14-Oct-2021 (Thu) Wherein a winnar is us!


As foretold by prophecy, you the people have once again declared DNA Lounge to be "Best Nightclub", Bootie Mashup to be "Best Dance Party" and Hubba Hubba Revue to be "Best Burlesque" in the 2021 Best of the Bay.

(Best Dance Party runner-up: Death Guild.)

Thank you again for your support!

If you want to see what the fuss is about, well, this is a good weekend for it! This Saturday at 7pm, Hubba Hubba Revue presents Murder Mansion!

And directly following, and every Saturday, we have Bootie Mashup, this week presenting a tribute to oldies from the 2010s.

I also strongly recommend Turbo Drive on Friday, with Night Club, One True God, and a secret special guest. It will be a great show!

Newsom signed some bills, so this is how it works now, I guess?

  • Parklets are now fully legal, not temporary. Bars and restaurants can continue to serve food and booze outside.

  • Take-out cocktails are only allowed with food, and are limited to two drinks per meal.

  • Delivery cocktails are no longer allowed.

The article also says, "restaurants will still be able to sell bottles of wine and cans of beer for delivery, as those are in the manufacturer's original packaging", so I guess that means that we will still be allowed to sell our DNA Lounge brand liquor bottles to go, since they're sealed from the distillery. One liter equals one drink? Not that we sell very many of those.

We stopped selling our batched, to-go cocktails in mason jars a while ago, because they were just not selling any more. But for those bars and restaurants who were still doing good business with to-go and delivery batched cocktails, this is kind of a kick in the teeth.

Also related, another bill that everyone hoped would make permanent the 15% cap on the delivery apps' extortionate fees, was gutted. Instead of requiring a cap, It just requires "transparency". So now they have to itemize why they are charging you 30%. And I guess you'll feel better about that somehow?

In DNA news:

Attendance has been slowwwwly picking up. Interestingly, it's mostly a younger crowd. Maybe the 30-plus folks are more afraid of Delta than the kids are, who knows.

We did have some antivaxxer idiots show up the other day. It was before doors, and they just stood there yelling at us for a while. We are "sheep", apparently. This was on a night when I understand that there was a sportsball game of some kind, so presumably these were tourists from the Central Valley, the Red State part of California that is still dying in droves.

In other "Get Off Of My Lawn" news, a number of our staff have been noting that "these kids today" just don't know how to behave in public. We know what 18-year-olds are like, but recently they have been, uh, worse. But then someone made a very salient observation: when lockdown began, these 18-year-olds were 16! So, no, they don't know how to behave in public because they've literally never had to before. Can you imagine what it would have been like to spend the last half of high school at home on your couch? They're all homescooled bubble babies!

Halloween Week is almost upon us, and as per tradition, you can get a Five Night Multipass!

This ticket admits one person to seven parties over five nights: Sequence, Star Crash, All Hallow's Eve, Booootie, Technolatry, So Stoked and Death Guild! (Note: one person, five nights. This does not get five people into one party on the same night, or any other combination.)

Other items of note:

  • This year's All Hallow's Eve poster is on sale! Complete your set.

  • I know many of you are sick of wearing masks, but masking is here to stay, maybe for the rest of our lives, so I'm here to tell you that if you want to get some of our fabulous and stylish DNA Lounge Dazzle Face Masks, now is the time, because our inventory is down to like a dozen or so remaining. Our mask sales have dropped off quite a bit, so we probably won't order more. Get them while you can, and remember, each one is unique! The patterns on them are randomized, and guaranteed to prevent the enemy from getting a lock on your heading and range.

  • Have you voted for us in Best of The Bay yet? Voting closes on Monday. Those categories again:

    • Best Takeout: DNA Pizza
    • Best Pizza: DNA Pizza
    • Best Overall Bar: DNA Lounge
    • Best Dance Company: Hubba Hubba Revue
    • Best Theatre Company: Hubba Hubba Revue
    • Best Performance Space: DNA Lounge
    • Best Live Music Venue: DNA Lounge
    • Best Nightclub: DNA Lounge
    • Best Dance Party: Bootie SF, Turbo Drive, Cyberdelia, So Stoked, Wasted, Sequence, Death Guild...
    • Best Burlesque: Hubba Hubba Revue
    and
    • Nightclub trying hardest to keep you alive during a global pandemic: DNA Lounge

    Ok, that last one isn't a real category, but it should be.


Charles Lewis III writes in The Chronicle:

How to have fun in S.F. during COVID without behaving like you're in Florida:

That was until two weeks ago, when I attended Cyberdelia, the DNA Lounge's annual screening of the '90s cult flick "Hackers." I considered it a measured risk. Since the start of the pandemic, both the San Francisco club and owner Jamie Zawinski have been overly cautious about the safety of their clientele.[...] DNA Lounge now has some of the strongest vaccination and mask requirements of any private business in the country -- requiring a physical vaccination card, not an easily manipulated photo.

Little did I know that San Francisco Mayor London Breed had spent the previous night on Sept. 15 having a mask-free, close-quarters good time at the Black Cat in the Tenderloin. Given that her health officer set the city's mask policy, people were understandably pissed to see her not following it. Confronted with her hypocrisy, she took a hard-line stance against the "fun police" and their silly idea that someone who sets policy is subject to it.

That's the kind of reaction we'd expect from the governors of Texas or Florida, not the mayor of San Francisco.

How the hell can we expect people to respect COVID safety protocols when those who set the rules are the ones who refuse to follow them? Mandates may change but mask wearing is going to be with us for a while. We can't expect all businesses, schools or other venues to be like the DNA Lounge, which decided not to wait for city or state guidance to issue its own mask and vaccination requirements. [...]

Unbeknownst to me, San Francisco writer Violet Blue was also at Cyberdelia, and she wrote about the immeasurable comfort and joy of knowing you're safe around people who all had to meet those same requirements you did.

We all deserve that. For someone in a public position of power and influence to skirt those rules means they think they're better than the very people they're meant to serve.

Relatedly, someone complained to SFDPH about our vaccination policies, and a couple days ago they emailed us saying, "The Health Order provides a number of options for patrons to use to show proof of vaccination, but our understanding is that your policy does not include all of them."

Yeah, that's right, because that Health Order says that taking a photo of someone else's vaccination card and scribbling your name and birthday on it in Comic Sans counts as proof of vaccination.

Or, as one of our managers more politely replied to them,

We require a physical vaccination card or a verifiable QR code, in conjunction with a valid government ID in order to enter our venue at this time. [...] We feel that, given the inherent risks involved in the prolonged indoor exposure at night clubs and bars, anything less than our current policy would be the same as just allowing unvaccinated patrons inside.

I am, however, glad that you reached out, because I am particularly concerned about the absolute lack of vaccination verification occurring at other bars in San Francisco at the moment. As I'm sure you're aware if you've been out anywhere, it appears that nobody is even scanning QR codes, let alone actually verifying cards (or photos of cards) against physical IDs. If you have the time to pursue individual business' enforcement policies I would encourage you to look into it. I know we're all invested in limiting the spread of Covid and the vaccination requirement sure is pointless if it's not actually being enforced.

You will be unsurprised to learn that DPH's reply did not address that second paragraph.

Readers, I'd love to know what your experience been with vaccination checks, or lack thereof, at other venues in town. And whether what they're doing made you feel more safe, or less. More likely to return, or less. Reply in the comments!

Here, I'll start:

At the Folsom Street Fair last weekend, here's how it went at the 11th and Harrison gate: I pulled up my CA DPH QR code on my phone and showed it to the person doing the check. They looked at for less than a second, from about 5 feet away, and waved me through. Not only were they too far away to even see what I was showing them on my phone, they didn't ask for ID to see if it was my vaccination in the first place!

I'm told that at other gates, there were effectively two lines: one for people voluntarily going through this security theatre, and another for the people who just barreled through unchallenged.

Ok, first of all, please vote NO on the stupid Republican recall of Newsom. I am no Newsom fan, but if the recall succeeds we're going to have a batshit insane horse-paste MAGA radio host who doesn't believe in vaccines in charge of the world's 5th largest economy. And that would be bad, mmmkay?

Apparently only 24% of the mailed ballots have been returned. It's sitting right there on your desk. Vote NO, mail it. The ballot only has two questions on it, and the second one doesn't matter.

Second!

It's Best of the Bay time again. Vote for us! Categories for your consideration:

  • Best Takeout: DNA Pizza
  • Best Pizza: DNA Pizza
  • Best Overall Bar: DNA Lounge
  • Best Dance Company: Hubba Hubba Revue
  • Best Theatre Company: Hubba Hubba Revue
  • Best Performance Space: DNA Lounge
  • Best Live Music Venue: DNA Lounge
  • Best Nightclub: DNA Lounge
  • Best Dance Party: Bootie SF, Turbo Drive, Cyberdelia, So Stoked, Wasted, Sequence, Death Guild...
  • Best Burlesque: Hubba Hubba Revue
and
  • Nightclub trying hardest to keep you alive during a global pandemic: DNA Lounge

Ok, that last one isn't a real category, but it should be.

Attendance is still way down, and that seems to be city-wide, not just us.

There have also been a lot of "lineup changes" due to DJs and bands being unvaccinated -- again, not just us: whole tours being cancelled because now they can't play in California. Several times we've had an email exchange with an agent: "Everyone's vaccinated, right?" A week of silence. "Everyone's vaccinated, right?" And repeat. Then the day before the show, "Soooo, it turns out..."

So that's great.

But as for attendees: our impression has been that most of our unvaccinated customers were not horse-paste MAGA lunatics, but were merely lazy and inconsiderate. They didn't particularly oppose getting vaccinated, they just hadn't bothered. But once it inconvenienced them personally, suddenly they were really interested in getting that shot.

A full year of lockdown, six months of wide vaccine availability, and almost 700,000 dead in the US alone didn't do it, but not being able to go see a DJ was the final straw. Ok, I'll take it.

So if these folks only made their first vaccination appointment after they were denied entry to a bar, how long until they're fully vaccinated and we can take their money again?

  • July 30th: DNA Lounge started requiring proof of vaccination.
  • August 6th or 13th: Most other clubs did, too.
  • August 20th: It became legally required.

If you get one of the two-shot vaccinations, you need three or four weeks between shots, and you are not fully vaccinated for two more weeks. J&J is two weeks total, but most vaccination sites are using the two shot versions.

So if these folks first got turned away at the door on the weekend of July 30th, and got their first shot that week, they'll be fully vaccinated by the weekend of September 17th.

But maybe they first got turned away from a club on Aug 20th instead, and then it most likely took them another week or two before they decided that this was not a fluke and they really did need to take care of their problem if they ever wanted to party again. That puts us at October 1st.

So we've got at least another month of this crap to put up with.

On a related note, I've been hearing persistent anecdotes that many SF bars are clubs are being extremely lax about checking vaccination status, and that several of the larger dance clubs aren't checking at all. To those people I say: shame on you. Do you not want this to be over??

Sigh.

As far as indoor-masking compliance, people have been getting a lot better about it. We still constantly have to nag them, though. Unsurprisingly, mask compliance at So Stoked is pretty much 100% (it was a part of the raver costume already). At the dubstep parties it's a lot lower, and at Bootie it's like "Mask? What is mask, I have not heard this word." We're getting there, though.

Yo, check it. Friday, Sep 17. CYBERDELIA!

It's the 26th Anniversary of HACKERS, so it's that time again!

  • A screening of Hackers at 7pm;
  • Hackers costume contest at 10:30pm;
  • Head-to-head Wipeout XL competition throughout the night;
  • Skate ramps! Rollerblades welcome!

Featuring the Big Beat and Techno stylings of Synthetix, G.A.M.M.A., Kidhack, Tripp (and his Big Ass Touchscreen) and in Above DNA, Joey Beltram and more!

We're getting a bit of a late start on the promo for this one, and unlike previous editions of this party, there's no computer security conference in town on the same week for us to piggyback on, and oh yeah, global pandemic. So please do what you can to spread the word!

Oh, did someone say flu shot?

Reserved seating for the movie is extremely limited, so get your tickets now...

As we speak, I am slaving over the hot floppy drive, burning disks and stickering them for the now-traditional extremely overpriced and overengineered Cyberdelia Floppy Disk Flyers. The things I do for you people.

Remember! You can help us keep our costs down by participating in our FLOPPY DISK AMNESTY PROGRAM! That's right, surrender your used 3.5" floppies at the club and through the magic of transubstantiation I will convert them into sweet-ass Cyberdelia promo material.

And this lovely poster is for sale!

24-Aug-2021 (Tue) Wherein we've got photos

Hey, how about a photo round-up post? I haven't done one of those in like a year and a half. Here are most of our galleries from July and August. It's kind of a lot!

Sequence: Monxx
Moombahton y Reggaeton
Street Fever
Secret Psychedelica
WAP
Turbo Drive: Destryur

Hubba Hubba
Secret Psychedelica
Pow x9
Star Crash: Great Highway + Ryan Flynn + Ponyskull
So Stoked: Summer of Love
Underground Sessions

Hobo Johnson
FSTVS: Lick
Hubba Hubba: Summer Camp
Glüme + Orion + Desire
Turbo Drive: Tonebox + Prxzm
Hoodslam
I particularly enjoy these time-lapse videos of the wrestling ring being set up and torn down:


We had a show booked for next week with Flotsam and Jetsam, Suburban Paranoia and Rage of War, and then we learn that several members of Flotsam and Jetsam are unvaccinated. That's right, they are on tour, traveling through who-knows-what COVID-19 hotspot hellholes, and they're not vaccinated.

But wait, the story gets stupider.

We ask their agent, "So, are they planning on getting vaccinated?" He says he's not sure. Which means we can't even reschedule the show for a later date when they have their shit together, we have to just cancel. Great.

So then after cancelling, we also learn that one of the members of Suburban Paranoia was unvaccinated "because his doctor recommended against it". Uh huh.

Meanwhile, support act Rage of War was talking shit about their own show on Facebook, saying that our vax policy was going to "kill the turnout" and that "at least people will 'feel' safe..... right lmfao"

And then...

Wait for it...

Now one of the members of Rage of War has been hospitalized with COVID-19.

In the Before Times I probably would have been feeling some kind of schadenfreude about this, but I don't. It's just tragic and sad and stupid and completely avoidable and I want it to stop!

If you want to feel terrible about the state of the world, just read the comments on this Blabbermouth article about the cancellation. Apparently it's a "poison jab" and we're "commie libturds" when we're not "nazis". Good to know that that the metal community still has that same old MAGA problem. Good job everybody.

We have another metal show coming up tomorrow, with Lich King, and as far as I know, everyone involved is vaccinated. So, fingers crossed on that. But that's only after we had to kick Helsott off of that bill for being unvaccinated. They tell us that their name means "Fatal Illness" in Old Norse, and while I appreciate their commitment to the bit -- guys, you're taking it too far.

By the way, before you comment here telling me to "do my own research" about drinking bleach or whatever, let me remind you that as of yesterday it is the law that all customers, performers and staff be vaccinated.

That had already been our policy for some time. It just took the law a while to catch up. But at least now I get to stop arguing about it.

(I've posted most of this before over the years, but it's time for some updates.)


So you're performing at DNA Lounge, or booking a show here. Great! We want people to come to the show. To accomplish that, we want to tell people who are unfamiliar with the artists why they should attend.

For that, we need blurbs.

Here are the DNA Lounge Rules For Writing a Blurb That Does Not Suck:

The target audience of these blurbs is a potential customer who is not familiar with the artist, and who is trying to decide whether they would enjoy this show.

So please do include things like:

  1. What genre of music do they play?
  2. How would one describe their music? Quotes from reviews in the press are great here. Failing that, influences or other performers that they sound like.
  3. Names of previous projects, if any.
  4. If there's something special about their stage show or instrumentation, mention that. (People want to have some sense of, "Am I going to see a full band, or some guy standing behind a laptop?")

Things that are OK to include, but that we feel are not like to cause someone to attend the show, are:

  1. Where are they from,
  2. What other bands have they played with recently;
  3. Did someone say something nice about their latest album.

If you have answered at least questions 1-3 in paragraph form, you will have written a decent blurb. Congratulations!

Things that you should not include in a blurb are:

  1. That they are performing at DNA Lounge;
  2. The date that they are performing at DNA Lounge;
  3. Also performing are "X, Y and Z" or "On tour with X, Y and Z".
  4. "Don't miss this great show", "be there or be square", "please please please attend", etc., etc.

We've already established that they're playing here, on what date, with whom, and it should go without saying that we'd like people to show up. Don't just repeat all of that in sentence-form.

Also please omit:

  1. They have been remixed by XYZ;
  2. They have "caught the attention of" XYZ;
  3. They were played on radio station XYZ;
  4. Last year they toured with XYZ;
  5. They have ten zillion streaming plays;
  6. They won an award (unless it's a Grammy or something).

Tell people why they will like them, not a list of other people who like them.

Nobody in the history of ever has said to themselves, "Well I wasn't going to come to that show, but now that I have read that they have ten zillion streams, I have changed my mind."

And to illustrate how this can all go wrong, here are some egregious examples of blurbs that we have been sent, mildly censored to protect the guilty. These are all terrible in that they do not communicate anything that would make someone attend the show if they weren't already planning to.

If your blurb sounds like one of these, your blurb is bad and you should feel bad.

  1. The "Come to this party, it will party more than any party has partied" blurb:

    Join us on DATE at DNA Lounge for PARTY, featuring all the new rising Bay Area talent! This month come check out up and coming dubstep sensation SOMEONE! Also joining us will be SOMEONE ELSE and many other local artists that are ready to lay down some heavy bass lines and fat beats.

  2. The "I will assert greatness without saying anything" blurb:

    Three Bay Area GENRE bands, A, B and C, come together under one roof at DNA Lounge for an incredible showcase on Thursday, SOME DATE. Expanding the beautiful realm between SOME GENRES, these hand-picked bands push the boundaries of buzz bands right through to the bigger picture: great indie music, created by lovers of great indie music.

  3. The "appeal to authority" blurb:

    BAND is the name of CITY's AGE-year-old producer, REAL NAME. NAME works out of his bedroom creating his unique brand of music. His music has been featured on LONG LIST OF WEB SITES YOU DON'T READ and many more. His breakout album has gained worldwide praise and attention from superstars like THREE FAMOUS PEOPLE and many more. Don't miss this rare showcase of raw talent!

  4. The "I plagiarized this directly from Wikipedia" blurb:

    BAND is an American GENRE band that was formed in CITY in YEAR.

    Yeah, I'm gonna stop you right there. The Wikipedia house style is intentionally dry and stultifyingly boring, and while it may communicate certain facts, it will not convince anyone to come to a show.

  5. This one's evocative, I guess, in that I can actually smell the dirty scalp and ball-sweat and skunk-weed just from reading it:

    DUDE has been in the right place at the right time. The avid skater met esteemed workaholic producers WHO? and WHO? at a 2007 PARTY in CITY and later became immersed in CITY'S weekly hot spot CLUB, witnessing the SOME DJs tear it up on the regular. An INJURY forced DUDE to take a year off from skating, which allowed him to focus on his music. He eventually ended up rooming with WHO? and WHO?, absorbing the rampaging, wonkily funky sounds he heard in his living space and then peace-ing them out into more blissful configurations.

  6. The "exhaustive timeline and list of members" blurb:

    BAND was founded by DUDE and OTHER DUDE in 2004 as an outlet for experimenting with electronic music. With the addition of THIRD DUDE in 2005, BAND released their first album WHATEVER on the WHO CARES label in 2006. After several weeks of topping SOME INDUSTRY CHART YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF and a handful of shows in the U.S. and Mexico, BAND went on a long hiatus while DUDE starting putting together material that would advance and not copy other electronic music. In 2010 ANOTHER DUDE joined BAND and the genre-bending album WHATEVER was written and conceived. Upon the release of THAT AGAIN in 2011 BAND divided audiences and critics.

    ...and it goes on like this for three more paragraphs.

In summary, blurbs are a land of contrasts. It is difficult to write a good one. Writing about music is hard. Writing about yourself can be even harder. But getting it right will help the shows attract new fans and succeed, so you gotta do it.