the World Famous DNA Lounge Halloween party! I'm sure there are a zillion more out there, but this is what I've got.
I'm also happy to report that our bars are now stocking Dan Aykroyd's Crystal Head Vodka. We were hoping to have it in time for Halloween, obviously, but our distributor fell behind. The first time I saw this video, I thought "Hey, Dan Aykroyd made a funny video", and I didn't suspect that the product might actually exist, but it does! And it's actually a very nice vodka.
Of course, for me, the key point is the completely awesome skull bottles. I've made it clear to my staff that I get dibs on the empty bottles. There aren't too many perks to losing a fortune on a nightclub, but by the flames of Trogdor, getting to keep all the skull-shaped bottles for myself had better damned well be one of them.
We'll be running a special of some kind at Death Guild on Monday, so please do come down and partake of the life-giving skull-juice.
Oh, photos are also up of the Deviant Nation show, with Arnocorps. And let me just advise you that if you have not seen Arnocorps, this is an error on your part which you should rectify at your early convenience. They are what it says on the label: a Schwarzenegger-themed rock band. And they will, in fact, pump you up.
Photos are up of the Stripmall Architecture + Claire Voyant + BloodWIRE show: a really fantastic show that not many people came to, despite it being (as far as I can tell) very heavily promoted. Stripmall/Halou have played here a number of times, and yet, when they play here we generally get less than half the turnout than they get when they play at Du Nord. I wish I had some idea what we're doing wrong. It's incredibly frustrating.
You won't be seeing very many live shows here for a while, because we're again without a talent buyer. The last guy succeeded in booking only hiphop and reggae, because that was all that interested him. I could have gotten over the fact that I'm completely uninterested in those genres if we hadn't also lost money on almost every show. But, that turned out to be a mind-blowingly expensive six month experiment.
Quite a few times here, we've ended up hiring people to do jobs that they've never done before, or promoted existing employees into said jobs. Sometimes that works out ok, but for this job, failure is really expensive. When you're booking shows, you have to spend a bunch of money long before the show happens, in the form of advances, advertising, etc. So you might have a ton of money out there on show number six before show number one has even happened. That makes it hard to tell whether things are going well or poorly until a whole lot of money has already been spent.
You'd be surprised how hard it is to find someone with experience as a venue's talent buyer. You can shake a tree and have twelve promoters fall out, but it's not quite the same job (even though most of them assume that it is).
This time I'm hoping to find someone who has actually done the job before, preferably someone who's doing it right now at some other venue. Someone whose phone already contains the numbers of the various talent agencies, and has relationships with the useful people there, because their last job also involved spending all day on the phone with those people.
Know anybody? Send them my way.
Meanwhile, we've got this shiny new all-ages permit, and very few shows that are taking advantage of it. We ought to be having twelve or sixteen live shows a month, and we average around three.
Plus now it's the end of the year, and with the single exception of New Year's Eve, the club business is usually in the toilet from December through the end of February. People just don't go out. (We sometimes get one or two company holiday parties, and those help, but that's pretty rare.) Also, as far as we can tell, business has been significantly down for almost all clubs in SF this year compared to last year. Why? Who knows. Gas prices are probably a good guess.
It really was a good show.
But its turnout is just loudly reminding me that when I opened this place seven and a half years ago, my goal was live music. And though we've been not-entirely-unsuccessful as a dance club, we've been pretty solidly failing at that live music thing the whole time. Not to mention, not making a dime.
It's very frustrating.
Dear Party People, I have two items of note to bring to your attention:
- Tonight is Hubba Hubba Revue's "Girl Gang" exposé, and the kids seem very excited about their little show this time. There has been "significant chatter", as they say in the intelligence community.
- Tomorrow is Bootie, but beyond that, tomorrow is DNA Lounge's Twenty-Third Birthday! Yes indeed, this venerable venue first opened under the name "DNA Lounge" on November 22, 1985. Come raise a glass, won't you?
At the Immortal Technique show, some colossal shitbag carved their happy pirate name into the men's room mirror, five feet across. Also, a couple dozen tiles have been tagged so badly that they have to be replaced. So there's a thousand bucks gone. We couldn't possibly have had anything better to spend it on, right? Thanks, assholes. I hope your mom's real proud of your awesome handwriting.
It turns out that when doing hiphop shows, it's cheaper to pay someone to do nothing else but stand in the bathroom all night than to pay for the repairs afterward.
The other day I was complaining about the fact that the only reason we have a light under one of the skull vodka bottles is that Shawn cannibalized a light out of a liquor display from some previous promotion that he hadn't yet thrown away. Even though (I think) Chris had asked our distributor to send us something weeks ago. Surely they have a lighted base for these, right? I mean, come on, you're launching a new product, in a fancy bottle, and you don't ship displays to your first batch of retailers?
Then it was pointed out to me that I was standing there assuming competence at every step on a chain spanning at least three companies.
Never lose that optimism, kids. Don't die inside.
By the way. Do you like us? Are we friends? Have you proved it? Have you? Because if you haven't friended us on the various social network sites, that means you hate us. That's how it works. So far, we're on Facebook, MySpace, SonicLiving, Last.FM, Going, Upcoming, and Twitter.
Please friend us. If you don't, we might start cutting again.
We've got staff spending many hours a week just updating the event info on these (and a few other) web sites. It's a disturbingly manual process, since almost none of these sites are willing or able to read the iCal and RSS feeds we provide, so someone has to sit there and cut and paste the events into the various forms. It's kind of ridiculous.
Are there other sites that you think our events should be listed on? There are countless others, but these seemed to be the most popular ones, last time we checked... It's kind of hard to tell.