Photos from the See Colin Slash / Black Snake Moan / Control Theory show are up now.

Man, these nightclub-industry trade magazines are hilarious. Here's a typical lead-in to one of the articles: "From the basic to the bizarre, from wet t-shirt contests to mud wrestling, nightclub and bar promotions have become as necessary blah blah blah." It seems like the notion of "nightclub" described in these rags are the stereotypical Miami/Vegas variety, and even the most mainstream San Francisco clubs, like Ruby Skye, would be considered "alternative" in most other big cities. Which is kind of a horrible thought.

Like fashion magazines, these trade rags exist solely for the ads (selling ID scanners, inventory control systems, etc.) so the articles are pretty vaccuous. But I can't decide whether you're really just not expected to read the articles at all, or whether they're indicative of the fact that most people who run clubs couldn't find their ass with both hands. "Grab a pen and read on for key steps to sizzling, seasonal success," the article emplores, then goes on to list the bulletted paragraphs: plan ahead; determine specifics; set measurable objectives; etc.

We almost got sucked in by one of the ads for a late-night-infomercial-style gadget, though: it was a lime slicer: two pieces of solid plastic with some blades in it: put in a lime, push, done. It looked very handy, and a lot faster/safer than the old fashioned way. No price was listed in the ad, but it looked like it should be around $10, meaning they probably charge $30, right? Nope! $100! And $40 for replacement blades!

Last night, CODE resident Shane was the victim of every dj's nightmare: some shithead stole more than a hundred of his records as he was packing up his car. He has a page with some details on his site, so if you hear anything that might help him get his stuff back, do let him know...

False alarm!

It turns out that one of the other DJs walked off with Shane's bag by mistake, so he has his records back! Apparently the guy didn't even notice that he had a bunch of records that weren't his: Shane only figured it out when we spent an hour or two paging through 17G of webcam stills from the last couple hours of thursday night. Shane spotted a couple of shots of him packing up: one that showed Shane, the other DJ, and Shane's bag; then the next in which both the other DJ and the bag were no longer there. "Computer: enhance 34 to 46. Pull back. Track 45 left. Stop. Enhance 15 to 23. Give me a hard copy right there."

The Goldie show tonight was good. We were worried for a while about whether he was going to make it: he got hung up at an airport in Phoenix, apparently, and didn't make it to the club until after 1AM.

I really liked the records he was playing: very dark and menacing stuff. But the problem I have with a lot of jungle and drum-and-bass is that while I really, really like the music, I just cannot stand MCs, which so many d&b DJs feel the need to include. I was able to ignore them for a while, but it doesn't take long to reach the point where I'm thinking "will you please just shut up so I can hear the music." Especially since MCs always seem to be the sorts of logorrheic guys who just can't fathom letting 30 seconds go by without filling it with their voice. "Oh my god! Goldie y'all!" Yeah, we can see that. "Here comes another record!" Yeah, we can see that too. Also they always rap in exactly the same rhythm on every song, making all the songs indistinguishable. I finally left when I couldn't even perceive the music any more, just the MCs.

Though one of them was occasionally playing harmonica, which was cool, and something I hadn't seen before. It kinda worked, but I can't hear a harmonica without thinking of, like, Sanford and Son or something.

There was a girl here tonight who, I swear, didn't look a day over fifteen. So either A) I'm really getting old, or B) she had a remarkably convincing ID to have gotten past the door guys. It didn't allay my suspicion when I noticed that she was drinking a Long Island, the signature drink of amateurs and cheapskates.

I noticed a funny thing on the calendar the other day: we've got five consecutive weekends of events I'm actually looking forward to! I don't think that's happened before. Usually there's about one a month that piques my interest. But we've got:

So how about that! I guess things are shaping up.

Today I'm going to bitch about our now-former sound company, in the form of a few recent anecdotes.

A couple months ago, the master fader (the vertical volume slider) on our DJ mixer was starting to get noisy (it happens: they get dirty, they wear out, you replace them.) So we called the sound company, "can you come fix our mixer please?"

Now, of course, we could have managed that ourselves. We could have taken the time to figure out what the part number was of the fader we needed; we could have ordered it; one of us could have installed it. But we called our sound company to do it because it should have been cheaper and easier to do it that way: they probably already have the part, or if they don't, they already know where to get it. They do this all the time, so they wouldn't have to waste the time researching it that we would. Also they'd probably get the part cheaper, since they buy in bulk, and even with their markup, it would end up being cheaper for us, especially when you factor the extra time and hassle it would take if we did it ourselves.

Well, except that it never actually works out that way. It ends up both costing more and taking up more of our time when we get them to "help."

A full month later, after a number of calls, they finally showed up with the new fader. "Oh wait, this is the wrong part. We can make it work, though, we just need to take it back to the shop to scope out the pin-outs."

The next day, they came back and tried again. This time the answer was, "Oh, this is harder than we thought, we'll need to take the whole mixer back to the shop."

Two more days went silently by. Now it's the afternoon before before a night when we are open for business, and there's a big empty hole where our mixer should be. "Where's our mixer?" we ask. "Oh, it's not at the shop, I think _____ took it home with him. We'll bring you a loaner."

They showed up with a purportedly-identical mixer, installed it, and left. David then wasted an hour determining that this new mixer has a dead channel in the (horizontal) A-B fader! We've traded a minor problem for a critical one. He called the owner of the company and commenced with the yelling. His minions showed up just before doors with three different mixers in tow, in the hopes that one of them worked. Fortunately, one did.

So, a week or two later, Barry and Alexis had a meeting with the sound company's owner to have it out with him about this continuing level of incompetence; about the fact that the only time anything, no matter how trivial, ever gets done right is when we get him personally on the phone; and how every time we get an invoice from them, the numbers have changed seemingly-randomly.

One of his defenses was, basically, "well, we might not be very on the ball, but we do you all kinds of favors. For example," he said, "you have one of our compressors that we're not even charging you rent on." Barry said, "Right, the compressor. You loaned us that while you were repairing our compressor. You do still have ours, right?" "Yes, I saw it on a shelf today." "Any idea when that repair is going to be done? You've had it for over three months." Tap tap tap. "Oh. It doesn't seem to be in our system at all."

Also in this meeting, Barry said, "I understand we owe you some money. Can you show me the invoices?"

Tap tap tap. "Here you go." Barry reads. Then he asks, "Uh, what is this for?" The owner reads. "Uh, I have no idea." Barry says, "Well, when you can tell me what we bought, I'll pay it."

So, despite all this, we just spent thousands more dollars with them, having a second Soundweb installed (to fix a bunch of the problems I talked about last month). They were supposed to have it installed on tuesday, and if they didn't finish on tuesday, then on wednesday. Well, they didn't finish on tuesday, and didn't show up at all on wednesday, and finally finished the installation on thursday afternoon. We had a live show that night (Halou), so the guy who installed it was supposed to have been here before doors and through the show to make sure that they had actually done everything right.

9pm came and went, and there was no sign of him, nor was he answering his phone. The webcast seemed to be working, though it was way too quiet.

Then 10pm came and went, and as soon as the band went on stage, the webcast went completely silent. And still he didn't answer his phone.

I understand he finally meandered down here some time after 11, but I'd already told the door guys that he was no longer welcome.

That was the last straw. That company, who designed and installed our entire sound system, won't be gettng our business again.

So, now we've found someone else to finish programming the Soundweb for us. I really want to just do it myself, but the software you run to program the device only works under Windows, which is Against Policy (and I can't get it to work under WINE, the Windows emulator for Linux.) I feel dirty enough already just allowing a consultant to use Windows to adjust our sound system, I surely don't want to have Microsoft software tainting one of my own computers.