[NHM] New Haven Music

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

The Pist (Reunion), The Black Noise Scam, Feet First, The Havnotz, M13 @ Heirloom Arts Theatre – May 14th

(Originally published on May 13, 2010 on CTIndie.com)

This Friday, May 14th at Danbury’s Heirloom Arts Theatre marks the most recent return of one of Connecticut’s most beloved punk bands ever, The Pist. Although only active for a little more than three years in the mid-’90s, the Pist made a name for themselves far and wide for their direct but effective songwriting and for their almost unrivaled pure punk rock fury. Following their breakup in 1996, the Pist reunited for a handful of shows in 2001 and 2007. This reunion features the core unit of Al ‘Pist’ Quimet, Bill Chamberlain and Brian Marshall, along with Gerry Stopper (of Broken) filling in for bassist Rick Abbott. Further shows have already been scheduled through the summer, taking them from CT to LA and back. For those not familiar with the Pist, check out some of their recordings online, or better yet, go to this show!

Opening for the the Pist will be New Haven’s newest punk champions, The Black Noise Scam, who follow the Pist with their simple, in your face approach to the punk rock canon. Also performing will be New Haven’s M13, which features several members of old school punksters Brutally Familiar (as well as Al Pist himself on bass), NYC’s Feet First, who will be joining the Pist at future tour dates, and CT’s Havnotz, who will be bringing the punk fury, mohawks and all.

Fans of old school CT punk, or just about anyone worth their weight in punk rock, would be well advised to check this show out.

The Pist Reunion Tour Dates:
May 14th – Heirloom Arts Theatre – Danbury, CT.
May 15th – Club Hell – Providence, RI.
May 29th – Chaos In Tejas Fest – Austin, TX.
June 5th – Club Europa – Brooklyn, NY.
June 25th – Sub/Mission – San Franciso, CA.
June 26th – TBA – Los Angeles, CA.
June 27th – TBA – Los Angeles, CA.
July 30th – TBA – Chicago, IL.
July 31st – TBA – Minneapolis, MN.

If When You Go:

The Pist (Meriden, CT.)
The Black Noise Scam (New Haven)
Feet First (NYC)
The Havnotz (members of Copyright Chaos) (CT)
M13 (ex-Brutally Familiar) (New Haven)

@ Heirloom Arts Theatre
ALL AGES / 7pm / $8/$10

Die Hipster! Records presents ‘St. Patrick’s Day Massacre’ THE BLACK NOISE SCAM, THE MIDNIGHTMARES, YES PLEASE, DJ LIVE MIKE @ Cafe Nine – March 17th

Haven’t had enough of the green beer yet? Well, this Wednesday, March 17th, Die Hipster! Records will be presenting ‘St. Patrick’s Day Massacre,’ a full-on punk rock/St. Patrick’s Day celebration show at Cafe Nine featuring The Black Noise Scam, Yes Please, The Midnightmares and DJ Live Mike. New Haven will be represented well at this show as almost all of the billing (minus Port Chester, NY.’s Midnightmares) reside in the Elm City. Keep an ear out for DJ Live Mike (a.k.a. Mike Cooper of Problematics/Hymans/Defcon 5 fame) as he spins in between sets. Be sure to stop by and celebrate the real St. Patrick’s Day!

If You Go:
Die Hipster! Records presents
‘St. Patrick’s Day Massacre’
Cafe Nine
21+ / FREE!
music starts after 9pm

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

Mindsnap Music presents THE BLACK NOISE SCAM, BIG BLIND, MILE MARKER ZERO, GRACELAND @ Bix’s Cafe – Jan. 27th

This Wednesday (today?) is really turning out to be the new Saturday this week with news of yet another show in the New Haven area. This time its Mindsnap Music putting together a show out at Branford’s newish rock/metal bar, Bix’s Cafe. Mindsnap (a.k.a. Opus a.k.a. Christian Lawrence of Dead By Wednesday and G-Soul) started the series last year as a way of presenting local and regional hard rock, metal and punk bands up close, personal and free. This week Mindsnap hosts locals The Black Noise Scam (see video), Big Blind, Mile Marker Zero and Graceland. For those looking to sink their teeth into some guitar riffage outside downtown, look no further.

If You Go:
Mindsnap Music presents

@ Bix’s Cafe
21+ / FREE
music starts after 9pm