Last Night Chop Suey, Neumo’s Get Told to Turn it Down
posted by March 28 at 15:16 PMon
Around 10:30 pm last night, the cops showed up to Chop Suey and told Club Pop, a bi-weekly 18+ electronic and rock music dance night, that they were being too loud. They turned it down a bit, but it creeped back up, and at around 12:30, 15 minutes into the set of their headliner Tim Sweeney, the cops showed up again and demanded that they turn it down. When they complied, many patrons left.
“The thing about this kind of [electronic] music, is that when people go out to hear it, they are paying for a great soundsystem. Otherwise, they could just listen to it in their bedroom,” says Club Pop promoter Michael Yuasa. The end of night exodus didn’t surprise him. “If you can’t feel the bass in your chest, no one wants to dance.”
Club Pop has never had a noise complaint before, but Neumo’s says they’ve been visited many times lately by the police, the liquor board, the city attorney’s office, and the fire department. “We’ve had someone in here almost every night for the last six weeks,” says co-owner Steven Severin. Calls to the police department and the liquor board haven’t been returned yet. “They’ve told us that Neumo’s is too loud, but we are asking, what is too loud?” Neumo’s is in a relative dead zone—there are no residential units near the club. “Without an actual decibel meter reading, we’re not going to turn it down.”
Severin believes the current rule is that the noise has to read at 57 decibels from 75 feet away for a violation. Newell Aldrich, an aide to Nick Licata, says that the current rules on the books permit officers to use the public disturbance municipal code to ask clubs to turn it down—there are no current decibel standards. When the officers showed up to Chop Suey last night, they weren’t carrying a decibel meter. “Our sound person took a measurement with our decibel reader and asked to compare it to the officer’s. The officer said that she left her meter in her locker that night,” says Yuasa.
On June 1, the new nightlife ordinance will go into effect. Council executives are determining precise decibel standards right now for the new rule, which will make it “unlawful for a person to have allowed to originate noise from the property that is audible from inside the residence of a person of normal hearing.”