It's that time again! Please vote for us in Best of the Bay. Relevant categories this year include:
Best Late-Night Restaurant
Best Overall Bar
Best Bar Staff
Best Performance Space
Best Overall Party Venue
Best House/Techno Club
Best Rock Club
Best After-Hours Club
Best Overall Dance Party (Bootie)
Best Drag Show (Trannyshack)
Best Burlesque Act or Show (Hubba Hubba)
Best Literary Night (Mortified or Odd Salon)
Don't forget about the Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge tomorrow!
We've got our lineup of judges now, so these are the people you have to impress:
- Carter Gibson is a tech-obsessed geek who works in the video game industry, heading up Community efforts for KIXEYE's mobile titles.
- Kristine Wagner is a scientist working in public health who is dedicating her life to using technology to save lives. She hopes these robots don't kill us all.
- Doug Dalton is a craft cocktail expert, and co-owner of popular local watering holes Bourbon and Branch, Rickhouse, Local Edition and Tradition.
We'll have chiptunes music from DJ J.A.E. of 8bitSF, and the whole thing will be officiated by Dr. Kingfish, our official Cup Bearer (did you know that Cup Bearer was a fairly high rank in royal courts? I did not know this.)
But most importantly, check out those amazing award statues pictured above! Gold, silver and copper. Kinda makes the flyer come to life, right? I'm really happy with how those turned out. Devon and I spent about a month making them. It was a lot more work than I expected.
And yes, the robots still work. If you win one of these, you can wind it up and watch it's little legs flail in mid-air, because the award statue for a robot contest should be mechanically active.
I have still not found a replacement for Justin.tv that isn't complete shit.
I was using Streamup.com for the last three weeks, but they have their heads so far up their asses that search parties have returned gaunt and empty-handed. It was incredibly unreliable from the start, then they made some "upgrades" that made it worse, and for the last 3 days their server has refused to let me connect at all. There seem to be other people managing to stream video through their site, though, so I don't know how that is.
They also completely fail at running a service. They ignore 100% of attempts to contact them at their official support email address or on Twitter. Once, I got a glad-handing response from a marketing guy, but after I replied with, "Yes, here are my very specific technical problems"... crickets.
Every other video streaming site I've found either wants to spam you all with interstitial video commercials all the time, or wants me to pay many thousands of dollars a year.
So today I tried using the Youtube live-streaming thing that they rolled out last year, and that works fine, except they run Content-ID on the audio streams -- which means that a mere 30 minutes into the first DJ set, their robots started freaking the fuck out, OMG COPYRIIIIIIIIGHT and shrieking and pointing like Donald Sutherland at the end of Body Snatchers. Because that company is run totally by robots, and there's apparently no mechanism to tell them, "Hey robot, STFU, I pay licensing fees for all of this music and it's totally legal for me to do this."
It's not quite the same systemic fuckery as Youtube's institutional disregard of any notions of "Fair Use", but it's closely related.
So if you know anyone who works at Streamup who will actually listen to my bug reports, or if you know anybody at Youtube who can turn Content-ID off for my page, please let me know.
In other video news, I made a bunch of Youtube playlists collecting the better live clips of things that have happened at DNA, divided up by year. Check them out on our Youtube page. Also I made a dynamically-updating playlist of Upcoming Events, which will always contain videos by the artists who are playing here in the future. I'm not sure how useful that is, since we have such a wide range of music here that there's guaranteed to be something in that playlist for everybody to hate, but, it's a thing.
We've had a few more late entries into the Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge, happening two weeks from now! If you have a cocktail robot gathering dust in the workshop, there's still time to enter...
Yesterday we booked a show with some fresh-faced tyke named Jacob Whitesides, and the agent decided, at like 5pm, to let us know that he was announcing that tickets were going on sale at 8pm. Well, I was busy. And in keeping with my longstanding policy of, "lack of communication or poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part", I got around to posting the show at 10pm.
This, apparently, was A DISASTER to the foul-mouthed, all-caps-typing sprogs on the Twitters. So many people were calling that Barry's phone was useless. I was going to link to the Twitter responses, but apparently Twitter's "advanced search" field is 100% nonfunctional now -- well played, Twitter -- so instead I'll share some of the "best" here:
Anyway, once I put it up -- OMG TWO HOURS LATER OMG SO AWFUL -- it sold out in like three minutes. So that's nice. Though I can't say I'm really looking forward to having these sterling examples of today's youth in my house. Were teenagers this creepy when I was a kid? Because I kind of don't think they were. (Also I love how they think "404" means "ur website is down". I think that phone is too much 'puter for you, Zero Cool.)
At the last-minute Bar 9 party on Sunday, they had a pillow fight. In the immortal words of Marcellus Wallace: "In the fifth, your ass goes down." As pictured above.
Then the next day, at Death Guild, some guy asked DJ Sage to play Bela Lugosi's Dead.
The guy kept nagging him, and then started laying bills on the DJ booth until there was at least $120 there. Sage still refused, so the guy took his money back, lit one of the bills on fire, and tossed it in the corner of the room.
Dear goths, that is not how you make it rain.
I wonder if it was this guy again.
Oh, and last month at a Battle of the Bands, some jackass started burning her name into the parklet surface with a crack torch. Then when security told her to stop, she tried to set him on fire. She went to jail. We had to sand and re-stain the whole thing.
Oh, and last week we had to do the same thing to the bar inside pizza, because some other jackass carved their happy pirate name into that.
Oh, and also last month, we had to replace something like thirty tiles in the men's room, because some other jackass had carved his happy pirate name into each of them.
Oh, and a couple weeks ago, some dumbass in a U-haul trying to make an illegal u-turn in the middle of the street crashed into our parklet with enough force to actually move it. I guess that plastic sheet we put down over the road before we poured the concrete base actually worked! I'm surprised. So the parklet is now about 6" closer to the curb than it used to be on one side, and doesn't drain properly any more. We had twelve guys out there pushing on it and it didn't budge, so we're going to have to use machinery. Hooray. Oh, also it's bent.
Will you people please knock this shit off??
So many photos this time that I feel the need to categorize them!
So Deep, Go Stoked:
Hubbashack and whatnot:
You know, if they had given us any notice at all, we could have migrated to a new service without downtime, but no, that's not how it's done these days, so they announced that they were shutting down and then shut down on the same day. Assholes.
I guess I should have guessed this was coming when, a couple months ago, they announced that they were jettisoning their video archives, but when they did that at least they gave a week's notice.
Oh, and they're shutting down because they figured out you could make money by letting people post only videos of video-game speed-runs. Double-you tee fuck?
I keep meaning to look in to the Youtube live streaming interface, but the last time I looked at it, a year or two ago, it was completely incomprehensible and I couldn't even figure out whether it's possible to do what we need with it. If you have used it, let me know what your experience was like. (E.g., can I pump FMLE into it 24/7 and get an embed?)
I recently acquired some DNA Lounge posters from the 1980s and early 1990s. I collect those, you know. You may have seen them on the wall of my restaurant. This time was a pretty good haul!
I am inordinately pleased that the phone number printed on flyers in 1985 is still our phone number. That little bit of continuity makes me happy every time I notice it. No 404s here, Mister. Data integrity's kind of a thing for me.
Our robot-bartender competition, The DNA Lounge Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge, is only a month and a half away. We have ten robots enrolled in the competition so far!
But we've gotten only a little bit of press about this so far, so please help us spread the word, ok? (Here's the Facebook invite.)
Meanwhile, let's meet our early-bird contestants! You can look forward to being served drinks by these fine robots, and more:
- "The Cocktail Engine makes drinks the old fashioned way -- with punch cards. No fancy microcontrollers here! Pure analog might will deliver the ingredients you've punched on your card into your cup within seconds."
- "Shaped like a 1950's style rocket ship, the Cosmobot makes three types of drinks: Cosmopolitan, Cape Cod and Kamikaze. It uses old-school knobs and dials to add to the retro-flavor, combined with the latest in Arduino programming to make a fun and exciting drink adventure."
- "Bar-Letta Bot makes my favorite martini-style drink called a Saturn and many yummy fruity beverages. It cleans itself between drinks, and can make 5 drinks in a series. Yeah. You should see it go. It could be blinky and multicolored, we don't know yet."
- "ANT Product Data (TS//SI//REL.)
PREDATOR-class intoxicant drone designed to passively distribute mind-controlling liquids in form of legal intoxicants. In-field operational reprogrammability allows for selective target capability. Architecture provides for a robust, drinking platform resulting in a dramatic performance improvement over obsolete human operatives."
- "Our robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to sobriety.
Our robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would prevent a human from getting funky.
Our robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law or prevent it from setting itself on fire."
- "Tikibot makes the original Trader Vic Mai Tai with exacting measurements from peristaltic pumps. The mixture is auto shaken, chilled and poured. Do NOT taunt Tikibot or you will end up like Bobby Brady."
- "The Manhattan Project puts together an explosive combination of whiskey, vermouth and bitters for your post-apocalyptic pallet."
- "Come experience the miracle of transmogrification. Featuring Manischewitz."
- "Bartendro makes really tasty cocktails...a lot of them, and we've sacrificed our livers to make sure each and every one of them is delicious. Drinks are selected with a smartphone and are poured in seconds. But be careful, because Bartendro loves you drunk!"
- "'Aight, new drink: one part Alizé, one part Cristal.' With these iconic words, rapper Tupac Shakur launched 1,000 booze-filled ships. In one master-stroke of this genius's pen, a drink designed for and marketed to 45- to 55- year old white women changed forever into a staple of the modern hiphop-inspired alcoholic diet.
With our Personal Alcohol Companion 2.0 (P.A.C. 2.0, for short) we have once more turned the tables, defining anew what it means to be a discerning consumer of mid-range champagne. No more shall we wonder, exactly what constitutes a Thug? How best should we summon his Passion? The answer is here: P.A.C. 2.0. "
And here are a few glamour shots:
So, do you think your robot can take these guys, and win you a thousand bucks?
Today is July 13th, which means it's the thirteenth anniversary of the current incarnation of DNA Lounge.
A while back, we stopped really celebrating the July 13th anniversary and switched to the anniversary of the club itself, which is coming up on DNA Lounge Day, November 22, but you should come out to the Star Wars party we're having tonight and ponder with me how god damned long we've been at this.
Let's see if we can get that "events per month" number up to around 60.
We still have some of those 25th Anniversary posters for sale, by the way. Hint hint.
Hayden is trying to leave us again, so we're looking for a new general manager for DNA Pizza. Please pass along our Craigslist ad to anyone you think might be interested!
There have been a lot of changes since I took the last one, so I re-took the panorama that is on the DNA Pizza site. Check it out! The old one predated the connecting doors, and we had about half as many posters on the walls back then.
Have you noticed anything different about the pizza place in the last few days? You probably didn't. We removed the front doors entirely to widen the entrance. BTW, if you want to buy the old doors, let us know. They're big glass doors with wood frames and in pretty good shape.
Some recent photos:
Verizon shot a TV commercial here, and it was an impressively large production. Their trucks lined all of 11th Street and half a block of Folsom. It looked like they had hundreds of costumes on the rack. They set up the club to look like a runway fashion show, and then like a rock concert.
Anamanaguchi were fun, and that show contained more crowd-surfing than I've seen in quite some time, and a surprising amount of it occurred in furry onesies. Also, the "crowd-surfing selfie" is now a thing.
We have six contestants entered in the Cocktail Robotics Competition already! We need more, though. Tell your robot-building friends to get off their butts and register, ok?