DNA Lounge: Wherein The Man has discovered Synthwave

Hey look, the Wall Street Journal, of all things, has discovered Synthwave. That probably means its over now, right? "Synthwave, the Sound of an '80s Childhood, Goes Mainstream."

There's a particular type of article that gets churned out every couple of years that always begins, "Biff! Bang! Pow! Comics aren't just for kids any more!" This article is basically that but for music: it repeats the claim that "They're not just 80s cover bands!" so many times that you can tell that the author really does think they're all just 80s cover bands. (Incidentally, Stranger Things sucked, and while it was panderingly nostalgic, it did not invent nostalgia, or pandering. Note to lazy writers: other analogies exist.)

Meanwhile, in that other genre from the Lost Decade of 19A0, Revolution at 3.5″: Inside Vaporwave's Mini-Boom of Floppy Disk Releases:

"Floppies are cheaper than cassettes, they don't have to be tediously dubbed, they look appealing, they're available in a lot of colors and have cool designs that people like," says Matthew Isom, 40, of San Diego plunderphonic vaporwave label Power Lunch, who notes that floppies also cost substantially less to ship overseas than cassettes.

There are less convenient aspects to the format, of course, but floppy aficionados have found ways to work within its limits. "I discovered, after playing around, that you can actually release about 11 minutes and 38 seconds of 8-bit audio MP3 on a floppy disk," says Campbell, who has released six floppies so far via Strudelsoft. "The first one that I did was this vaporwave artist called Cat System Corp and I had a run of like 20 floppy disks. And it fuckin' sold out in 8 seconds."

Campbell sourced his first batch of disks on eBay. When that proved too expensive, he sent a call to the employees at the contract manufacturer where he works in IT. He followed that up with a post on Canadian classified site Kajiji, where he offered to pick up floppies from peoples' homes. He wagers he currently has about 400 or 500 floppy disks in his basement.

Wow, you have 500 floppy disks? You are like a little baby! I've been burning promo floppy disks that nobody can figure out how to read for years...

All of this is just a long-winded intro to my real point here, which is as follows:

You should come to to Turbo Drive this Friday to see Tonebox, Lucy in Disguise, and Mellow Fields. Is good music. You like.

Sell out early, sell out often!

Also, please enjoy jwz mixtape 202.


jwz mixtape 202

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 202.

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Current Music: as noted

I'm on a boat^H^H^H^H^H^H^H an album cover

How the Night Came recorded an album called The Library of Babel and asked to adapt one of my Borges illustrations for the cover:

This E.P. explores the world of Borges' incredible short story "The Library of Babel." Based on the hexagonal structure of the library cells, each track emerges in some loose way out the number six, be it track length (6m66s), six instruments playing simultaneously, six note arpeggios, six note (diminished) scales, chords containing six notes, 6/8 rhythms, and so forth.

Some of the music finished up becoming darker than originally envisaged as the more disorienting aspects of Borges' world took hold. There was, however, still opportunity to be playful in the midst of the library.

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Current Music: as noted

Instagram: How not to do messaging

Hi, today I'm going to remind you that spyware manufacturer Facebook's subsidiary Instagram has a messaging interface that is so bad that it might actually be an intentional prank.

There are three different places where messages can show up, and in each, any actual communication is completely swamped by ephemera:

  • Click "Heart" in the bottom row:
    • ← Noise!
      XYZ liked your post
    • ← Noise!
      XYZ started following you
    • ← Actual message!
      XYZ mentioned you in a comment
      (No read / unread indicator on any of this)

  • Click "House" at bottom left, click "Paper Airplane" at upper right:

    Here each line contains an invisibly-small avatar and how many seconds ago they were active, but no summary of the message. For that you have to click on each one. What you get is:

    • ← Noise!
      XYZ mentioned you in their story
      (1cm tall screen shot included!)
    • ← Noise!
      XYZ tagged you in their post
    • ← Noise! Also WTF!
      XYZ: No longer available - Double-tap to like
    • ← Actual message!
      XYZ sent you a message

  • "House", "Paper Airplane", "Messages, N Requests"

    For some reason, this one does show you a message summary.

    • ← Noise!
      XYZ (not a friend) mentioned you in their story
      "Do you want to let XYZ send you messages from now on?" (because a "mention" is a "message" in this bizarroland)
    • ← Actual message!
      XYZ (not a friend) sent you a message

Yeah, we really need three different places for this crap, each of which manages to drown real, explicitly-addressed messages in stalky-mentions, with no way to filter out the chaff. I'd like to see those messages because those are direct, intentional communications from my customers, and they're probably expecting a response. All the rest of it -- the mentions, the likes, the tags -- are unactionable, and are at best interesting only in the aggregate (and that's being generous).

To be clear: if you want to see all of the messages that people have typed at you, you have to go to all three places.

And then, let's say you're a business owner and you want to see what photos people are posting that are tagged at your location. Well that's easy, you just activate the following series of heiroglyphs on the dialing computer:

  • "Magnifying Glass", "Search field" (select it but don't type anything), "Recent", "[Your business]" (but the version with the "Pin" glyph, not the other one) , "Recent".

And, you have to do all of this on your phone because their web site is a completely nonfunctional afterthought. It contains the "Heart" page, but not the "Paper Airplane" or "Magnifying Glass" pages. Also you can't be logged into more than one account at once. Oh and did I mention that neither the Instagram web site nor their API allows you to upload photos or videos? YOU HAD ONE JOB.

Also: "Link in bio" is the new "Skip intro", which is to say, both should be permanently branded into the foreheads of whichever engineering manager's decision led to the rest of us ever needing to see those words.

(Something something Zawinski's Law. Something something Greenspun's Tenth Rule.)

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The 26,000-Year Astronomical Monument Hidden in Plain Sight

On the western flank of the Hoover Dam stands a little-understood monument:

...commissioned by the US Bureau of Reclamation when construction of the dam began in 01931. The most noticeable parts of this corner of the dam, now known as Monument Plaza, are the massive winged bronze sculptures and central flagpole which are often photographed by visitors. The most amazing feature of this plaza, however, is under their feet as they take those pictures.

The plaza's terrazzo floor is actually a celestial map that marks the time of the dam's creation based on the 25,772-year axial precession of the earth.

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Today in Jello People News


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@ColinJCarlson: "Feeling the stress drain out of me as I climb to the top of a very tall tree."

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we need your help getting corporate events.

I'm gonna make two guesses here: first, that 80% of the people reading this post work for tech companies, and second, that 100% of you would like DNA Lounge to continue to exist.

Great! Here's how you can help that happen: help us get corporate parties. Does your company participate in any way at any San Francisco-based conference or trade show? Do you host an after party, a product launch, a side-session, a PR event, an employees-only event?

Find out who in your company organized the last one, or is organizing the next one. Go talk to them. Tell them that DNA Lounge is awesome and they should have the event there. booking@dnalounge.com. And the Rentals tab up top contains salient details.

Maybe that co-worker of yours who is in charge of these things accomplishes it by just hiring a party-planner company. Great! If your person were to say to the planner, "Hey, how about looking in to DNA Lounge?" that could be all that it takes to make it happen.

Putting us directly in touch with the party planning company couldn't hurt, either.

Some examples of what's coming up:

  • RSA Security is the first week of March. It will fill all three Moscone buildings, plus close Howard St. We have nothing.
  • The Game Developers Conference is the third week of March. It's just as large. We have two great parties (and thank you very much, Gordon and Morgan!) but they are both indie, non-company-sponsored events. We've got room for more.
  • Google Next: Early April. We have nothing.
  • VM World: Late August. Nothing.
  • Oracle World: Late September. Nothing.
  • TechCrunch Disrupt: Early October. Nothing.
  • DreamForce: Late November. Nothing.

And those are just the 3-building tech conferences I spotted from a quick scan of the Moscone site. There seem to be an equal number of huge medical conventions in there, too.

We have, historically, been bad at getting events like that, try as we might. We don't have the right contacts. So maybe you can help with that.

The reason these kinds of events are especially good for us is that the companies behind them are paying for it out of their advertising and PR budget. Events like this don't have the same dynamic as a regular live show that has to "pay for itself". Success is measured by "was it a good party." Compared to a normal live show, they have money to spend.

The one Dreamforce party we had last year single-handedly saved the month. That one event made September be slightly in the black instead of deeply in the red.

So if, just by being a little irritating to some of you co-workers, you can get us just one event, maybe you too can save just one month.

Help us kick the can just one more month down the road.

Now, if you're like literally every person I know to whom I've given this speech in person, you're thinking: Wow, I'd love to help, but my company is different and inapplicable because we're: so small; so large; so broke; so dysfunctional; so frugal; so profligate; have a cafeteria; don't really "do parties" (except when we do); that's handled by another department; my team doesn't get invited; etc., etc.

I hate to break it to you, but your company is not unique. How about giving it a shot anyway? Everyone has a great reason to not do something, even something as effortless as prodding one other person with a suggestion.

But that tiny bit of effort could make you a hero.

And with that, some recent photo galleries.

Turbo Drive: Nina + Parallels
Mike Cervello
Monday Hubba: 3 Tiny Klowns
GTA + Geo
Sequence: Figure & Megalodon

Sequence: Road to Wobbleland
Bootie NYE
Hubba Hubba: Toys
Hubba Hubba: Bon Appetit

Mark Zuckerberg doesn't care about corporeal goats

Jack Dorsey says that Mark Zuckerberg once served him goat the Facebook exec said he had killed with a stun gun.

"Well, there was a year when he was only eating what he was killing," Dorsey said. "He made goat for me for dinner. He killed the goat."

When asked how, exactly, Zuckerberg had killed the goat before preparing it, Dorsey mentioned a "a laser gun" before clarifying what he meant.

"I don't know. A stun gun. They stun it, and then he knifed it," he said.

Dorsey did not eat the goat, because according to him it was served cold, despite spending time in the oven.

Lest you think there is only one crazy person in this story, this is the same Jack Dorsey who asked Azealia Banks to make an amulet of protection out of his beard hair.

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Tom Kuebler

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