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:

    "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."

Cosmobot:

    "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:

    "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."

P.I.D.:

    "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."

N. E. BREE-8:

    "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:

    "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:

    "The Manhattan Project puts together an explosive combination of whiskey, vermouth and bitters for your post-apocalyptic pallet."

Divino:

    "Come experience the miracle of transmogrification. Featuring Manischewitz."

Bartendro:

    "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!"

P.A.C. 2.0:

    "'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?

Meat-sacks can buy their spectator tickets here. Robots and their caretakers can sign up here.

13-Jul-2014 (Sun)
Wherein it's the Thirteenth!

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.

Since Friday the 13th, July 2001:

Total events:   3,077
Total live shows:   943
Total bands:   3,115
Total djs:   2,672
Events per month, this year:   33.9
Live shows per month, this year:   16.1
Events per week, this year:   7.9
Live shows per week, this year:   3.8
21+ events this year:     47.3%
21+ events since 2001:   65.4%

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:

Mega Ran
Bootie
Terminator Too
Point Break Live
Armen Ra
De/Vision
Chibi-Tech
Thrill Kill Kult

26-Jun-2014 (Thu)
Wherein there are photos.

Some recent photo galleries have surfaced:

Peelander Z
Battle of the Bands
Alone In The Universe
So Stoked
Aesthetic Perfection
Hubba Hubba Revue
Verizon Commercial
White Guild
Anamanaguchi

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?

For the second time, we've needed to flush a camera down the toilet. Sometimes it's not enough to just spit on your hand and feel what's gurgling around in there. Sometimes you need to really get right up in its business and see it up close and personal.

There's a little lie-down in the middle, but I recommend you just leave this on in the background with the sound up. It's got a good beat and it's easy to dance to.

If you can't get enough of this, you can compare and contrast it to the last time we did this, in 2001. That's the same sewer. Look at how far this technology has advanced in only 13 years! Now it's... color. And it has sound.

You're welcome.

11-Jun-2014 (Wed)
Wherein ROBOTS.

So, Skynet walks into a bar...

We're super exited about this event we're putting together:

Do you have a drink-serving robotic contraption whose powers of automated intoxication must be shared with the world? Have you created a pulsing, apocalyptic juggernaut of booze and steel?

Can it go the distance? Do you think your cocktail robot has a chance at winning the title of Best Robot Bartender?

Judging will be based on:

  • Style and Grace: How clever, how dapper is that robot of yours?
  • Efficiency of Intoxication: Are the drinks it makes good?

  • Full-Assery: The opposite of halfassery. Does the infernal device actually work, or do you have to stand there tweaking it constantly?

  • This Will End Badly: Extra consideration will be given for terrible ideas and Mad Science.

Please pass the Facebook invite along to your robot-enthusiast friends, especially anyone you know who might want to enter. Or, you know, people who like robots and drinking. Which is everybody, right?

Meat-sacks can buy their spectator tickets here. Robots and their caretakers can sign up here.

We have some feelers out already, but if you have any awesome ideas for people we should hit up to be on our panel of celebrity judges, or suggestions for a flyer artist who gives good robot, please send them along!

You may recall that we hosted a robot-bartender event here back in 2010. It was a lot of fun, but is now sadly defunct. One key difference between that event and this new one is that our event is a contest rather than an exhibition. My hope is that competition will bring us robots that are a little more... rugged... than most of what I've seen before.

On Monday, some crackhead lingered around outside of Death Guild all night trying to sell a coffin. Eventually the goths took up a collection and paid him $300 for it. He was asking $500. It wasn't even a cool coffin. And no, it did not appear to have been used.

You people. I can't even.

Apparently the Bar Rescue people have been sniffing around town. They called us, too. I'm sure that will go every bit as well as the Real World invasion did.

And here's some great news: apparently ABC has been bragging for months about how they're about to bring drug charges against "five large SF clubs", so we're all waiting for the shoe to drop on that one and find out who they're running their sting on.

In the past, the way these operations have gone is like this: an undercover ABC agent says to the bartender, "Hey man, do you know where I can buy THE DRUGS?" and the bartender says, "I dunno, go ask someone else." Then he goes and asks someone else and is eventually able to buy something, and testifies in court, "The bartender directed me where to buy drugs." And who's the judge going to believe, the cop or the bartender?

Hooray.

Some recent photo galleries:

Farewell, My Love
Terminator Too
Point Break Live
Point Break Live
Mammoth Life
Hubba Hubba
Bootie: Britney Night
Black Star Riders
Anti-Nowhere League
Bootie Prom

SF Weekly's Best of SF is out, and...

Best Futuristic Nightclub: DNA Lounge

DNA Lounge evokes a sense of the future in its iconic interior design. Step through the door, and you'll swear you've been transported to some battle-scarred spaceship traversing an obscure corner of a resource-depleted universe. That aesthetic also manifests itself in the club's tech savvy, which includes interesting touches like hacked ATMs (bearing ironic and strangely dystopian slogans like, "This machine dispenses your god!"), a 24-hour online webcast, and free, high-speed WiFi throughout the club. Next door, DNA also runs a pizza place that serves slices 24 hours a day -- along with coffee and booze (when it's allowed). If that's not the future, we don't know what is.


Pictured to the right is our finest drink special of all time: I think it's even better than the Pedopear and the Horse Pop. Submitted for your consideration: The Blood and Body of Christ: Sangria with a Communion Wafer. This was our drink special for the Godflesh show on Easter. (I had to walk a couple of friends all the way through that joke. Come on, people.) We also had a DNA Pizza special, The Sacralicious, made with a base layer of godflesh crackers underneath the cheese.

Yum!

We've finally solved the Blurb Problem! It's always been tough for us to get blurbs written for our events that actually do ay good. The point of those blurbs is to convince someone to come to the show: to move them from "I've never heard of these guys" to "oh, that sounds relevant to my interests." I've complained about how hard this is before.

Anyway, back when we did that Limousines show in February, that we co-promoted with Noisepop, I noticed that the Noisepop site actually had a great blurb for the show! And for their other shows. So I said to Barry, "Find out who wrote these and hire them." And what do you know, he did! May I introduce you to Lauren Rosenthal, who has been writing all of our calendar blurbs ever since! She's awesome.

Limes, man.

So the limes thing is still ongoing. Currently our limes cost us more than our beer. I've heard a lot of people buying the line that this is because of a "storm" or vague "shortage" but no, it's because of the Maltese Falcon. Let's set the record straight, here:

LA RUANA, Mexico (AP) -- The farm state of Michoacan is burning.

A drug cartel that takes its name from an ancient monastic order has set fire to lumber yards, packing plants and passenger buses in a medieval-like reign of terror. The Knights Templar cartel is extorting protection payments from cattlemen, lime growers and businesses such as butchers, prompting some communities to fight back, taking up arms in vigilante patrols. [...]

By late last year, the cartel wasn't just extorting money from lime growers and packers. It had started charging per-box payments from lime pickers, who make only $10 to $15 per day laboring under the scorching sun.

With officials doing nothing to help, self-defense groups started to spring up in February to fight back. Heavily armed men in masks and baseball caps began manning barricades along highways and patrolling the countryside, sometimes openly battling the cartel.

Then the cartel shut the warehouses, forbidding brokers to buy limes and cutting off work for the pickers who had revolted. [...]

Meanwhile, in Mexico City, the federal government recently declared a lime emergency because prices had doubled to about 70 cents a pound. For a fruit so central to Mexican cuisine, it was a crisis.

The government announced last week it would tackle the shortage by importing limes from Brazil. The government attributed the local scarcity to crop pests and "seasonal fluctuations" in production.

Please join me in falling down the Knights Templar wiki hole.

Also, you look like you could stand to learn a little bit more about scurvy, and how its cure was discovered, lost, then found again.

Band Saga
So Stoked
Godflesh
Dillinger Escape Plan
Bootie: Aprilween
Bare Chest Calendar Contest

That DJ transformer thingy that they build at So Stoked really is a marvel of foamcore engineering. They start building that thing at like 2pm. The projection-mapping works out pretty nicely too.

It's that time again -- please vote for DNA Lounge, DNA Pizza and our various alumni in this year's SF Weekly Best of San Francisco poll!

Might we recommend:

    15. Best Dance Party
    18. Best Gay Friendly Bar/Club
    21. Best Live Music Venue
    47. Best Late Night Bite
    49. Best Pizza
    51. Best Sandwich
    64. Best Event Producers

Recent photos:

Point Break Live
Bootie
Hubba Hubba
Bootchella
Tesseract