We're down to the last couple dozen DNA Lounge die-cut foil laptop stickers, and there is no longer anyone on the planet capable of manufacturing these, so get them before they are gone...

You may recall that I spent years trying to source these. These stickers are designed to go over the glowing Apple logo on your laptop: the DNA logo lights up with no "Ghost Apple" as with other stickers.

But, that source has now dried up. And also, Apple stopped making their laptop logos light up in 2017, so maybe it doesn't matter any more.

These stickers join our pile of DNA Lounge merch unobtainium along with the late, lamented dog tags and dazzle masks.

Anyway, let's clear out some product, ok?

Update: Wow, that didn't take long! They're all gone now, thank you very much. And because we've cleared those out, I've put out new foil stickers on sale. These are solid (no cut-out) and come in both brushed metal and rainbow holographic:

Also I've added a couple of merch packs in case you're feeling too much Freedom of Choice.

And please join us for this weekend's events:

4 a.m. last call could be coming to San Francisco, Oakland bars under new proposal:

State Sen. Scott Wiener and Assemblymember Matt Haney introduced Senate Bill 930 at a briefing on Friday. The measure would allow seven pilot cities across the state to extend alcohol sales at bars, nightclubs and restaurants from 2 a.m. to as late as 4 a.m. [...]

"We've lost so many historic venues and bars, it is going to take years to rebuild," Haney said. "Extending hours to 4am even a few days a week will save historic businesses, create thousands of jobs, and support arts, culture and community." [...]

If approved by the legislature and governor, the pilot program would begin in 2025 and the measure would sunset after five years.

This time for sure!

But, to be clear, this bill would not "make last call be 4AM" or even "make last call be 4AM in San Francisco". No, doing that would make San Francisco behave like world-class cities that value tourism. This bill isn't that.

This bill would allow SF the option of issuing additional permits -- expensive permits -- to a handful of venues, allowing those venues and only those venues to serve alcohol between the hours of 2AM and 4AM, as part of a 5-year-limited trial program, to begin on Jan 1, 2025.

So it will be good for those businesses who get to be a part of that program -- and, assuming we haven't gone out of business by then, we're going to do our damnedest to be a part of that program -- but it's not really going to change the character of SF nightlife in any significant way. Almost all bars will still close at 2, and you still won't be able to get anywhere by public transit after midnight.

Despite its limitations, I am strongly in support of this bill, and any like it, and you should be too.

Here's a brief recap of this ongoing shitshow. I can't believe how long I've been blogging about this:

Back in 2019, I joked:

I mean, at this rate we might have a Central Subway or a Transit Center before you can legally have a drink at 3AM.

That joke ages like fine milk.

Anyway, we've got a big weekend, come see some shows!

1-Jun-2022 (Wed) Wherein there are photos

Nothing much to report lately, so how about a photo roundup?

Bear Grillz
Olivia Rodrigo Spring Fling
Death Guild: DGXXIX
D.O.A. + The Death Set
Undersea Hubba

John 5 + The Haxans
Star Crash: Glass Spells + Terabyte + Ponyskull + Kristeen Young
Nascar Aloe + Death Tour
Front Line Assembly + Rein

Brujeria + Goatwhore + Unidad Trauma
Turbo Drive: Moris Blak + Street Cleaner + Watch Out For Snakes
Monday Hubba: Royal Velvet Revue
Slater + Madge + Lealani

The Egyptian Lover
The Doja Cat Disco
Hubba Hubba Time Machine

And coming up this week:

Betamaxx & Parallels
Suffocation + Atheist
House Pop-Up Party
Also Friday

Red: The Taylor Swift Dance Party
Catacombs of Riddim
Also Saturday
Jungle Rot + Internal Bleeding
9 Jun 2022 (Thu)
Dystopia DnB
10 Jun 2022 (Fri)

We deeply regret to inform you that we are no longer requiring proof of vaccination to enter DNA Lounge.

Let's start with some facts:

We held out until the bitter end. DNA Lounge was among the first nightclubs to require proof of vaccination, long before it was legally required. We were the only nightclub to actually verify that proof by scanning QR codes rather than accepting any old easily-photoshopped picture.

But within the last few weeks, nearly every other nightclub has stopped requiring vaccinations. We surveyed 40+ venues, and it's basically universal at this point. Most of them haven't made any announcement of this, they just quietly stopped. A few have updated their web sites with the new policy, but many have just scrubbed the word "COVID" from their web sites entirely.

So why are we following suit? Because we can't afford not to.

Being the only nightclub checking vaccination status doesn't really do anybody any good. It costs us business without actually making anyone safer, since all of our customers are going to be comingling with the unvaccinated at every other club and restaurant in town. (It's like you're at an orgy with a hundred people and there's one dude wearing a condom.)

And because it has been making booking be more difficult. We've lost some shows because the artists' agents believe, rightly or wrongly, that our vaccination policies will mean lower attendance.

And because our COVID grant money is about to run out. We can't afford to continue excluding such a huge proportion of our potential customers when none of our competition are doing the same.

"I wish the nightlife community would come together and have consistent vaccination policies."
"Wait, no, not like that."

Venues that are no longer requiring proof of vaccination include:

All of the AEG Golden Voice venues (Warfield, Regency, Great American Music Hall, Coachella); all of the Live Nation TicketMaster venues (Fillmore, Masonic); all of the Another Planet venues (Greek Theatre, Bill Graham, The Independent), 1015 Folsom (but their vax checks had always been performative at best), Midway and Great Northern (they never checked at all, that's probably why Breed likes partying there); Cat Club, Yolo, Audio, Oasis, Temple, The Chapel, Public Works, August Hall, The Grand, City Nights / Club X, Cafe du Nord, Swedish American Hall, Bottom of the Hill, Brick and Mortar, Neck of the Woods, Bimbo's, Monarch, Holy Cow, Halcyon, F8, End Up, Ivy Room, New Parish, and UC Theatre.

We didn't check in on every corner bar, but that's most of the larger places, and it's certainly a statistically damning sample. Also, a couple of venues on that list are accepting a negative test result in lieu of vaccination, which counts as not checking at all. You can be infectious and asymptomatic for a week or more before a test shows positive.

There are lots of things that we could be doing to bring this pandemic to an end, but we as a society are simply not doing most of them.

We can all look forward to years of people telling us, "It's just a cold, everybody gets it twice a year, whatever." And your personal experience may support that in the short term, because with vaccinations, probably very few people you know will be hospitalized. But Long COVID is a god damned hurricane of multiple sclerosis, diabetes, chronic fatigue, weird clots, loss of lung capacity, brain damage, and inexplicable neurological conditions, and it's coming right at us.

And in this hurricane, instead of building levees and storm drains, the government is telling us, "everybody should take personal responsibility for deciding what level of moistness they are comfortable with".

And in this hurricane, as it uproots trees and batters your storm windows, your friend rolls their eyes and asks, "Are you just going to stay home forever?"

To the many of you who have thanked us for our policies, who have told us that DNA Lounge was the only venue in which you felt safe -- because we were the only ones who seemed to be taking this pandemic seriously -- thank you for your support. And I'm sorry. We are no longer able to provide you with that island of safety.

A while back someone on Twitter said something like, "I'll be wearing a mask at all shows until DNA Lounge says you don't need them at theirs." That was a very nice thing to hear, a vote of confidence in our science-based policies.

To be clear, that is not what we are saying.

What we are saying is, you should absolutely still wear a mask, and you should only congregate with others who are all masked and boosted. But DNA Lounge can no longer mandate that, because Capitalism Says No.

We are welcoming back with open arms the unvaccinated, the unboosted, the unmasked. We intend to pack them in, shoulder to sweaty shoulder, spittle flying everywhere. We are doing this because we can't afford not to. Much like our mayor, and the CDC, we are not following the science, we are following the money.

If that sounds horrible to you, that's because it is.

Pitchfork, Nina Corcoran:

"Yes SXSW was a superspreader event, and yes my entire band got COVID, as did many others," tweeted Canadian singer-songwriter Charlotte Cornfield. "We obviously knew there was a risk going in, but really feeling for everyone whose tours/lives have been derailed by this thing." Several other bands and radio DJs, music promoters, and record label employees have tweeted similar sentiments after testing positive. [...]

"Large swaths of the live music industry are overeager to pretend we're out of the pandemic. We're leaving behind many folks with disabilities and illnesses, which is not a new problem -- just a new way the ableism inherent in many venue spaces is being expressed since COVID," Speedy Ortiz singer-guitarist Sadie Dupuis tells Pitchfork. "When mask mandates first went away, the largest nurses' union in the country petitioned the CDC to reverse its decision and reinstate masking due to breakthrough cases. Because, vaccinated or not, masks are incredibly effective at preventing infection. With many of us having received boosters six-plus months ago, their efficacy is waning. A breakthrough case could wind up costing your favorite artist tens of thousands of dollars of expected income, the difference between a profitable tour and a tour in the red." [...]

Harpist Mary Lattimore says she still doesn't feel comfortable performing live, but knows it's an essential part of her job. "I link it to the lack of streaming revenue for artists," she explains. "Tour income is basically the only income. It was nonexistent for years so we have to get out there, but we're pretty vulnerable, going from place to place every night. One case of COVID and bands potentially lose thousands and thousands of dollars." [...]

For other touring artists, mask policies aren't necessarily up to them, but rather the headliners they're supporting. Wednesday are slated to open for Beach Bunny on a two-month-long tour, and their newfound discomfort around COVID-19 policy isn't reason enough to bail on such a big opportunity. "Because we're just openers on the tour, I don't feel like we have a ton of authority [to ask for that]," [...] The most I've felt comfortable asking people to wear masks so far is saying, 'Please wear your masks tonight; we have more dates we gotta play,' into the mic.

But "catching COVID might scuttle the tour" is only the start of it, as all of this completely ignores the specter of Long COVID. Wait until two years from now when you learn that your favorite band isn't a band any more, because the financial pressure to crowd into small rooms with antimaskers and antivaxxers means that now they have MS, or diabetes, or 20% lung function, and -- oh yeah -- no health insurance. (Are you kidding? They were in a band.)

Here's a nice write-up about our upcoming Just Add Heather show this Sunday:

SF's Only Show With Live Cabaret and Live Baking

It started with a dessert -- remember how all of a sudden during lockdown, everyone was baking? "Nobody could go out and buy pastries," Thiel says. "I thought, why don't I just do my recipes and sing?" [...]

And once things did open up again for live performance, opportunity came knocking. Jim Sweeney, producer of The World-Famous Hubba Hubba Revue, approached her about potentially creating a live stage show for the DNA Lounge. With his encouragement, and with a new direction to go in with the show, Thiel found herself an old portable Wolf convection oven that could be brought onstage -- and the rest, as they say, is history. Just Add Heather Live premiered in the DNA's intimate upstairs lounge, and after an extremely successful first show, they've been upgraded to the main stage for this Sunday's blowout showcase. [...]

There aren't many backyard pandemic web series that can say they've found their way onto the DNA's Main Stage (trust me, I tried it myself), but of all the ones that can, Just Add Heather might just take the cake -- because at this show, you might actually get to EAT the cake!
This week was the return of the Game Developers Conference, which is historically significant as the cancellation of GDC 2020 and our week of related events was our first indication that the shit had, in fact, hit the fan. The whole city went into lockdown shortly after those GDC cancellations. (And that was back when our daily case rate was about a quarter of what it is today. You know, before everyone was just "over it".)

It was extremely nice to see that GDC was requiring both masks and boosters. Weird when a tech conference cares more about safety than the city of San Francisco!

Also last week, we finally had the Haru Nemuri show (and here's a nice review of it). This show was originally scheduled for March 29, 2020; then it was rescheduled to Sep 11, 2020; then to Mar 27, 2021; then to Nov 4, 2021; and finally to this one! I think that's the last of our 2020 reschedules.

Some POW photos, with our epic projections:

Also our GDC Meetup party the following night was so popular that a full 10% of GDC's total attendance came to DNA Lounge that night. That's pretty good!

We also have a bunch of other live shows coming up soon:

D.O.A + The Death Set
John 5 + The Haxans
Nascar Aloe
Front Line Assembly
Brujeria + Goatwhore
And I haven't done a photo roundup in a while, so here are some recent galleries. As you look at these galleries, you may be saying to yourself, "Hey, self, the DNA Lounge stage lighting is looking pretty amazing these days". Thank you, you're right!

Kool Keith
So Stoked
Noise Pop: King Woman + Spiritual Cramp
Noise Pop: Tipling Rock + The Rare Occasions
Indie Nite

Haru Nemuri
Taylor Swift Night
Psyber Punk
Omnium Gatherum
Bridge City Sinners

23-Mar-2022 (Wed) Wherein we raise the roof

Happy 99th birthday to the DNA Lounge roof! This photo was taken on this day in 1923:

And pictured in this slightly earlier photo is the fellow who built this building, Dave Lerer, who was our current landlord's grandfather. He's the one in the dapper waistcoat.

More details on the 1906-1998 page.

Here's John Oliver's piece from last night on multinational superpredator TicketMaster / Live Nation:

You may remember TicketMaster from such hits as:

Noted public-health policy scofflaw Mayor Breed recently announced that proof of vaccination will no longer be required to enter restaurants, bars and nightclubs. She framed this as helping our businesses. Well, this business does not need or want that kind of "help". And I know of quite a few other San Francisco bars and clubs that feel the same way.

DNA Lounge's policy is unchanged: we will continue to take steps necessary to reduce the risk of infection to our staff, families and customers:

  • Proof of full vaccination is required for entry.
  • Fully vaccinated means 2 weeks after your booster, if it has been 6 months since your first round.
  • Masks are required inside.

The Mayor and SFDPH are playing politics with peoples' lives. Pretending that the pandemic is over does not make it so. These are the facts:

  • SF is only 65% fully vaccinated -- not 83% as the mayor continues to disingenuously claim.
  • If you aren't boosted, vaccine efficacy drops to 50%. These days, unboosted is the same as half vaccinated.
  • The BA.2 variant is outstripping Omicron in our wastewater samples. It is 30% more infectious.
  • Most SF cases are breakthrough infections.
  • Long COVID is a real threat to everyone, even the young and healthy, and it is still poorly understood.
  • The bars are going to be packed for St. Patrick's Day.
  • Kids are going to go away for Spring Break, return, and spread their new infections to schools, families and workplaces.
  • Then cases will spike again, just like last time!
  • When you are 3/4ths of the way to the finish line is not when you stop running.

Short of another lockdown, the most effective ways to fight the pandemic are:

  • Vaccinations -- we require them of our staff and customers.
  • Masks -- we require them of our staff and customers.
  • Airflow -- ours is very good.
  • Testing -- we continue to test all of our staff weekly.

Also, just a reminder: CDC recently re-colored the maps to declare victory. These two maps represent approximately the same data:

They made the new "low" threshold be twice the old "high" threshold.

That old map, the all-red map on the left, is a map of new infections per 100k people: it correlates well to your chance of exposure and infection. CDC's term for this is "Community Transmission".

The map on the right is the new one that they say we should be paying attention to instead: the "Community Levels" map, which is basically new infections DIVIDED BY available hospital beds.

So they're saying that it's ok to unmask as long as there is still freezer truck morgue capacity available in your city.

This is all just so exhausting. We are finally almost back down to pre-Delta-surge levels, and that's when they decide to go full YOLO and eliminate every possible mitigation measure. Like all of you, I would also like the pandemic to be over. But, again, wishing does not make it so.

In other news, DNA Pizza opened 11 years ago today. Happy birthday to us!

Update: I have disabled comments on this post because it had become a honeypot for antivaxxers and out-of-state trolls. If you have questions, comments or suggestions about our policies, you can email me directly. Thanks, and stay safe!

Tonight is our final Bootie! We hope to see you there -- after all, everybody loves a funeral! Here's a video of 16 years of Bootie flyers, 2006-2022. RIP.