This Saturday we are celebrating The Rub 15 year anniversary. It’s remarkable to look back at the beginning of the party – Giuliani was mayor, downtown Manhattan was a mess (including nightlife), and Brooklyn only had a handful of proper clubs. In fact Southpaw was the largest club we’d ever promoted ourselves, and here we have to give a huge shoutout to Mikey Palms for having the vision to put us in there, since we wouldn’t have had the ambition to try and fill a venue that big, certainly not monthly. But the first night was super fun, and word spread fast that there was a party in Park Slope with all the music you grew up on mixed with all the new sh*t – hip-hop, yes, but also disco, eighties, house, dancehall, funk. The cover was $3, smoking was still allowed in bars, drinks were cheap, party photography wasn’t a thing yet, and MySpace didn’t exist, much less Facebook. We would print our posters at Kinko’s and staple them up around the neighborhood, but mostly we grew because people told their friends that they didn’t have to go to Manhattan to dance on the first Saturday every month. Of course back then The Rub wasn’t the only thing we had going on – we were releasing mix CDs and playing other parties – but The Rub started getting press, including a writeup in the New York Times alongside Hollertronix and Danger Mouse, and a pick for best new party in the Village Voice. That led to touring the US, Canada and overseas, and we began sharing our stage with DJs from all over the world, who we met in our travels. Then, after nearly ten years of lines around the block, Southpaw was abruptly sold, and we scrambled to find a new venue in the neighborhood, with The Bell House being really the only serious contender. All of a sudden we found ourselves in an even bigger club, a little further south but for us that just meant no more noise complaints! And though our goal was just to survive, somehow the party kept growing, each month more packed than the last.
This Saturday, we drink to you! If it wasn’t for all the people who keep coming to dance month after month, year after year, we would have given up on our dreams and gotten day jobs a long time ago. And not to beat our chests too hard, but in a time when the city’s landscape is littered with mainstream EDM clubs owned by big corporations, New York nightlife needs The Rub!