Do any of you have a Mac Mini that you don't need, vintage 2010 or newer?
So it's probably time to just stop wasting my time goofing around with these toy computers and just put a real computer behind it. That sounds like overkill, but I guess it's not overkill if it's the only thing that will actually work.
Now that construction of the wider sidewalk is finally done, nine months after they told us it would be, it's time to figure out how to re-install our parklet.
Because of the new constraints, instead of being L-shaped and sitting at the curb, it now needs to be a straight bar with seating on both sides going down the middle of the sidewalk. And it will be smaller by about 9'. We will have to cut off the short leg of the L, plus about 3' on one end, but it will allow seating and standing on both sides instead of just one, so something like this:
Maybe we should do a second Kickstarter for it?
- Some Guy: "I was going to buy a ticket, but it's raaaaaining."
Don't be that guy.
State Senator Scott Wiener is introducing legislation that would allow bars and restaurants to serve alcohol until 4AM:
Wiener's bill would give local jurisdictions control over whether their bars and restaurants can extend their last call.
"This bill is long overdue," Wiener said. "Right now in California, we have a one-size-fits-all statewide mandate, regardless if you are a small-town suburb of San Francisco or in downtown L.A." [...]
Those who support Wiener's bill say it will stimulate the state's economy and make cities like San Francisco more attractive tourist destinations. It will also help communities decide what is best for them, because what works in the Mission or Union Square -- areas with a high concentration of bars and restaurants -- may not work for more residential areas like the Sunset or Richmond districts, said Juliana Bunim, spokeswoman for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. [...]
Jamie Zawinski, owner of DNA Lounge, a club that has experienced major financial hardship over the past few months, said being able to extend its hours would significantly help the business. [...]
Michael Scippa, director of public affairs for Alcohol Justice, a San Rafael nonprofit advocacy, research and policy organization, said it is a "foolish plan" that prioritizes alcohol revenue over public safety.
Scippa said that Alcohol Justice takes a lot of credit for killing Leno's bill in 2013 and that the organization will come out with "guns blazing" for Wiener's bill.
Wiener's 2012 economic impact study on nightlife in San Francisco showed that it is a $4.2 billion dollar industry. Anything we can do to make the nightlife industry more successful will inevitably put more tax dollars in the city's coffers.
This would be great for tourism, the convention industry, hotels, and all aspects of nightlife.
Sadly, though, I'm not hopeful that this will succeed. Extending last call has been tried before, and the prohibitionists have managed to defeat it every single time.
This prohibitionists in question tend to be The Marin Institute and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. These are extremely well-funded and well-connected organizations whose sold purpose is to criminalize use of alcohol by any means at their disposal. I wrote about them back in 2009 when they were pushing for an increased alcohol tax.
These "temperance organizations" have such enormous influence not only because they are so well funded by prohibitionists and fundamentalists, but because it's very hard for politicians to oppose them without looking like monsters who eat children. Politicians are all about saving face, and all these people have to do is trot out their propaganda photos of dead children and say, "but if we can save just one child, wouldn't it all have been worth it?"
Senator Leno introduced legislation in 2013, SB 635, attempting to allow some CA cities to have a 4AM last call. That was defeated by not getting the 6 votes it needed in the Senate.
In 2004, the SF Board of Supervisors (via Aaron Peskin) passed a resolution "urging" the CA Legislature to allow San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles (and those cities alone) to decide what their own hours of alcohol service should be, without changing the law anywhere else in the state.
Even that modest proposal was shot down by the State Assembly, who didn't even allow it to make it out of committee. At the time, John Wood of SFLNC said:
While San Francisco officials were heavily in support of the bill, statewide anti-alcohol groups lined up against AB 2433, claiming that it would lead inevitably to later last call in other parts of the State. [...]
In addition, testimony from a mother of a person killed by a drunk driver clearly made the legislators uncomfortable in voting for the legislation. [...] Many democratic legislators left the room after the Mother Against Drunk Drivers testimony and did not vote, so there were not enough votes to move the bill out of committee.
But, we keep trying!
Speaking of our fundamentalist, dystopian cyberpunk future, Cyberdelia photos are up now. HACK THE PLANET!
During our screening of HACKERS, the intermission began with this unscheduled interruption from notorious video terrorists RAZOR AND BLADE, where they discussed our Patreon!
Also, if you arrived late and missed the trailers before the movie, these are what I put together this time. A couple people asked me, "Are all of those movies real?" Yes. Yes they are.
So then this happened:
Go ahead and get those "Hacking the Gibson" jokes out of your system now. I found this even more unsettling than the fact that these days I get most of my morning updates on Trump's march toward the looming cyberpunk dystopia from this gentleman's RTs.
Photos will be forthcoming, but in the meantime, here's what our head-to-head Wipeout XL rig looked like with the elusive PS1 link cable:
We had a really good time filming this:
That's Cyberdelia, Tuesday Feb 14!
- A screening of Hackers at 8pm;
- 90s electronica dance party to follow;
- Hackers costume contest at midnight;
- Head-to-head Wipeout XL competition throughout the night;
- Interactive VR Demos;
- Skate ramps! Rollerblades welcome!
If you're in town for the RSA conference, do stop by B Sides, the legit hacker con we are hosting at DNA Lounge this week. Look around for the B Sides Cyberdelia discount code!
And if you're thinking "but but Valentine's Day", here are some clips to remind you that it's totally a date movie:
Please help us spread the word about this one. Our events almost never get covered in the local press and blogs. This time, I even paid someone to write a press release about Cyberdelia, and the collective media response was "Meh."
Last week we had a Harry Potter Party, which was absolutely packed! The promoters' original ambition for this party was fairly modest: they were going to hand out masks and give out a costume prize and that's about it, but when we saw how well tickets were selling, we figured it deserved a bit more than that, and the gang spent two or three days decorating the hell out of the place and constructing props like "Quidditch Beer Pong". It was a lot of fun! Almost everybody who came made at least some effort at costuming, which is always great to see. We will certainly be doing the Potter Party again. A sold out party on a Thursday? Yes please.
We've also been brainstorming about what other similar pop culture parade we could get in front of. I think the sweet spot might be "I was into it when I was 12, and it's still popular today, so the 'sexy costume' version of it makes me feel all funny inside."
Someone left a pretty entertaining message on the payphone that night. Listen! Nobody ever leaves messages on the payphone. You should drunkenly babble at the payphone. Yes, you. It is your confessor. It already knows. But it wants to hear you say it.
Important news! We're doing CYBERDELIA again!
- A screening of Hackers at 8pm;
- Hackers costume contest at midnight;
- Head-to-head Wipeout XL competition throughout the night;
- Skate ramps! Rollerblades welcome!
We're doing it on a Tuesday, which is a little odd, but that puts it right in the middle of the RSA conference, a massive computer security and cryptography convention at Moscone, and immediately after the B Sides conference happening at DNA on the 12th and 13th. B Sides is a community-run and more technical and political reaction to RSA, and we've happily hosted it since 2013. Anyway, doing a Hackers party during a hacker con seems like a solid plan. (If you're going to B Sides, keep a lookout for the Cyberdelia discount code.)
That Tuesday also happens to be Valentine's Day. You might be thinking, "Wait, Hackers isn't a date movie", but if you're thinking that you're probably dating the wrong people, my friend. Also the plot of the movie itself is totally romantic comedy material. Kate is so mean to that sad-sack Dade. I put together a few short promo videos proving this that I'll be posting on the InstaTwitBooks over the next few days. Here's the first one:
Anyway, that's only two weeks from now! Get your tickets now, because the reserved seating for the movie will go fast.
(Also, Hack the Planet.)
Speaking of the InstaTwitBooks, we have a set of Tumblrs for our various accounts now. Someone who seems to know things told me that Tumblr is getting more popular again as people look for alternatives to Facebook. Since I just created them a few days ago, they all have zero followers right now, so how if you use Tumblr, how about giving us a like or a share or two? Our new Tumblrs are: DNA Lounge, DNA Pizza, Codeword SF and ROT13. The full matrix is now:
All of our social media accounts except Facebook have pretty low follower accounts, and I don't particularly know what to do about that. "Be more interesting!"
Our Patreon is still doing nicely, but it pretty much stopped growing a week or two ago. I'm not entirely sure what to do about that, either. What should we do to promote it? Beats me.
I'm also curious about what the public reaction is to the Donate buttons I spammed all across the site, like atop the calendar. We are definitely getting some donations, but is it too intrusive? People tolerate Wikipedia's far more intrusive begging, though, so I'm guessing the answer is no. I always wonder if different words would make people open their wallets faster.
Anyway, give us your money so we can stay open. Thanks.
If you'd like to help in non-financial ways, we're having what Arlo has called a "primping party" on Wed, Feb 8, from noon until well into the evening. As he put it:
Like any other high traffic space, DNA requires a lot of upkeep and maintenance. It takes a fair amount of time with there's ony one or two of us tackling it, but with more hands, the work becomes much lighter!
Please join us for a day of minor hammering, some possible drilling and a fair amount of scrubbing and painting. Rumor has it there'll also be periodic pizza and beer.
To be informed of other exciting hand-dirtying opportunities like this, you can join the DNA Lounge Street Team Facebook group.
The Bay Bridged wrote a great Hubba Hubba Revue review, including some very nice words about our current predicament: Hubba Hubba gets pulses racing with Soviet! (Also I really like saying "Revue review".) It was a great show as always. One of the props that they put up were a bunch of old Soviet flags. We left them up. My plan is to leave them up until Trump is impeached.
Keiko, the singer of Crashfaster, has volunteered to do a cool project on our behalf: she wants to put together a free monthly compilation album as a gift to our Patreon contributors. She says: "I'm calling on all artists who have benefitted from this space - whether you've played a show, enjoyed an event, made new friends, or ate too much pizza - to contribute a song or two for what I'm hoping is going to be a monthly ongoing compilation."
I think that's awesome! If you're interested, you can sign up here.
Have you joined the DNA Lounge Street Team group on Facebook? We've got about a hundred people who have joined so far, and to better understand what they/you are willing and able to help out with, we posted a little poll there the other day. It will help if we know what your special skills are. Also, you can add new entries to the poll if you think of something we've left out.
Sunday was the first night of a new event at Codeword: Noise Complaint is an all ages showcase of local punk bands. Every Sunday, just $5. You may have noticed that like half of the DNA Pizza staff are in punk bands. So yeah, we just turned over the place to them. The first one went really well and had a great turnout!
That was also our first live show at Codeword, but of course, the CW space has a long and storied history of punk rock.
Hey look, photos:
Hey look, it's 2017. How you doin'?
Alright, what's been going on. Let's see...
We had four New Year's Eve parties, and both Acid Rain and Bootie did great. Acid Rain really gave me flashbacks to Thump, since it was trance instead of hardcore as most of our "rave" events have been lately. After Bootie ended on New Year's Eve we had Drums, a circuit party, from 3am to 9am. That was somewhat under-attended. It's been years since we've done a late-night party like that: back in the Thump days, sometimes the headliner wouldn't even go on until 4am, but that's very much out of fashion these days. Kids today, I don't know. That same night, we also had an 18-and-over Mini-Bootie over at Codeword, and that tanked like a big tanky thing. Sigh. Well, two out of four?
Our awesome crew have been busting their butts following up on all the great suggestions and offers for help we've gotten since the apocalypse post -- if we haven't gotten back to you yet, we will soon! There have been many 16 and 23 hour days here lately. Everyone is looking a bit shell-shocked.
To the future -- ("To the future!" Wait, that wasn't a toast? Sorry...)
- Lots of people have offered their help who don't necessarily have money, but do have time, hands and brains, and to facilitate that, we've created a new Facebook group, DNA Lounge Street Team. Go join! Use it for discussion and suggestions. I imagine that we will end up using it to throw out random calls for assistance, like "hey, anyone want to design some flyers?" or "who loves painting the floor?"
- After a very helpful talk with Alan at Borderlands Books about how their sponsorship program works, we came to the conclusion that a sponsorship is not, and should not be, a product that you sell.
I've updated our Patreon page with an explanation of this, so I'll just paste it here:
Your sponsorship helps ensure that we can continue bringing you the kind of awesome, eclectic and weird events that you've come to expect from us! Your sponsorship keeps us independent, and lets us continue to take chances on the kind of local live entertainment that makes San Francisco great."But what's in it for me?"
Unlike most crowdfunding efforts, we are not selling you a "product" here. Your donation allows DNA Lounge to continue to exist, plain and simple. We think that's important. We think that's a pretty big deal. We hope that you do too!
Maybe you're one of those people who finds themselves at DNA Lounge three times a week. Or maybe you only come to three shows a year, but those three shows are really important to you, and you very much want to be able to come to them in the future. We want that too, and that's why we need your help."Wait, you mean I don't get free tickets?"
We thought long and hard about this, and came to the conclusion that doing something like that would send entirely the wrong message. We want you to donate to this cause because you want DNA Lounge to continue to exist. If we offered rewards like, "if you donate X dollars, you get Y free tickets", then what we're really doing is selling you a ticket bundle. That proposal makes you a customer, not a sponsor, not a partner. It forces you to ask the question of whether you're getting your money's worth: whether those tickets are a bargain.
But we don't want you to donate because it's a good bargain. We want you to donate because you believe in our mission, and want it to continue!
We may choose to offer some sponsor-only perks in the future, because you are awesome and we love you, but we don't want that to be the reason you signed up.
- We had an all-hands meeting! I think it went pretty welll, in that we were able to convey a lot of info, and we received a lot of good feedback from our staff. It's been a couple years since we did that, which was an unfortunate oversight. There really are a lot of people who work here. Thank you, DNA co-conspirators. It was good to see all of your faces. Here's Meredith's moody take on it:
- ROT13, Jared's daily craft cocktail happy hour over at Codeword, has a DJ now! Laüs will be spinning for you every Wednesday. Come check it out.
- At the last Peepshow (our drag/burlesque show that happens third Wednesdays at Codeword) at intermission time, Sophilya said something to the effect of, "...so go next store and get a slice", and someone in the audience yelled, "THE TOTS!!" and the whole audience cheered! They cheered our tater tots, man. I mean, yeah, they're pretty great! But I haven't heard that before.
- What's up with the sidewalk? Beats me. After that flurry of activity just before New Year's, they have been MIA for eight days, and haven't even picked up their big plastic barrier wall. I think they're not quite done with the street paving on the other side of the curb. When do we get our bike racks back? Good question. We chained a stanchion to the streetlight as a halfassed substitute.
- It came up in conversation today that that stupid tree in the middle of our sidewalk -- a twig of a tripping hazard on an inverse island in a sea of concrete -- probably ought to have its own Twitter account.
Tree-N-ALounge. "I've seen some shit, man. My roots are soaking in a slurry of candy cane and Fireball. I hate SantaCon."
- This changes everything! Wait, this changes nothing! California Beauty Salons, Barbershops Will Soon Be Allowed to Serve Wine and Beer.
- My new favorite Yelp review demonstrates the eternal healing power of cookies:
Went here last night. Ordered a carnivore pizza and a cookie. The guy behind the counter got a call immediately afterward from some schmo who had ordered delivery pizza but failed to answer the door, which took him a minute or two to sort out. He was super chill and gave me a second cookie for free to make up for the delay.
The pizza was delicious btw.
That's all I got. Carry on.
Here's the thing about our sidewalk. We have a rave tonight, and at these events there is always a gaggle of kids sitting around outside in lingerie they stole from mom, bare asses right on the concrete. It grosses me the hell out -- I want to yell at them, "Don't you know where that sidewalk has been?? Do you want hepatitis? Because this is how you get hepatitis."
Welcome to Fragrant SOMA: our sidewalks are a god damned biohazard. They are a war zone, people.
But tonight! Brand new sidewalk! Nobody has vomited on it yet at all! None of our local crackheads have gifted us with a flowing stream of their prodigious heroin-shits.
I thought about puking on it myself, just to break it in, but I'll leave that to someone else.
Everybody asks, "Did you carve your initials in it?" Pfffff.
When we tag, we tag hard.
Some time very soon we're going to have monthly subscription levels that come with rewards, like tickets to events and whatnot, but we haven't yet worked out what those rewards will be -- and to make that work I still have to write some code. But rather than waiting for that to be done, I decided to add the option of monthly subscriptions right now, and will add the options with rewards later.
Once we add new rewards levels, you can switch to the one that sounds best, but if you want to help us out right now, this option is here! I set the minimum to $5, but by all means feel free to contribute a larger amount. I mean, if $5/month is all that DNA Lounge is worth to you, who am I to argue! We'll take it. That's fine. This is fine.
Please enjoy jwz mixtape 176. For those of you who are new here, this is something I do about once a month: a 90 minute mixtape, a cassette-sized chunk of recent music videos that I have discovered and enjoy. If you've ever been to DNA Pizza and looked on in fascination and/or horror at the music videos that we play there 24/7, these mixtapes are where you get to see the new arrivals.
I added a tip jar to our store! Now when you check out, down at the bottom, it says:
I hope it works. I coded it up very late last night.
You can also point people at https://www.dnalounge.com/donate/ for the same thing.
And hey, big spender, I'm not saying $2,000 is the maximum we will accept. You can go right ahead and change that after you add it to your cart!
This is just phase one; I did this first because it was relatively easy. We're still planning on setting up some kind of membership program, probably using Patreon, but before doing that we have to figure out what the reward levels should be.
The only live music venue I've come across that has a membership program is First Avenue. Do you know of others? Most opera houses have membership programs, but their pricing is so different than ours that they don't really compare very well. (Those tend to include things like, "and for $300k/year, you get to have dinner with the Executive Director!" Tell you what, I'l have dinner with you for way less than that.) I've seen a few dance clubs with membership programs, but those seem to mainly be about super-high-end table service, so that doesn't really apply either. Anyway, the First Avenue program is roughly:
- $45 / year: early access to ticket sales; 10% off food and drink at their attached bar;
- $80 / year: 2 tickets to a main room show; 2 tickets to a small room show;
- $500 / year: free admission to all small room shows; 4 tickets to main room shows; 2 tickets to Halloween and NYE; skip the line.
And they sell only a limited number of them per year, but I don't know how many.
So, I dunno. Maybe something like that!
Anyway, we're still pouring over all of the suggestions and offers for help that are pouring in. I really can't believe the number of responses we got. Again, thank you all so much!
We've had a number of people who have experience with grants offer to help, so we've been trying to wrap our brains around how something like that would work. Spoiler alert: it is hellaciously complicated.
And check this out, we have half of a new sidewalk. It is luxuriously broad. By dumb luck, they happened to pour it on a day when we didn't have an event. ("Did they tell you they were doing this today?" "Of course they did! Eight months ago they told us it was going to happen someday!") I think we might have gotten the other half by now if it hadn't rained on Friday.