I've been playing around with Mozilla some more (making another attempt at not getting left behind by the glacial march of so-called progress) and I learned how to make a tab for that sidebar dingus they've strapped onto the left side of the window. So now you can have a sidebar tab that shows the upcoming DNA Lounge calendar, check it out. I don't actually use sidebars myself, so I don't know if this is even remotely useful, but it is kinda neat.
Mozilla 0.9.9 seems fairly stable in comparison to Netscape 4.78. I'd install it on the kiosks and see how that worked out, except that we've learned first-hand that people get really confused if all three of the buttons on the kiosk trackballs don't all do the same thing. And in Mozilla, there is no way to rebind the mouse buttons. I entered a bug report about this, so maybe they'll fix it someday. Until then, the kiosks still need to stay with Netscape 4.x.
Our infoline is now being read by our pet robot, check it out: 415-626-1409. I think it sounds mostly decent, though it could be better. If any of you have experience with Festival and have any tips on how to make it be more intelligible, let me know...
I also made a favicon.ico for the DNA site, which you should be able to see in the URL field in Mozilla, or in MSIE if you add a bookmark. It's hard making anything recognizable at 16x16!
Well, this has been an interesting week...
I had a thousand words written about all the craziness that happened and why, and it's a really good story, and though it's killing me not to publish it, the Studio Z folks might not appreciate me writing about it here. It really is their story, not ours.
Suffice it to say that Things Went Badly at the all-ages hip-hop show down at the other end of the block last friday, and the night reached its crescendo when the police shut down 11th Street between Folsom and Harrison, and corralled an angry group of adolescent gangstas down the block. All the clubs had to lock their doors lest anyone get swept away in the tide.
And then the police were shot at. Which is never good.
I'm really worried about Studio Z; we're trying to help them out as much as we can, but their tribulations are a horrible thing to see -- almost like watching an infant tottering toward a porcupine.
There are some photos of the Bad Manners show up. That was a really fun show! I thoroughly enjoyed it, they put on an awesome performance. And I must admit, I've always been pretty ambivalent about Ska. That's the sign of a great band, when you can have a great time watching their show without really knowing their material or genre.
Have you noticed the disproportionate number of bands we've had here so far that are fronted by bald men? It's kind of strange: by my count, 40% of the bands who have been on our stage have had bald singers. And we haven't even done any punk shows!
I made a new flyer for next month's CODE events, too. I mention this since a few people have asked, and seemed to find the answer funny: yes, I make them using Linux. Mostly they have been photos of my mannequin collection wearing funny headgear and then edge-detected and otherwise messed with using The GIMP. Gimp is roughly equivalent in functionality to Photoshop 3, so it's plenty good enough for my purposes. The biggest problem is that its text handling kind of sucks. The GDynText plugin is just barely usable, though it tends to make me scream for its author's blood at least three times during the composition of each flyer.
Still, the biggest chunk of my website-maintenance time is keeping the flyer and the photo gallery pages up to date. Updating the calendar text is all pretty well automated, but I always end up having to scale flyer images, or add borders, or re-compress them so that they aren't 500k each, or something. And going through all the photos for the galleries, deciding which ones to keep, and adjusting the levels takes forever... Especially when the photos were taken on film instead of digitally: scanning photos sucks.
Oh, and we're also giving away free earplugs at coat-check now. Most clubs charge a couple of bucks for them, but we're generous, so don't abuse it, ok? Here's the part where someone from the peanut gallery sends me mail saying "well why don't you just turn the volume down instead?" Believe me, we try, but the problem is that all the promoters and DJs we work with are either A: already deaf or B: insane. I don't understand it, apparently there's some kind of prestige thing with making the customers bleed from the ears. I'm sure they all believe that the customers want it even louder. So, you know, if you think it's too loud, don't tell us -- we're with you! Tell the event promoters. Maybe they'll believe you.
We added some more speakers to the lounge yesterday (oh, the irony!) But actually, this will hopefully let us keep the volume lower in there, while having it sound better. It used to be that the only speakers in the lounge were in the dance floor area pointed in, but we added a few small speakers in the L-shaped seating area, in the pepto room, and by the doors. This helps a lot with bleed from the main room, and makes it so that you don't have to blast the music on the dance floor in order to make it be audible in the rest of the room. It's going to take a few days to find the right volume for those fills to make it so that it sounds good, but you can still have a conversation up there.
We just booked another live show: KMFDM, PIG, and Kidneythieves on Monday, June 3! I'm really looking forward to that. Pig has been a favorite for a long time, but I've never seen him live. Apparently he's playing with KMFDM rather than as a separate performance.
There have also been some more lineup changes for next week's extra noisy CODE -- it seems like we're adding DJs every couple of days. Sounds like it ought to be a fun night! This "Sonic Noise Dojo" thing sounds really cool, I gather the way it's going to work is one of the competitors will make some music, then the other will sample it, mess it up, and play it back, until someone's head explodes.
Last thursday, after closing, some drunken shithead managed to drive his truck over three or four staff motorcycles parked out front. This is no mere side-swipe I'm talking about here. Fortunately, he was identified, after he had driven home, but damn.
And awful though it is, I would be remiss in my journalistic duties if I let this next item go by unmentioned, so... In the "scarring trauma for everyone involved" department, last night one of our floor folks had to clean up our most horrific bathroom mess to date... a miscarriage. I'll spare you the details.
Tomorrow (May 1) is Internet Radio Blackout Day.
Lots of Internet radio stations are going silent tomorrow to build awareness of the massive shaft that is the CARP decision. Read more about it on saveinternetradio.org, kurthanson.com, and of course dnalounge.com. Write your congresscritters, etc etc, and if you run a webcast, consider replacing the music with a PSA tomorrow. I am.