of the stage. (I forget what that section is called in stage speech- stage front left?)
I had many a good, drunken night there- from the early days of pre-gaming with Fader with a bottle of wine each, sloppy b-boy battlin', meeting random women, Halloween shenanigans, rollin' 10 deep, watching Red Bull DJ battles, giving pounds to random rappers I used to listen to when I was younger ("GREG NICE AND PHAROAHE, I SEE YOU!"), seeing downstairs become its own separate world and enjoying the behind the stage action, particularly after closing time.
The Rub is moving down the road to The Bell House and I'm happy for my brothers on the wheels of steels and everyone coming along with them. After a decade, the same success is assured in any venue. I only hope and I'm confident that they'll duplicate the fun, party vibe that they had pumpin' at Southpaw. Kudos again for all the years and half-remembered nights. I salute you.
Good times with good friends as always at The Rub.