Devour the Day recorded this cover of "On the Road Again" as a promo for NIVA and Save Our Stages, featuring lots and lots of locked-down venues that won't make it out of this pandemic without your help. (DNA Lounge is in there!)
Please contact your representatives and beg them to support the Save Our Stages Act and the RESTART Act.
There are a couple of pieces of legislation that could do a lot to help ensure that DNA Lounge and venues like ours will still exist after the pandemic. Congress is about to go on vacation again in a week, and we need you to hound them into passing this legislation before they take off.
Please reach out to your local California legislators (in San Francisco that's Chiu and Wiener) and Senators Feinstein and Harris through email and social media to support live music venues and the future of music.
You can also use the form at saveourstages.com (but it's not obvious to me who that goes to).
The Save Our Stages Act (S.4258 / H.R.7806), introduced by Senators Cornyn and Klobuchar and Representatives Welch and Williams, and the RESTART Act (S.3814 / H.R.7481), introduced by Senators Bennet and Young and Representatives Golden and Kelly, provide vital support for independent venues that have lost nearly 100% of their revenue since the pandemic began in March. These venues will remain closed well into 2021 due to safety concerns posed by large gatherings. These institutions draw most of their revenue from acts that tour the United States, and until it's safe to do so en masse, it won't be possible for venues to bring back their staff. 90% of the 2,400 national members of NIVA have stated that they will be forced to close their doors if the shutdown lasts 6 months or more and they do not get meaningful support from Congress.
Without support from Congress these community anchors WILL close, and we'll be left to ask whether we did our part to save them.
We are asking our media friends to rally behind this movement and spread the word this coming Monday August 3rd. The timing is vital. Congress goes on break, and is rushing to complete its next relief bill, and independent venues MUST be included. These mom and pop entrepreneurs are among the hardest hit by a pandemic: first to close and will be among the last to re-open. There's no takeout version of concerts. Drive-ins and virtual streaming shows don't begin to put our people back to work. The gig economy has been shuttered, and many thousands of our friends are at home, hoping the government keeps them fed while our industry tries to figure out what's next.
Last week there was an experiment in London to do a socially-distanced live concert, and it proved that none of us can operate that way. It's going to be a very long time before we can have concerts again.
BBC: Frank Turner's socially distanced trial gig 'not a success'
Folk rocker Frank Turner played to a socially-distanced audience at London's Clapham Grand on Tuesday. Only 200 people attended, compared to the venue's normal capacity of 1,250.
Venue manager Ally Wolf said the government-backed pilot was not financially viable for venues. "It can't be the future for live music, it can't be the future for venues," he said, noting that the show did not make enough money to cover the venue's operating costs, even before the performer's fee was taken into account. [...]
Wolf said that, while Turner's performance was "great" and it was nice to see an audience back inside the venue, he was not about to get "caught up in the jubilation of finally being able to put on a show".
He said the pilot was "not a financial model that the industry can remotely rely upon to get to be sustainable" and would be particularly damaging for smaller venues.
So our aims with the show were threefold. Firstly, to demonstrate willingness to try. The live music industry is full of people who are triers, problem-solvers, go-getters, by its ver nature. We have to show that we're game to find a solution to the problem posed by the pandemic. Secondly, we wanted to show that both performers and audience could successfully abide by the restrictions posited by the powers-that-be (in which we were successful -- more on that shortly).
But thirdly, in a weird way, we wanted to show that this specific set-up doesn't work.
The Grand was at less than 20% of capacity (around 200 people), but Ally had to double the number of staff working, to meet all the guidelines. There was no talent spend (I didn't get paid), and no advertising spend (the show sold out pretty much straight away), and yet it still lost money. And the Grand is a versatile space, as an old music hall, in a way that many independent venues are not. We needed to show that this isn't a complete solution or a workable model, that either restrictions need to change or more funding is required; essentially that fight is far from over. [...]
This is not the start of a series of shows like this -- that'd bankrupt everyone involved. But it was, as I say, a gesture of cooperation, an attempt to feel out the situation with an eye to taking steps in a better direction. But most of all it was a fucking GIG. I have missed that, for sure. It turns out, live music really, really matters.
The "Save Our Stages" act would ensure that relief funds only go to small, independent venue operators, promoters and talent reps. The grant amounts would be the lesser of either 45% of a business' operation costs from 2019 or $12 million. Those that receive grants would be able to use the money to cover costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as pay for rent, utilities, mortgages, personal protective equipment, maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, and expenses that would allow venues to meet local and federal social distancing guidelines. [...]
In a statement, the National Independent Venue Association hailed the "Save Our Stages" act. "While existing government assistance programs have helped other industries, they weren't tailored to meet the needs of small businesses like ours that have zero revenue, enormous overhead and no visibility into when we can fully re-open," said Adam Hartke, the co-chair of the organization's advocacy committee. "The Save Our Stages Act will provide the assistance we need to get through the shutdown until we can reopen safely and once again become the economic generators for our communities that we've always been."
That sounds pretty good. Let's hope this goes through, and it doesn't end up getting gamed like the Payroll Protection Program was, where a fund intended for small businesses got gobbled up by national and multinational chains instead.
There's only one way for there to still be a bar and nightclub industry once the pandemic is over, and that's press pause on the whole industry until it's safe for us to re-open. But it's not "pressing pause" if we have no income but still have expenses.
The Kleptocracy keeps trying and failing to figure out how to reopen businesses that can't be open during a plague. The only way to end this is to pay those businesses, and everyone else, to not work until the plague is over. There is no other solution.
Just think: if nine out of ten people had worn masks in April, we might be on our way out of this by now, instead of sinking deeper and deeper in.
[In the meantime, please enjoy our webcasts: coming up tonight we've got Star Crash with exclusive live performances; tomorrow we have Turbo Drive DJs live from our main stage; and next Wednesday, Apothecary Raree, featuring live burlesque and performances from Above DNA!
These shows are made possible solely by your generous donations.
The Russian troll farms have weaponized unmedicated schizophrenia in their attempt to... what? Destroy the entire concept of truth or consensus reality? I'm not even sure any more. Anyway, when you turn the crank on that chaos machine, this is the sausage that comes out:
Also, wear a mask, take your meds, delete your Facebook.
Those are my top four recommendations.
Our Deluxe Mask is a screen-printed, hand-made cotton twill mask with built-in over-the-nose wire (to keep your glasses from fogging up) and adjustable elastic ear straps -- and these masks glow in the dark!
(Well, to be honest, the glow isn't nearly as strong as it is on our t-shirts. But if you charge the masks up under a blacklight, they continue to glow for quite some time!)
The Deluxe Masks are a bit more expensive, at $25 each, but the craftsmanship is outstanding.
We currently have both the Deluxe Mask and the Standard Mask in stock, so get yours today!
(You are wearing a mask every time you leave the house, right? Right?)
Uber just bought Postmates. Consequently, I'm closing the DNA Pizza Postmates account. And I encourage you to close your Postmates account as well.
There are almost innumerable reasons to not do business with Uber, but let's start with: it is literally blood money:
- Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman owns more than 10% of Uber, at over $3.5 billion of investment.
- The CIA concluded that bin Salman personally ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He was dismembered with a bone saw while still alive, beheaded, and had his fingers cut off within minutes of walking into a Saudi embassy.
- Even after Prince Bonesaw ordered the murder of a journalist, Uber founder and billionaire sociopath Travis Kalanick (who still owns 8.5% of Uber, after being fired as CEO) took another $400 million from the Saudis for another bullshit gig-economy con-job called "Cloud Kitchens" where now he's trying to dismember the restaurant industry and sell off the parts.
Here's Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi saying of bin Salman, "Who among us hasn't dismembered someone with a bone saw? Mistakes were made."
I think that government said that they made a mistake. It's a serious mistake. We've made mistakes too, right, with self-driving... So I think that people make mistakes. It doesn't mean that they can never be forgiven.
If, after knowing this, you would ever, ever give money to Uber... what is wrong with you? What would it take?
But let's keep going, shall we?
- Here's Uber admitting, in their IPO documents, that to succeed, they need to destroy public transit:
In a document filed with the SEC, Uber reports that it seeks, as part of its growth strategy, not just to get people out of private cars but to get them off public buses and trains. Those public services would be replaced by Uber Buses [...]
Uber is telling Wall Street that its future as a company may depend on its ability to convince people to take private cars and buses instead of public transit, starving transit and ultimately forcing everyone to pay Uber to get around.
- Here's video of Uber subsidiary Jump shredding thousands of electric bikes, because "Landfill Capitalism" means that they don't need to give a shit about the environment.
- Here's Kalanick collaborating on Trump's "Advisory Council" -- right up until 200,000 customers closed their accounts in protest.
- Here's Uber brazenly and illegally testing self-driving cars on public streets in SF.
- Here's Uber literally getting away with murder, after killing someone with one of their self-driving car tests.
- Here's Uber scabbing the deportation protests in 2017.
- Here's Uber threatening to fire employees for complaining to HR about sexual hasrassment.
- Here's Uber running a smear campaign against the employee they fired for going public with that.
- Here's Uber's unfixable tech-bro culture.
- Here's Uber's lack of background checks and accountability for their contractors. Who are so very rapey.
- Here's an Uber promotion letting you request "Hot Chick" drivers.
So that's who Postmates is now. Do you want to enrich them?
That "Cloud Kitchens" enterprise is a dystopian horror show, too. It means that Kalanick and the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund own the first part of restaurant take-out -- the menu and online ordering; they own the third part -- delivery; and now they also own the second part -- actually making the food. The "restaurant", at that point, is just a brand logo. Their sweatshops make the same food for everybody and paste whatever name on it. The restaurant isn't even a franchise at that point. It's a sticker.
Taking this stand is probably going to cost us a big chunk of our (small, and dwindling) weekly delivery business, but enough is enough.
You can still find us on the other delivery services. But, as always, it's better for everyone if you call us directly at 415-626-0166 for pick-up. That way we don't have to turn over a full 15% of the order price to these middlemen.
Oh yeah, please join our Patreon.
Order them on our merch page!
My apologies to those of you who had been waiting for your mask orders. Those went out yesterday and today.
The mask vendor I had been using is, it turns out, terrible, slow, and best of all, unresponsive. I've found a new vendor who is none of those things and is also local, and that's who we'll be using in the future, once this batch runs out. (Actually a few of you got the "new style" masks with your order already, because those arrived first even though I ordered them much later!)
Now that we're caught up, I'm going to do some different styles of masks, too: one with a dazzle pattern, one with the "DNA Lounge COVID-19 biohazard" logo, and a Turbo Drive logo. Any other suggestions you'd be interested in purchasing?
During this interminable lockdown, we've been doing a lot of repairs and improvements inside the club. Maybe someday we'll be allowed to let you back inside and show it to you.
Anyway, we were thinking that now is a good time to have someone paint some murals to liven up some of our blank walls. We've got a number of good spots for it: the walls on the balcony, next to and across from coat check; the lounge wall behind the DJ booth; the wall under the stairs where the satellite bar used to be; the green room; the restrooms; the pizza hallway; and maybe others I haven't thought of. We don't have anything very specific in mind, but we do have a lot of blank space.
Do you paint big murals? Let's talk. This is a paying gig.
We were going to paint the boarded-up pizza window to look like a floppy disk, but then someone put this George Floyd stencil on it, so, that can stay.
So, since none of the clubs are open, you figured you'd just DJ on Twitch, huh?
<Nelson-voice> "Haaa, ha."
Twitch streamers are getting blindsided by years-old copyright notices
The claimant was listed as the RIAA, and the infringing material was mostly recorded clips of old live broadcasts. And that's a problem because it's stated very clearly in the Twitch terms of service that if your account is dinged with three of these strikes, you get permabanned from Twitch.
The clips themselves were sometimes years old, too, which is a bigger headache because streamers who have been on the platform long enough have accumulated tons of these and now have a backlog rights holders can mine to file takedowns. Twitch doesn't have the tools yet to let creators bulk delete clips, let alone sift through hundreds at a time that may or may not contain copyright infringing content.
This is why we don't use Twitch, people.
See, Twitch used to be called Justin.TV, and for several years we used them as our video streaming host, because the price was right (free). But then they "pivoted" their business from "stream anything" to "stream video games only" and became Twitch. And on the day they announced that, they shut down Justin.TV to anything that wasn't gaming, leaving us and all of their other users in the lurch. Literally less than 24 hours notice.
Well, a few years later, they decided to expand from "only games" back to "pretty much anything", and they came sniffing around DNA Lounge again. "Hey, we'd love to have your Compelling Content our our site. Of course we're going to put pop-up ads all over your shit, and by the way, you can't ever webcast a burlesque show, because we're a Family Friendly Company."
Photorealistic in-game murder, sure. A pastie? Hey now, think about the children.
Twitch's terms of service now explicitly exclude DJ sets, karaoke, lip-sync, and even cover songs. So that's pretty much the end of that.
So Twitch was already not-to-be-trusted, for sure, but the real problem here is that the Content Mafia has bullied the tech industry (and by tech industry I mean Google, because nobody else matters) into making the process of asserting copyright infringement trivial, fast, and easy to automate; while making the process of making an appeal on the grounds of Fair Use, or any other reason, damned near impossible.
Everything is terrible, is what I'm saying, and getting worse.
Anyway, are you looking to put together a streaming show? DNA Lounge has the facilities and infrastructure for it. Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our recently-upgraded webcast regime has been working out reasonably well, though I am continuously frustrated at how flaky OBS is. Sometimes it just decides to stop streaming the video's audio track until it is restarted, even though the audio is showing up on its in-app level meters. How very.
Maaaaaybe this is because the computers running it are a little underpowered. Do you have a Mac Mini lying around that you don't need any more? We can always give those a good home. For the webcast, a 2018-vintage Mini or two would be super helpful, but we can find a use for anything 2010 or later. We end up using them for all kinds of things.
I made a "Fancy-Ass Whiskey Sour" for DNA Lounge (order it by name), and it has a fun home component if you wish: It's made to take an egg white for foam and smoothness.
Here's everything you need to know in 40 seconds.
Ingredients: Buffalo Trace, Saint Germain, brown sugar simple syrup, lemon, orange essence, and a dash of Angostura Bitters.
If you wish to tip your bartenders, Venmo @Lisa-Hyde-23.
Doesn't that look delicious? Order one for delivery right now!