Here's some interesting news from Washington D.C.: Nightclub Shooting May Beget Legislation. In January, there was a shooting at a D.C. nightclub. A patron pulled a gun on a security guard, and in the scuffle, a bystander was killed. This bystander was 17 years old. So a city council member has proposed legislation to solve this problem by banning minors from bars. Because apparently it's ok to be shot for no reason if you're over 21.
But wait, banning minors from bars?
That's right: in Washington D.C., bars are legally all ages. They can't serve alcohol to anyone under 21, of course, and most choose to operate as 21-and-over venues, but there's no law against minors entering any venue that sells alcohol.
This goes a long way to explain how the hardcore punk movement was able to take root in D.C.; the kids actually had venues they could go to.
This is something of a culture shock to those of us in California, since here, not only are minors not allowed in bars, but there is no such thing as an all-ages (or even 18+) concert venue that also serves alcohol. All that the law provides for here are bars (which do not admit anyone under 21+) and restaurants (which admit anyone.) That means that every time you've ever seen a band in an 18+ or all-ages venue in California, that venue has technically been a restaurant. The Warfield is a restaurant. The Cow Palace is a restaurant.
(Every time I tell someone this, they say, "Wait, The Warfield sells food?" Yes.)
More on this nonsense at DCist: Banned in D.C.: Artists Respond.
If you're not familiar with Fugazi, they're well known for achieving great success while all the while refusing to play at any venue that was not all ages, or that charges more than $7 admission. They also refuse to advertise in or be interviewed by any magazine or newspaper that sells ad space to cigarette or alcohol companies.
(Though I use and endorse alcohol, I'm totally with them on the tobacco thing; this would be a non-smoking club even if smoking in clubs was legal. We have never taken money or sponsorships from cigarette companies, even though there's a lot of free money to be had from them. Because, seriously, screw those guys.)
I'm a huge admirer of Fugazi, and of how they've been able to successfully make this stand for twenty years now.
MacKaye says, "It's obvious to me that adult shows are a form of discrimination. We're not interested in playing to only one section of the human race. Everybody should be allowed to come and see us no matter how old they are, what race they are or what gender they are."
In local news, Hole In The Wall, over on 8th at Folsom, is trying to move, since their current building is falling apart. They are buying a new space nearby on Folsom, but now (wait for it...) the neighbors are complaining. I love how they characterize it using phrases like "don't want another bar in SOMA" and "this new neighborhood they decided to move into", when the bar has already been in that neighborhood for twelve years.