Quite late, I know. It's been a busy year.
A couple of weeks ago I had an invitation to take a lunch cruise on San Francisco Bay aboard the Hornblower. It was a work sort of thing, a quarterly fun-thing to do after putting in longer hours than usual organized by one of my cow-orkers. As luck would have it, that was one of the rare days that it rained in the Bay Area. You might think that it would put a damper on things but it doesn't rain much out here these days so any change of weather is not only noteworthy, it's a pleasant change of pace for a lot of us.
Anyway, here are the pictures I took.
Because I don't have it in me right now to do a full writeup, here are some pictures from the iVardensphere and VNV Nation concert on 18 August 2017. They were taken at the San Francisco show of the Automatic Empire tour, in which VNV played both the Automatic and Empires albums back to back. iVardenSphere was a solo act this time around, and performed an all-improvisational set on his equipment, something that one person carefully characterized as an industrial algorave. VNV Nation took the stage with their usual aplomb and Ronan spent an unusual amount of time talking with the crowd. He explained that earlier this year VNV Nation had been invited to play a concert to raise money for a German youthclub the night before playing a sold out show in an abandoned factory in Munich. The youthclub didn't have much in the way of a PA system or lighting but was packed just the same, and it reminded him of how the band got it start in the late 1990's. This is why many of the shows on this tour are being played in little hole-in-the-wall clubs instead of the usual larger venues.
20161228: The DNA has started a Patreon account to accept donations!
20161222: It seems that the DNA Lounge is coming up with contingency plans, and they need our help!
JWZ bought the space that is now the DNA roughly 17 years ago and during that time it's become one of the premiere hotspots of SF nightlife. Just about any kind of event you can imagine has been thrown here, from a local motorcycle club renting it out while their primary clubhouse was undergoing repairs to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's silver anniversary, and raves a-plenty over the years. Many have come to see a burlesque show or two at the DNA, or catch an up-and-coming band in a new and strange genre of music, or even come for a slice of pizza and a glass of beer while hoping to be tapped for the stage show of Point Break Live once upon a time. I don't think anybody can easily count the number of concerts the DNA's hosted over the years (though I've no doubt that JWZ would probably know off the top of his head). Long time readers are probably aware that I usually haunt Death Guild, the country's longest running gothic/industrial club night as well as Turbo Drive, the only synthwave dance night I've found anywhere in the country.
In the last two years attendance has dropped off noticeably, and it's hurt the DNA Lounge in a real way. JWZ says that he can't afford to subsidize it anymore, and it might have to go out of business for good.
All I can ask of any of you, gentlebeings, is this:
Please re-share this post far and wide, so that as many people can see it. If you'll be in the Bay Area for any length of time, please visit the DNA Lounge. Go on a night of the week and pay the club a visit, it's not expensive to get in and the people there are genuinely cool folks; treat them well and they'll treat you well. Give the music on that night a fair listen that night. You might like it, you might not, but either way you'll be exposed to something new. If you can't make a concert or a club night (or the night's really not your thing), visit DNA Pizza next door and pick up breakfast, get lunch, or maybe have a slice or two and a cold one after work. DNA Pizza's open 24x7 and they have some of the best pizza in SF. Hell, if you're on the other side of the country and there's no way you'll make it to California in time, consider buying something from the online store?
The DNA Lounge is a fixture in the community of San Francisco. You can see just about any kind of live act, hear styles of music you've never heard before, and dance until your legs are sore. This club means a lot to many of us and we don't want to see one of the few places that we can be ourselves go away. Please, if you can, help JWZ out and keep the DNA Lounge alive.
The week of 21 March 2016 marked the 23rd anniversary of Death Guild, the longest running goth/industrial night in the United States and second-oldest in the world. In a community where club nights may exist for a handful of years and then vanish, only to be replaced by a new team of promoters Death Guild stands out as the archetypal club night: If you visit SF and you like to dance, you really need to stop by the DNA Lounge on Monday night. The evening of 23 March 2016 was a very special night indeed because three locally prominent bands performed that night to celebrate: Good, old-fashioned goth from Roadside Memorial, storytelling new-school goth by Anthony Jones and his band featuring UnWoman on electric cello and vocals and accompanied by Ariellah, and Information Society celebrating the release of their latest album, a collection of covers of music that helped shape their sound called Orders of Magnitude (which debuted at #10 on the Billboard Electronic Dance Music Charts).
Roadside Memorial is a band that very much plays in the old-school vein - rumbling bass, reedy guitars and at least two octaves of vocals that are fun to listen to and pretty much assured to get you dancing if you're familiar with the music already (full disclosure: I'm not but I'm going to be tracking their work down soon). The closest I can compare Anthony Jones to is the Cruxshadows, because Jones tells coherent stories in at least some of his songs, vamps for the crowd in some of the same ways, and has a few distinct story arcs that cover multiple songs (which I always seem to fall in the middle of, for some reason). I didn't expect to see UnWoman on stage with them - I haven't seen her live since Hexenfest a couple of years back. InSoc was... InSoc. If you've listened to their work over the years, turn it up a couple of notches and you've got their stage show. It's fun, you never know what to expect from them (say, coming out wearing spandex hoods and calf-length mad scientist coats), and if you know the songs it's hard to not sing along. Which I spent much of the night doing, I'm not ashamed to admit.
I think you can tell that I had an incredible time that night. When the bands weren't on stage I was dancing to the DJs (perhaps a little too hard...) and generally having a great time.
Anyway, here are the pictures I took from the dancefloor. When I wasn't taking pictures I was singing at the tops of my lungs or cutting a rug.