You say rejected ad, I say emergent new flyer design.
Since then we have hosted 4,209 events in that room, 910 of which were live shows, for a total of 1,838 different bands. That's 19 shows per month!
Let's take a look back...
When we first opened, the room was extremely white. That looked pretty cool, but then we let customers in and they got their filthy footprints all over the walls, so we went with the red curtains.
And here's what the Dazzle Room looked like before we dazzled it in 2013:
Before we moved in, that back room had been an illegal grow-house for several years, so it looked like a Dexter kill room in there, except creepier and less tidy.
Something you might not remember is that DNA Pizza was open for about a year and a half prior to Above DNA, and during that time there was no connecting door between DNA Pizza and DNA Lounge. We didn't get the permits to cut those holes in the wall until July 2012. Here's a video of the hole being cut:
You can still see what pre-hole DNA Pizza looks like on Google Street View. Google came through one day in 2012 and took pictures of the interior. They used to do that for free, but now they charge businesses for it, so probably those old views will be there forever.
Hopefully we will be seeing you at an Above DNA show soon. Hey, how about tonight? It's the 3rd and final night of Kristeen Young's residency. Is good show, you come.
We put a Five Party Multipass on sale! It includes admission to our full week of Halloween festivities: All Hallow's Eve, Booootie, Death Guild, So Stoked, and Turbo Drive! Because we go hard on Halloween and so do you!
As we have for the last 18 years, we've got a full week of Halloween festivities planned for you!
That may sound like a lot, but we all know that if you're a Real San Franciscan, you have both a "closet" and a "costume closet", so I'm sure you can handle it. We believe in you.
First the dance parties: four massive parties, four rooms each! And costume contests on three nights, each with cash prizes!
- Fri Oct 25: So Stoked: "Everyone's a raver on Halloween!" The So Stoked crowd definitely embrace costuming, so we expect great things from them. 24 DJs in four rooms, spinning house, drum and bass, trance and hardcore. All ages!
- Sat Oct 26: Booootie: The Monster Mashup Spooktacular, in its tenth Halloween here at DNA Lounge! Costume contest, spooky drag show, and four rooms of eclectic music: mashups in the main room, 80s and 90s pop in the Lounge, bass house, trap and drum and bass in Above, and hiphop in the Dazzle Room. 18+!
- Mon Oct 28: Death Guild: If you don't go to a goth club on Halloween week, what are you even doing? This will be Death Guild's eleventh Halloween blowout here at DNA! Costume contest, gothic, industrial, synthpop, and of course the gothiest, gothiest little burlesque freakshow in the world from Monday Night Hubba. 18+!
- Thu Oct 31: All Hallow's Eve: This is the one, this is the main event, and it's our eighteenth year throwing this party! This is happening on Halloween proper, and it always brings out the most amazing costumes. I'm impressed every year. Plus, of course, DJs in all four rooms (including some surprises I can't talk about yet), aerialists, ambient ghostly performances, and even more horror-themed burlesque to make you feel all funny inside. 18+!
I know I'm biased, but having been to quite a few Halloween parties over the years, I can say with confidence that we throw the best one.
Now, if you need some live music in your Halloween, we've got that covered as well:
- Sat Oct 26: Eyehategod: "The elder statesmen of sludge metal!" This is an early show, prior to Booootie!
- Sun Oct 27: Witchripper: Aside from being a great name for a metal band, it's a great name for a Halloween event.
- Tue Oct 29: Neighborhood Brats & Plot 66: Your halloween definitely needs a zombie pop-punk band in it (or is that a zombie-pop punk band?) However, this show has a super secret headliner that I can't tell you about yet! Update: That secret headliner is the legendary Subhumans!
- Fri Nov 1: Turbo Drive: Glitch Black: Technically this is the day after Halloween, but if you need some synthy cyberpunk darkness to wash it all down, this is for you. Don't put the Xmas decorations up just yet please.
If you look at any of those "What to do in San Francisco on Halloween" lists, you'll probably be pretty disappointed. Oh look, douchebro Stadium Trance DJ is spinning! His music was in car commercials before half of our customers were born! How edgy. Or, you can drive 3 hours out to Meth Valley for a corn maze! Fun!
Seriously, spend your week at DNA. We got this.
And please, spread the word! Exercise that little muscle in your index finger over the "Share" button. We typically don't get a lot of press about our events, so you telling your friends about them is the most important thing in the world.
(Seriously, I don't want to see any of you hitting "Like" but not "Share" or "Retweet". That does not help!)
I realized that the reason I hadn't blogged in a while was that I had written this blog post a while ago, and then realized, "nothing good will come of that." I hate it when that happens, but since it was stuck in my queue, it kind of prevented me from writing anything else.
So, to get that out of my system, and in the spirit of completeness, here's that blog post that I didn't publish back in September:
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Then, Kælan Mikla's flight was delayed. ██ ████████ █████████ ██ ████ ███ ████ ██████ ███ ████ █████ █████ ██████ ██ ████ ██████ █████ ██████ ███ ███ █ ███████ ████ ████ ███ ███ █████ ████ ██ █████ █████ ███ ████ ████ ███████ ██████████ ████ ███ ██████████ ███ ████ █████ █ ██████ ████████ █████ ███ ███████ █████ ██ ███ ████ ███ █████ ████ ███ █████ ████ ███████ ██ ████ ████ █████ ██ ████ ████ ███ ██ █████ ███ ██ █ ███████████ ██████████ ███ ███ ███████████ ████ ██████████ ███ █████ ████ █████████ █████ ███████ ██████████
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Whenever we ████ █ █████████ ████ like this one, I often run into people I haven't seen in a years: people who used to be regulars and possibly even still consider themselves regulars. The conversation often goes something like this:
- Them: Heyyyyy how's it going?
Me: Oh you know. Apocalyptic.
Them: I heard you were having trouble here, but it's all better now right?
Me: No. No it's not. I have no idea how this place is going to survive.
Them: Oh, that's too bad. Hey, how's that other place?
Them: You know, that place you opened. Down on, um, Folsom?
Me: We closed that place two and a half years ago. It was a disaster. Opening it was worst decision of my entire life.
Them: Oh. I think that place was the last time I saw you! Pretty crazy, huh?
Me: Yeah, it's been a while.
Them: So, everything is good now, though, right?
Me: No! No it is not, not even remotely!
Them: Oh, ok! great! See you next time! This place is awesome!
Conversations like this are the face-to-face version of someone hitting "Like" on your post about your cat dying.
As foretold by prophecy, you the people have once again declared DNA Lounge to be "Best Nightclub" and Hubba Hubba Revue to be "Best Burlesque" in the 2019 Best of the Bay. Thank you for your support!
Here's what you should be checking out this week and next: the first night of Kristeen Young's three night residency (she's great!) Then there's Hubba Hubba Revue's Witchcraft (did I mention they just won an award? "Nothin' says lovin' like somthin' from the coven!") Then we've got Jessie Evans in Above DNA on the same night, which is inconvenient for me because I'll be seeing both. And then on the 22nd, The Chameleons -- ticket sales are brisk on that one, so don't wait until the last minute.
It's time for The Guardian's Best of the Bay again, so go validate us, ok? Applicable categories include:
- Best Late-Night Restaurant: DNA Pizza
- Best Pizza: DNA Pizza
- Best Overall Bar: DNA Lounge
- Best Performance Space: DNA Lounge
- Best Live Music Venue: DNA Lounge
- Best Nightclub: DNA Lounge
- Best Dance Party: Bootie SF, So Stoked, Wasted, Sequence...
- Best Burlesque: Hubba Hubba Revue
- Best Kids' Event Or Venue: So Stoked
Because a few people asked for them, we put our pizza window posters on sale in the store. These are the 11"x17" versions, and are a paltry $15 each! Get 'em while they're "hot"?
"Someone took another one of our soap dispenser handles as a trophy" is a thing that I have to say on the regular. Whyyyy? Do you put it on the shelf with your collection of empty beer bottles?
It's been a little while since I posted a photo gallery round-up, so here we go...
Some super exciting news! We now have a monthly local live music showcase! This has been made possible by the generosity of a friend of the club who is partly subsidizing these events, thus making it possible for us to pay the bands well and also not lose money on the project.
- Wed, Aug 28: Chaki is a funk alien wizard from Outer Space. With his unique take on electro funk, he has brought his weird stage show to festivals on earth and shared the stage with like minded weirdos Peelander Z, El Vez, Bob Log Iii, Metalachi, Captured By Robots and the Oingo Boingo Dance Party. Rolling Stone said he is "like Prince except not sexy and much fatter".
- Wed, Sep 11: Hot Laundry are a nonstop, maximum garage-soul and roll dance party the likes you haven't seen John Waters' first foray into teenage delinquency. They love P90's, fuzz boxes, cranked tweeds and tremelo on everything! Rock N Roll lets go... Down N Dirty Soul... Stomp/Surf/Beat... and Sonic Delta Blues! They eat fire! They wrestle gators! They lick flag poles!
- Wed, Oct 2: Sick Pigeon is an original punk band formed and rooted in San Francisco's Tenderloin district. The band was built on friendship, frustration, and an undying love for punk music. It could be said that Sick Pigeon is what happens when you mix an Ecuadorian street punk with a giant heart, a Bay Area native born & bred on California punk, and a Midwesterner with a passion for classic punk and an Italian who's a gypsy at heart. In Sick Pigeon, they blend their influences, defying genres and trends, simply doing what feels and sounds good to them; with elements of cumbia, reggae and ska taking the forefront at times. A 4-piece band at it's core, Sick Pigeon often adds a horn section for it's high-energy live sets.
We would love to expand this series to more than one day a month, and that is certainly a possibility.... if you show up! (Or if we find a second sponsor.) Support your local live entertainment!
But wait, that's not all!
They are absolutely fantastic, and you shouldn't miss this.
- If Tori Amos had been raised as a feral child, she might have sounded a bit like Kristeen Young. Like Amos, Young has a broad vocal range and embraces the piano as her musical instrument, but there's a wildly aggressive emotional energy in her work, as well as an intelligently transgressive mindset that marks her as a true original. She has released seven studio albums and has collaborated with Brian Molko of Placebo, Morrissey, David Bowie and Dave Grohl, producer Tony Visconti and the Damned.
Then we've also got:
I know we've been doing a lot of dubstep lately, but remember that we do all kinds of stuff here. Being all over the map is sort of our mission statement. I hope that some of this is to your liking!
And a shorter one from Digi-Key:
It was glorious. Were you there? You really should have been there.
Last week at DNA Lounge I witnessed the most amazing thing! A guy was chewing gum. And he took it out of his mouth, with his hand. And he put it in a trash can. I'm not sure I've ever seen that happen before.
Truly, a gentleman and a scholar.
Be like him.
So, what's new. Well, Live Nation / TicketMaster are up to their usual shit: "Live Nation admits putting tickets straight on the resale market". "Resale market" means that TicketMaster pretended that a bunch of tickets had already been "sold" by moving them directly to their in-house scalping service, making it even less likely that you could get your ticket at face value. And local boys Metallica were fully complicit in this.
Oh yeah, and also: "Ticketmaster fined $4.5 million for deceptive ticketing practices: Canada's Competition Bureau found Ticketmaster inflated their prices by almost 65% using mandatory fees". $4.5 million is nothing to them, of course. Remember, a fine is a price. Business practices like this don't change until a rich white guy goes to prison.
Live Nation, you may recall, sell 80% of all tickets in the US, own 117 venues and exclusively books 33 others, including The Fillmore, The Masonic, Cobb's, Punch Line, and most recently, August Hall (formerly Ruby Skye).
But back down here on Eleventh Street:
You may have noticed that the Crepes a Go-Go truck across the street is gone. Their eviction had been pending "any day now" for about six years, but I guess it finally happened. Back in 2013 the purple warehouse building next door burned down, and the replacement project appears to be getting under way. Here's a rendering of the ridiculous flashbulb that they're planning to build there:
It's going to be office space, not overpriced condos, which is good news. If there's one thing Eleventh Street does not need it's another batch of glass-fronted apartments staring directly at a row of nightclubs and bars across the street.
The development appears to be "ground floor commercial", which almost certainly means that we can expect that storefront space to remain empty in perpetuity, as they do in all such new developments. Just look at all the empty storefronts on Folsom, Mission, King...
You'd think that if you had empty property, the thing to do would be to lower your asking price until someone said yes, thus finding what the market would bear. But the landlords think they'll make more money by playing a long game, and leaving the place empty for years until they find one deep-pockets client -- which is almost always a soulless, characterless franchise of a national chain, not a local business.
Peskin is pushing for a punitive vacancy tax to change this dynamic, and make it be cheaper to have tenants than not, and that sounds like a reasonable idea to me. The penalty would have to be pretty high to be effective, though.
Let's just hope that whatever company moves in there doesn't build their own cafeteria: another hermetically sealed burbclave that doesn't require their employees to ever engage with or patronize their neighborhood.
I recently had lunch with a friend at their office, elsewhere in SOMA, and we ate in the company cafeteria. The whole time all I could think of was that we were in a neighborhood with maybe 30 restaurants within 3 blocks, and this massive cafeteria was single-handedly cutting all of those other businesses' profits in half. There's another proposed ordinance trying to fix that, but it will accomplish nothing: "Watered-Down Version Of SF's Tech Cafeteria Ban Returns To Supes' Agenda".
What kills me is when the workers try to frame these cafeterias as "saving them money", as if they had never heard the phrase "there's no such thing as a free lunch". It's not even a metaphor in this case. You know that "perk" is coming out of your salary, right? It sure isn't coming out of the CEO's, I promise you that. It's like when people get a tax refund and get excited because they think the government just gave them free money. That is not how this works!