31-Dec-2020 (Thu)
Wherein it's New Year's Eve

I guess this is the day of the year where I'm supposed to make a blog post tooting our horn about all that we've accomplished in 2020.

Well. We're not dead yet.

I guess I'll count that as a win.

My first blog post of 2020 year was the story about how, having noted that nightclubs are hotbeds of disease, I tried to figure out how to give away flu shots at the club, and failed utterly at this project.

That story was unpleasantly prescient.

In January, we had started a new live music showcase, Star Crash. We got to do our second one in February, and then, The Rona. We've kept Star Crash going as a monthly webcast while in lockdown, and I'm really happy with how those have turned out. You can find most of them on our YouTube channel -- the ones that didn't get blocked by robots, because YouTube and the Content Mafia are just The Worst.

We also got to do one last in-person Cyberdelia back in February! That was great.

And after that, the shitshow began in earnest.

During those first few months of lockdown we kept paying our employees for quite a while, and eventually some Payroll Protection Program money allowed us extend that, but now all that money is gone and we're stripped back to a skeleton crew running in low-power mode.

They say that a second round of aid will be coming, but until we've seen the backside of both Cheeto Mussolini and Kentucky Palpatine, I'm not holding my breath.

Once we entered the long nightmare of "paying rent and insurance on an empty building", we upgraded our network and video infrastructure, went HD with our webcasts, and basically transformed the empty club into a TV studio. We've managed to bring you several DJ performances each week, including Death Guild every Monday, Turbo Drive every first Friday, and a couple of live burlesque and variety performances each month, between Hubba Hubba Revue (every third Saturday, next one on Jan 16) and and Apothecary Raree (every first Friday, next one tomorrow). We've even had a handful of live bands! We've had:

All of these streaming shows are supported only by donations, since pay-per-view models for this sort of thing just aren't viable. So please kick in if you can.

We also got some nice press about our webcast series:

In March, DNA Pizza turned nine years old. The restaurant is still open for take-out and delivery, and being allowed to do delivery cocktails has helped a bit, but our restaurant business is a tiny sliver of what it was before the plague. And since almost all of our business is online ordering now, we had to figure out how to avoid having the delivery services not take 30% off the top. Remember to always use dnapizza.com/order to place your orders instead of another site!

We had just re-vamped our parklet to make it be more comfortable for outdoor dining when Lockdown Two began.

And this year was our 35th Anniversary.

We had plans for that.

Oops.

By the way, we've got like 300 of these 35th anniverysary buttons left, pictured up top. Clearly we overestimated your commitment to Sparkle Motion. How about ordering some?

Also we have a side business in selling some damned fine face masks.

Now would be a great time for you to join our Patreon, or up your contribution. It's one of the few things helping us keep our head above water. I haven't checked the December numbers yet, but for November I only had to print three new membership cards, which... is low.

Please tune in tonight for Kat Robichaud's Misfit Cabaret! It's an early show, 8pm to 9:30pm, and it should be awesome.

We don't have anything NYE-ish going on at Midnight, really, but after the show we will have our normal program of music videos, and I have set up a countdown overlay! So you can go "Woooo" at home. "Woooooo."

It looks like musicians in the UK have finally noticed that the ongoing Brexit foot-gun disaster has turned "Europe" into a distant, foreign land that requires work visas. In other words, it will now be as difficult for a British band to play Paris or Berlin as it is for them to play San Francisco.

Welcome to The Colonies, you guys! We've been dealing with this shit forever. You have our sympathy.

Brexit will be "catastrophic" for British touring artists, music industry warns:

On fears that the state of play could become similar to that with the US, which recently increased visa costs by 50% with another potential 24% rise looming, Pritchard added: "The American touring model is interesting because it shows us just how costly touring can be for just wanting to play in one country.

"If you want to play a 10-date tour in five different countries across the continent and the costs are anything like what they are in the States, then you're looking at costs of £7,500 per person before you've even left the country. For a minimum touring party of four of you in the band and three in the crew, you're looking at about £45,000. You aren't going to cover that in fees and t-shirt sales." [...]

"If you take t-shirts to sell, then you'd be importing them into the EU and have to report what sold and what hasn't. There were tales from the pre-EU days where you'd take out four pairs of drumsticks, bring back three and they'd charge you for the pair that you'd broken at your gig in Belgium."

But they have a petition, so uh, good luck with that.

For those of you who don't realize what a nightmare it is for small, non-US bands to tour here, here's how it works... Or used to work. In the Before Times, when tours were a thing that still existed.

Option 1:

  • Show up on a tourist visa, without instruments. Tell customs you are "visiting friends". Don't even think about bringing a box of t-shirts to sell. Borrow gear, rent a van.

  • Hope that every venue and/or promoter is willing to commit tax fraud by paying you in cash and not asking for your IRS form W9 or O-1B Visa.

  • Hope that no one at Customs googles your name, because if they do, you get deported and can't enter the US again for any reason for (I think) a minimum of 5 years.

Option 2:

  • Apply for a work visa. But that's easy! All you need is to show that you have "extraordinary abilities", and that "have received or been nominated for a significant national award in the field, or prove [you] meet three out of six criteria, including national or international recognition as shown by critical reviews in major newspapers or magazines, evidence of substantial remuneration as shown by contracts, and testimonials from recognized experts in the field in which [you] are engaged."

    It costs several hundred dollars, and you have to schedule an in-person interview at your nearest US Embassy.

    Oh, also this requires you to know the dates and details of every stop on your tour, a year ahead of time. "But," you say, "nobody books tours that far out." You are correct. Also, dates can't be modified after submitting.

  • You won't get a response from the State Department until long after it's time to buy your plane tickets.

  • Still no response. Panic. There's nothing you can do, so go ahead and keep panicking.

  • Oh, they might deny you because they don't like your t-shirt art. Your tour is cancelled.

  • You might not get a response at all before your flight leaves. Oops, now you're not getting on that plane. Your tour is cancelled.

  • This is probably where you start getting hate-emails from your fans assuming that you're idiots who fucked up their simple, simple visa paperwork. You probably just sat around getting high instead of filling out a form, you jerks.

Sing it with me, ♬♬ "Everyyyyyyything is terrrrrrible!!"♬♬

Please tune in on on Christmas for the first annual DNA Lounge Yule Log, running for twenty-four hours, midnight to midnight on December 25th! There will also be music along with it -- your requests, via the DNA Pizza Interweb Jukebox -- as well as some hilarious surprises throughout the day.

The original televised Yule Log, airing on NYC's WPIX in 1966, was a 17 second loop of 16mm film. They later remastered it to a whopping six minutes and three seconds. Ours is a bit longer than that.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time editing this together, so I hope you enjoy it.

Keep the fires buring with your donations!

By the way, DNA Pizza is closed today through Friday. We'll be back on Saturday.

ABC is trying to eliminate due process, and make it so that they can unilaterally shut down bars, nightclubs and restaurants on the tiniest pretense, without trial or any realistic hope of appeal or recourse. They are using COVID as cover for this, but it's simply an unrelated, brazen power-grab.

In what beverage attorneys are calling a potential repeal of due process, the ABC is trying to implement a new emergency regulation that would allow any outlet to be shut down without a right to a trial before hand.

John Hinman, a San Francisco-based partner in the law firm of Hinman & Carmichael LLC, says the new regulation is[being pushed forward with Covid being used as an excuse for its implementation. He and several other attorneys don't think that communities need any more "protection," from on- and off-premise establishments than prior to the pandemic. [...]

The Proposed Rule sweeps much more broadly, establishing a general-purpose guillotine the department may wield against any licensee who violates any provision of law during a declared state of emergency," shares Ralph Saltsman, a partner at the Playa Del Rey, California-based Solomon, Saltsman and Jamieson legal firm.

Hinman compares this regulation's presence on the books to punishment before due process. With the new regulation, businesses could be shut down without a right to a trial. They are also likely to stay closed for the period leading up to one, which could push many smaller operations beyond their financial comfort zones.

From Hinman's blog, where he has been writing about this and other ABC shenanigans for quite some time:

Hearings for all violations subject to "emergency orders" would occur only if the ABC agrees to hold a hearing, the licensee could appear "if practicable" and discipline (license suspensions and revocations) would be imposed immediately. The new rules do not go away if the COVID 19 "emergency" goes away. From now on an "emergency" is anything the ABC says is an "emergency." [...]

The ABC is using the COVID 19 crisis as an excuse to implement a system of permanent "emergency" orders that would abrogate licensee rights to defend themselves and their licenses in administrative proceedings.

I know that this month has been quite a year, but it was only last month that there was the report about ABC running a sting operation where they shut down random restaurants because of mistakes made by Grubhub and not the restaurant.

Like I said last time,

ABOLISH THE ABC.

They are monsters. They are an abusive gang of thugs, propped up by prohibitionist, fundamentalist nutjobs like The Marin Institute and MADD, and are actively hostile to everyone in the industry that they supposedly regulate.

It's as if the Egg Council had a nakedly anti-egg agenda.

All that being said, please order our cocktails!

Pictured above: the Sazerac, Black Manhattan and Betelgeuse! They are delicious, and available for pick-up and delivery from DNA Pizza, every day from 4pm to 10pm.

No ABC agents, please.

So I gather there's this new video game about some "Cyber" punks walking around with their dongs and titties hanging out like it's the Folsom Street Fair (is shirtcocking punk rock now?)

Anyway, this game tells us that in the dystopian future, pineapple on pizza is illegal.

That's how you know it's a dystopia, folks.

I guess that's one way that their dystopian cyberpunk "future" differs from our dystopian cyberpunk present.

So order some DNA Pizza today. Open for pickup or delivery every day from 4pm to 10pm. The Fancy Hawaiian is great. And very fancy.

In hope of reducing our electricity bill, which is still inexplicably enormous even though we're barely using the lights and amps, we've put the club-side walk-in fridge into cryosleep. There's another walk-in on the restaurant side, but the club walk-in is primarily for kegs and bottles.

It's not as simple as just turning it off, though -- why should anything be simple -- there's this whole procedure you have to go through to furlough the glycol system and beer lines, or bad things happen.

So check out that floor! That's what dragging a few decades worth of beer kegs across a sheet-metal floor does to it!

Devon made you some new desktop background images:



DNA Lounge opened on November 22, 1985!

Our hope had been to tag each of this year's events as being part of a year-long anniversary celebration, and then to do something huge on the actual anniversary. But then the world had other plans.

Just about one year ago, on our 34th anniversary, I wrote a blog post about what I feel makes DNA Lounge unique, and worth saving. Go give it a read, it stands up!

Go ahead, I'll wait.

If after reading that you're feeling all nostalgic for what the world used to be like, and what DNA Lounge used to bring you, now would be a great time for you to contribute to our Patreon or make a one-time donation so that we can hibernate through the pandemic and still be there for you when you're allowed to see shows again.


Please join us on Sunday afternoon at 2PM for the Cocktail Robotics webcast! We had originally planned to do this seventh annual event in back in July, but obviously that couldn't happen. So instead, we recorded brand new in-depth interviews and demos of some of the finest cocktail-making robots from previous years! You're gonna love it. Join us in the live chat.

Even if you don't feel like watching a video about cocktail robots -- you monster -- I recommend you tune in at least for the first five minutes for a brief presentation from yours truly on the occasion of the DNA Lounge anniversary.

Here's what else we've got this weekend:


14-Nov-2020 (Sat)
Wherein we Hack the Parklet

We have upgraded our parklet for these plague times -- the new walls not only keep you away from the dread spittle of your friends and enemies, but the wind-breaking aspect also makes it significantly warmer out there, which is important since you can't go inside...

And tomorrow, Sunday, we're doing another Cyberdelia! Kidhack, Tripp and Netik bring the Hackers beats, and we're setting up head-to-head Wipeout games out in the parklet, projected on the front wall.

No skate ramps this time, and unfortunately the olympic-sized swimming pool on the roof is closed for repairs. But we have pizza!

Also, I'm happy to report that our masks are back in stock! We have cleared up our shipping backlog, so if you order now... you'll get them pretty soon. They're pretty sweet masks. You should get some.

Please wear your masks. And cancel Thanksgiving. It's not getting better out there.

San Rafael restaurant Shiro Kuma Sushi is -- was -- doing to-go cocktails, as so many of us are. ABC ran a sting on them, and because an employee of Grubhub, not of the restaurant, didn't check ID when delivering, ABC is threatening the restaurant with a liquor license suspension.

Grubhub faces no consequences at all.

Oh, did I say "Grubhub employee"? I meant "independent non-employee contractor."

And Uber, Lyft, Instacart and Doordash spent $200 million to buy their own legislation to keep it that way. For comparison, Bernie Sanders spent $160 million on his 2020 national campaign for President. Uber spent $200 million on Prop 22 just in California, and they're coming for other states next.

Restaurant, GrubHub driver in trouble after undercover operation:

"I guess there was an order picked up by Grubhub that contained alcohol that was actually meant for an ABC sting," said Shigeyoshi.

The California ABC confirms the order was placed by an undercover decoy and that the Grubhub delivery driver delivered the alcohol from Shiro Kuma Sushi to a minor without carding that minor. [...]

"We received a complaint that delivery services were not checking identifications and as a result alcohol deliveries were going to places where there were minors," said California ABC Spokesperson John Carr.

"We received a complaint" is ABC's usual dodge, because their supposed policy is that "they only respond to complaints", so they just manufacture those as desired. Note that they don't even pretend here that the complaint was against this restaurant: just against "delivery services" in general.

The restaurant was given the option of a one year probation or hearing to determine the validity of the claim. Shigeyoshi says he agreed to the one year probation. "If something happens within one year we face a 15-day suspension and potentially fines," said Shigeyoshi.

"For ABC to conduct a sting like that not just targeting myself but targeting other restaurants especially during the pandemic is wrong," he continued. [...]

Subsequently, he says, "We took all the alcohol off any third party delivery service." "I can't trust that every single delivery driver will ID the customer," Shigeyoshi continued. [...]

While both the delivery driver and restaurant face consequences in a California ABC delivery decoy operation, the delivery app does not.

"We don't license the delivery services if we did they would be the ones held responsible but they don't have an alcoholic beverage license to sell," said Carr.

This quote is golden:

The California ABC says it prefers education over enforcement and posted industry advisories to its website in April and June. Also that it had conference calls with delivery companies.

"Prefers education." What a fucking lie. What a bunch of fucking vampires.

ABOLISH THE ABC.

I have nothing but sympathy for this restaurant, or anyone having ABC target them for abuse for no reason. We've gone through our own share of that over the years, and I can assure you, my vitriol toward that agency is white-hot and without bound. They are monsters. They are an abusive gang of thugs, propped up by prohibitionist, fundamentalist nutjobs like The Marin Institute and MADD, and are actively hostile to everyone in the industry that they supposedly regulate.

It's as if the Egg Council had a nakedly anti-egg agenda.

All that being said, please order our cocktails!

Pictured above: the Sazerac, Black Manhattan and Betelgeuse! They are delicious, and available for pick-up and delivery from DNA Pizza, every day from 4pm to 10pm.

No ABC agents, please.

24-Oct-2020 (Sat)
Wherein a winnar is us!

On this, the 238th day of March 2020, you the people have once again declared DNA Lounge to be Best Nightclub in the 2020 Best of the Bay. Also making the list: your Best Dance Party is Death Guild! And of course, Best Burlesque: Hubba Hubba Revue!

Thank you all for your continued support!

Tonight we kick off Halloween week with some chiptunes: 8bitSF presents The Splatterhouse: "Paying tribute to the sights and sounds of classic horror games and films to get you into the proper October spirit. Our selection of retro-electro horror-themed music spans genres from chiptune/video game music, synthwave/darksynth, industrial/EBM, and more."

Tune in online, or come down in person to chill outside at our parklet: we will have tunes and video playing on the sidewalk, and DNA Pizza will be serving food and liquor until 10pm. We had a pretty good turnout for the parklet edition of Turbo Drive last night, so hopefully this will continue to be a thing, in this weird new world of ours...