test test, is this thing on?


I’ve finished migrating my blog. Let’s see if this post makes it to all locations or not.

Mirrored from netik's blog.

The DJ has a gun.


They were sitting down and drinking
They were hanging out and talking
But they would'nt move to the dj's groove
An it got the DJ raging!
"Have you got any old school hip hop?
Have you got any thrash rock be pop?
Have you got anything a bit more uptempo?
Handbag? Techno? Disco? Electro?"


You better run
Cos the DJ s got a gun
Gonna end your fun
Cos the Dj s got a gun

-- Robots in Disguise - The DJ's got a Gun

We're only halfway through the high holy days of Halloween here in San Francisco, and things are going quite well so far. Let me share with you some of my experiences of DJing on Friday at DNA's Halloween party, which both served to aggravate and amuse me.

When planning my set for the evening, I actually had three sets to plan. One, the set at Twitter for our Friday costume contest (about two and a half hours of music), the second, my first set of the evening at 9:00 PM at DNA, and the third (probably best set of the night) right after the costume contest at 12:20 AM.

I'd decided that I'd do a more mainstream set for the co-workers, an old-school industrial set at 9:00 (in case anyone showed up early) and then I'd go balls out with a 130-140 BPM set consisting mostly of electro, a house track or two, newer hard electro/industrial, and whatever else I could think of.

Of course, the 12:20 set was met with the usual griping by the "goth" kids. Being that this was a Death Guild/MEAT event, there should have been at least a mild expectation that there was going to be a massive disparity between the DJs that haven't bought a new album by a band from this century, versus the music coming from me.

Two songs into my set, a girl comes over and writes "PLEAS PLESAE PLEAS PLAY CLAN OF XYMOX" on the Death Guild request sheet. I read her request and said, "I'm not going to play that." Her response was, "Why, why not?" "Well, because that song didn't come out in this century, and I'm only playing songs from this century right now." She replied, "Well, I really like what you're playing but I don't know it, so could you just play something that I know?"

This got me thinking about the more general problem; It wasn't that she was asking for something she knew; It was that she was asking for something well inside of her comfort zone and that she didn't want to be musically challenged on such an auspicious occasion as Halloween.

Hammering this point home, in comes a drunk guy from Berlin, falling on top of me asking for Nitzer Ebb. He was so persistent that I played Join in the Chant just to make him go away.

Let's analyze this for a moment; Ten years ago there was a strong and steady influx of everything from new synth-pop to great (new) industrial bands, above and beyond the regency era of Skinny Puppy, Front 242, and Nine Inch Nails. Progressive house, Kylie Minogue, Noise, Drum and Bass, and Dubstep made their way into the Death Guild playlist over the years, without many of the goth kids even taking notice.

New music was brought into the clubs by Unspun records, COP, and other small labels that would go through the trouble of setting up CD sales booths. This created an ecosystem of DJs playing new songs, and salesmen selling you the song you just heard in the club, mere moments ago. Like then, as it is now, there are legions of bands writing new music in the very genre that you love, and you're probably not buying it.

Where is this ecosystem now? When I attempt to play new music that's outside of the "oldies" being shoved down the throats of the new kids at the club, it's met with complaints. My set consisted entirely of new music, with the exception of the aforementioned Nitzer Ebb track.

Knowing what song is playing and repetition are typically key to people really remembering a track; It's also not like it's hard to find out what song I'm currently playing. You can ask (oh no! human interaction!), use Shazzam to pluck it out of the air, and click twice to load that song right to your phone over DNA's WiFI network. You have no excuse for not finding and listening to new music. Even with declining CD sales, it seems that the laziness of the consumer is at an all time high here in our little music world.

Is it because the under-21 kids are hearing music from 30 years ago, and that's all that they've come to know? Or is it the fault of the DJs for not playing any new music? Maybe it's because of iTunes! People are too used to hearing what they want to hear, when they want now, and we, the DJs are not robotic playlist players.

I believe that there was a serious state change a few years back. No longer are our people seeking the nightclub experience of new music, dancing, and discovery. The club experience has become one of comfort food, and I seriously don't want to support that. I want to challenge listeners, introduce them to new music, and tell them that music is still this wonderful, living, breathing entity that doesn't have to stagnate in the way that it has here.

Do you want to go to a "real club" , where you're challenged by the people, the dress, and the music, or a "nostalgia club", where you can passively make it through your evening with little effort? I'll repeat my nightclub philosophy here again, that the set and setting, music and fashion should transport you to another place. Not your comfy home, and not your boring job. Stay at either of those places if what you desire is complacency.

The next time you ask me to play something from 30 years ago, think about this: Would you have requested that I play Elvis at an industrial club in 1995? Because that's exactly what you're asking me to do when you request Clan of fucking Xymox, AGAIN.

I'm sure you also think it's ok to dance to Lady Gaga at Death Guild, but you'll scream at me the next time I play Yelle.

Dead meat.

Eight and a half years ago, Devon, Miguel, and I started a nightclub that at the time was a response to the (then) massively over played synth pop and standard industrial/goth tracks being played at Death Guild, Assimilate, and other local SF clubs.

This was before the 'noise' genre of electronic music/industrial had picked up any steam at all, back when Juilo and Sharon were losing their shirts on every dekonstrukt show, and when a steady stream of new music was flowing into San Francisco by way of Unspun records and COP. There was no Combichrist, only ravers wore dust masks on their faces (to keep in the Vicks during those hard E trips) and the cybergoth thing was pretty much a distant memory, its fluorescent pants lost in a Cyberdog store in central London.

Miguel was an old friend and promoter (with Robin Hood Dial) of an event called Catacombs, which would occur every six to eight months or so, mostly in private warehouse spaces. He provided much of the art we used (often, reusing it from the Catacombs inventory) and a stylistic direction, once we finally got the club out of Matt's loft, my loft, and to the DNA stage. Miguel had always said to us that going to a club night should be an "act of direct escapism". That we should "create a venue, setting, and mood that transported people out of their daily lives and into a hedonistic fantasy world". We'd met at Roderick's Chamber and he was an inspiration to us during the early design of the event.

We tried to create much of this with MEAT, putting together all of our collective talents. We had so many motivated people to draw from and so much gear left over from years of Burning Man, that it was the right thing to do. Seth had the big green laser, Simon lots of art. Rae helped with setup, and somehow Eva put up with this madness going on inside of the loft once a month. We had the space, the inclination, and Devon and I combined our sound gear to make the boom. As a plus, Kit and Jared ran this ridiculous underground bar/bartender service and our friends, the bouncers from many of the local nightclubs were able to watch our door. Stephan (RIP) was one of them, among many.

Trips were made to Home Depot to install lighting trusses and dance lighting in the ceiling of our loft, and Bunker became one of the better dive bars on Folsom for one night a month. We kept the party fairly underground and really only had problems with the police a couple of times. Not once did my landlord ever complain, nor our neighbors, that then consisted of a stairwell, consulting company (closed at night), and the cell phone store (also, closed.)

What Simon says here is very, very true. The club quickly became a favorite for many, and took on a life and style of it's own. People would show up covered in clothing covered in fake blood without us even asking, and everyone wanted to help out. We missed that greatly in the later years of the event.

What eventually led to our downfall many years later was a combination of factors; Death Guild moved to DNA (which for many broke kids, meant that going to DNA on Monday and Thursday was well, redundant), people got married, moved on, had kids, and generally, Death Guild started playing more stompy music.

I'd like to think that MEAT's playing of more, beat matched hard music helped DG move on, but it's probably not true. The entire industrial genre changed dramatically over 8 years, with less and less local releases and harder music coming out of Germany. Combichrist is a fine example of this; From the synth poppy Icon of Coil to "This Shit Will Fuck you Up" in just a few years.

To those of you who believe the genre is dead, please go explore the genre again. There's so much new music coming out that's being completely ignored in SF and you'll never hear it here because we're -gone-.

Even more of our crowd was whittled away into the Hipster movement, and styles changed rapidly. We're probably guilty (at least I am) of playing more of the electro clash music at MEAT, which may have alienated some of our core crowd. I know there were times that MEAT went alittle 'Bootie' and played mashups as well. We probably shouldn't have done that; We should have followed in the steps of Das Bunker (LA) and kept with the strong industrial, but frankly, we had a hard time getting people to the venue. (Das Bunker is the undisputed king of West Coast Industrial Events, now.)

Speaking of that, let me give you an idea of the economics of the event. DNA has a huge permanent guest list and for many years we have been able to put this event on without having to pay a bar minimum or rent to the venue. As our numbers declined, DNA began to demand rent to cover their (obviously high) costs for staffing, and expensive legal issues. Our make-or-break point was somewhere around 170 people, and we couldn't get that number through the door every month, pay for flyers ($120), and then promotion. Our street team was gone and the helpers that we would normally use for setup and teardown began to also cost real money. In-fighting between a highly politicized go-go dancing team didn't help either.

Devon and I had to start paying lots to keep the event going. We both chose not to do this, because we'd felt that the MEAT brand had had a great run and that we were both too busy to pour time into the event. People didn't come, so we had to shut down.

We had many events, and there will be more. I'm not done DJing at all, but this year in general has been a year of very serious loss for both of us. In one year, I've lost the bunker (flooded), our car (tottalled), the couches (ok, we got better ones, but...), the sound company (basically bankrupt), and my sanity, thanks to Twitter. I can only hope that in the closing of this event that my community is not lost as well. The decision to close the event comes with great sadness, but it's time had passed.

I want to say thank you to everyone who has helped us over the years to run MEAT and to everyone who has ever come to our events. A big thanks to the DNA lounge for putting up with us for this long. Over 5,000 photos exist on my hard drive of the years of parties and fun, and this is definitely not the end. We'll have occasional events, and possibly something new very soon.


See you at our "Just off Folsom St" Fair party on Sunday if you can make it. Also, if you want to hear more of me DJing, come to supperclub on Saturday night for the Fetish Ball.

My childhood was not this uh, sexy.

Sesame street makes a bad decision and puts Katy Perry, who's about to fall out of her dress on with Elmo:

Feist was so much classier, if not bookish:

Seperated at Birth?

Mitchell Baker, Mozilla

La Roux

Jul. 17th, 2010

First watch this:

Then think,

Ayria and Sugar Snap. Separated at birth? I think so.

Nearly back to normal.

Things are starting to get back to normal here at Bunker 2.0. Soon, we'll have an amazing housewarming party, that is, just as soon as we get all of these boxes out of here and the dehumidifiers. They tell me the walls are nearly dry and that they can remove the machines that block Poseidon's second attempt to kill us, shortly.

Things are starting to look good on the services front as well. Two days after we moved in, we got Satellite TV working, and a couple of days ago AT&T installed the DSL line. By Installed, I mean "Turned on a random pair of wires in a box, and walked away."

This was really a pain in the ass, because when the installer from sonic.net came by to connect the bunker to the life-giving Internet, the telco room was locked. Getting a key to this room involved more bureaucracy and a trip to the property management company's office. Even then, after asking the installer to come back a second time I still couldn't get into the telco room with a key.

Five minutes after we'd given up, I managed to get in to the room by jiggling the key. (fuck.) The tech was gone, and I dared not call him back for trip #3. I entered the small storage room which served double duty as bike storage, and phone room.

What I see then is a typical pile of neglect. Cables everywhere, water on the floor. Mold. The work of hundreds of lazy technicians on a horribly labelled multitude of 66 blocks. Nearly ten of them, bringing 500 pairs into the building. Shit patched left and right, with replacement panels barely hanging onto the walls by improperly placed nails. The place stank, and a single barred window looked onto the sidewalk above.

The only thing I know is that I have to find binding post #252 somewhere in this fucking mess. This is the bullshit that holds the Internet together. Not a bunch of pretty browsers and web 2.0 talks, but copper wires snaked through dirt and sewers, strung in nightmarish, dark, wet rooms, leading up to pristine data centers in metropolitan centers.

I have a massive collection of tools here. There's very little I can't fix, but after three months of everything being packed, moved, moved into storage in oakland, moved again, placed into a truck, and moved back to a new bunker, it's hard to find things. I had to tear apart two rooms and three boxes to find all of my telco gear, collected from years of hacking, phreaking, and whatever terrible things I did to electronics from years ago.

I pulled out the Fox&Hound, found the line coming from the unit, traced that to it's old location, ripped out the patch, repatched it into what I thought was the 252nd binding post and got DSL on the first try. (Hell yes!)

The bunker is back online. Retina.net will be moving soon back to it's home, and once these fans stop, I can finally rest from what has been nearly a six month visit to housing hell.

Stuff For Sale / Giveaway

The move, the move the move. A pile of boxes has turned into this, which is a bit more civilized than that we had before:


I had no idea of the sheer quantity of things that we had. The welcome addition of the amazing bookcase with ladder has obviated the need for the majority of the bookcases that we own and the advance of technology has made much of the music gear that I have fairly useless. I'm replacing more gear with my laptop, so there's some music gear that's got to go as well.

Below the cut is some stuff we don't want to see again. Don't think of it as old, they're antiques!

Everything must go!Collapse )

Why hello there, LJ.

I feel like we've been in a black hole for the last three months, but on Friday, E and I are moving to a new place downtown.

There's so much to do. There's this whole back and forth move to get stuff out of the fallback position and into the new place. Fortunately for us we barely unpacked the kitchen here, and the majority of stuff is still in storage.

I've also got to move all of the music equipment back into a new storage space, photograph what we're going to sell and start the process of closing down the sound company I've been running for the last few years.

That makes me quite sad -- There doesn't seem to be any time anymore to do shows, aside from the ones we're dedicated to like Hubba and MEAT. Most of the market for shows has seriously dried up as well. People either got their own equipment, got married, or the time to income ratio for us has become so poor there's no point in doing sound gigs anymore.

I'll still keep a fair amount of gear for emergency gigs, but we won't keep the massive inventory that we used to. Retina will evolve and move on as we always have.

Imogen Heap!

I have one extra ticket for Imogen Heap tonight. Doors 7p, show 8p. $50.

Sheila and Blau, I'm looking at you.

If you want it, reply. I'll have to pick up the tickets from the vendor at 7pm, but I'll be able to meet after that.

The show is sold out and I've been trying to get tickets all day from different people off of Craigslist, and I finally found a vendor that would get me a ticket for slightly more than the already excessive price. *argh*