So, the promoter of that show apparently signed a contract with Busta Rhymes for a "meet & greet", not an actual performance. Then they promoted it as a live show, charged people fifty bucks to get in... and apparently just kind of hoped that once Busta was in the building, he'd play for free.
No, really. I'm not sure how they expected that to go.
This could have ended very badly, but Busta Rhymes handled it with class. He came out and made a long speech about how he didn't like disappointing his fans, but on the other hand, this was his job, and nobody likes to work for free. A few folks captured this on video.
Then, he hung around for a long time and chatted with and shook the hands of literally every person in the building.
In political news, you may have noticed that I haven't had any stories to tell lately about police harassment -- that's because, for the last several months, they've been leaving us alone! (And there was much rejoicing.) I assume all the recent press and public backlash has caused them to back off. Here's a recent article on the latest "Nighttime Safety Summit":
Truce talks: Police, party promoters, and politicians seek a detente in the War on Fun
If the incidents Chiu described represent a black eye for San Francisco's entertainment industry, the ABC and SFPD aren't necessarily squeaky clean either. "I sat down with [ABC director] Steve Hardy and told him that where the state was focusing efforts in San Francisco was completely misguided," Chiu said at the CMAC luncheon. "And I've spoken to [California Senator] Mark Leno to try to move them in the right direction."
The break in the crackdowns of 2009, mostly attributed to severe tactics employed by SFPD Officer Larry Bertrand and ABC agent Michelle Ott, followed a widespread backlash to the sometimes brutal treatment legitimate business owners were receiving in the name of public safety. Back-to-back over stories in the Guardian and the SF Weekly, calls to the ABC from city officials, the formation of CMAC, and a RICO suit filed against San Francisco and the rogue officers spurred officials to rein in Ott and Bertrand.
Hardy told the Guardian that Ott is no longer assigned to alcohol enforcement in San Francisco. Bertrand has traded in his plain-clothes for a uniform and hasn't been seen busting into clubs, beating up the help, or confiscating DJ equipment for several months.
Here's a cute article written by someone halfway around the world who "attended" Bootie last night via their Second Life simulcast: Bootie ~ Second Life, Mashup my mind!
The Second Life aspect definitely did bring something to Bootie that it had previously been lacking: anthropomorphic squirrels with forty-gallon breasts, rendered with literally tens of polygons!
I'm really looking forward to it. Hopefully it will look something like this:
If you have seen TKK before, you will be interested to know that this is their "full band" configuration. They sometimes play a more stripped down set, which, uh... well it's not that!
Long-time readers may recall that the above Thrill Kill Kult video was one of the primary visual references we used when designing this place, so I'm always glad to see them back here again.
Also, yesterday was the ninth anniversary of our re-opening of DNA Lounge in 2001. So happy anniversary to us. The current stats:
The 25th (!) anniversary of DNA Lounge itself is coming up this November, and we've been trying to come up with ideas of what kind of event to have in honor of that. Suggestions welcome...
I've seen Thrill Kill Kult probably a dozen times, and they were definitely at the top of their game last night. Lords of Acid were also great. I last saw them 15 years ago, and this time they were as good as I remember, though it's mostly a different band now. Besides Praga Khan, they had folks from Powerman 5000 and Revolting Cocks, and the new singer was Lacey from Nocturne, who has played here several times with Pigface.
And it sold out! We like that.
I took some inexplicably good photos of TKK and LoA. I'm not really sure how that happened, because most of these were taken while bouncing around in the pit and trying to do all three of: not get knocked down, not lose my camera, and oh yeah, also compose a shot.
Photos are also up of the latest SFIEC Hair Show, which had some impressive constructions this time. Also, Unter Null + Cyanotic + Rabbit Junk + Cynical Mass.
Tonight: the Hubba/Bootie mash-up: the Hubba Hubba Revue Pirate Show, with Smash-Up Derby. Be there, arrr.
You may notice that I've sprinkled a bunch of Facebook "Like" buttons all over the web site. You'll see one in the title box of this blog entry, on the flyer pages, and next to each calendar event. I guess it's a low-key way to tell your friends what events you're attending without making the commitment of actually posting about it, or something. It's kind of ugly and cluttered, but all the cool kids are doing it.
There's also a thing on the ticket checkout page that exhorts you to post about your planned attendance to Facebook and Twitter. I've seen a few people using that so far, so I guess that's working.
Meanwhile, here's a really dumb War on Fun article in the New York Times:
Patrolling Near Clubs Carries High Cost
But the police argue that closing clubs will not stem the violence, or the department's mounting costs. Kitt Crenshaw, a police commander who oversees the North Beach patrols, said the burden should be shifted to club owners.
So which is it? If the closing the clubs won't stem the violence, doesn't that imply that the clubs are not the cause? And if they are not the cause, why do you want them to pay for the excessive, commerce-destroying (and, apparently, ineffective) police presence in North Beach?
Mr. Crenshaw plans to propose regulations, based on practices in other cities, that would require clubs handling crowds of 100 or more people to enlist their state-certified security guards in unprecedented police-led training, install video cameras, improve outdoor lighting and install identification card readers that would allow the police and club owners to track patrons.
He said he would also like to see certain clubs pay a fee for police services.
So which is it? Are these "based on practices in other cities" or are they "unprecedented"? I think you do not know what that word means.
Forcing clubs to further invade their patrons' privacy by scanning their IDs on the way in will do nothing. If you've been following the press about the recent shootings, the common thread is that these people were not customers of the clubs! This was gang violence happening on public streets.
Then the article wraps up with the harrowing tale of a guy who was sitting on the sidewalk, and may have made a gang sign. Then the police told him that they were considering the possiblity of telling him to move along. Wow.
Isn't "sitting" illegal now, anyway?
I made some changes to the DNA Lounge store today.
We often get email from people who don't understand how will-call tickets work. Questions like, "I bought this ticket with my mom's credit card, how do I get in?", or "My friend paid for our tickets but now he's not going, what do I do?", or "Dear Beloved in Christ, I am the widow of the Minister of Finance of Malaysia." We get these questions despite the fact that no less than three separate times during the checkout process it tells you that to pick up will-call tickets, you just need to know two things: the name on the credit card used; and the confirmation code.
People don't read. We know this.
So I figured, well, if there was something on the screen that looked like a ticket, maybe these non-reading people would make the intuitive leap from there to, "I should print this out and take it with me."
So that's what it does now. It looks like this:
Technically that thing on the screen isn't really a ticket, it's just a pretty piece of paper that has the correct purchaser name and confirmation code on it, and when you hand that to the folks at the front door, they will give you your actual tickets, which are the little raffle-spool-looking ones.
I had to upgrade the store server to a faster machine to do this, because apparently using ImageMagick to do such simple font scaling and placement takes a ridiculous amount of CPU.
Also, the confirmation email you get when you place an order is HTML now, because it is the Twenty-First Century.
Please let me know if anything appears to be broken.
By the way, in anticipation of those of you who are about to ask, "Why don't you mail tickets?", the answer is that it's a really expensive hassle at every step of the way: the printer, the thermal media, and the person to stuff envelopes in a timely fashion. It's just not worth the effort. It wouldn't speed up entry, anyway: ID-check is always the bottleneck, not will-call.
Yes, there is a story behind this.
Flickr user jetrull describes it as refreshing, with none of the suggested after-effects.
We won SFBG's Best of the Bay readers' poll again for Best Dance Club! Go us, and thanks to all of you who voted! Other DNA Lounge regulars who won included Bearracuda ("Best Club for Queer Men"), Trannyshack ("Best Drag Show"), Twilight Vixen Revue ("Best Burlesque Act"), and Whore for Satan ("Best Whore for Satan").
That's three years in a row for that one! Though in 2006 and 2007, they gave "Best Dance Club" to Bootie, so I guess it's five years if you squint just right?
In less pleasant news (...I use that segue a lot, don't I?) noted prohibitionist shitbags The Marin Institute are making another unsurprising attempt at raping the nightlife industry.
If just hearing their name doesn't fill you with anger, please go read my post about them from last May for background. I'll wait.
Since The Marin Institute's proposed solution to everything is "raise alcohol taxes" (I'm sure that's how they think we should pay for the BP spill, too) it shouldn't shock you that they're trying to tax alcohol again, this time locally to San Francisco. And, hilariously enough, they are trying to organize a "youth rally" at City Hall in favor of their fundamentalist prohibitionism. Yeah, good luck with that. I recommend you show up and heckle.
Also, please vote Supervisors Avalos, Maxwell and Mirkarimi out of office at your earliest convenience. If this nonsense passes, it will cost us around $20k/year. Hey, here's a great idea during a recession: let's completely fuck local small business owners! That's a capital idea.
The people behind The Marin Institute are opposed to alcohol, period. They try to dress up each of their proposed taxes in pretty words to convince the gullible that it will help people, but all it will do is put bars out of business -- which is exactly, and only, their goal.