[NHM] New Haven Music

This Weekend: Everything!
Photo by Melanie Stengel

Photo by Melanie Stengel

Maybe its the giant rainbow currently beaming across downtown New Haven, last night’s full moon briefly threatening to crush the horizon, or the city celebrating its 375th birthday but there seems to be all whole lot of ‘something’ going on in New Haven right now. That ‘something’ seems to also be manifesting itself in a whole mess of ass-kicking shows this weekend. It would be damn near impossible to cover everything so here’s a rundown of some of the events we’re most excited about….

Javelin, Jamaican Queens, If Jesus Had Machine Guns (DJ) @ The Outer Space
8pm / 21+ / $10 / Manic Productions presents /

Garbage Barge, Tester, Nasty Disaster, Javier/Los DishDogs @ Cherry St. Station
8pm / 21+ / $5 / https://www.facebook.com/events/481308508582324/

The Proud Flesh (Record Release), Hanging Hills, Johnny Mainstream @ Cafe 9
8:30pm / 21+ / $5 / https://www.facebook.com/events/419543721462500/

Meriden Daffodil Festival, Day 1 @ Hubbard Park including Hostage Calm, The Manchurians, The Alternate Routes, Mark Mulcahy, Goodnight Blue Moon, The Guru, 1974, Daphne Lee Martin, Elison Jackson, The Furors and many more.
10am-9pm / All Ages / FREE / http://www.daffodilfest.org

New Haven 375 @ New Haven Green
1-4pm / All Ages / FREE / http://www.infonewhaven.com/NHV375

Lord Fowl, Backwoods Payback, Sun Gods in Exile, Super Machine @ The Space
9pm / All-Ages / $8 / https://www.facebook.com/events/146902925490185/

Howly Dogs, Hubbell Mountain, Orkestar BAM! @ Elm Bar
9pm / 21+ / $3 / https://www.facebook.com/events/536929343024131/

M.T. Bearington, Cold Fur, Life Eaters, Sperm Donor @ Anna Liffey’s
9pm / 21+ / $7 / Safety Meeting Records presents /

Reverberation (DJ) @ Rudy’s
9pm / 21+ / $ / https://www.facebook.com/events/158509630978557/

Meriden Daffodil Festival, Day 2 @ Hubbard Park including Little Ugly, Paper Hill Casket Company, The Peacock Flounders, Breakthrough Frequencies, Rob Messore, Christopher Bousquet, The Mold Monkies and more.
10am-5pm / All Ages / FREE / http://www.daffodilfest.org

Titus Andronicus, The So So Glos, Chris Cappello (Full Band) @ The Space
7pm / All Ages / $15 / Presented by Manic Productions /

The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Faceless, Royal Thunder, Xenosis @ Toad’s Place
7pm / All Ages / $18/$20 / http://www.toadsplace.com/

Best get yourself out of the house this weekend!


Rudy’s Bar: ‘ We will be open in a few weeks’
April 19, 2011, 6:15 pm
Filed under: Grand Opening, Music, News | Tags: , , , , ,

‘We will be open in a few weeks.’ These words were posted to the new Rudy’s Twitter feed (@RudysNewHaven) yesterday, finally settling months upon months of speculation as to when the famed downtown bar and venue would be re-opening.

Since being forced from its original location at 372 Elm Street (now home to Elm Bar) last August, rumors initially suggested that Rudy’s would be reopened at its new location (1227 Chapel Street at Howe Street) in only a few months. As Autumn set in however, it quickly became apparent that Rudys’ relocation would take much longer than anticipated. After subsequent rumors suggested New Haven’s St. Patrick’s Parade Day as the new re-opening (a date which came and went), many began questioning whether the bar would ever re-open, that is until yesterday’s announcement.

According to an interview with Rudy’s Jeff Petrin posted today by Tony DaSilva on the Skate The Planet blog, a specific re-opening date has yet to be singled out, with a last minute announcement most likely coming via the Rudy’s Twitter feed. Petrin also goes on to confirm that the new Rudy’s will have an expanded menu (including Rudy’s beloved frites), a larger beer/liquor selection, larger restrooms and a larger area for bands and audience (to read the full interview, please visit the Skate The Planet blog).

With the now imminent re-opening of Rudy’s, as well as the emergence of Elm Bar in Rudy’s old digs, what last year seemed to be a tragedy of epic proportions has evolved into a win-win situation not only for local music but for downtown New Haven as a whole. We can almost taste the frites now….

Show Review: The Black Noise Scam, The Boardlords, Nasty Disaster @ Rudy’s (Last Show)

(Originally published on August 3, 2010 on CTIndie.com)

This past Saturday, July 31st, famed downtown bar and venue, Rudy’s, closed its Elm Street location forever with a blowout punk and metal show featuring The Black Noise Scam, The Boardlords and Nasty Disaster.

Part of the massive crowd in attendance for Rudy’s last night of operation at its Elm Street location. The bar/venue will be re-opening on Chapel Street by October. Photo by Bob Rock.

It was clear upon arrival at the bar, which had been located at 372 Elm Street since 1934, that this was not going to be just another of its regular Saturday night shows. At 9:30pm the crowd had already filled the sidewalk patio and the main bar area, an occurrence that usually does not happen until much later in the night. And aside from the crowds and beer signs in the windows, Rudy’s itself had already begun its physical transformation from favored townie/Yale bar to…something else. Gone were the multitude of framed photographs that filled every possible inch of the walls as well as pretty much every other piece of decor, save the black tile ceiling, that were Rudy’s signature. Even the bar’s wood paneling, carved up by the bars’ many patron of the years, was gone. In the main room this removal revealed a hidden painting (which looked like something straight out of the artwork for Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness) while elsewhere all that was left was bare sheet rock (which had already been subject to extensive graffiti, a trend that continued most of the night). Outside of the stage area, the band room was the most transformed, its usual set up of tables and chairs removed in favor of a wide-open, standing-room-only space (a setup that would have worked well at past shows too). All in all, the venue looked a shell of its former self.

Nasty Disaster at Rudy’s last show. Photo by Jamie Arabolos.

As 10pm closed in, the band room quickly filled in anticipation of Nasty Disaster, a New Haven metal band I heard a lot about but had never gotten the chance to see. From the beginning of their set, it was obvious that these guys did not take themselves seriously (I mean with a name like Nasty Disaster, who could?). 6 foot plus singer ‘Herman VonRuhl’ was dressed in a stringy blond wig and enough metal spikes to accidentally stab himself to death if he wasn’t careful. Most prominently displayed though was his shirt which read ‘Death to False Metal,’ an ideology that seemed central to the band’s schtick. The remainder of the quintet was decked out in array of cliche metal fatigues (leather, viking hat) that, coupled with their imposing physical presence, lent itself well to the over-the-top subject matter of their songs (this aspect of the band in particular reminded me of another local metal band, Garbage Barge, who couple metal with off-the-wall lyrics and stage costume). How over the top you ask? Well, I’m pretty sure that every song the band performed made a least some lyrical reference to ‘metal’ (a suspicion that I later confirmed after visiting the band’s website). Two of the more memorable tunes, ‘Sluts of Metal’ and ‘Play Some Fuckin’ Metal,’ contained the choruses “Sluts of metal (sluts!), whores of rock ‘n roll (whores!), sluts of metal (sluts!), come ride my iron pole (pole!)” and “play some fuckin’ metal, play it really loud, play some fuckin’ metal, rock you to the ground,” respectfully. Yeah, you get the idea. While a vast majority of the crowd were really into the band (fist pumping! stage diving!), others were less than enthused by the band’s vulgarity and/or lack of seriousness, heading for the outside patio instead. Regardless of what everyone thought of the band, their energy (and the crowd’s response) started off the evening well.

The Boardlords at Rudy’s last show. Photo by Jamie Arabolos.

After a brief interlude, New York-based punk quintet The Boardlords took the stage. By this point the band room crowd had dwindled slightly although this worked in the band’s favor as a member of the crowd (and later the Boardlords’ singer) had room to skateboard inside(!) Rudy’s during the band’s set (surely something I never thought I would see). The band itself was tight and possessed a better command of their instruments than most punk bands I’ve seen lately. What the band lacked in stage presence (at least in comparison to the other bands on the bill), they made up for in sheer musical attack. The rhythm section in particular was locked in throughout most of the set and really made the band’s songs come to life. The band’s twin guitar attack also helped give the band a heft that helped their live sound immensely. After a Suicidal Tendencies cover and a slew of originals, the band exited the stage amid the shards of a broken skateboard and the prominent smell of Sharpie markers, setting the stage for the final band of the night, the Black Noise Scam.

The Black Noise Scam at Rudy’s last show. Photo by Bob Rock.

By the time New Haven’s the Black Noise Scam took the stage sometime after midnight, the crowd size at Rudy’s was at critical mass. The band room in particular was the most crowded of the night, even eclipsing the attendance for Nasty Disaster. Seizing the opportunity, the quartet wasted no time in launching into their high-energy brand of hardcore punk (I mean, what other kind is there?). Singer Jeffrey Thunders in particular, with his seemingly endless amount of energy and stage presence, whipped the crowd into a fury. It seemed to me that, throughout the night, everyone had been waiting for the opportunity to let loose, and that the Black Noise Scam finally gave them that chance. One after another, the band air-punched their way through a series of blistering originals including one appropriately titled ‘Never Again.’ A full-on mosh developed at varying points throughout the band’s set, the crowd ebbing and flowing along to the band, and the band seemingly doing the same. The energy inside began to spill outside onto the patio as multiple drinks were thrown against the windows behind the stage (this after much chiding from Thunders for people to come inside). Following a Black Flag cover and more originals, the band ended their set in a mangle of drums and wires barreled over by drummer Chris Taylor. In that moment, Rudy’s last show came to a crashing end.

Rudy’s aftermath. Photo by Jamie Arabolos.

As the night wore on, the reality of Rudy’s pending closure and move to Chapel Street became increasingly clear on the faces of the people sticking it out to last call. Some seemed dazed, either from excess of alcohol or emotion or moshing while others let their tears flow freely, in a remembrance of a place and time never to be repeated again. Still more remained defiant, all the way until that final shout of last call, all the way until being forced out onto the sidewalk, all the way until being forced off of the sidewalk by NHPD, and ultimately all the way into being forced away from a place, and now a memory, held close by so many.

Rudy’s Last Show

(Originally published on July 26, 2010 on CTIndie.com)

(Rudy’s outdoor sign. Photo by Caren Parmelee)

This Saturday, July 31st marks the final original location show at downtown New Haven’s favorite Townie and Yalie dive bar, Rudy’s. Included on the bill will be Connecticut’s own The Black Noise Scam and Nasty Disaster as well as New York’s The Boardlords.

The first show I remember seeing at Rudy’s was the Butterflies of Love in 2001. At that point there was no stage, no outside patio and only a rudimentary sound system at best (and yes, you could still smoke inside). Bands would often have to shift tables and chairs around just to find room to play. By 2002, a stage was added as well as a relative upgrade to the sound system thus clearing the way for more and more music to come through. There were full on rock shows on Thursdays, Saturdays and the occasional Sunday, jazz on Tuesdays and DJs on other nights of the week. Several great shows occurred during this time including bands like The Wrens, The Dirty Projectors, The Dresden Dolls, Sasquatch and the Sick-A-Billys, Suckers and more, as well as a slew of great locals like The Vultures, The Battlecats, Diamond J and the Rough and countless others.

(Rudy’s stage area. Photo by Caren Parmelee)

In addition to the influx of shows, Rudy’s reputation as the dive bar of choice for both Townies and Yalies only strengthened. There were very few weekends when the bar/venue was not packed to the gills with every walk of New Haven life imaginable. There were regular pseudo-celebrity watches as well (‘That’s Janeane Garafalo!,’ ‘I think that guy you just played pool with is in Interpol‘). And the frites, they were sublime.

Fast forward to 2010.

By this point show nights at Rudy’s were cut down to Saturdays (and the rare Sunday) only. Many regulars had also by this point long accused owner Omer Ipek (who took over earlier in the decade) of pandering exclusively to Yale patrons. Gone were the old jukebox and at least some of the character that many of the older clientele revered. Flat screen TVs began popping out of every corner. The sound system was again in need of an upgrade. Some had begun to actively avoid the bar deeming it ‘not the same as used to be,’ only to be replaced by the newest generation of Rudy’s dwellers who didn’t care what it used to be. Others continued their usual Rudy’s ritual undeterred.

(The Black Noise Scam will be appearing at Rudy’s last show at its original location on July 31st.)

Still, no one imagined Rudy’s ever going away. The frites were still good, the beer still cheap and the walls were still crowded with pictures of the bygone Rudy’s faithful. Its existence at 372 Elm Street seemed as much a part of the New Haven landscape as East Rock or Pepe’s Pizza. No matter what changes New Haven was undergoing, Rudy’s was an oasis of continuity, music and beer (…established 1934!). That’s why when this article in the New Haven Independent dropped on the morning of June 22nd, people were dumbstruck. Rudy’s? Moving??? The backlash was immediate and severe. From the NH Independent comments section: ‘I am pretty sure that this is the kind of sign that proves the world will end in 2012,’ ‘This is so horrifying,’ ‘I am devastated to hear this news,’ and on and on. Immediately rumors began swirling that Yale was forcing Rudy’s out or that owner Omer Ipek was only completing the latest chapter in an alleged diabolical scheme to ruin the bar. Truth be told, Ipek had secretly been battling with the landlord who owned the building for over a year. At one point Ipek even fought off an attempt by the landlord to close the bar with only days notice. After some quick thinking and dealings on Ipek’s part, he was able to secure a new location for Rudy’s close by at 1227 Chapel Street (just a couple blocks down Howe Street) while keeping the bar open at its current location until the end of July. And with a promise that the new location will have many of the elements of the old as well as a bigger and better area for bands, some of the detractors even began to change their tune.

In the end though, Rudy’s move from Elm Street will surely be the end of an era for many of the generations who have come through its doors. Savor it while you can.


Rudy’s final show at its original Elm Street location will be occurring this Saturday, July 31st with locals The Black Noise Scam (full-on hardcore punk) and Nasty Disaster (metal heads galore) as well as the Boardlords (NYC punk). The Black Noise Scam recently joined the roster of Volatile Records (also home to the Boardlords) and will be releasing their next record sometime later this year. I can think of no better way to end the Rudy’s long and illustrious run on Elm Street than a good ole’ punk show.

p.s. And for those of you looking to take home a souvenir this Saturday, think again. Rudy’s owner Omer Ipek has taken great care to strip the bar of almost everything short of the benches and bar stools in fear of thievery (he will be apparently transferring everything over to the new location this summer).


Saturday July 31st


@ Rudy’s
372 Elm Street / New Haven
9:30pm / 21+ / $3 cover

TONIGHT! The Backyard Committee, Sean Hayes @ Rudy’s – April 18th
April 18, 2010, 1:35 pm
Filed under: 21+, Music, Shows | Tags: , , , ,

In an atypical scheduling move, Rudy’s will be hosting a show tonight by locals The Backyard Committee and San Francisco’s Sean Hayes.
Hayes is currently on tour in support of his new self-released EP ‘Honeybees Falling’. Naming influences as diverse as Nina Simone, PJ Harvey and Neutral Milk Hotel, Hayes brand of ambient/folk is sparse, heartfelt and effective. Whether backed by a small band or on his own with an acoustic guitar, Hayes vocal drawl and lazy six-string strumming are the main focal point of his music. Lyrically, his songs alternate between outward social awareness and physical imagery, and inward soul searching, especially his newer material which brings his songs to a much more personal level. In short, his compositions grab hold of your attention and do not let go, slowly pulling you closer to the sometimes elusive but always rewarding mechanisms at work beneath. Opening for Hayes will be CT’s own the Backyard Committee. Led by songwriter Mike Sembos (Alternate Routes, Superfallingstars, Kennesaw), the Backyard Committee continues their string of local shows with this rare Sunday night at Rudy’s. Musically, the Backyard Committee fits well with Hayes’ out-west weariness, all acoustic guitars and sparse accompaniment. For those wanting a night of great songs and great music in their own ‘backyard,’ Rudy’s is the place tonight.

@ Rudy’s
(372 Elm St./New Haven)
21+ / 9pm / $3 cover

OLD MAN LADY LUCK, ZEVIOUS @ Rudy’s – Feb. 27th
February 25, 2010, 9:33 pm
Filed under: 21+, Shows | Tags: , , , , ,

(flyer by Steve Ross)
If this show billing looks familiar to you, it should. This the one and only intact billing left from the canceled BAR/Sundazed series formerly brought to you by Shaki Presents. Originally scheduled for January 17th, this show has taken on a second life of sorts on a new date (Saturday, February 27th) and at a new venue (Rudy’s). Although exponentially smaller than the backroom at BAR, Rudy’s shouldn’t dampen the effect these bands will have on their unsuspecting New Haven audience. NYC trio Zevious offers an interesting mix of jazz and instrumental free-form rock. The band seamlessly flows from one slippery riff to another, churning out complex melodies, solos and arrangements with abandon. They instantly demand your full attention and never let go. This show will be the band’s only CT stop on their March East Coast/Midwest tour, so make sure you stop by.

Joining Zevious, will be New Haven supergroup Old Man Lady Luck. Featuring members of The Vultures, Humanoid, The Black Noise Scam, Murdervan and Bloarzeyd, Old Man Lady Luck mirror Zevious’ penchant for free-form instrumental rock although not on such a manic level. Their dynamic arises from a shared love of the ‘loud-quiet-loud’ formula, launching from subtlety to bludgeoning riffage in a matter of seconds. As far as pairings go, Old Man Lady Luck offsets Zevious’ overt jazz tendencies almost perfectly, offering some seriously inventive stoner/experimental rock in the process.

For fans of free-form instrumental rock or for those wondering what direction the Sundazed series would have followed had it not been so unceremoniously ended, look no further.

If You Go:
OLD MAN LADY LUCK (New Haven supergroup)
21+ / $3
music starts after 10pm

February 19, 2010, 9:38 pm
Filed under: 21+, Shows | Tags: , , , , ,

If you’re in the mood for some good ole’ hardcore punk, Rudy’s is the place to be this Saturday, February 20th. Performing will be New Haven’s leading purveyor of punk, The Black Noise Scam as well as Hymen Holocaust (featuring members of Broken) and NY’s Blackout Shoppers. No stranger to the Rudy’s stage, the Black Noise Scam promises to pound out some killer jams in the vein of early hardcore outfits like Minor Threat and Black Flag. Hard-hitters Hymen Holocaust and Blackout Shoppers only add to the fist-in-the-face that is this billing. Hold onto your pints!

If You Go:
21+ / $3 cover
music starts around 10pm

Fake Babies @ Rudy’s – Feb. 13th
February 12, 2010, 5:59 pm
Filed under: 21+, News, Shows | Tags: , , , ,

Fake Babies, one of New Haven’s better known (and active) synth-based groups, will be performing tomorrow night (February 13th) at Rudy’s, the bar where everybody knows your name. Fake Babies are currently at work on their debut full-length album which, according to the band’s Tumblr page, is slated for a Spring 2010 release (possibly on the local Safety Meeting Records). To tide the masses over until then, the duo recently made a video for the song “Sophisticated Thighs” with director Jimi Patterson (see above).

If You Go:
and maybe another act?
@ Rudy’s
21+ / $3 cover
music starts after 10pm

Safety Meeting and Tweefort present M.T. BEARINGTON, LA STRADA, THE FICTIONAL WEST @ Rudy’s – Feb. 6th
February 1, 2010, 11:02 pm
Filed under: 21+, Shows | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Safety Meeting and Tweefort have teamed up to present a three band bill at Rudy’s this Saturday, February 6th. Included are locals M.T. Bearington and The Fictional West as well as Brooklyn’s La Strada.

La Strada is best likened as an indie/chamber pop outfit which incorporates strings and accordion into their instrumentation. The band is currently playing a few sparse dates before heading down to Austin, Texas for SXSW. In the meantime be sure and stop by the Rude to check them out for yourself.

Also performing will be locals M.T. Bearington. Matt Thomas and company will soon be supporting former ‘Stavenites Mates of State at the Space later in the month and on a mini-tour of the Northeast. They are best described as psych-driven indie rock with some solid songwriting to boot. From all accounts they’ve been killing it live lately so make sure you don’t miss their set.

Last but not least will be the Fictional West. Although not so fictional, this New Haven based trio combines interests in indie pop and ’80s new wave sounds with satirical themes to create some nice low-key tunes in the process. The band recently released a single on the recently expanded Tweefort so make sure you check it out.

If You Go:
Safety Meeting and Tweefort present

@ Rudy’s
21+ / $4
music starts around 10pm

Seeking Apollo, Covin, The Black Richards @ Rudy’s – Jan. 23rd
January 22, 2010, 4:36 pm
Filed under: 21+, Shows | Tags: , , , , ,

Its almost Saturday again, and you know what that means: another kickin’ show at New Haven’s finest dive bar, Rudy’s. In recent weeks and months the Elm Street bar has been picking up the slack for the relative drought of venues in New Haven right now. Recent shows have included the Black Hollies, the Manchurians and 76% Uncertain. This week the venue brings in hard rockers Seekiing Apollo (of NYC), Covin (of New Haven) and The Black Richards (of Danbury). From all angles the trio seems well-matched, both for their hard rock/metal sensibilities and volume (and for this venue that means bring earplugs). For those looking to cut loose a bit this weekend, look no further.

If You Go:

@ Rudy’s
21+ / $3 cover
music starts after 10pm