1-Feb-2006 (Wed) Wherein bands, contortionists, packets, shitbags, and secret construction projects are discussed.

Photos are up of Boyskout (who were really good!) and the Vau de Vire Society at the last Pop Roxx.

You may have noticed that our webcasts haven't been working so well since we had to move our T1 back in October. It took us until just a few weeks ago to finally figure out what was going wrong. We were experiencing really high latency and packet loss, and had a hell of a time figuring out where it was coming from. It turns out that it was some combination of a bad router and bad cables in our new colo rack. Anyway, that's fixed now, so let me know if you still have trouble.

Before we fixed it, I could rarely stay connected to the MP3 streams for more than a minute. I can stay connected for hours at a time, now.

Surprisingly, I got almost no mail complaining about this, even though our webcasts were pretty much completely useless for about two and a half months. It makes me wonder whether anyone actually gives a shit about them. I mean, it was the end of the year, and not a lot of was going on, but still...

Some shitbag tagged the men's room mirror again. This time at New Wave City! Is there even anyone who goes to that party who's under 35? Does carving your name in someone else's wall impress the middle-aged ladies? So there goes another $400, at a party that we don't make any money at anyway. Thanks, asshole.

Since construction has finally begun, I might as well spill the beans about the Secret Construction Project I've been alluding to for the last year. We've had the permits for almost a year, and it took us most of that time to find a licensed contractor who was willing to do the work!

Anyway, perhaps you have noticed that the balcony bathroom isn't there any more, and the wall that used to contain its door has moved. That room is being converted to a kitchen.

We haven't totally settled on a menu yet, but it'll probably be something along the lines of sandwiches, hotdogs, and wraps -- basically, stuff we can make with a microwave and toaster oven. We're not installing an oven, grill or fryer, because that would cost like an extra $15K at least.

This does not magically mean we'll be able to do 18+ shows. To do that, we'd have to relinquish our "bar" liquor license and get a "restaurant" liquor license, which is a pretty big deal. But as I'm sure you can imagine, it's something that's on our mind. At the rate these things tend to go, I wouldn't expect any activity along those lines for at least another year.

(Please don't bug Barry about this. He doesn't want to answer all your dumb questions.)

33 Responses:

  1. fantasygoat says:

    Wouldn't moving to a restaurant license restrict your operating hours? Being able to do 18+ would probably be worth the hassle though, that's a lot more feet through the doors.

    We have it a lot easier here because the drinking age is 19 and there's really only one kind of liquor license for both restaurants and bars. But then last call is 2am.

    • jwz says:

      No, those are unrelated. There is a whole other set of "late night" permits and annotations-on-permits that are orthogonal to liquor licensing.

      • fantasygoat says:

        Sure, but isn't the odds of them trying to pull those permits much higher every time you go to them, even though they're technically unrelated?

        Tough call. Still worth the risk I think.

        • jwz says:

          Of course, anything related to permitting is a minefield. I spent almost a year fighting for the permits we have now...

          • fantasygoat says:

            Oh I know, I was reading while it happened. The question is, do you think the extra business be worth going out into that minefield again?

            I say yes, but then I don't have to do it.

            • jwz says:

              Yeah, I do. It's really, really hard to book live music while being 21+.

              But like I said, we're not starting that process yet. First we're going to run the kitchen for a while and see if we can tolerate doing that.

              • well if it helps, I am fully inclined to help fill up the calendar with live shows once the transition takes place, as I am sure numerous other promoters in the bay area would be interested in using the space as well if it were to go 18+/all ages...

              • n_by_nw says:

                What is the connection between this difficulty to book live music and being a 21+ bar? I can't come up with anything better than that on turning 21, lots and lots of former show-watchers decide to base nights out on drinking alone, and start deliberately to avoid all ages/live music/both. That seems to be on the edge of plausibility, but just barely. What's the real deal with this massive drop-off in live-music audiences after 21?

                • jwz says:

                  Most people who go see live music are in college. (This probably has something to do with "getting a real job".) People who are in college are generally 18-22. People who are in college and are 21 tend to have friends they want to hang out with who are still 20, so you lose a lot of them as well. Unless it's an old band whose fans are all 30, it really does make a big difference, and the people booking tours know it, so they'll always pick an 18+ place over a 21+ place.

                • whittles says:

                  The other thing is that bands like their underage fans as they spend so much more on merch. Younger fans will spend their whole chunk of change on owning every tshirt and button available, it's pretty impressive.

    • g_na says:

      Our last call is at 2am, too. And Jamie will correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that most clubs make most of their money on booze; therefore, they don't make money per se on the 18-20 year-olds.

      However, since it's "really hard to book live music while being 21+," it sounds like if you want to get the live acts you have to be 18+. But the 18-20s don't drink and don't generate revenue above their ticket prices. And then you have to hire extra security to watch to make sure they don't drink. And if anything happens to jeopardize that afterhours (2-6am) license, you're hosed.

      Gah, why doesn't the bloody government just give us a drinking age of 18 and make it easier on everyone?

      • otterley says:

        The real reason most states have a minimum drinking age of 21 is because they like getting handouts from the federal government. Federal highway subsidies (which help the States pay for the maintenance of Interstate and US highways) are conditioned on the States passing and maintaining legislation establishing a drinking age of 21 or above.

        Of course, this leads to the question as to why the federal government set the minimum age to 21 - Congress' stated rationale is that it will reduce the frequency and severity of alcohol-related accidents on Interstate highways. Whether the data really supports that justification is questionable, but for better or worse, the Constitution does not require that Congressional findings used in passing legislation be based upon rational scientific principles.

      • I stand by my long-standing opinion that the drinking age and driving age should be reversed. Not only would this shit go away, but kids who never learned how to drive and who, even with underage drinking being as prevalent as it is, don't really know their tolerances until they hit 21 (because they drink in hiding, not out in the city where they had to drive) would have a real concept of what it means to be too drunk to pretend you can drive before wrecking a car or three learning.

      • as someone who has worked in all ages and 18+ clubs before working at DNA, I can see both sides of the argument.
        On the plus side of going 18+:
        - gets more bands/promoters booking at a venue, thus having more nights where you are open
        - gets more people through the door, and some venues charge promoters a premium for those under 21 through the door to balance out the liquor sales they are not making. Although, if you think about it, those under 21 are going to be drinking water and soda which have a higher markup than the alcohol

        On the negative side of going 18+:
        - staff (more than just security) now has to worry about underage drinking, which depending on the party/band could be a major issue
        - college kids are dumb
        - if its actually all ages (as in under 18 can come in too) and the minor does something stupid, you can't just kick them out on the street and have to detain them until a parent/guardian comes or you have to call the cops to come take them.

        Its a slippery slope, but the positives usually outweigh the negatives, as it usually translates to more people through the door, thus more revenue which is the goal after all in most businesses if I'm not mistaken

        • jwz says:

          thus more revenue which is the goal after all in most businesses if I'm not mistaken

          You think I make any fuckin' money doing this? The goal is to see good shows.

          • hence the "most businesses"...

          • violentbloom says:

            since the food has to be 100% (or even 50%) of the sales of the booze seems like it would be hard to accomplish. certainly food that will be limited to microwave preparation..
            though you can make a pretty good bagel, egg, and cream cheese sandwich with just a toaster and a microwave. Also we had a tiny pizza oven and could make pizza bagels, though I actually just used the raw dough and made pretty good calzones, also tuna melts (uh yeah well my manager liked them and we could eat whatever we wanted as long as we didn't exceed our monthly fuck up allowance, which was basically as much as you could eat. I guess the other stores screwed up orders a lot more or something)

            is butter 18+? they have that pitiful excuse for food one presumes for some reason. cause the tatortots are not exactly great.

            • jwz says:

              The 50% thing isn't real. Do you think The Warfield makes half their money on burgers?

              Butter used to be 18+, but I'm not sure if they still are.

              • violentbloom says:

                well I have actually seen a number of people eatiing at the fillmore.. I've eaten there with you even as I recall...
                but no, can't be real can it?

                did you not go out tonight?

                • jwz says:

                  I've eaten there, the food isn't bad. And the food at Fillmore is actually good. But they make all their money at the door and the bar.

                  Nope, didn't feel like going out...

  2. ammonoid says:

    I only noticed the webcast sucking for the last couple of weeks or so (when I tried to listen to the latest MEAT stream). I of course assumed it was my computer, or comcast, so no complainy.

    • romulusnr says:

      i'd probably assume that the stream was overloaded by too many other fankids.

      or yeah, that i need to upgrade like two years ago. which i do.

    • spoonyfork says:

      "Me too!"

      I first noticed an issue the first week of January. The Infuse NYE stream would flake out every hour or so. It wasn't anything too awful so I chalked it up to my already flaky Comcast connection.

      P.S. I listen some streams every week, please don't stop them!

  3. dzm6 says:

    Surely going to 18+ will simply increase the flow of shitbags? I mean, at that point in their lives most shitbags have not yet got the beat-down they so richly deserve and will be even more inclined to scrawl their "tags" into every fixture you have? Maybe it's just been too long since I was 18 and my memories of my then peers has soured.

    As far as the webcast was concerned - I figured my crappy Intarwebs connection was somehow the source and didn't bother complaining about it.

    Next time it hiccups - Bam! You're getting an email.

  4. good for you on the secret project! and good luck.

    and i'll only bug barry if it involves a rigorous poking.

    uh, or biting. hmmm.

  5. romulusnr says:

    Holy crap, you actually replace mirrors when they get tagged? Shit, man, are you trying to be the Ritz?

    Seriously though, I've seen so many tagged mirrors at clubs that I figure no one ever replaces them until you can't see in th-- no, that's not true either, more like when they cra-- no, not even then, actually, sometimes...

    Too bad there isn't something else you can do, like (I'm assuming it was a scratched tag and not just magic marker tag) coat them with something or use something similar to what they use to repair scratches on car windows.

  6. karlshea says:

    What about those new CDs that someone was showing that you could use a permanent marker and a steel wool pad on and it wouldn't affect them? If you could find out what those were coated with it might be cheaper in the long run to get mirrors coated with that.

    • fantasygoat says:

      Hmm. I wonder if coating the mirrors in mylar would help. I know you can buy it in large rolls, and it's pretty tough.

      Once it's covered in tags you just peel it off, wipe the mirror down with lighter fluid, and put on more mylar.

      That's gotta be cheaper than new mirrors.

      • mra says:

        I was going to say, seems like you could put up a sheet of plexi in front of the mirror and when they shitbags carve their names in, you can just replace the plexi for $50.

  7. buz says:

    I listen to the archived webcasts a lot and didn't notice anythig besides the DJs sucking huge bags of neo-80's donkey dicks.

  8. Although it's not perfect, I've noticed that establishments who actively encourage graffiti RIGHT HERE AND NOWHERE ELSE PLEASE tend to actually get what they ask for and, what's more, get more stuff that's actually artistic and kinda worth having.

    There will always be imbeciles who feel the need to put their mark where it doesn't belong, but some subset of them just want to put their mark somewhere, and knowing that the somewhere is a place you aren't going to make it disappear would encourage putting it there.

    So my suggestion would be to give up a wall somewhere downstairs, toss a light on it, and either be subtle and throw up some starter graffiti/stickers or just stencil an an explicit "PUT YOUR FUCKING TAGS HERE YOU SLAGS". (I'm guessing option two is more up your alley...)